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Grimmas

Meiko Satomura

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She doesn't have the nearly as much stand out matches as the other Josh greats, but I think you can put that down to lack of quality opposition. Part of me thinks that Kana may have surpassed her at this point. I need to watch more.

 

Fact is, Meiko's one of the most fun offensive wrestlers of all time so she has an outside chance.

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As Timbo alluded to elsewhere, I was planning on nominating her myself. I held up because while looking for match reviews, most the ones I found were a little lacking in substantive praise. Ultimately my solution to this was that I decided to start a Complete and Accurate project for her, the first entry of which I just put up over at Segunda Caida.

 

For the record, I have no clue whether or not Meiko would go on my ballot or not, but she's someone I'd seriously consider. More to the point, she's someone with a really unique candidacy. It's been over a decade now since joshi's well ran dry, but Meiko basically just shrugged that off and decided to keep being awesome right to this day. That's a genuinely amazing feat to me, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I guess the big question - as Badlittlekitten alluded to - is whether or not she had enough opportunities to show off her skills after the scene starting going to shit. I'm not sure, but I've seen enough great post-joshi collapse Meiko that it doesn't seem crazy to me. Also, personally, she's just one of those wrestlers who's matches I will always watch if I'm presented with one (and not just because I'm doing a project explicitly built around seeking out Meiko matches), and that will score you points when I make my ballot (Andre for #100!).

 

But don't take my word for it. Take LOTS of my words for it!

 

The Complete & Accurate Meiko Satomura

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I really dig Meiko and I thought she had been nominated before. She's not flawless but for me is kind of like Ikeda as someone working mostly in their own niche, having a great series of matches with a specific dance partner (Kong in this case) under her belt and plucking away throughout various time periods and promotions, except she's still going really strong. Great moveset and she has that rare intensity that makes you buy her character and what she does. At her best she's about on the same level as Hokuto and Kong.

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If she were to make my ballot, she'd be at the bottom, as I have about 10 joshi workers off the top of my head I'd probably put above her, but at the same time, she's probably Aja's best opponent, she's very good at carrying other workers to dramatic matches that are actually enthralling (no joke, if you watched random joshi matches over the last decade based on hearsay, there's a good chance she was the reason why and you enjoyed yourself). She's another personal favorite of mine that I really want to put on my list, but I wouldn't be surprised if I take a look at who I'd consider and realize she's in the 125-150 range.

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I guess the big question - as Badlittlekitten alluded to - is whether or not she had enough opportunities to show off her skills after the scene starting going to shit. I'm not sure, but I've seen enough great post-joshi collapse Meiko that it doesn't seem crazy to me.

This is an issue, Sendai Girls really only made TV maybe once or twice a year. Meiko does show up at Stardom every once and a while. Then there's the question of whether it gets put online or picked up by a tape dealer. Then there's the question of if it stays online (YouTube deleted a bunch of good joshi accounts in the last month).

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I need to see more of Meiko. As a Joshi novice, I've only seen two of her matches, both against Kairi Hojo (12/10/14 Fortune Dream and 6/14/15 Stardom) but she was awesome in both, and made me really want to see more of her work.

 

She brought a lot of fire to both matches, which I loved, and her offense really appeals to me. Stiff kicks and strikes, sick submissions, and some nasty throws. All great stuff. And her selling was very good as well.

 

Obviously I can't rank someone based on just two matches, but if she works like she did against Hojo every time she steps in the ring, she might have a good case for me, if I can find the time to watch more of her stuff.

 

And those awesome Satomura/Hojo matches (the latter of which I would consider a legit MOTYC) reminded me that I should really get off my butt and watch more Joshi.

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Ah Meiko… Back in the late 90's-early 00's I thought she was quite overrated and clearly not as good as Sonoko Kato (pre-injury) and Chikayo Nagashima (for ever). Ah, those debates about *that* Akira Hokuto match (which was not great at all, people)... The good old times. Or not, depending on your point of view. Anyway, I've lost tracks with joshi puro about 12 years ago, so I'll never know how good she has been since, but I wasn't the biggest fan of flailing-arms-Meiko back then, she really beneficiated of being put in big matches with Aja. But like I said, I'm 12-13 years behind on things.

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I would love to see a long list of recommended matches of hers from the last 10 years, aside from the occasional Aja Kong match that got some love. Surely, she had more than those, right?

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The ones that come to mind are....

 

vs. Kyoko Kimura (SENDAI, 12/3/06)

vs. Chikayo Nagashima (Amano/Nagashima/Kato Produce, 4/30/09)

vs. Kana (Kana Pro, 2/13/11)

vs. Nanae Takahashi (Stardom, 3/20/12)

vs. Sonoko Kato (OZ Academy, 2/10/13)

vs. Sonoko Kato (OZ Academy, 9/15/13)

vs. Kana (Kana Pro, 2/25/14)

vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto (Fortune Dream, 6/8/14)

vs. Ayako Hamada (SENDAI, 10/18/14)

vs. Kairi Hojo (Fortune Dream, 12/10/14)

 

She also had another match with Hojo in Stardom last month that people were raving about. Unfortunately, I was a little slow on the draw in watching it, and it got yanked from the internet. Thanks a pantload, Samurai TV.

