Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Loss

[1991-01-04-AJW] Akira Hokuto vs Bull Nakano

Recommended Posts

I didn't like how this started, but when they slowed the match down and started working holds, it got much better. Hokuto makes a great comeback after being tied in knots for several minutes, with the building popping bigger for each nearfall attempt. This is really Hokuto's high flying against Bull's ground game, interwoven with the story of a capable challenger trying to take down The (Wo)Man. Hokuto gives Bull more of a challenge than anyone did in 1990, and gets herself over in losing. I thought this was a terrific match. There's blatant interference in one spot, which annoyed the hell out of me and hurt this in some ways because it added absolutely nothing to the moment, but I've never seen a DQ in an AJW match anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- (3WA Title) Bull Nakano © vs Akira Hokuto

Tough as Hokuto is she can't really stand toe to toe with Bull in a brawl so she tries for the quick win using a bunch roll ups & high spots. No go though and Bull catches her and makes her pay. They move into a matwork section which Hokuto surprisingly dominates and controlls for the middle part of the match. Soon as Bull's able to escape though and get back to her feet it's back to ass whoping time. She gets in a large amount of offense in a row and it's looking like she's got it won before Akira finally fires back. From then it turns into another one of those wars whear it's a race to see who can finish the other and both scrambling to figure out a way to win. Bull bust out a # of things i'd never seen her do before or rarely see her do, including a big lucha dive off the ropes to the floor. Nothing she seems to do can get her the win though, Hokuto survives the leg drop, ddts, power bombs. Kyoko Inoue runs in to give a quick assist helping lift up Hokuto so Bull can hit a fucking nasty ass middle rope tombstone pile driver which still doesn't put her away. Hokuto for her part was tossing out a ton of dives, suplexes, missile kicks, the NLB and everything else and couldn't win either. She finally falls when Bull catches her with a back drop suplex which actually seemed a little anticlimactic after everything else but that's a minor flaw in an otherwise really great match, one of the best of the year. Post match the Dangerous Queen gets on her hands and knees, bows and begs for a rematch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's blatant interference in one spot, which annoyed the hell out of me and hurt this in some ways

Meh, that's just part of the joshi heel style. Weapons, interferance, etc... been that way for decades.

 

but I've never seen a DQ in an AJW match anyway.

It happens, you just have to REALLY push the envelope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's blatant interference in one spot, which annoyed the hell out of me and hurt this in some ways

Meh, that's just part of the joshi heel style. Weapons, interferance, etc... been that way for decades.

I recognize that. I still hate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of style things, I wish just once an AJW match could start with a collar and elbow tie up instead of an offensive move and an Irish whip. I wish there was more feeling out sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re-watching this, I also like this one better than I did the first time around. Those who aren't fond of the Joshi style will find things to be annoyed about here, mainly because they build to some good things that either don't go anywhere, or are hampered by the way the style works. This match was at its best when it was more deliberate, and it's cool that Hokuto clearly has that as a strategy. It just makes the first few minutes of go-go-go stand out like a sore thumb because it really doesn't fit the rest of the match. This is still a very good match that I liked in a lot of ways, but it's more of a peak within the style than it is something that looks good compared to similar matches in other promotions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It made sense to me that Hokuto would try a fast opening against Nakano. I really liked the way this built, with Nakano's sheer force pitted against Hokuto's resilience and resourcefulness. Nakano did a lot of impressive things for her size, and that dive to the floor without benefit of a turnbuckle certainly goes on the list. Hokuto was probably the best Joshi worker ever at staging a huge rally, and we got an early glimpse of that here. They walked right up to the line of overkill in the finishing stretch but never jumped across it. I was with Loss in disliking the random interference to set up Bull's second-rope tombstone. At least the ref refused to count the fall. Overall, I liked the match a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The yearbook is relentless starting out. Kobashi vs. Hansen is #3 and may have been in my top 100 for 1990. This was freaking great. Opening from Hokuto was smart to me. The leg choke and mat work segment by Bull was well done and the comeback by Akira had me excited and pulling for the huge upset. I have this on the level of Bull vs. Kyoko from Jan 1994. Hopefully Joshi sustains this pace in 1991.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do kind of wish the matwork had come at the beginning, but from that point on this was gold. None of Bull's tendencies that annoyed me in 1990 were on display here and all the big moves were given time to breathe. The interference was completely superfluous but at least it was quick, and the moves and near-falls down the stretch were top-notch. I suppose Hokuto surviving the Guillotine Legdrop, a second-rope tombstone, and a power bomb only to fall to a bridge suplex may have been a tad weak, but I kind of liked Nakano winning on what was essentially the joshi version of a flash pin. This honestly did a lot more for Hokuto than the cage matches did for Aja.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hokuto sits on Bull’s face when putting on a single leg lock. She lets up though and moves between different submissions moves. Bull gets a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring but lets up too. Don’t get the reasoning behind this when your opponent is nowhere near the ropes to release the hold. Bull has a good looking backdrop suplex. Hokuto did the four corner dropkicks good as it was physically taking a toll on her too after each one. Run in but referee refuses to count that. Kickouts of big moves towards the end. Got pretty good as match went on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be a little lower on this with a second watch. I still thought it was very good but the slowing of the pace and triumph of Hokuto coming back didn't resonate quite as much with me this time. Still very good though but now a slow behind Estrada/Fiera for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me first address the tombstone spot which has ironically drawn some criticism. I'd say that it's the best spot of the year.

