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Found 96 results

  1. Really really stiff match. This was a small show, but they were certainly loosening eachothers teeth here with brutal knees and elbows. Ran Yu-Yu was hitting some especially stiff enzuigiris, that is normally not a move that will be done in a stiff manner, but she was punting Genki like a football with them. Outside of the stiffness this match didn't do a ton for me as it had poor structure. Also, like their 2000 match, they both went back to offense whenever they pleased. Ran Yu-Yu is a classy wrestler with a cool moveset, aside from the gross elbows and knees I really liked her leg trips. Genki, I dunno. Her power offense doesn't even look that impressive. I'd say this should go in your „watch“-pile as it may do more for others than it did for me (like the 2000 match) and any Ran Yu-Yu singles is worth watching, nitpicking be damned.
  2. This was a „bigger“ match than Amano/Yoneyama, meaning that it had more nearfalls and bigger moves, but it wasn't as smart. Also, Haruyama looked nowhere close to as good as Yoneyama did at this stage. Bolshoi largely just went to her spots. Spots where good, but the stuff around was largely just happening and didn't draw me in. The one cool moment of the match was Haruyama countering a Fujiwara armbar into a rolling cradle. I am a sucker for Bolshois submissions so the finishing run was somewhat worthwhile... still, a Bolshoi singles match could be so much more.
  3. Boy, I am glad Amano was given something to do in 2002 JWP, because her working these small show matches is way better to me than GAEA. Here she does a bonafide job working as veteran against pre-curls Kaori Yoneyama. Pretty interesting as it is a good Amano match without flash submissions. They work the mat to begin, and Yoneyama would only be able to hang by using biting etc. to set up her holds. Yoneyama is a perfectly good spunky young wrestler here, with the big dropkicks and the occasional cool lucha move. Amano added some nice veteran touches: blocking Yoneyamas strikes, acting savvy to Yoneyamas flying offense, using an opening to lock in a shoulder separating submission hold etc. Even the comedy spot they did added to the match. Really well executed little match.
  4. Round Girl is doing a gimmick where she uses her crotch, cleavage and butt the same way Danshoku Dino uses his junk, inbetween posing raunchily. There you go, I just made this match must watch for all you internet wrestling perverts out there. Aside from all the raunchiness this was actually a decent Monterrey/lucharesu style encounter. I have no idea what Sarubobo Mask is supposed to be (google tells me a sarubobo is some kind of monkey baby puppet... no idea why all the high pitched yelling then and where all the other mannerisms of the wrestler are supposed to come from) but I liked the rope hanging headscissor etc. aswell as Round Girls modified indian deathlock.
  5. Huh! Really fun trios match. Maybe I should stop dreading joshi tags. The main reason for this being fun is that they mix the usual joshi workrate stuff up with lots of amusing shtick and the combo of tagging Kyoko with two low ranked workers. Kaori Yoneyama plays Mini Kyoko and makes a really fun goofy underdog face, while Kyoko herself works as a Brazo de Plata/One Man Gang type immovable object, which works a lot better than Kyoko working long winded epics. All the Yoneyama tries Kyoko Inoue tribute spots and gets smacked upside the head was fun, all the Kyoko Inoue as immovable object/laying out everyone on the opposite team stuff was fun, and the workrate sections were fun too. I've spoken about how much I like Kuragaki and she was as fun as always, and Bolshoi looked good working completely different from her match against Amano just before this one. Hyuga and Ran are kind of the big main event stars in this one (if you can talk about „stars“ considering how small JWP was at this stage) and they are remarkably non-outstanding, really outworked by everyone else in the match. The one moment I didn't like was Hyuga hitting her german suplex combo on Big Kyoko after she was struggling to just lift her before. Other than that, quality stuff.
  6. WELL!! These are two of my favourite female workers, and really two of the more unique wrestlers in wrestling history, despite the fact you have to kind of scour the earth to find their good matches. Due to the special makeup of japanese womens wrestling these two are rarely in a matchup that allows them to shine. And for some reason, their matches over the years have never been quite white they should be. The 1998 encounter went far too long, the 2000 ones ranged between solid and fun exhibtions... fortunately, they finally delivered what the matchup promises on this one. This is a submission match and really worked like Negro Navarro vs. Solar in Coliseo Coacalco. It even had the kind of playing to the crowd and jokes that sort of match would have. 90% of this was grappling, and it was good. What makes these two so cool is not just their submissions but the cool unique trips and transitions they will come up with to get them. Plenty of unique spots and submissions to keep you entertained, and the finish was decided on the mat in an intense scramble as it should be. Really this felt like a Virus match and that's exactly what their strength is. No idea what took them so long to figure it out, but this was worth seeking out.
