Jump to content

  • Please log in to reply
81 replies to this topic

#61 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:26 AM

Aja Kong vs. Mary Apache (ZION Tournament '00 Round 2, 10/17/00 Tokyo)
Ayako Hamada vs. Mikiko Futagami (ZION Tournament '00 Round 2, 10/17/00 Tokyo)


Kong/Apache was 4 minutes of chunky girl bombthrowing. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, but I thought Mari was a little exposed as she just wrestled Aja like she wrestles everyone else... throwing bombs. Hamada vs. GAMI was somewhat neat due to GAMI being tricky and heelish, altough Hamada squashes her very quickly. That missed Asai Moonsault bump and brutal unprotected chairshot that Ayako took were probably a wee bit unnecessary in that match.


Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo)


This was quite the badass little war. At this point they had matched up a few times, so to keep things interesting Mariko Yoshida had now started using GLOVES. Which means she absolutely goes nuts with stiff punches on Aja here to even things out a little. Aja also has a barrage of crazy stiff offense, altough that's nothing new. Still, she just ragdolled Yoshida around in ways that just had to absolutely suck and I winced at her brutal kick to Yoshida's hamstring. This had the usual cool matwork were Yoshida has to work hard in order to lock her holds on the beast that is Aja. Also really loved Aja's modified ankle hold here she just hugs and squeezes Yoshida's heel into her thigh. That is such an angry bear grappling move. This matchup is great everytime but this was especially compact, the selling was flawless and you get the usual neat, well timed, violent spots. Plus, punches to the face.


Ayako Hamada vs. Rie Tamada (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo)


Rie Tamada is this wrestler who looks like not much at one time and then does some really neat stuff at others. This was less neat moments and more fairly standard, even a little sloppy bomb throwing. Atleast Tamada put up a valiant performance, but there really was no stopping Ayako.

#62 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:01 AM

Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Arsion ZION Tournament Finals 10/17)


I saw this match before and thought it was very good. But now, I have some additional info:


  • Ayako was on an absolute roll, having won the SKY tournament and taken out a bunch of veterans to get to the finals here

  • Ayako had matured insanely as a worker, using her crazy Ayakita Submission Holds to finish people off, and adding vicious strikes and bombs to her arsenal, while keeping the technical and flying moves

  • Yoshida, on the other hand, has added devastating punch combos which she used to beat Aja, who had in turn crushed Ayako earlier


And the resulting match was seriously fantastic. They continue from the tournament finale they had years before and show their growth as wrestlers, while still paying respect to eachother's strengths. To reiterate: God damn these two smoke any other junior in the world. The matwork is super, with Yoshida again fighting like an animal and catching everything Hamada tries. Aside from the crazy submissions you get Yoshida working Hamada over with punches and Hamada firing back with some really sharp and well timed offense of her own. Yoshida briefly works over Hamada's stomach a bit and while it wasn't the focus of the match, Hamada sold very well, same for Yoshida with her bandaged arm. The thing that really stands out is Ayako's awesome fire as she was in that sweet spot of a young athlete who has great triumph in reach but needs to push beyond her limits to get it. Also thought Yoshida did a monster job here with her selling, eating the fuck out of Ayako's big shots and creating just the right kind of space between moves to keep Ayako within said spot. Terrific terrific lucharesu/BattlARTS fusion bout that told a great story, this is what ARSION should be all about.


Ayako & Xochitl Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda/Michiko Ohmukai (10/29/00 Tokyo)


The team that I've dubbed Nu-LCO is next on Ayako Hamada's list. It was cool to see someone like Xochitl actually get to be in a longer match. She wasn't a great worker, kind of a sub-Mari Apache, but her chunky girl legdrops, clotheslines and powerbombs were fun. This was kind of a typical crowd pleasing match where they run through their offense and the action is of the roll-out-of the bed type, with the Shimoda/Ohmukai duo not really having much good offense. Ohmukai had one good moment where she really brought it to Ayako with stiff punches and knees, altough that was over all too quickly. Ohmukai really exemplifies the hit and miss worker – or should say, hit and miss and miss and miss and miss... there was one cute spot where Xochitl did the Kobashi cover spot to protect her baby sister. They kept it moving and had clear roles with the Hamada girls having to overcome the evil lingerie model duo, so I guess this was acceptable action for the joshi completists.


Chapparita Asari vs. Mika Akino (Sky High of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)


This was clipped but we get a good picture of it. I imagine this would have been really good if we had gotten the early build, because what was shown was really good. Asari is really sharp, and the contrast between her lucha headscissors and flash armbars and Akino's more basic style made for an entertaining match. They had great rhythm and Akino's arm selling was right on the money. The finish was really neat aswell. Even without the ARSION trademark gone these two are still a welcome antidote to the more overkill-y joshi workers.

#63 El-P

  • Members
  • 8862 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:09 PM

Ayako had come so far in just two years. This match truly was a coronation of sorts. Yoshida with the brand new punching ability was even cooler than before, if such a thing was possible.


