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Found 96 results

  1. Alex

    AJW (early 90's)

    So I'm still in lockdown here in the UK and I've been converting lots of joshi (and every once in a while, lucha and AJPW). I figured I should start journaling my thoughts on AJW. I think I have everything from El Jefe, Miguel Liger, and from Los Clasicos and La Hora Retro, plus some handhelds from 1990 and 1991. Youtube playlist for 1990 Yearbook is below and in progress. I know that AJW is definitely in a transition period with it being post-Crush Gals and not yet reaching the GOGOGO era. The red belt has been vacant for over three months (holy crap) since Lioness Asuka retired. Time to crown a new champion! First show - Tokyo Korauken Hall (1990.01.04) mixture of La Hora Retro and AJW TV Mima Shimoda (c) vs Kaoru Ito (AJW Junior Title Match) Pretty nothing match, good thing it's short. Manami Toyota vs Suzuka Minami This wasn't on the OG telecast. I didn't expect to see Toyota Pearl Harboring Minami coming, she doesn't even let the introductions or streamer collection finish. Starts off really fast, with a bunch of brawling and whips into the barricades. Minami eventually gains control and works on Toyota's leg and Toyota was selling it until, you know, she has to go on offense. Nothing but aerial moves, thankfully doesn't botch anything but she was real close once. Minami has the power offense and gets a flying crossbody. She gets a backslide pin reversed and then we go home. Minami gets a flying elbow and misses another one and gets rolled up for the three. Manami goes for a handshake and Minami is like nah bitch. Weird roleplaying here and a crap finish. OK TV match though, goes about 10 minutes. Madusa & Noriyo Tateno & Kaoru Maeda vs. Aja Kong & Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto Only have the OG version of this trios match. We get a heel ref and Aja Kong beating the shit out of an announcer. So much camera time on this announcer (and he leaves and comes back). Grizzly gets away with everything. Definitely more of a match to put over Jungle Jack than a good tag team match. Yumiko Hotta & Akira Hokuto vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Etsuko Mita This was on the 1990's yearbook, and I've seen it before, it was a really good tag team match when I watched it then. Loved that the match starts with a botch. Dream Orca is very over with the school girls. Pretty fast match and really puts over the Yamada and Hotta rivalry. Hotta really sells the hell out of that sleeper from Yamada! Hokuto makes Mita look like a scrub! I never thought I'd say it, but I love all the sleeper holds in this match! Pretty good home stretch with Mita getting payback after Hokuto embarrassing her, but Dream Orca fuck up a double team move. Hotta and Hokuto take control and Hokuto hits a diving dropkick for the three. Mita is bleeding and selling that match hard. Bull Nakano vs Mitsuko Nishiwaki (WWWA Title Match) And here we go, start of a new era. Love how grimy and 80's Nakano's theme sounds. Nishiwaki tries to get an advantage right away with a clothesline and gets dumped out immediately afterwards. Nishiwaki gets back with a bloody face...and then we get the introductions lol. They were going for a speed vs size/strength thing here, but Nishiwaki just doesn't really have any that much to offer. She eventually gets to work over Bull's arm though and Bull does her best to sell. Cool transition from armbar to sharpshooter. In the home stretch, both girls get German suplexes and power bombs, but Nakano's was way more brutal looking. Pretty short title match, felt strange that a vacant title match wasn't hyper competitive, but I don't think you could really do that considering how much better Nakano is. Ugh, next event has Hotta vs Yamada in kickboxing rules match.
  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. Reggie Bennett! Y'know with people in the past years gaining new appreciation for portly workers like Earthquake, maybe it's time to give her a reevaluation. She had pretty face and a fit-fat body that no one would have batted an eye on if she were a man. Along with Bull Nakano she feels like someone who could've been a postergirl for modern Tumblr/college feminist girls. They start this of like lumpy heavyweights and slapping the fuck out of eachother in the corner and Reggie ducks a really fast Uraken. Then Reggie locks in this Carl Greco-esque rolling neck crank and beats Aja in just two minutes!!! I like how this compilation included this to provide context for the next rounds.
  4. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOCkFQPuaTA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q97DQ5EySFE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30vMOuzAg0Q
  5. I'm a bit unsure how to rate this as it's a strange stipulation and feels like two matches in one. 6 women start the match and it's elimination rules until we're down to 2, then it's a Texas Death Match where victory is by a pinfall and then your opponent being unable to get to their feet for a count of ten. The first 30 minutes is quite fun. We start with all 5 of her opponents all beating the hell out of Mayumi Ozaki as they know she's going to play some dirty tricks to win if they don't take her out quickly. Doesn't last though. Mayumi's stable constantly interfering gets annoying after a while and it's a relief when she's finally eliminated. But it's the final 20 minutes that are amazing. We're down to just Aja Kong and Kaho Kobayashi. I don't know much about Kaho but I'm going to seeking out more from her as from this performance she looks like one of the best sellers/bumpers in wrestling. Aja is so brutal with her, backdrop suplex after backdrop suplex with urakens, lariats and piledrivers that almost kill her, but Kaho just won't stay down for that 10 count so long as there's a bit of energy left in her. Both of them put in great performances here. This part of the match at least is certainly worth watching as a prelude to the great title match on the big 09/17/18 Oz Academy show. ****1/4
  6. This is a fun match; which is kind of a disappointment, because there is no reason for these two not to produce a minor classic together, or atleast something close to as good as Aja/Ohmukai. Especially since it's one of a small handful of televised singles matches between the GAEA veterans of the year. I'm as big of an Aja Kong as the next guy but her approach was pretty bread and butter here as she kind of no sold Yamadas kicks early on and went to her standard brawling. They worked hard in the 2nd half including lots of great finisher teases and a big dive from Aja. Still I would've liked something with a deeper story.
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