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[1992-05-24-AJW] Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa vs Kyoko Inoue & Mariko Yoshida

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Kyoko Inoue & Mariko Yoshida vs Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa

Sakie in to start, still bandaged up from last month but Kyoko tells her to buzz off and calls out Toyota. They do some cool mirror spots & fast paced counters before tagging out to Sakie & Yoshida. Those 2 slow it down a little as Sakie goes after Yoshida's bandaged up arm for a while. Toyota tags in and is like nah to all that, prefering to spaz out on Yoshida with a million drop kicks. Things slow down again with Sakie back in and Yoshida tagging out to Kyoko. Inoue goes to work on her leg and Yoshida tags back in smelling blood and ties Sakie up in a million diffrent knots and then they switch to working over her back. Toyota taged in and once again says "fuck all this shit" more or less forcing the match to become a sprint again. For exactly 1 second was getting a little pissed at her for refusing to work anything but her style here but then the match gets AWESOME and all is forgiven because as far as crazy sprints go this was some top level shit. Just everyone clicking 100%, hitting everything cleanly. Toyota actually ended up being outshone by the other 3 in this match too. Kyoko was her usual great self of course but the real stars of this were Sakie & Yoshida. Both against each other and against Toyota or Inoue who actually didn't even interract that much in this match. Sakie was on point with all her spin kicks (a rarity), nearly taking Yoshida's head off a couple of times and her & Toyota were hitting some cool double team stuff. Yoshida was busting out all kinds of crazy dives and high spots and was mega insane over with the K-hall crowd. Lots of nutty near falls like you'd exspect for the finish and it ends with Yoshida hitting a monkey flip off the top rope on Sakie who then gets pinned after the Niagra Driver from Inoue. Huge Kyoko & Yoshida chants post match and they both get on the mic to talk shit afterwards on Toyota who looks quite pissed. Don't know if i'd put this ahead of Aja vs Bull but at worst this is the 2nd best match of the year up to this point.

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Another very fun match. Labelling it "best of the year to this point" is a slight misnomer, though, because shit really picked up in the second half. So much so, in fact, I don't think I could reasonably go higher than Top 20 for Zenjo by the end of the year.

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Well, things for sure picked up in the 2nd half but there was a fair amount of good to great stuff in the 1st (though not all of it made the set) so I wouldn't call it faint praise. I'm almost done w 92 AJW (up to early Nov) and i'd still have this in or atleast not too far out of the 10.

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Yoshida wakes me up with the surprise dive to the floor on an unsuspecting Toyota, but beyond that, I wasn't getting much from this. I do get more from Yoshida vs Hasegawa than I do Toyota vs Inoue, but I admit that's probably because it's a fresher pairing for me. Okay match, but nothing I'll remember.

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Super fun AJW workrate style. Everyone brought it and combined seamlessly. Practise makes perfect. Like others have said this was more about Hasegawa and Yoshida than the 2 higher ranked girls. Yoshida was on fire at this point. I love when Sakie nails those meaty spin kicks. I'd call this a top of the range 'B' match. It wasn't as strong as the main event from this show which everyone needs to see.

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Great quick tagging by both teams early and a neat sequence of dives. After that this felt like the worst of good AJW -- even less focus than usual and not nearly as many high spots as usual. Someone would try something in the ring, be it a submission or top rope move, it'd lead to the outside and a dive to the floor. But nothing here felt special or memorable in any way.

 

***

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This was enjoyable because they hit almost everything they tried, but man oh man, anyone who would accuse the Steiners of lacking form in their matches should take a gander at this one. Yoshida getting whipped into the turnbuckle and turning it into a dive on Toyota was a daring and clever spot, and I actually liked Sakie quite a bit here even through her relentlessly spin kick-centric offense. Other than a very vague sense that Inoue & Yoshida wanted to isolate the "junior" Hasegawa in the ring, I caught no discernible storyline here--everyone works the same pace and the same style and seemingly has the same strengths and weaknesses, so there's little variety or feelings of momentum shifts that you get in a good AJPW 6-man, where everyone works differently against everyone else. Still, as spotfests go this was well done and some of the near-falls and counters down the stretch were very good.

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I'll fully admit that I haven't seen a ton of AJW, but this just didn't resonate with me all that much. The pace is amazing, and they had some god near falls toward the end, I especially liked the failed monkey flip and jackknife cradle. But it felt more like an indy spotfest, than it did some of the other great AJW matches that I'd seen.

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Can't say that Joshi is my thing, but I really enjoyed this. The pace they're working at is insane, especially the last 5 minutes or so. Not a great match but a lot of fun.

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This one had so much nonstop action that it felt like a finishing sequence from the beginning. I like my bouts to have lots of action, but sometimes a small breather allows the fans to process what they're seeing and gives the wrestlers some much-needed energy at the end. This was so breakneck that people were preventing their own partners from making pinfalls in their rush to get in the ring, or at least that's how it seemed to me.

 

The giant swing by Kyoko was one of the most incredible moves I've ever seen. I counted no less than sixteen and a half revolutions, and it's a wonder that both Kyoko and Sakie didn't pass out. Kyoko's body control was enormous.

 

It sounds like there's definitely more to come from these four, based on Kyoko and Mariko's promos after the match. Maybe next time they'll slow things down just a tad and allow us to savor their work a little longer!

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These are 4 amazing athletes.  They cut a ridiculous pace from beginning to end and it is certainly fun and really well-executed for what it is.  I also enjoyed the Hasegawa/Yoshida pairing.  That giant swing is really beyond description. 

I've been watching Dragon Gate matches of late (trying to get a feel for the modern variants of things I used to like) and I have to say that DG owes more to this style of wrestling than it does to the NJ juniors.  It's not near as focused as this either, even if the highspots are just as or more breathtaking.

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