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[1992-11-02-AJW-Tag League The Best] Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko

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(Tag Leauge The Best 92) Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko

Debbie the wise to Sakie pre match promo "I have no idea what you said but i'm sure I agree with it". 1st half or so of this match they go back and forth trading off who's in controll. Everyone in the match takes a turn getting beat up for an exstended period of time which i've started to really dig as a way to keep things interesting & fresh when you're going long. They work things at a pretty even pace and stay on the same page too with even Toyota reigning herself in a little bit and resisting the urge to just massively spaz out as she's want to do. They kick it up a notch around the 20 min mark with Toyota & Yamada breaking out a long stretch of double teams and big moves as Toyota finally gets to go nuts and release all her built up energy. Every time they look to finish Debbie though Sakie's able to rush in to make the save. For really the only time in the match they kind of give away that this is ending in a draw as like 25 mins in Sakie starts working a camel clutch spot, slowing down the momentum but that doesn't last too long and they go right back working the near falls. Fun moment as the crowd, which has been kind of quiet tonight starts really getting into things and hoping for an upset win so they start booing the heck out of Yamada & Toyota for breaking up all of Sakie & Debs pinfall or submission attempts. Sakie goes all exploder crazy on Yamada and almost gets the win but alas time exspires, and fuck, they even had me screaming "come on, you can do it :)" near the end hoping they'd pull out the victory. Debbie the wise post match promo "definatly a rush, a team with no belts going against a team with 2 belts and going to a time limit draw, thats something to say, I think next time we might get em" Really good match that managed to avoid suffering from a lot of the issues that often crop up when going the time limit

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This really built nicely. Well paced, and another example of Hasegawa showing more talent than her push. Not sure if this was the dynamic they were going for, but this really felt like a midcard team pushing a main event team to the limit, almost like a RWTL match that ends up being way better than it has any right to be. They work holds really well, but Toyota still gets to do all the stuff she does well ... without a lot of the stuff she does that normally drives me crazy. Yamada is awesome and has become one of my favorites. They don't really telegraph the draw like you might think they would either. FLIK is right that this manages to avoid the pitfalls of many long matches. I think this is my first Debbie Malenko match, and she's more over with the AJW audience than I would have expected. She also puts on a really terrific performance. I don't know anything about her really, but I'd be interested in finding out what the best stuff of her career was.

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and another example of Hasegawa showing more talent than her push. Not sure if this was the dynamic they were going for, but this really felt like a midcard team pushing a main event team to the limit

Yeah that's about right. Sakie & Debbie were a pushed team and always treated as a threat any time they wrestled the big dogs but pecking order wise they're still at that mid to upper mid card level.

 

Toyota & Yamada were also doing a subtle losing streak/Toyota's the weak link story at the time so this plays into that too. Aja & Sakie beat them in a tv match in Sept actually, though that was mostly Aja being a monster. Sakie as an individual actually was getting the biggest push of her career though up to this point though 92, you could def tell they were moving her up the ranks.

 

I think this is my first Debbie Malenko match, and she's more over with the AJW audience than I would have expected. She also puts on a really terrific performance. I don't know anything about her really, but I'd be interested in finding out what the best stuff of her career was.

Debbie had been with the company full time for around 2 years by now as she ended up getting Madusa's spot as the main foreign girl in the promotion after she left for WCW.

 

She kind of falls into the same catagory as Yoshida around this time, a girl who doesn't have a lot of stuff one would pimp for a best of the year type project such as this but was routinely tearing things up in solid to good mid card matches.