  7. Acute Sae was a youngster who could grapple. This was a bit like something Virus would with a student on a small show, so it was right up my ally. Smooth grappling and fun submissions. If Bolshoi worked like this more often and had stuck to it she would be among the very top tier of female workers. Sae is good mixing flying armbars against Bolshois more lucha esque style and I really liked her brief armwork, just trampling Bolshois arm as soon as she found an opening. Wouldn't mind to see this have gone longer but what do you know, Acute Sae retired just the same year.
  8. 2002 JWP was weird. Super low budget production with 1 camera and no lighting, but they are wrestling in this giant ring. This is kind of a dream match for me, and it was a lot of fun. They stuck to their bread and butter, which means flash submissions and counters. I would've liked this to be a little more competitive with actual mat exchanges, but it's a near miracle we even got a no bullshit singles match between the two on tape. Bolshoi was pretty dominant here, I guess because after floating around Michinoku Pro undercards Yagi didn't have much standing left, counter most of Yagis offensive attempts. I've seen Yagi push Yoshida to the limit and she still looked really athletic here, doing the Jaguar Yokota handspring and beautiful rollups, wish she had gotten to push Bolshoi a little too. But what we got was match full of the unique and nifty spots these two are famous for and it made me immensely happy.
  9. Reggie Bennett Sighting!!! While there was no ARSION matwork in this match, it was a really fun houseshow tag. The US gals added significant big/little psychology to the match. This was also a nice nuanced Devil performance, as she put over the massive physical advantage of the foreigners while retaining her own monster status by doing cool things such as selling her own arm and shoulder after landing a big lariat or breathing heavily after hitting a bodyslam. Bennett & Power looked good on offense aswell, hitting nice elbow drops, big powerslams etc. Match includes a sumo standoff and buildup to a vertical suple ex. Also thought the structure was good with Cuty being severely disadvantaged and Masami saving her repeatedly leading to a cool unique finish.
  10. Early JWP seems to be the biggest mystery of joshi along with LLPW. There's so little discussion about it, even though there is plenty interesting to it: it had future stars like Kandori, Ozaki and Kansai, and veterans such as Devil and Itsuki Yamazaki. Gran Hamada trained the girls, and they used a unique style while still bringing the workrate. I've aquired quite a bit of this old stuff recently, so I think it's time to settle this and discover things such as: - What are the good matches involving pre-interpromotional blowup Kandori, Kansai, Ozaki, etc. that is relevant to their GWE case? (Stuff that was not brought up in the GWE discussion) - How close were those workers in their early state to their later, more famous versions? - Who is the lost great worker among the lesser knowns? (SPOILER: It's motherfucking Harley Saito, god bless her) - Are there any hidden gems/all time great stuff that stands up to the best stuff AJW was putting out? (SPOILER: Yes there was) I'll be posting my reviews in this thread and use it to document my findings. Recommended Matches: (ongoing) Shinobu Kandori vs. Devil Masami (Original JWP, 7/14/88) --- 1988 MOTY Rumi Kazama vs. Plum Mariko (2/12/89) Shinobu Kandori vs. Miss A (7/13/89) Mayumi Ozaki vs. Cutie Suzuki (4/26/1989) --- 1989 MOTY Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Plum Mariko (JWP 5/25/90) Mayumi Ozaki vs. The Scorpion (JWP 6/14/90) Shinobu Kandori vs. Harley Saito (7/19/90) --- 1990 MOTY Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori vs. Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 9/30/90) Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Shinobu Kandori & Rumi Kazama (JWP 10/10/90) Rumi Kazama vs. Mayumi Ozaki (12/24/90) Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (JWP 1/6/1991) Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Miss A (Dynamite Kansai) (JWP 1/6/91) (UWA Tournament First Round Match) Miss A (Dynamite Kansai) vs. Eagle Sawai (JWP 1/13/91) (UWA Tournament Semifinals) Miss A vs. Harley Saito (UWA Tournament finals) (2/1/91) Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Rumi Kazama & Mayumi Ozaki (JWP 4/23/1991) Devil Masami & Rumi Kazama vs. Miss A & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 4/26/1991) Devil Masami & Hikari Fukuoka vs. Itsuki Yamazaki & Cuty Suzuki (JWP 5/25/1991) Utako Hozumi vs. The Scorpion (6/30/91) The Scorpion vs Cutie Suzuki (JWP 08/30/91) Harley Saito vs. Eagle Sawai (7/14/91) Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (8/4/1991) Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Harley Saito & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 8/8/91) Cuty Suzuki vs. The Scorpion (8/11/91) The Scorpion vs Cutie Suzuki (JWP 10/10/91) (Mask vs. Hair) Harley Saito vs. Dynamite Kansai (JWP 11/2/1991) --- 1991 MOTY
