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[1992-06-27-AJW-Beat Power Series] Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Akira Hokuto & Kyoko Inoue

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- (3WA Tag Titles 2 out of 3 Falls) Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota © vs Akira Hokuto & Kyoko Inoue

So after the events of the last show Hokuto & Inoue don't appear to be exactly thrilled to be teaming up but promise to make the most of it while the champs seem to be on the same page. 1st fall's all about puttin over how strong & tough Hokuto & Inoue are. Toyota & Yamada have better team work and are faster but they still get their butts kicked and heads smashed in and a good many times just plain outsmarted. The champs make a lot of mistakes early and it cost them as Hokuto & Inoue counter all their stuff and things end with a double pin after they miss a double team diving head butt and HokInoue hit their finishers at the same time on both. Hokuto & Inoue also have some cool moments whear they ape each other's sig spots, Hokuto bust out the mongolian chops and giant swing, Kyoko uses the spin kicks. Both do them really badly but it was neat to see them try, unity and all that. 2nd fall looks to be the same but Yamada shuts that shit down and in the span of like a minute she kicks Hokuto in the head, gives her 7 back drop suplexes, another kick to the head and then pins her with the same move she used to beat Toyota last show, the Gory Special Bomb. 3rd Fall is more Toyota & Yamada's style, as the up the pace. They take Hokuto out then bring Kyoko in and go to work over her for a while. Hokuto comes back a little but is still a little out of it from all she took earlier so isn't a ton of help leaving Kyoko to do all the work again. They finally rally but their team work falls apart and all the big stuff Hokuto & Inoue try back fires such as when Kyoko ends up smashing her parter on a dive gone horribly wrong. Meanwhile all the double teams Toyota & Yamada do hit and that becomes the final story. The champs divide & concor, they trap Hokuto in the ropes so she can't escape and after a few more big moves Kyoko falls to the JOCS. Aside from a few sloppy moments involving Toyota, the was a really great match, especially the final fall as it had that extra something to go along with the great action to put it over the top.

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I thought this was more good than great, if I'm honest. Maybe it was the darker lighting, but this didn't strike a chord with me as it should given whose involved.

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I really loved this match. I'm probably overrating it, but it's the first time in any of the yearbooks outside of Hokuto in '93 that I can really see how the big picture booking is connecting these matches to each other, so something clicked. But I really loved this. The dive train near the end was great. When you see the story of Toyota and Yamada in '92, you realize these two went through hell together, both as partners and adversaries, going into Dream Rush. Apparently, Kansai and Oz did too -- moreso as rivals -- which is one of the best things about that match. But I thought the finish to each fall here was terrific. Kyoko and Hokuto looked strongest early on, but the last two falls were much more competitive. Yamada dropping Kyoko the way she did to take the second fall was brutal, as was Toyota's suplex in the third. I don't expect to rate this extremely high, but I enjoyed this quite a bit, mainly because of the context of seeing Toyota and Yamada go after each other so strongly just a few days earlier and then team so wonderfully here. There's also the strategy of separating Hokuto and Inoue to clear the way for a victory. The mental teamwork put this over the top.

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mainly because of the context of seeing Toyota and Yamada go after each other so strongly just a few days earlier and then team so wonderfully here.

Not that it doesn't make for a good story but tag parters as friendly rivals was a staple of AJW booking forever pretty much. With Toyota & Yamada it got taken to another level since Toyota freaked and wanted the hair match but yeah, almost every long time team of any significance in the companies history got booked in atleast a couple singles vs each other while they were still a regular team and you'd always see the partners go full force. Heck, with Aja & Bison they worked stiffer against each other then they did almost anyone else.

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I realize that it's fairly standard, but it really fits well in the context of the year. The story of Toyota and Yamada is about as epic as you can get in wrestling, is it not? Fighting each other, losing hair, having great triumphs and losses as a team, fighting off wrestlers from other promotions ... it's a big up and down story. I know that's kind of a "Well, duh ..." statement, but something about this match put that in perspective for me.

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The story of Toyota and Yamada is about as epic as you can get in wrestling, is it not? Fighting each other, losing hair, having great triumphs and losses as a team, fighting off wrestlers from other promotions ... it's a big up and down story.

Be interested to know who your pick for team of the year in 92 is. I know Doc & Gordy won it in the Observer but I think Toyota & Yamada are more deserving even ignoring the great booking and only focusing on bell to bell.

