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[1996-09-28-AJW] Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda vs Kaoru Ito & Mariko Yoshida (2/3 falls)

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Pretty spectacular match. Nothing but a spotfest, but as good a spotfest as you'll ever see. Ito specifically does a lot of double stomp stuff from all angles that is pretty cool and looks pretty painful. This is a Toyota that I like also. It's more of a midcard style though, which is probably why I don't care for so many of her main event matches in '96. The nearfalls here are on par with the best close calls in Flair matches, and there are dozens of them.

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A match when Yoshida and Shimoda, and Ito was your favourite ? Blasphemy ! This is a footstomp fetish I guess.

Anyway, Ito was quite the worker, but it's been so long since I've watched joshi. The only match involving her that jumps to my mind is the infamous LCO vs Ito & Watanabe cage match from 97, which is just awesome. I guess FLIK would have fresher references that I do at this point, but Ito was one hell of a worker. She was on the undercard during the interpromotionnal era, and really got her push to the main event in the early 00 (maybe even late 90's). Her footstomps looked brutal though, especially when she gained weigh.

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Yeah I remember watching this a few years ago and Ito really stood out as someone ready to get more of a push and quite probably was the best in the match... Yoshida, IIRC, was foreshadowing a bit of her ARSION stuff, but not a great deal, and didn't really have much of a superstar aura at all. I don't think the costume they gave her helped; she benefited tremendously from the re-packaging a few years later.

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A match when Yoshida and Shimoda, and Ito was your favourite ? Blasphemy ! This is a footstomp fetish I guess.

Anyway, Ito was quite the worker, but it's been so long since I've watched joshi. The only match involving her that jumps to my mind is the infamous LCO vs Ito & Watanabe cage match from 97, which is just awesome. I guess FLIK would have fresher references that I do at this point, but Ito was one hell of a worker. She was on the undercard during the interpromotionnal era, and really got her push to the main event in the early 00 (maybe even late 90's). Her footstomps looked brutal though, especially when she gained weigh.

Thanks for the recommendation for '97.

 

Regarding Ito, Toyota was at her best here. I liked her. Ito was less familiar to me, and thus she stood out more. But I did like Toyota a lot. There are definitely things she does well. She's much more tolerable when she hits all her crazy spots clean. Yoshida doesn't really stand out to me until she goes to ARSION and shows herself as a really awesome mat worker. She holds her own in this spotfest, but it's hard for her to be special here when I know how much better she is in a different role.

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I would not want to see Ito hit one of those footstomps on a pregnant woman.

 

Well, the more I think about it, the more I realise that Toyota is the best wrestler of all time.

I'm not sure who would want to see that, or why a pregnant woman would be in the ring.

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I don't get how double footstomps aren't dangerous. Granted, most are done in such a way that it isn't landing with all the weight vertically down on the victim's stomach, but sometimes there are. I mean, at BOSJ '09, Devitt did one to Danshoku Dino's groinal region.

 

http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/photo/...0091224013.html

 

You could not give me enough yen to take that.

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Hikari Fukuoka still had the best finisher ever. Moonsault footstomp. Just amazingly brutal.

Manami Toyota was never even the best wrestler in her own company. And I like Manami.

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I would not want to see Ito hit one of those footstomps on a pregnant woman.

 

Well, the more I think about it, the more I realise that Toyota is the best wrestler of all time.

I'm not sure who would want to see that, or why a pregnant woman would be in the ring.

 

That could happen very easily. I'm never comfortable seeing blows to the stomach in joshi puroesu. A lady has sex and does not realise she's pregnant for awhile than continues to wrestle for X amount of time. I know of one wrestler who did for sure before discovering she was pregnant. Than she stopped wrestling so she could deliver healthy. If you take hard enough blows to your stomach in that time period before you realise you're preganant and stop wrestling, than damage is going to occur.

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A match when Yoshida and Shimoda, and Ito was your favourite ? Blasphemy ! This is a footstomp fetish I guess.

Anyway, Ito was quite the worker, but it's been so long since I've watched joshi. The only match involving her that jumps to my mind is the infamous LCO vs Ito & Watanabe cage match from 97, which is just awesome. I guess FLIK would have fresher references that I do at this point, but Ito was one hell of a worker. She was on the undercard during the interpromotionnal era, and really got her push to the main event in the early 00 (maybe even late 90's). Her footstomps looked brutal though, especially when she gained weigh.

Thanks for the recommendation for '97.

