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[1992-06-21-AJW-Grand Prix] Manami Toyota vs Toshiyo Yamada

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(No Time Limit) Manami Toyota vs Toshiyo Yamada

12/9/89 30 minute draw, 9/7/91 30 minute draw, 1/4/92 40 minute draw and so it comes to this, no time limit, main event, there must be a winner. Funny moment on commentary as Fumi remarks "So the male fans will be more for Toyota OF COURSE, while the wrestling fans will be more for Yamada" and Debbie craps all over his theory in a polite manner saying how great Toyota is in the ring so the "wrestling" fans will be split too. Match starts at a really fast pace as Toyota immediatly gets the rolling cradle but then things slow down for a while, they go back and forth with no one having the advantage for too long. Yamada attacks the leg but it doesn't go anywhear and after Toyota catches her foot mid kick she locks in a leg bar and turns the time. Yamada gets the ropes but she won't break, they roll outside to the floor with the hold still on and Toyota still won't break for a while. Once she does Toyota hurls her through the 1st 4 rows of chairs. Back in the ring, Toyota tries to turn it into more her style of match, hitting a billion drop kicks from all angles but Yamada shuts that shit down with a couple kicks to the head and starts stretching her on the mat. Anouncers make mention of something I noticed in their last match, that Yamada doesn't really have a lot of big moves in her arsenal though they do play up that what Yamada does do, while simpler is really effective. She'll just kick your head in essentially. Debbie also name drops Lex Luger and compares one for the moves Yamada does to the torture rack, so so wish they'd have put her in the booth more often. Toyota gets sick of playing human kick bag and hauls off and punches Yamada upside the head. Match goes outside and Toyota goes splat on a missed dive attempt, taking out a young girl working ring duty. Yamada hits a leaping spin kick off the apron to follow up. Back inside match turns back into a sprint, lot of superplexes and other big moves getting tossed out now. Yamada's working this a lot more aggressive then she did back in January, staying on Toyota with a lot more fury. No stalling for time, hesitation or confusion her part this time. Yamada with the dragon suplex can't get it, Toyota with 3 germans can't get it. Back outside again Toyota with the fucking insane spring board moonsault off the middle of the top rope nearly landing face first on the apron on the way down but she survives. Anouncers bringing up that a lot of Toyota's flashy shit doesn't always register as well with the fans because she does it so effortlessly and fast in an interesting point. Debbie's also pushing heavily how well these 2 know each other being tag partners so they can predict what the other's about to do and that's what becomes the story for the final part of the match. Lots more counter spots, back and forth, Toyota goes for another moonsault but eats knee. Yamada with a series of diving brain kicks for 2. Toyota hitting crazy ass suplexes i've never even seen before but just getting 2. She finally decideds to pull out the JOCS but Yamada has that shit scouted, she escapes and counters with a similar move of her own and FINALLY gets the win over her eternal rival & friend. Awesome match, easily their best yet up to this point. Fans who for the most part hadn't been cheering on either one over the other erupt in a giant Yamada chant to celebrate her victory. Manami Toyota doesn't let her long time tag partner and BFF have her moment in the sun for long though, there's no hug, there's no handshake, Toyota is not a gracious loser. 4 matches, 126+ minutes, spread out over almost 3 years to get a winner in a singles match between these 2 and Toyota can not stand that it's not her so she snaps. She gets on the mic in near tears and challenges Yamada for 1 more match and tells her not only will she put up her IWA title this time time, she'll also put her hair on the line as well. Yamada excepts and we've got hair vs hair.

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Some people aren't going to like this, and whilst I'm not quite in the group of "this is technically better than the double hair match", they obviously learned the lessons from their 1/4 match. I've said before I prefer Toyota/Kyoko to Toyota/Yamada, but watching all those draws you mentioned gives this a really nice feeling of paying off. To be fair, there were signs in their 12/89 match (which was crazy booking in the first place), and I really liked the first half of their 1/4/92 match (I'm actually not as down on it as some because I think it works as an overall presentation), but this is the first time they hit a home run and Debbie being on commentary adds an interesting twist.

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but watching all those draws you mentioned gives this a really nice feeling of paying off. To be fair, there were signs in their 12/89 match (which was crazy booking in the first place), and I really liked the first half of their 1/4/92 match (I'm actually not as down on it as some because I think it works as an overall presentation)

Sometimes (a lot of the time), in draws it becomes really blatantly obvious that they're trying to stretch things out and kill time, not wrestling like they would normally but any time these 2 worked each other they always went long so it felt more natural that things progressed the way they did which I always liked about their feud.

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I don't think Toyota was physically capable of pacing herself. And given her style, I'm not sure if she could've without it being far more obvious than if anyone else were to do it. Seriously, would any other wrestler even contemplate sprinting for an hour?! But, yeah, the 1/4 match actually has some decent matwork early on and like I said, I think it works to a point as an overall thing, because you'd expect them to gas and get sloppy after wrestling that way for that long. This certainly benefitted from only going 25, though.

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Great match! I don't know that I am as high on it as the two of you, but I did really like the layout of the match and the way Toyota started off incredibly fast, Yamada slowed her down and dominated, then they started trading nearfalls. However, this is not something I'd consider even a Joshi MOTYC. I hope it's not taken as me being contrarian, but the Joshi brawlers still do so much more for me than Toyota and company. I do really like Yamada's footwork and general style though, probably because I was always a big fan of Chigusa Nagayo. Looking forward to the next match between these two on the set.

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That's understandable.

 

I mean, realistically, this is in the lower Top 10 for the year in AJW, and with the Dream Rush tag the de facto #1, it's pretty superfluous to talk about anything else as a MOTYC.

