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Found 51 results

  1. Their previous matches were quick tournament finals, with Ayako as a huge underdog. Now, Ayako is the champion and they have their sights set on „epic“. Largely this match was pretty great, but there are some flaws. Yoshida dominating Ayako with submissions and punch combos still works perfectly, and these two still mesh really well. I thought Ayako's selling was great, and the spot that set up her dominance was both brutal and really smart. All of Ayako's stuff was extremely sharp and well timed. However, I expected a little smarter work from Yoshida in the last third of the match. Her selling was pretty spotty and she could've picked her offense a little better as the match progressed, as the previous urgency was a deflated a little. However, they redeem themselves with a great finish that was just fucking awesome pro wrestling. Anyways, this is one of the better and more interesting matchups japanese wrestling had in the store in the 2000s, and to be fair some of the flaws here are par for the course with lesser workers.
  2. Jetlag

    ARSION (The Best Of)

    The Big Stupid List of Great ARSION Matches 1998 Yumi Fukawa vs. Michiko Ohmukai (4/11) Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (8/31) Mariko Yoshida vs. Rie Tamada (4/17) Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Tiger Dream/Ayako Hamada (Twinstar Tag Final, 12/7) Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (8/31) Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada (8/31) Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (6/21) Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18) Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu (Queen of ARSION Title, 12/18) Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18) Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (5/5) Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (5/5) Candy Okutsu vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/17) Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada (8/9) Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai (8/31) Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (7/21) Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (12/18) Rie Tamada vs. Candy Okutsu (5/5) Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada (7/21) Best ARSION Matches of 1999 1. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (2/18) 2. Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (12/11) 3. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/14) 4. Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida (9/26) 5. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (5/4) 6. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino (1/17) 7. Mariko Yoshida vs. Yumi Fukawa (5/4) 8. Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (8/6) 9. Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (5/4) 10. Ayako Hamada vs. Mari Apache (7/25) 11. Mari Apache vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25) 12. Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Yumi Fukawa/Rie Tamada (7/25) 13. Mika Akino vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25) Comprehensive list of the Best ARSION matches of 2000. The really good stuff is in bold. Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (Queen of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo) Chapparita Asari vs. Mika Akino (Sky High of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Arsion ZION Tournament Finals 10/17) Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (SKY Tournament II Final, 7/16/00 Tokyo) Mika Akino vs. Mary Apache (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo) Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (8/18/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask IV (P*MIX Grand Prix Semi-Finals, 6/29/00) Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask vs. Chapparita Asari/Great Sasuke (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/24/00) Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka vs. Mariko Yoshida/Alexander Otsuka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00) Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo) Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00) Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7) Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida (2/18) ARSION is such an interesting fed. Pretty much the joshi equivalent of BattlARTS with it's crossover style and tiny roster that they had to use efficiently. With this fed you get the ace run of the mighy Mariko Yoshida, a period of the work or Aja Kong or Lioness Asuka that doesn't get talked about much, and a handful of unexplored workers like Futagami or Rie Tamada that deserve some recognition. For this project I will go through the Best Of Arsion comp that is floating around and post my Top Matches for each year after finishing. Yes I know that's cherrypicking but for now I want to get the essence of it (judge a style by the best matches it produced etc) and compare to high end BattlARTS/RINGS/UWFi etc. If you know any essential ARSION that's not on the comp feel free to drop a comment. Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18) The first ARSION match. It is a very appropriate debut match. They mix the traditional joshi with lucharesu and tricked out submission work, and the whole thing has the flair of two overzealous young workers going all out to show the world especially with the bomb throwing at the end and Fukawa hitting those face-shattering moonsaults that nearly KO'd Candy. I give them a ton of credit because they really delivered a good match that sets the tone. They kept going back to the submissions and really had a hard fought battle to the very end that the crowd got into. Can't remember the last time I watched a „young workers showing the world“ match on this level. Side note, a Cagematch user mentioned that he went to a few ARSION shows and he felt that many guys there went for the pretty workers and the „product“ (apparently Arsion had lots of quality mags, posters etc. for sell) and not the wrestling, so Arsion matches had not as much heat as GAEA. It's not hard to see why especially with Okutsu wearing a ridiculous outfit that made her butt look gigantic but to their credit the wrestling was top notch and on the level of the presentation. Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18) Michiko Ohmukai was this skinny girl with supermodel looks who worked like Daisuke Ikeda. I have no idea why she's not famous. She threw all those reckless kicks and impressive suplexes and was like a magic ingredient for matches that made everything crazier. Here she slaps Aja right at the bell and Aja just smirks at her and then Ohmukai starts dropping her with those 50 yards football kicks. Hell of an opening for a match. They get into a slugfest like this fucking BattlARTS or WAR and I am in love with this. Then they settle down a little with Aja dominating on the mat through size and Ohmukai trying to topple her. I think Aja was kind of mailing it in in Arsion which is such a disappointment but this match hit all the right spots and was really good stuff like it always is when Aja has someone to work with who brings the fight to her. Aja Kong/Yumi Fukawa/Michiko Ohmukai vs. Candy Okutsu/Rie Tamada/Mikiko Futagami (2/18) They end the debut show with a chaotic fast tag team match where everyone runs in and hits their stuff. Kind of pointless main event as the previous matches had done a good enough job to establish everyone, but I guess they had to work around having such a tiny roster to work with. Everyone has had matches before that evening so the execution wasn't at 100% anymore. Fukawa almost fell on her head doing an asai moonsault and then hit another reckless one inside the ring like a lunatic. Aja had solid interactions with everyone and I always get a kick out of watching Futagami work, but this wasn't much. Mariko Yoshida vs. Rei Tamada (4/17) WOAH! Apparently this was the debut match of Mariko in ARSION. I was expecting something good, but this was far more than a formative bout. Rei Tamada, for a name that never gets dropped, looked damn impressive. The bout was built around establishing Yoshida's new, signature style, and her focus was to take it to the mat no matter what. Tamada was far more than a piece of luggage for Yoshida to chuck around, however. Tamada could roll on the mat and I really liked her determination to get the match into standing position. I want to emphasize the standing exchanges here were also really good. Tamada hit a mean elbow and tried her darndest to cut Yoshida of, who rolled one submission counter after another out of her sleeve. Even some of the fancier lightweight moves landed as if to shut a door. It created a kind of intensity that I really love in a wrestling match and this was just an absolutely fabulous contest. 3 real hits out of 4 so far. Pretty damn good start for the project. Stay tuned & maybe come out of the woodwork and comment if you are an old ARSION superfan.
  3. Ayako has done it all in ARSION in 2000. All she has left to go for is the gold. Aja remains unimpressed and thrashes her like she was still a 1st year rookie anyways. Aja really may be the ultimate „do the same shit in every match“ wrestler. If you can get over that this was really good. Aja just gives Ayako a monumental thrashing. I thought it wasn't quite right to have Ayako work this match the same as she would have in her rookie year given how much she had achieved previously, and Aja no-sold her a little too much, but when you get past all that and look at this in isolation this was brutal and efficient pro wrestling. Ayako is just the gutsiest wrestler you've ever seen taking every painful shot Aja has to dish out and getting caught in the ribs with a chair while doing an Asai Moonsault. The finish was fucking brutal aswell and easily one of the best moments ARSION has produced so far.
  4. This was clipped but we get a good picture of it. I imagine this would have been really good if we had gotten the early build, because what was shown was really good. Asari is really sharp, and the contrast between her lucha headscissors and flash armbars and Akino's more basic style made for an entertaining match. They had great rhythm and Akino's arm selling was right on the money. The finish was really neat aswell. Even without the ARSION trademark gone these two are still a welcome antidote to the more overkill-y joshi workers.
  5. Another tournament finale between Hamada and Yoshida. This is just a super match. Like god damn these two smoke any other junior in the world. The matwork is super, with Yoshida again fighting like an animal and catching everything Hamada tries. Aside from the crazy submissions you get Yoshida throwing punches and Hamada firing back with some really sharp and well timed offense of her own. Yoshida briefly works over Hamada's stomach a bit and while it wasn't the focus of the match, Hamada sold very well, same for Yoshida with her bandaged arm. Surprised this went only 11 minutes as it felt like a much bigger match.
  6. This was quite the badass little war. At this point they had matched up a few times, so to keep things interesting Mariko Yoshida had now started using GLOVES. Which means she absolutely goes nuts with stiff punches on Aja here to even things out a little. Aja also has a barrage of crazy stiff offense, altough that's nothing new. Still, she just ragdolled Yoshida around in ways that just had to absolutely suck and I winced at her brutal kick to Yoshida's hamstring. This had the usual cool matwork were Yoshida has to work hard in order to lock her holds on the beast that is Aja. Also really loved Aja's modified ankle hold here she just hugs and squeezes Yoshida's heel into her thigh. That is such an angry bear grappling move. This matchup is great everytime but this was especially compact, the selling was flawless and you get the usual neat, well timed, violent spots. Plus, punches to the face.
