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So I'm still in lockdown here in the UK and I've been converting lots of joshi (and every once in a while, lucha and AJPW). I figured I should start journaling my thoughts on AJW. I think I have everything from El Jefe, Miguel Liger, and from Los Clasicos and La Hora Retro, plus some handhelds from 1990 and 1991. Youtube playlist for 1990 Yearbook is below and in progress. I know that AJW is definitely in a transition period with it being post-Crush Gals and not yet reaching the GOGOGO era. The red belt has been vacant for over three months (holy crap) since Lioness Asuka retired. Time to crown a new champion! First show - Tokyo Korauken Hall (1990.01.04) mixture of La Hora Retro and AJW TV Mima Shimoda (c) vs Kaoru Ito (AJW Junior Title Match) Pretty nothing match, good thing it's short. Manami Toyota vs Suzuka Minami This wasn't on the OG telecast. I didn't expect to see Toyota Pearl Harboring Minami coming, she doesn't even let the introductions or streamer collection finish. Starts off really fast, with a bunch of brawling and whips into the barricades. Minami eventually gains control and works on Toyota's leg and Toyota was selling it until, you know, she has to go on offense. Nothing but aerial moves, thankfully doesn't botch anything but she was real close once. Minami has the power offense and gets a flying crossbody. She gets a backslide pin reversed and then we go home. Minami gets a flying elbow and misses another one and gets rolled up for the three. Manami goes for a handshake and Minami is like nah bitch. Weird roleplaying here and a crap finish. OK TV match though, goes about 10 minutes. Madusa & Noriyo Tateno & Kaoru Maeda vs. Aja Kong & Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto Only have the OG version of this trios match. We get a heel ref and Aja Kong beating the shit out of an announcer. So much camera time on this announcer (and he leaves and comes back). Grizzly gets away with everything. Definitely more of a match to put over Jungle Jack than a good tag team match. Yumiko Hotta & Akira Hokuto vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Etsuko Mita This was on the 1990's yearbook, and I've seen it before, it was a really good tag team match when I watched it then. Loved that the match starts with a botch. Dream Orca is very over with the school girls. Pretty fast match and really puts over the Yamada and Hotta rivalry. Hotta really sells the hell out of that sleeper from Yamada! Hokuto makes Mita look like a scrub! I never thought I'd say it, but I love all the sleeper holds in this match! Pretty good home stretch with Mita getting payback after Hokuto embarrassing her, but Dream Orca fuck up a double team move. Hotta and Hokuto take control and Hokuto hits a diving dropkick for the three. Mita is bleeding and selling that match hard. Bull Nakano vs Mitsuko Nishiwaki (WWWA Title Match) And here we go, start of a new era. Love how grimy and 80's Nakano's theme sounds. Nishiwaki tries to get an advantage right away with a clothesline and gets dumped out immediately afterwards. Nishiwaki gets back with a bloody face...and then we get the introductions lol. They were going for a speed vs size/strength thing here, but Nishiwaki just doesn't really have any that much to offer. She eventually gets to work over Bull's arm though and Bull does her best to sell. Cool transition from armbar to sharpshooter. In the home stretch, both girls get German suplexes and power bombs, but Nakano's was way more brutal looking. Pretty short title match, felt strange that a vacant title match wasn't hyper competitive, but I don't think you could really do that considering how much better Nakano is. Ugh, next event has Hotta vs Yamada in kickboxing rules match.
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