Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stop the Matsunaga V1.0 - Death to Battlarts

10/5/98 (B-CUP '98 Tournament R1) Yuki Ishikawa vs Mitsuhiro Matsunaga

Good vs Evil, Them vs Us, 2 mother fuckers that don't like each other about to fight. Ishikawa, Battlarts Ace, representitive of clean pure skill based sportsman like grappling & striking contest. Matsunaga, Mr. Danger, dastardly invader, representitive of anything goes, weapon wielding hardcore matches. Matsunaga waste no time getting things started as he whips out a fuckin sword he smugled into the ring and goes after Ishikawa. He then uses every other dirty trick he can think of, he stabs him with a fork, he uses chairs, he chokes, he stomps, he bites him with his vampire fangs, just for the hell of it he goes back to his martial arts roots and tosses in a few karate kicks and a suplex too. Ishikawa fights back here and thear but keeps getting cut off and gets bloodied up. He does kind of wussy blade job on his head actually but all is forgiven when a few mins later he goes to the complete other end of the spectrum of balls out manliness and gets his arm legit carved up by Matsunaga's fork and starts driping blood all over. Finally he's able to catch Matsunaga with something and make his comeback to the delight of the crowd, and since this match is about pride as much as anything he never results to using Matsunaga's own weaposn against him. Instead he proves his style is better and finishes him with holds & suplexes, a quick sleeper puts Matsunaga out and Ishikawa mounts him and rains down punches as the ref calls for the bell and gives him the KO victory. Pro Wrestling can't get any more Pro Wrestling then this match here.

5/14/99 (Bed of Nails Death Match) Yuki Ishikawa vs Mitsuhiro Matsunaga

Bed of Nails is always an interesting gimmick, because of how legit dangerous it no one ever takes any real bumps into the thing and you've gotta come up with unique ways to work around the limitation. In this they flat out just don't touch the thing but they do do a hell of a job teasing it and milking a lot of drama out of almost getting sent into the nails. I dug Matsunaga tying his belt to the ropes to avoid getting pushed off the apron. Eventually Matsunaga bust out the spike and bloodies up Ishikawa again, he brings in a barb wire bat but the ref gets whacked accidently. In a repeat of the last match Ishikawa gets the advantage, takes Matsunaga down with punches and a sleeper but this time with no ref he can't get the win and when he lets go Matsunaga recovers enough to toss a fireball at him then lock in a choke of his own which causes Ishikawa's seconds to toss in the towel. Post match Otsuka runs in to get Matsunaga off and he eats a fireball of his own. Not quite but almost as great as their first match in 98. Matsunaga is so awesome in the old school role of your special guest assasin heel. Someone who'd get old after a while in this environment but if you bring him in once a year for a short run, have him destroy some mid carders, spilling blood and causing chaos along the way then get beat by the big hero in the end it's fucking gold every time. So yeah, highest recomendation for this.

Battlarts 11/9/99 Alexander Otsuka vs Mitsuhiro Matsunaga

Final part of the saga. As I mentioned in the 1st review, Matsunaga vs Ishikawa was very much good vs evil with Ishikawa refusing to stoop to Matsunaga's lvl and out to prove that his way is best. This match is the opposite, Matsunaga has been terrorising the Bat Bat crew on & off for over a year now and Otsuka goes into this match on some eye for an eye type shit. Otsuka has no issues getting down & dirty, attacking before the bell, taking the fight into the crowd, swinging chairs, busting Matsunaga open, riping off Matsunaga's belt and trying to choke him out with it. Overwhelmed, Matsunaga is finally reduced to begging for a clean fight and offering Otsuka the hand of friendship. Reluctantly, Otsuka agrees and we get a minute or two of nice gentlemanly combat. The biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist so i've heard. Coming out on the losing end of a fair fight as well, Matsunaga rewards Otsuka's kind trusting nature with a fireball to the face. Follows that up with a spike to the head and oh dear god but Otsuka bleeds...and bleeds...and BLEEDS...EVERYWHEAR. The mat gets soaked, the ref gets soaked and Otsuka is a crimson mess. Matsunaga continues the punishment, stabing him more and more and more, in the head, in the arm, in the hand. Valiantly Otsuka refuses to die and fights back, he's able to fire up enough offense to knock Matsunaga outside and in an awesome visual hits a great bloody tope con hilo to wipe him out. The rest of the match is them going back & forth for a bit. Otsuka finally gains the upper hand again after a series of head butts and the crowd goes ape shit when that allows him to gain controll of the spike and go for revenge. Matsunaga gets saved by the ref and makes one last desperate attempt to win by throwing a 2nd fireball but Otsuka foils him before he can even light up. Otsuka nails him with a few more strikes and a suplex then locks him in a modified scorpion death lock. Knowing he has nothing left Matsunaga instantly taps and as soon as the seconds drag Otsuka off, Matsunaga limps away as fast as he can, a bloodied & beaten man, swinging his sword and cursing the name Alexander. Best match of the 3. I love wrestling :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AJW Dreamslam 4/2/1993 Quick Thoughts

Re-watched Dreamslam 1 for the first time in I don't know how many years. Show's been talked to death so i'll only post quick thoughts

Plum Mariko & Hikori Fukuoka vs Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito - Perfect opener, came away really wishing we'd have gotten a Sakie vs Plum singles match at some point as they were great together.

