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Charles (Loss)

[1997-01-05-LLPW-Live Battle] Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (Street Fight)

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It's the first leg of Kudo's retirement tour, all culminating in her retirement match at Yokohama Arena on April 29. Her path there is chronicled on the yearbook. Kandori dressing in all black with a tie for a streetfight is a pretty cool look. This looks like another strong Joshi For People Who Don't Like Joshi pick, based on the way the match is worked. Kudo really has a stronger US sensibility in how she works than most of her peers, where getting everything over takes precedent over simply getting everything in. I thought this was great because the brawling had some hate behind it instead of just seeming arbitrary, and while they brawled all over the place, every spot had meaning and some were teased and paid off later, like Kandori's attempted suplex on the ringside table. ("You don't want me to suplex you. No problem, I'll powerbomb you later instead.") I also loved that the heat was really out of concern for Kudo more than cheering of the spots. Kudo's selling of the hangman chain spot is frightening. I'm used to seeing Kandori as more of an asskicker, and she's that here for sure, but she also sells a lot and looks great doing so. It reminds of me of Dandy/Satanico in how they go to wrestling moves instinctively and out of desparation in the middle of a street fight. Kudo's pin attempts were her just throwing something at the wall to see if it would end this match. They do a long tease of someone getting thrown over the balcony to the horror of the crowd, with Kandori even wrapping Kudo in chains so she can't fight back, perhaps in the hopes of ending her retirement tour a little early. I didn't quite get the finish -- I'm assuming Kudo threw in the towel to save her life, but I'm looking forward to their FMW rematch in August. Quite an amazing spectacle. This would definitely fit in with ECW, but it's a level or ten above your typical ECW brawl -- deep down, the craziness is just noise, and at its core, this is just a well-worked wrestling match.

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I didn't quite get the finish -- I'm assuming Kudo threw in the towel to save her life

Yup, always thought that was a clever finish myself.

 

but I'm looking forward to their FMW rematch in August

March.

Barbed wire match isn't on the lvl of this one but it's really good in it's own right.

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This match did, in fact, overcome my avowed joshi skepticism. I appreciated the pacing; they allowed me to take in the horror of some of the spots without racing on to the next thing. And Kudo did go through some horror. The chain hanging came off as particularly disturbing, with Kudo even appearing to go a little blue. The crowd popped huge when she rolled Kandori into a few nearfalls after that. The reaction was certainly well-earned. I also liked that when they set up something like a table spot, they didn't treat it as a given that the wrestler on the table would lie there and take the move. That's where a lot of garbage brawls lose their way and give in to contrivance. Not this one. I wasn't thrilled when they left the ring to ascend to the balcony. But they certainly paid it off with that image of Kudo, hanging there with half the crowd believing Kandori would drop her. Just top-notch spectacle wrestling -- a fact that becomes even more apparent when you watch that pointless BJPW barbed wire tag from a few nights later.

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Pretty bad ass brawl. Kandori looks like an asskicker and Kudo was able to use that to her strengths. I thought the finish was really neat as that had been teased throughout the match with the chain and it seemed like the only out for Kudo to continue her retirement tour.

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I wouldn't say I'm someone who doesn't "like" joshi, more like uneducated in it and this match really hit the spot for me. I've watched a few Kudo matches on various FMW dvds and have always thought she was enjoyable but never would rank her as a favorite. After this match, I probably still won't go that far but it did raise her a bit in my mind. I've watched this twice and may end up watching it a third time today.

 

 

I found this to be a really smart brawl. Loss mentions ECW and I'd say that is a fitting comparison, even if, as he says, this is a degree above the typical ECW brawl.

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Kandori straight from a business meeting into a wrestling match. Monsoon would have lost it with her wearing a tie in a street fight. I want to see some statistics on table breakage in Japanese matches. If I am some furniture store in Japan I am showing clips of matches where tables are not breaking to put over how sturdy and strong my tables are. I was getting nervous at that finish with Kudo hanging over the side of the balcony but she gave up to avoid further damage which is a cool finish and avoids any unnecessary crazy bump.

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I never liked street fights in Joshi. I can see the appeal of this, but those chain spots were in incredibly bad taste I thought. The ending was stupid. This is supposed to be wrestling not attempted homicide. I really hated how so much garbage wrestling seeped into Joshi around this time, which made the already bloated main events even more detestable. I've got no problem with matches like Kandori/Devil, Hokuto/Kandori, Bull/Kandori or Kudo/Toyoda, but those were concentrated a lot more in the ring and not a type of violence I find abhorrent.

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I just rewatched this and really enjoyed the lariat spot early in the match where Kudo takes one and stays standing and then counters the second. Just kind of a cool counter.