Asari looked better in ARSION than she ever did. Working a lot with Yagi probably helped.

#64 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:33 AM

Last 2 matches for 2000.


Rie Tamada/Mikiko Futagami vs. Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)


More sprinty clipped action, with Futagami being in the ring most of the time. Futagami was no longer the tricky shootstyle wrestler. I guess this was a solid sprint altough there was nothing here you haven't seen before. They get some points for ending the match early instead of doing a million 2.99999 spots. Also, LCO's Smells like Teen Spirit ripoff theme is amazing.


Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (Queen of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)


Ayako has done it all in ARSION in 2000. All she has left to go for is the gold. Aja remains unimpressed and thrashes her like she was still a 1st year rookie anyways. Aja really may be the ultimate „do the same shit in every match“ wrestler. If you can get over that this was really good. Aja just gives Ayako a monumental thrashing. I thought it wasn't quite right to have Ayako work this match the same as she would have in her rookie year given how much she had achieved previously, and Aja no-sold her a little too much, but when you get past all that and look at this in isolation this was brutal and efficient pro wrestling. Ayako is just the gutsiest wrestler you've ever seen taking every painful shot Aja has to dish out and getting caught in the ribs with a chair while doing an Asai Moonsault. The finish was fucking brutal aswell and easily one of the best moments ARSION has produced so far.


Well, that was 2000. ARSION had kind of lost the cool quasi-shootstyle that made it's first two years so neat, and some of the wrestler degraded considerably. Still, we got a cool new development with Ayako becoming the ace, and there's still some things left on the table for Akino, Yoshida, etc.

#65 El-P

  • Members
  • 8862 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:55 AM

Well, that was 2000. ARSION had kind of lost the cool quasi-shootstyle that made it's first two years so neat, and some of the wrestler degraded considerably. Still, we got a cool new development with Ayako becoming the ace, and there's still some things left on the table for Akino, Yoshida, etc.


That's a pretty accurate sump-up of the first three years. Chama (Ohmukai) showed so much promised in 1998 but she never became what she could have. Futagami switching to GAMI worked wonders for her character wise (and she is GAMI in real life) but the match quality suffered a lot because of it. Candy had a great 1998 comeback but her back injury probably was too much to keep that high level of work. And her character got annoying. Tamada is someone who took a lot of crap back in the days but she was more hit and miss and still delivered nice work at points.


Ayako becoming ace was a nice cap-off of her… two years career (amazing when you think of it!) and for all the talk of her being overpushed because of her name early on, she really took the ball and ran with it with her mega push and at the end of 2000 there was no doubt she had earned every bit of it and it was the right choice. Yoshida was still the best and coolest wrestler on earth too.


Ah, 2001, the beginning of the TV shows There's a famous power play debacle at the beginning of the year.


I have to watch that stuff back at some point. Good memories. Really enjoying this thread.

#66 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:33 AM

Comprehensive list of the Best ARSION matches of 2000. The really good stuff is in bold.


Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (Queen of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)

Chapparita Asari vs. Mika Akino (Sky High of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)

Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Arsion ZION Tournament Finals 10/17)

Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo)

Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (SKY Tournament II Final, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

Mika Akino vs. Mary Apache (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (8/18/00 Tokyo)

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask IV (P*MIX Grand Prix Semi-Finals, 6/29/00)

Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask vs. Chapparita Asari/Great Sasuke (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/24/00)

Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka vs. Mariko Yoshida/Alexander Otsuka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00)

Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo)

Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00)

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7)

Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida (2/18)


So, 2001 is next... a big name makes her ARSION debut.


Azumi Hyuga vs. Mary Apache (1/27/01 Tokyo)


Our first look at Azumi Hyuga in ARSION!!! And she makes her debut in a... solid but very dry time limit draw. God damn it. There was technically nothing wrong here, but the match just felt extremely by the numbers and there was absolutely no fire from Hyuga which killed it. I mean, Hyuga was like, the super-ace of JWP at. this time, right? And she goes and works a „We are equal“ move trading match with Mari? That was nice of her I guess, and I like Mari, but... there wasn't a lot to sink your teeth into here. Mari dominated a big portion of the match with her submissions which was fine and technically Hyuga didn't no sell it, but they just settled down and ran through their offense for the rest of the match. The crowd was absolutely dead too. Proof good moves aren't worth a thing when the connection isn't there.


Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (1/27/01 Tokyo)


I liked this a lot, fun match in the same style as their match from the year before, which shows Akino's growth. It didn't have the same air of excitement around it (I guess the crowd at this event just sucked) but the work was slick and fun. Really liked the matwork, and really liked the way Hamada dominated the match as she has learned to mix things up with vicious strikes. Akino's execution wasn't as good as in other matches but she could stay in the match believably.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Mariko Yoshida/Aja Kong (Twinstar of ARSION Tag Title, 2/12/01 Tokyo)


Aja is MAD! She waffles the hell out of LCO with stiff chair shots to start this match.Then she gets on the mic, yells something angry and leaves the match. What? Yoshida is left to fight on her own, and LCO quickly finish the 2 on 1 situation with a bunch of DVBs and the Avalanche Tiger Suplex in 5 minutes. More of an angle than a match. Also when Aja left they showed a chalkboard backstage. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

#67 El-P

  • Members
  • 8862 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:45 AM

Ok, there you go. Here we are. You reached *that* moment.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Mariko Yoshida/Aja Kong (Twinstar of ARSION Tag Title, 2/12/01 Tokyo)


Aja is MAD! She waffles the hell out of LCO with stiff chair shots to start this match.Then she gets on the mic, yells something angry and leaves the match. What? Yoshida is left to fight on her own, and LCO quickly finish the 2 on 1 situation with a bunch of DVBs and the Avalanche Tiger Suplex in 5 minutes. More of an angle than a match. Also when Aja left they showed a chalkboard backstage. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?


I admit I had to go back to some old sources to remember exactly what happened there. Since you're watching a best-off comp, you don't even know about the Ryo Miyuki debacle that went on in January. The story is, Miyuki was a tall, athletic, fairly good looking girl whom Rossy Ogawa wanted to push the hell out of despite being a total rookie with zero experience and… in-ring potential. Aja was opposed to that apparently. Miyuki's debut performance was embarrasing. And then we get that shoot-angle that turned into a shoot, with Aja basically "leaving" the promotion along Miyuki (yeah, makes all the sense in the world), hence letting Yoshida getting destroyed by LCO. On the same show, you had the infamous Ohmukai vs Miyuki "job-of-doom" where Miyuki shows up in street clothes and does the job in one minute (because she doesn't want to work here anymore, ya know). Thing is, Aja and Miyuki really did leave the promotion that day and never returned back. So there, Aja was pissed at Rossy because of his booking and Miyuki was a failed rookie debacle that ended up sucking in GAEA a few months later, then went on to work for DDT for a while.


A month later, this was Fukawa's retirement show, which was quite fitting as ARSION as a cool little upstart company was no more. A few months later, Lioness Asuka would get the keys to the kingdom and would effectively kill the company by doing what she does : putting herself over everybody and garbaging up the product. By the end of the year, ARSION was going the way of what I'd call back then, a zombi promotion, with the depressing Carnival 2001 show. I think it went one until 2003 when Yumiko Hotta, of all people, took over and the promotion turned into AtoZ.


To me, 2001 is where I simply stopped giving a fuck. It had been my all-time favourite pro-wrestling in 98 & 99. 2000 was rougher with Fukawa's injury but Hamada's rise to the top was cool. The Miyuki debacle, Aja's departure and Lioness taking over put the nails in the coffin in 2001

#68 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 22 May 2017 - 01:30 PM

Interesting backstory. I'll see how it turns out...


Ayako Hamada vs. Azumi Hyuga (Queen of ARSION Title, 2/12/01 Tokyo)


I liked parts of this, but overall wasn't exactly amazed by what was going on here. Hyuga seemed to be going through the motions and coupled with Hamada's green-ness that wasn't the greatest combinatilon for a match. I liked Hamada in this, liked her matwork, and she is game to take crazy punishment. I think this is the first ARSION match that went full „puro epic“, building from matwork to a slew of big moves and strikes being dished out. Hamada sold fine and the match had it's moments, but Hyuga's lack of urgency just kept taking me out of the match. Also, there was the popping up and sense of overkill that I've grown to dislike in 2000s japanese wrestling so much.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Michiko Ohmukai/Bionic J (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 3/20/01 Tokyo)


This looked good but suffered from having the integral parts clipped out. We get to see LCO brawling and chair swinging, leading to Bionic J being bloodied and becoming the focus of the match. J sold fine and was a fun powerhouse, so this was a nice breath of fresh air. They seemed to have good drama going, but the finish was a little cheap and due to the clipping the match feels incomplete.


Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida - Fukawa Retires (3/20/01 Tokyo)


Yumi Fukawa retires. Hey, remember when this lady got to look like a worldbeater in 1998? This wasn't much serious like most retirement matches are. Decent grappling in a time when ARSION didn't do that stuff often anymore, but mostly just a nice sendoff for Fukawa.


Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Queen of Arsion Title, 4/21/01 Kanagawa)


Their previous matches were quick tournament finals, with Ayako as a huge underdog. Now, Ayako is the champion and they have their sights set on „epic“. Largely this match was pretty great, but there are some flaws. Yoshida dominating Ayako with submissions and punch combos still works perfectly, and these two still mesh really well. I thought Ayako's selling was great, and the spot that set up her dominance was both brutal and really smart. All of Ayako's stuff was extremely sharp and well timed. However, I expected a little smarter work from Yoshida in the last third of the match. Her selling was pretty spotty and she could've picked her offense a little better as the match progressed, as the previous urgency was a deflated a little. However, they redeem themselves with a great finish that was just fucking awesome pro wrestling. Anyways, this is one of the better and more interesting matchups japanese wrestling had in the store in the 2000s, and to be fair some of the flaws here are par for the course with lesser workers.

