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Jetlag

[2001-08-19-Jd'] Sumie Sakai vs Megumi Yabushita

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This was one of the more interesting matches I've seen in a while.

 

This match was different from the Sakai/Yabushita match they had in March of 2001 as this was a grudge match. Yabushita comes in wearing street clothes and this is a fight from the get-go. However, due to their unique styles, this ends up being far weirder than your typical joshi brawl. The pace is very good as they avoid overly long wandering brawling and instead go back to the wrestling while keeping the story in tact. Also, even though Yabushita's heel faction was at ringside, there were no intereferences, which was a nice change of pace from what I'm used to in joshi. It was really neat to watch Yabushita going back and forth from busting out flash submissions to going for weapons and illegal chokes. It sounds like a mess, but you gotta trust me when I say this actually works because the timing and pacing is on point.

 

The wrestling exchanges here were super nifty and almost lucha-esque in their rhythm at times. Stuff like Yabushita reversing a pin attempt by sweeping on top of Sakai, the ultra-quick springboard moves or a few extremely well timed transitions made me think these two are far above your average worker. Execution-wise they weren't quite as sharp as I like, for example Yabushita has a weak chain punch and Sakai kind of blows a missed punch, but there was nothing that hurt the match too bad, and both girls also have good offense, Yabushita especially rocks her flash armbars and there were a few very cool, believably used suplex variations.

 

Most importantly Sakai was a very good babyface here adding a lot to the match with her charisma and timing. There was one spot where Yabushita is fed up and attacks her arm with a series of nasty chairshots, leading to Sakai making a desperation comeback by giving Yabushita a fisherman buster on the chair, but the referee refuses to count because she used to chair. I have no idea if the referee was a heel or just trying to do her job, but I thought that was a seriously great moment. Her selling of the arm was again pretty much impeccable and I thought they did a good job with the long, dramatic finishing run that could have easily killed the match but didn't.

 

Very good, unique match. Fucking joshi of all things keeps surprising me with shit like this.

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