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  1. This is a project I wanted to do for a good while now. When I decided to watch all Joshi this month, this it the one I've been itching to start all month. Jetlag has done an awesome overview and Quebrada.net's reviews are really great as well. I've used those as my guide. As Jetlag has said, so little is talked about this era. I hope to add a little bit to the conversation. For reference here's Jetlag's Microscope topic: https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/topic/39849-early-jwp-pre-splitinterpromotional-era/#comment-5816331 I have the dates first because that's how I organized the matches originally. This started out pretty small but mushroomed because I enjoyed the neck out of this stuff. Some stuff I watched in chronological order but there are some I skipped ahead to or snuck onto my watch list towards the end. So sorry for any confusion you might come across! 04/22/90: Plum Mariko vs The Scorpion Not sure what to make of Scorpion beforehand but I like her and the masked gimmick. She displayed a lot of spectacular lucha type moves. Plum was just sort of there to make those moves look smooth. But hey, she did an awesome job in doing that. This was a fun match. A very nice start! 05/25/90: Cuty Suzuki & Oscar Tomo vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Yukari Osawa Really glad that I checked this one out. It was a good tag match. Ozaki and Osawa are heels with Cuty and Oscar as baby faces. What's great is that the heels don't really get into brawling and using weapons as you'd see in AJW around this time. They take shortcuts in the ring but when the action picks up down the stretch they have the wrestling skills to rely upon. Ozaki is already on her way to being awesome. She has a ton of personality and her moves are immediately identifiable as her own. 05/25/90: Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Plum Mariko I really dig Yamazaki from the Jumping Bomb Angels so its cool to see that she went to JWP. Really good match that's veteran vs up and comer. Everything looks really good and builds very nicely. They wanted to put on a really well wrestled match that makes sense and gets the fans pumped to see Plum get an upset victory. Much more competitive than the above match. 06/14/90:Eagle Sawai vs. Maiko Tsurugi Only have seen Eagle a couple times and Maiko is new to me. Anyhow, the moves and action is a little simpler than the match above but the story is much stronger. Maiko is getting the advantage on Eagle. But Maiko gets hurt due to outside interference. Eagle then goes to work on that injury. Can Maiko survive? Very good stuff. 06/14/90: Plum Mariko & Cuty Suzuki vs. Miki Handa & Utako Hozumi A good fast paced match that got more interesting with a restart and a hot finish. Plum and Cuty are a pretty fun team to watch. I wouldn't mind seeing more Handa & Hozumi as they develop. 06/14/90: Mayumi Ozaki vs. The Scorpion Another very good match! Closing in on a great one actually. I think in part it just had those big moves towards the end or something. I mean Scorpion does a moonsault and Ozaki does a springboard cross body block for instance. That said there is a good portion of quality matwork as well. Scorpion seemed at Ozaki's level. 07/19/90: Shinobu Kandori vs. Harley Saito This is stylistically UWF meets 80's Inoki Strong Style. Nothing has been like this at all so far in JWP. Later 80's Crush Gals would do the shoot kicks but nowhere as stiff as this and not this type of grappling. It is tremendously intense and nasty at times. I think if the filming was more than fixed camera, this would be even nastier. Harley is just soccer kicking Kandori in the head for instance. It very rarely feels cooperative. One thing I've noticed is the frequent use of pinning moves in JWP at this time. That is the case here as well and I appreciate it as its going for the win by any means. I also appreciate the refs who actually count the shoulders on the mat. That plays a part here. I don't know if I could call it a classic match but it's certainly memorable, influential and highly recommended stuff. A great match without a doubt. Post match stuff is sick too! 08/12/90: Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Yasuda & Yukari Osawa vs. Cuty Suzuki & Plum Mariko & Miki Handa Haven't heard great stuff about this but I wanted to see a 6 woman tag in JWP. One of the others I was looking for cannot be found. Plus I know all of the wrestlers at this point and it has potential. And yeah this lived up to the potential. Fast paced stuff with Plum & Ozaki being the most impressive. Plum gives Ozaki a dangerous looking backdrop also. Really fun stuff, good match. I really like the pacing and competitive nature of these JWP matches. 08/12/90: Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Miss A & Harley Saito Pretty darn good match. Devil and Itsuki did all kinds of cool stuff here. This is a longer match but I think they filled the time very well. Miss A and Harley weren't necessarily putting the other team in constant danger however Devil and Itsuki couldn't put them away either. That would give the younger wrestlers and opportunity to find an opening with their kicks. I think a faster paced match would have been more exciting but they wanted to go longer. They even snipped a few minutes from the footage. I'm not sure it needed that because it didn't drag at all. The veteran team knew how to control the excitement even when the pace slowed down. 09/30/90: Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori vs. Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki Oh this was a great tag match! Shinobu & Rumi are not necessarily heels in deed but the fans are against them. Devil & Itsuki might be heels but the fans like them especially against Rumi and Shinobu. Or that's my point of view. Nonetheless, this is a match that pits the shooter style against the entertainment style of Joshi more than above. And Devil and Itsuki are old guard entertainment style and I imagine the tension is real in ring. It's great because everyone is professional about it and it makes for a really exciting & intense back and forth match. Seeing Devil toss around Rumi is pretty enjoyable. Some might find the finish corny but it works! 10/10/90: Plum Mariko & Cuty Suzuki vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Yasuda A clear face vs heel match which is a lot of fun. Hair pulling, biting, running the face along the ropes etc. Everything was well executed and honestly Cuty Suzuki actually wrestled well here. I'm not a big fan as we go further into the decade but perhaps the simplicity of the matches is in her favor? I wouldn't say this is a need to see bout but its fun. Also online this is listed as from 12/12/90 but double checking Quebrada as well as the finish of the Miss A/Saito vs Kandori/Kazama match, this is 10/10. Same with the below. 12/12 must just be either the tape or TV episode date. I've listed it accordingly. 10/10/90: Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Eagle Sawai & Moon Ayako So yeah, Devil and Itsuki are the best tag team in the promotion. I shouldn't be surprised but this was almost a squash in that no way were Eagle and Moon going to win but this was really fun stuff. That enjoyment was pretty much all from Devil and Itsuki. They just have so much charisma and great ideas on how to work little matches. 5 minutes was cut from the footage but no matter. It was a blast! 10/10/90: Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Shinobu Kandori & Rumi Kazama I watched this the following day after the great 07/19 match. I look to this as the follow-up to that battle. I definitely think is the case or the way to watch it. This was great and perhaps a near classic with the story of that singles match (and aftermath) giving this some depth. This is more like a traditional tag match despite both teams being shoot wrestling but the intensity and stiffness is still there. Miss A/Dynamite is really laying in her kicks. Like Shinya Hashimoto, they thud. I just thought everyone was great here. There were a few callbacks to the 07/19 bout that really made this something special. I'm a tag wrestling fan and I think I liked this better but certainly the singles match needs to be seen to fully appreciate this. 11/11/90: Miss A vs. Devil Masami Whoa! This was a great match! Stiff intense battle from two of the larger wrestlers. There were less pin attempts and more power moves as a result. Therefore it felt like a big-time match with the established star Devil fighting the up and coming Miss A. Miss A/Dynamite Kansai already looks like a star in '90. There's no underdog story here. Its Miss A challenging Devil head on. The middle portion might put some folks off as they settle into some mat work but its purposeful and aggressive enough to keep things going. Again this is more like a heavyweight men's match than a hyper Joshi fight with reversals, roll ups etc. And this is only 15 minutes long, so even if you're not feeling it, the mat work transitions to the exciting conclusion rather quickly. That said, this section didn't bother me in the slightest. I'm just responding to criticism that I have read. I thought it was a good way to bring the match pace & energy down a little bit in order to have the end ramp up into something truly exciting. Works for me! Its on the JWP Best Match - Single matches compilation for a reason. 12/7/90: Plum Mariko & Cuty Suzuki vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama Had trouble finding this but its on the JWP Best Of Tag Matches 1990 tape and you should be able to watch it searching for that tape title. Anyhow, this was a great match on its way to being a near classic. They never got into top gear but everything looked great. Constant action, always going for an reversal or an escape of some sort. I don't get hung up on joshi mat work as any more than a way to slow things down while putting a hurt on your opponent. Same thing goes here. Plum's different leg lock moves were awesome so I'm not going to complain that they didn't end the match. For a 13 minute match this was a blast! 