I was psyched to find this inter-promotional JWP show online. It's from right around the era I want re-explore. Having watched a ton of full Joshi shows, I skipped the following:
Kumiko Maekawa & Rie Tamada vs. Fusayo Nochi & Hiromi Yagi, Command Bolshoi vs. Bolshoi Kid, and Cutie Suzuki vs Takako Inoue.
Chigusa Nagayo vs. Mayumi Ozaki - Well, that was a war! I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the hate in this match was off the charts. It wasn't the quick burst of hate type match but more of a smoldering hate. Shit talking on the mic, stare downs, nasty looks and gestures and of course blood and kicks to the face. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't a fast paced match but I thought that it was wonderfully laid out. The match was almost a series of escalating encounters of violence. I could see some fans of more modern wrestling not liking this. In my book though this was a classic. Very distinct and memorable for sure.
Kyoko Inoue vs. Candy Okutsu- From what I could tell, Candy was going to face a mystery opponent. Well here comes Kyoko! This was my favorite version of her - pulling out creative submissions, limited but energetic bursts of offense and using her strength/size while still being vulnerable. Candy I'm not too familiar with but I'm sure I've seen her before. She was really exciting here and I could draw comparisons to AJW stars, I think she's really her own wrestler. She reminds me of Mariko Yoshida at this time though. You can tell she's physically proficient, and can wrestle however she likes (at least in this match). Really cool near fall from Candy as well. All that said this was a great match.
Bull Nakano & Devil Masami vs. Hikari Fukuoka & Sakie Hasegawa - Good match. I think it was a little bloated in the middle but overall it was enjoyable. I think if they could have stayed more focused after they went into the crowd (for some reason), this would have been very good stuff. The last third was pretty fun with lots of neat double team moves and that's what really saves it from just being an OK match. I don't think the outcome was in doubt so I question the booking a little bit though.
Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai - I've seen this rated as just an OK match. I disagree. I think it is great! It's at a pace that really requires patience with the story they are telling. It was different from what I've seen them in AJW and if you're going in with expectations based on that, I could see one's disappointment. When Kansai makes her move and shifts the direction of the match, it happens at just the right time. Had they waited one more move or done it in a less memorable way, I don't think the first part of the bout would have been worthwhile. You could just say 'well they were killing time.' Instead we get an awesome moment where Dynamite Kansai just pops Aja Kong right in the face and derails the momentum she had worked so hard to build up. Everything really just came together and happened at just the right time. The pacing reminds me of a Dory Funk Jr. match to be honest. If you're patient and stay invested in what they're doing then you'll be rewarded. I might even call this a near classic...or even classic in terms of timing and pacing.
This show was a excellent example of the classic 90's Joshi period but with a twist. I'm not sure if it's a stylistic difference but these matches especially Chigusa vs Ozaki and Aja vs Kansai were more reminiscent of the slower early 80's AJW style. They focused much more on atmosphere and wrestling holds than speed and athleticism (think about AJPW 70s & 80's vs 90's style for instance). I enjoyed this quite a bit and plan to watch more JWP as a result. This is easy to find and totally recommend watching a couple matches if you're so inclined.
Thanks for reading!