  7. Lioness Asuka enters. Her License Number is 100! Yoshida is unimpressed and brings the fight right to the legend. Man, this dark looking Asuka is so different from the 80s Crush Gal. It's like some 80s pop star reinventing himself into a dark goth guy. I'd say this was a pretty good Yoshida signature match. Asuka gives an uncooperative & dangerous vibe so is a good match up for Yoshida's style. Altough she brought her own signature table to the match and tried some ECW shit that kind gave me a bad feel about her. Still Yoshida was a total trooper here taking a bunch of cringeworthy stiff shots from Asuka and working good submission nearfalls. Altough it is becoming noticable that move overkill is getting really out of hand in ARSION, seems the promotion is in it's death spiral, altough I'll see where it goes.
  8. Mikiko Futagami was full blown GAMI at this point. That means, paper fan and all that. And she gets a shot at the big gold! This starts out like a Monterrey match. Hell, it might be their Monterrey match worked as a puro epic. Somewhat comedic feel, tricky arm drags, rope walking joke and a paper fan hit. Then Hamada eats a tombstone on her belt and sell a huge a deal. This had that „overmatched loser goes for the gold“ feel with GAMI being tricky like Yoshinari Ogawa or Kendo Kashin, so the match was endearing, and GAMI absolutely has the slick moves, so if you like that type of match I'd say this match is recommendable, altough there were a few blown spots. Not as good as GAMI vs. Hyuga, altough this is a match closer to Hamada's lucha background building into a hard hitting finish.
  9. Hey!!! Bionic J is getting a push!!!! AWESOME!! Well, maybe not exactly a push, but she got a lot of focus in the match, which was cool. And this was a pretty good match as it was just 4 fun workers having fun exchanges and doing stuff they are good at. Jesse & Ohmukai are at a disadvantage early on, with Ohmukai even doing a convincing job selling (!!!) and they end up doing a cool section with Jesse as face in peril. Everything with Jesse ends up being so much funner than usual because she is a cool bullish powerhouse which adds something new to Yoshida's and Asuka's stuff. At one point, Asuka hits some really dainty looking kicks to J, so she just slaps her in the face hard! How's that you lazy old time wrestler coasting on your name! Jesse actually gets some fun powerhouse exchanges going wAsuka and they lay into eachother with big damn lariats, and Asuka who seemed to be half assing stuff started laying it in. I also really liked all the facepunchy boxing exchanges Yoshida and and Ohmukai dished out, channeling their inner Takeshi Ono's. Ohmukai keeps getting back to my goodside as she was in-offensive here aside from one bit where she was trying these insanely inaccurate spinning backfists. The dominance of the Yoshida/Asuka early on added a lot to the second half of the match, really making YOU flip out for Jesse Bennett taking it to the big names and getting big offense and nearfalls until Ohmukai pointlessly turns on her and the match ends in a schmozz. BOOOO! Still, you owe it to Jesse Bennett and yourself to watch this match. It's fine pro wrestling.
  10. This was the first clipped up match that looked real good. There was a bit of selling and neat transitions going on elevating this above your standard move exhibition. Instead you had Akino being all spunky underdog, pulling off all kinds of wonky complicated spaceman headscissor type moves and turnbuckle climbing dives. And well, Apache when on offense is just blasting her opponent and they kept things interesting with nifty spots. The best move was Mary countering a weird Akino rollup in mid-air by stopping her, pulling her back up and just splatting her with a fat powerbomb. Akino's a tiny girl but still looked like a freakish spot.
  11. D'aaawww look it's the little cubs fighting for their first big win! And this was actually really, really good! You could tell this was their „young workers trying their ideas for an epic“ match. Except... their ideas worked? This was closer to a lucharesu match than anything and it had to have been the best singles match in that style since... since... Sasuke/Tokyo from the previous year? Oh whatever. The matwork was real good, the lucharesu exchanges looked great and most importantly, fresh. Ayako had great instincts – just little things like doing a kneedrop while working for a submission add so much. They also played up the fact that Hamada was pretty dominant in the tournament while Akino had gone by using her flash rollups. Making Akino's intricate rollups and wonky twisted headscissors into great nearfalls. That's economic working baby! Awesome nearfalls for ROLLUPS!!! Rollups that actually add to a match! Man fuck why can't we get more wrestling like this and less headdrops and thigh slapping. Terrific little match.
  12. Ohmukai has done a good job at making me hate her and her bullshit. This match was a good way to redeem herself as it was a blood-drenched, stiff puro epic. Basically Hamada wasn't having Ohmukai's crap and forced her to up her game. At this point Hamada is good enough to carry a questionable worker by adding some much needed selling and struggle to everything, and she really knows how to use her intensity properly. Opening stuff had good animosity, and everything that came after the double juice was very good. Hamada at this point is close to masterful at selling covered in blood, beaten to a pulp, and Ohmukai's moveset consisting mostly of kicks, punches and knees to the face worked very well. Could see this being a low end MOTYC for some.
