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Loss

[1997-07-19-GAEA] Toshie Uematsu vs Yoshiko Tamura

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The layout and pacing of the match is excellent. The offense is great and they are both very aggressive (almost shockingly so). There is some really cool matwork too. But that's not what pushes this over the top. This match's biggest strength is that this title (this WCW women's cruiserweight title -- this existed and somehow ended up in GAEA) seems like the richest prize in wrestling because of how hard these two fight for it. The slugfests, the stiffness, the tears, BITING … it all produces an amazing match. The displayed desire to win here is just off the page. The pro wrestling equivalent of Hunger Games in that the stakes seem almost impossibly high.

 

Most wrestling at its core is built around man vs man conflict, but this is a little deeper than that. This is about Toshie vs herself, even turning on her own body when it starts to fail her. It's a hell of a ride, and is probably in my top five matches for the year at this point at worst. This match should be seen by anyone who calls themselves a wrestling fan. The heartbreak (and triumph) in the post-match is one of those iconic moments in pro wrestling history. I can't say enough about this, and the fact that I've never seen a match from either of them and they were still able to captivate me like this really speaks volumes.

 

The single biggest out of nowhere surprise on any yearbook.

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Watched this match after Loss' comment in the Random Comments thread and yeah this is really great, I'd recommend it to everyone. Beginning is totally awesome with Tamura going for a test of strength lock up, but Toshie slapping her hand away, grabbing her and setting them off on a hot exchange where they run the ropes and hit and bunch of flash spots, shortly followed by the mother of all Joshi hair-tosses. The hold working in this match is good as they stretch the hell out of each other and add little touches: Toshie biting Tamura's arm at one point, also quickly dropping a leg after a boston crab, among a bunch of other cool stuff that happens during holds throughout. Toshie's leg selling really is great with her slapping at it and trying to pump herself up to continue on, more than making up for the lack of more "traditional" limb selling, limping etc., that one could mistake for no-selling if not for the very emotional attention given to the knee, especially after a dive to the outside later in the match.

 

Tons of awesome exchanges that would look exceptionally great in any of the best Daniel Bryan type matches -- reversing a victory roll into a leglock, a backslide into a Northern Lights suplex, and the awesome ending. Some great long-term payoff spots too. Incredible match that I probably never would've wound up watching in a million years. It's on youtube.

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Glad people are liking this as much as I did as I had it as my GAEA MOTY

 

and the fact that I've never seen a match from either of them and they were still able to captivate me like this really speaks volumes.

Early in both's careers but Tamura's one of the best and i've always maintained that Toshie was just as good as any of her fellow GAEA trainees who got more hype (Meiko, Nagashima, Sonoko Kato) until she got slowed down by injuries in the early 00's. If it wasn't so much later in her career when she blossomed character/personality wise and would have done so when she was younger and could go at a top lvl (not that she was close to bad later on) she'd have been huge.

 

Oh and Loss

 

.....i'm going to predict Ito vs Toyota, the April LLPW 8 man or something from GAEA ends up as your highest ranking joshi match. 50/50 chance you don't even like the 9/21 cage match at all :)

Called it :)

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Watched this match after Loss' comment in the Random Comments thread and yeah this is really great, I'd recommend it to everyone. Beginning is totally awesome with Tamura going for a test of strength lock up, but Toshie slapping her hand away, grabbing her and setting them off on a hot exchange where they run the ropes and hit and bunch of flash spots, shortly followed by the mother of all Joshi hair-tosses. The hold working in this match is good as they stretch the hell out of each other and add little touches: Toshie biting Tamura's arm at one point, also quickly dropping a leg after a boston crab, among a bunch of other cool stuff that happens during holds throughout. Toshie's leg selling really is great with her slapping at it and trying to pump herself up to continue on, more than making up for the lack of more "traditional" limb selling, limping etc., that one could mistake for no-selling if not for the very emotional attention given to the knee, especially after a dive to the outside later in the match.

 

Tons of awesome exchanges that would look exceptionally great in any of the best Daniel Bryan type matches -- reversing a victory roll into a leglock, a backslide into a Northern Lights suplex, and the awesome ending. Some great long-term payoff spots too. Incredible match that I probably never would've wound up watching in a million years. It's on youtube.

