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Charles (Loss)

[1999-12-11-ARSION] Ayako Hamada & AKINO vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda

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I've seen this match before, but it was years ago, before I'd seen the LCO in so many brawls to which I've become a little numb, so I wasn't sure if I would like it as much this time. I definitely did. This was a great match. Ayako Hamada is a really cool wrestler because she focuses so much on details, like the struggle to apply a vertical suplex. AKINO I believe was also a fairly young wrestler while Mita and Shimoda were vets at this point. So there's the underlying vets vs young team thing going on. They were competitive when the match was centered around wrestling, but when the LCO opted to be mean and start brawling, they were completely out of their league, which makes for a cool match dynamic where they focus on the Hamada/AKINO inexperience. Aja is at ringside and seems upset with the LCO, like she doesn't understand why they took it here. They are both bleeding, but Hamada in particular is a bloody mess and they are trying desperately for anything that might work. Hamada then decides she can go there too and starts stabbing Mita with a pair of scissors! It's really cool to see the young girls step up the violence like this to keep up, leading to a big upset. This might just end up the last classic match of the 90s, but we will see.

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A legendary match in my little ARSION fans inner circles back in the days. Yeah, great stuff. Probably the last LCO bloodletting classic too. AKINO was the greatest rookie since Jun Akiyama. I have to rewatch this stuff one day.

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The Aja-Shimoda confrontation after Mita spikes Ayako is incredible. The poke to the chest that's like Mima telling Aja to shut her mouth and not be a hypocrite is great as it is, and then she wipes Ayako's blood onto Aja's shirt. Ovaries of steel.

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Good lord Akino hits the muta scale with her bladejob. Awesome match with brawling and LCO bringing the tag psychology. I liked when they went into the crowd and they had a split screen of what was going on. Akino takes a beating and the kickouts go a little long but this was never boring. Hamada looks awfully young but still good.

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This was really well built up as LCO had just made Arsion the latest stop on their invasion tour, destroying Aja in a handicap match. Surely a couple of 2nd year pro's didn't stand a chance against them? As expected the Orientales dominated most of the match, whilst giving occasional openings to keep things interesting. The balance and pacing were really good. Hamada and Akino both drank lots of their own blood, probably for the first time. Ayako in particular bled like the proverbial stuck pig. It made her look like a wild woman as she fought back. Seeing the bloodied youngsters fighting against all the odds was so inspiring. The ending was well done as Ayako strung together a couple of high impact moves to get the fluke. Often after a one sided beatdown they go straight into an unrealistically competitive stretch. Here they got it right. A feel good moment. Afterwards HamaKINO had a tearful embrace with their mentor Aja. The last of the 90's vintage.

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Wow, this match ruled! Everything was awesome, the performances were great and it went through a bunch of different phases all adding to the overall match. Started off really hot with some big dives and then settled into a really good workrate style tag but with a nice added intensity. Then they went into some crowd brawling with Shimoda and Mima coming out on top, bloodying up Hamada and AKINO and settling into control for awhile. Hamada and AKINO get a really hot short comeback with a great looking stereo dive, but Shimoda and Mima use the chairs to get back into control for a little bit, but Hamada and AKINO finally launch their big comeback. Home stretch is really great with Hamada and AKNO fighting from beneath but still always in it, featuring some great spots and spectacular moves -- there was an especially great looking sunset flip off the top. Very nice flash ending at the end with an appropriately big move pulled off well. Great great match. I'm not too familiar with anyone in this match and this was a nice out of nowhere classic for me.

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This was pretty good but I definitely didn't like it as much as anyone else, though there were some truly spectacular moments like Shimoda's sadistic smile, the wiping of the blood on Aja's shirt, and some of the counterwrestling done by the babyfaces. That said, I grew numb to LCO's garbage brawls where they cut off their opponents at every opportunity and never seem to take what they dish out--like, we all know the deal with chairshots to the head so I'm not advocating for people to give themselves concussions, but please don't indiscriminately brain people with chairs and then cover up like you're trying not to break a nail when Hamada and AKINO are giving them back to you. And the big triumphant comeback and victory didn't really feel earned the way it was in Aja's match earlier on the set--this was closer to one of those patented Scott Hall slip-on-a-banana-peel finishes where the babyface comes off as lucky and fluky rather than smart and resourceful. This sounds really bitchy but I did enjoy the match overall, I just don't see it as MOTY level even for this year. The in-ring stuff, blood aside, was way better than the out-of-the-ring stuff and weapons involvement.

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Way to salvage the show. For those of you who don't know: this is just out of nowhere turns into one of the goriest matches ever. I dunno how good LCO actually are, but they are pretty effectiv here abusing the young girls and their cheating and not giving Hamakino much offense added a ton to the match. Shimoda leaving a bloody handprint on Aja's shirt was probably the baddest thing she ever did. Ayako and Akino put on an unreal performance – really one of the best „outmatched babyface“ performances I've ever seen. They worked together, and when it was time to bleed, they coated everything in red. Ayako was stunning in particular with her selling of the blood: at one point, she ducked a clothesline and just collapsed, as if she slipped on the blood. When she busted out the scissors and her's Papas signature headbutts as if she was channeling his spirit you know you are watching a classic. Hamakino sticking to flash pins and submissions during the finishing stretch was perfectly believable and produced great nearfalls, especially due to the booking of past matches. Intricate structure and really a total classic of a match, and probably an easy candidate for the best match ever that has two workers in their second year of wrestling.

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