Shark Tsuchiya & Crusher Maedomari vs Terri Power & Saemi Numata - Somehow even more awful then i'd remembered

Kaoru & Ultima Tigrita vs Tomoko Watanabe & Mima Shimoda - Not really a good match but better then I recalled. My memory was that this was really awkward and sloppy but wasn't that bad and for the most part decent.

Rumi Kazama & Miki Hanada vs Suzuka Minami & Etsuko Mita - A lot better then I recalled. Maybe went 5 mins too long but otherwise damn good. Love how the AJW vs LLPW feud had more hatred to it then any of the other interpromotional pairings.

(3WA Martial Arts Title) Bat Yoshinaga © vs Susan Howard - I've got a lot more tolerance for these sorts of matches now and this had a few enjoyable moments but for the most part was boring, draged and is still not my cup of tea.

Devil Masami vs Chigusa Nagayo - Match I was most worried about not holding up but I still found this to be really amazing. I'm sure this exceded whatever exspectations ppl had at the time going in with Chigusa coming out of retirement at the ripe old age of 28 and proving she hadn't lost a step at all. Just two masters going at it in a classic old school style battle. I've seen about 6 or 7 singles matches between these 2 and this is prob my second fave. Best match on the show after Hokuto vs Kandori

Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki - Great match, first 1/2 is really good though not as much as I remembered, 2nd half puts this over the top.

Bull Nakano & Aja Kong vs Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai - Not quite as good as I remembered but still a really solid affair. LLPW team actually seemed game to do more but the Mega Monsters didn't seem up for it.

Dynamite Kansai vs Yumiko Hotta - Remembered this as being a real good match but nothing super special in the grand scheme of things. The only thing that stayed with me was how stiff the match was. Watching it now I have a lot more apreciation for the entirety of it and not just the "oh wow what a kick" moments. The action was just as hard hitting as ever but in between all that I noticed for the first time that there was some really great selling and they built the match in a way to really milk the drama out of everything. Hotta especially steped up and had a good performance in this. Match is pretty much everything you could want out of battle between these two. Great stuff

Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori - Contender for greatest match ever, nuff said.

Manami Toyoda & Toshiyo Yamada vs Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyota - Fuckin hell this did not age well. Memory of this was being slightly disapointing but decent enough overall. Nope, much much worse then that. First 2/3 of this are abysmall. Ugly, awkward, no chemistry, no heat & doesn't play to anyones strengths. Just 4 great wrestlers having a horribly off night. The last 1/3 is actually pretty good once they get to the give sequence and start busting out the bigger moves and they manage to actually get the crowd back into things but yeah, so not fun up until then. Makes me apreciate their aweome 5/5 rematch even more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AJW 3/20/1993

- Saemi Numata vs Masami Watanabe

Really really didn't need to see a re-match between these two. Slightly better then their match a week earlier, the early matwork was a little nicer atleast but still a pretty worthless matchup. Numata won with a shoulder block...yup....

- (3WA Midget Title) Little Frankie (c) vs Mr.Buddhaman

Why the freakin division that consisted of the same 3 midgets rotating in an eternal hellish loop is beyond me

- Mima Shimoda & Suzuki Minami vs Kaoru Ito & Terri Power

Terri was the weak link here, she's focused more on the basic stuff she can do well but in a long match like this it gets a bit repetitive after the billionth lariat or power slam. Still, that's a minor fault in an otherwise damn good match. 1st half was made up of the other 3 all working long FIP sections and the 2nd half was all action with Ito steping up for her team to carry the majority of the load. Another great showing vs Shimoda and she worked really well with Suzuka too as it came down to them for the last few mins with the others running interferance. Crazy sit out powerbomb from Suzuka on Ito ends it.

- Miori Kamiya Retirement Ceremony

Pretty big send off for someone who never rose past mid card status, you could def tell the fans & the promotion really had a lot of love for Kamiya. Kamiya gives a teary eyed farewell speach then the usual stuff that happens at these things follows. Lots of old faces show up including Mika Takahashi (looking like a 12 yr old with pigtails), Crane Yu, Lioness & Jaguar. Hokuto & Bull who were on tour in Meixco sent letters to be read. Hotta, Suzuka & Aja also give short speaches. Ito's last up and she nearly breaks down in tears too. Everyone else on the roster gives her flowers her way up the isle. Whole thing goes about 20 mins.

