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[1990-06-04-Hamada's UWF] Aja Kong & Grizzly Iwamoto & Bison Kimura vs Manami Toyota & Mika Takahashi & Kaoru Maeda

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6/4/90 - Manami Toyota, Mika Takahashi & Kaoru Maeda vs Aja Kong, Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto

 

They switched things up and brought over an AJW ref to handle things, nothing against Yamaguchi but that's def a wise move. You can tell the girls had really started to get over with the new audiance at this piont as the crowds hyped for this one. Funnily enough it's the Gokumonto heels that are the one's who have the biggest cheering squad too with Aja especially being crazy over. In a funny bit they chant her name in tune with every offensive move she hits or when the ref counts a pinfall for her like the ECW fans chanted Shaw for Hack Myers. Hilarious stuff I really can't do justice describing. On the opposite end, the crowd doesn't dislike Honey Wings DX either, they'd ohh, ahh and applaud when they'd do a big move or cool spot but they're not as into them as they are their opponents. Match itself follows the previous pattern of the heels kicking all kinds of ass and the faces having to bravely fight back. All 6 really busted ass in this one and near the end Toyota & Kaoru are getting big chants as well after making their comeback. Near fall exchange is really good down the stretch and ends with Aja & Toyota going at it. After escaping a suplex attempt Aja backfist Toyota and puts her down with a huge german suplex of her own to win. This wouldn't crack my top 10 for AJW in 1990 but i'd say this is def somewhear in the top 20. Great great match with a hot crowd, nothing not to love about this.

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The equivalent to a Michinoku Pro match, as all six work really hard, cut a fast pace and show off their best moves. There's not the beginning-to-end narrative that you often find in Michinoku Pro matches, but I still thought this was a fantastic spotfest and touring match, filled with crowd-pleasing spots like the triple Boston crabs, and athleticism. The crowd also didn't seem to be showing them proper respect at the beginning, but they had them by the end. It's better for me than all of the little AJW stuff that made the set before now.

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Crowd is definitely doing that "whoooah...OH!" stuff they were doing for Warrior-DiBiase, but by the end they were genuinely into it. I wasn't particularly taken in by Iwamoto or Kimura but Aja worked for 3 and the babyfaces were all game, though Kong vs. Toyota was clearly the highlight of the bout, especially a series of tremendous near-falls towards the middle between the two. It was a spotfest, but as with the earlier joshi stuff the transitions all made sense and we got a really strong sympathetic performance from the babyface team when they were working underneath, with a few great moments of having the heels on the ropes like the rapidfire legdrops into the rapidfire planchas that Aja emphatically put an end to. Aja gets in a spinning backfist and a big German suplex to put Toyota away, getting the heels over but also coming off as a skin-of-the-teeth escape victory. Kind of a weird post-match confrontation that looks like the teams are either going to continue fighting or start making out.

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On one hand my favorite joshi matches usually mix in a great, emotional story along with the fast pace, but damn if this match didn't draw me in and make me smile throughout its duration. Really fun match mixing in a million spots and a really hot finishing stretch between Aja and Toyota. This may be the 2/4/94 MPro tag of 1990 for me.

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Some type of fan cam Joshi match. This could be a tough one for me. Aja does a Bubba Bomb. Aja eats a couple dives before blocking the third one. Times I feel like this is getting the Warrior/DiBiase crowd treatment but that may just be the fan cam audio. They start to win me over as match goes on though. Nice German by Aja to win the match.

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A number of the fans were drunk which, though annoying, did create a rowdy and heated atmosphere. First 10m was aimless flying around at breakneck speed. It did improve quite a bit thereafter despite some sloppy moments. At it's best when Aja and Toyota were squaring off.

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Manami Toyota was the worker of the match, in my opinion. Everyone else was also really good though. I wish Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto would have shown a bit more than they did, but this wasn't the kind of match where they would stand out. This was fast-paced action-packed match with lots of moves.

 

The match was impressive, but the crowd stood out as well. Not necessarily in a good way though. It seemed they didn't take the women all that seriously during the early stages of the match. However, they seemed to got into the match more seriously during the later stages of the match. The crowd acted like they had watched some WCW and played the Jim Ross drinking game. Perhaps they even had their own Hamada's UWF drinking game.

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The work here was technically proficient, but man, they sure kicked out of a lot of stuff. In particular, Kong hit a bunch of nasty pikedrivers for two counts. I won't hate on this because everything they did looked great, but it wasn't a match I loved.

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I continue to be blown away by the proficiency of Japanese women wrestlers. The heels in particular were excellent here, and of course Kong was a revelation. You wonder how these women could have revolutionized American female wrestling if they'd come here, but the Jumping Bomb Angels had tried that a couple of years before and so outclassed Judy Martin and Leilani Kai that Vince had the WWF women's tag titles scrapped for good, if I remember the story right.

 

I couldn't tell which one was Bison and which one was Grizzly (I was unable to hear the announcements at the start either), but they're a hell of a team, much better than the Honey Wings.

 

I had trouble hearing the crowd due to the fan cam, but if these women really took a bored or indifferent crowd and got them into this match by the quality of their work alone, it speaks volumes as to how good they are.

 

Of the limited amount of joshi matches I've seen so far, this is my number one.

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