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Found 90 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. This was the 6th of 8 matches at AJW's final Wrestling Queendom. Right off, Ito hits a German suplex and we get table spots from both women. None of this matters though, these spots and all the submission holds get no sold until Ito smashes Toyota's leg in the railing. This is the first part of the match that feels like they're actually going anywhere with a story and any kind of selling. Toyota's boot even gets taped out on the floor by her team after a bunch of big moves. But Jesus Christ, I wish Ito knew another leg submission besides a single leg crab, Toyota has to sit in like 10 of these in this match. And so many footstomps! Toyota definitely has some Sabu moments in this match as well, like almost completely missing that first table spot and crotching herself setting up a diving missile dropkick and Ito has to wait around to eat it. Ito missing the diving footstomp to the floor sets up the finish with a ton of big moves. Since this was a 30 minute time limit, the match is being teased as time limit draw, but Ito wins with a screwdriver-like move at ~29:30. I thought this match was mediocre. Ito was on offense a lot, and her offense, is...not good. So many half-crabs, so many stomps, it just made the majority of the match feel like filler.
  3. Are you like me and remember important dates in wrestling? Its almost like they are holidays or birthdays for friends past. You're not necessarily celebrating anything but, when the day comes, it feels a little special. Its like the numbers in that particular combination mean something to you and a few others. For everyone else, its just a Thursday. That brings me to today, May 7th or as I have it burned into my brain 05/07. Twenty five years ago AJW's Manami Toyota and Kyoko Inoue had an hour long draw that earned 5 stars from Dr. Dave Meltzer. Ironically, it was probably one of first disappointing big Joshi match I had seen. It was one of the few lauded classics that didn't live up to the praise. As I've watched more AJW since then, I think '95 in general is when AJW started to begin its decline. Don't be mistaken, there are some really great matches and shows in '95. I think the Toyota-Inoue hyper style was becoming the main event norm and 1995 was the break out year. This May match then, the August 08/30 Double Inoue vs Toyota/Sakie 2 out of 3 falls 5 star match are the two major "classic bouts" that both earned big praise and are minor disappointments. I really do digress...05/07 still sticks with me because, while not a 5 star all time classic, it really is a wrestling tour de force. Both women wanted to show that they were not only the best women wrestlers but, the best wrestlers period. I really would recommend watching this if you're into current Joshi or US women's wrestling. Here's my review of the match and whole show. Yumi Fukawa vs. Yoshiko Tamura -Pretty basic beginner style match. Fukawa (I think) won with 2 consecutive body slams. Tamura was better in execution but Fukawa did a headscissors takedown from one of Tamura's scoop slams and it was pretty cool. Midget Death Match: Atsushi Obuddha (Buddhaman) vs. Tsunokake. -Even without knowing more than 5 Japanese words, this was damn funny. It really goes to show the universality of physical comedy and parody. AJ Junior Title: Chaparita ASARI vs. Nobue Endo (Saya) -An advanced beginners match was marked with ASARI rolling out a couple crazy spin/flip moves for the win. Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa vs. Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Ito & Rie Tamada. A bit rocky in the beginning but the pace was great throughout and it was quite exciting. Could've been better executed at times though. The proper beginning of the show with Takako/Mariko as the focus. ***3/4 Aja Kong & Reggie Bennett vs. Lioness Asuka & Bison Kimura. - It was a very neat match but nothing spectacular other than Aja brutalizing Bison. Bison's quite a fox in this one too despite getting a bloody nose from the spinning back fist... ***1/2 Minami Retirement Memorial: Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs. Las Cachorras Orientales. A great AJW style tag match with Minami being in the majority of the match. Hotta was minor in her role...I'm not sure this was because it was Suzuka's retirement match or what. Still it was very exciting and I really wasn't sure who was going to win. Really emotional too which is nice to see. LCO were pretty good here in their berserk heel mode giving Suzuka a tough retirement match. ****1/4 3 Minute Exhibition Match: Marine Wolves vs. Bull & Hotta. For a 3 minute match, this was awesome and actually resembled a match and gave an opportunity for the Marine Wolves to shine one last time. WWWA World Singles Championship: Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue. This is a gruelling sixty minutes of Joshi action. It was a bit unwise to let two sprinters run the long race since they got injured relatively early. Still if you had to pick two wrestlers from AJW to go 60 minutes it would be these two. They're so full of energy that just when you thought they crapped out they would have a burst of action. The real complaint here is that the quality of the execution suffered as the match progressed. Still it's to be expected and really was quite excusable . Still you can't give something this flawed 5 stars by using the match as an out. Still probably one of the best 60min. draw I've ever seen ****+ Thanks for reading! The 2nd day of the wXw 16 Carat show has been watched and the notes just need to be typed up. Hoping for tomorrow...in the meantime watch some Women's wrestling! Take care!
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