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[1980-11-27-AJW] Jackie Sato vs Devil Masami


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I've seen a few Devil Masami matches and am becoming a pretty big fan. This match just cements that even more. Masami's facial expression early when they do a close-up and she's in a submission is this perfect mix of joy and pain. The matwork, which is the majority of the match, is really really good. Counters and escapes are earned, holds are really cranked on when they ought to be. I liked how even though it was very catch-as-catch-can with switched between body parts, it still feels like it means something and is building up. Sato frustrating Masami with a headscissors was really fun. I also liked that when they ran the ropes there was this feeling of "out of control" by both. Even the person who did the original whip was damn near colliding with the opponent when they would hit something like an elbow. It gives it a nice feeling of "other" to break up the matwork, as good as that matwork is. Sato countering a headbutt with an abdominal stretch is phenomenal. Msami's looks of glee as she's torturing Sato with leg submissions are so great. This match is, for the most part, a very gritty match with both really working hard to grind the other down. But then there are parts where it is absolutely cutting edge for 1980 with stuff that comes out of nowhere when you take the rest of the match into account. Some of it I haven't seen in any other matches I've watched. But they make it organic and work it into the story of the match as it unfolds really well. I'd put this up there with most of the really good to great 1980s matches I've seen from the territories easily. Probably better on rewatch. That finish looked pretty gnarly, was that for real?!?


This avoids a lot of my complaints with later joshi. Instead of trying too hard to go a million miles an hour and by extension not allowing things to breathe, these two go at each other in a way that allows for better storytelling.

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