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[1990-11-14-AJW-Wrestlemarinepiad] Akira Hokuto & Suzuka Minami vs Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue

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- (3WA Tag Titles - 2 out of 3 Falls - Special Ref Yoshiyo Yamada) Akira Hokuto & Suzuka Minami © vs Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue

This is the match my opinion has changed the most of after re-watching. Originally I thought this was just an ok - decent match but this time around I got a lot more out of it and found it to be really good. It's not a work rate, blow away, movez type of match. Not to say that there isn't a lot of great action but the thing that puts this over the top is the story of the match. Yamada was out injured thus unable to team with Toyota so instead she's made ref and Kyoko Inoue is booked to team with Toyota. Even back then the 2 were rivals so we've got whacky mis matched tag parters, something way way over played in main stream US wrestling but rarely ever done in AJW or Japanese wrestlng in general. Things go well for the new pairing early on, Marine Wolves prove to be a better unit, doing a lot of team work and mostly dominating the 1st round but Kyoko & Toyota are still good enough wrestlers that they can come out on top so long as they coexist. With a little help from Yamada "mistakenly" not seeing Hokuto get her shoulder up at the count of 3 Kyoko gets the pin on her. Funny moment as even she wasn't sure it was really 3 and acted all surprised when Yamada gave it to her. 2nd round things look to continue but it goes bad quickly as Kyoko decideds to bring a chair in and accidenly nails Toyota causing her to lose. Shit breaks down after as Toyota decideds she in fact does not enjoy getting smacked in the head by heavy metal things and her & Kyoko get into a fight with people having to rush in to break it up. The soldier on for the 3rd fall which sees Toyota getting beat down by The Wolves for quite a while before finally making the big tag to Inoue. Soon after things go bad again though as Hokuto & Suzuka prove to also be a smarter pair and after getting Kyoko again attack Toyota on accident Hokuto gets her win back, pinning her with the NLB. Post match Toyota gets on the mic, talks shit and says her & Yamada want their shot. Course, a month later Jungle Jack won the titles so moot point.

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I didn't really love this match, but I did think it was a cool morality play about how team work makes the dream work. I imagine some bizarro universe where corporations shows Joshi matches during executive retreats and new hire orientation to make whatever points they want to make. Chigusa vs Dump would a metaphor of the dangers of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Hokuto vs Kandori could be the heroic tale of someone who didn't call in sick, even though she was legitimately sick, because she wanted to complete a project that was consistent with her own pre-defined objectives. Thunderqueen would be about thinking locally and acting globally. Dream Rush would be about persevering to beat outside competition. Kong/Hotta could be "Stop using your carpal tunnel as an excuse to get out of doing work. Aja Kong could be doing this to your hand." So there are lots of possibilities.

 

So that was the story. FLIK nailed the story. But I don't know about the telling of the story. If team work is going to beat two individuals who aren't on the same page every time out, why were Kyoko and Toyota able to secure the first fall? In some ways, that ruined this whole match for me, because their peril seemed silly after that. Had this been a one-fall match, they would have won and all would have been fine, so what's the point in continuing to play up their hostility when it hasn't really cost them anything? The match is well-worked and everything, but it didn't really feel special.

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If team work is going to beat two individuals who aren't on the same page every time out, why were Kyoko and Toyota able to secure the first fall?

At the start of the match they were on the same page or atleast not at each others throats. They put their diffrences aside enough to attempt to win the titles, thus they won the 1st fall, were doing well until in the 2nd Kyoko accidently nails Toyota with a chair causing them to lose that fall then Toyota gets pissed about it and their team work falls apart in the 3rd so they lose the match.

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Kyoko shoved Toyota down at the very beginning of the first fall and insisted that she start the match. I really took it as them being at each others' throats right away.

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I really took it as them being at each others' throats right away.

Well, yes & no.

Again for me the story is that even with all the tension going into the match, once things actually got going they were fine....until they weren't :)

 

That & Yamada not seeing Hokuto kick out is why they could win the 1st fall.

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I imagine some bizarro universe where corporations shows Joshi matches during executive retreats and new hire orientation to make whatever points they want to make. Chigusa vs Dump would a metaphor of the dangers of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Hokuto vs Kandori could be the heroic tale of someone who didn't call in sick, even though she was legitimately sick, because she wanted to complete a project that was consistent with her own pre-defined objectives. Thunderqueen would be about thinking locally and acting globally. Dream Rush would be about persevering to beat outside competition. Kong/Hotta could be "Stop using your carpal tunnel as an excuse to get out of doing work. Aja Kong could be doing this to your hand." So there are lots of possibilities.

