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DVD #4: Chigusa Nagayo vs Devil Masami


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  • 1 month later...

I watched this match three weeks ago, and for the life of me I have not been able to focus my thoughts and say something coherent about it. This was the first time I actually sat through an entire Joshi match from the 80s. Being an Observer reader I’m aware the guy thought some of the 80s Joshi were the best matches of the time. It is pretty crazy to see women working a stiff style with mat work that would have a home in something like ROH a few years back (contemporary reference for me; I’m only twenty-eight). In fact these women work better than Shimmer or ROH women at replicating what the men could or would be doing at the lighter weights. But there’s something detached about watching it. You know the young girls in the audience love Nagayo, and you know Devil is supposed to be bad ass, but it doesn’t quite connect with me. I always envisioned reading about Devil that she was a fat heel, but she’s actually prettier than Nagayo. I don’t have the connections the crowd did, and even seeing it play out, I didn’t feel a rooting interest in anyone. It was kinda like watching Spanky vs Danielson in early TWA or ROH: They execute perfectly and you know they are so damn talented, but it’s a lot of moves that don’t quite mean anything to you. This match was better than that, and the crowd response proves it, but I never felt a story was unfolding in front of me. It’s almost as if there were too many “lead” changes, and I lost track of what was happening. A lot of big moves that meant nothing, though the selling at the end was good. Perhaps with commentary to guide me this would have been different.

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It seemed pretty obvious to me watching as an outsider. Masami has that bitchy beauty look about her. Chigusa is plain looking. She's just flat out not that pretty, and understand I don't intend that as an insult. To a teenage girl, which character is going to resonate more? I get the impression that Chigusa's plain looks had a lot to do with her popularity. I could be way off base though.

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  • 7 months later...

I didn't get this DVD, but I just watched this match today and feel the need to talk about it.

 

I first saw this about five years ago when I was first getting into Joshi. This was one match that was very highly touted. My initial reaction to this was thinking that it was truly epic. Not because I'd been told it was great, but because that was how I actually felt. I also recall a debate on one of the boards over which 8/22/85 match was better, and I was floored that ANYONE could pick Lioness/Jaguar over it.

 

Fast forward almost six years later, I happened across the tape and decided it would make a nice father/daughter bonding moment to watch this together. I'm able to recognize that it's a good match, but I'm lost of why I thought it was so epic before. I'd like to think that maybe I was somewhat distracted by holding the baby and having to pick up her pacifier a few times.

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