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[1998-06-21-Oz Academy] Reiko Amano & Chikayo Nagashima vs Toshie Uematsu & Sonoko Kato


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  • 2 months later...

This blew my mind. I'm not sure I've ever seen a wrestler like Chikayo Nagashima. Her ability to think on her feet is unparalleled if this match is any indication. Some of the counters to move are things I've never seen before, probably because they require such precise timing and amazing athletic ability. Yet the stuff she does never feels hokey at all - maybe more wrestlers would actually do a Matrix-style duck to avoid a Doomsday Device if they could pull it off. There's also the cool moment where she is being drilled with knees and just seamlessly maneuvers Uematsu into a fisherman's suplex. I'm talking mainly about the athleticism but that's hardly the only strong point of this match. I think the sense of desperation is the reason this is great more than anything else - it sounds so basic, but everyone is frantically trying to win, so they're doing everything they can think of and trying for a pinfall. Whatever the actual stakes were, they seemed pretty high. I feel like I'm doing a crappy job of writing this up, mainly because it's hard to describe wrestling that doesn't quite look like wrestling I've seen before. I'll come back to this and say a lot more later.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Super great match with a frantic, innovative pace but enough storytelling to keep everything bound together. These joshi nuggets have become with shoot style my favorite thing in watching the yearbooks as it is workers I am unfamilar with and they instantly become one of my favorites. Toshie has now been involved in this type of match two years in a row. (****1/4)

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  • 3 weeks later...

A fine way to launch the Academy. It started off as an offshoot GAEA promotion that just used to run one or two shows a year. When GAEA shut down in 2005 a number of workers moved on to Oz Academy and it became a regular promotion. Since that time they've been putting out recycled latter day GAEA style stuff that has been uninspiring in the extreme. But let's go back to a time when Joshi Puroresu was alive.

 

For the opening half the action was decent but didn't stand out to me. Then there was a move where a diving headbutt got countered by a slap. It was 10X cooler than it sounds in writing and was the spark that got things rocking. Carlos was my favourite performer with her spirit, sharp moves and submissions. All four brought it to be fair and there were some choice moments. It could've done with being a few minutes shorter as they overcooked it a little. It went 22m with hardly a pause for breath.

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  • 1 year later...

Joshi tags have way too many pin saves. There, I said it, and I'll say it again.

 

That said, this turned into an excellent match and the same innovative counters by Nagashima are the things that jumped out at me the most, too. Countering the power bomb/Doomsday Device with a huracanrana that takes out *both* opponents was a holy-shit spot, not because it was incredibly athletic by wrestling standards but because the timing was perfect. So was the finish, when it looked like Nagashima was completely dead and buried. This veered a bit into 2.9 territory at times but the actual finish was very satisfying, as she knocked out Uematsu with one shot instead of just setting up another cheap near-fall to extend the match even more. Amano provided lots of awesome ways to put people into cross armbreakers and brought the attitude and character work through most of this. The GAEA team was a little more anonymous and I was hoping Uematsu would be as enjoyable as I remember her being in '96, but aside from her way cool springboard twisting elbow thing, she was more of a warm body than anything. Still a match that left me out of breath and one that could sneak into the MOTY list.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

The opening of this didn't do a ton for me. It's 4 workers I like a lot, doing a lot of the stuff that really annoys me about joshi tags. Random holds and transitions out the ass, too many cheap shots, pointless crowd brawling etc. After the crowd brawl this got good as they rolled out all their big moves and athletic counters. There was a particularily slick armbar sequence and the thing mentioned above by previous commentators were spectacular. The match ended up being a crowd pleasing spotfest with a vicious edge, but a good showcase for the girls. I liked the kicks from Nagashima and Kato and Uematsu has such vicious stomps and knees. Nagashima received some praise and she is someone who strikes me as being insanely talented while rarely putting it all together in a match.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-06-21-Oz Academy] Reiko Amano & Chikayo Nagashima vs Toshie Uematsu & Sonoko Kato

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