12/24/90: Rumi Kazama vs. Mayumi Ozaki Great match that I haven't seen any praise for. Ozaki is already a bad ass and Rumi is definitely more than just Kandori's lackey. I just thought that JWP is like an alternative to AJW. It doesn't seem as polished as AJW but makes up for it in grit and hate. That's what makes JWP great in 1990 really. It all feels like a honest athletic competition. This match is a great example of that but also goes into high gear with great action and moves in the end. Really glad I went out of my way to watch this. Overall, this has been a fantastic project. Part of that feeling is not having super high expectations. In actually only the Kandori vs Harley match had a real must-see vibe. I think it lived up to that as it is so intense and unique. But I really took a liking to JWP's stuff in 1990. I'm always skimming the cream off the top because I have a bunch of other stuff to watch but this stuff made want to search out stuff not talked about or, if talked about, it wasn't recommended. Even those matches I enjoyed to different degrees. I think in some part this just seemed very Indie Japanese wrestling. Everyone was busting their asses to put on entertaining matches. What many lacked in technique, experience or pizzazz, they made up for in heart & fight. As I said in a few reviews, matches felt like competition with wrestlers always trying for a quick pin or for a chance to get another stomp in. It reminded me of my fondness for W*ING, IWA Japan, WAR, Michinoku Pro and FMW from the 90's. I definitely put JWP 1990 in that category of excellence now. I'm going to go onto 1991 next! Thanks to Jetlag for paving the way and thank you to the folks who have posted these matches online. As always- Thanks for reading!
  2. I was psyched to find this inter-promotional JWP show online. It's from right around the era I want re-explore. Having watched a ton of full Joshi shows, I skipped the following: Kumiko Maekawa & Rie Tamada vs. Fusayo Nochi & Hiromi Yagi, Command Bolshoi vs. Bolshoi Kid, and Cutie Suzuki vs Takako Inoue. Chigusa Nagayo vs. Mayumi Ozaki - Well, that was a war! I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the hate in this match was off the charts. It wasn't the quick burst of hate type match but more of a smoldering hate. Shit talking on the mic, stare downs, nasty looks and gestures and of course blood and kicks to the face. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't a fast paced match but I thought that it was wonderfully laid out. The match was almost a series of escalating encounters of violence. I could see some fans of more modern wrestling not liking this. In my book though this was a classic. Very distinct and memorable for sure. Kyoko Inoue vs. Candy Okutsu- From what I could tell, Candy was going to face a mystery opponent. Well here comes Kyoko! This was my favorite version of her - pulling out creative submissions, limited but energetic bursts of offense and using her strength/size while still being vulnerable. Candy I'm not too familiar with but I'm sure I've seen her before. She was really exciting here and I could draw comparisons to AJW stars, I think she's really her own wrestler. She reminds me of Mariko Yoshida at this time though. You can tell she's physically proficient, and can wrestle however she likes (at least in this match). Really cool near fall from Candy as well. All that said this was a great match. Bull Nakano & Devil Masami vs. Hikari Fukuoka & Sakie Hasegawa - Good match. I think it was a little bloated in the middle but overall it was enjoyable. I think if they could have stayed more focused after they went into the crowd (for some reason), this would have been very good stuff. The last third was pretty fun with lots of neat double team moves and that's what really saves it from just being an OK match. I don't think the outcome was in doubt so I question the booking a little bit though. Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai - I've seen this rated as just an OK match. I disagree. I think it is great! It's at a pace that really requires patience with the story they are telling. It was different from what I've seen them in AJW and if you're going in with expectations based on that, I could see one's disappointment. When Kansai makes her move and shifts the direction of the match, it happens at just the right time. Had they waited one more move or done it in a less memorable way, I don't think the first part of the bout would have been worthwhile. You could just say 'well they were killing time.' Instead we get an awesome moment where Dynamite Kansai just pops Aja Kong right in the face and derails the momentum she had worked so hard to build up. Everything really just came together and happened at just the right time. The pacing reminds me of a Dory Funk Jr. match to be honest. If you're patient and stay invested in what they're doing then you'll be rewarded. I might even call this a near classic...or even classic in terms of timing and pacing. This show was a excellent example of the classic 90's Joshi period but with a twist. I'm not sure if it's a stylistic difference but these matches especially Chigusa vs Ozaki and Aja vs Kansai were more reminiscent of the slower early 80's AJW style. They focused much more on atmosphere and wrestling holds than speed and athleticism (think about AJPW 70s & 80's vs 90's style for instance). I enjoyed this quite a bit and plan to watch more JWP as a result. This is easy to find and totally recommend watching a couple matches if you're so inclined. Thanks for reading!