 

The second rope tombstone piledriver. A move you hardly ever see used, and that's because it's extremely dangerous. Never was this more apparent than an unforgettable match from April 1987 where Hokuto suffered a broken neck after Yumi Ogura delivered the move to her. In an extraordinary display of courage/stupidity Hisako Uno (as she was back then) still wrestled the 3rd fall of the match whilst holding her broken neck in place. She became a wrestler known for working through severe injuries but this was something else. It took a year for her to recover and come back to the ring.

 

Fast forward a few years where this match and this was the only other time I've seen the second rope tombstone used in an AJW ring. Like NintendoLogic said Hokuto is fucking insane for taking the move that broke her neck again. It was so fitting that it should be Bull to deliver the move as she was Yumi Ogura's career rival from the AJW Class of '83. Having Bull's tag partner assist with the move referenced how the original spot occurred in a tag match. The move not only put over how badass Nakano was to do this to someone, but also how she thought her title was in serious jeopardy.

 

In fact Bull was very giving all match, which created a real threat of a title change. Hot start as Akira takes it straight to the champ. Then there was hold based grinding for the build before the twists and turns of the stretch. A classical structure that produced a classic World Title feel. At the end the challenger unleashed all her finishers. It wasn't quite enough, and astonishingly it never was. Whoever could have envisaged at the time that this would be her first and final WWWA title shot? What a way to kick off 1991 with the Joshi MOTY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had trouble getting into this one until the end, mainly because nothing Hokuto did appeared to hurt Bull. She just laid around looking annoyed until it was time to do the next spot. I understand the psychology of monsters, but with most monsters it's more about the struggle to apply holds and moves than it is getting them to work once they're applied. This match worked better when Hokuto was throwing desperation bombs, like the dropkicks in each corner. The dives to the outside by both women were insane, as each of them seemed to wipe out half of ringside.

 

As for the tombstone spot, it seems kind of like a waste for it to be set up the way it was, since it's well known that the refs in all the major Japanese promotions, both male and female, refuse to count potential falls set up by illegal tactics. The thought of anyone executing (or taking) a second-rope tombstone is terrifying, especially if Hokuto already took it once and was almost crippled. To do such a potentially career-ending spot knowing that it wouldn't even result in a count by the referee was senseless, callback spot or not. They should have found something else to do, even if it was considerably less dramatic.

 

I never thought that Bull was really in danger of losing, even with all of Hokuto's nearfalls, and that took a lot away from the match. Basically, unless Aja's her opponent, it's just a matter of how much Bull chooses to give the person she's in there with, and invariably the answer is "not much". Her matches are good spectacles, but not good contests. I prefer joshi matches where the competitors are almost equals, and I'm still waiting for that with Bull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bull is amazing in this. How she is able to play bully monster while still display vulnerability and put over Hokuto as a threat is pretty remarkable. Excellent David vs. Goliath match with that cool matwork segment in the middle. **** 1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked the fast opening, a couple big moves and a pin. Really surprising that hokuto controlled the early matwork, which was very cool and unexpected. its kind of a David vs Goliath thing, like Hokuto having to hit all these big moves and four consecutive missile dropkicks, but she's working from on top when she does it. I actually thought the blatant interference, while stupid, was handled well to avoid a kickout on a second rope bowerbomb. Also, Bull is wearing the same AWESOME Napalm Death shirt she was wearing in late 1990, which pleases me. Napalm were huge in Japan at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hokuto's fast start makes sense given her opponent. As does the later wearing down strategy with holds when the opening presents itself. Bull finally being vulnerable is a nice payoff, but ultimately these things didn't connect for me in watching the match. I did think Bull's selling down the stretch was really well done. Hokuto taking that tombstone was beyond stupid/crazy/brave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hokuto rushes Nakano at the start and lays out her much larger opponent with some crisp suplexes. I like the quick start, but seeing Hokuto controlling Nakano didn't sit well with me as seeing a babyface control a monster heel like that just isn't that compelling to me under any circumstances. Thankfully, it's not long until they're throwing bombs again. From the stiff dropkicks to the some hideous backdrop drivers, this is violent stuff. I didn't mind the interference as the referee at least refused to go for the count. After Nakano wins, they leave the door open for a rematch. 

★★★¾

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

×