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Found 42 results

  1. This match was the prime example of fighting harder with your friends than you do anyone else. The Violence Princess duo started with competitive mat work, but neither was able to gain the advantage. Things quickly escalated and they ended up fighting on the apron. Normally, I’d not be a fan of them heading to the so-called hardest part of the ring so quickly, but this felt like a battle of wills. The match got suitably more violent, and Nakamori bounced Nakajima’s head off the ring post a few times, but she got too confident and ended up falling off the apron to eat a dropkick. This overconfidence would likewise cost Arisa as she came off the top rope, only to eat a gnarly-looking kick. From that point on, Nakamori honed in on Nakajima’s arm, snapping it across the ropes and yanking at it. Nakamori would wear her down with arm drags and later come back to the injured limb by applying a Fujiwara armbar. Arisa’s selling wasn’t great or anything, but a subtle reminder that Hanako may have a fighting chance at capturing SEAdLINNNG’s top prize. Hanako brutalized Arisa with knee-strikes. Nakamori dumped Arisa on her head with a driver, but went to the well once too many times and nearly got rolled up for her efforts. Some may view this as overkill, but I liked Hanako’s desperation as she willed herself on to win the title. The finish was a delightful callback to their previous title match. Nakajima got Nakamori in position for a dragon suplex. Nakamori went for a headbutt, but this time it was reversed into a dragon sleeper. I’d argue Nakamori got one too many kick-outs, as that would have been a suitable finish, but Nakajima put her down immediately with one more half-and-half suplex. Despite some qualms with the finish, this was a great match in its own right and properly visceral at times.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rSFeCDmjhc This has been built up as the first big main event match in SEAdLINNNG, although it unfortunately didn't draw that well. For the most part this match is what you would expect between these two, a very in your face, hard hitting battle. My biggest knock against the match would be Arisa's legwork on Nanae. It starts out great with a terrific sell job from Nanae, but Arisa never goes back to it until a short counter towards the end of the match which makes it seem pointless. Other than that, this is a war of attrition. A contest in who can out last the fight of the other. While it doesn't quite reach the all time classic level that it had the potential to be, it is still quite the match and the first must see joshi match of the year. ****1/4
  3. This match is for the Beyond the SEA tag titles held by BORDERLESS (Yoshiko and Yamashita.) I hadn't been impressed at all with BORDERLESS so far as a team but they really clicked here and this was by far their best match so far. It doesn't hurt that Arisa puts in a tremendous performance here as she is slowly starting to put together another run of top quality performances. Sasamura is a K-Dojo trainee that showed some promise. Hopefully, she starts making tape on a regular basis. This is just a great main-event tag. ****1/4
  4. This match is from the opening round of the ULTRA U-21 Tag Team Tournament. When you have 3/4th of the awesome Best Friends/Avid Rival fued, there is a strong chance that is going to be great. While Akane Fujita is a significant downgrade from Misaki Ohata, to her credit, she works her butt off here and doesn't drag down the match at all. The match is mostly just another example of Best Friends being the best tag team in the world while having Mizunami to play off of. The whole match is just a continuous flow of action while not sacrificing selling and meaning for pace. Just terrific stuff. ****1/4
  5. This is a rescheduled match from the Catch the WAVE tournament as Arisa suffered a concussion when this match was originally slated to happen. The match starts out exactly how you would expect a match between this two to go with Momono acting like a mosquito-level irritant while Arisa waves around trying to crush her. Eventually, Arisa is get enough shots in to finish off Momono but she puts up a good, entertaining fight on the way down. ***3/4
  6. This is a a rematch from the previous month's SEAdLINNNG show and is for Ohata's Regina di WAVE title. The tone for this match is the complete opposite from the one before. It's as intense and chippy as you would have expected from these two after watching the Best Friends/Avid Rival series last August. Just a back and forth fight the entire way. Very happy to see Arisa have a big title match because that has been her bread and butter throughout her career. Just an excellent match. ****1/2