  11. Much more compact, better version of the previously reviewed match. Kandori was so fun as a dominant force here, and you got the sense Ozaki & Kazama were pushing hard to contain her. The Kazama/Kandori interactions were foreshadowing the future Kandori/Hotta matches. Kazama is no Yumiko Hotta, Daisuke Ikeda, Koki Kitahara level ass stomper, but when it was time to be a woman she stepped up and kicked Kandori in the face. Kandori was using a half crab as a finisher at this point, which sounds lame but the way she cranks in that half crab you buy it forcing a tap. Ozaki looked good doing some slick wrestling and while Saito was subdued but she is more than solid in her „run in and kick the hell out of whoever is in the ring“ role. Some nifty spots and a funny finish. 
  12. This was just a tremendous match; great, intelligent, character driven pro wrestling and some brutal spots. This was probably Masamis finest JWP performance outside the Kandori match. It's also another great one for Yamazaki. Lord, is there any other veteran wrestler who has an unseen run as great as Yamazakis in JWP on tape? Her retiring before the interpromotional era is certainly a waste. This starts out fiery hot with some massive lariats and kicks thrown before a slowdown and then sprint again which involve Masami doing some pretty fun wrestling and Yamazaki looking super impressive. Masami ends up caught in a Figure 4 which sets up some really nice legwork and Masami finally doing a really good job selling vulnerability. They keep the nifty moments coming and Kansai & Kazama look impressive aswell mostly kicking the hell out of whoever is in the ring but also bringing some well timed spots of their own. Really well executed economic pro wrestling, the kinda match that was missing from joshi in the later 90s.
  13. This was an evenly matched 6 man tag sprint, so naturally it was good. Each team had a kickpadded vixen (Saito/Kazama), a somewhat nondescript young talent (Handa/Kitamura) and a heavyweight monster (Devil/Kansai). Altough they switched the pairings up constantly. The matchups weren't quite stretched out and there wasn't a big conclusion so it's below your higher tier of JWP tags, altough you had your usual goodness, stiff kicks and occasional clever spots. The highlight was easily the Masami/Kansai pairing. Devil had one of her better days and went the full mile here. She has the kind of commanding presence a 3 vs 3 tag needs and her performance here made me think she would kill it in Arena Mexico. Engaging the crowd through her mannerisms, bumping big and dishing out the big blows when it counts. There were also some brief Saito/Kazama exchanges and while Saito looked good it felt like a rehash from their previous matches and very brief. This was the kind of solid cruise control tag they could have in their sleep worth watching for Devil Masami giving the kind of performance that proves she still had some left in the tank by 1991.
  14. A chance to see the lesser featured Osawa & Koganei stretch out and do stuff. Match wasn't bad at all and had it's moments but was more than a hair below the upper tier of JWP tags. Osawa wears the kickpads but aside from a hard kick or two looked noticably less polished than her peers. Koganei was fun and spunky. Osawa & Koganei did some heel tactics – biting, cut play etc but they didn't run it into the ground. Match was worked like your usual JWP tag – constant back and forth with the moves getting bigger and the occasional half crab. Nothing super compelling especially with all 4 being limited on offense (lots of flying clotheslines and crossbodies) and the match needed someone to really push it. I did really like the flying legbars from Plum. I imagine this kind of match would've gotten more play back then. The opening exchange was quite flippy and you had your usual barrage of great looking suplexes and the occasional cool double team.
