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  1. I remember being really stoked when Ayako Hamada, Awesome Kong and Cheerleader Melissa joined TNA for a brief time. Women's wrestling was actually the best stuff they had at that time. Hamada seemed to be a big deal to me as I was really getting into Joshi at the time and seeing a legit Joshi wrestler every week was pretty cool. Her and Cheerleader Melissa had an awesome match..maybe a hardcore match or something. Anyway, I never really got too see too much of her stuff in Japan. There's a couple below that are re-watches from maybe 10 years ago. Most are brand new to me. Let's get started! Ayako Hamada & AKINO vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (ARSION 12/11/1999): I really don't want to analyze what made it so special to me but it was so just damn intense and engaging. I'll do my usual qualifying statement that I was brought up an ECW and FMW and that's not everyone's cup of tea. Mita and Shimoda are in full hardcore wrestling mode here. They are some of the best at the style. This is another feather in their caps. This I think puts AKINO & Hamada on the map in my estimate. A brutal emotional all time classic. Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 4/21/2001) - Very good stuff here. I really enjoyed Mariko stretching Ayako in the beginning. It seems that Yoshida or maybe Arsion here is more traditional Joshi instead of the grappling focused stuff it was 1998-99. I'm OK with that. If anything it shows Mariko's versatility. Hamada is excellent here in terms of her execution. I'm not 100% on how she sold Yoshida's Koji Clutch finisher after she was released. Although she looked positively out of it while locked in it. So I give her a B+. I think the structure was a bit weak and that's what held the bout back from being a great one. Nevertheless, it was very entertaining. Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (AKINO) (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Title, 6/9/01): Very good match but weirdly booked as the baby faces wrestled sorta as heels but the heels LCO were put into a sympathetic position, getting jacked up and bleeding for a good portion of the fight. Of course they make a comeback but why does anyone want to see a heel team make a gutsy comeback. Its the reverse of the 1999 classic. It's not as awesome in part because of this but also its kinda a small crowd. What doesn't suck is the actual wrestling. That stuff is fantastic and that still makes this a really good match. Mita piledrives Hamada through a table! ----- Ayako Hamada vs. Michiko Ohmukai (Queen of Arsion Title, 7/3/01 Tokyo): Very good match. Lots of really cool submission moves and double blood. It felt like it lacked a distinction structure or direction. Or you know if they would have kicked it up a notch it might not have seemed that way. It lacked a distinct final third where they went for the absolute kill. I'd say low end very good like maybe ***1/2. ----- Ayako Hamada vs. Emi Motokawa (7/21/01): I actually liked this match as a whole better than the above bout. It was more basic but I also feel the Emi is more fundamentally sound than Michiko Ohmukai. Emi reminded me of someone trained in AJW, if that makes sense. A very good match, under 13 minutes but it was pretty enjoyable stuff from bell to bell. A great counterpoint to the above match...shorter but always moving, always fighting. No blood but no need to do that sometimes. Ayako Hamada vs. Mikiko Futagami (GAMI) (Queen of Arsion Title, 7/29/01): Some of the shenanigans at the beginning were in character for the GAMI persona (I got that from reading Jetlag's Match Discussion post here on PWO). The part where she used the title belt and hit Hamada and did a pile driver on it seemed silly. I mean I guess the ref doesn't mind the weapon use but he won't count Hamada as down for a 10 count either. I've seen this before but don't care for it. Slows the match down to a halt. Here its the only real drawback to the match. Everything afterwards is really good stuff. There's a couple flubs but they actually work in the context of the match. They aren't so totally blown that you feel sorry for the wrestlers, you know what I mean? They are just flubs, they recover instantly and move forward (wisely not trying the exact same move immediately after). If the crowd was vocal (and its a bigger crowd), I don't think any of this would have been noticeable. It's your stereotypical quiet Japanese crowd though. I've said too much and you're not going to watch this because who doesn't want to only watch flawless matches? Well screw that, this is a lot of fun and a very good match. Nothing wrong with a couple bumps in the road. ----- We are going to skip ahead in time a fair bit. Let's take a look at some of her matches in Shimmer. Giant thanks to Shimmer for posting these. I'll share them here. Sara Del Rey & Madison Eagles & Daizee Haze & Nakagawa vs. Serena Deeb & Cheerleader Melissa & Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (SHIMMER 09/12/10): This was a really fun 8 woman tag match with everyone being showcased. I thought Sara Del Rey and Hamada looked the strongest in charisma, execution and intensity. Sara Del Rey & Madison Eagles vs. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada (SHIMMER 43 10/02/11): Well we can call this a rematch sort of. That's the story I am going with Dave Prazak lays it all out for us. This is for the tag belts too. And you know what, this was awesome! All kinds of action from bell to bell. Again Del Ray and Hamada are best but Eagles and Kurihara are great teammates. Really good heel/baby face dynamic but never too much b.s. from the heel team. It's definitely a blast to watch. Exciting finish too! Kana vs. Ayako Hamada (SHIMMER 50 10/27/12): Very good hard hitting match. It's not more than an exhibition style match but they really lay into each other like you'd see in Japan. Very nice counters by both women. I really thought it ended a couple minutes sooner than it should have. It seemed to only be getting into real high gear. So again, exhibition match but absolutely worth your time. In fact, you might like it more than me. This was a really fun project that exposed me to more Arsion as well as Shimmer. The '99 tag is probably the best match I've watched in awhile and is clearly a must see for Joshi fans. It's online for you to view - thank you! The Shimmer matches are right there so you gotta watch at least one. I liked the tag best but you might want to see Kana/Asuka and Hamada beat the crap out of each other. You'll be glad you did. Again this was a lot of fun. I watched way more than originally intended but am very happy to be watching Joshi again. Thanks!
  2. I've got a few New Years Resolutions and watching more Joshi is one of them. It's been a while so doing a spotlight on one of my faves Mariko Yoshida seems like a great way to get back into this style. As always, I'm cherry picking but here I'm omitting her stuff from 98-99 Arsion on purpose. I think I should do a separate post on that. Enjoy! Kyoko Inoue/Takako Inoue/Mariko Yoshida vs. Cynthia Moreno/Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda (AJW - 08/15/92) Great 6 woman tag match! Intensely fought from start to finish. Everyone was doing something at any point of the match. It get like each team truly wanted to score the victory. This is probably a better example of Shimoda and Mita performance than Yoshida but it is a really exciting start to this post. Kyoko Inoue vs. Mariko Yoshida (AJW 08/30/92) - This was an OK match. If you really like 10 minutes of half crabs, this is your match! Seriously, it was getting close to a SKIP but I fast forwarded to shorten the time killing half crabbing after watching 7-8 minutes. And the last 5 minutes are super exciting. Those final minutes totally save this but 5 minutes in a 15 minute match can't diminish the first 10 minutes of boredom...and I like "work a hold" wrestling. That is not Kyoko's strong suit. Mariko Yoshida vs. Manami Toyota (AJW 08/30/92) - Same night as above, not a typo. Lord reegrus! That was an awesome match! A classic and a great example of the high level that Yoshida was working at early on. Excellent work on offense and consistent selling of her arm pain. That and she very nearly matched Toyota's athleticism. She was less reckless with her body (good or bad). Yoshida was much better on the mat though and the holds were much more interesting and engaging than what Kyoko did. Toyota's work here was also pretty strong. Here in August 1992 these two were peers in my view. Yoshida very definitely is in the same class as Toyota, Inoue, Yamada, etc. at this time. I really strongly feel if injury did not sideline her, she would have moved her way up with them. What is bothersome is that she was kept down in the bookings after her return. I understand the company & the show must go on but it seems like AJW thought she would just get injured again. Perhaps that's true but also why she changed her style. Yumiko Hotta vs. Mariko Yoshida (AJW October 9, 1994) - A very good, almost great match. I would say most of that quality comes from Yoshida's gutsy performance. She utilized her aerial skills but her submission skills and toughness are what kept her in the fight with the brutal Yumiko Hotta. She did not back down and in fact opted to use strikes of her own against the hard hitting Hotta. Of course Yoshida got a bloody mouth for her trouble. Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito vs Manami Toyota & Mariko Yoshida (AJW 06/18/97) - A very good tag match. It was rough around the edges but it was acceptable since it was so brutal at times. Double foot stomps to the spine & Toyota trying to stomp Hotta's head like a giant grape are two memorable instances. Yoshida & Toyota brought the more interesting offensive maneuvers where Hotta and Ito's attacks were of the cringe inducing variety. They were just so stiff. Toyota had a taped cut that got reopened but I'd think she had some far worse internal damage. I'm not aware of a story they were trying to tell here but it was really enjoyable and the Toyota & Yoshida team was most interesting. Lioness Asuka vs Mariko Yoshida (Arsion 07/03/01) - This was a great fight that meshed grappling, brawling and big moves into one. I honestly would have liked to see more matwork early on but what was done was good. I got the point across that Asuka hadn't lost her wrestling skills with age or in her brawling/hardcore style change. They put the hurting on each other in this