  3. This is an immediate follow-up to the post match angle on the January 9th show. Mayumi jumps Chigusa in her entrance and they brawl outside the arena, we don't actually see what happens in the first couple of minutes we can just see the crowd all on the feet looking at the back of the venue before Mayumi marches to the ring triumphantly, and then Chigusa returns staggered and bloody. The match feels like the first time Chigusa really establishes herself as a power wrestler (e.g. she's doing military presses now) and also Ozaki is a full on savage heel biting Chigusa's head wound. The match is really great, visceral and violent. There's also a fun dynamic with the crowd being split, Chigusa at one point both gives the finger to the fans booing her and then rallies her fans to chant louder in her support. It's great. ****1/4
  4. This was a good match that could have been a lot better. First of all, Kuragaki rules on offense. Her flippy shit looks really graceful, and she was just launching Hyuga around with her power moves and lariats. Those back suplexes were all kind of crazy. Hyuga did a really good job working as the ace and preventing Kuragaki from attacking her bandaged leg, including just stomping on her face when she went for a kneebar. I also dig the out of nowhere knee attacks. On the other hand there were some awkward/blown spots and I disliked Hyuga's lazy no selling transitions during the finishing stretch. Kuragaki hit a brutal shoot headbutt, and Hyuga would act unphased and just continue her offense. This had a really good layout opening with some nice matwork and the leg story, so it has that going for it.
  5. 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.
  6. The original JWP is painfully underexplored. This is probably it's most prolific match, and it's more interesting than a great match. You may theorize that this is Kandori, the dangerous shooter putting the pro wrestler under fire and setting the blueprints for Kandori/Hokuto... which is a good formula, but in reality it was Devil dragging a green Kandori by the nose through a long match. Kandori looks good on the mat, and not very good doing anything else. Devil is as mean as you can want a hardened veteran to be carrying this and brings the goods, downing Kandori with a huge punch, almost ripping her in half with a surfboard, dishing out clubbing blows to make up for Kandori's weak kicks and so on. The biggest problem with the match is that it's needlessly long, as the iconic moment - where they both start bleeding all over the ring - only comes about 30 minutes into the match, and before that, there's a lot of meandering. It felt a bit like Devil redoing the Chigusa match against a far lesser Chigusa with nice submissions. The actual bloodbath was kind of underwhelming too, honestly. There's always charm to watching a rookie and a veteran going along for a lengthy match and this had enough good moments and nearfalls to keep you satisfied, but I gotta say this wasn't as good as I've seen it hyped up. Also, I'll never understand what was up with that restart/overtime they did.