  15. Borderline excellent character driven tag. This matchup really tells the story by itself, but I give them credit for going the extra mile and really emphasizing the dynamic constantly. You had Fukuoka, the non descript little mouse teaming with the juggernaut that is Devil Masami. So Yamazaki & Cuty are basically pushing Fukuoka, but when Masami comes in she dominates. Yamazaki & Cuty trying to outwrestle Devil and bouncing off of her is all kinds of fun (including Yamazaki hitting maybe the most logical sunset flip in history on Devil) and because Fukuoka is dependant on her partner to survive you get that constant intensity and nifty help spots. Yamazaki really shines in JWP because not only can she wrestle she adds a ton of character without being overly theatric. I've talked about Cuty resembling Arn Anderson and I was getting some dismissive Anderson Bros vibes from her team in how they threated Fukuoka, there was also some really nice armwringer work from Cuty altough she didn't go full bore like in her Scorpion matches. At one point Yamazaki just kicks Fukuoka in the mouth. When Fukuoka puts her in the Boston Crab it feels like a big moment and I love a match that makes me care about a Boston Crab. There was also an ultra gnarly piledriver which is sold like a fucking piledriver so that ruled too. Match didn't have a grand finishing run but there was absolutely no reason for this to go all epic. We do get the absolutely devastating Gorilla Press from Masami aswell as some fat powerbombs and another nasty dropkick finish. Cool character work and cool wrestling, this is what makes old JWP so worthwhile.
  16. G. Badger

    The Big 100

    This is my 100th blog post! Yay! So, I wanted to make it about something special. An overlooked wrestler, a series of great matches, or something like that. Of course that would take me starting from scratch and I’m just a little busy with my day job & life-things to deep dive into a theme. Damn you Go Shiozaki and Youtube for taking me down a path unfit for this milestone post. So, instead I decided to offer 100 tidbits to you the reader. What’s funny is that I thought it would be a time saver but, in fact it took a shit load of time. I probably could have watched 3-4 matches and gotten a review for each in the time it took me to scribble down & cross out my choices in my notebook. Then, I had to type them out! What a dummy! I’ve got some top 10 and essential viewing lists but, these are by no means comprehensive. Somethings were omitted intentionally and others were omitted due to ignorance. I’ve seen a good bit of stuff but, not everything J Plus most are not in a particular order. “So, what F-ing use are they then!?” you say? Yeah, um see…it’s more like that’s the order that I thought of them in OR they’re chronological. The lists are almost like a peek into my wrestling brain. It’s a little rough and a little hazy at times but, hopefully, it gets you watching, reading, or thinking about different stuff. Who I watch out for when Youtube Surfing: 1. Los Cowboys (Silver King & El Texano) – Well-travelled team always get the best out of their foes. 2. The Headhunters – Agile big men always down for mixing garbage/hardcore wrestling with highspots 3. Togi Makabe – “Newer” guy brings old school flair, intensity, AND stiffness 4. Masashi Aoyagi – Karate man constantly kicking people and stirring shit up 5. Shiro Koshinaka – 100% effort and charisma wrestler, a utility man who can shine in all settings 6. Masahiro Chono- Trained by Thesz & Inoki, charismatic and believable despite limitations 7. Masa Kurisu – AJPW trained, got kicked out of FMW- yeah that’s right… 8. Kendo Nagasaki – AJPW and Stampede pedigree, early FMW and started BJW 9. Tarzan Goto – Notice a pattern? 