So glad you liked it! Yeah, I didn't even really touch on the mechanics of the match because I was so blown away by the emotion, but the actual wrestling is pretty great too. I could probably write a lot more about this match at some point, and likely will.

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I actually tried watching this earlier but found it very off-putting. I'm not big on joshi, but I don't hate it, the first couple minutes however struck some negatives with me, Tamura's dumb flying chest tap move that she did 3 times in a row, the annoying shrieking and that spot where they're lightly clubbering eachother's chests on the spot - still one of my least favourite spots ever, maybe I've watched too much BattlARTS. I mean, it's not awful, there was some decent action going on and Toshie was always positively abrasive, but trying to watch the match for the first time I felt it was for the joshi purists and just gave up. Reading this thread I gave it another chance and was ready to tag this match with a big "I don't get it" in my mind until about that halfway point when Tamura randomly grabbed that first of many sudden leglocks. After that the match took an incredibly steep upward curve. All the surprise leg submissions were really great, and Toshie was amazing at selling and falling into a more defensive role compared to her aggressiveness early on. Other pimped joshi matches have annoyed me in the past with the constant rhymeless switching of who's on offense, this match did a really neat job morphing into the kind of 50/50 chance deal that you will find in Lucha title matches, and man they did a beautiful job at that sort of finishing run. So many great counters, beautiful suplex moves, an epic self-devastating dive and one hell of a match story, almost entirely thanks to Toshie.

 

So, I guess I have to thank Loss and Tim for pimping this now? And damn my ignorance. I'll just keep this post a reminder that a match doesn't have to be 100% flawless to turn out really great.

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I watched this on YouTube yesterday after reading Loss' recommendation for it in the other thread.

 

Eveything Loss says about the match I agree with, and I really did dig Toshie's own personal struggles in her own desperate attempt to hold onto her title. I don't know if it is because these two were pretty obscure relative to anyone else in Joshi, as well as that title for that matter, but this is probably one of the better matches to come in watching cold. It seemed booked and layed out in a way for a first timer to get it, rather than a match that's a certain chapter of a prolonged story. I'm not saying it was booked for people to watch it 16 years later, but it came across to me as a match for an obscure title, but the girls went beyond that and took it to the limit, and made the match about the title. Any story/build leading to it?

 

At any rate, great match, and thanks for the recommendation.

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I don't know if it is because these two were pretty obscure relative to anyone else in Joshi as well as that title for that matter

No not at all, atleast in context.

 

I mean, everyone who followed joshi to any degree beyond watching ocasional matches on comp tapes would know who these two are. And yeah, in hindsight this is one of the most obscure titles ever as it only even existed for 7 or 8 months but it was pushed as a big deal for the short period it was around.

 

This particular match was the semi main at that years Jr All Star show (think of it as Dreamslam but limited to wrestlers with 3-4 years experience or less) which drew around 4000 in Yokohama.

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I don't know if it is because these two were pretty obscure relative to anyone else in Joshi as well as that title for that matter

No not at all, atleast in context.

 

I mean, everyone who followed joshi to any degree beyond watching ocasional matches on comp tapes would know who these two are. And yeah, in hindsight this is one of the most obscure titles ever as it only even existed for 7 or 8 months but it was pushed as a big deal for the short period it was around.

 

This particular match was the semi main at that years Jr All Star show (think of it as Dreamslam but limited to wrestlers with 3-4 years experience or less) which drew around 4000 in Yokohama.

 

I stand corrected, thanks Flik. I also admit that there was some guesswork in my post, as I assume Loss has seen way more of this stuff than I have, and him not seeing any previous work of these two made me think the above.

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and him not seeing any previous work of these two made me think the above.

Naw, that's just a by product of the nature of comps like these. Relative to what's available, only certain highlights make it on so there just ends up being a large # of wrestlers that had notable, significant careers that only rarely appear on the sets (if at all)

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I know nothing about these wrestlers, but I know they put on a hell of a match here. They established their desperation to compete and win from the first moments. They attacked with a bunch of interesting offense; Tamura, in particular, delivered some nifty variations of leg work and that badass suplex at the end. And they sold enough to make it all mean something. The highlight of the match, in fact, was probably Uematsu punching at her own leg and screaming after she hit her big dive to the floor. Sometimes, the screeching gets to me, but in this case, it sold how unhinged she was about keeping her title. Anyway, yeah, this was terrific.