#69 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 26 May 2017 - 12:17 AM

ARS Tournament '01 Round 1 (4/30/01 Tokyo):

Bionic J vs. Rena Takase


This was a fun WCWSN 4 minute match. I liked Takase's judo throws and submissions, really liked Bionic J's power moves especially her turning a triangle choke into a sit down powerbomb.

Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada


Oh GAMI, you've really let yourself go. The moves her looked good but the stuff between was just...ugh. I expect better from two workers who have been working eachother for years. This just felt lifeless.


Ayako Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi

We join the match just as the matwork ends. Seems like they removed the really good part. Yagi still has some amazing lucha cum shootstyle moves, but Hamada can't be arsed to sell for her and just beats her like a jobber. What a joke.


Michiko Ohmukai vs. Mariko Yoshida


This was okay. Just their standard stuff. Seems the workers stopped giving a damn about

those 1st round matches.


Semi Finals


Michiko Ohmukai vs. Bionic J


Man, Ohmukai didn't give a fuck in this match. Bionic J starts the match hitting all her finishers to avoid her jobber fate, but Ohmukai just looks so uninterested. Eventually J busts out a nunchaku and gives her some stiff hits. That may have been unintentional as Bionic J probably didn't have much experience about doing safe nunchaku shots. Ohmukai gives her some pretty stiff shots of her own and Bionic J joins the list of unfairly jobbed out women along with Hiromi Yagi.


Mikiko Futagami vs. Ayako Hamada


There was one cool moment here where Futagami counters the Ayakita. The rest of this was kind of terrible, however. Never seen Ayako so disinterested in selling and there was one horrid blown spot. This went 9 minutes but felt like half an hour.




Michiko Ohmukai vs. Mikiko Futagami


Damn I hated this. Literally every 2nd or 3rd move was no sold. I try to be a little lenient in order to enjoy things, but this just couldn't grab my interest at all. Terrible.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Ayako Hamada/Azumi Hyuga (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 5/6/01 Tokyo)


LCO faces the dream team of Hamada and Hyuga.My patience on LCO and their bullshit has far run out, but this atleast had a somewhat interesting layout. Basically Hyuga was barely in the match and Hamada just steamrolled both of them, so LCO were forced to use chairs and odd timing to their advantage. I dig Ayako in the ace role and thought this was a good performance from her. For me the match was a little too focussed on bomb throwing and a few no selling hiccups but overall the exeution was good and the narrative made this an effective bout.

#70 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 30 May 2017 - 11:41 PM

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Ai Fujita (6/9/01 Sapporo)


Hey look... it's Ai Fujita. Pretty basic main eventer vs. Lower carder match. Ohmukai tortures Fujita a little before Ai gets some token nearfalls. Ohmukai landed some stiff shots, but she's so disinterested in selling it's hard to get into her matches. Okay take at the trope.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 6/9/01 Tokyo)


Bizarro world version of their 1999 match. LCO are busted open and have to fight back valiently against Hamada and Akino who act like pricks! Also, AKINO gets a lot of focus, which was nice for once. This was probably the best LCO performance in a while and pretty good in parts, but also kinda stupid. Hamada and Akino pretty much have LCO at their will and land all their finishers, but can't win the match. Eventually LCO make their big comeback by waffling Hamada and Akino with stiff weapon shots, and literally burying them under a pile of trash. Match wasn't bad though and I like that they are still trying new things.


Lioness Asuka vs. Mariko Yoshida (7/3/01 Tokyo)


Lioness Asuka enters. Her License Number is 100! Yoshida is unimpressed and brings the fight right to the legend. Man, this dark looking Asuka is so different from the 80s Crush Gal. It's like some 80s pop star reinventing himself into a dark goth guy. I'd say this was a pretty good Yoshida signature match. Asuka gives an uncooperative & dangerous vibe so is a good match up for Yoshida's style. Altough she brought her own signature table to the match and tried some ECW shit that kind gave me a bad feel about her. Still Yoshida was a total trooper here taking a bunch of cringeworthy stiff shots from Asuka and working good submission nearfalls. Altough it is becoming noticable that move overkill is getting really out of hand in ARSION, seems the promotion is in it's death spiral, altough I'll see where it goes.

#71 El-P

  • Members
  • 8862 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:33 AM

I had been a fan of Lioness stuff with Kyoko and Jaguar in Neo & JD' in the late 90's, but by this point, Lioness was exposed to me as a selfish, formulaic worker with no interest putting anyone over or work toward the strenght of her opponent. This was good because Yoshida can't seem to have a bad match and Lioness formula basically garantees a basic level of action, but this is Lioness taking over with her usual bullshit. Death spiral indeed.