 

Some of her better ones to track down i you want to see more of her work

 

4/21/1991 Manami Toyota & Debbie Malenko vs Kyoko Inoue & Bat Yoshinaga

 

10/4/1991 Bull Nakano vs Debbie Malenko (only goes like 5 mins but for a 5 min match it's really enjoyable and I bring it up since you didn't see Debbie mixing it up with the main eventers that often, especially in singles)

 

11/15/1991 (AJW Title) Takako Inoue © vs Debbie Malenko

 

12/9/1991 (Tag Leauge The Best 91) Manami Toyota & Debbie Malenko vs Takako Inoue & Mariko Yoshida

 

1/4/1992 Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko (Sakie & Debbie's debut as a team, similar story to this one with the theme of young mid carders really pushing higher up team)

 

4/25/1992 (AJW Tag Title Match) Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa © vs Takako Inoue & Mariko Yoshida (For me I think this may be the best match Debbie was involved in)

 

4/29/1992 Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa vs Bison Kimura & Aja Kong

 

6/27/1992 (JGP 92) Sakie Hasegawa vs Debbie Malenko

 

7/15/1992 (AJW Tag Titles) Takako Inoue & Mariko Yoshida © vs Mima Shimoda & Debbie Malenko

 

10/17/1992 (Tag Leauge The Best 92) Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa vs Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue

 

Haven't seen yet but her singles matches vs Hokuto & Terri Power in early 93 have also gotten a lot of praise from diffrent people.

 

After this she gets injured and sucked into a black hole disapearing completely from wrestling until they somehow managed to dig her up in 2001 for that one exhibition match in ARSION vs Bionic J. Dave Prazak told a funny story about her contacting him a few years back out of the blue inquiring about making a possible comeback but it never went anywhear since I guess there weren't too many places for her to wrestle in the area she was living in at the time.

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I did upload the 2/28/93 show (Terri/Debbie) a while back: the links will be buried somewhere in DVDVR's MME folder. It's more interesting after having seen all the '92 footage because whilst, yes, it's a much better match than Terri should've been having in singles, and Debbie is great, you can see Terri having improved a lot too and it's by a country mile the best performance out of her. She'd work through her shoulder injury to make the Dream Slam shows and then quit wrestling for a few years IIRC, the run in Zenjo banged her up pretty bad. There's quite a few Debbie matches on YouTube (though not vs. Terri for some reason) and Ditch has the 1/5/92 AJW Tag Titles match vs. Takako/Yoshida on his .us site. That is, of course, not withstanding the volume of footage you watch daily from these Yearbook sets, Loss. ;)

 

***

 

As for this match, yeah, I loved it. The match against the FMW girls at Dream Rush isn't upto much (and Sakie looks very annoyed), so this works as the culmination to Sakie/Debbie's run together (I'm 99% sure that the 1/4/92 show was their first match teaming). They only had three more matches on tape after this by my count (Dream Rush, TLTB'92 Finals show vs. Bat/Nabe, 1/24/93 vs. Terri/Ito) before the injury in March.

 

Debbie does get a tad overrated because she's a gaijin who can actually work with the girls and not drag everything to pieces, but by this point she was definitely in the good-very good range and getting better. I'm not sure of the complications with her leg injury: you figure the company would've brought her back by the time Yoshida returned ("you can work the Tokyo Dome!"), or would've been approached in someway to work with Madusa in WWF... my memories of it are she didn't look that bad at all when she made her cameo in Arsion.

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The match against the FMW girls at Dream Rush isn't upto much (and Sakie looks very annoyed), so this works as the culmination to Sakie/Debbie's run together

I hated that match for the longest but it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered when I re-watched it a couple months back.

The 1st 1/2 is good and the 2nd half was enjoyable as a trainwreck plus, yeah, Sakie being crazy pissed off in the whole way through made for some fun times

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They only had three more matches on tape after this by my count (Dream Rush, TLTB'92 Finals show vs. Bat/Nabe, 1/24/93 vs. Terri/Ito) before the injury in March.

Looking through tape list I came across Toyota/Yamada vs Sakie/Debbie 3/11/93, i'm guess that's the match whear she gets injured?

 

Also, came across this buried on a random Lynch tape that has a mish mash of other stuff.

