Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[1995-04-15-GAEA-Debut Show] Mayumi Ozaki & Devil Masami vs Dynamite Kansai & Chigusa Nagayo

Recommended Posts

So this is GAEA? This is my first time to watch a GAEA match, and it's also my first time to see Devil Masami doing the Super Heel gimmick. I thought this was a super match. I know DEAN loved GAEA, and I don't really know what anyone else thought, but if it's all like this, I'm inclined to agree with him. I've seen Ozaki give some of the best individual performances of all time, but she was as good as I've ever seen her in this match, but in a much different way than usual. It was also great to see Chigusa again. She's *slightly* below the level she was in the 80s, but she still has amazing charm and charisma and the audience is excited to see her. From what I understand, Devil as Super Heel can really suck at times, but here, it didn't at all. She was like a much better version of the best version of the Undertaker. There wasn't a dull moment, and in spite of all the chaos, there was a clear logical progression in how the match unfolded instead of just doing mindless brawling. And even the crowd brawling, which I normally hate in Joshi, worked because Devil was so wrapped up in her gimmick. Taking every chair she could find and throwing a separate shot was tremendous. The end result surprised me, but maybe it shouldn't. I guess it's standard fare when a big star comes back for them to eat the fall in their first match. Plus, it opens the door for Chigusa/Ozaki matches later in the year (which happen to be on the yearbook!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say this is GAEA. Oz, Dynamite and Devil are all JWP wrestlers. Chigusa is at this point more linked to her AJW past that creating something new in GAEA. This would be akin to only seeing the following of a NOAH debut in 2000:

 

Misawa & Mutoh vs Chono & Tenzan

 

Misawa still linked to AJPW, teaming with New Japan's top star opposite NJPW's top tag team. :)

 

Joshi experts could point to when one really gets a sense for what GAEA would become.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GAEA along with FMW are easily hands down my 2 favorite promotions ever.

 

For about 8 of the 10 years it existed I thought it was the best joshi company around.

 

I know DEAN loved GAEA, and I don't really know what anyone else thought, but if it's all like this, I'm inclined to agree with him.

Well, it's not all or even mostly crazy brawling but GAEA was built on well booked feuds leading to exciting, well put together action packed matches.

 

She's *slightly* below the level she was in the 80s, but she still has amazing charm and charisma and the audience is excited to see her.

Also helps that she is only like 30 at the time this is taking place so still well within her peak in terms of pyshically being able to go.

 

From what I understand, Devil as Super Heel can really suck at times, but here, it didn't at all.

Always liked the gimmick myself. It didn't always produce great matches like this one, it was more built around spectacle & presentation then flat out workrate (MUTA vs Mutoh if you will) but I usually found most of the Super Heel matches to at least be fun & enjoyable on some level. Guess just depends on what you want out of your wrestling and if you can accept the more whacky aspects of it :)

 

Plus, it opens the door for Chigusa/Ozaki matches later in the year (which happen to be on the yearbook!)

OZ & Chiggy had allready been feuding since early to mid 94 so this is more a continuation of the feud then the set up.

 

I wouldn't say this is GAEA. Oz, Dynamite and Devil are all JWP wrestlers. Chigusa is at this point more linked to her AJW past that creating something new in GAEA.

Sorta yes and sorta no :)

 

Looking at it within the context of the time yeah you're absolutely right.

 

Looking at it in hindsight knowing how much time OZ & Devil would spend in the promotion in the early days and that those 2 along with Kansai would eventually jump over to GAEA full time within a few years after this anyways you can still consider this a fair representation of what they're all about.

 

Joshi experts could point to when one really gets a sense for what GAEA would become

Hmmm, i'd say maybe sometime in late 96 - early 97.

 

GAEA's roster to start out with was Chigusa, Kaoru, Bomber Hikaru & 6 rookies they trained so for about the 1st year & 1/2 or so they had to rely really heavily on using outside talent from JWP, LLPW & FMW along with whoever else they could strike a deal with.