And oh, yeah, Chama couldn't give a fuck at this point. Totally forgot about that LCO match too, and I'm like the biggest LCO mark (hell, I take some credit for people using the acronym LCO), that tells you my interest in the promotion, and soon joshi puroresu, had been gone.

#72 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 02 June 2017 - 12:51 AM

Ayako Hamada vs. Michiko Ohmukai (Queen of Arsion Title, 7/3/01 Tokyo)


Ohmukai has done a good job at making me hate her and her bullshit. This match was a good way to redeem herself as it was a blood-drenched, stiff puro epic. Basically Hamada wasn't having Ohmukai's crap and forced her to up her game. At this point Hamada is good enough to carry a questionable worker by adding some much needed selling and struggle to everything, and she really knows how to use her intensity properly. Opening stuff had good animosity, and everything that came after the double juice was very good. Hamada at this point is close to masterful at selling covered in blood, beaten to a pulp, and Ohmukai's moveset consisting mostly of kicks, punches and knees to the face worked very well. Could see this being a low end MOTYC for some.


Ayako Hamada vs. Emi Motokawa (7/21/01 Sendai)


Hey look, it's... uh... Emi Sakura? Well that is a random worker to show up and battle the promotions ace. Hamada just wrestles her standard match, same spots as usual and so on, but Motokawa added some fun touches. I really liked her fast, vicious drop toe hold and her „crumbling“ style sells of Hamada's big strikes were fun. Feels weird that of all the wrestlers to show up in ARSION Motokawa would probably end up being the most influental one by training dozens of girls into wrestlers.

#73 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 08 June 2017 - 01:22 AM

Lioness Asuka/Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai/Bionic J (7/21/01 Sendai)


Hey!!! Bionic J is getting a push!!!! AWESOME!! Well, maybe not exactly a push, but she got a lot of focus in the match, which was cool. And this was a pretty good match as it was just 4 fun workers having fun exchangesand doing stuff they are good at. Jesse & Ohmukai are at a disadvantage early on, with Ohmukai even doing a convincing job selling (!!!) and they end up doing a cool section with Jesse as face in peril. Everything with Jesse ends up being so much funner than usual because she is a cool bullish powerhouse which adds something new to Yoshida's and Asuka's stuff. At one point, Asuka hits some really dainty looking kicks to J, so she just slaps her in the face hard! How's that you lazy old time wrestler coasting on your name! Jesse actually gets some fun powerhouse exchanges going wAsuka and they lay into eachother with big damn lariats, and Asuka who seemed to be half assing stuff started laying it in. I also really liked all the facepunchy boxing exchanges Yoshida and and Ohmukai dished out, channeling their inner Takeshi Ono's. Ohmukai keeps getting back to my goodside as she was in-offensive here aside from one bit where she was trying these insanely inaccurate spinning backfists. The dominance of the Yoshida/Asuka early on added a lot to the second half of the match, really making YOU flip out for Jesse Bennett taking it to the big names and getting big offense and nearfalls until Ohmukai pointlessly turns on her and the match ends in a schmozz. BOOOO! Still, you owe it to Jesse Bennett and yourself to watch this match. It's fine pro wrestling.


Ayako Hamada vs. GAMI (Queen of Arsion Title, 7/29/01 Tokyo)


Mikiko Futagami was full blown GAMI at this point. That means, paper fan and all that. And she gets a shot at the big gold! This starts out like a Monterrey match. Hell, it might be their Monterrey match worked as a puro epic. Somewhat comedic feel, tricky arm drags, rope walking joke and a paper fan hit. Then Hamada eats a tombstone on her belt and sell a huge a deal. This had that „overmatched loser goes for the gold“ feel with GAMI being tricky like Yoshinari Ogawa or Kendo Kashin, so the match was endearing, and GAMI absolutely has the slick moves, so if you like that type of match I'd say this match is recommendable, altough there were a few blown spots. Not as good as GAMI vs. Hyuga, altough this is a match closer to Hamada's lucha background building into a hard hitting finish.

#74 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:38 PM

Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Lioness Asuke/Mariko Yoshida (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 7/29/01 Tokyo)


LCO face their biggest challenge, maybe ever! This was a 30 minute draw and probably JIP for good reason. We get some basic LCO plunder brawling before they settle right into the finishing stretch. Yoshida was bleeding big which added something to her usual exchanges as she was pounding the heels angrily with her fists, and I actively liked everything involving Asuka, as she is so recklessly brutal and also not afraid to get smashed by LCO chairshots. As a result this was going good before Yoshida hits a nutso rope climbing dive as if she was her 1992 self again because why not? And instead of going for the win Asuka goes for another table spot. She got herself a custom made table, so she is using it, dammit! So the match is over and Shimoda gets the mic asking for the match to be restarted. That was a pretty poor idea considering Mita just got double stomped through a table. Another 4 minutes of bomb throwing and false finishes ensue and Yoshida picks up the win in a nice moment with a fucking rollup. To be fair the false finishes worked, and also did I mention you had Asuka spin kicking everyon e in the face like a madwoman.