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I just wasn't feeling this too much. I didn't like how they muted the crowd. Toyota looked really sloppy at times, even more than usual. Like in the first fall when she looked like she was trying a huracarana into a sunset flip but failed. And did she ever KO herself doing the asai moonsalt on the ring apron?

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They flew through the three falls. Found it weird to see less than two minutes between the first an second falls. Think the losing team would need type to recoup and regroup but they turned it around real fast to tie things up. Thought it was good match though. Toyota really had the wrong angle on her asia moonsault the the outside.

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The only AJW match I didn't like from the yearbook.

 

It was sloppy beforehand and then the end of the first fall just killed the match stone dead for me. Hokuto tried to do the Niagara Driver, failed utterly and Toyota lands on top of her so Hokuto takes the full impact from the move. That's fine, just pick her up, deliver one more move and go to the pin. Instead Hokuto rolled Toyota from on top of her like 'that hadn't just happened' and pinned her for the 3 which was ludicrous. It destroyed the whole wrestling illusion of this match and I couldn't get into it after that.

 

This comm probably has the worst crowd muting and annoying commentator voiceover of any tape AJW released.

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The studio voiceovers in place of the crowd almost killed this for me. The workers go hard early, with Hokuto's assault on Yamada and brawling really standing out. Toyota & Yamada eat a double pin in the first fall after they miss a dive. The highlight was definitely Yamada's whirling dervish routine in the second fall, laying into Hokuto with a fury of spin kicks before closing it out in under 2 minutes with a suplex. Toyota went to the well on bridging out of pins a bit too much for me in the final stanza. I get it, the fans go for it and I'm cool with that, but this was overdone. Toyota was also a little sloppy towards the end, but we're judging things on a pretty high curve here.

 

***1/2

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Weird atmosphere, with the dark lighting and oddball school-basement-like venue. This is like a professionally produced indie match, or a Raw from the low points of 1994. And then the studio voiceovers, which I just hate when any promotion does it. This is still an enjoyable match that I seem to be in the middle on. The super-urgent second fall was the peak of this, with Toyota and Yoshida going balls-out after dropping a fall and quickly downing Hokuto to equalize--the fall lasted just as long as it needed to, which was refreshing. Toyota badly blew a lot of stuff in the third fall to the point where I'm surprised she wasn't injured, but got the pinfall anyway. Decent match that didn't overstay its welcome.

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There were little touches that I liked from Toyota and Yamada, that showed why they were the superior team, but, as a whole, this just didn't do much for me. The blown spots from Toyota dragged this down a lot for me, as did the first fall finish. The backdrops in the second falls bothered me too, because you'd think after so many of them Yamada would have tried for a pin, and not gone to the top for the kick.

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This felt sloppy to me from the start. There were a ton of blown and half-executed spots (some of which were intentional, I'm sure) and it didn't feel like either team was on top of their game. I liked that they didn't make a big deal out of the Tpypta-Yamada rivalry by having them do staredown tags and other teased dissension spots, which is what would have happened if two people headed for a hair match had been booked to be tag team partners in almost any North American promotion, champions or not.

 

Did they allow tags from inside the ring in AJW, or is it just one of those things the refs ignored? There were quite a few of those, and one instance where Toyota whiffed on a tag in the corner completely, but Yamada came in anyway. I get the feeling sometimes that these girls were so busy going a hundred miles an hour that the basics of wrestling became lost in the shuffle.

 

Zenjo talked about the moment where he was taken out of the match earlier. Well, I had a similar moment, and it was the seven back suplexes that Yamada gave to Hokuto. Once she finally covered, Hokuto kicked out rather easily. Really? Being dropped on the back of your head seven times in a row isn't enough to fracture your skull, or at least give you severe whiplash that would preclude you from kicking out of a pin for, say, the next week and a half? Combine that with Toyota's endless dropkicks and the smaller wrestlers' overuse of just about any type of suplex you can name, and you can see why I actually prefer the real heavyweights like Aja and Bull as long as they don't go too crazy with the weapon shots.

 

All of the above said, I'm still looking forward to the hair match.

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This match is really, really sloppy and all over the place.  There is a ton of action to be sure, but the multitude of blown spots killed me.  That and the sheer non-sensical Hokuto kicking out of all those suplexes and the diving enzuigiri.  And I am so sick of Toyota's dropkicks.  Stop at two and they look impressive.  Keep doing them over and over and it gets to be so overdone.  Not saying it isn't impressive, just could do without 8 straight dropkicks from one wrestler.

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