  7. After feuding for a few months, Best Friends have reunited again. This time they are taking on another reformed tag team, Seven Star Sisters (Ohata & Matsumoto.) This gets off till an intense start as 3S attack Best Friends just as they are finishing up their entrance. They manage to keep the intensity up for the entire match while keeping a steady pace. The double countout finish might be a letdown, but the match does a good enough job teasing losing control that it makes for a reasonable conclusion to the match. Still, this is one of the top joshi matches early on this year. ****1/2
  8. Arisa Nakajima vs. Misaki Ohata I was excited for this match-up after the Best Friends-Avid Rival trilogy, and it had some great counters and head-drop suplexes, but it's lacking in drama and the action was too by-the-numbers to be anything special. It's a solid back and forth with no emotional depth. Here's hoping the WAVE rematch is better. ***
  9. This match felt like it was the antithesis to a lot of the modern wrestling matches that have over-choreographed, sterile action. Everything in this match had a nasty, bitter edge to it. It's rare the there isn't a sequence where there is a brutal or cheap shot that one takes at the other. At the same time, they keep the action going as there isn't really a stretch of the thirty minutes where they slow things down in order to stall to kill time. Another awesome match in the continuing, on-again/off-again relationship of Best Friends. ****
  10. It would have been understandable if these for to treat this match as a throw away. It's your basic "Let's make a tag match out of the top two singles matches on our next show." Arisa and Tsukka don't treat this match like that at all as they spend any time that they are in the ring together trying to rip out the other's soul with her bare hands. Yoshiko and Mizunami don't match that intensity early of the former Best Friends but they do slowly ramp it up throughout. The finish is basically the four of them pairing off so that they can random beat the heck out of each other. Unexpectedly great match. ****
  11. I'm starting to really enjoy La Rosa Negra. She was always improving during her runs in Stardom and consistently shows a lot of personality in the ring. Here, she's certainly capable of keeping up with Arisa in a long match. The match does get a bit flat at the finish because Rosa doesn't really get any good nearfalls so you have don't have any real belief that she is going to win in the end. This is still a good showing though and it's nice to see Arisa get to work a singles match again after spending the summer working tags. ***1/2
  12. Arisa Nakajima & Manami Toyota vs. Hana DATE & Tsukasa Fujimoto My fucking goodness, Arisa was on fire in this match. She revisits her feud with Fujimoto, and then she's going at it with Hana DATE. Both hate-filled encounters. Toyota stayed out of much of it and just let Arisa go to work. She was like Arisa's giant guardian angel who was there when she was needed. Incredible stuff here. **** Edit: Title should be 'Arisa Nakajima & Manami Toyota vs. Hana DATE & Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon, 10/29/2017)'
  13. Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Avid Rival (Misaki Ohata & Ryo Mizunami) Stupendous spotfest. Absolutely phenomenal. ****3/4
  14. Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Avid Rival (Misaki Ohata & Ryo Mizunami) This was a 20-minute rollercoaster of double team moves and surly elbow strikes. Arisa/Ohata seems to be the end goal of this best of three series, and I dug the heat building segments between them. ****1/4
  15. This is the first of a three match series that these two teams are having during this month. Twelve and a half minutes wouldn't be enough time for a lot of wrestlers to have a fleshed out, action packed match but it's more than enough time for these four. They start rolling right away and since they are both experienced, talented teams they are able to pull off really slick stuff even at a quick constant pace. The only real negative here is that they rely use missed/countered double teams as transitions a bit too much that as the match goes on you start to expect double teams to miss rather than hit. A hell of a way to kick off this series though. ****
  16. International Ribbon Tag Team Title #1 Contendership: Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Lovely Butchers (Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi) I feel like there has been too much Lovely Butchers at the top of Ice Ribbon cards lately; they're easily my least favorite joshi at the moment. But this fucking ruled. They brought an aggressive approach to this match, answering Arisa & Tsukasa's nastiness with some of their own. There's a backdrop here from Miyagi to Arisa that looked bone-crushing, and Fujimoto executes one of the best Tsukadora's I've ever seen. The pacing is fast, and the heat just keeps building. ****1/2
