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[1991-08-30-JWP] Devil Masami vs Itsuki Yamazaki


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  • 3 months later...

We haven't gotten two 80s stars going at it in the 90s very many times, so this is a real treat. Forget what her gimmick was later, as Devil was a super heel here. There's a great spot where she rests Yamazaki's hand on the bottom rope so she can stand on it. It eventually turns into another limb-based match, this time with Yamazaki doing a number on Devil's knee. Devil has this great spot where she's crawling around like a wounded animal daring Yamazaki to bring the attack again, then tries to lull her into a false sense of security to attack her, but Yamazaki was just playing along and goes right back to the attack. All kinds of neat bits of psychology you wouldn't expect in a Joshi match, as the sensibility resembles Fujiwara, if not the style.

 

If there's anything this suffers from, it's that it feels extremely my turn-your turn for the first half or so. Lots of interesting stuff, but the momentum shifts are so fast and nothing is really sold in the long term. But once the match settles into a groove, that falls by the wayside. This is a sleeper pick, and something I don't expect others to like nearly as much as I did, but I really loved it as something completely different than expected.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yamazaki used to be AJW's most spectacular high flyer of the 1980's. Noriyo Tateno was a good worker but there was never any doubt who the best Jumping Bomb Angel was. This was at the tail end of her career and she showed here that she could have continued for several years with a more grounded style had she wished to. Devil works over the arm early on but the main body of the match was Masami's leg being attacked. Her OTT facials were really fun here. The Fujiwara comparison... I'll just say that both he and Devil are unique wrestlers. So an enjoyable match. Not a thriller but nice psychology and selling. Plus a shock finish.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Goddamn, I need to see more of this promotion. I mean, I GUESS the opening was a little my turn/your turn-ish, but when the counters are as sensible and creative at the same time as the ones here were, then I can overlook that. Masami has maybe the most awesome facials in wrestling history--she has the o-face when she's inflicting pain, the googly-eyed monster stare, and a great "I'M ANGRY" reaction after Yamazaki has gotten the better of her on the floor. 99% of these would look like absurd, trying-too-hard face acting in the hands of most other workers but Devil makes them work. And...hey, another women's match where moves have consequences and there's long-term shit. Masami is still selling her wounded leg after doing power bombs and every time Yamazaki is on the mat she's performing or attempting another cool leg takedown. Yamazaki kicks out of two power bombs, the second one I was really buying as the finish, and counters a third to pull out a victory that comes off as an upset. Scorpion-Suzuki never really slowed down while still giving everything time to breathe. This certainly gave things time to breathe but probably did slow down a bit about 2/3 through, plus some of the choreographed shit on the apron I could have done without. Otherwise we'd have two joshi MOTYCs on roughly even ground. Great match for what could be the card of the year.

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  • 9 months later...

Wonderful visuals from Devil. She is a great delight to watch every time I see her in the same vein Satanico and Fujiwara. The arm work she presented here was really snug and engaging but the match really kicked into overdrive once the leg work started. The end portion of this match felt like the perfect template of how to do moves while still selling damage and the upset win legit shocked me. Really enjoying this show so far.

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  • 1 year later...

I liked this one better than Scorpion/Suzuki. The limb work from both women was wonderful, and having only seen Itsuki during her days in the WWF as one of the Jumping Bomb Angels, I was surprised at how tough and at home on the ground she was. Both women sold like champs, especially Devil, whose knee was so bad that she had to be helped back to the dressing room afterward. This would have been a classic if it had involved two men; for women, it just might be one of the best matches I've seen yet. It had great wrestling and drama without the needless weapons spots of Bull and Aja, and lots of action without the overly fast pace of the younger AJW wrestlers. We did have a hot start with Itsuki's dropkick off the top, but after that it settled down nicely.

 

Of the four wrestlers we've seen in JPW bouts on this disc, did any of them go into the shoot-style spinoff of this promotion? It seemed at times that Itsuki and Devil were trying to show that they could look good in a mat-based environment. Could this bout have been an audition of sorts?

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There was no shoot style spinoff of the original JWP. I can see where you might have got that information, but it's misleading. The original JWP was folded in early 1992 due to a combination of infighting and continual financial difficulties. Two new promotions emerged later that year formed by the former JWP wrestlers. The new JWP and LLPW. They were both pro style promotions and presented a very similar product.

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  • 2 years later...

I thought the transition between Masami's arm work and Yamazaki's attack on the leg was really awkward, but other than that I loved this. Masami sold the leg after it had been hit and Yamazaki was selling the arm throughout. I also liked some of the less-than-obvious counters in the early stages. Masami has great facial expressions and this is easily both the best and my favorite joshi match I've seen. Then again, I'm only interested in workrate if it serves a purpose, which most everything in this match did.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-08-30-JWP] Devil Masami vs Itsuki Yamazaki

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