10. Jun Kasai – Comedy, violence, sound wrestling ability, death defying leaps, and charismatic to boot! Iconic Bumps or Moves: 1. RVD’s somersault senton from the top turnbuckle into the crowd versus Bam Bam Bigelow 2. Kawada taking Tiger Driver ’91 on 06/03/94 3. Masato Tanaka taking an Awesome Bomb through a table to the floor with enough momentum carry his head and neck underneath the guardrail. 4. Jun Akiyama riding Akira Taue’s skull off the apron on 01/22/06 5. Kawada getting German suplexed by Kobashi while ‘KO’d’ on 12/03/93 6. Inoki getting German suplexed by Vader, 01/04/96 7. Mr. Danger Matsugnaga’s somersault senton onto his opponent in a Barbwire Net Scaffold match (BJW 98?) 8. Onita shouting “Thunder-Fire-Power-bomb!” as he delivers said move to Hayabusa in the ’94 Cage retirement match 9. Sabu wrapping his legs in barbwire and then Leg dropping Terry Funk at Born to Be Wired, ECW 10. Akira Hokuto doing maybe the 1st reverse frankensteiner to Toyota, all dangerous joshi style too 09/02/95 Most Brutal Joshi Matches: 1. Lioness Asuka vs Yumiko Hotta 03/26/95 AJW 2. Yumiko Hotta vs Aja Kong 01/24/94 AJW 3. Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs Grizzly Iwamoto & Bull Nakano 08/19/90 AJW 4. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda 08/09/97 AJW 5. Akira Hokuto vs Manami Toyota 09/02/95 AJW 6. Manami Toyota & Toshida Yamada vs Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki series (92-93) AJW 7. Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori (April & December 1993) AJW 8. Megumi Kudo vs Combat Toyoda 3/31/96 FMW 9. Crush Gals & Ogura vs Dump, Leilani Kai & Crane – 2/3 Falls (Mid 80’s?) AJW 10. Manami Toyota vs Karou Ito 08/09/97 AJW Most Brutal Men’s Matches: 1. Sabu vs Sandman – Stairway to Hell match 1998 ECW 2. Jun Kasai vs Takashi Iizuka – Deathmatch TAKA Produce 2018 3. Kobashi vs Misawa 10/21/97 AJPW 4. The Rock vs Mankind - St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999 WWF 5. Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk – Duel of the Wilds 1995 IWA Japan 6. There’s some Tarzan Goto glass deathmatch in BJW 1998 or 99 where he carves a notch into Ono’s (I think) arm with a shard of glass. 7. Headhunters Glass Deathmatch 1995 IWA Japan 8. Masakatsu Funaki vs Tatsuo Nakano 08/24/89 UWF 2nd Stage 9. Onita’s main events in FMW (89-92) 10. Terry Funk vs Sabu Born to be Wired 1997 ECW ECW Memorable Moments: 1. First time the Dudley’s did the Flaming table 2. Seeing Super Crazy vs Tajiri vs Travelling Luchador or Japanese Jr. vs Spike vs Little Guido vs Jerry Lynn every week 3. The “Catfights!!!!” 4. New Jack jumping off the back of a raised basketball hoop backboard through a table 5. Balls & Axl’s chair shots that bent the seats 6. Taz vs The Franchise rematch on TV where Franchise gives this speech about giving the fans a good match and sez ‘whaddaya say Taz?’ Taz, stern as ever, mutters in the mic “Ring the fucking bell…” Aw shit! That was killer!! 7. Sabu’s entrance music 8. New Jack playing Natural Born Killaz throughout every match. Also him hitting people with household items like NES’s and Sweepers 9. Um…Born to be Wired…seriously, it blew my mind. 10. Being able to watch ECW 2-3 times a week (our channel would rebroadcast Hardcore TV) with my Dad during my crappy High School years. It was the perfect escape for me J Favorite Moves in WCW vs The World PS1 Game (sorry I’m in High School mode right now): 1. Top Rope Powerbomb 2. Steiner Screwdriver 3. Tiger Driver ‘91 4. Akira Maeda’s Capture Suplex when countering an opponent’s kick 5. Jumping DDT (Onita’s DDT) 6. Western Lariat (the best its ever looked in a video game…for reals) 7. Mil Masacara’s Headstand leg scissor takedown 8. Throwing German Suplex (Rick Steiner style) 9. Shinzaki’s Asai Moonsault where he’s praying mid-moonsault! 10. Hayabusa’s Firebird Splash (or whatever that animation is!) Honorable Mention: All strike combos that end in that cool KO animation J Essential 80’s NJPW: 1. Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid 01/28/82 2. Maeda vs Fujinami 06/12/86 3. Koshinaka & Muto vs Maeda & Takada 03/20/87 4. 