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What the hell was that?!

 

I've seen somewhere between 50-100 Toshie Uematsu matches and there's been nothing within light years of the performance she produced here. Sure there were strong performances in her early years but she was the #5 GAEA girl. It was definitely her there in body. In spirit it was like the ghost of peak Hokuto had possessed her for one night.

 

I thought I'd seen all the truly great Joshi matches on tape. Thanks to Flik for his Yearbook recommendations as this match had never been pimped as far as I was aware. I'm waiting for the 98 & 99 sets to come out before going back and adding to my 96-99 GAEA collection with stuff from your top 20 lists.

 

This is my new favourite match from the promotion. The wrestling quality was amazing. Great construction, everything flowed, the pacing was spot on. Body part work was an integral component. They kept going back to Uematsu's injured leg with neat psychology circles. It was put together like they were two seasoned vets when they were in fact 3rd year pro's. Over 20m they went full out with twists, turns and some thrilling 2.9ers.

 

There were times when Tamura showed minor signs of inexperience. As a performance it was ahead of her years and at the level of her future peak. Whilst her effort was exceptional it was also believable. Uematsu was off the charts. Such immense pride was shown at representing her promotion, it wasn't so much about the title. It made what was a fairly minor match feel like the centre of the Universe. Her selling was incredible, screaming in pain and even getting angry at her own body for giving out on her. It felt like any of the submissions might end it, and then they survived no end of potential finishers. For a second I started to wonder if they should've ended it after 15m as it was outstanding already. Yet they went on and it kept getting even better. The most freakish great match I've ever seen.

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Was hard to ignore the hype for this one.

 

It is really hard for me to give a ***** to something I feel uninvested in going into the match. I feel like that I have seen too many matches in my lifetime that the notoriety should at least be vaguely there. I had at least a base knowledge of Dandy/Satanico and others whose matches I have given high regards to. This was a match I knew Loss raved about but couldn't distinguish one competitor from the other until the introductions. I also had felt a slight disconnect with joshi overall. Watching the 1994 yearbook put its interest at a high level for me but the majority of the 1990 and 1991 left me wanting a little more.

 

The match these two crafted in under 20 minutes is nothing short of extraordinary. A relentless pace with an emotional, heart felt story intertwining it all. Toshie's leg selling and work on it was awe inspiring. She gripped and dug deep for everything and I was fairly crushed at her defeat in the end. Tamura had a secondary role in this match but I don't want to slight her as this would have only been really good to great if she hadn't kept up the intensity level as well. Her reversals and the crab looked brutal.

 

This feels like the ultimate workrate match in that their was a lot of "stuff" to this match but it had a deep, meaninngful story that enriched the action and created an vehicle of investment for the viewer. This WCW title feels like a monomental event both women are willing to sacrifice their bodies for. The bottomless pit each is able to reach down to continue and strive for their objective. Powerful stuff and really made me hit youtube seeking out more from each. My #3 MOTY so far and would be #1 if not for IMO the best match of all time and the best WWF match of all time.

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Even watching all that '96 GAEA, I've never seen Tamura before. Uematsu was one of several girls to really impress me, and holy shit is she impressive here as well. Well, they both were, but Uematsu does one of the greatest body part sells you'll ever seen in wrestling, and easily the best I've ever seen in joshi which is a genre not really known for matches built around body part psych. Tamura relentlessly targets Toshie's knee and back and seems to have an answer for everything Uematsu tries as it all ends up back in some tricked out knee bar or anklelock. She's like a bigger, nastier, best possible Plum Mariko and Uematsu is a smaller, more sympathetic, and more technically sound Bayley. Both women also unleash some incredible offense that is too complicated to even describe but look like natural, organic wrestling moves. Uematsu makes a gallant comeback but Tamura, as she has the entire match, has one more answer and counters a Victory Star Drop into a reversal for the win, as your heart sinks along with Uematsu's. Unbelievably this is joshi wrestled like a classic 1970's title match--the emphasis on matwork and even the subdued, golf-clapping crowd contribute to that atmosphere. Terrific stuff that hints at how great joshi can be even when it's toned down. This will be on the MOTY list at the end, and the only thing holding it back from fighting for a top-3 spot is that it ends in 20:09 when I could have watched this go 45+.

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