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[2018-04-19-Sendai Girls] Ayako Hamada vs Chihiro Hashimoto

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Ayako Hamada vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai 4/19) was a really fun match between two thickly built wrestlers. I really liked the opening exchanges, nice matwork and shoulderblocks, with Hamada's snappy lucha armdrags looking credible against Hashimoto's amateur stuff. I loved how well they worked stuff like abdominal stretch reversals and with Hashimoto moves like a hip toss or senton look brutal because she's so thick. The match didn't have great direction but there was some sense of build (e.g. building to Hashimoto hitting the 2nd rope senton, building to the first german suplex, building to first big Hashimoto nearfall with the short arm clotheslines etc). Ayako Hamada has been one of the sharpest wrestlers in the world for years and her picking apart Hashimoto with kicks looked great.

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Chihiro's new ring gear is awesome, her new entrance music is not. Anyway, the match starts out with some very well done exchanges that show off the contrast between Chihiro's amateur style versus Ayako's lucha. From there, the match has Chihiro controlling with her power while Ayako would find smart ways to counter back. Ayako has had an up/down year but she was great here. Chihiro continues to have very good/great title matches despite questionable booking. Overall, a very strong main event title match that hopefully won't be overshadowed by Meiko/Io being on the same card. ****1/4

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