 

After that Hokuto joined the company, followed shortly by Yamada, they'd had a 2nd wave of trainees debut and their 1st class of Meiko, Kato, Nagashima, Toshie, etc.... had started really steping things up. Once all that happened they were able to scale back on how often they worked with outsiders and book a lot more high profile in house matches/feuds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, it's time for the old grumpy joshi fan to rear its ugly head and bitch about GAEA like it was 1999 again.:)

GAEA was cool at first mostly thanks to the infamous Oz Academy and involvement of JWP wrestlers. The rookies had lot of potential, some of which delivered (Nagashima, Kato before the injury), some of which got the most overrated wrestlers in the scene (Satomura), some of which got fat and sucked (Sato). GAEA in the late 90's early 00's was fun for their big shows with some big name matches, and mostly thanks to the awesome Aja Kong working there, along with LCO (although they never delivered like they did elsewhere). But GAEA TV was the most frustrating product in joshi to me, matches were certainly action packed, but much shorter than in every other promotions, washed-up veterans would grasp on the top of the cards and the young girls would never get above the glass ceiling. Basically, GAEA was WCW, a bunch of Nitro matches and the occasional big shows with one or two excellent matches and washed up veterans on top. Meiko Satomura was the most pushed girls on them all, like a Chiggy Jr., but to me she was very overrated by all. Don't get me started on that Satumora vs Hokuto match. Chiggy in GAEA was Hogan in WCW. Once she retired, she closed down the promotion, having zero intention of helping the business (Onita salutes you Chiggy) despite GAEA being the only "successful" promotion back then thanks to the star power.

Anyway, I was an ARSION loyalist back then, and a forgotten promotion like Jd' that went totally under the radar had much more interesting stuff to me, with The Bloody and the judo girls. I did enjoy GAEA to an extent, and I loved Chikayo Nagashima, who was just awesome on every level, but it was kinda frustrating to watch and see that other promotions were forgotten because GAEA had all the hype despite not having the best in-ring product.

I feel like I'm 24 again.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

matches were certainly action packed, but much shorter than in every other promotions

I did occasionally wish things got a little more time but by and large I was fine with it. It's not like the matches were SUPER short either, at the peak in the 2000's on average most matches still got 10-20 mins which is plenty for the style they were working and when it comes to that "High Spurt", smash mouth style they were the masters at it.

 

And hey, don't forget in peak ARSION they weren't exactly putting out a ton of 20 min + matches either buddy :)

Lots of their best stuff didn't even go 15

 

washed-up veterans would grasp on the top of the cards and the young girls would never get above the glass ceiling.

That's pretty much a myth that only spread due to ppl half paying attention to the booking, blindy hating that the vets weren't swept to the side and being impatient that the youngsters who'd only even been wrestling a handfull of years weren't immediatly shot to the top of the card the second they showed potential.

 

Saying that they had a glass cieling is only true if you ignore that every vet they had except Lioness (who's a whole other story) put over multiple ppl from the younger generation multiple times, clean, in high profile matches. Everyone who actually had the potential to be a top star eventually did get their big run and those that didn't got pushed about as far as their talent allowed. Also misses the point that the goal was never to have the younger generation surpass the older generation anyways, it was to bring them up to an equal level.

 

With Meiko & Nagashima and a few others they were pushed just enough that they were credible main eventers, the fans saw as big deal stars you could draw with and buy as being able to beat anyone they were put against.

 

At the same time they weren't going to start totally jobbing out the old stars or regulating them to permanent mid card status since 1) they were still bringing in fans and 2) even if they weren't as good as they used to be they would still ocasionally have flashes of brilliance.

 

Kansai's a good example of that as she'd be average for a while but then just when you'd start to write her off as "washed up" she'd bust out one of the best matches of the year and remind you she still had a lot of value when used right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember any youngster getting anything from the veteran that would put them near the same level. The closest was Aja vs Satomura, which was the best feud in the history of the promotion, mostly thanks to Aja.

