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[2001-05-04-AJW] Momoe Nakanishi vs Kumiko Maekawa

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I hadn't watched this match in nearly 20 years. At the time, we thought All Japan Women's was having a renaissance and would go on to survive in the same way that modern New Japan has. Little did we know that All Japan would fold within a few years and that Momoe would retire young and start a family. Watching this 20 years on, there's nothing here that would bother a Joshi fan. For every criticism you could make, the reply would be "that's Joshi." They don't do anything that wasn't already well established in the genre. You can criticize this type of match until the cows come home, but it will never change anything. There are Joshi matches where the selling is better, the transitions are better, the offense is better, but those are outliers. Joshi is a fast-paced "go-go-go" style of wrestling, and whatever's happening next is usually more important than the transition, or the sequence, that led to it. This was a 30 minute draw, but I wasn't bored once. They both fought hard. On the surface, Maekawa should have won, but Momoe had those famous All Japan guts. There are flaws, and there is excess, but show me a men's match with as much heart. At least these girls were trying to keep the classic style alive. It may have been futile in the long run, but to me this bout was worthy of the 90s Joshi that proceeded it. 

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