5 on 5 match 09/16/87 OR Hase vs Takada 03/11/88 (tie for me) 5. Inoki vs Fujinami 08/08/88 Essential Misawa vs Jumbo Feud AJPW: 1. 06/08/90 2. 09/30/90 3. 10/19/90 4. RWTL 12/07/90 5. 04/20/91 Other Essential Joshi: 1. Lioness vs Jaguar Yokota AND Chigusa vs Devil Masami 08/22/85 AJW 2. Crush Gals & Ogura vs Dump, Leilani Kai & Crane – 2/3 Falls (Mid 80’s?) AJW 3. Chigusa vs Lioness 02/26/87 AJW 4. Fire Jets vs Marine Wolves 1989 Tag League (?) 2/3 Falls AJW 5. Plum Mariko & Devil Masami vs Chigusa & Cuty Suzuki (11/18/93) JWP 6. Toyota & Hokuto vs K. Inoue & Yamada (both matches) 12/10/93 AJW 7. Ozaki, Plum & Cuty vs Dynamite Kansai, Devil & Chigusa - 2 Count match 01/1994 JWP 8. Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue vs Manami Toyota & Aja Kong 03/03/94 AJW 9. Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto vs Yumiko Hotta & Dynamite Kansai 08/24/94 AJW (24 years ago!?) 10. Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong 11/20/94 AJW Essential Independent or Other Promotions of the 1990’s: 1. Onita & Tarzan Goto vs Kurisu & Dragonmaster Kendo Nagasaki 04/19/90 FMW 2. Onita vs Goto 02/26/91 FMW 3 Tenryu & Ishikawa vs Hashimoto & Choshu 04/02/93 WAR 4. The Headhunters vs Miguel Perez Jr. & W. Kanemura – Barbwire Cage Match 05/09/93 W*ING 5. Captain’s Fall Barbwire Bunkhouse Match 08/29/93 W*ING 6. Jinsei Shinzaki vs Great Sasuke 04/29/94 Michinoku Pro 7. Sasuke, Gran Hamada & Delfin vs Dick Togo, Men's Teioh & Shiryu 11/12/96 M-Pro 8. Sasuke, Hamada, Super Delfin, Gran Naniwa & Yakushiji vs. Togo, Men's, TAKA, Shiryu & Funaki 12/16/96 M-Pro 9. Yuki Ishikawa & Mohammed Yone vs Daisuke Ikeda & Ikuto Hidaka 06/20/99 BattlARTS 10. Ishikawa vs Ikeda 07/29/99 BattlARTS Projects I’m Really Going to Get To in the Next 3 Months: 1. Pick back up AJPW Classics 1989-90 (I’ve got a DVD set thick enough to stop a .22) 2. Focus on AJPW 2011-2015 DVDs 3. Assorted ROH & PWG DVDs from 2014 to 2016 along with some Young Bucks in PWG 4. Looking at some NJPW 1990 tag’s I’ve been wanting to see for YEARS 5. NJPW 1988 – couple discs of some goodies I keep putting off 6. Momoe Nakanishi DVD that I just can’t seem to remember that I have 7. NOAH 2007 – A small sampling, me thinks 8. I’d like to get into 95-98 FMW but, my two big YT sources have been shut down. I’ll scrape through perhaps. 9. I’ve been getting the urge to watch early 80’s AJ & NJ along with whatever AWA stuff I can find 10. More 2010 NJPW multi-mans, tags , and Jr. matches Thank you very much for reading!!
  17. Ozaki is questionable, but she may have given Amano her overall best match of the year in this one. Solid layout with Ozaki mostly stepping on Amanos face and roughing her up while Amano worked her submission game. Amanos is really great at rolling in and out of submissions. The whole thing had a somewhat early 90s JWP feel to it as they kept it simple and to the point. Somewhat slow in parts early on, but the 2nd half is peppered with cool stuff without going overboard.
  18. Really cool match which saw the future Ran Yu-Yu trying to take down Kansai. Kansai was past her prime at this point but could still bring it and kick you in the face hellishly. She works nice, simple and snug and doesn't allow any sprint work, so this match was a nice change of pace for joshi. I'm a Miyaguchi fan as she has solid simple spots (stiff european uppercut, enzuigiri that kills, big Samoan drop) and she works well against Kansai here. There is some weirdness early on with Miyaguchi working some armbars on the arena floor and refusing to let go, but it lead to a funny moment where Kansai grabbed a random umbrella and used it to hook Miyaguchis leg. While the arm work ended up being not important I really liked Kansais selling of Miyaguchis subsequent leg attack and a few suitably great, well timed spots ensued. This had a good story, never got silly, was plenty violent and solid all the way through.
