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Found 96 results

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aVWwt59rns This is a special challenge match as it is one of the last matches that Nakajima will have while she is part of the JWP roster as she is going freelance in the new year. I have to say that the matwork in this match is amazing. Bolshoi is quite at the level of Mariko Yoshida but she's good enough at times to make you actually think that she might be. There are several points throughout the match where Bolshoi just seems to be one step, sometimes two, ahead of Arisa. There are a few moments where Nakajima's only option is to simply slug her way out of trouble. Nakajima's selling also really puts over the matwork to give it some value later on in the match. A great showing from Bolshoi while Arisa keeps her late year run of tremendous work going. ****
  2. Match Link The first five minutes of this match are pretty much a squash by Hyuga. She just runs Haruyama right over and anything that Kayoko tries to do to stop or counter her ends up going wrong. Once she finally gets on offense, Haruyama goes all out to even the score. The best thing about the match is that after such a big, fast start neither one of them ever stop selling the effects of it the rest of the match. Towards the finish, Hyuga looks like she is about to wrap up the win until Haruyama hits a dropkick, chopblock style, to Azumi's heavily braced knee. Hyuga's selling of the knee is so good that you know that she would have won had she not been hit on the knee but at the same time Haruyama's huge win felt earned. A beautifully structured and worked match. Easily the most underappreciated joshi matches of all time. ****3/4
  3. Nagayo's SNK-sponsored video game entrance gear is rather amusing. I'm not sure to what extent the "generation battle" aspect of this meant anything, but this was definitely more epic in scope than the Kong/Kansai match. Ozaki brutalizes Nagayo on the floor to start with, but Chigusa begins a reocurring theme of the match by cutting Oz off with her "Super Freak" (tilt-a-whirl power bomb). Nagayo keeps it in the ring a bit and then pays Ozaki back on the floor with everything Oz did to her--including talking trash on the mic. There's sort of a story of Oz using weapons and chairs and whatnot while Nagayo keeps it basically to wrestling, but by the end of it Ozaki is the one who's bleeding a gusher. Ozaki throws all her big moves at Nagayo but Chigusa keeps kicking out, and then a finish that's similar to Hasegawa/Toyota, as Nagayo slips down Ozaki's back and levels her with one big surprise move for the pin. Very good match. I honestly hesitate to say if it was Match of the Night--I was clearly the way-high vote on Kong/Kansai and it was probably a little bit tighter and not really any less intense. This is definitely one for a supplemental set, though. It *feels* somewhat historic even if I'm not sure if it really is.
  4. Match Link Best Friends keep their great run going by having another high quality main event. The added bonus here is that Best Friends are teasing a break up angle and they do a terrific job of working that into their matches. While she's far from Akira Hokuto, Nakajima is the best women in the world at storytelling in the ring. Nakamori is quite good here, similar to Takako Inoue in tags from '93-'95. I generally hate watching Kyoko Kimura but she kept her annoying tendencies to a minimum and worked more as a straight up hard hitter. Just a great, under the radar, MOTYC. ****1/2
  5. This had everything that I should like about the older, slower-paced JWP style, but for whatever reason I had trouble keeping my attention on this one. Plum just brutalizes Nagayo with an opening barrage for the ages, busting Nagayo open, but she settles down afterward and is content to stick with her more traditional leglocks and such. Nagayo pays her back and then some, heeling it up for a crowd that's apparently backing Plum 100%. There wasn't anything wrong here, and I should really be more appreciative of a joshi match build around a sleeperhold, but in the end I didn't feel like the Yearbook was poorer for missing it. The best thing about viewing this was that the Youtube uploader added subtitles to the post-match talk. Chigusa cuts an angry-sounding promo that's really a motivational speech for Plum, then a pure-sports-build locker room interview follows, as she announces her desire for a match with Kansai and also discussing the booing.
