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Charles (Loss)

[1993-04-11-AJW-Dream Slam II] Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Mayumi Ozaki & Dynamite Kansai

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As much as I've said about Toyota, I have to give her credit for looking like the very best wrestler in the world during these matches. Not just in terms of performing some incredible moves, but also in selling the drama. Moments like encouraging Yamada from the apron, and catching Ozaki off guard with a dropkick while she's on the apron in the middle of an Irish whip from Kansai are classic. Really, everyone in this match is spectacular. I also give major credit to Kansai and Ozaki for really going all out as heels. This isn't Dream Rush, but that's the greatest match of all time, so it's not exactly an easy act to follow. Knowing they couldn't possibly top that, this is about as great as it could be, and they do hit all the spots more cleanly here than they did in November. This won MOTY honors in the WON, and it wouldn't be my pick, but I definitely understand and appreciate why it won. The finish in both this match and Dream Rush is perfect for the point in the feud. I'd compare the gap between this and Dream Rush to the gap between 6/9/95 and 12/6/96 in All Japan -- I have a favorite between the two, but the gap is close enough that you could really go either way.

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The overall body of work isn't as good as Dream Rush's. But the first fall is hands down my favorite opening of any match, the equivalent of scoring a touchdown on the first play of the game. It's not the MOTY (hell, it's not even the best joshi match of the month), but it's still pretty amazing.

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Whilst I liked this I certainly enjoyed this less then others seemed to. It was too fast paced for too long for me, to the point that I was getting exhausted from watching. The constant spots ensuring that few things could really stand out. I'm a joshi newbie and understand that this might be the style but there's been joshi matches I've enjoyed more.

 

Gah. Maybe it's not the best match to watch when feeling a bit sleepy.

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I watched this today after not having seen this match for a long time. I think it doesn't really hold up that well. The work is really good and all, but it just doesn't stand out as much as I thought it would. I still think it's an excellent match and worth 4 stars, but I no longer feel it's an all-time great 5-star match like I used to think years ago. I even prefer the Ozaki & Cuty vs. Kyoko & Takako match from Dreamslam I over this match. I think I will re-watch the other two matches in the Toyota & Yamada vs. Ozaki & Kansai trilogy in the near future to see how they hold up. I think I will prefer both over this match from Dreamslam II.

 

So I re-watched both Dreamslam I and Dreamslam II recently and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed. They were very good shows, but not as legendary as I remembered them to be. It was somewhere around 1998 or so when I first saw them and I have obviously seen a lot of wrestling since then, so they don't have that overwhelming feeling like they had back when I first saw them. I still love Hokuto vs. Kandori and I still really enjoyed Ozaki & Cuty vs. Kyoko & Takako. And like I said earlier, I still think Toyota & Yamada vs. Ozaki & Kansai is excellent. But those are the only three memorable matches on the Dreamslam shows. Each of the two Dreamslam shows really comes off as just another AJW show from the early 1990s instead of one of the all-time great shows (which used to be their reputation).

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I love that opening with the quick pinfall. So nice when things are mixed up like that. Kansai really need to keep the onslaught on though which I don't think she did to start next fall. Still an excellent match overall but I do lean towards Hokuto/Kandori for emotion but enjoyed this one.

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Nothing was going to be as transcendent as Dream Rush, but this was at worst a Godfather II/ Two Towers-worthy sequel. They throw us a curveball right at the start when Kansai levels Yamada with the crucifix power bomb to take the first fall in a cozy 12 seconds. I don't know if it's her opponents, her partner or what, but Toyota has reigned in her worst tendencies tremendously over the course of this feud, and as Loss points out takes time to sell some of the drama here instead of quickly rushing to the next spot. I think the only thing that's dissipated which separates this from Dream Rush is the war between Yamada and Kansai--they certainly do kick the shit out of each other, but with not quite as much gusto as the first time around. Those were the moments that really set that first match apart from anything else ever seen in wrestling, and this is a bit more conventional--first fall notwithstanding. The JWP girls get the win here and in a more decisive manner than Team AJW did, which feels like it should be hugely significant though I don't know if that's actually the case. I think I have this as MOTY so far. I know '93 was pretty overflowing in quality but I'm surprised this is the only match from DreamSlam II to make the cut. Think I'll have to break off and check out the rest of the card or at least the other big matches.

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Oz is such a badass even in the pre-match. JWP attacks right away, Kansai kicks Yamada in the head and pins her with a powerbomb in 12 seconds. That's awesome and unexpected. Kansai continues attacking at start of second fall, misses a Tenryu elbow and Toyota in going wild with dropkicks. She misses a moonsault but Yamada intervenes to let her hit one. Nice leg sweep by Kansai to retake control, then Oz in with DDT as feathers fly from Toyota's ring gear like some kind of hunting prize. Oz feels like such a perfect villain. More responsible than anyone for establishing the emotion and clear sides in this feud. Kansai and Yamdaa trade Yamada kicks, as they should. Oz then in with a fury on Toyota, who's screaming until Oz mercifully locks her in a choke. They trade great punches to the chest. Kansai in with jumping piledriver, head stomp and scorpion to Yamada. JWP takes out both, then Kansai a tope on Toyota and Oz an awesome somersault plancha onto Yamada. JWP hits double diving headbutts but Toyota kicks out. Toyota with a dropkick to Oz in corner, then she takes a double team on her head, but Kansai saves. Kansai Germans Yamada for 2. Yamada flips out of a powerbomb, hits a German for 2. Double power bomb on Kansai only gets 2. Finally Toyota Ocean Cyclone Suplex on Kansai wins an amazing 15 minute or so fall. Toyota opens the 3rd with German on Kansai. Yamada in with spin kicks and great fire. AJW dominating until Oz runs Toyota into the railing. Superplex on Toyota, who bridges out. Oz hits her twisting splash for near fall. Kansai northern lights on Yamada for 2. Surprising heel heat for Yamada kicking Kansai to break a Boston crab on Toyota. Yamada trying for but unable to hit the Gori Special a big part of the finishing stretch. Double diving headbutts on Oz for 2. Oz accidentally takes out Kansai on a dive, then double team flip suplex on Oz, Ocean Suplex but Kansai saves. Kansai powerbombs Toyota, lays out both with lariats, tags Oz who hits LOD finisher on Toyota. Kansai then hits Splash Mountain to win tag titles in sick looking finish. Awesome celebration as crowd chants for both of them. Great celebration with them up on the turnbuckles.