one. Hard fought and at 14 minutes+ and it could have gone on a few more and I'd have been quite happy. Our Hero Lioness = Bad Ass Check out Asuka's arm on the right ----- Manami Toyota vs Mariko Yoshida (Arsion 11/25/01) - This is a match that they could have done in AJW years earlier had the split not happened. In a way it wasn't too dissimilar than their match in 1992 at least in terms of parity. Sure Mariko was the submission queen at this point but Toyota wrestled this no different than she normally does. Maybe that's what hold this back from being great. She never really truly sells the damage that Mariko should be inflicting on her. Toyota wanted to get her shit in whereas Yoshida wanted to create some tension. Toyota just popping up afterwards doesn't totally ruin anything as she had been doing that for at least 6 years at this point. It would have helped make this a great big time match rather than just a very good one. I think this was a excellent way to get back into Joshi. It's been quite a long while since I've watched anything. That surprises me since I preferred it to men's wrestling for years but frankly there were some let downs in 1996 AJW that kinda soured me on it. I definitely will be watching more stuff prior to then- Late 80's-94 . I know I am missing out on some really good stuff especially JWP. I think I want to revisit Mariko Yoshida 98-99 also. It's been quite a long time.. I do have some 2000's stuff in mind to watch too so, it should be fun! Everything here is online and easy to watch except the Lioness fight. I have that on a DVD compilation. I highly recommend the 6 woman tag (its in the full 08/15/92 show), the Toyota fight from '92, the 1994 tag and the Lioness fight if you can find it. Those are all absolutely worth your time. Thanks for reading and happy 2023!
  3. The Big Stupid List of Great ARSION Matches 1998 Yumi Fukawa vs. Michiko Ohmukai (4/11) Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (8/31) Mariko Yoshida vs. Rie Tamada (4/17) Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Tiger Dream/Ayako Hamada (Twinstar Tag Final, 12/7) Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (8/31) Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada (8/31) Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (6/21) Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18) Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu (Queen of ARSION Title, 12/18) Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18) Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (5/5) Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (5/5) Candy Okutsu vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/17) Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada (8/9) Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai (8/31) Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (7/21) Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (12/18) Rie Tamada vs. Candy Okutsu (5/5) Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada (7/21) Best ARSION Matches of 1999 1. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (2/18) 2. Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (12/11) 3. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/14) 4. Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida (9/26) 5. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (5/4) 6. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino (1/17) 7. Mariko Yoshida vs. Yumi Fukawa (5/4) 8. Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (8/6) 9. Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (5/4) 10. Ayako Hamada vs. Mari Apache (7/25) 11. Mari Apache vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25) 12. Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Yumi Fukawa/Rie Tamada (7/25) 13. Mika Akino vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25) Comprehensive list of the Best ARSION matches of 2000. The really good stuff is in bold. Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (Queen of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo) Chapparita Asari vs. Mika Akino (Sky High of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Arsion ZION Tournament Finals 10/17) Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (SKY Tournament II Final, 7/16/00 Tokyo) Mika Akino vs. Mary Apache (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo) Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (8/18/00 Tokyo) Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask IV (P*MIX Grand Prix Semi-Finals, 6/29/00) Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask vs. Chapparita Asari/Great Sasuke (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/24/00) Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka vs. Mariko Yoshida/Alexander Otsuka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00) Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo) Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00) Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7) Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida (2/18) ARSION is such an interesting fed. Pretty much the joshi equivalent of BattlARTS with it's crossover style and tiny roster that they had to use efficiently. With this fed you get the ace run of the mighy Mariko Yoshida, a period of the work or Aja Kong or Lioness Asuka that doesn't get talked about much, and a handful of unexplored workers like Futagami or Rie Tamada that deserve some recognition. For this project I will go through the Best Of Arsion comp that is floating around and post my Top Matches for each year after finishing. Yes I know that's cherrypicking but for now I want to get the essence of it (judge a style by the best matches it produced etc) and compare to high end BattlARTS/RINGS/UWFi etc. If you know any essential ARSION that's not on the comp feel free to drop a comment. Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18) The first ARSION match. It is a very appropriate debut match. They mix the traditional joshi with lucharesu and tricked out submission work, and the whole thing has the flair of two overzealous young workers going all out to show the world especially with the bomb throwing at the end and Fukawa hitting those face-shattering moonsaults that nearly KO'd Candy. I give them a ton of credit because they really delivered a good match that sets the tone. They kept going back to the submissions and really had a hard fought battle to the very end that the crowd got into. Can't remember the last time I watched a „young workers showing the world“ match on this level. Side note, a Cagematch user mentioned that he went to a few ARSION shows and he felt that many guys there went for the pretty workers and the „product“ (apparently Arsion had lots of quality mags, posters etc. for sell) and not the wrestling, so Arsion matches had not as much heat as GAEA. It's not hard to see why especially with Okutsu wearing a ridiculous outfit that made her butt look gigantic but to their credit the wrestling was top notch and on the level of the presentation. Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18) Michiko Ohmukai was this skinny girl with supermodel looks who worked like Daisuke Ikeda. I have no idea why she's not famous. She threw all those reckless kicks and impressive suplexes and was like a magic ingredient for matches that made everything crazier. Here she slaps Aja right at the bell and Aja just smirks at her and then Ohmukai starts dropping her with those 50 yards football kicks. Hell of an opening for a match. They get into a slugfest like this fucking BattlARTS or WAR and I am in love with this. Then they settle down a little with Aja dominating on the mat through size and Ohmukai trying to topple her. I think Aja was kind of mailing it in in Arsion which is such a disappointment but this match hit all the right spots and was really good stuff like it always is when Aja has someone to work with who brings the fight to her. Aja Kong/Yumi Fukawa/Michiko Ohmukai vs. Candy Okutsu/Rie Tamada/Mikiko Futagami (2/18) They end the debut show with a chaotic fast tag team match where everyone runs in and hits their stuff. Kind of pointless main event as the previous matches had done a good enough job to establish everyone, but I guess they had to work around having such a tiny roster to work with. Everyone has had matches before that evening so the execution wasn't at 100% anymore. Fukawa almost fell on her head doing an asai moonsault and then hit another reckless one inside the ring like a lunatic. Aja had solid interactions with everyone and I always get a kick out of watching Futagami work, but this wasn't much. Mariko Yoshida vs. Rei Tamada (4/17) WOAH! Apparently this was the debut match of Mariko in ARSION. I was expecting something good, but this was far more than a formative bout. Rei Tamada, for a name that never gets dropped, looked damn impressive. The bout was built around establishing Yoshida's new, signature style, and her focus was to take it to the mat no matter what. Tamada was far more than a piece of luggage for Yoshida to chuck around, however. Tamada could roll on the mat and I really liked her determination to get the match into standing position. I want to emphasize the standing exchanges here were also really good. Tamada hit a mean elbow and tried her darndest to cut Yoshida of, who rolled one submission counter after another out of her sleeve. Even some of the fancier lightweight moves landed as if to shut a door. It created a kind of intensity that I really love in a wrestling match and this was just an absolutely fabulous contest. 3 real hits out of 4 so far. Pretty damn good start for the project. Stay tuned & maybe come out of the woodwork and comment if you are an old ARSION superfan.
  4. Lioness Asuka enters. Her License Number is 100! Yoshida is unimpressed and brings the fight right to the legend. Man, this dark looking Asuka is so different from the 80s Crush Gal. It's like some 80s pop star reinventing himself into a dark goth guy. I'd say this was a pretty good Yoshida signature match. Asuka gives an uncooperative & dangerous vibe so is a good match up for Yoshida's style. Altough she brought her own signature table to the match and tried some ECW shit that kind gave me a bad feel about her. Still Yoshida was a total trooper here taking a bunch of cringeworthy stiff shots from Asuka and working good submission nearfalls. Altough it is becoming noticable that move overkill is getting really out of hand in ARSION, seems the promotion is in it's death spiral, altough I'll see where it goes.