This is why I love wrestling. And why friends and family look at me like I'm nuts when I explain to them why I love wrestling.

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I imagine some bizarro universe where corporations shows Joshi matches during executive retreats and new hire orientation to make whatever points they want to make. Chigusa vs Dump would a metaphor of the dangers of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Hokuto vs Kandori could be the heroic tale of someone who didn't call in sick, even though she was legitimately sick, because she wanted to complete a project that was consistent with her own pre-defined objectives. Thunderqueen would be about thinking locally and acting globally. Dream Rush would be about persevering to beat outside competition. Kong/Hotta could be "Stop using your carpal tunnel as an excuse to get out of doing work. Aja Kong could be doing this to your hand." So there are lots of possibilities.

Win.

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Actually my bigger issue with the first fall is that Hokuto's shoulders are clearly being pulled off the mat but the ref counts 3 anyway. That looked REAL bad, especially in the face of how everything else came off in the fall. No wonder Inoue was confused. The kind of weird timing structure (normal first fall, super-quick second fall, long third) I think was a factor in why this ultimately failed to hold my attention. Same with not quite knowing the background of what's going on, though they do a good job of establishing Inoue and Toyota as reluctant-at-best partners from the get-go. I'm actually fine with Inoue winning the 1st fall more or less on her own--I think the story was more about the inevitable breakdown of the partnership and how one person could only last against two for so long. Hanging tough in a virtual 2-on-1 may result in winning a fall, but it's not going to be enough to win a match.

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Didn't think Loss could top his FMW match review but he did it here. I can imagine the looks I would get if I said I had some team building exercises at work and then busted out Dreamrush.

 

I will bring the dissenting opinion on this match as I thought it was my 3rd favorite Joshi match of the year so far. It told and interesting story and the action was good and sustaining throughout. It also did have some of the typical joshi spots that can annoy and derail a match for me.

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Actually my bigger issue with the first fall is that Hokuto's shoulders are clearly being pulled off the mat but the ref counts 3 anyway. That looked REAL bad, especially in the face of how everything else came off in the fall.

Like Flik said this happened because the referee was Toyota's regular tag partner and perhaps a little biased! It came off really well.

 

A satisfying match with everyone working hard. Decent action but not as smooth or refined as in years to come. Interesting story with the beginnings of the Toyota vs Kyoko feud, which would run on and off for most of the decade.

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Sounds like they have 15 people calling the match. Giant swing gets a three count! Hokuto’s shoulders looked to be off the mat though. I see from the above comments that the ref could be a bit biased. Second fall was fast. This match was a struggle for me. Nothing too offensive but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe a rewatch down the road.

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Some of the action in this was good, but the storyline of Kyoko and Toyota not getting along was stupid. Why would anybody care that Kyoko and Toyota don't get along? That's a story that would mean something if it were say Hokuto and Toyota in the 1993 TLTB, but not at this stage of their careers. It came across as stroppy and was a distraction from the match. The first fall was one of the most ridiculous pinfall decisions ever and Kyoko's harlequin look was naff.

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The action was good enough, but they didn't really do as much with the Toyota/Inoue storyline as they could have. They had the pull-apart before the second fall and a couple of miscommunication spots, but if you're going to do mismatched partners at all, it kind of has to end with a full-blown brawl that completely scuttles the match and gives a gift win to the other team. Otherwise, why not just find someone on the same side to team one of the partners with and forget the whole thing? It's a bit of drama that most matches simply don't need.

 

The other thing they never followed up with was the awful pin that gave Toyota and Inoue the first fall. If I'd been Hokuto and Manami, Yamada would have been laid out right in the middle of the ring for favoring her regular partner so blatantly. Again, this was drama that didn't really need to be there. Just use a regular run-of-the-mill ref and do a straight match, or else have Yamada beaten badly and reinjured. If that's not possible, have her lay out the champions in a physical confrontation, thus forcing them to wrestle from behind for the rest of the bout. To have such blatant favoritism just ignored as if it never happened is a terrible piece of booking. If you still want to use Yamada, put her in the challengers' corner as a second.

 

Overall, I won't say that the overbooking completely ruined the match, but it certainly damaged it. Hopefully, we'll have a "straighter" match between some combination of these ladies in the future.

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Hmm I didn't really care for this one. I'm not very familiar with the joshi women at this point, so I don't have much connection to the wrestlers themselves, and this felt pretty average to me. Nothing bad really, just one that's kind of "there."

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I got the basic idea of the story, and the whole 2 count turned into a 3 count deal kind of preserves it. Not a great match for me, but The tension boiling over at the end was well done.

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