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Found 22 results

  1. OZ Academy Openweight Champship: Yoshiko (c) vs. Hikaru Shida Great match. Shida is getting creative with those knee strikes lately, the lariat counters and the Kamigoye were awesome. There was stiffness and nice sequences, but the finishing run was lacking. Still, Shida winning the Openweight is one of my favorite moments of the year. ***3/4
  2. This is from the third night of the Catch the WAVE tournament. These two take about a minute and a half to feel each other out then just start going right at each other with bombs. They still do manage to not force any of the action either so that while the match is short, it has a nice flow to it despite the constant use of big moves. An absolutely tremendous sprint. ****
  3. Hikaru Shida vs. Rina Yamashita If Rina wins with the Splash Mountain, she will inherit the move from Dynamite Kansai (who was watching on commentary). Shida ambushes Rina at the start and tries to hit the move herself -- this was the highlight of the match. Shida's workover could have been better, and Rina's comeback felt completely empty. The pacing was off, too. Disappointing match. They had a much better one in WAVE last year. bad
  4. This was a fun tag main event for a B show. Hiroyo and Kuragaki make a good powerhouse team. Shida has some impressive power spots of her own along with her kendo stick for backup. I haven't been a fan of the changes that Yoshiko has made to her in-ring style, (being more of a fast paced, quick hit wrestler) but it worked well her in a tag setting. Good showing from everyone here. ***1/2
  5. OZ Academy Openweight Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto © vs. Hikaru Shida This was an amazing payoff to almost 2 years worth of building. Shida targets the neck of Hiroyo in a plethora of ways, knee strikes, mount elbows, shinai strikes, an apron-hung neckbreaker -- her control segment was mesmerizing; rare that she fights so aggressively. Hiroyo's comebacks were strong, and the counters were dramatic. The finishing run was brutal, a proper finish to an epic. Incredible match! ****1/2
  6. This is a non-title match, (don't get me started on WAVE's booking.) Despite this, it doesn't stop this two from going all out and producing the best joshi matches so far this year. The opening exchanges are fantastic, especially how Mizunami works her headlocks in a grinding fashion. Shida doesn't get any momentum till the action spills to the outside were she is able to out-brawl Mizunami. The transitions in this match were great as well, with Mizunami needing a good three tries before gaining control, while Shida sneaks in cheap shots with her kendo stick. The finish is a draw, but they still end it with a great finishing run before time runs out. ****1/2
  7. Aasa Maika, Emi Sakura & Hana Kimura vs. Aja Kong, Cassandra Miyagi & Hikaru Shida Super enjoyable trios match once it gets past the awkward opening (it was cute, but still...). The action flowed well; fun spots and match-ups. Aasa's charisma really shines in these big venue Senjo matches. ***1/2
  8. Riho & Aasa Maika vs. Hikaru Shida & Mitsuru Konno The opening segment between Riho and Shida was an awesome clash of speed and power. Misturu Konno was chaining together crazy, painful-looking lucha holds. She's like the Negro Navarro of joshi. Shida and Maika have heat, and that led to fun moments. Great main event! ***3/4
  9. Aja Kong vs. Hikaru Shida It was an uphill battle for Shida, and she had to use whatever openings she could find, and seize the opportunity with shinai strikes and knees to head. Lots of back and forth bomb throwing in this, and Aja Kong looking like an immovable force. It didn't reach the violence of their past encounters, with the blood and what have you, and the double KO ending hurts, but I thought this was otherwise an awesome brawl. ***3/4
  10. OZ Academy Tag Team Championship: Hikaru Shida & Syuri © vs. MK4 (AKINO & Kaho Kobayashi) I've been really enjoying AKINO's work lately, and I thought she was solid here; I dig her approach to these tag matches. Kaho is obviously the FIP, and she did a great job; Shida & Syuri's work over session was rough (in a good way). My favorite moment is when Shida chucks her shinai at AKINO. Great match. ***3/4
  11. Sendai Girls Tag Team Championship: Hikaru Shida & Syuri © vs. Cassandra Miyagi & DASH Chisako Good match; felt like it went longer than it needed to be, but the action never slowed down. This mini Shida-Miyagi rivalry is great, and I enjoy how Shida sells Miyagi's fuckery. Chisako spent most of the match getting bumped around and worked over, but she makes a surly comeback. Syuri had just signed dat UFC contract so the finish protected her a bit. ***1/2
  12. OZ Academy Openweight Championship #1 Contendership (Special Referee: POLICE): Hikaru Shida vs. Mayumi Ozaki This was a cascade of fuckery, with a bias official, shinai, chains, and constant outside interference. It wasn't the sequel to their awesome 2013 brawl that I was hoping for, but it was an entertaining roadblock in Shida's path to the Openweight Championship. I thought it did a good job conveying the hopelessness of Shida's situation with the corrupt official, and they find a creative way for her to go over in this seemingly unwinnable situation. ***