 

I should probably go back and rewatch that Kimura match considering how much I ragged on the match they had this year. I had actually forgotten about it when I was watching this match, but there was something vaguely familiar about Kimura's Japanese Daizee Haze schitick, and it wasn't until just now that I remembered "oh yeah...they had a great match against each other, like, a decade ago". So now I should probably go back and see if it holds up and, if so, what went wrong between then and now.

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The ones that come to mind are....

 

vs. Kyoko Kimura (SENDAI, 12/3/06)

vs. Chikayo Nagashima (Amano/Nagashima/Kato Produce, 4/30/09)

vs. Kana (Kana Pro, 2/13/11)

vs. Nanae Takahashi (Stardom, 3/20/12)

vs. Sonoko Kato (OZ Academy, 2/10/13)

vs. Sonoko Kato (OZ Academy, 9/15/13)

vs. Kana (Kana Pro, 2/25/14)

vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto (Fortune Dream, 6/8/14)

vs. Ayako Hamada (SENDAI, 10/18/14)

vs. Kairi Hojo (Fortune Dream, 12/10/14)

 

She also had another match with Hojo in Stardom last month that people were raving about. Unfortunately, I was a little slow on the draw in watching it, and it got yanked from the internet. Thanks a pantload, Samurai TV.

 

I should probably go back and rewatch that Kimura match considering how much I ragged on the match they had this year. I had actually forgotten about it when I was watching this match, but there was something vaguely familiar about Kimura's Japanese Daizee Haze schitick, and it wasn't until just now that I remembered "oh yeah...they had a great match against each other, like, a decade ago". So now I should probably go back and see if it holds up and, if so, what went wrong between then and now.

I've seen most of these in the last few days, I would agree with this list. Good stuff there. That first Hojo match is just a taste of their must-see Stardom title match from June. It's one of my favorite matches this year, but sadly and as you said, I can no longer find it on the web. And they just had a rematch a few days ago, which I'm sure is excellent, but I haven't seen it online yet.

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I should say that at this point I think Meiko has been no less than like a top 15 worker in the world for many years now. She's fucking great, but modern Joshi isn't something a lot of people seem to watch or care about. I think she's the first worker that I've been exposed to solely because of this project, and that I think is and should be a slam dunk for a place on this list.

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Add:

vs. Misae Genki (GAEA 3/21/04)

vs. Ayako Hamada (SENDAI 7/22/07)

vs. Azumi Hyuga (SENDAI 12/20/09)

vs. Io Shirai (Stardom 7/10/14)

w/ Ayako Hamada vs. Kana & Ayumi Kurihara (KanaAyu 6/15/13)

vs. Kairi Hojo (Stardom 6/14/15)

 

 

I should probably go back and rewatch that Kimura match considering how much I ragged on the match they had this year. I had actually forgotten about it when I was watching this match, but there was something vaguely familiar about Kimura's Japanese Daizee Haze schitick, and it wasn't until just now that I remembered "oh yeah...they had a great match against each other, like, a decade ago". So now I should probably go back and see if it holds up and, if so, what went wrong between then and now.

 

That match happen after Kimura hooked up with Mariko Yoshida and was trying to move away from her deathmatch career. She pretty much ditched that style when she formed her LCO-lite heel group and started working like a Mima Shimoda knockoff.

 

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The only thing I don't like about her is how liberally she tends to bust out her Death Valley Bomb. Especially in that recent Hojo match. What a weird tendencie for someone who notably turned basic moves like sleepers, armdrags and european uppercuts into holy shit spots. Anyways she is quickly approaching Finlay/Regal/Danielson tier for me, in terms of consistency and giving several workes their career matches. Her execution is high end and most importantly because she knows about timing her matches don't get old. And her genuine intensity is awesome and what makes her truely stand out. Who says 2000s joshi sucks when she's better than anyone in 1993?

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Satomura being better than anyone in 1993 is a pretty wild claim, so I decided to watch a match of hers against Hojo since I've never seen that girl work before. It was their Fortune Dream match from last year and not the one that's been acclaimed, but it was the most recent Satomura I've watched since the earliest Sendai Girls shows. She was good, but the match itself wouldn't make the top 30 from 1993. I don't have a point of reference for how Hojo looks in other bouts, but she didn't look overly special here and therefore I can't see how Satomura carried their bout beyond something like Saito vs. Inoue in 1993. Meiko was good, but not blow away good and I don't think she was better than Mariko Yoshida post-99 in that short lived fed of hers.

