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Found 10 results

  1. Really great interpromotional match that's seems to have slipped under the radar. A big dynamic is that Aja treats Eagle Sawai relatively respectfully. Kyoko Inoue on the other hand, is totally contemptuous of Leo Kitamura. Maybe she's offended at Leo having a similar aesthetic with the facepaint, right from the start of the match Kyoko refuses a handshake and beats the hell of her. It's about as sadistic as I've ever seen Kyoko in this era. The Aja vs. Eagle segments are the best part of the match and what the crowd are really hot for. They do a great job of doing enough to make the match satisfying without feeling like they're giving away a singles match. ****1/4
  2. Yes, it‘s Kandori taking on 5 girls in a row. It may sound preposterous on paper, but it ends up totally working in practise. You can talk about how this may have buried half the LLPW roster, but realistically only Saito and Handa have a chance of lasting longer than 5 minutes against Kandori here, and both are smartly placed at the beginning and end of the match. This first match up is Kandori vs. Saito. I was worried about this, thinking Kandori might squish Saito, but they had a fierce competitive match. Both went for the kill right out of the gate and it was intense stuff. Saito belted Kandori with her signature hard kicks and Kandori fired back with her stiff offense and flash submissions. It was reminiscent of their classic 1990 encounter, not quite on that level, but it was damn good shit. Saito ends up pushing Kandori to the limit and Kandori wins on a fluke. Pretty interesting way to start the match. Instead of a power start Kandori just went through a fierce 18 minute match against Saito and she looks pretty beaten up already. Nagashima comes in next. She‘s a rookie at this point so she does rookie stuff. She flies right at Kandori with a big dropkick and gets in some hip attacks, but Kandori snatches a half crab and almost rips her in half for the tap after about 1 minute. So now everyone remembers Kandoris submissions are really dangerous, and in retrospect Saito looks tougher for surviving them. GAMI comes in next. It looks like Kandori wants to be nice to her and challenges her to a grappling match. They do about a minute of cool grappling before GAMI decides to stomp on Kandoris face and hit a pretty nasty knee slide. Big mistake as Kandori flips out and beats the shit out of her. GAMI lasts a bit longer and can get in some offense on Kandori – making you respect her – but falls to a nasty powerbomb pretty fast. Leo Kitamura is #4. And Kandori is looking pretty spent now. I don‘t think Kitamura has ever looked threatening in a match, but damn she looks threatening now. She has the night of her life taking it to Kandori, trying to roll her up and hitting nasty looking elbows. Kandori catches her in a sleeper and she‘s fighting for dear life, and – the bell rings? Oh, this match had a 30 minute time limit? Kandori says she‘s done here, call it draw, but Leo is pissed off. Kandori seems to leave, but Kitamura gets on the mic and says something that causes her to come back. The match is restarted and Kitamura is going even harder at Kandori now, but Kandori keeps surviving until she‘s able to lock in a nasty chickenwing that fucks up Kitamuras shoulder. You did your best, Leo Kitamura, but Kandori was in beast mode that night. The last one in the match is Miki Handa, and she goes for the kill out the gate dropping Kandori fat missile dropkicks and germans. Kandori looks done, but Handa misses an elbow. Now Kandori is all hitting crazy Fujiwara armbars from angles and just working like a wounded beast trying to tear someones shoulder out. Handa isn‘t much special but she can drop bombs and sell desperation. 44 minutes in and Handa ends up losing on a technicality and Kandori just walks away not giving a fuck while Handa looks on the verge of tears. Post match Hokuto and her crew come in to wreak havoc, and we get a face off between her and Saito. This match was pretty unique and honestly great, if you can stomach watching something different. But Kandori looked like an absolute monster here destroying people left and right hich is what you want to see, and while she looked beastly she had to work hard for her wins, so you end up respecting everyone coming out of this.
  3. This is intense from the very beginning as Hokuto hits a big backbreaker, crushing her own knee and at the same time setting up the back work on Kazama. Lots of Hokuto kicking the shit out of Kazama's spine ensues, landing every basic move with some extra pissed offness until kickpadded Kazama comes back kicking her in the face and then gives back some by attempting to kick Hokuto's leg out of her leg. The result feels obvious but Kazama gets some fun offense and surprise nearfalls in on Hokuto. This felt like it could've been better, but Kazama looked good selling and kicking the hell out of Hokuto, and I guess keeping the hierarchies intact was more important for them.
  4. I had no idea what to expect going into this, since it's Kandori close to her last hurray, this being the finals of a 1 night tournament, and I've never heard of anyone mentioning any great Kandori performances in the 2000s. This ended up being just awesome though and exactly what it should be. It's basically Satomura brutalizing Kandori from the get go with the kind of nothing-held-back kicks you wouldn't expect a 43 year old lady to take. Kandori was damn great here as the aging legend trying to pull out one last trick. She came in with a bandage over her forehead with a cut and bruises underneath and takes some absolutely disgusting kicks to the skull. The spot where she goes for a headbutt only to end up hurting herself was a pretty great "aging warrior is surprised at her lost toughness" moment. This was obviously striker vs. grappler, which can be predictable, but that wasn't the case here as they timed and milked all the submission spots really well. Satomura is basically all kicks here, just trying to put Kandori down for good, basically coming forward constantly until she got trapped, she also he some great selling of her damaged equilibrium after eating some nasty lariats and palm strikes. I'm honestly amazed I haven't ever heard this brought up before (it didn't even come up in Ditchs Best of Japan poll IIRC), I thought this was really both these legendary asskickers working a great 11 minute sprint up there with the best of them in wrestling history.
