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Jetlag

[1980-12-16-AJW] Jaguar Yokota vs Jackie Sato

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The rush of great Jaguar Yokota matches continues. This was frickin AWESOME. It was kind of a preliminary to the later, bigger Sato/Yokota title match and mainly served the purpose of building up Jaguar, but for a match that is essentially typical half baked young wrestler gets first taste against the star this is really outstanding. Jaguar was absolutely ferocious. Picture Hashimoto, except lighter, faster, girlier, and replace the brutal kicks with brutal matwork. The wrestling was as tight and on point, while still keeping a graceful note, but the struggle and fighting and wild-eyed determination from Jaguar is what pushes it over the top. People talk about Jaguar having ahead-of-her-time offense, but fuck that talking point. She didn't need any of it. The basic spots, such as boston crabs, body scissors or small package holds were made into holy shit spots here. I mean seriously the technique is flawless, but the timing and defensive use of the moves is stunning. Some might argue that structurally the match was messy and had the kind of meandering spots typical of young wrestlers in big matches, but the focus of the match was Jaguar Yokota sticking it to Jackie Sato with a vengeance and that was present at all times. Sato was somewhat reserved, but a great foil for Jaguar's fury and added a few slick moves to the match. Also, there is some arm work that gets paid off nicely, and the repeated leg attack stuff from Jaguar gets played up later in the match, building to an incredible last 5 minutes.

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Man what the fuck? How is Jackie Sato not beloved among us internet geeks like the other joshi stars? I'm assuming the obvious answer is something like "barely anybody has watched this era of joshi compared to the 90s boom period," but in a JUST and RIGHT world we shouldn't accept that. Every time I've seen her - all of the maybe five or six matches I've actually watched - she's been tremendous and this was badass as hell. I wonder if I'd have become a bigger joshi fan over the years if I'd started out with stuff like this. I love ARSION and chunks of other 90s joshi hits the sweet spot, but for about fifteen years now it's been a style I've quite often struggled with, especially if I'm jumping into it cold. I really need to settle into the rhythm of it and watch matches in bunches so the momentum shifts and all those other joshi-isms that have been talked about forever don't bother me quite as much. I had no problem jumping straight into this though, and it's the sort of thing I feel like doing a proper deep dive into because stylistically there's a lot about it that's way up my street (and I've watched enough from this period to know that it's not exclusive to this match alone). Everything was done here with such snap, like they were trying to slam their opponent clean through the mat. Jaguar was a terror but the way both of them worked holds and went for submissions was amazing. At times it was dang near beautiful, but never did it look cooperative. Sato trying to contain this young whirlwind was a great story as well and holy shit were some of those backbreakers/neckbreakers brutal. I guess I'd have liked them to make more of the hand stuff, because Jaguar trying to rip Sato's fingers apart with the ring ropes was awesome, but for how long it was actually a focus and the fact Sato took control for a stretch after it I don't mind too much. This was the absolute business. 

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