 

Can someone fill me in on the backstory here. I know nothing about Joshi so I came into this match with no context.

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Definitely a fun brawl that I enjoyed, but I had it around 3 3/4. Some of the spots (like the hanging and crowd brawling) felt like they should feel more epic than they felt. It kind of felt like a fun match that could had been great with maybe some backstory I am missing or just something.

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Kudo is in more or less conventional wrestling gear. Kandori looks like a salaryman who's had enough of being overworked and snapped and is aiming to take it out on the next warm body she sees. Crazy match with some decent enough psychology behind it, including some well-done payback spots involving the table and the pile of chairs in the center of the ring. Kudo's bug-eyed sell after being hanged with the chain is one of the more horrifying images of any Yearbook. I don't get what Kandori was doing trying to fiddle with the turnbuckles, and it's the one thing in this match that's never really paid off. I can see why some would find the finish over the top, but I have to give it points for its audacity and sheer originality. Five days in and we have a new Match of the Year!

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Mr Joshi Puroresu had awesome attire for the Street Fight. Black trousers, black shirt and a tie. Sometimes having no commentary on a commercial release can be a detriment. But here the Korakuen crowd were on fire from start to finish. Though she was the outsider, the fans were strongly behind Megumi.

 

Got off to a hot start with the FMW lady initially dominant, feeding off her experience in this type of environment. Kandori soon donned the crimson mask. The first great moment was when she began her fightback and you just knew there was going to be hell to pay. Kudo was bloodied as well. There was this amazing hangwoman spot with a chain where she managed to sell it like she'd just died! They did a great job of keeping the intensity going. There was quality high impact wrestling along with the wild hardcore fighting. Just a couple of occasions when Shinobu spent too long setting up unnecessary spots. The finish was brilliant as Kandori had her opponent hanging by a chain off the famous Korakuen balcony. Kudo had to submit to avoid a fatality. A great match, up there with anything LLPW ever produced.

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Great brawl with some incredibly heated spots and a frightening finish. Kandori, as mentioned, looks like a BOSS in her black business attire and tie. Fucking loved it. The hangman spot with the chain was horrifying. Kudo sold it like legitimate death. Great stuff with the chain too like the turnbuckle spot that Kudo sets up. The finish was clever but took a little while to get to. The crowd brawling gets a little tedious but not enough to take away too much from the match. Raw insanity in this match.

 

****

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I had no explications going in, and loved this. Kudo's hangman chain sell was one of the scariest things I've seen, looked like she flat-lined. Creative finish too!

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I could never really get into this match. Looks like your average wandering brawl to me. They rumage about the place and do stuff for 20 minutes, including some gimmicks, before the awkward finish. Match seemed to be lacking in hatred despite all the goofy attempted murder spots. There were some things I liked such as the work on the cut, but in total the match just couldn't grab/keep my attention. They both look like corny 90s action flick characters so I guess there's that.

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Reading this thread, I think the onus is upon me for not "getting" this match. It seems as if I have a disconnect when it comes to understanding Joshi and this match did little to waylay those beliefs. Unless it's AJA Kong punishing someone, I struggle to invest myself in matches. Those highly pimped Hokuta tags from the early 90s? Yeah, I don't get 'em.

 

Much like those tags (and [contemporary?] Dragon Gate) I struggle with the basic structure in this match. To me, it appears as if Joshi is presented in separate arcs that are mutually exclusive of each other. The work within them can be (and usually is!) beautiful but the transitions feel forced or random and the next control feels like a hard reset on the action. The introduction of the chain is example of this. Kudo has Kandori's number - a powerbomb on piled chairs and a lengthy chain choke segment and you'd think this one would be a foregone conclusion to cue a shine/slow transition. However, Kandori kips up and takes over with fresh breath as if she's sustained no damage. There's not even a nod nor homage to Kudo's prior work.

 

It's because of this that the matches feel too disjointed or, and I feel horrible to claim this (as I feel it must be a self-bias), that they're poor in quality. Help?

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I've had similar issues to Rah with pacing in joshi before, but I actually found the rhythm in this far easier to get into. Maybe it's just because I found myself really liking a bunch of Kandori during the GWE and she became a bit of a favourite where most other joshi wrestlers leave me cold, but I thought this was pretty good. They definitely resort to the tired trope of dragging each other around the building, but I thought everything felt manic and they punctuated it with crazy enough shit that it didn't come off as being too ridiculous. For the most part the big spots carried weight and I didn't think it came close to the level of blowing shit off that a bunch of other joshi street fights have reached. The powerbomb across the upturned table looked brutal, the chain spot where Kandori tries to strangle her was almost disturbing, and even if the finish was a bit daft in theory I guess the threat of attempted murder will plausibly force you to tap out. I was fine with this. 

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