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Found 21 results

  1. This might be my top joshi match of the 80s at the moment. Crazy action with amazing character work (all four have distinct roles), heel vs. face dynamic and great heat. Up there with many of the acclaimed 90s joshi tags. ****1/4
  2. 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.
  3. Oooh baby. The highlight in this was of course Kansai and Saito pulverizing each other with thudding kicks. BattlARTSian rhythm at times. I was also shocked how well Madusa did here. I mean, I've liked her WWF stuff against Bull and so on, but she fit really well here, hitting her kicks on point, engaging in good exchanges, and nailing the submissions and suplexes. She looked better doing that hybrid shooter stuff and kicking Devil Masami in the chin than a lot of girls today with a much bigger fanbase. Speaking of Masami, she was energetic and played her usual role of the explosive powerhouse that will turn the match around by blasting someone with fat powerbombs and lariats if given the chance. This had more structure than the usual JWP tag, we get some hot opening exchanges, before some backwork on Saito is teased, then Masami helps her out and we get Kansai in peril instead. Masamis intrusiveness ends up backfiring later. The finish was a little cute but nothing offensive. Not quite the stone cold classic that the first couple minutes were hinting at but a far above average match nonetheless.
  4. 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
  5. This was just a tremendous match; great, intelligent, character driven pro wrestling and some brutal spots. This was probably Masamis finest JWP performance outside the Kandori match. It's also another great one for Yamazaki. Lord, is there any other veteran wrestler who has an unseen run as great as Yamazakis in JWP on tape? Her retiring before the interpromotional era is certainly a waste. This starts out fiery hot with some massive lariats and kicks thrown before a slowdown and then sprint again which involve Masami doing some pretty fun wrestling and Yamazaki looking super impressive. Masami ends up caught in a Figure 4 which sets up some really nice legwork and Masami finally doing a really good job selling vulnerability. They keep the nifty moments coming and Kansai & Kazama look impressive aswell mostly kicking the hell out of whoever is in the ring but also bringing some well timed spots of their own. Really well executed economic pro wrestling, the kinda match that was missing from joshi in the later 90s.
  6. This was an evenly matched 6 man tag sprint, so naturally it was good. Each team had a kickpadded vixen (Saito/Kazama), a somewhat nondescript young talent (Handa/Kitamura) and a heavyweight monster (Devil/Kansai). Altough they switched the pairings up constantly. The matchups weren't quite stretched out and there wasn't a big conclusion so it's below your higher tier of JWP tags, altough you had your usual goodness, stiff kicks and occasional clever spots. The highlight was easily the Masami/Kansai pairing. Devil had one of her better days and went the full mile here. She has the kind of commanding presence a 3 vs 3 tag needs and her performance here made me think she would kill it in Arena Mexico. Engaging the crowd through her mannerisms, bumping big and dishing out the big blows when it counts. There were also some brief Saito/Kazama exchanges and while Saito looked good it felt like a rehash from their previous matches and very brief. This was the kind of solid cruise control tag they could have in their sleep worth watching for Devil Masami giving the kind of performance that proves she still had some left in the tank by 1991.
  7. Borderline excellent character driven tag. This matchup really tells the story by itself, but I give them credit for going the extra mile and really emphasizing the dynamic constantly. You had Fukuoka, the non descript little mouse teaming with the juggernaut that is Devil Masami. So Yamazaki & Cuty are basically pushing Fukuoka, but when Masami comes in she dominates. Yamazaki & Cuty trying to outwrestle Devil and bouncing off of her is all kinds of fun (including Yamazaki hitting maybe the most logical sunset flip in history on Devil) and because Fukuoka is dependant on her partner to survive you get that constant intensity and nifty help spots. Yamazaki really shines in JWP because not only can she wrestle she adds a ton of character without being overly theatric. I've talked about Cuty resembling Arn Anderson and I was getting some dismissive Anderson Bros vibes from her team in how they threated Fukuoka, there was also some really nice armwringer work from Cuty altough she didn't go full bore like in her Scorpion matches. At one point Yamazaki just kicks Fukuoka in the mouth. When Fukuoka puts her in the Boston Crab it feels like a big moment and I love a match that makes me care about a Boston Crab. There was also an ultra gnarly piledriver which is sold like a fucking piledriver so that ruled too. Match didn't have a grand finishing run but there was absolutely no reason for this to go all epic. We do get the absolutely devastating Gorilla Press from Masami aswell as some fat powerbombs and another nasty dropkick finish. Cool character work and cool wrestling, this is what makes old JWP so worthwhile.
  8. Very good tag which was mostly built around the veteran team of Devil & Yamazaki rudo'ing it up and cutting off their younger opponents who were firing back with plenty of spunk. This was probably the best Devil has looked as she was quite the thrashing machine here throwing stiff headbutts and punches and dropping the girls with massive Gorilla slams and powerbombs. She did some cool „monster“ selling aswell and reminded me a bit of Andre. Yamazaki wasn't in the match much but she did work a few cool exchanges and she once again acting like an even girlier Takeshi Ono, running in to kick people in the head and stomp on their hands to break up submissions. Kazama was laying into folks with brutal kicks again and there were plenty of violent exchanges in the process. Kandori was probably the most subdued but it was established that she could end the match at any time so that resulted in a few neat moments. Really effective match with some strong double team work from Devil & Yamazaki and a clever finish.
  9. 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.
  10. This has a time limit of just a few minutes, so they go all out. This had the kind of intensity and emotional weight these retirement matches tend to have - still, some of the wrestling was as if Yokota was to scream she is retiring at the height of her game. Damn that stupid "retire at 25" rule. Yokota had some real determination to win this thing. After the match, a heated altercation between Jaguar and a younger girl (Chigusa?) ensues. Then all the lights go dark and Yokota is left to reflect on herself while "Soledao" plays. Amazing imagery. I wish they'd let Jaguar go out with a real bang but the pageantry here was magnificient regardless.
  11. The Weekly Pro Wrestling Tokyo Dome show was the biggest wrestling event of 1995, the most historic, and the Observer readers' choice for Card of the Year. So I figure it should be looked at. I didn't want to watch the whole card but enough matches look interesting and/or have a rep that I'm going to come close... The opening ceremony is pretty comical, with the cheesy glittering curtain and electric organ music. This is a 64,000-seat domed arena and it comes off like a local TV quiz show or Rotary Club banquet. Reviewing this matches may prove a little difficult, since by necessity they're sort of "out of context" and presented for outsiders rather than playing into ongoing storylines. So I hope I have something to offer besides "the usual fall-out-of-bed good match." But that's what this is. Good action showcasing all eight ladies with a neat finish. Kansai stood out as the match's best worker, as you'd expect, and Oz was disappointingly absent, or at least didn't really stand out. No one else did, though they all worked hard.
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