  5. Great Mariko Yoshida performance wasted on the slug that is Lioness Asuka. Honestly, at this point Asuka is sub-Takada level when it comes to dull japanese main eventers for me. Even her kicks blew in this. Yoshida was doing her submission master with dangerous punches thing on point and did a great job zoning in on Asukas leg. Of course, none of that submission master stuff was over with the crowd as the company had been pushing Yoshida into irrelevance for 2 years and Asuka was as unaffected as can be by all the leg work, punches and submissions and instead opted to shoe her table spots bullshit into the match. It's only fitting that the match basically turned into contest of who could no sell more and Lioness easily gobbled up the win after absorbing all of Yoshidas punches and finishers like nobodies business.
  6. Their previous matches were quick tournament finals, with Ayako as a huge underdog. Now, Ayako is the champion and they have their sights set on „epic“. Largely this match was pretty great, but there are some flaws. Yoshida dominating Ayako with submissions and punch combos still works perfectly, and these two still mesh really well. I thought Ayako's selling was great, and the spot that set up her dominance was both brutal and really smart. All of Ayako's stuff was extremely sharp and well timed. However, I expected a little smarter work from Yoshida in the last third of the match. Her selling was pretty spotty and she could've picked her offense a little better as the match progressed, as the previous urgency was a deflated a little. However, they redeem themselves with a great finish that was just fucking awesome pro wrestling. Anyways, this is one of the better and more interesting matchups japanese wrestling had in the store in the 2000s, and to be fair some of the flaws here are par for the course with lesser workers.
  7. Another tournament finale between Hamada and Yoshida. This is just a super match. Like god damn these two smoke any other junior in the world. The matwork is super, with Yoshida again fighting like an animal and catching everything Hamada tries. Aside from the crazy submissions you get Yoshida throwing punches and Hamada firing back with some really sharp and well timed offense of her own. Yoshida briefly works over Hamada's stomach a bit and while it wasn't the focus of the match, Hamada sold very well, same for Yoshida with her bandaged arm. Surprised this went only 11 minutes as it felt like a much bigger match.
  8. This was quite the badass little war. At this point they had matched up a few times, so to keep things interesting Mariko Yoshida had now started using GLOVES. Which means she absolutely goes nuts with stiff punches on Aja here to even things out a little. Aja also has a barrage of crazy stiff offense, altough that's nothing new. Still, she just ragdolled Yoshida around in ways that just had to absolutely suck and I winced at her brutal kick to Yoshida's hamstring. This had the usual cool matwork were Yoshida has to work hard in order to lock her holds on the beast that is Aja. Also really loved Aja's modified ankle hold here she just hugs and squeezes Yoshida's heel into her thigh. That is such an angry bear grappling move. This matchup is great everytime but this was especially compact, the selling was flawless and you get the usual neat, well timed, violent spots. Plus, punches to the face.
  9. Title match of some kind. The opening matwork was really good right away. It looked like Yoshida had come in with an injury to her right leg and Takako, the champion, was taking full advantage. Yoshida is really good at creating a sense of struggle from underneath. Once it's Yoshida's turn to work over Takako's back it loses something for me. Takako just isn't as good at working from underneath. Yoshida's selling while working over Takako's back is good too. Once they go to the nearfalls selling seems like it is thrown out the window. I do like that they get across how high risk moves can cost you, but given the time the match runs it seems a little rushed. Yoshida crashes and burns on a dive when Takako moves. Her knee is the focal point of her selling again, which makes me wish she hadn't forgotten it for that stretch. Takako kills her with 3 back suplex variations where Yoshida is sitting on her shoulder, then goes to the leg for the finish. Takako selling her back post-match as well, but it's a little late. Overall a good match with a strong layout that would have benefited from an extended run of offense from both after a missed high risk move and better selling by both. Give it 5 more minutes and extended selling of the back and leg during the offensive flurries and it would have been great.