Man, I thought Kansai was mostly terrible in GAEA, mediocre at best. Yamada was done. I never liked KAORU much. Hokuto was washed up and delivered exactly once. Lioness was Lioness. Chiggy was Chiggy. Only Oz and Aja were really good still.

By 1998-1999 when they launched the SSU angle, most TV matches were really short sprints by joshi standarts. No way they got a lot of 10-20 minutes matches on regular basis at this point.

What was cool about GAEA during that period is that they were doing supercards that nobody else could do in the late 90's early 00's. I got all those big shows.

But to me GAEA was better and more fun at the beginnings. When Sugar Sato showed shitload of potential.

 

Now you can say that ARSION booking sucked, that they pushed Ayako too much, that they gave up way too quickly on their initial style, that Chama was annoying, that Rossy was an idiot, that GAMI's comedy wasn't funny, that Lioness ruined the promotion and that their only saving grace was Yoshida still being Yoshida way after the point of anything mattering or not.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember any youngster getting anything from the veteran that would put them near the same level. The closest was Aja vs Satomura, which was the best feud in the history of the promotion, mostly thanks to Aja.

Meiko got put over in feuds by Kansai, Devil & Hokuto as well. She also beat Kaoru, Yamada, OZ a bunch of times, scored atleast a few wins over Toyota & while she didn't beat her in singles until the last night, Meiko did go over Chigusa in a few tags.

 

Nagashima got put over heavily by OZ & Aja, Devil was going to put her over too in their feud but got injured in the match. She beat a bunch of other vets along the way.

 

Aja put over Sugar in their feud, Kaoru put her over too. Yamada put over Toshie in their feud, D-Fix got Sakura over as something other then a comedy wrestler for the first time. There's others but that's what comes to mind off the top of my head.

 

Again, pretty much all the vets except Lioness ended up jobbing in feuds/major matches to the younger girls atleast a couple times. They won their fair share too but still

 

By 1998-1999 when they launched the SSU angle, most TV matches were really short sprints by joshi standarts. No way they got a lot of 10-20 minutes matches on regular basis at this point.

Heh naw, you're way off on that one. Some undercard stuff would be clipped (it was on GAORA after all) but you always got atleast a 2 or more longer matches per show. A ton of 15 - 20+ stuff aired in 99.

 

They didn't really start cutting down majorly until 03-04 with 04 especially being bad as you'd rarely get to see anything over 15 but still you'd atleast get 10-11 min matches.

 

Man, I thought Kansai was mostly terrible in GAEA, mediocre at best.

She was fine when she came in full time in 2000 though she was pretty crummy her last few months in JWP before jumping over. 2001 she fell off a bit when she was doing the football gimmick though at the same time she was in the 2nd best match of the year and she had good stuff feuding with Meiko early in the year. 02 she got really motivated again about mid year when Toyota jumped over and they ran the Ex AJW vs GAEA/Others feud, had some great matches around this time. Most of 03 she didn't do much of note but was mostly decent and got really motivated again in the late part of the year when they gave her a mini push back up to main event and she had the short run as champion to transition the belt from Toyota to Hamada. Rest of 04 until GAEA shut down she continued the pattern of being atleast solid most of the time and busting out the ocasional really good match every couple months.

 

Yamada was still great up until late 02 or so, after that injuries caught up to her and she slowed down with her back being so shot by the end she couldn't actually wrestle her own retirment match. Still for 03 & 04 she'd also still have the ocasional good match too.

 

Hokuto largely stunk when she came back from her first kid in late 99 until late 00 - early 01, i'll give you that. She was great during her first run in 96 - 98 however and still really damn good during her last year & 1/2 or so.

