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[1993-01-04-LLPW] Shinobu Kandori vs. Harley Saito & Michiko Nagashima & Mikiko Futagami & Leo Kitamura & Miki Handa (Gauntlet Match)

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Yes, it‘s Kandori taking on 5 girls in a row. It may sound preposterous on paper, but it ends up totally working in practise. You can talk about how this may have buried half the LLPW roster, but realistically only Saito and Handa have a chance of lasting longer than 5 minutes against Kandori here, and both are smartly placed at the beginning and end of the match.

 

This first match up is Kandori vs. Saito. I was worried about this, thinking Kandori might squish Saito, but they had a fierce competitive match. Both went for the kill right out of the gate and it was intense stuff. Saito belted Kandori with her signature hard kicks and Kandori fired back with her stiff offense and flash submissions. It was reminiscent of their classic 1990 encounter, not quite on that level, but it was damn good shit. Saito ends up pushing Kandori to the limit and Kandori wins on a fluke.

 

Pretty interesting way to start the match. Instead of a power start Kandori just went through a fierce 18 minute match against Saito and she looks pretty beaten up already. Nagashima comes in next. She‘s a rookie at this point so she does rookie stuff. She flies right at Kandori with a big dropkick and gets in some hip attacks, but Kandori snatches a half crab and almost rips her in half for the tap after about 1 minute. So now everyone remembers Kandoris submissions are really dangerous, and in retrospect Saito looks tougher for surviving them.

 

GAMI comes in next. It looks like Kandori wants to be nice to her and challenges her to a grappling match. They do about a minute of cool grappling before GAMI decides to stomp on Kandoris face and hit a pretty nasty knee slide. Big mistake as Kandori flips out and beats the shit out of her. GAMI lasts a bit longer and can get in some offense on Kandori – making you respect her – but falls to a nasty powerbomb pretty fast.

 

Leo Kitamura is #4. And Kandori is looking pretty spent now. I don‘t think Kitamura has ever looked threatening in a match, but damn she looks threatening now. She has the night of her life taking it to Kandori, trying to roll her up and hitting nasty looking elbows. Kandori catches her in a sleeper and she‘s fighting for dear life, and – the bell rings? Oh, this match had a 30 minute time limit? Kandori says she‘s done here, call it draw, but Leo is pissed off. Kandori seems to leave, but Kitamura gets on the mic and says something that causes her to come back. The match is restarted and Kitamura is going even harder at Kandori now, but Kandori keeps surviving until she‘s able to lock in a nasty chickenwing that fucks up Kitamuras shoulder. You did your best, Leo Kitamura, but Kandori was in beast mode that night.

 

The last one in the match is Miki Handa, and she goes for the kill out the gate dropping Kandori fat missile dropkicks and germans. Kandori looks done, but Handa misses an elbow. Now Kandori is all hitting crazy Fujiwara armbars from angles and just working like a wounded beast trying to tear someones shoulder out. Handa isn‘t much special but she can drop bombs and sell desperation. 44 minutes in and Handa ends up losing on a technicality and Kandori just walks away not giving a fuck while Handa looks on the verge of tears.

 

Post match Hokuto and her crew come in to wreak havoc, and we get a face off between her and Saito. This match was pretty unique and honestly great, if you can stomach watching something different. But Kandori looked like an absolute monster here destroying people left and right hich is what you want to see, and while she looked beastly she had to work hard for her wins, so you end up respecting everyone coming out of this. 

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