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This ain't exactly "recommended", but it's interesting to look at people in all different stages of their career. Here's a young, super-green Meiko wrestling on fuckin' Monday Nitro of all places. (Remember when WCW had a Women's Cruiserweight belt? Me neither.) It's funny to watch her trying to work what she thinks is "American" style, with a bunch of clumsy pandering to the crowd.

 

The match starts two minutes in, unless you just really feel like watching a Harlem Heat promo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgckv7q1Cn4&t=2m4s

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(…)with a bunch of clumsy pandering to the crowd.

 

Well, Meiko was kinda clumsy at this point. Those flailing arms.

 

Still, this kind of match on TV. And you wonder why I miss WCW ?

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Meiko in 2000's joshi being better than Hokuto in 1993 is rubbish.

 

Is there anything Hokuto clearly does better than Meiko? The only thing I can think of would be storytelling. Even then, I don't think Satomura ever had an angle going on like Hokuto with the knee or the feud with Kandori. Meiko also never had an opponent as good as Kandori. Not saying Meiko has better matches than anyone in 1993 had, but in terms of execution, selling, timing, pacing, I don't think there's anyone clearly better than her. She also may have outworked Hokuto in their singles match (which was coincidentally Hokutos best match in a while)

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Aja and Meiko are pretty close for me. Kansai I don't really like. Kyoko is very hit or miss for me and she has a lot of real crap on her resume. I love Kandori, but she doesn't have exactly a ton of great matches and she's kinda one dimensional. Can anyone explain how on earth Kansai and Kyoko are better than Satomura at anything? Kansai doesn't even a better arsenal of strikes than Meiko.

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I'm a Satomura fan and she might sneak my list (shame that Hojo match has gone, that may have swung it) but I don't think she's close to the level of Hokuto at any of those things except execution. Hokuto completely smokes her at selling. I mean it's annihilation. They're both great offensively in different ways. Meiko makes video game offence work. Hokuto throws flames and is pure joyous dynamite. I don't think it's crazy to put Satomura at the level of some of joshi stars of yesteryear. I'd put her a notch below Hokuto and her idol Nagayo myself. But she's an awesome unique talent in her own right.

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Aja and Meiko are pretty close for me. Kansai I don't really like. Kyoko is very hit or miss for me and she has a lot of real crap on her resume. I love Kandori, but she doesn't have exactly a ton of great matches and she's kinda one dimensional. Can anyone explain how on earth Kansai and Kyoko are better than Satomura at anything? Kansai doesn't even a better arsenal of strikes than Meiko.

 

They had better matches than Satomura for starters. I'm not going to hang on the Hojo match too much because the Hojo girl really didn't look that good, but if that's the best carry job that Meiko can do then she isn't that great. Kansai carried an entire indy promotion on her shoulders for five or six years and took it up against one of the biggest, most established promotions in Japan (men or women) and made her minor league promotion look credible. Satomura doesn't have the opportunity to do that sort of thing with Sendai Girls just like she hasn't had many of the opportunities that girls who debut in the 80s had, but that's the bar and it's a pretty high one. Kansai strikes me as having more passion, more presence, more fire and being more important. Kyoko was one of the most charismatic workers of all-time during her peak years and was more dynamic as she could do pretty much anything that can be done in the ring from the mat to the top rope. She was insanely great until the weight came. Meiko really would need to have matches comparable to Kansai and Kyoko's best, or even performances in the same ballpark, for me to consider her better. Otherwise she's second tier.

 

I should probably watch her a bit more though. I saw her live and she was really disappointing working against Hamada after the Crush Girls had just left the audience thrilled. So that may be souring my memory of her.

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The Hojo Stardom title match from June is a lot better than their Fortune Dream match. It's one of my favorite matches of the year so far.

 

And sidenote, I think Hojo is pretty good. She's having an awesome run of good matches this year.

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I don't think Meiko ever had a great match that I'd call a carry job. Out of the matches listed in this thread, all of them had her opponent had her own in it.

 

The dynamic in joshi is certainly different in the last 15 years. Satomura isn't going to recreated ThunderQueen going up against Ice Ribbon's tween roster with her own roster that isn't much older. The closest that I've seen her be in that type of atmosphere are the matches in Stardom with Takahashi and Hojo but the credit for that should go to those two for getting the crowd to rally behind the "home" promotion. Meiko has really good presence in the ring but isn't really able to use it to work the crowd.

 

On Hojo, she's only been great for the last few months, after she won the Stardom title. Her first title defense against Mayu Iwatani in May was the first great singles match of her career. I pair her up with Sasha Banks because they both have similar development curve over the same time. Neither looked special in their early days, then became good through hard work (although Hojo had help teaming with Takahashi a lot,) then seemingly became great overnight.

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