  5. Some gentleman on YouTube is uploading random obscure joshi shows, so we get more great Kandori/Hotta sections. This was pretty great and if you added 10 counts you'd have a high end BattlARTS match. Hotta & Maekawa were just ruthless here as they would attempt to pulverize their opponent with kicks aimed at the face and head whenever they found an opening. And they really emphasized the striker vs. grappler matchup here as the LLPW team used almost no strikes. The beginning is 100% already, Endo rushes Hotta and tries to land punches from the mount, but a few seconds later she eats a punt to the eye and gets just destroyed from there. Kandori was in the Tenryu role as the tough asskicking boss, drawing amazing reactions with STARES and GESTURES. There were also plenty of great reversals courtesy of her, including turning a sleeper hold into an STO. Also, Kandori choking Hotta unconscious after she made repeated saves was such a simple, great spot that really should be used more often. This was also the best I've seen Maekawa look as she was basically all flashy kicks that landed. I liked that when she missed an especially flashy kick, she just immediately kicked her opponent in th face. Endo didn't look too great but proved she was worth her salt by grappling it out. Awesome match, pro wrestling isn't the same these days anymore.
  6. It's the 25th Anniversary of AJW's super show: All Star Dreamslam! Or just Dreamslam is OK too The crown jewel of the interpromotional joshi era and the showcase for Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori. Its a joshi match for people who hate joshi.Just everything one could hope for in a wrestling match. Stiffness, mat wrestling, counters, blood, highspots and so on...all punctuated by a great finish. Akira Hokuto is excellent and Kandori is her perfect foil in this match. But! There are other great matches as well! Aja Kong & Bull Nakano vs Eagle Sawai & Harley Saito (LLPW team): Super stiff & throughly enjoyable match. If it would have been a bit longer it would have been better. I don't think there was any doubt of Kong & Bulll losing so, it was impressive to see the LLPW team kicking out of some great moves. So, maybe it ended appropriately. Re-watch: Yeah this is still a really fun match because the LLPW team are such underdogs. I mean even little execution problems are ok because it works in the story- they are not top tier wrestlers but dammit they're gonna do whatever they can to score an upset. Aja & Bull seem to really enjoy working with some fresh blood too. I mean you can just see it on their faces, especially Bull, when she does her suicide dive. I was like "Yeah this is the Bull Nakano that I love!" That & she's 20-30lbs. lighter here than in 1995. She even breaks out a tumbleweed leg drop IIRC. I'd like to see Harley Saito again too. She was impressive and worked well with Aja & Bull who can be difficult because of their frames. Yumiko Hotta vs Dynamite Kansai (JWP team): Brutally stiff match, great begining which tapers off in the middle because both women seemed to have their bearings kicked loose. Still there are some good portions and the ending is just as brutal with Hotta delivering some Dr. Death-esque suplexes. The ending was pretty good but I'm not sure if the 3 count was accurate hmmm....great nonetheless. Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota vs. Combat Toyoda & Megumi Kudo (FMW team): A total change of heart with this one. I've seen a fair bit of Joshi since my initial viewing. There's no way this is a 3 star match as I've seen some rate it. In my first viewing I guess I didn't give much credit to Kudo & Toyoda. Ok so they're not Kansai/Ozaki but, that doesn't make this bad. It's refreshing as Kudo is kinda the budget version of Ozaki and Combat Toyoda is acolyte of the punk chicks like Bull, Aja, and Bison. Team FMW's offense isn't terribly impressive but is really effective Joshi fair. Another thing of note: I'm less "wow'd" by Manami Toyota in singles competition because she is predictable pulling out her spots. When she's in the ring, it's "offense" time & then its time when she's "waiting to be on offense." But! It works in a tag team because her crazy moves help get her out of a tough spot, or her go-go no selling is explained away by "recovering" on the apron. Yamada is also the yin to her yang in terms of offense too. She works holds, she has variety in her kicks, etc. If Toyota can be guided (not "carried" though!) she can be awesome AND she was guided in this match for sure (although she did blow one spot pretty bad...with a slip off the rope). FMW had her ass in a sling by just busting out the weirdest stretches and most impactful double-team moves. In total this was a great match with believable near falls, saves, and intensity. The interpromotional stuff is just fantastic! If you're looking to get into women's wrestling but, the current stuff still looks a step down from the men's division, check this show out! It made me a convert
  7. I'm starting to wonder how these two workers ever got a dubious rep. I've myself dismissed Hotta during the GWE discussion but I will say she is pretty good when not compared to the Top 100 workers ever. Both workers stuck to their strengths here so naturally it was good. It was a slow paced bout, but in my opinion the good kind of slow pace for this type of simple, brutally violent battle.They were wise enough not to go outside the ring or do extended holds. Instead, Kandori brings the flash submissions and takedowns which are over, while Hotta brings the face shattering stiff kicks. I think Hotta was way lower on the totem pole here than Kandori, so she makes up for it by absolutely abusing her with painful kicks. Goodness gracious what a beating. At one point, she did the spot where she ties Kandori into a tree of woe so she can soccer kick her more easily. Kandori tries to climb out of the position and Kandori gets onto the ropes to kick her in the eye again. Kandori tried a lot of different stuff and Hotta came across as a fighter with a very limited, but extremely devastating arsenal. Kandori eventually responds by ripping a bandage off of Hotta's face and repeatedly taped fist punching and toe kicking her in the bloody eye and this match is ON. They do a ton of bomb throwing for the finish like they always do in these japanese girl wrestling matches, but these two have pretty brutal bombs and there were enough interesting touches to keep me interested. Altough there were definitely a few moves that felt forced in. But nevermind that you will want to watch this for the WAR like brutality.