 

This match makes more sense in the context of both a) the general AJW sprinty style and B) where they'd come from in 9/91 and 1/92. You watch the young girls who're obviously taught to keep up a certain pace and competitive feel, the spots will come later, and then you see this where they've got it.

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This would have been much better if it was shorter. I liked the start and the finishing run of this but the middle just had so much filler. Only so many times I can watch Yamada throw her kicks or Toyota kick out of death moves. The constant near falls are just ridiculous sometimes. And what's the deal with Toyota wearing pink? I thought she was like Johnny Cash and wore black all the time?

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A huge improvement from their previous bouts, showing how both wrestlers were coming of age. I liked how they started scientifically and gradually turned from partners into fierce rivals as it progressed. Wonderful technique and harsh physicality. Yamada layed in the kicks, but Toyota fought back in spectacular style. Plenty of well thought out sequences and the execution was strong this time out. I would've preferred if they'd finished it around the 17-18m mark. Great way to round off one of the best shows of the year, and perfect setup for their classic 2 months down the line.

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Great match! I don't know that I am as high on it as the two of you, but I did really like the layout of the match and the way Toyota started off incredibly fast, Yamada slowed her down and dominated, then they started trading nearfalls. However, this is not something I'd consider even a Joshi MOTYC.

That about sums this up perfectly. The finish felt like a really big upset. It probably would've helped to come in with some of the surrounding background Flik mentioned regarding their draws, but I enjoyed this all the same and can't wait to move onto some of the bigger matches later in the year and '93.

 

****

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This was an excellent show--pity it had to be wasted on such a middling crowd. This is a fine capper to the night's events, with Yamada forcing this match into her pace--Yamada is as close to a clone of Toshiaki Kawada as you can get, right down to the colors. Lots of stiff kicks and twisty submissions instead of spot after spot after spot. Toyota is almost always better when someone forces her or she forces herself out of her sprinty comfort zone. I agree that this is not a Joshi MOTYC but it's a hell of a match with a very well-done finish. I do hope the hair vs. hair can top it.

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Whenever regular tag partners work each other, they seem to kick things up a few notches. These two cut a great pace, and didn't seem to give any concession to their partnership at all, even though working each other in this manner could jeopardize their title reign. I like Pete's Kawada comparison to Yamada, especially when it comes to her strikes. She's the perfect counterpart to Toyota and her love for suplexes and big spots.

 

There was one thing that struck me odd, and I actually rewound to make sure I didn't miss something. Toyota pulls Yamada close to the ropes before a vertical suplex attempt, which Yamada winds up escaping and landing on the apron.

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If I hadn't read this thread beforehand, I'd have never known these two were partners, as they gave each other no quarter whatsoever. It never really got violent, but everyone watching knew that they'd seen a war when it was over. Toyota's dejection over losing as we faded to black was almost palpable. One could see why she made the hair vs. hair challenge, which is usually the last resort between bitter enemies instead of the final chapter of an intense competition involving a continuing partnership.

 

I paid special attention to the English commentary to see if I could pick up some stuff that I didn't know before, but no such luck. They didn't use Debbie all that much, and when they did she stuck to move descriptions and other run-of-the-mill stuff. The most interesting discussion she participated in was of Yamada's three personalities, which supposedly compare to Keiji Muto's two. She also dropped Lex Luger's name during a discussion of submission holds, which is something I never thought I'd hear on Japanese TV.

 

I find it odd that the Japanese commentator didn't mention that this was a no time limit match until after he asked Debbie if she thought they were going to wrestle to yet another draw.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how these two can possibly continue as partners in the wake of the challenge Toyota made. They have a tag match coming up in less than a week that made the set, and we'll see how they function as a unit, if they do at all.

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I've never been a big fan of that roll around pinning spot that starts this match off. It's such a minor thing that happens in the match, that I hate to even mention that. The striking is super stiff. If this exact match happened today in WWE's women's division, I wonder how it would be "rated" by fans? I would think that the rating from most WWE fans would be higher than **** if this happened today in the United States. But then again, this type of match probably wouldn't happen on WWE TV, as some of the action may be considered too brutal? I was reminded a bit of Kawada because of those vicious kicks and the black and gold sported by Yamada. I thought Yamada did a good job selling the left leg, and Toyota's offense was explosive at the right times. As much of a beating that Toyota took, I thought some of her selling could have been better. There were times it didn't seem very focused. It would have been better to me if she had sold some fatigue or pain when running through her offense during comebacks as the match went on. Overall, I guess I sort of felt this was a little to go-go to hit great for my taste, but I still think it was really good ***1/2.

 

#430 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/

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#430

 

Another match I hadn't seen in donkey's years. The last match If theirs I watched was their bout from '89 which I really liked, and I thought this was excellent as well. Sure, there were flaws, and they could have sold more, but the action never let up and I loved the contrast in styles and the dynamic it created.

 

This is by far my favorite era of Manami Toyota because it feels like she's working 50/50 with her opponent instead of being the one calling the match and forcing opponents to wrestle her match. I really liked how she needed to pull out submission counters to fend off Yamada's kicks, and for a wrestler not renowned for her selling I thought she did s great job of selling that splash onto Yamada's knees.

 

There was a slight lull in the third quarter of the match, but they picked things up for the stretch run and I thought it was a tremendous run home. I was actually kind of thrilled for Yamada, who've I never fully liked, but who was really likable here, as I think Fumi Saito pointed out, though not for the reason he mentioned which was her outfit. Yamada seemed the stronger of the two down the stretch and felt like the one with more in reserve. Deserved winner of an excellent contest.

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The rolling cradle off the bat took me right out of the match.  Had trouble getting into it after that and the stretch run kind of brought me back.  Manami Toyota is not my favorite wrestler.

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