  7. I'm not sure why the name change from Miss A to Dynamite Kansai. She looks and wrestles the exact same. This was a first round match in a tournament for the UWA International title(?) and a better match than a lot of tournament finals I've seen. Why have I never heard anyone talk about how awesome Itsuki Yamazaki was in JWP? It's far more interesting than anything I've seen her do in AJW. Right at the go Kansai whacks Yamazaki with a big lariat, but in the following tussle on the outside Yamazaki catches her leg and rams it into the steel post. Yamazaki proceeds to work over Kansai's leg and use this advantage to stay in control. When Kansai comes back, she immediately reestablishes how dangerous she is by crushing the veteran with ultra stiff blows. I thought Kansai's selling was good enough, as she made it clear the leg was bothering her and there were times where she couldn't follow through due to the damage done, on the other hand Yamazaki was super focussed and always aiming for the weak spot to get out of her situation. Yamazaki would add these cool maestra-like touches, such as locking in an octopus hold from her back, or elevating herself extra high when reversing a figure 4 (something I've never seen before). Yamazaki had excellent game, but in the end fell to a crushing shot from Kansai when she thought she had her in the bag. Really good skill vs. Pure brutality match.
  8. Early JWP seems to be the biggest mystery of joshi along with LLPW. There's so little discussion about it, even though there is plenty interesting to it: it had future stars like Kandori, Ozaki and Kansai, and veterans such as Devil and Itsuki Yamazaki. Gran Hamada trained the girls, and they used a unique style while still bringing the workrate. I've aquired quite a bit of this old stuff recently, so I think it's time to settle this and discover things such as: - What are the good matches involving pre-interpromotional blowup Kandori, Kansai, Ozaki, etc. that is relevant to their GWE case? (Stuff that was not brought up in the GWE discussion) - How close were those workers in their early state to their later, more famous versions? - Who is the lost great worker among the lesser knowns? (SPOILER: It's motherfucking Harley Saito, god bless her) - Are there any hidden gems/all time great stuff that stands up to the best stuff AJW was putting out? (SPOILER: Yes there was) I'll be posting my reviews in this thread and use it to document my findings. Recommended Matches: (ongoing) Shinobu Kandori vs. Devil Masami (Original JWP, 7/14/88) --- 1988 MOTY Rumi Kazama vs. Plum Mariko (2/12/89) Shinobu Kandori vs. Miss A (7/13/89) Mayumi Ozaki vs. Cutie Suzuki (4/26/1989) --- 1989 MOTY Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Plum Mariko (JWP 5/25/90) Mayumi Ozaki vs. The Scorpion (JWP 6/14/90) Shinobu Kandori vs. Harley Saito (7/19/90) --- 1990 MOTY Rumi Kazama & Shinobu Kandori vs. Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 9/30/90) Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Shinobu Kandori & Rumi Kazama (JWP 10/10/90) Rumi Kazama vs. Mayumi Ozaki (12/24/90) Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (JWP 1/6/1991) Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Miss A (Dynamite Kansai) (JWP 1/6/91) (UWA Tournament First Round Match) Miss A (Dynamite Kansai) vs. Eagle Sawai (JWP 1/13/91) (UWA Tournament Semifinals) Miss A vs. Harley Saito (UWA Tournament finals) (2/1/91) Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Rumi Kazama & Mayumi Ozaki (JWP 4/23/1991) Devil Masami & Rumi Kazama vs. Miss A & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 4/26/1991) Devil Masami & Hikari Fukuoka vs. Itsuki Yamazaki & Cuty Suzuki (JWP 5/25/1991) Utako Hozumi vs. The Scorpion (6/30/91) The Scorpion vs Cutie Suzuki (JWP 08/30/91) Harley Saito vs. Eagle Sawai (7/14/91) Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (8/4/1991) Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Harley Saito & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 8/8/91) Cuty Suzuki vs. The Scorpion (8/11/91) The Scorpion vs Cutie Suzuki (JWP 10/10/91) (Mask vs. Hair) Harley Saito vs. Dynamite Kansai (JWP 11/2/1991) --- 1991 MOTY Harley Saito & Devil Masami vs. Dynamite Kansai & Madusa (JWP 12/7/1991)