  6. This is one of my favourite joshi matches. I can't really do it justice. Joshi fanatics will tell you GAMI isn't that good, but I love her. Tall, awkard girl with a big belly and completely sullen and melancholic face that is like carved from a rock who can go like a motherfucker is an awesome wrestling character. Lifelong undercarder pushing beyond his limitations vs. established star is one of my favourite match types and GAMI does some really brilliant wrestling here. Gami uses her lucha technique and just totally outclasses Hyuga. Really, there wasn't a single move in this bout GAMI did that didn't rock. Includes the most memorable use of a face rake ever. It's a Hyuga match so it also has the fast pace, brutal skull crushing knee attack moves and headdropping suplexes for you workrate addicts to sink your teeth into. Still, GAMI.
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra8NmNGxhMY Match starts at 1:57:50 This is a continuation of Nakajima's feud with SEAdLINNNG, specifically Nanae Takahashi. To be upfront about it, this is 25 minutes of pro wrestling nuclear warfare. The hatred between these two teams is palpable from start to finish. It isn't enough for one side to simply beat the other, they have to break them both mentally and physically. The work in the match carries a nasty edge the whole way through. The only real knock I have against the match is that there are a few messy moments in the middle that take away from it a bit. Overall, though, this match provides a unique experience. Like the Hojo/Satomura draw from last year, this is the one must-see joshi match of the year. ****1/2
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyjUiPAcZLU This is an all out, strait forward brawl. Somehow, Ozaki just shows up by herself so we're saved from this match being booked into oblivion. The start is great as Ozaki tosses to JWP belt out of the ring causing Nakajima to freak out. Then, someone brings the belt back to the ring so Oz just grabs it and whips it right into Arisa's face opening her up. Ozaki just keeps working the cut for the rest of the match so Nakajima white gear doesn't stay white for long. Arisa does some great babyface comebacks but Oz just cuts them off by grabbing a chain and throwing it right at her face. The finish does have a ref bump as Ozaki accidentally hits the ref with mist but it ends up working in a neat way as once the ref recovers she bumps into Ozaki cause Oz to eat a nasty forearm from Nakajima for the win. Not the prettiest match you'll see but still highly entertaining. ***3/4
  9. Pretty excited to see this pop up online since JWP pick this as 2014 match of the year and there hasn't been much Arisa pop up online from this year. I've never really cared for Leon as I usually find her to be a fairly spotty worker, but here I thought she was really good. She picks up the intensity early on, then starts to focus on Nakajima's back mixing in different spots like lucha subs and a spear into apron. Arisa sells the backwork incredibly well especially during her comebacks. During a sequence where she elbows out of a spider-german suplex attempt, then hits a mountain spike, a jumping DDT onto the apron, and a double-stomp off the top to the floor. Normally, 99% of workers would just rip through a sequence like this but Nakajima takes her time to make sure that she sells her back the whole time. The only real issue that keeps this match from being a true MOTYC is some sloppiness most notably at the finish as Arisa is off a bit hitting a dragon suplex at the finish and having to hit another one for the win. Otherwise, this was a spectacular, highly entertaining war. ****1/4 Links: Part 1, Part 2
  10. WOW! This was a really fun grapple-heavy junior bout. It was worked almost in a "maestra"'s style which is really something that more of the japanese girl's shouldve gotten hip to. Plenty of tricked out sequences and counters. Yabushita uses her judo and is pretty great with unpredictable transitions into armbars, Bolshoi goes for the leg and busts out a Lucha-meets-Honda rolling cradle submission that had Rey Hechicero eating his heart out. Bolshoi really has an awesome moveset (dig that carne seated chokehold) and is just such a fabulous military clown grappler luchadora veteran wrestler. You'd think Lucha would have an awesome weird clown technician but instead Bolshoi's that girl.
