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Found 45 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Really cool match which saw the future Ran Yu-Yu trying to take down Kansai. Kansai was past her prime at this point but could still bring it and kick you in the face hellishly. She works nice, simple and snug and doesn't allow any sprint work, so this match was a nice change of pace for joshi. I'm a Miyaguchi fan as she has solid simple spots (stiff european uppercut, enzuigiri that kills, big Samoan drop) and she works well against Kansai here. There is some weirdness early on with Miyaguchi working some armbars on the arena floor and refusing to let go, but it lead to a funny moment where Kansai grabbed a random umbrella and used it to hook Miyaguchis leg. While the arm work ended up being not important I really liked Kansais selling of Miyaguchis subsequent leg attack and a few suitably great, well timed spots ensued. This had a good story, never got silly, was plenty violent and solid all the way through.
  6. Going I was expecting this to be a light hearted squash, but Sugar actually got to be fairly competitive with Kansai. Match had a little too much crowd brawling and thus felt less compact than it should have been, but Sato trying to cut Kansai down was pretty good. Kansai is far removed from her prime intensity, but still has some brutal kicks and suplexes in store. Dug the Sleeper Hold near KO and Kansai mocking Sato's attempts to attack her. This including absorbing kicks to her face and doing squats when Sato tried to work her leg.
  7. This had a GREAT opening with Kansai and Harley facing off only for Yamazaki to step in and smash Kansai into the guardrails. Those guardrail bumps are about the manliest thing. This was a fast paced workrate tag, but another piece in Kansai/Saito rivalry with plenty of boss exchanges between the two. They meander at times and I dislike how Kansai would no-sell all the clever work that Yamazaki and Saito were doing. Ah well, Saito sells well enough and Yamazaki stepping up and kicking Kansai in the face is pretty much the greatest thing. Unpredictable match with lots of well timed transitions. I have no idea whether other folks can warm up to this type of stuff but I'm really enjoying it.
  8. Well you look at this matchup and you go „These are 4 ladies who are not afraid to hit hard and get hit hard in the ring.“ And you are correct. This had plenty of asskicking, but I would've liked them to fire it up a little more and bring that trademark intensity Kandori is famous for. Maybe it was cause they were working a title match so they wanted to keep things cool. Anyways this had enough good stuff to keep you entertained and they delivered another strong finish. They worked the match in such a way that you couldn't tell when and what the finish was gonna be and it paid off with that ending. Not as epic as it could have been, but then the baseline for JWP matches is fairly high and this would be a standout match on any other promotions card.
  9. The first half or so of this was just amazing and easily the best JWP tag I've ever watched. They basically did away with all the cute stuff and just went for the kickpadded joshi version of a Choshu/WAR tag. The Kansai vs. Saito/Kandori interactions were just magic. Stiff blows, lack of cooperation, flash submissions, general frantic pace... this may be my favourite style of wrestling. Kandori had superstar written all over her here as she had amazing presence, disdainfuly kicking Scorpion in the face and standing toe to toe with Kansai. The second half drifted more into a different territory, whichwas still solid, but I was hoping for the sparks to fly a little more of that opening. It was basically a WAR tag that turned into an AJPW tag, and I like the WAR style better. Still, they pulled through with a good story as Saito and Kandori worked a good underdog+major badass team. Saito and Kansai kept brawling after the finish, keeping me excited for their further interactions throughout the year. Ah screw it, this is still the best JWP tag by a landslide so far.
  10. This was one of the stiffest matches I've ever seen. Lots of sickening street fighting kicks to head of the downed opponent. I imagine if this had more intelligent transitions and build it would've been a strong match. The early going is fun with near KOs and submissions, but they lose their way and start trying to build to their powerbomb finishers, but not really doing a good job at it. I did like Kansai's leg trip and upkicks and they kept delivering stiff shots to keep me entertained, but Kansai's eventual comeback was poor and they ran out of (good) ideas. Also, funny moment where Chigusa is struggling not to botch a powerbomb and cripple her opponent.
  11. This is the finals of the UWA title tournament. In a way this feels like an early Misawa/Kawada match, two young workers having a somewhat basic match upgraded to epic format, while adding their own touches. This is different from the get go, as they start slow on the mat and really work to establish their roles. I don't know whether to call this a match that is extremely unlike joshi, or extremely JWP. There certainly is something really cool about the style they are working, as they mix bridge spots and sunset flips with the brutally stiff shots Kansai is known for (and Harley steps up to her level). The pace was almost like a niggly european bout, as they would stick to wrestling, but occasionally there would be an explosion. Kansai starts the fun, but whiffs on a dropkick and Saito pounces on her with a series of kicks and knees in the corner that would've done Kawada proud. Of course this does not end well for little Harley and soon after Kansai is cracking her with kicks and chairshots. This sets up the rest of the match for Harley refusing to quit despite being in a grueling battle. I could see some people not being overly in love with the generic title match layout for this match (there's even rollup exchanges at one point), but I thought Harley was a phenomenal underdog here and the style they used was awesome. Great match, Harley really should've been a bigger star.
  12. Hahaha, I just noticed Kansai comes out to Conga. „My themesong is goofy latin pop, now watch me brutalize girls with my unpulled kicks.“ This was shockingly good for a Sawai match – it starts fun with Kansai taking one of the hardest guardrail bumps I've ever seen (scaring the audience in that section good) before Sawai works a fun control segment, using chokes and a spinning body scissor. They get into stiff slapfights and trading headbutts on the ground and this is pretty cool big girl wrestling. Kansai takes over with her badass kick to the throat and then methodically works over Sawai's back with headbutts and brutal kicks to set up her Scorpion Deathlock. However Sawai makes another comeback, this time bloodying Kansai by ramming her head into the steel ringsteps. Kansai is selling big and making desperate comebacks now and Eagle continues to work the cut with punches. Sawai impresses me by selling a good deal herself, acknowledging the work on her back from earlier. They do these spots where one girl goes for a suplex and other twists in mid-air to crush her with her weight, which look double cool because these two are chunky. I felt the match was building to a bigger crescendo than we got, but then again this was only the semi final. Still, quite good match for what it was, and I could see this being considered a classic if it happened in a US fed.
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