Devil Masami & Debbie Malenko vs Dynamite Kansai & Plum Mariko from JWP 2/11/1993

 

Never even heard of this match before but checking PUNQ's list he has it rated ***3/4 so i'll have to pick this up sometime.

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So why is Toyota teaming with the woman that she beat in a hair match? Did they get back together after that match or something?

 

I think I would like these Joshi matches better if I knew what was going on/ why they happened beforehand. This was good though and I like Sakie.

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So why is Toyota teaming with the woman that she beat in a hair match? Did they get back together after that match or something?

 

I think I would like these Joshi matches better if I knew what was going on/ why they happened beforehand. This was good though and I like Sakie.

They were still the WWWA Tag Team champs. They sort of still had to tag together. Hench the defense at Dream Rush. :)

 

John

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Got to watch the Debbie/Hokuto match I mentioned above the other day, only 6-7 mins aired but it's real good stuff, especially down the stretch when it becomes all about Debbie going after Hokuto's arm which plays to both girls strengths.

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The greatest match of Debbie Malenko's curtailed career. She stepped it up and didn't look out of place, her sharp submissions adding some spice. Hasegawa as well was on her 'A' game with strong intensity and execution. I loved how she held back the exploider until the final minute. In a tag environment these girls had such deep movesets that they didn't even had to pull everything out in a 30m draw. The WWWA TT champs were on red hot form as we would see later in the month. The quality level was consistant throughout and it was a breeze to watch. Not high end but really good.

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I sort of had the same issues with this as I had with the other 30-minute tag draw at Havoc. Thirty minutes of my-turn/your-turn wrestling can be a little much to take. The only strong sense of storyline I got was towards the AJPW-style ending stretch, and admittedly it was pretty awesome, with Hasegawa throwing great suplexes and Yamada constantly having to kick out because Debbie keeps cutting Toyota off from making the save. That had a strong Jumbo & Taue vs. Kobashi & Kikuchi vibe to it. And everything before that was really well-executed--I just still had trouble getting emotionally invested in who won or lost.

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Great outfits for Yamada & Hasegawa. Yamada played the role of the stiff brute pretty well. Not much new to add here -- I had a tough time getting invested in this as it felt like it was going really long given how Toyota & Yamada were pacing themselves. Even if they weren't all all well done, the near falls and big spots down the stretch were exciting and after the set up felt like they were coming nonstop. Yamada with some great selling on the floor late, even if it looked like she just truly winded. On the other hand, I wasn't digging Malenko's selling very much, as she would go down like a giant but pop up like its nothing for the next spot. Also doesn't exactly have the most graceful plancha. Good story here, but took way too long telling it. The JWP tag in December told a similar, better story with superior work and finish.

 

***1/4

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I'm with Pete and Eagle; a lot of the moves looked impressive, but it all ended up a blur because we weren't given a reason to care about anyone in the match. Each team got to go through their moves one after the other, but that was about it.

 

I liked the accidental miscommunication spots between Toyota and Yamada; they'd just come off the hair match in which they'd really got at each other hard, and though they ended up friends, there was always the chance that one thing or another could set them off again. It didn't happen, but the tease was still effective.

 

I liked Sakie bridging out of several Toyota pin attempts too. They happened in such a way that it didn't feel like move-stealing, although I think I caught a definite "What the hell?" look on Toyota's face at one point.

 

I don't think either team was in control for more than a few seconds at a stretch. A dead-even wrestling match sounds good in theory, but never turns out well in practice; that may be why there aren't that many examples of matches like that.

 

Sorry to hear about Debbie being hurt. She definitely looked like a chip off the old block here with some of the submissions she used. Is she Dean and Joe's legit sister, or was she just using the Malenko name?

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Sorry to hear about Debbie being hurt. She definitely looked like a chip off the old block here with some of the submissions she used. Is she Dean and Joe's legit sister, or was she just using the Malenko name?

No relation. She took the name after training under the tutelage of the Malenko family. It was the same with Carl Malenko (also known as Carl Greco) who appears in BattleArts later in the 90's.

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