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[1991-05-26-AJW] Toshiyo Yamada vs Yumiko Hotta

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Toshiyo Yamada vs Yumiko Hotta

Great match. This is what the way overrated Hotta/Lioness match wishes it was as they go all shoot style and stiff the hell out of each other. When this type of stuff happens between 2 people who 1. have no problem doing it & 2. are tough enough to pull it off I have no problem with it so I loved every minute of this.

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I'm not sure I recall this as being anything fantastic - I was impressed with Aja/Toyota (I was honestly expecting a mess), and the undercard Debbie tag was fun as hell - but I do remember they had a match a month or so before this, and this then being an immense improvement on it. I'm not sure whether it's this match or the earlier one though that has my all-time worst Hotta moment... where Yamada is selling on her back, groggy, and sits up only to be punted completely unawares squarely in the face.

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I was looking forward to this, but it didn't feel at all like Lioness/Hotta. Moves like sunset flips and Irish whips seem out of place if that's what they're going for. Not that there's anything wrong with "pro style", but this match was total pro style, so I don't really get the comparison. I was expecting more of a ground-and-pound match wrestled more like something from UWFI or RINGS. This wasn't that. I didn't really care for this. It seemed less like a style shift and more like two wrestlers stiffing each other because they don't know what else to do.

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Yeah, UWFI matwork is more engaging than this was. They finally got something going towards the end but Yamada gets a flash pin when it looked like it could have kept going. I don't know what Hotta said afterward but I'm sure it was something cool and badass.

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I didn't get the shoot style connection, either. It just seemed like a regular match between the two. It probably would have been more interesting if it had been a sub-10 minute shoot style bout as the stand-up portions was the only real action prior to the finish.

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Hotta doesn’t seem like the most fun wrestler to go up against. Lots of kicks to your head. Fluke type pin out of nowhere in this one which felt out of place.

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I've always loved the rivalry between AJW's top 2 kickers from the era. They matched up really well in both singles and tags. Both had incredible tag matches opposing JWP's Dynamite Kansai too. It's just fun seeing 2 tough women kicking the crap out of each other. This was a shoot style influenced match with matwork interspersed between the awesome kicks. Hotta was in a bitch of a mood (unusually) and stiffed the shit out of her opponent. Yamada was bleeding from the nose before long but hung in there and came back to avenge her loss from the previous month. This time around was a vast improvement and the crowd were really into it.

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I liked this a good deal. I needed something to keep my attention at 11:00 PM and this fit the bill. Some really stiff strikes and a lot of desperation between the two workers. I also liked Yamada seizing the victory in a good upset moment.

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I wouldn't say that this was a "straight" match; it definitely had a shoot-style feel in some of the kicks and takedowns, almost as if AJW wanted to see how they got over when performed by two women. Speaking of the kicks, they was the most brutal part of the match, as Hotta's in particular were super-stiff. It was kind of jarring to see women brutalizing each other like this at first, but once I got used to the idea I could enjoy it for what it was, which wasn't bad. There were also enough standard pro maneuvers so that I never had to wonder just what I was watching; the final pin sequence was inventive enough that I wonder why other promotions didn't steal it.

 

If this was a test case to see whether the fans liked seeing the AJW women try to go at it shoot-style, my vote is a cautious yes, provided that they use the maneuvers and strikes as another skill set and not just as an excuse to beat the hell out of each other.

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Notes from the basement:

 

Quite the streamers for Hotta in K-Hall! Very heated and hard hitting... Oh snap did you see that kick!? (I'm guessing there's a really brutal head/face kick).

 

Fought like a late 80's NJ/UWF era match...it was best when on kick/move offense. I didn't care for Yamada's control section but, I suppose it leveled the field by getting Hotta groggy.

 

Excellent closing stretch with nice drama...91 AJW is very good about keeping the outcome in doubt...plus some post match violence, yes!

 

Highly recommended stuff

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Good, stiff work here with a nice underdog win. Hotta was indeed in a mood if her kicks are any indication. Here's the thing that took me out of it. I thought Yamada's headlock and sleeper were well done as well.

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