  19. The wild ride that is 1998 continues as now Kanako Motoya of all scantily clad joshi fairies is stepping up to provide the kickass grapple oriented pro wrestling. Shockingly great performance from her as she did a great job selling a bandaged leg and also worked that cool convoluted submission based style that was so en vogue then aswell as throwing in some nice high kicks for good measure. Amano is another girl who does the flash submission based style and she does it exceptionally well as she has really cool looking and natural ways to get submissions. Both of them sold extremely well and they did a really nice job working a 50/50 type contest without things getting silly as the selling and fire was in place. Highlights include a gritty palm strike exchange, great sleeper hold spot and whacky La Magistral into armbar. Only nitpick – which might be pretty major depending on what type of person you are – was that they showed the last 9 minutes of what seemed to be a 30 minute contest, so that has to make you think a little. Still what they put together was exceptional & great.
  20. These two are such hit and miss workers. Half the time they will do generic sprint bullshit and the other half you'll get something really compelling. This was more on the compelling side because they didn't go long and took a more conservative approach & the match was laid out in an effective way. Lots of nice scrambling matwork in the opening minutes with a giant swing and a dropkick being the highspots. The match was then built around gutsy young Kuzumi trying to just blow away Fukuoka with her bombs and Fukuoka putting her back in place. Fukuoka looked convincingly ace-like by not allowing Kuzumi easy comebacks and using offense that wouldnt look out of place on a New Japan/All Japan main eventer (high kick, knee to the face, kick to the spine etc). Kuzumi was like a more limber Sabu, always going for unpredictable highspots and suplexes. Should mention that her almost blowing a springboard move, landing on her feet and hitting a snap suplex on the floor may have been a botch that actually made the match better than if she had just hit her spot. This had 2-3 minor wonky transitions but the finishing sequence was really strong with Kuzumi looking beaten and trying to win with everything she had left in the tank.
  21. W*ING 05/09/93 show: Mr. Pogo vs Matsunaga in a Barbwire bat Texas Death match. This is clipped a little but not so much where its jumping around in the match too much. Its exactly what I was looking for with the action. Both guys are bleeding and taking to the bat like champs. Pretty sure Mr. Danger gets hit in the throat. Great finish too! PLUS Headhunters vs Miguel Perez Jr. & Yukihiro (Wing) Kanemura -Barbwire Cage match. I was hyped that I found this. Perez Jr. is a guy that I've become a fan of through W*ING. This match was fantastic with everyone tasting the wire, guys going off the top rope & cage etc. The fact that it was a non escape match was a plus. May have had some clipping (a constant with W*ING & IWA) but nothing offensive. A great death match, heck a great match in general. Great Sasuke vs Dos Caras (Michinoku Pro Mask League 08/25/95): A nice slow building match with exciting matwork built into false finish teases & hellish moves...Sasuke did his awesome flying offense and Caras powerbombed Sasuke 3 times that would make Vader wince. Devil Masami & Plum Mariko vs Chigusa Nagayo & Cutie Suzuki (JWP Thunder Queen Battle 11/18/93): Cuty is pretty crumby in general but she played her role here as did Plum who is a bit better than Cuty as she actually understands ring positioning, taking bumps properly etc. But let's be honest this is all about Devil & Chigusa and it did not disappoint. There was a real strong focus on submissions and it really seemed any of the later ones could have done it for both women. Chiggy & Devil show why they are wrestling heroes...especially when the Crush Gal almost got murdered with powerbombs & suplexes. She legitimately looked F'ed Up at the end. This is really cool considering I'm using their classic match from '85 as my primer for this one! A lost joshi classic.
