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Member Since 15 May 2013
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In Topic: Obscure Japanese 90s Indies (Yume Factory, W*ING, KAGEKI, IWA Japan, Capture...

Today, 03:23 AM

More to come. IWA Japan in 1998 rules.


IWA Japan 4/29/1998

Perseus & Hidetomo Egawa vs. The Great Takeru & Akinori Tsukioka (The spot-a-ton!)

Emi Motokawa vs. Chiharu Nakano (The girl match!)

The Great Kabuki & Arashi vs. Keisuke Yamada & Shigeo Okamura (The crusty main event!)


I'm an IWA Japan fan now, because every IWA Japan card is great in it's own unique way which can not be expressed in conventional measures of quality, this being an outdoor show in front of a picturesque setting just being the icing on the cake. This was a nice three-piece, as you had the junior opener, which was basically all these guys throwing a slew of big moves and occasional BattlARTSian intermission touches from Egawa including hitting some huge belly to bellys which you do not expect from a tiny insignificant guy like him. Perseus (a guy the internet knows nothing about), for a guy who is all about Dragon Suplexes and Triple Powerbombs and all that also hits a really great powerslam. It's all pretty senseless and really fun.


Motokawa/Nakano was a shockingly good match, everything you can hope for from sleaze indy undercard girl wrestling. Nakano is former GAEA and a kickpadded alternate universe Satomura. She almost KO's Motokawa with her opening barrage and from then on it's on. Everything she does is either a nasty kick or a cool shoot submission. She rules, and why have I never heard of her? Motokawa likes to indulge in silly spots but straightens herself out her after getting kicked in the face 3 or 4 times and starts dropping Nakano with suplexes that would do Otsuka proud. They don't indulge in too many nearfalls and I am left thinking the world needs more of this mysterious Chiharu Nakano.


The main event was a stupidly good sleazy WAR battle with Arashi basically walloping everyone with stiff lariats all the time and not bumping ever and crusty old Kabuki ruling it doing you know exactly what, hitting the worlds greatest punches and superkicks. Yamada basically gets the shit beaten out of him and eats the fuck out of every lariat and superkick he gets, just drilling himself into the mat with enthusiasm. Okamura is pretty blah but he and Yamada are EAGER and Kabuki is totally carrying this by bumping like a motherfucker and getting chairs chucked in his face and making me give a shit for his nerve hold AGAIN. He teases the fist drop and eats a flying lariat in a sequence that wasn't athletically impressive or anything but awesome in context of the match. I was totally a Kabuki fan before getting into IWA Japan, but seeing him crusty, old and broken down as an improbable but determined company ace who throws fists and gets spin kicked in the face is an enlightenment.

In Topic: Obscure Japanese 90s Indies (Yume Factory, W*ING, KAGEKI, IWA Japan, Capture...

17 June 2018 - 03:58 AM

IWA Japan 7/20/1998


So IWA Japan continues to be the most watchable non-MUGA promotion in 1998. The awesomeness of IWA Japan is sorely underappreciated, so allow me to breakdown the ingredients that makes a fun indy card!


The „who are these guys“ improbable fun opener! Yuji Kito & Yoshiya Yamashita vs. Turtuger & Hiroki Achiiwa. It's 4 rookie nobodies beating the shit out of eachother! Even the turtle guy is laying it in, in between jokes! The ref hits a suicide dive! Brutal elbow drops and kneedrops that land with full weight and bad intentions! Nasty boston crab finish!


The tease! Cosmo Soldier vs. Hidetomo Egawa. This was 6 minutes clipped down to 2 and a half. The full match was probably an awkward botch ladden mess, and I wanted to see every second of it! Awkward attempts at shootstyle/lucharesu style experiments and cool suplexes!


The utterly bizarre! Freddy Krueger vs. Katsumi Hirano. Freddy Krueger and a blonde japanese guy in a black gi hit the mat! Krueger has a noisy sleazy glamourus valet! Krueger puts the Fujiwara armbar over like a champ, while everyone is eyeballing the whip carrying lady.


The spot-a-ton! Asian Cougar & Palomino vs. Akinori Tsukioka & Kyohei Mikami. Match contains half a dozen leg drop variants and half a dozen tope atomicos! They hit ALL the spots. Match is actually fairly competitive. Palomino, the masked Ikuto Hidaka, looks ultra polished working pseudo lucha exchanges. Tsukioka lands an Asai Moonsault into nowhere! Swank moves and dives are rolled out. An almost unrecognizable Mikami hits the neat-o Victory Roll into Kneebar because that was en vogue in 1998. Tsukioka does another insane thing which the camera misses completely! They go BROADWAY (but we will never get the full experience, because they clipped a few minutes from the bout.) This match was praised in an old DVDVR and is still fun today. Manly and whip ass etc.