  9. This is an amazing match; not just by far the best JWP match I've seen probably ever, but in the top 5-10 of the finest women's single matches I can remember. What made this outstanding was that what they did was stylistically state of the art, mixing 80s NJPW-like shootstyle/wrestling hybrid with something resembling a classic title match, and emotionally captivating: right from the get go there is a ton of disdain, uncooperativeness, and another fantastic underdog performance from Harley. So this is like a joshi version of Fujinami/Maeda, without the blood and more outright hatred. Kandori is naturally really good at grabbing flash submissions and they use their holds really well, while Harley was bringing the violence with her kicks – there are a few moments where she is contorting her body to get out of Kandori's holds and then proceeds to kick Kandori in the face and ear repeatedly. It was awe inspiring. Kandori gives her back some raining angry shots down on her smaller opponent too, and with some of the uncooperative moves, stiff shots and flash subs here I was thinking I was watching some sort of Tenryu/Hashimoto/Fujiwara showdown. Another cool thing is how they interweave their shootstyle stuff with more traditional wrestling, they were working shoot kicks and flash armbars one minute, and then neck bridges and small packages. The rollups make really good nearfalls because JWP was booking a lot of rollup finishes, and thanks to that they can build to big section of 2,99999s for the ending run that doesn't have that big move spam. Some incredibly well timed spots, and there is one false finish that is executed in a way I can't recall seeing in many other wrestling matches, which sets up another angry Kandori comeback to the keep the crowd behind Harley. I mean, watching what they did here felt like the stuff that is missing from so many wrestling matches, they had the folks at Korakuen hall flipping out for a small package or fall-on-top counter. Really great match that delivered beyond expectations, considering this is Kandori years before coming into Superstardom and Saito who was almost completely under the radar (RIP, you magnificient gem). Mindblowing that you can still find shit as good as this in 2017 that has apparently never been talked about.
  10. Really really stiff match. This was a small show, but they were certainly loosening eachothers teeth here with brutal knees and elbows. Ran Yu-Yu was hitting some especially stiff enzuigiris, that is normally not a move that will be done in a stiff manner, but she was punting Genki like a football with them. Outside of the stiffness this match didn't do a ton for me as it had poor structure. Also, like their 2000 match, they both went back to offense whenever they pleased. Ran Yu-Yu is a classy wrestler with a cool moveset, aside from the gross elbows and knees I really liked her leg trips. Genki, I dunno. Her power offense doesn't even look that impressive. I'd say this should go in your „watch“-pile as it may do more for others than it did for me (like the 2000 match) and any Ran Yu-Yu singles is worth watching, nitpicking be damned.
  11. This was a „bigger“ match than Amano/Yoneyama, meaning that it had more nearfalls and bigger moves, but it wasn't as smart. Also, Haruyama looked nowhere close to as good as Yoneyama did at this stage. Bolshoi largely just went to her spots. Spots where good, but the stuff around was largely just happening and didn't draw me in. The one cool moment of the match was Haruyama countering a Fujiwara armbar into a rolling cradle. I am a sucker for Bolshois submissions so the finishing run was somewhat worthwhile... still, a Bolshoi singles match could be so much more.
  12. Boy, I am glad Amano was given something to do in 2002 JWP, because her working these small show matches is way better to me than GAEA. Here she does a bonafide job working as veteran against pre-curls Kaori Yoneyama. Pretty interesting as it is a good Amano match without flash submissions. They work the mat to begin, and Yoneyama would only be able to hang by using biting etc. to set up her holds. Yoneyama is a perfectly good spunky young wrestler here, with the big dropkicks and the occasional cool lucha move. Amano added some nice veteran touches: blocking Yoneyamas strikes, acting savvy to Yoneyamas flying offense, using an opening to lock in a shoulder separating submission hold etc. Even the comedy spot they did added to the match. Really well executed little match.
  13. Round Girl is doing a gimmick where she uses her crotch, cleavage and butt the same way Danshoku Dino uses his junk, inbetween posing raunchily. There you go, I just made this match must watch for all you internet wrestling perverts out there. Aside from all the raunchiness this was actually a decent Monterrey/lucharesu style encounter. I have no idea what Sarubobo Mask is supposed to be (google tells me a sarubobo is some kind of monkey baby puppet... no idea why all the high pitched yelling then and where all the other mannerisms of the wrestler are supposed to come from) but I liked the rope hanging headscissor etc. aswell as Round Girls modified indian deathlock.
