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Found 15 results

  1. Another forgotten match that is actually some damn good story driven pro wrestling. Well, it may not have enough wrestling for some people's taste, but I give them credit for selling their butts off. The early going was really nice joshi style work: unpredictable exchanges where they didn't do anything stupid, and there was a good amount of struggle. Then, an overconfident Hyuga got caught and crushed by Fukuoka's brutal double stomp finisher. This transitions into second half which is mostly built around Hyuga's pretty epic selling. Fukuoka follows up by working over her stomach area with nasty stiff toe kicks and knees. Pretty brutal and awesome stuff, and we get these almost Hogan/Andre like spots of Hyuga trying to body slam lift Fukuoka into position for her Michinoku Driver II. All the MDII spots where pretty great and the second half of the match felt like classic puro stuff built around simple moves, both wrestlers gutting it out and struggling for control. Really good stuff and another hidden gem.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. This was always one of my favourite Toyota matches. If you're not a Toyota fan then there's not much appeal, and even if you like Joshi it's not really a great match per se, but what I like about it is the competitiveness. In most inter-promotional matches, Toyota would play the Queen Bee while the other girl was a second class citizen. Here she treated Fukuoka as though she were an All Japan girl. It wasn't until deep in the stretch run that she really took over, but even there Fukuoka earned a fair amount of cred for kicking out. I've mentioned before how much I enjoy these smaller league matches compared to a lot of Toyota's more high profile work. This one was like vs. like, which is seldom the best recipe for a match, so it wasn't quite the match-up that say Toyota vs. Ito was. It covered a lot of ground that I've been seeing on a daily basis from Toyota (same spots, same sequences), but again Toyota could have brushed Fukuoka off and no-one would have bat an eyelid. Hikari didn't really have the experience or confidence to stamp her mark on the bout, and the subtext of her being more than just a Toyota clone should have been more overt, but I liked this a lot. There may have been some sloppiness and dropped selling, but I don't get too hung up on those things.
  7. 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.