 

Lioness, Kaoru & Chiggy i'll just say I disagree on too :)

 

Btw, do you remember who was the first person that started calling Chigusa Chiggy?

I stole it off of you actually but i've long since forgotten if you actually came up with it.

 

Now you can say that ARSION booking sucked, that they pushed Ayako too much, that they gave up way too quickly on their initial style, that Chama was annoying, that Rossy was an idiot, that GAMI's comedy wasn't funny, that Lioness ruined the promotion and that their only saving grace was Yoshida still being Yoshida way after the point of anything mattering or not.

Haven't seen much ARSION past 99 actually, only heard the stories.

It's the promotion i'll dive into more heavily after I eventually finish picking up the last few GAEA shows I haven't gotten yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember any youngster getting anything from the veteran that would put them near the same level. The closest was Aja vs Satomura, which was the best feud in the history of the promotion, mostly thanks to Aja.

Meiko got put over in feuds by Kansai, Devil & Hokuto as well. She also beat Kaoru, Yamada, OZ a bunch of times, scored atleast a few wins over Toyota & while she didn't beat her in singles until the last night, Meiko did go over Chigusa in a few tags.

 

Nagashima got put over heavily by OZ & Aja, Devil was going to put her over too in their feud but got injured in the match. She beat a bunch of other vets along the way.

 

Aja put over Sugar in their feud, Kaoru put her over too. Yamada put over Toshie in their feud, D-Fix got Sakura over as something other then a comedy wrestler for the first time. There's others but that's what comes to mind off the top of my head.

 

Again, pretty much all the vets except Lioness ended up jobbing in feuds/major matches to the younger girls atleast a couple times. They won their fair share too but still

 

By 1998-1999 when they launched the SSU angle, most TV matches were really short sprints by joshi standarts. No way they got a lot of 10-20 minutes matches on regular basis at this point.

Heh naw, you're way off on that one. Some undercard stuff would be clipped (it was on GAORA after all) but you always got atleast a 2 or more longer matches per show. A ton of 15 - 20+ stuff aired in 99.

 

They didn't really start cutting down majorly until 03-04 with 04 especially being bad as you'd rarely get to see anything over 15 but still you'd atleast get 10-11 min matches.

Well, that's not what I remember, but since you saw shitloads more than me, and probably recently too, I'll take your word on this. Until I get back into joshi, one of those decades.;)

 

Man, I thought Kansai was mostly terrible in GAEA, mediocre at best.

She was fine when she came in full time in 2000 though she was pretty crummy her last few months in JWP before jumping over.

I thought she was already totally washed up when she joined GAEA. Never saw anything close to the old Kansai past 1998. Illness did her bad.

 

Yamada was still great up until late 02 or so, after that injuries caught up to her and she slowed down with her back being so shot by the end she couldn't actually wrestle her own retirment match. Still for 03 & 04 she'd also still have the ocasional good match too.

Yamada is one of those who I think was decent at first but fell off the wagon pretty quickly. That said, rewatching 92 and 93, Yamada's stock dropped to the point I wouldn't call her a great wrestler at any point of her career now.

 

Hokuto largely stunk when she came back from her first kid in late 99 until late 00 - early 01, i'll give you that. She was great during her first run in 96 - 98 however and still really damn good during her last year & 1/2 or so.

Haven't seen her last year. I agree her first comeback was still good. Not anything close to prime Hokuto, but good. I was thinking about post 99.

 

Btw, do you remember who was the first person that started calling Chigusa Chiggy?

I stole it off of you actually but i've long since forgotten if you actually came up with it.

Man, that's interesting. At this point I have no earthly idea who came up with it. I know I used it all the freaking time, but I don't think I came up with it. Maybe I did. But I wouldn't bet on it. I'm taking credit on spreading around the LCO acronym though, who I stole from Keith Watanabe I believe.;)

 

Haven't seen much ARSION past 99 actually, only heard the stories.