 

Regarding Ito, Toyota was at her best here. I liked her. Ito was less familiar to me, and thus she stood out more. But I did like Toyota a lot. There are definitely things she does well. She's much more tolerable when she hits all her crazy spots clean.

As far back as 91 or 92 Ito was showing good potential, fun playing the role of Jungle Jack designated jobber. On into 93 she got her 1st push beyond the "young girl" level, winning the jr title and AJW tag belts. Her & Sakie Hasegawa was a really fun team. On thru the rest of the mid 90's she'd have a lot of good matches though maybe not much on the level of being "must see". A few stuff here & thear stands out though that isn't big 6 or 8 woman tags like her & Sakie vs Gami & Yasha Kurunei 11/28/93, her & Suzuka Minami vs LCO 3/3/94 & her vs Aja 1/16/1995.

 

The mass exodus of 96 & 97 probably helped her cause a little but I think they always had big plans to eventually push her up the cards. 1997 was her big break out year as far as being cemented as a main event level player who was ready to hang with the big names.

 

Always felt 97 was a hugely underrated year for AJW as they had a lot of great stuff and Ito was a big part of that

 

30 Minute draw vs Aja Kong 1/20/1997

 

vs Toyota 3/23/1997 *haven't seen but always heard this highly praised*

 

60 Minute draw vs Kyoko for the 3WA Title 5/11/1997 *ditto*

 

vs Kyoko 3WA Title rematch 6/17/1997 * hurt by the fact they clipped it to less then half but what aired is good*

 

w Hotta vs Yoshida & Toyota 6/18/1997

 

vs Toyota 7/13/1997

 

and of course the cage match which I actually think is slightly over rated. Don't get me wrong, I do love it and think it's great but in the grand scheme of Tomoko Watanabe & _ vs LCO matches there's a shit ton i'd rate ahead of this from that feud.

 

Have to plead ignorance on 1998 AJW as i've never seen anything from that year and only very little from 99.

The July stuff is amazing though

 

Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs (ZAP T) Tomoko Watanabe & Kaoru Ito (ZAP I) Tag Titles - 7/10/1999

 

Lioness Asuka, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Manami Toyota, Kaoru Ito & Nanae Takahashi - 7/11/1999 *Famous match whear all 6 prove to be batshit insane & bump like mad women, leaping off of lighting rigs and shit in the fuckin rain*

 

She doesn't do too much of note for the 1st half of 00 but later in the year they finally pull the trigger all the way on her push.

wins JGP for the 2nd time vs Mita in a pretty good match.

 

finally wins 3WA off Toyota on 9/23/00

In kind of a weird way the mass exodus also may have hurt her too in that they kept the 3WA on safer choices like Toyota, Hotta, Kyoko & Kandori while re-stabalizing the copany rather then giving it to her earlier.

 

After this she goes on an amazing run of awesomeness

 

(Cage Match) Kaoru Ito, Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi vs Etsuko Mita, Mima Shimoda & Kumiko Maekawa - 12/9/2000

My MOTY for all of 2000 and THE match that's soley responsible for me becoming a huge fan of joshi and getting into Japanese wrestling period beyond the ocasional casual, watch a few matches I find online level.

 

vs Etsuko Mita 3WA Title 1/13/2001

 

Mima Shimoda, Etsuko Mita, Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa vs Kaoru Ito, Tomoko Watanabe, Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi - 2/19/2001

 

(Elimination Match) Kaoru Ito, Tomoko Watanabe, Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi vs Manami Toyota, Mima Shimoda, Etsuko Mita & Kumiko Maekawa - 3/19/2001

 

Manami Toyota, Mima Shimoda & Yumiko Hotta vs Kaoru Ito, Tomoko Watanabe & Momoe Nakanishi - 4/15/2001

This is legit my favorite 6 person tag of all time. It's up on my site if anyone wants to see for themselves

 

(Street Fight) Yumiko Hotta vs Kaoru Ito - 5/12/2001

Hugely polarizing match - people will either tell you this is one of the best matches ever or complete fucking rubbish. I fall on the "love this" side of things myself. Their hair vs hair cage re-match in early 02 was pretty shit though, i'll concede that.

 

30 min draw vs Momoe 7/14/2001

 

vs Toyota 9/8/2001

 

vs Momoe 3WA Title 10/6/2001

One of the best examples I thought of people working the "speed vs power" story into a match. Helps a lot of you watch their previous one but not necessary.