  10. This is a 30 minute draw between two young workers. And it's actually good!!! Holy shit!! Mind you, at this point Mariko was a feisty quasi-luchadora who did beautiful rope climbing dives rather than ankle snapping submissions. And this was the type of match that could only happen between two particular workers, as they build almost Monterrey-like exchanges into a bonafide joshi epic. They start with lots of intricate fast arm drags mixed up with comedic spots that WORK because they fit into their exchanges. Yoshida accidentally monkey flipping the referee while in the middle of a battle of one up manship is way better than some hick comedian stopping the match to tell a joke. Kyoko Inoue was working a lot like Super Astro here and looking really spectacular doing fast walking on the ropes and chunky girl flips. Kyoko gains the advantage through her power and some literal cat and mouse ensues, before they tease ending the match early in a pretty hot section. They settle down again as Kyoko wrenches in a mean headlock and both try to gain the advantage on the mat before Mariko's taped shoulder gives out and she has to start battling her injury. I guess some could call the hold exchanging the weak point of the match, as it kind of gave away that they were gonna go long. On the other hand you gotta have some holds in a 30 minute bout PLUS I thought the whole thing was really well done and integrated. It also set up the Yoshida injured shoulder story, which ended up not being a huge deal but still added some character to the bout (and young Yoshida). Finally they get up and into a HOT finishing stretch that doesn't feature a lot of bomb throwing and instead is more technically focussed. Both girls go for pin combos and flying off the ropes, and they had some really cool stuff in their sleeves. Like said before Yoshida has the really great body press where she runs up the turnbuckle, and Inoue is the queen of the springboard moves. She uses them as game changers and just crushes Yoshida repeatedly with back sentons and dropkicks. My favourite spot was her just dropping down on Mariko when she tried to avoid the back senton. Yoshida has awesome dives in the middle of this epic section and holds her own really well too. The ending was picture perfect as seconds before the time runs out Kyoko goes for the big damn SWING before hitting her fat deadlift powerbomb for the sure win except she was 1 second too late. Pretty excellent match and easily the best pre-Spider Lady Yoshida I've seen.
  11. This is in the RealHero archive if you go to the GAEA section. Great little match. Not shootstyle at all, closer to lucha/IWRG if you ask me, as both of them just try locking in nutty submissions in on eachother, in between trading unpredictable shoot headbutts and punches to the face. Amano as a quick on her bare feet maniac grappler using her hard head as a battering ram really is awesome. I also loved her counter to Yoshida's finisher which would later be made famous in a certain UFC bout. Amano's quickness and inventiveness here was great, and her style fit Yoshida's like a glove. Perfectly good bantamweight 11 minute Ishikawa/Otsuka match.
  12. Hey!!! Bionic J is getting a push!!!! AWESOME!! Well, maybe not exactly a push, but she got a lot of focus in the match, which was cool. And this was a pretty good match as it was just 4 fun workers having fun exchanges and doing stuff they are good at. Jesse & Ohmukai are at a disadvantage early on, with Ohmukai even doing a convincing job selling (!!!) and they end up doing a cool section with Jesse as face in peril. Everything with Jesse ends up being so much funner than usual because she is a cool bullish powerhouse which adds something new to Yoshida's and Asuka's stuff. At one point, Asuka hits some really dainty looking kicks to J, so she just slaps her in the face hard! How's that you lazy old time wrestler coasting on your name! Jesse actually gets some fun powerhouse exchanges going wAsuka and they lay into eachother with big damn lariats, and Asuka who seemed to be half assing stuff started laying it in. I also really liked all the facepunchy boxing exchanges Yoshida and and Ohmukai dished out, channeling their inner Takeshi Ono's. Ohmukai keeps getting back to my goodside as she was in-offensive here aside from one bit where she was trying these insanely inaccurate spinning backfists. The dominance of the Yoshida/Asuka early on added a lot to the second half of the match, really making YOU flip out for Jesse Bennett taking it to the big names and getting big offense and nearfalls until Ohmukai pointlessly turns on her and the match ends in a schmozz. BOOOO! Still, you owe it to Jesse Bennett and yourself to watch this match. It's fine pro wrestling.
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