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Spotlight: AJW 08/19/90

G. Badger


It seems like people are into current joshi and that's cool. I watched some Wave & Stardom a year or two ago. Its not bad. Its cool but, not really my cup of Earl Grey.


Here's a run down of one of my favorite old school joshi shows:


1) Miori Kamiya vs. Etsuko Mita: jip A brief little example of joshi wrestling. There were some nice moves in what was shown.


2) 3 Minutes 5 Rounds: Sakie Hasegawa vs. Kaoru Ito- These are two of my favorite underrated wrestlerskicking each other in the face. They're young and tough. I'll say thatagain joined in progress.


3) Coolie SZ & Bulldog KT (Jado & Gedo) vs. Monkey Magic Wakita & Masa Michinoku (Delfin & Sasuke). This is novelty at best. You get to see what Super Delfin and Sasuke look like before they donned the hoods. Coolie and Bulldog are much better in this but both teams are still green. The M-Pro future could be seen from some of their spots and chemistry. It was slow and scrambled. The joshi fans couldnt have cared less. That sounds like hyperbole but, about 10 people were interested in this match. Considering the success of these 4, its kinda ironic but, we all come from humble beginnings, I suppose. This too is JIP.


4) Mika Takahashi & Kaoru Maeda & Esther Moreno vs. Hyper Cat & La Diabolica & Kyoko Inoue.- This is the first full match we get and boy what a fun match. Its real loose but, the hyper pace helps hide the holes in execution. Esther is excellent however and really provides the greatness as the technica. Maeda and Takahashi are good as well. Diabolica is your standard ruda but, works well with all her opponents. Kyoko is still green but has her moments and Hyper Cat is shaky at first but, shines especially when working with Esther. Again, a match like this reminds me why 88-92 are probably my favorite years for wrestling. The matches, especially non-headline matches, are worked where any move can be a finisher. Also, the fruits of sending young talent across the globe during the early to mid 80s are starting to ripen. This match was a good joshi/lucha hybrid example of this.


5) 3 Minutes 6 Rounds: Yumiko Hotta vs. Mima Shimoda.- I thought that this might be interesting. Ive heard good things about this match. Its kinda like a MMA match of sorts. Its a worked shoot sorta. It is pretty brutal at times. Aww hell- It is boring. Its neither MMA nor pro-wrestling. Its not worth watching. Sure there are worse matches in this kick box-esque style but, why it wasnt clipped like the Hasegawa/Ito match is only because of the stars involved. These kickbox matches are time killers at best. If you have to see everything once, watch this in fast forward.


6) Noriyo Tateno 2000 Jiai: Noriyo Tateno & Medusa vs. Mitsuko Nishiwaki & Suzuka Minami.- This one was an OK tag match. I cant really say there was anything remarkable but, it worked for the crowd as it was Tatenos 2000th match. Shes a good wrestler and its nice to see her honored. She was very good with the Jumping Bomb Angels in the 80s. With that said, this match was like most JB Angels matches- Very good but, nothing terribly memorable. In all honesty, I may chalk that up to Tateno. Her offense is well executed yet pedestrian. Her real attribute is playing the Babyface in Danger. Thats nice but, it doesnt do much for me since, I have no real reason to care. Maybe if I wanted to buy a bunch of AJW from the mid 80s, I might have a soft spot in my heart for her...


7) Manami Toyota vs. Akira Hokuto. Baby Toyota vs. Baby Hokuto! This is full of nice surprises especially from Toyota who doesnt have her 90s moveset just yet. So there are no moments where she bites off more than she can chew nor, times where you can call which one of her favorite tricks she is going to do. Here she has a solid match which is fought manly on the ground. This works because Joshi puroresu is still in the old style where singles matches are mat matches with nice highspots serving as points of action and transition. I like this because moves in this match and other great matches of its ilk are used to secure pinfalls or to shift momentum and then take control back on the mat with a hold. So, with that being my preference when all is said and done, I really enjoyed this match. I would call it a great match but, not tremendous in terms of moves or brutality as many of their 90s matches would be. Again, the style had not shifted at this point but, if you want to look at where it would be going-look to this match. It bridges the gap by pushing the speed, complexity, and accuracy of maneuvers, while working submissions aggressively and inserting classic pinning predicaments. ****1/2 perhaps


8) Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs. Bull Nakano & Grizzly Iwamoto.- This one was fucking brutal! This was one of the most emotional and destructive spectacles that I have ever had the joy to witness. Everyone was trying to beat the living shit out of one another in some primal kind of way. These women would never be the same after this disturbing confrontation. There is no doubt about it. This match, if you want to call it that, covered Korakuen Hall in boiling hot blood and sweat soaked face paint for days. The echo of their howls could be heard months after. This is a must-see classic. *****


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