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  1. This is a fun match; which is kind of a disappointment, because there is no reason for these two not to produce a minor classic together, or atleast something close to as good as Aja/Ohmukai. Especially since it's one of a small handful of televised singles matches between the GAEA veterans of the year. I'm as big of an Aja Kong as the next guy but her approach was pretty bread and butter here as she kind of no sold Yamadas kicks early on and went to her standard brawling. They worked hard in the 2nd half including lots of great finisher teases and a big dive from Aja. Still I would've liked something with a deeper story.
  2. Here's a rare creature – a slow paced GAEA match. Yamada looked really good dominating with her superior striking early on and Kaoru would only get minuscule offense. A superplex and sleeper spot end up being important and setting up the stretch run. Both sold well down the stretch and KAORU avoiding Yamadas finisher was really good. I wasn't sure how these two would click in a singles match but they did just fine.
  3. Heavily BattlARTS inspired girl wrestling with plenty of brutal kicks, suplexes and flash submissions to entertain you. Yamada looked excellent and her exchanges with Satomura were probably some of the most violent of the year. Kato does not sell on the level of the other women and there were some weak moments, but nothing to detract from the bout in a major way. There was also some fun games around the young girls refusing to tag out which would or would not backfire on them. KAORU held up her end and the finishing run between Satomura & Kato was loaded with cool exciting counters.
  4. Really good tag action which was basically built around 2 dynamics. First, you had Satomura & Kato trying to chop down Yamada, who would cut them off with vicious kicks and suplexes. Yamada looked adorably like a middle aged mother in 1998, but still had some of the most brutal offense around. The sections with Kaoru were centered around her just getting smothered while Yamada would run in to save her by kicking people in the face like a BattlARTS tag. Some really cool spots built around a Sleeper Hold amongst other things. Match had focus and did not overstay it's welcome while delivering plenty of high end offense, which is what you want from joshi.
  5. WOW! First of all: how fucking cool was Toshiyo Yamada in this match? Nobody ever talks about what Toshiyo Yamada was up to in the late 90s. She had a normal haircut here and with her bumblebee outfit looked like a Kill Bill character who prepares lunch for her kids and then goes to kick yakuzas in the eye. She was just a killing machine here as she was braining the other women with kicks to the skull left and right. Her timing was fantastic as you could basically track the crucial moments in the match to Yamada recklessly thrust kicking someone in the throat or the back of the head. Next is Aja Kong. I've said it like 15 times, but it's amazing that she goes in and you think "okay, this is her usual spiel" but still looks like a total force. I didn't like the brawl at the beginning, but for the rest of the match Aja was a wrecking ball. The most spectacular about Aja was how non-chalant she was about it all, casually abusing Meiko or walking up to Yamada and cracking her with a trash can like she goes to grab coffee in the morning. Then, Meiko and Amano. For a pair of relative newbies they got to look great. Just really breathtaking athletic workers with innovative ideas that they pulled off great, and a ton of fire to keep them going. Right at the bell they go at eachother with stiff headbutts like wild animals, fast and crazy exchanges. They both take big beatings and get stretched and fire back as is their role, and Meiko shows a lot of disdain especially when she takes the time to kick the shit out of Carlos before making the hot tag. Carlos was a little subdued in the middle portion but really came unglued during the big stretch run where she busted out all these Mysterio-ish counters, spinning into wild submission counters as if she was weightless. The opening of the bout may have been a little standard, but they kept the match getting better and better, and everyone looked fantastic during the finishing stretch. This was a long match from a smaller show and a pretty much just a damn good take at japanese tag formula wrestling.