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[2000-05-12-AJW] Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa


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Kind of weird they are having this match after the big cage match but I guess the titles are on the line now. First two falls are really quick with no feeling out process whatsoever. Maekawa does hit her kicks very efficiently which was crucial in making the first fall seem credible so props there. Third fall has more of a brawl all over the ringside area. The crowd brawling is certainly clichéd but I may just be an LCO apologists in that it doesn’t bother me that much because of how hateful they are. Watanabe is also busted open which adds to the drama. The remainder of the match is a sense of survival for Watanabe and is pretty gripping to watch. She is able to weather a ton of punishment. The final moments are even more dramatic with Watanabe in the ring again and trying her best not to be defeated as LCo throws everything they can at her. I will offer up a critique that even though Maekawa saves a few of the pin attempts, it does feel like LCO did a bit too much for Watanabe to still kick out. In a nice parallel of the cagematch, Shimoda misses her kick again and that really turns the tide of the match overall. Watanabe wastes Shimoda with a clinch bomb and they end up winning in around 21 minutes overall. This didn’t have much of a tag structure at all but it also wasn’t a your turn, my turn bomb fest and did have the connective narrative of Watanabe’s blade job. ****

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  • 4 months later...

This feud has been one of the better things in Joshi during the first half of the year, but I'm not sure that this match worked all that well. The flash pin is an old staple in Joshi but it's usually reserved for the underdog team and not the champion. Maekawa and Watanabe taking the quick fall was meant to be a show of strength but it came across like a challenger move to me and did nothing to dispel the notion that LCO were the better team. The second fall was notable for how lightly Shimoda worked with Maekawa compared to Mita who was prepared to take her lumps, and we had to sit through some ponderous crowd brawling before the match settled into any sort of rhythm. Watanabe's bladejob looked gruesome, but it was completely pointless in terms of its impact on the match. There was a stretch where LCO worked the cut but it was short lived. Joshi usually has an extended finishing stretch and that portion of the match was compelling. I thought Mita was a workhorse and excellent throughout the match and there were some nice nearfalls down the stretch but despite Watanabe's crimson mask it lacked the passion that you expect from a bout like this, and it didn't go to the end of the line where no other ending is conceivable beyond the one they delivered. But at least things picked up once they stuck to the ring and not the bleachers.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-05-12-AJW] Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa

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