MAX Tournament Round 2 (8/12/01 Tokyo):
2. Lioness Asuka vs. Etsuko Mita


A sprint. Bombs are thrown. Asuka kicks her in the face a bunch because that's all she does. Atleast it only toke one of her spin kicks to end the match.


noki-A vs. Michiko Ohmukai


AKINO in her goofy masked noki-A persona. JIP of a match that was only 11 minutes... they do some submission based stuff to keep things inoffensive before noki-A picks up the surprise win with a funny mexican stretch bomb.


Mikiko Futagami vs. Mariko Yoshida


JIP again. These two are counter-wrestlers each, so their matches are always interesting to watch. Some submission work on the ground before they settle into bomb throwing, with GAMI really throwing the bombs before securing a fast win.


Ayako Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda


Aaand it's another JIP bomb throwing match. Not much I can say here. There was some fast dodging and evading, and chairs came into play. Can't say these 1st round matches are worth checking out so far.


Semi-Finals (8/12/01 Tokyo):
6. noki-A vs. Ayako Hamada


This was their usual match... except kinda slow, and wooden, and not that good really? Weird how that can happen. Maybe Akino was inhibited by her mask.


  1. Lioness Asuka vs. Mikiko Futagami


The funnest match of the tournament so far was, somehow, this. Turns out the trick is to hit Asuka with a paper fan. Asuka is totally game to go along with Futagami's bullshit and gets eyeraked and smacked in the face a bunch before the inevitable happens. Their moves were smooth and they never slowed down.


FINAL (8/12/01 Tokyo):
8. Lioness Asuka vs. noki-A


Aaaand I liked this a lot too. Basically Akino throws the kitchen sink at Asuka and busts out all these super-slick moves to keep her contained, while Asuka fires back with her usual stiff ass offense to bust her ass. Picture a shootstyle Rey Jr. vs. A shootstyle Psicosis... well maybe not like that, but noki-A was damn impressive. Could've used a slightly grander finish, but this slight noki-A push is giving me positive vibes. Let's hope there's more to come for the masked lady.

#75 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 20 June 2017 - 03:38 AM

Lioness Asuka/Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada/Azumi Hyuga (9/11/01 Tokyo)


An all-star match that delivers! Everyone here works hard to have interesting exchanges, but a big part of why this match is good is, surprise, Yoshida. Watch her have really good exchanges with Hamada, put the boxing gloves to use and aswell do a mighty fine job at selling minor things most other wrestlers don't even acknowledge. She and Ayako have such high end chemistry. All their stuff is such a joy to watch, and the hierarchy keeps changing. Last time Yoshida was still a mountain for Hamada to overcome, now they are nearly equal. Hyuga and Lioness were the lesser characters in the match, but I enjoy Lioness working as King Kong, having the smaller wrestlers bounce off of her while she throws kicks at them from all angles. I actually liked Huyga less than Aska~! Altough she was technically a solid Manami Toyota-stand in. But Hyuga def. Does come with Toyota-ish moments of no-selling. Yoshida's excellent near KO selling of a Hyuga knee kept the finishing stretch from getting all too silly, and her comeback I thought was textbook example selling and then turning the tables in believable fashion. Her style helps too, and her cradle submission felt like a classic move from her bag of tricks that we haven't seen in a match this grand in a while. Very good match.


ZION Tournament '01 Round 1 (9/22/01 Tokyo):

Azumi Hyuga vs. Rie Tamada


A first round match that delivers! This was def. Joshi match and had some popping up from german suplexes, but I was still impressed with Hyuga. I thought she did a pretty good job working as the higher ranked woman here. After Hyuga's opening barrage of offense, Tamada catches her in a Figure 4, and Hyuga actually sells her legs a bit allowing Tamada to look quite good and get a competitive match. Not a mindblowing match or something but for a throwawy 8 minute bout it's on the mark.


Mikiko Futagami vs. noki-A


GAMI... sigh. What happened? GAMI was so uninterested here. Miss nokia kept catching her with armbars, breaking her grip, and she just laid there, as if this was AJPW or some shit. This had 2 or 3 nifty moments of noki-A submission counter works, but was dull and uninspired otherwise.


Mima Shimoda vs. Michiko Ohmukai


This was Shimoda doing RVD-like chair spots, and Ohmukai waffling her with kicks and punches in return. I liked the Ohmukai kicks and punches, didn't like the Shimoda ECW shit and Mita interfering into the match. Also match had the wrong winner in a bullshit finish, adding to my dislike.


Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada


This felt a little mailed in early on. Mailed in Yoshida is still pretty good, mailed in Hamada can be slightly dull if you've watched a lot of her stuff. However, the match picks up good for the finish. Really liked how Yoshida would get rocked while blocking Hamada's kicks, and her tagging Hamada with punches before finishing with a kick to the face was pretty sweet. Match wasn't bad, heck for most wrestlers this would be a quite good match. I guess it shows what I've grown to expect from this matchup.

#76 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:23 PM

(ZION Semi-Finals 9/22/01 Tokyo):

Azumi Hyuga vs. Mariko Yoshida


Another matchup that you look at and go „hm... that should be good.“ But then, it's a semi final of a 1 night tournament, so there is a ceiling to it. This felt kind of like them doing a condensed epic. Yoshida rushes Hyuga early on and works over her a bit with her submissions, which Yoshida naturally does pretty well. Hyuga is a competent pro wrestler, can handle herself on the mat and knows to sell enough so you won't hate her, but her comebacks are weak. I really liked Yoshida's cut-off where she just grinded Hyuga down with a vicious headlock and got right back to the submissions. They bust out the stiff punches and knees for the finish and have some nice well timed moments. So yes, this was a fine match, but I couldn't help but feel I was waching a compressed versiont of a longer, much better match.


Mikiko Futagami vs. Mima Shimoda


Futagami assaults Shimoda with the dreaded paper fan early. Shimoda steals the fan and hits her back, intead of using her signature chair she brought to the ring. Negative aspects of this match: Shimoda can't be arsed to make her axe kicks look decent. Positive aspect: It was over in 3 minutes.


Mikiko Futagami vs. Azumi Hyuga (ZION Tournament '01 FINAL, 9/22/01 Tokyo)


For a 9 minute match that was pretty mailed in this was kind of fun. I liked Hyuga planting GAMI with a deadlift german suplex when she tried to block the german series, and there were a few nifty reversals. Still the match was probably too generic and sloppy to be considered good.

#77 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:09 AM

Ayako Hamada/Michiko Ohmukai vs. Lioness Asuka/Mariko Yoshida (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 10/21/01 Tokyo)

Okay, so this match. I like the Asuka/Yoshida team because it moves Yoshida into prominence. And there were lots of good exchanges between Yoshida and both Ayako and Ohmukai where she catches them in submissions and works Ayako over with punches. The Ayako/Lioness exchanges were good too, altough had kind of a funny feeling, as if Ayako was saying „Back off! I'm the ace of this company!“ and Asuka was going „But I used to be a huge star!“ and then neither would back down. I liked that, and Ayako even works some fun exchanges around Asuka's stupid table spots! The Ohmukai/Asuka section was fun too as neither has a problem trading stiff punches and kicks to the face. Then the match goes crazy! Ayako almost kills herself on a dive! Asuka gets pissed off and rampages about the place, hitting everyone with a piece of table and bloodying Ohmukai! I didn't expect the match would have an actual finish after Asuka's rampage, but it did have a finish and that was kind of great too! So yeah, I got the feeling that diehard ARSION fans hated this stuff at the time, but I liked it a lot. Good wrestling, good spectacle, blood and a satisfying ending.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Azumi Hyuga/Tsubasa Kuragaki (Tag League, 11/3/01 Tokyo)


Hm, I guess this would've been OK if I wasn't so deathly tired of LCO at this point. LCO dominate much of the early portion of this match, so much that it almost fees like a burial of the JWP crew. Hyuga got a bloody nose, but that didn't lead to anything. Kuragaki was fun probably simply by being a fresh face. I liked how she followed a torture rack up with a big splash to the back, and her no hands headbutt ruled. Hyuga kinda runs through her shit in all these matches and this was no exception. And what do ya now, brave Tsubasa falls to generic LCO bullshit. The lack of motivation is understandable.

#78 KB8

  • Members
  • 757 posts

Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:14 PM

Picked up this set a few months ago and started going through it earlier. 


Candy Okutsu v Yumi Fukawa, 2/18/98

- I figured this was heading toward "fun intro to the style" territory, but then it kept going and before I knew it I was thinking it was a bit more than that. It wasn't perfect -- some transitions were abrupt and they might've overreached on a few ideas, but it had flashes of the lucha and shooty influences early on before morphing into a highly competitive contest at the end. I was impressed with Fukawa, particularly the snap she'd get on flat back bumps for Candy's missile dropkicks. A couple of those moonsaults were pretty brutal as well, including that one where I think she was intending on landing on Candy's arm only to near enough crush her head like a spoiled grapefruit. For a match that I assume was to show the audience what to expect from the new promotion I thought they managed to strike a really nice balance between exhibition and struggle. Good match, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of both women. 