  17. This is a rematch from a show that happened in early May. This gets off to a hot start and keeps the action going through most of the match. There are some iffy moments as they go a little too fast in a sequence or get a bit too ambitious with a move. Sareee is a standout here as she comes off strong against both members of Best Friends. The Nanae/Tsukka sequences looked strong too as they keep building up their personal feud. The match does lose momentum toward the finish as they go a little too long. Still, this is yet another quality match from the best joshi group out there right now. ***3/4
  18. This is a terrific performance from Best Friends. At the same time, it's an interesting look at the inexperienced duo of Kyuri and Ozaki. While both of them have some rough moments they also show flashes promise. Maika has some nice Hiroyo Matsumoto-style power spots and Kyuri pulls off some really nice counter and comeback spots. A good match to check out if your interested in getting a look at some of the other girls on Ice Ribbon's roster. ***1/2
  19. 15 minutes of all action that didn't feel like a blown off spot fest. This was a great representation of modern joshi and brought me back to some of the 2000 stuff I have been watching involving Hyaga. HIroyo is quietly piecing together a strong year and Arisa is one of the better young joshi workers IMO. This match had back and forth but the transitions were logical and the match conveyed a sense of being up for grabs at all times. ***3/4
  20. Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Nanae Takahashi & Sareee This was fast, furious hard-hitting tag team action, and what the glorious sparkling D is all about! ****1/2
  21. Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Lovely Butchers (Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi) Nakajima was beating the shit out of the leopard-print glob of mediocre known as Hamuko Hoshi. Kicking her in the head, stomping her nose, slapping her across the face, KNEES -- good shit. I loved it. I love Arisa! Hamuko no-sells a Venus Shoot in a ridiculous sequence. Miyagi goes crazy with Thesz presses. I can't tell if Fujimoto genuinely struggled to lift Hamuko for the Japanese Ocean Cyclone in the finish or if that was part of the 'drama'.. either way, this was mostly fun and fast-paced. A solid restart for Best Friends. ***1/2
  22. Arisa Nakajima vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto Training with Nanae has turned Arisa into a savage. She was decimating Fujimoto in truly wicked fashion; her offense looked so intense and raw, especially those vicious knees against the ropes. Fujimoto reciprocates with unruly kicks and stomps to the head. Arisa mocks Tsukasa's Ocean Cyclone, but instead of properly performing the move she just drops Tsukasa flat on her face, total disrespect. I thought they worked well towards the time limit draw, the pacing was red hot and they kept things fresh and dramatic up until that point. ****
  23. Nanae Takahashi & Arisa Nakajima vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami I have to agree with Dedy, this is the best Nanae has ever looked. Her segments with Hiroyo and Mizunami were spectacular, and some of the bumps she took were so hard they bounced her off of the canvas! Nakajima prays before delivering a double foot stomp, which is a cute reference to her misogi training. Everyone looked great in this match; Mizunami was hot-blooded as always, and Hiroyo busts out a Styles Clash powerbomb (!). This has that Zenjo-sprint pacing where they go non-stop and momentum shifts can happen in an instant. ****1/2
  24. This was really good. Kana dominated most of it, and Nakajima fought from under. Kana was great with her killer looking offense while Nakajima had some really fun comebacks. ***3/4
  25. This is for Best Friends' International Ribbon tag titles as they are challenged by the teenage duo of Tsukushi (18) and Kurumi (16.) This is quite the old-school joshi sprint which is freaky since neither of the challengers were alive during that period. It's easy to write off the Tsukushi and Kurumi do to their age but when you factor in that the both of them have more than 5+ years of experience each they are more than competent opponents. That point comes through strong in the match as both girls manage to create their own opportunities throughout the match in a realistic way. As a result, their big win here comes off as a hard earned victory rather than a fluky upset. ****1/4