  13. OZ Academy Tag Team Championship: Hikaru Shida & Syuri © vs. MK4 (AKINO & Kaho Kobayashi) This was a very well-worked tag match, where the abundance of spots were chained together rather smoothly. Kaho makes the most out of those dramatic near-falls, and the kick-heavy segments between Syuri and AKINO were amazing. Another very entertaining match from Shida & Syuri. The Shiri does it again! ****
  14. Chihiro Hashimoto & DASH Chisako vs. Hikaru Shida & Rina Yamashita Shida-sama & Yamashita have a parejas increíbles-esque dynamic in this match, and that made things very interesting. They're attacking each other, making aggressive tags, Shida tries to use Yamashita as a weapon; but, they still prove to be a cohesive, well-oiled duo. The hard-hitting segments between Hash and Rina were awesome, and there's a shinai spot here that was topnotch slapstick. DASH reprises her role as Chihiro's designated FIP, but she gets the fall this time! And so continues the endless Shida/DASH feud. ***3/4
  15. This is a two out of three falls trios match that's designed to set up the OZ title match between Hiroyo and Kagetsu at the Korakuen show next month. I thought everyone in this match looked really good, even Katsu who has been a big disappointment since returning about a year ago. They kept the flow of the match going throughout more than likely because they didn't do the mandatory crowd brawling that happens in OZ Academy. Like the tag title match in January, this is another showcase of what OZ Academy should be. ****
  16. OZ Academy Openweight Championship #1 Contendership: Hikaru Shida vs. Kagetsu I love Shida-sama's new look. She looks like a feudal demon-slayer. Kagetsu has the charisma of a walnut, but when an arrogant Shida starts egging her on she shows a rare fire and goes berserk. This was back-and-forth with constant cut-offs that made it feel 'competitive'. There's great legwork that unfortunately gets abandoned, but was well-sold up until that point. Kagetsu (just barely) gets the win, which was shocking to me when I read the results. I thought for certain Kami had this won... The Shiri will have its day soon enough. ***3/4
  17. Match Link - Match starts at 1:08:00 This is for Shida's & Syuri's OZ Academy tag titles. I was excited when this was first announced because Hiroyo and Kagetsu were a team in one of my favourite (and highly underrated) tags from last year, 4/2/16 vs. Thunder Rock. Then again, this is OZ Academy where potentially great matchups turn mediocre. Matsumoto looked great here. She is definitely all in for this chance to have a run on top of a promotion. This was also the best match from the Shida/Syuri team. They focused more on straight tag work rather than weapon shots and brawling. It's really nice to see a match that looks like what OZ Academy should be. ****
  18. This is a tag match were the woman that gets the winning fall becomes the number one contender to Sonoko Kato's OZ singles title. With that stipulation, one would assume that this match would probably turn into a messy but that doesn't happen here. Actually, all four women incorporate the stip into the story of the match. There are some of the typical 'feuding partners' moments, but they don't overwhelm the action. Everyone here turns in a really good performance allowing the match to be much better than expected. ***3/4
  19. This is a really fun match for the OZ tag titles. Unlike most matches in OZ Academy, they kept the action in the ring. Shida and Syuri do an effective job in the early going of cutting the ring off on Yoneyama and working her over. Yoneyama especially looked good here, bumping and putting over her opponents offense while making fiery comebacks. Kuragaki was the same while playing the powerhouse of the team. Shida and Syuri have been a bit underwhelming as a regular team so far but they were good here with hopefully some more good matches during this title run. ***3/4
  20. On paper, this looks like a throwaway matchup since Hirota is a comedy worker. In reality though, it turns out to be a really well worked title match. The main reason for that is Sakura, as she works the match straight but finds reasonable ways to work in her comedy spots as legitimate offense without making it look ridiculous. It's pretty neat to see her get the crowd to buy into her nearfalls at the end of the match. Add in yet another really good performance from Shida and you get one of the more surprisingly good matches of 2015. ***3/4
  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FvBGEs91zE It's exceptionally rare that you see a match that is built around the performance of a rookie, but this match is centered around Kana trainee Konami. There is also the interesting dynamic of both Syuri and Shida being junior rivals of Kana in the past. The story of the match is Syuri and Shida focusing on Konami with one of the matches biggest strengths is the way they find interesting, reasonable ways to get Konami offense. Anytime she manages to get something in it's done in a logical fashion, not forced. Even when Kana gets tagged back in she gets in some offense but eventually falls to the 2-on-1 situation because she doesn't have any backup. Everyone in the match plays her own role very well leading to a great match. ****1/4
  22. 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