  22. It's the 25th Anniversary of AJW's super show: All Star Dreamslam! Or just Dreamslam is OK too The crown jewel of the interpromotional joshi era and the showcase for Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori. Its a joshi match for people who hate joshi.Just everything one could hope for in a wrestling match. Stiffness, mat wrestling, counters, blood, highspots and so on...all punctuated by a great finish. Akira Hokuto is excellent and Kandori is her perfect foil in this match. But! There are other great matches as well! Aja Kong & Bull Nakano vs Eagle Sawai & Harley Saito (LLPW team): Super stiff & throughly enjoyable match. If it would have been a bit longer it would have been better. I don't think there was any doubt of Kong & Bulll losing so, it was impressive to see the LLPW team kicking out of some great moves. So, maybe it ended appropriately. Re-watch: Yeah this is still a really fun match because the LLPW team are such underdogs. I mean even little execution problems are ok because it works in the story- they are not top tier wrestlers but dammit they're gonna do whatever they can to score an upset. Aja & Bull seem to really enjoy working with some fresh blood too. I mean you can just see it on their faces, especially Bull, when she does her suicide dive. I was like "Yeah this is the Bull Nakano that I love!" That & she's 20-30lbs. lighter here than in 1995. She even breaks out a tumbleweed leg drop IIRC. I'd like to see Harley Saito again too. She was impressive and worked well with Aja & Bull who can be difficult because of their frames. Yumiko Hotta vs Dynamite Kansai (JWP team): Brutally stiff match, great begining which tapers off in the middle because both women seemed to have their bearings kicked loose. Still there are some good portions and the ending is just as brutal with Hotta delivering some Dr. Death-esque suplexes. The ending was pretty good but I'm not sure if the 3 count was accurate hmmm....great nonetheless. Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota vs. Combat Toyoda & Megumi Kudo (FMW team): A total change of heart with this one. I've seen a fair bit of Joshi since my initial viewing. There's no way this is a 3 star match as I've seen some rate it. In my first viewing I guess I didn't give much credit to Kudo & Toyoda. Ok so they're not Kansai/Ozaki but, that doesn't make this bad. It's refreshing as Kudo is kinda the budget version of Ozaki and Combat Toyoda is acolyte of the punk chicks like Bull, Aja, and Bison. Team FMW's offense isn't terribly impressive but is really effective Joshi fair. Another thing of note: I'm less "wow'd" by Manami Toyota in singles competition because she is predictable pulling out her spots. When she's in the ring, it's "offense" time & then its time when she's "waiting to be on offense." But! It works in a tag team because her crazy moves help get her out of a tough spot, or her go-go no selling is explained away by "recovering" on the apron. Yamada is also the yin to her yang in terms of offense too. She works holds, she has variety in her kicks, etc. If Toyota can be guided (not "carried" though!) she can be awesome AND she was guided in this match for sure (although she did blow one spot pretty bad...with a slip off the rope). FMW had her ass in a sling by just busting out the weirdest stretches and most impactful double-team moves. In total this was a great match with believable near falls, saves, and intensity. The interpromotional stuff is just fantastic! If you're looking to get into women's wrestling but, the current stuff still looks a step down from the men's division, check this show out! It made me a convert
  23. Sneaky BattlARTS guys always sneaking into joshi cards. Obviously there were some jokes in this match with Otsuka having to defend Fukuoka from creepy Ishikawa, but most of this was straight exchanges. Ishikawa/Otsuka is an all time great matchup and every single instance is worth seeking out, this being no exception. They did the bulk of the work and had some high end exchanges. I've been watching these guys for almost 10 years now and they still surprise me with some of the stuff the bust out, for example Ishikawa hits an awesome clean deadlift suplex on Otsuka, there is a nifty judo trip and some cool triangle scissor work. The exchanges between Hyuga and Fukuoka almost felt stale in comparison. Otsuka was a total stooge eating stiff dropkicks and double stomps from Hyuga and even a stiff Rider Kick from Fukuoka in a miscommunication spot. Of course the best moment is when Ishikawa finally gets ahold of Fukuoka and the first thing he does is lock in a chokehold with glee, fuck that's creepy. Hyuga and Fukuoka do the finish and they pick up the action which was good. This was 19 minutes which is pretty long for a novelty match but the whole thing went by in a breeze.
  24. WOW! This was a super fun match. It was distinctly joshi and a nice contrast to the matches Mariko Yoshida was having the same year. Carlos Amano, while not a complete worker yet, was really fun just diving for leg submissions all over the place and using her size and agility to survive. To my surprise, Hyuga made this match. I've never really noticed her before but she blew me away here with her performance. She did a great job controlling her opponent. She did a great job selling. And she did a great job getting the story of the match over. Amano would try using her submission skills to her advantage, but Hyuga wasn't having it and decided to put her in her place with a couple submissions of her own, resulting in a few great spots. This includes a couple of nifty armbar counters and an angry Hyuga raining punches to Amano's head from the back mount. Neat structure here where Hyuga controls the match early on, while Amano tries attacking her legs like a rabid dog with a few different strategies. Hyuga keeps cutting her off while selling the accumulating damage on her legs in very believable fashion.Totally out of left field great selling performance. Perfect finish too. I think Hyuga may deserve a closer look after this.
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