Well, you've seen the best.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So GAEA seems to be ECW to AJW's WCW/WWF is that a fair assumption? Ozaki was really good in this. Just beating the hell out of Chigusa and looking like a mad woman. The ring breaking towards the end had a very Memphis feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So GAEA seems to be ECW to AJW's WCW/WWF is that a fair assumption?

Hum... GAEA was more like WCW. Veterans on top, good young workers undercard, fun big shows with big names working mediocre main events, and Nitro matches on TV. Except Chiggy, this match was essentially a JWP match, with the same kind of brawling you'd see there from Oz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So GAEA seems to be ECW to AJW's WCW/WWF is that a fair assumption?

The ring breaking towards the end had a very Memphis feel.

Closer analogy would be more the AAA to AJW's CMLL. New company that had a more modern exciting style, tried a lot of new ideas, some completely unique, some just not done in joshi before. Created a new generation of stars & stole a bunch of other top ones from the established companies. Fans of Memphis or other similar styles would both recognize and probably love angles like the formation of the OZ Academy with Chigusa's students turning on her to join her hated rival or SSU vs GAEA with Chigusa's long time friend & partner Lioness joining the company only to betray her and try to take it over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The GAEA debut show was notable for the debuts of 6 initial trainees. Amazingly 5 of them made it. Unfortunately rookie production soon went from amesome to minimal. 12 of the 16 GAEA trueborns would debut in the first 2 years of the company. A new rookie in the 7 years after that was so rare they made documentaries about both of them. B)

 

So for the main event they had to borrow heavily from JWP, who'd have never loaned them their top stars if they could see the future. It was as strong a match on an opening show as I can recall. They metaphorically brought the house down and literally were dismantling the ring. The crowd were hot throughout it's 1/2 hour duration and so was most of the wrestling. Devil was doing the Super Heel gimmick but hadn't figured out how to suck yet. The rivalries were really strong, Chiggy vs Oz most of all. Great action in the ring early on. I was initially unsure when they started introducing the hardcore element but that ended up ruling too. Both faces bled and were Dog Collared in chains. It was wild and exciting. Ozaki was the star performer and she was rewarded with an upset win over Nagayo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic match with the ring getting destroyed. Kansai and Oz pick up where they left off when we last saw them, and it's nice to see Nagayo actually over for a change. Never seen Super Heel before and it's a blatant Undertaker ripoff (even though I think the gimmick pre-dated him by years), complete with zombie sit-ups. But it's well-done, it's a change of pace from the normally super-emotive Devil, and in a genre of wrestling where everyone seems to wear their emotions on their sleeve, the stereotypical Japanese super-stoicism feels fresh. Nagayo does the job on opening night, which is a surprise, and the finish is another kind of cheap ending after such a brutal, epic war. So this and the JWP streetfight have the same tiny flaw, but right now these are the top two matches of the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 4/95 Street fight from the first GAEA show is better than it had a right to be. It's a sprawling mess that I think you can only really appreciate if you're a Joshi fan, but they clearly wanted to make the first show special and had the battle scars to prove it. The collar and chain work may offend some. The blood may upset others. I cringed at some of the "with our powers combined" teamwork from Chigusa and Kansai, but by and large I thought it was a fine hodgepodge of Chigusa and Kansai's shoot stuff, Ozaki's street fight style, and a throwback to the days when Devil would terrorize girls with her kendo stick. Chigusa jobbed so often in her comeback years that she must have been working a gimmick about whether she fit in with the modern world any more. Ozaki is a legendary seller in my eyes, but her timing was off post-match. She tried to sell that she was out of it during the stretch run and fighting on instinct alone. That was fine, but when she recovered after the bout, she pretended to not know that she'd gotten the three count and jumped up and down like an ecstatic schoolgirl. Nice idea, but the execution was poor and the heat was really on Chigusa for losing in the main event of her first show. Ah well, can't nail 'em all Oz.


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  

×