 

vs Toyota 3WA Title 2/24/2002 - loses the belt back

 

Haven't seen any 02 AJW from after this show and nothing from 03. 04 she didn't do anything of note. AJW died in 05 but she was long gone by then anyways and post AJW she largely just fell off the map, a handfull of pretty good matches now & then though nothing to go out of your way to see and it ALL went downhill from thear. Now of course in 2011 she's sadly a shell of a shell of a shell of a shell of her former self and #1 on the list of people who should retire allready but yeah, once upon a time was one of the best in the world.

 

Yoshida doesn't really stand out to me until she goes to ARSION and shows herself as a really awesome mat worker. She holds her own in this spotfest, but it's hard for her to be special here when I know how much better she is in a different role.

She was really good in 91 & 92, very good on the mat even back then though more in your traditional old school sort of way rather then the tricked out shoot style way she'd develop in ARSION.

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I thought the opposite of Loss and think this was Toyota's worse match on the set so far. She just looked off here while Shimoda and other girls were pretty great holding this match together. Mima's heel schtick was pretty awesome and Yoshida/Ito did some nice teamwork. The Table spots were just nasty.

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We are in sprinting. It was breathless action for most of it's 25m duration. Whilst watching I didn't even want to turn around for a drink in case I missed something. It had a different feel to it, like the golden era was still going. Excellent performances from all 4. This was probably Ito's best performance to date as she raised her level big time. She was an anomaly for Joshi workers, who normally hit their prime in their early 20's. Ito took a few years longer and peaked in the 2nd half of her 20's. Historically the girls would start at 15/16 and the mandatory retirement age was 26! Good job for Ito they got rid of that rule. In the 1st half of the 90's Ito had been a solid midcarder. But when there's at least a dozen wrestlers on the roster who were better workers and higher ranked then it's tough to stand out. She used to wear a Peter Pan inspired outfit in case you ever see any reference to Ito's Pan years. Now in '96 a number of wrestlers had moved on and Ito was being pushed up the card.

 

Having talked about Ito, it was Yoshida who shaded best performer in this match. The fantastic final stretch with her vs Toyota was the highlight. She may not have won many matches, but Yoshida was often the star performer in 1996.

 

Not all of the execution was perfect here and there wasn't much psychology besides a minor underdog dynamic and the undertones of the eternal Shimoda vs Ito rivalry. Still, the excitement level was very high, the crowd were jakked and the wrestlers delivered big time. Low end MOTYC.

 

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This was an old formula AJW liked to use where a pair of younger workers would take on a more established pair. You kind of need to suspend disbelief that the younger workers would trouble the veterans so much, though Yoshida and Ito were certainly growing in stature around this time. I personally prefer the JWP style where you'd have senior/junior vs. senior/junior as it strikes me as more balanced, but I might have gotten into this if it had been more of a trial by fire for the young workers and not so even. Shimoda and Toyota took over towards the end as you'd expect, but I couldn't really get into the rhythm of what they were doing. I did like the sassy attitude Shimoda showed, but I wished they'd slowed it down at times instead of working the entire match in top gear. Maybe a bit of heat on the youngsters, a well timed comeback, that sort of thing.

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I liked this a LOT, and I sort of groaned when I saw this was a 2/3 fall match. But this flew by. I actually didn't find this to be much of a spotfest at all--I mean, it's joshi, so it's always going to drift toward that end of the spectrum. But not having seen a ton of this "youngster vs. established pair" AJW formula before, I got way into the underdog story and the Crockett-esque shine sequences given to Kaoru & Yoshida, with them seemingly staying one step ahead of the champs due to effective double-teaming and some uncharacteristic breakdowns by their opponents. That double handspring elbow was gorgeous (both variations of them) and is a spot that the Lucha Dragons or someone need to steal. Kaoru's looked good in GAEA and she looks really good here, and Toyota turns in a relatively restrained performance on her end. I'm still not really seeing what Shimoda does to stand out that much, but she at least pulls her weight. In the end, this was still a match that was mostly about the challengers.

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Great, great, great match. I agree with Pete in that while this was worked with a really fast pace, it didn't feel like a spotfest and told a good, cohesive story. Ito hitting those double stomps were brutal and it really felt like someone having to bust out everything in their arsenal to put the big ace away. Yoshida feels like she can hang now and I loved the ARSION touches that were sprinkled throughout. The finish here was also great as it felt definitive and made me want to see more of the makeshift team of Shimoda and Toyoto. ****1/4

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There was a lot of good action here -- nice dives, great run of nearfalls at the end, and cool spot with the splash-double stomp on to the outside on the table -- but it was hard for me to really get into this, just because I wasn't really familiar enough with anyone here but Toyota, to the point where it was difficult for me to keep track of who was who and really keep a grasp on the narrative of the match.

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