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Joshi You Might Have Missed: JWP 1991

G. Badger


I'm back with JWP 1991. Thank you to the folks who have posted these matches online. I've got the dates in an irregular order but you still be able to find these for your own enjoyment. Hopefully you find something you'll want to check out. Let's get going!

01/06/91: Miss A vs. Itsuki Yamazaki
A great bout pitting veteran technician vs the young powerhouse. I think they told that story wonderfully. Yamazaki's leg work on A/Dynamite was masterful. A eventually found the opening she needed to mount a meaningful offense. It wasn't as precise and thoughtful as Yamazaki's though. It was good nonetheless and Yamazaki continued to target As knee when she could as well as go for quick pinning maneuvers. The finish wasn't as strong as I would have liked but it's part of a tournament so its OK. It doesn't hurt the match which was pretty great.

01/07/91: Eagle Sawai vs. Shinobu Kandori
Simple but effective match with Eagle's power vs Kandori's technique... until shit breaks down and Kandori is throwing chairs in the ring. Really spirited good stuff :)

01/08/91: Harley Saito vs. Devil Masami
Wonderful little match as Devil mauls Harley for the majority of the match (to the delight of the few Americans in the audience chanting and cheering the whole time). Harley will not quit and as a result you really start to get behind her (every though its fun watching Devil on offense).

01/13/91: Miss A vs. Eagle Sawai
Greatest whip into the steel barricades ever. Eagle kinda forgets wrestling physics and full speed runs/whips Miss A into the railing and it flies! It never recovers and each subsequent whip knocks it further apart. This was a great WAR-style battle. I loved it! The 3 count is suspect but that happens in JWP as they kind of just keep going which is reasonable. This was a 2 count but screw it, this wasn't about the finish it was about the violence!

02/11/91 Miss A vs. Harley Saito
I should say this is UWA final and the preceding singles matches were tournament matches. This was good. Miss A showed moments of brutality with her strikes. Harley showed moments of technical prowess but there was not enough of either to make this a great final. I would have liked more parity to be frank. It felt like many other JWP matches where sometimes the actual match is negated by a quick count or perhaps a great pinning maneuver at the end. If Harley's character is that a technicians and perhaps an underdog, I understand this match. But I don't know how much of an underdog she is as shown in her great match with Shinobu Kandori in 1990 where she takes the #2 of the company to the limit. But that underdog story is what we got and it's just not that compelling. But what hurt this for me were the "submission" attempts by Miss A. The Scorpion deathlock was good but the sleeper segment and the figure 4 were boring to me. I'm so tired of seeing meaningless figure 4's. I think I liked every match before this. This was good but not great and the final should either be a great work rate match, a great story match or both. I like them as teammates more than opponents.

Miss A/Harley vs Rumi/Ozaki 04/23/91 
Very good tag match. Oddly A & Harley were sorta the heels here by dominating most of the match. Harley was especially stiff to the point where I really did feel bad for Ozaki & Rumi. This really picked up in the final third as they were doing all kinds of neat suplexes, double teams and saves. I don't recall anyone touting this but so glad I checked it out.

04/26: Eagle Sawai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito
What an awesome intense battle! Everyone was in top form and there was so much hate from bell to bell. If the UWA finals helped push Harley and Miss A then this bout helped Ozaki. Near classic Joshi tag match, rough around the edges in the best ways and highly recommended for sure. 

Devil/Rumi vs Miss A/Yamazaki 04/26/91
Oh man tough act to follow but this was also pretty damn great! It had an awesome start but dip in the middle with some legwork but then picked back up for a great final segment. I shouldn't poo-poo the legwork part as it was acceptable and a means to control Devil and they never just laid there. Rumi did a very good job breaking stuff up as best she could. Yamazaki was excellent as usual and hope I get to see more of her in part #2. Yeah go see this one as well. Both 04/26 tags are worth your time if you're into old school Joshi.

Lots of really enjoyable stuff here! Eagle Sawai was kind of the standout since all 3 of her matches were off the hook :) That's not to say anyone was a disappointment.. her performance here was a pleasant surprise. If you are low on time then, I suggest sticking to the tag matches. Those might pique your interest to make time for the others.

I'll be back with Part #2.


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