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Found 15 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. Much more compact, better version of the previously reviewed match. Kandori was so fun as a dominant force here, and you got the sense Ozaki & Kazama were pushing hard to contain her. The Kazama/Kandori interactions were foreshadowing the future Kandori/Hotta matches. Kazama is no Yumiko Hotta, Daisuke Ikeda, Koki Kitahara level ass stomper, but when it was time to be a woman she stepped up and kicked Kandori in the face. Kandori was using a half crab as a finisher at this point, which sounds lame but the way she cranks in that half crab you buy it forcing a tap. Ozaki looked good doing some slick wrestling and while Saito was subdued but she is more than solid in her „run in and kick the hell out of whoever is in the ring“ role. Some nifty spots and a funny finish. 
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Long, excellent main event to make up for that shite midcard. These two had really gotten the hang of how to beat somebody up and make it look good while at the same time selling the punishment received, and they built a really good match around these qualities. It reminded me a bit of an AJPW style match rather than typical joshi, with a slow pace and some cool move progressions. Sawai stuck to her rough housing tactics which issomething she did really well at this point, but Harley was determined to lay an epic beating on her opponent. Really punishing contest with Saito teeing off on Sawai with rapid fire kicks and both girls using some grinding holds. The finishing run was not as great as the body of the match but not huge detriment. It could've used few more ideas but opinions on that will vary. They did a really good countout tease and then packed it up to end the match in style. Quality match, which shows Sawai could go and once again Harley Saito being the real deal.
  9. This is an amazing match; not just by far the best JWP match I've seen probably ever, but in the top 5-10 of the finest women's single matches I can remember. What made this outstanding was that what they did was stylistically state of the art, mixing 80s NJPW-like shootstyle/wrestling hybrid with something resembling a classic title match, and emotionally captivating: right from the get go there is a ton of disdain, uncooperativeness, and another fantastic underdog performance from Harley. So this is like a joshi version of Fujinami/Maeda, without the blood and more outright hatred. Kandori is naturally really good at grabbing flash submissions and they use their holds really well, while Harley was bringing the violence with her kicks – there are a few moments where she is contorting her body to get out of Kandori's holds and then proceeds to kick Kandori in the face and ear repeatedly. It was awe inspiring. Kandori gives her back some raining angry shots down on her smaller opponent too, and with some of the uncooperative moves, stiff shots and flash subs here I was thinking I was watching some sort of Tenryu/Hashimoto/Fujiwara showdown. Another cool thing is how they interweave their shootstyle stuff with more traditional wrestling, they were working shoot kicks and flash armbars one minute, and then neck bridges and small packages. The rollups make really good nearfalls because JWP was booking a lot of rollup finishes, and thanks to that they can build to big section of 2,99999s for the ending run that doesn't have that big move spam. Some incredibly well timed spots, and there is one false finish that is executed in a way I can't recall seeing in many other wrestling matches, which sets up another angry Kandori comeback to the keep the crowd behind Harley. I mean, watching what they did here felt like the stuff that is missing from so many wrestling matches, they had the folks at Korakuen hall flipping out for a small package or fall-on-top counter. Really great match that delivered beyond expectations, considering this is Kandori years before coming into Superstardom and Saito who was almost completely under the radar (RIP, you magnificient gem). Mindblowing that you can still find shit as good as this in 2017 that has apparently never been talked about.
  10. 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.
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