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Found 195 results

  1. Goddamn, I want to see everything Tomoko Watanabe ever did. I should start a Microscope thread on her or something because as it stands now I definitely want to squeeze her into my GWE ballot. I don't know if the Great Matches are there but holy shit is she fun to watch. Big flying fat woman offense, unbelievable velocity and snap to her moves, and she bumps like a maniac and is a fine seller to boot. Bennett gamely attempts to match her move for move and bump for bump, but can't quite do it. Nakanishi, less than 6 months into her career is in for a few minutes just to get abused starting with Mita seemingly shoot sandbagging her as she attempts to apply a Boston crab. After she gets beaten into oblivion she plays almost no role the rest of the match--I get she's a rookie but this felt like Michael Jordan getting frozen out during the '85 All-Star Game. This isn't one for the Psychology Hall of Fame nor is it particularly heated, but it's a hell of a fun spotfest and one to watch if you like big folks flying around. The dive train climaxing with a LUCHA REGGIE tope is a highlight. One thing holding this back is a pretty poorly done ending with my new favorite worker being the main culprit, as Watanabe completely blows off the Death Lake Driver, which should be sold as a killer move, just so she can run to her finish. It's gold up until then though, and I could have watched these 6 go at it for twice as long.
  2. Had a lot more trouble getting into this. It's a fine performance from Hokuto but it felt like she was wrestling for four here. Minami is possibly the least charismatic wrestler in the history of joshi if not all of Japan, and Hotta and Inoue were mostly uninspiring until the end when we got to Hotta murdering Hokuto with bombs. I'm about to commit heresy, but I think I'm already over the "Hokuto suffers a crippling injury and fights through it" story--regardless of how entrenched it is in real life. I'm starting to prefer matches like the Saito one where she's the woman in charge and wrestles accordingly.
  3. Had to watch this to make a comparison to SummerSlam. It is really cool how many promotions got involved with this show--I don't know if getting the WWF to contribute to this was really a major deal in Japan or not, but to me it is. Alundra gets a full-fledged motorcycle brigade as an entourage, so maybe it was. This was pretty well-worked but it suffers in front of the cavernous Dome crowd instead of the super-hot fans at the United Center, plus in Chicago they were really going balls-out to try to get over in front of a more skeptical audience while this is a little closer to going through the motions. It's also a very one-sided match in Bull's favor with Alundra getting in a few hope spots, including a badly blown attempted reverse dive off the turnbuckle. Decent match but I liked SummerSlam better and I suspect their Raw match next spring is better as well. This is a weird instance of a Japan show seemingly booking a match in a "death slot," WWF-style.
  4. I wasn't planning to start with this but the downside of a 5-hour Youtube video with no timestamps is that picking the match you want to see is an inexact science. I haven't seen Reggie before so when this started up I stuck with it. Reggie doesn't seem like a bad fatso worker and she would have been a better monster heel option for the WWF than Bertha Faye, but the tank top+jorts look is awful. She doesn't look like a monster, she just looks like a slob. Her splashes off the turnbuckles look nice, however. Reggie works typical American-style holds and Nagayo throws a few decent strikes from underneath, then gets in one roll-up for a sudden (and ambiguous) pin. Chigusa does make sure to point to her head after the match, which is nice, I guess. Pretty half-assed match from a bored-looking Nagayo, and Reggie actually seemed to work harder.
  5. Dave gave this ****1/4 and it looks like a good opportunity to see what the mid-card AJW types were doing, in a semifinal of a major show. Shimoda is wearing the skimpiest attire in the history of women's wrestling--Attitude Era divas would look at and say, "cover yourself up some." Not a complaint, just an observation. This is all-action and pretty spotfesty, but it's a very good showcase for LCO, who pretty much dominate this from bell to bell. Every time the opponents start to gain an advantage, even after burying Hokuto under a pile of chairs outside the ring and busting her open, they're almost immediately cut off. A little overrated by Dave considering this was basically a 15-minute squash, but LCO sure look impressive, doing some Michinoku Pro-style triple team spots and running a pretty intricate dive train sequence. Hokuto hits one of the great Northern Lights bombs of her career, spiking Yoshida into the mat for the pin. Other than a few isolated nice moves--Kaoru does an Asai-style dive to the floor and Reggie has a good big fat flying splash--LCO's opponents didn't get the chance to show much.
  6. I'm...not all that sure what to make of this, honestly. But I think I really liked it. This has the feel of a very extended squash, as for 90% of this Bull seems to either shrug off or have an answer for every single thing Kyoko tries. And for awhile this was feeling like a step back for Kyoko. Even though her WWF stint was over with, Bull had taken a sort of elder-stateswoman role, and having already vanquished Kyoko in a WWF title match earlier I wasn't seeing the purpose in having Inoue put her over so strongly again when it was pretty clear who needed the win more. Kyoko gets not one but two DRAMATIC ONE-COUNTS off Bull's guillotine legdrop, and controversy over that spot aside I think it worked here. That forces Bull to go for the somersault guillotine legdrop, and *that* gets two. So Bull goes for the moonsault, which misses. I do love that recurring progression in Bull's big matches. Now, Kyoko chooses to follow this up by unsuccessfully attempting to apply a surfboard, which was not a direction I would have gone in. It's her first opportunity to truly impact Bull and that's a hold designed for the opening feeling-out process, not after a major transition. It gets a little wonky from there, but Kyoko and Bull pull this back together when Inoue starts going for the Niagara Drivers. Two of them followed up by a power bomb nets...a 3 count?! Yeah, that totally caught me off-guard, which is to this match's ultimate credit. Like I said, this feels like a hard match to rate--I had some issues with the psychology and I was so prepared to hate the result it seemed to be building toward ("Kyoko is gutsy and tenacious but completely overmatched," like Kobashi in 1990-91 against Hansen, which was not the right story to tell at this point) that the end result is leaving me puzzled for a proper star rating. But, bottom line, it's a milestone win for Kyoko that seems to come at the right time, and good on them for pulling the trigger and for so completely fooling me.
  7. Manami brings the WWWA belt with her, presumably just to troll Kong. That adds a personal bent to this right off the bat, as Kong & Inoue go to town and Toyota & Yuki can do underneath sympathy selling, lending a storyline to this that the good but exhibition-y opening 8-woman tag lacked. This is an absolutely terrific match, blowing the Double Inoue March tag out of the water. Everyone is all-out here in an effort to steal the show, but at the same time the match never becomes bloated or spot-heavy. The undercurrent of Toyota & Yuki working as underdogs having to fight and claw their way to having an advantage stays strong throughout. Terrific near-falls down the stretch and some terrific spots as well. Kong absolutely kills Toyota with one of the greatest Urakens ever. Yuki saves her once but Kong quickly puts Manami down for good afterward. This is a top-10 MOTYC at this point.
  8. This is for Bull's WWF Women's title. Hot start as Bull attempts a superplex and Kyoko, accidentally or not, knocks her all the way to the floor in a sick bump. Then Kyoko pulls out her vault-up-and-spring-backwards counter using the guardrail in a cool spot. This is a solid, workmanlike match. I wouldn't call it essential, but it's well-laid-out and psychologically sound, and has a more stripped down, traditional shine-heat-comeback-finish layout than your average AJW bout. Kyoko gets some good hope spots and near-falls, kicks out at 1 on the Guillotine Legdrop, and Bull has to bust out the somersault variation to put her down. This felt like a traveling-champion bout, which it sort of was, and thus was unique to an AJW setting.
  9. Charles (Loss)

    [2004-07-18-AJW] Mika Nishio vs Hikaru

    Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3lpffpukXU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Lm6mkIdBg
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