The girl match! Emi Motokawa & Sumie Sakai (Jd') & Sachie Nishibori vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa. It's somewhat light hearted and also mayhem! They do all the moves. The AJW girls don't look good! Neither does Motokawa. Sakai tries a moonsault off the top to the outside and NOBODY catches her at all! The announcer calls it a „Flying Sausage“ everytime a chubby wrestler attempts a flying bodypress. Nishibori hits some nice flying headscissors, but probably isn't polished at anything else. They already had the foxy S&M valet earlier, why have this match be overly cute? Bring back Chiharu Nakano.


The sleazeball fest! Keizo Matsuda & The Great Takeru vs. Masao Orihara & Takeshi Ono. The Not So Great Takeru is in his goofy Power Rangers costume! Masao Orihara & Takeshi Ono are the Tonpachi Machine Guns, and they will kick you in the balls a LOT. Takeshi Ono actually works STIFF. Golly gee he is roughing up those IWA Japan dudes. The Machine Guns are slick and sloppy at the same time, if that makes sense. This was mostly an extended squash for the guns, which is a good thing, because Takeru ain't so great, and Matsuda with his wrestling school level leg drops is laughable. Takeru atleast lays in his spin kicks and hits a moonsault kneedrop. Orihara hits the stupidly gorgeous Orihara moonsault to the outside following a spider german suplex to make up for all the horrible moonsault awrygoings of the evening. Likely the classiest thing he's ever done.


The crusty main event! Great Kabuki & Kendo Nagasaki vs. Shigeo Okumura & Keisuke Yamada. Kabuki train 98 continues! Everyone in this match gets WALLOPED and it rules. Yamada & Okumura get all uppity and Nagasaki fucking wastes them both with chairs. Kabuki & Nagasaki turn into the worlds lumpiest Anderson brothers and procure some brutal armwork and stomps, with Nagasaki rocking the shoulder dislocating Armbars. It's improbable and strange and great. Kabuki hits his awesome fist drop and starts working the ARMPIT CLAW and it's fucking gross. Okumura & Yamada are not technically great but they are willing to smack the shit out of the crusty old bastards and in return get punched in the face, elbowed in the chin and kicked in the throat a LOT. Kabuki & Nagasaki actually have enough cardio to keep things moving for 15 minutes and we get a handful of great spots and thrust kicks. FEAR THE GREEN MIST! Also, SICK piledriver finish. I loved this.

In Topic: Koji Kanemoto vs Dr. Wagner Jr. (NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 06/03/98)

16 June 2018 - 03:27 PM

This may take the cake as the most overrated match of 1998, but it's still good enough to make a Top 100. Wagner Jr. utterly dominating Kanemoto was highly entertaining and saved the match from being your typical ridiculous junior affair. He also showed good sense on how to progress the match. I loved how he threw Kanemoto over the top rope like a piece of shit and then chucked a chair in his face. Unfortunately, the transitions and cut offs weren't quite up to snuff. Not much difference between this and joshi, honestly. Both guys were eager to just hit their moves. Thankfully, they remembered how to sell in the last 3rd which saved the finishing run from becoming a complete farce.

In Topic: Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW Super Power Series 06/12/98)

13 June 2018 - 02:23 AM

The opening matwork may have been filler, but I still prefer these guys working amateur exchanges and fighting for armlocks over the usual sprint opening. This was, once again, a long, solid match, which I easily enjoyed more than any long AJPW match up to this point. The fighting spirit/no selling shit was also less prevalent. Enjoyed how Kobashi controlled early on with nasty neck cranks etc only for Kawada to start slowly getting the better and using him as a kicking bag. Lots of violent neck chops and boots to the face ensue. They dish out some insane punishment, to the point where the finishing run came across as chaotic messy. Once again I thought the match should've ended like 5-10 minutes earlier, but there was nothing egregious about it. Both guys had some crazy selling. Kawada doing his stumbling around then hit a kick to the face is like the only guy who can do that. So yeah, long, excellently worked, crazy crazy match. I don't mind there being not an epic story, but I thought the match inevitably lacked urgency as opposed to Hashimoto/Fujinami.

In Topic: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJPW Supe...

13 June 2018 - 02:22 AM

Not as great as their match earlier in the year, but still a pretty good showing. Some nasty work on Ace's neck early on, with Kawada working some nice snug sleeper holds and what not. Some nice more-pissed-off-than-usual stiff exchanges between Kobashi and Kawada ensue, and they tease a big spot from their previous match. Kobashi using the guardrail to soften up Taue's leg was unexpected and nasty, and Ace brings the US style work with some nice looking elbows to the thigh. Unfortunately, the legwork ends up being meaningless heatless filler (gee what's up with every 98 AJPW match having a pointless Figure 4 spot in the middle of it?). The finishing run was as big and dumb as a finishing run can get, but had plenty of fun moments. I expected Kobashi come out and assert himself because he was facing Kawada for the Triple Crown soon, but instead they just destroyed him and it was awesome. Flawed match, but brownie points for having a 30 minute long All Japan match that didn't bore me to tears.