  14. Huh! Really fun trios match. Maybe I should stop dreading joshi tags. The main reason for this being fun is that they mix the usual joshi workrate stuff up with lots of amusing shtick and the combo of tagging Kyoko with two low ranked workers. Kaori Yoneyama plays Mini Kyoko and makes a really fun goofy underdog face, while Kyoko herself works as a Brazo de Plata/One Man Gang type immovable object, which works a lot better than Kyoko working long winded epics. All the Yoneyama tries Kyoko Inoue tribute spots and gets smacked upside the head was fun, all the Kyoko Inoue as immovable object/laying out everyone on the opposite team stuff was fun, and the workrate sections were fun too. I've spoken about how much I like Kuragaki and she was as fun as always, and Bolshoi looked good working completely different from her match against Amano just before this one. Hyuga and Ran are kind of the big main event stars in this one (if you can talk about „stars“ considering how small JWP was at this stage) and they are remarkably non-outstanding, really outworked by everyone else in the match. The one moment I didn't like was Hyuga hitting her german suplex combo on Big Kyoko after she was struggling to just lift her before. Other than that, quality stuff.
  15. WELL!! These are two of my favourite female workers, and really two of the more unique wrestlers in wrestling history, despite the fact you have to kind of scour the earth to find their good matches. Due to the special makeup of japanese womens wrestling these two are rarely in a matchup that allows them to shine. And for some reason, their matches over the years have never been quite white they should be. The 1998 encounter went far too long, the 2000 ones ranged between solid and fun exhibtions... fortunately, they finally delivered what the matchup promises on this one. This is a submission match and really worked like Negro Navarro vs. Solar in Coliseo Coacalco. It even had the kind of playing to the crowd and jokes that sort of match would have. 90% of this was grappling, and it was good. What makes these two so cool is not just their submissions but the cool unique trips and transitions they will come up with to get them. Plenty of unique spots and submissions to keep you entertained, and the finish was decided on the mat in an intense scramble as it should be. Really this felt like a Virus match and that's exactly what their strength is. No idea what took them so long to figure it out, but this was worth seeking out.
  16. Acute Sae was a youngster who could grapple. This was a bit like something Virus would with a student on a small show, so it was right up my ally. Smooth grappling and fun submissions. If Bolshoi worked like this more often and had stuck to it she would be among the very top tier of female workers. Sae is good mixing flying armbars against Bolshois more lucha esque style and I really liked her brief armwork, just trampling Bolshois arm as soon as she found an opening. Wouldn't mind to see this have gone longer but what do you know, Acute Sae retired just the same year.
  17. 2002 JWP was weird. Super low budget production with 1 camera and no lighting, but they are wrestling in this giant ring. This is kind of a dream match for me, and it was a lot of fun. They stuck to their bread and butter, which means flash submissions and counters. I would've liked this to be a little more competitive with actual mat exchanges, but it's a near miracle we even got a no bullshit singles match between the two on tape. Bolshoi was pretty dominant here, I guess because after floating around Michinoku Pro undercards Yagi didn't have much standing left, counter most of Yagis offensive attempts. I've seen Yagi push Yoshida to the limit and she still looked really athletic here, doing the Jaguar Yokota handspring and beautiful rollups, wish she had gotten to push Bolshoi a little too. But what we got was match full of the unique and nifty spots these two are famous for and it made me immensely happy.
  18. Reggie Bennett Sighting!!! While there was no ARSION matwork in this match, it was a really fun houseshow tag. The US gals added significant big/little psychology to the match. This was also a nice nuanced Devil performance, as she put over the massive physical advantage of the foreigners while retaining her own monster status by doing cool things such as selling her own arm and shoulder after landing a big lariat or breathing heavily after hitting a bodyslam. Bennett & Power looked good on offense aswell, hitting nice elbow drops, big powerslams etc. Match includes a sumo standoff and buildup to a vertical suple ex. Also thought the structure was good with Cuty being severely disadvantaged and Masami saving her repeatedly leading to a cool unique finish.
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