  13. Michiko Ohmukai was this skinny girl with supermodel looks who worked like Daisuke Ikeda. I have no idea why she's not famous. She threw all those reckless kicks and impressive suplexes and was like a magic ingredient for matches that made everything crazier. Here she slaps Aja right at the bell and Aja just smirks at her and then Ohmukai starts dropping her with those 50 yards football kicks. Hell of an opening for a match. They get into a slugfest like this fucking BattlARTS or WAR and I am in love with this. Then they settle down a little with Aja dominating on the mat through size and Ohmukai trying to topple her. I think Aja was kind of mailing it in in Arsion which is such a disappointment but this match hit all the right spots and was really good stuff like it always is when Aja has someone to work with who brings the fight to her.
  14. Reggie took the spider woman out of the last tournament; can she do it again? I love this matchup. They work this like the previous match and do callbacks and all that and start out with a bunch of matwork and it's all stupidly great. Reggie may have been better on the mat here than before as she did these great spots where she just collapses Mariko with her power and weight and it's brilliant. Mariko sells big time for Reggie and snaps her submissions on like a snare. I mean the first 5 minutes of this match would've done Negro Navarro proud. Reggie really lays in the chops and Mariko does her damndest to avoid the power moves. It all leads to an utterly brilliant finish. Fantastic stuff and it's so cool to see Bennett as a gaijin monster that doesn't suck on the mat.
  15. This is some grainy handheld of a houseshow match which is better than a fuckload of highly praised matches. They start this of with some lucharesu then morph into a BattlARTS style match. The matwork wasn't high end slick and smooth like in other matches but they went out to tell a story. Ohmukai was battering Fukawa with kicks from left and right, and Fukawa made all these awesome desperation armbar attempts. All of Ohmukai's stuff landed with bad intention and Fukawa was as brilliant as ever. The finish was fucking brutal aswell. Great little match.
  16. Reggie upset Aja in the 1st round, can she do it again against the submission queen? This match is totally perfect. They take it to the mat and Bennett just uses her weight advantage to squish Yoshida like a bug. Yoshida has to use all her skill and ride Bennett like a bull. I love this kind of stuff and Bennett could believably control on the mat and get in submissions which made things even better. Then Reggie starts busting out all these great power moves, just repeatedly crushing Yoshida who desperately tries to avoid and go for the submission. Great great stuff, absolutely one of the better skill vs. Power matches I can remember and I loved the final reversal.
  17. The first appearance of the HamAKINO pair. Also the first appearance of the impossibly perky Ai Fujita, another name that has fallen into obscurity. Candy is quickly starting to annoy me with her tendency to do every top rope move 3 times in a row. When this wasn't Candy hitting her 38th moonsault, it was quite good. The other 3 work this kind of quasi lucharesu style, and they kept it nice and interesting. All the flying, fancy submissions and rollups looked polished and served a purpose. Candy thankfully didn't do much making this match feel like a showcase for the 3 promising workers illustrating how far they've come. The finish further underlines this.
  18. We get to see Fukuoka praying before the match while dressed like a cowboy. Uhm... wasn't Fukuoka a former JWP champ at this point? I guess she got to showcase her spots a bit in this match, but other than that didn't seem much special. She bit Candy in the foot at one point. This was a weird match, it wasn't boring or terrible or anything, but there was not much engrossing about the action. There were also a few blown spots. There was some hard hitting early on, and the sections with Aja and Futagami were solid, but, uh... it started to feel like a move exhibition at some point. It was slow, and there were transitions so not a hyperactive type move exhibit. Aja for some reason did a lot of stooging and gets played like a fool a bunch of times... yeah that was interesting. Futagami does a cool tilt a whirl gutbuster thing... hey Cesaro should steal that. And she ended the match with a nice backfist/shotai combo. Candy and Fukuoka each did about 40 top rope moves. Yeah.
  19. Another piece in Yoshida's great 1999. Futagami is much lower on the totem pole, so Yoshida makes it clear she wants to finish this in 30 seconds. Futagami doesn't much but she has a handful of spectacular counters for Yoshida's signature moves. Futagami has a kind of miserable charisma, like a female Masao Inoue, but manages to give Yoshida a lot more than she expected. Didn't like the double finisher pop up before the finish, altough it was fairly well done. Yoshida continues to look like a female Negro Navarro crossed with Tamon Honda, clutching her opponent out of nowhere for the Air Raid Crash and locking in unique chokes out of thin air. A few variations on her Spider Twist submission in this match.Great selling from both girls throughout.
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