 

So yeah, most of that was unnecessary for most but I like to have it preserved for my own reference. They did a hell of a lot but everything mattered more than the usual joshi sprint. I liked this better than Dream Rush for the sole reason that I never wondered when this was going to end while watching it, while Dream Rush felt longer at times. But it deserves a rewatch to confirm. Either way we're splitting hairs.

 

****3/4

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I didn't think I would hate this but I certainly didn't think I would have to think long and hard on whether it is better than Kandori vs. HOkuto and yet here we are. The action here is relentless but everything is executed very well. Beyond that, there is a good bit of storyline revolving around the match that adds an extra level to the overall match. Kansai getting the first pinfall so quick really sets the tone and the finish feels poignant and decisive. A really incredible match that is worked with a frantic pace but doesn't betray the parameters of what made wrestling work in the previous decades. *****

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This is a particularly special match for me due to the impact it made on initial viewing, in what was a pivotal phase of my life. To go further into that wouldn't be relevant to the topic. I'll just say that great wrestling can be truly inspiring.

 

I loved the format, with the micro primera being such a shock before effectively two full length matches. Feathers frequently flying from Toyota's outfit was a bizarre aside. Superb quality work with some jaw dropping mark-out moments. The best of all was a segment where Kansai was kicking the shit out of Yamada. She came firing right back in a pulsating moment. Their interactions were truly special during this trilogy. I would agree with Pete that the off the charts Kansai vs Yamada battles were what helped made the Dreamrush bout so legendary. That could never be replicated, but this was pretty amazing as well.

 

It was also a magnificent showing from Ozaki, making all the right decisions. On the other hand there were a few errors of judgement from Toyota. Despite her flaws she had such a powerful ring presence and a remarkable gift for being able to electrify an audience. She did this insane Quebrada from the inside of the ring onto the floor. Such a sick spot. You take the great, along with the bad.

 

This could've been closer to the original in quality had the 2nd and 3rd falls been switched. The 2nd was 15m of Joshi Puroresu at its finest. The 3rd was still strong, yet couldn't equal what had gone before. The finish was an absolute killer though. Perfect booking too with a feel good moment for the underdog promotion. It's pretty crazy that a match of this calibre wouldn't make my top 5 for a year, but such is 1993. Great memories, classic match.

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Do you have a list Zenjo? I like comparing my year end lists with yours.

Dude I have colour coded versions of yours and Loss' top 100 lists on a Word file. B) Check back sometime in May or June for this year. 1993 was the second Yearbook I started watching and the 6th I'm going to finish, so I got a bit distracted along the way.

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After a long streak of joshi just being blah to me, this is the second match in a row I've really enjoyed. The quick first fall was the key, as the drama was turned way up because of it. The champions were fighting nearly impossble odds by trying to take two straight falls against opponents who'd just wiped them out, while the chalengers learned that Toyota and Yamada wouldn't be quite so easily vanquished a second time.

 

I found the kick battle between Dynamite and Yamada to be an interesting subplot. Each of those kicks were absolutely brutal, and Dynamite looked like she was knocked woozy quite a few times after being blasted right in the external occipital protuberance. Yamada, of course, was knocked all the way out at least twice.

 

I applaud Dynamite for mucking in with the rest as far as bump taking went. I've said in the past that monsters shouldn't bunp much if at all, but that has to go by the wayside if the match is supposed to last three falls and almost forty minutes.

 

There were a ton of nearfalls in both the second and third stanzas, but they never felt by the book, particularly in the second fall when Toyota and Yamade were working their butts off not to get swept. It all got a little much toward the end, but the match had gone over half an hour by that point, so I guess repetition was inevitable.

 

You'd never have known that Ozaki and Dynamite were enemies in JWP from the way they worked together here. They're an exremely cohesive and talented team, and it's a shame that we won't see more of them.

 

It was great to see JWP's mass celebration at the end, especially as a contrast to Yamada's disappointment over losing. I'm surprised that this took place at an AJW-promoted card, but I guess they wanted to show that title changes could happen anywhrere at any time.

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I thought that Dynamite Kansai was clearly the standout in this - her work over Toyota & Yamada was pretty awesome. I think for the most part Toyota & Yamada did an OK, yet very forgettable jobs as faces in peril - their comebacks weren't really any interesting. My favorite part of the match was the first fall, which happened in the first 20 seconds of it. That was super awesome - and that is something I can't say about this match overall. **

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This match is better than the first one. The fact that the first fall ends quickly is likeable because it adds drama but doesn't add urgency to the rest of the match by any means because there are too many kick outs after big moves. How do you want to create sense of urgency with so many big moves kick out ? It's not great, fun or likeable. The past is too fast to be likeable. They're all the stars here.

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