Aja Kong v Michiko Ohmukai, 2/18/98

- Man, what is Ohmukai? I mean, if you ever needed proof that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Slender, unassuming, superstar good looks...and she will kick your fucking head in. I thought this was ace. The opening with the slap, Ohmukai's brutal kicks and Aja's subsequent sell (loved her just collapsing after being Irish whipped) was awesome, then Aja came back like you knew she would and unleashed hell. Also liked how she'd sit in the mount position and shit talk Ohmukai while slapping her about the head. It made for a neat dynamic of heavyweight wrecking ball v skinny supermodel who'll kick you in the liver, particularly as skinny supermodel kicking you in the liver clearly had a point to prove (that she was every bit the wrecking ball Aja was, maybe). Where Candy/Fukawa was more along the lines of your lucharesu, this was straight out of Battlarts. And I'm fully on board with Ohmukai playing ARSION Takeshi Ono.

#79 KB8

  • Members
  • 757 posts

Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:43 AM

Aja Kong/Michiko Ohmukai/Yumi Fukawa v Rie Tamada/Candy Okutsu/Mikiko Futagami, 2/18/98

- This was alright, albeit pretty sloppy. Sometimes that meant you got Fukawa hitting crazy moonsaults where she almost lands on her head or crushes Candy Okutsu's ribs, then at other points you got ropey powerslams and double teams where someone had to stand around waiting for others to get into position properly. If everyone was pulling double duty on the show then I guess it's understandable. Tamada was a lot of fun and probably my favourite girl in this. She'd often smack someone in the face as a cut off and the best spot was her punching an onrushing Aja right in the mouth. Mostly a go-go-go sprint, but the early cutting off of Fukawa gave us something to sink our teeth into and it's no surprise she looked satisfied picking up the victory. Her majistral cradle looked air tight.


Mariko Yoshida v Rie Tamada, 4/17/98

- Yoshida's first match in ARSION and fittingly it's a doozy. Some of her matwork in this was breathtaking, how she'd just yank Tamada into a hold and give her no peace whatsoever. One of my favourite things about her as a worker is how nothing against her comes easy, even if it's trying to gain side control or apply a routine hold, she makes you work for every little thing and we saw it in abundance here. Her dominance on the ground sort of created a story of Tamada being forced to try every other strategy possible in response, from taking to the air to attempting a bunch of DDT and suplex variations to straight elbowing Yoshida in the mouth. Not that she was a slouch on the mat, but if she was stubborn enough to keep the match there then it wouldn't be long before Yoshida hooked her in something she couldn't get out of. We saw this when she started going after Yoshida's leg, grabbing a few kneebars that forced her to scramble to the ropes, but then she got ahead of herself shooting in for the single leg and Yoshida tied her up in two seconds flat. I can't even describe how she did it, but man was it gorgeous. Classy match. 

#80 Jetlag

  • Members
  • 1025 posts

Posted 20 September 2017 - 06:55 AM

Hey, I kinda forgot about this project. Looking forward to read more of your thoughts, KB8.


Lioness Asuka/noki-A vs. Ayako Hamada/Fabi Apache (Tag League, 11/3/01 Tokyo)


Aw lil Akino teams with Asuka now! This was a match that kind of suffered from too much hard work. Ayako and Akino were just bumping all over the place here, transitions out the ass, the whole enchilada... there just wasn't really a match going on to sink your teeth into. I like Asuka, she is a fun powerhouse who will kick you like a dog... I liked the noki-A vs. Fabi finishing section. Still for a 12 minute bout this had too much stuff crammed into it.


Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Mikiko Futagami/Rie Tamada (UWA Tag Title, 11/25/01 Tokyo)


Basic LCO match that stayed in the ring and didn't drag. GAMI bled, and also brought her paper fans wrapped in barbed wire (wow that gimmick got dark quickly). Some nice twists and turns, altough I've seen their spots too many times to care at this point.


Manami Toyota vs. Mariko Yoshida (11/25/01 Tokyo)


Big ol' dream match. The style contrast of Yoshida's shoot submissions vs. Toyota's car wreck style was pretty fun. Yoshida catching her higher ranked opponent repeatedly made for a solid layout. Toyota was bringing it too, laying in mean stomps and clobbering Yoshida, and her dropkicks and suplexes were on point. She may have had a more expressive performance than Yoshida, who was pretty much doing her thing. This had some of the ills of japanese big match wrestling, but the story was fun enough and the finish-off was a fine moment.


Ayako Hamada vs. Lioness Asuka (Queen of Arsion Title, 11/25/01 Tokyo)


The young ace takes on the big bad legend! This match is a rare Asuka singles match with no bullshit. For that alone it was interesting to watch. And they went for a full-blown EPIC too, putting on a fight that had wrestling exchanges, submission work, stiff moves, table spots, fire balls, the whole deal. If you are nostalgic for joshi stuff you may enjoy this, but others may call this match a poorly thought out mess full of blown spots and poor transitions. I'll say there were a few cool moments and they both threw some mean bombs, but overall the fight never came together for me.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ARSION, joshi, 90s, Yumi Fukawa, Aja Kong, Rie Tamada, Mikiko Futagami, GAMI, Mariko Yoshida, Hiromi Yagi, AKINO, Ayako Hamada

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users