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[1996-10-13-JWP-The Ryogoku Big Project] Devil Masami & Kyoko Inoue vs Dynamite Kansai & Aja Kong

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Devil Masami! I'm stoked, and have high expectations based on all four of them being awesome, and because Kong and Kyoko had what I thought was the best non-FMW Joshi singles match of the year. It's not as great as I hoped it would be, but it's still a very good match, and there are nice touches you don't often see in this style. It's a clever match. Kyoko capturing the pin surprised me in a good way, as she has been on a pretty steady losing streak on this set. Masami hugs her to celebrate like she's the most proud mom in the world, and her sheer joy puts over the match as a big deal. I love Kansai and Kong as a tag team, and think they would have been a cool long-term top team in AJW and/or JWP. They'd have the aura of being unbeatable, but more than that, they both have a style that seems to mesh with everyone's. I feel like using this space to talk about how stupid the "Dump clone" criticism of Aja Kong is. Dump was 90% schtick, and Kong is 90% wrestler. Let me know when Dump was ever as awesome an athlete, or when Aja starts cutting hair. I love them both. They have some things in common I guess, but "clone" is overstating it. Joshi needs more veterans. Masami doesn't have the speed of her younger peers, but she keeps up with them just fine and is on another level in terms of selling and facial expressions. She is a wrestler that needs to be talked about way more, and maybe that will change when the 80s DVDVR set comes out.

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Also never heard Aja criticised as a Dump clone either. Not that she didn't take a lot from her but shit, a lot of heels were atleast partially inspired by Dump's act, LCO, Ozaki, etc...

 

or when Aja starts cutting hair

1/11/91 :)

 

and is on another level in terms of selling and facial expressions.

Devil always had among the best facials of any wrestler i've ever seen.

She was great at little touches like that.

 

Posted Image

 

She is a wrestler that needs to be talked about way more

Eh, that's more a reflection of no one talks about joshi period anymore. She was always highly praised (or atleast her earlier work was) back when there was a more enthused community.

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Devil had 20 years as a top level worker, which is pretty remarkable by anyone's standards.

 

The only real criticisms I can think of are her her no-selling (which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't), her Super Heel gimmick, and perhaps the last decade of her career, though I'm not sure we should begrudge her that.

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Having such a strikingly distinctive face didn't hurt her cause. She is the Joshi equivalent of Regal/Ohtani. Masami was great. I guess she's somewhat overlooked, but something like her match with Chigusa is far too famous for her to get lost.

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Devil has been forgotten and overlooked after years of bitching about no-selling, not jobbing to the younger girls and the Super Heel in the late 90's. But Devil was an awesome wrestler all around, one of the best I've seen, no matter the era, territory or gender.

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Never heard the "Dump clone" argument before. Hopefully because nobody is dumb enough to use it anymore.

Dave used it a lot.

 

Of course Dump started off as a Dump clone. Bull was Dump's sidekick, and another clone. As OJ points out, Dump was in a line of monster heels in AJW. Dump was able to take it to the next level for whatever reason. Both Bull and Aja moved out of the Dump Sidekick/Clone role into being extremely credible World Champion personas.

 

Calling Aja a dump clone without explaining how she moved strongly beyond it is a bit like saying Fujinami is a junior and leaving it at that. They both had careers that went well past the earlier stages where they first made their marks, in ways that were pretty obvious to anyone watching their careers.

 

John

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Devil has a Jaw only Inoki would love. My god, what great facial expressions she has like Loss said. Kyoko continues to impress me in this match. She plays a great FIP and Kansai/Kong just destroy her. Good match.

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Like a lot of 1996 Joshi this had watchable action, fairly good execution and no edge. It never reached top gear and went on too long. Kyoko pinned Kansai for the first time following a victory over Hotta the previous week. This set her up strongly for her WWWA title challenge in December.

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I was mostly underwhelmed by this, though this turns into a good match thanks to a hot closing stretch and a satisfying ending with Inoue picking up a huge win. Before the home stretch, this may as well have been a four corners match for how little continuity there was between each team, as evidenced by the absolutely eye-rolling triple sleeper. I don't want to say these four women took it easy for the night, but this was clearly worked at a step or three behind their usual pace. And, surprise surprise, it's a 1996 joshi match with heat so mostly nonexistent that it has to be acknowledged. Pretty good match but there are myriad better performances from all four of these ladies you can find elsewhere.

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I enjoyed this a good deal too. Aja and Dynamite are such a kick ass tag team and work well together to bring the force to Kyoko and Devil. Devil held her own and was the OG bully so it was nice to see her more in a sympathetic role here. Aja takes a scary spill to the outside as Dynamite keeps looking for the Splash Mounting from the top rope. Kyoko is able to hit a DDT and when Aja accidentally clotheslines Dynamite, Kyoko gets another nearfall on a powerbomb. Powebomb and legdrop combo gets 2.9 count. One last powerbomb finally puts Kansai away which felt well earned. ***1/2

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