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGMJOCOVPWQ The storyline for this match is your typical Japanese "Company Ace vs. Rising Young Star." The main thing about this match that I love is that while it's fairly similar to a Noah match at the time with a lot of big moves and bumps is that everything is given time to breathe. At around the midpoint of the match Yoneyama hits a senton to the floor and it's treated as a big momentum changing move. Hyuga sells it big, barely getting back in before being counted out and sells it in some form for the rest of the match. The finish involves a lot of nice teases and nearfalls. A true hidden gem from joshi's "dead" era. ****1/2
  12. This was a really competitive match, which is surprising considering Rabbit is at the same level as the two DIANA girls and Arisa is way above any of them. To their credit, both Sareee and Tanaka are unafraid to stand in there and trade shots with Nakajima and Tanaka does a pretty good job putting over the beating she gets. While there never really is a moment that the you feel that the DIANA girls are going to win, you also never feel that they are not really competitive either. Really fun stuff. ***1/2
  13. Hikaru Shida is someone who gets a lot of hype in joshi circles but I've never really been sold on her. She has a similar problem to Nikki Bella in that she does a lot of things well but just can't seem to consistently put it all together. She does manage to do that here though, and it's the best performance of her career. Her offense is focused on Nakajima's back, starting out with Boston Crabs and Camel Clutches that lead to her breaking out some Rodrick Strong style backbreakers, topping off with a nasty spot of her putting Arisa on her shoulders then dropping her back first on the top turnbuckle. Nakajima complements this with some absolutely fantastic selling. Once Shida starts working on her back, Arisa sells it in some fashion for the rest of the match. While she does hit some suplexes, she has to do in a snap style as anytime she tries to bridge her back gives out. I'm already pretty high on Nakajima, and hopefully this is the start of Shida being more of a complete worker. ****1/2
  14. http://youtu.be/hgji0As6Wbo FYI, this is a title unification match for the World of Stardom title and the JWP Openweight title. The matwork at the start of this is really awesome like a faster version of BattlArts matwork. It doesn't feel like they're killing time at all because it has a fierce, competitive edge to it the entire time. Then the two of them start pulling out some cool highspots. Shirai starts out with a dive that only finds the front row of chairs, she does manage to follow up later springboard plancha were she goes over the corner of the ring onto Nakajima. Meanwhile, Arisa breaks out a jumping DDT on the apron and a footstomp from the top rope to the floor. After that is when the match starts to fall apart though. They seem to fall out of sync with each other as Nakajima can't seem to figure out how to bump for an Implant Buster, while Shirai struggles to get into the right position for suplexes and rollups. This should have been a MOTYC, it was well on its way to be one but it just ended up flat at the finish. Definitely worth checking out for the first 2/3rds of it just be prepared to be let down by the finish. ****
  15. Her Toyota-ness descends upon JWP for this Special Challenge match at Sumo Hall. This was entirely predictable in terms of how the hierarchical difference played out, but it was still a good performance from both women. Toyota pinched both Takako Inoue and Mima Shimoda's heel acts a bit too liberally for my liking, but she gave Kuzumi a real eye-opener in terms of what she (Kuzumi) was lacking. Kuzumi's selling was good, and she made the most of her comebacks when they came, but there was a marked difference in intensity and in the way Toyota was able to carry and project herself. Manami had the confidence to play to the crowd without worrying what her next move would be and was basically streets ahead of where Kuzumi was at. That's not to say that Kuzumi should have disappointed in her performance. She did about as well as expected and would become a great worker in her own right during the freelance era. After watching Toyota go through her own "head down, bum up" phase in 1990-91, it was fascinating watching the poised performer she'd become only a few years later. I'm not sure if Joshi workers mature faster than men, or if it's because their careers would burn faster under the old retirement rule, but the daily grind of the old system sure got them up to speed in a hurry.
  16. The Weekly Pro Wrestling Tokyo Dome show was the biggest wrestling event of 1995, the most historic, and the Observer readers' choice for Card of the Year. So I figure it should be looked at. I didn't want to watch the whole card but enough matches look interesting and/or have a rep that I'm going to come close... The opening ceremony is pretty comical, with the cheesy glittering curtain and electric organ music. This is a 64,000-seat domed arena and it comes off like a local TV quiz show or Rotary Club banquet. Reviewing this matches may prove a little difficult, since by necessity they're sort of "out of context" and presented for outsiders rather than playing into ongoing storylines. So I hope I have something to offer besides "the usual fall-out-of-bed good match." But that's what this is. Good action showcasing all eight ladies with a neat finish. Kansai stood out as the match's best worker, as you'd expect, and Oz was disappointingly absent, or at least didn't really stand out. No one else did, though they all worked hard.
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