Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Loss

[1993-11-12-AJW-Tag League The Best] Sakie Hasegawa & Aja Kong vs Manami Toyota & Akira Hokuto

Recommended Posts

Hokuto pins the champ in a fantastic match! The whole match is wrestled like a final stretch, with lots of dramatic saves and big moves. And these four are so capable in that style that I have no problem with them doing a really good spotfest. Toyota and Hokuto were probably the two most athletic wrestlers in the world at this point (I'd even put them above Rey), and as a result, they are a tremendous team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this is a spot fest at all, really, there's pretty clear levels/story going on. It's certainly a sprint, as most AJW is, but I don't even think it's notably fast-paced for the company.

 

Aside from a sloppy few minutes at the start of the home stretch, though, this is pretty great. I'm not sure where I'd put it for the year, but it's probably a low Top 10 tag for Zenjo. The finals are better, though, Hokuto seemed to perform that much stronger when the story revolved around her more than it does here.

 

And I still wonder why no one's nicked the Camel Clutch/Punt, either. That's such an awesome heel spot and an automatic payback spot too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I definitely didn't see this as a spotfest. It's fast-paced but not suffocatingly so, even when Toyota's in there, as her role is basically to be a punching bag for Aja & Sakie and to make dramatic saves. Akira looks dead to rights towards the end of this, but manages to counter Aja's water wheel thingy off the turnbuckle into a power bomb for an upset pin--so much of an upset that Hokuto seems too stunned herself to even celebrate. "Low top 10 tag" sounds about right for this, it was a hell of a match but not a major MOTY candidate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it was a spotfest either. The first half of the match was submission filler and they didn't kick into high gear until the stretch run. It wasn't any different from a regular Joshi tag. I remember this as being one of Chris Coey's "discoveries" of sort since it came from television and not the commercial tapes that people would buy in EP mode. Hokuto and Toyota are any unfuckable with tag team, and Aja being paired with Hasegawa is an interesting dynamic, but I don't think the roles get fleshed out to any great degree. Perhaps that's what Loss meant by a spotfest. The ending is exciting, but Hasegawa drove me a bit loopy with all those exploders.

 

I've always found Aja overrated and matches like this are the reason. This is the sort of match where she should come across as an indomitable force that can only be beaten because she's handicapped with a junior partner, but she's just another player. I always maintained that it took her time to grow into the Ace role. The passing of the torch at Dreamrush was more like Aja trying to keep a candle from going out. She needed to be fiercer here in the face of dream pairing in Hokuto and Toyota because when she's not dominating she comes across as surprisingly small. I never really noticed how short she was until I started rewatching this stuff. She's shorter than everyone else in the match and this idea that she was a monster mostly came from her bulk. Just to show I'm not picking on Aja, it wasn't a memorable performance from either Hokuto or Toyota either. I don't really think the bout is much of a discovery anymore, but as a mostly unknown league bout from a TV episode it's not too bad. Just supplementary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering the participants and the date this was bound to be a good 'un. Nothing out of this world, just a fun encounter. Calling it a low top 10 AJW tag for the year for the year isn't a bad call. There weren't any weak links in terms of the performances. One thing I noticed was how Hokuto absorbed comparatively little punishment. She really made each offensive move count as well, to cover for the fact that Toyota was having to do most of the work for their team. The shock pin she got over Kong was only done in a semi meaningful context.

 

I agree with OJ's point that the 1&4 vs 2&3 psychology should've been put over more. Aja would sometimes appear as the unstoppable force, and other times would take a back seat and fit in with the other top girls. I've mixed feelings on this as on the one hand it hurts her status as an ace. Yet she was such a talented athlete that she could go in the fast paced workrate matches. Being able to play the monster heel as well made her highly versatile. Just restricting herself to one role would've cut down her output overall I feel. She wasn't tall or even that wide, but Aja had depth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ending was certainly excitng, but the body of this was damaged for me when Toyota totally no-sold the punishment that Aja and Sakie had spent the first fifteen or so minutes inflicting on her lower back. I know other wrestlers have to do this at times due to the nature of their offense, but Toyota's especially blatant about it. This makes the first half to two-thirds of most matches she's in meaningless, because we always get the bridge, the dropkick train, the dives from the top, and her other signature spots no matter what. She doesn't even bother registering pain or extra effort in performing those moves. That's the major reason I've soured on AJW in particular and joshi in general: psychology and logic mean nothing. It's all about each wrestler hitting two or three signature spots as athletically as possible.

 

Is it customary for AJW to allow tags from inside the ting? I saw that much more often than the regulation tag in the corner.

 

Not even a tease of the trash can from Aja. I guess it was too much of a trademark by that time not to bring it out, but it really hasn't been a part of her repertoire since the Bull feud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am loving the joshi right now in 1993. I thought this was really layered. Sure, Toyota probably could have sold the back damage more but I really loved the way this was worked in that Aja is the strongest single force but Hokuto and Toyota might just be the better team. Hasegawa had to prove herself a lot throughout the match and was a good fly in the ointment for her opponents. I thought Aja looked great and certainly stood out as the biggest bully in the yard. Her getting pinned in the finale was amplified based on her performance up to that point. ****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×