- Sakie Hasegawa vs Tomoko Watanabe

Really good match when it was just them trading holds back & forth. Dug the contrast as Sakie had the more skillful technique, lots of manuvering around from hold to hold whear as Wat was more raw and and simple in her approach. Down the stretch things fall a part a little bit as Sakie seems out of it for some reason, like either she got hurt or gassed out. They get back on track a bit once Sakie starts going for a bunch of STFs that the anouncers make sure to point out is in tribute to her partner Debbie. Fun spot a little later on as Wat teases superplexing her to the floor but Sakie reverses it. A few kicks and suplexes later she gets the win. Good match overall despite a few rough moments.

- Manami Toyota vs Takako Inoue

The big follow up from last months tag title match. Takako waste no time and jumps Toyota in the isle and they fight into the crowd. Toyota tries to take her out with a diving cross body off the stage but wipes out Numata instead, back near ringside Takako tries a dive of her own but takes out another young girl instead. Tak recovers quickly and follows by hauling off on Toyota with a big series of punches then just to be a jerk starts stomping on her hands and pulling hair once she's down. After that Tak makes the mistake of falling back into her old comfort zone, instead of continuing with more aggressive offense she goes back to her old standard of trying to controll the match with a bunch of submissions. She has some success at first but ultimately it fails her. Toyota gets controll of the match and we get a long stretch of her busting out a bunch of holds of her own and when I say her own I mean exclusively her own. At least 4 times during this part Toyota cranks on some strange hold i've never seen anyone do before and that I have no way of describing other then they look hurty as hell. I'm sure Toyota is a pretty clean living woman but if someone told me before some of her matches she liked to pop mushrooms injected with cafine and sprinkled with acid I wouldn't doubt them. It would explain so much :) Anyways, Tak eventually has enough of being made into a human pretzel and kicks Toyota in the chest a bunch of times to transition back in controll. Doesn't last long as Toyota counters a lariat attempt into the rolling cradle. Toyota hits a bunch of suplexs to follow up and Takako counters with a tombstone for 2 counts. Takako catches Toyota with a top rope choke slam for a mega near fall that wakes up the crowd who thought she had the win. Big Takako chant after that. Toyota getting desperate gets in string of suplexes, cradles and a moonsault all for 2. Last burst of offense from Tak sees her drop Toyota with a big backdrop suplex and then attempt a dragon but Toyota mule kicks out of it, hits 2 more moonsaults and then the JOCS to finally win. Awesome awesome match, between this, the Kyoko match in Jan and the big tags w Hotta, Takako has by far been the standout wrestler of the 1st quarter of 93 as her evolution continues to be one of the most interesting things to follow in joshi. Match had myself and the fans thear really hoping she'd FINALLY be able to get that big win to prove herself but again, she comes close only to fails and be left looking dejected.

- Bat Yoshinaga & Yumiko Hotta vs Toshiyo Yamada & Etsuko Mita

Cool to see Dream Orca reuiniting for the first time in a while here, Hotta & Bat teaming on the other hand always feels wrong, like they really should have been booked as mortal enemies for all eternity. Early portion of this sees Mita getting brutalized with kicks by both. The beating goes on for a while until you're just begging for her to fight back. When Yamada finally does come in she can't do much either. Eventually Mita & Yamada get their act together and start showing some fire. Funny bit sees everyone trading the camel clutch - punt spot back & forth. Finishing stretch is fun, the usual stuff you'd exspect from these 4. Mita eats an accidental kick from Yamada and a Hotta pyramid driver finishes her off. Nothing special overall but a pretty good match.

- Aja Kong vs Kyoko Inoue

So apparently this isn't a title match afterall which it's mistakenly listed as on a lot of tape trading sites, guess this does explain Kyoko getting jobed out a week ago. Still, even as a non title this feels like a really big affair. It's the first major singles match of Aja's reign and the first major singles between these two. Amusing bit early on as the crowds cheering on Kyoko so Aja just glares at them until they shut up. Kyoko tries to start fast but Aja shuts her down pretty quick then goes into her usual routine of grinding ppl down. Kyoko learns the very very very valuable lesson that you shouldn't slap Aja Kong in the face or she will short arm punch you so hard you'll almost cry. Aja's strategy of wearing her down pays off once Kyoko starts to fight back as she's visibly worn down and can't really put a string of stuff together allowing Aja to easily counter attack. Aja smells blood and goes for the kill at this point and turns the match into a brawl, Kyoko tries whiping Kong into the crowd but that only really seems to piss Aja off more and she quickly gets revenge for that. Down the stretch Kyoko continues to do an awesome job putting over the fatigue of the match. She fails to get Aja up for the romero stretch, she goes for a suplex and can't pull that off either. Kyoko tries to do one of her springboard elbows off the ropes but Aja catches her mid move and dumps her with a release german in one of the coolest moments i've seen in a while. Kyoko still keeps fighting back and uses all her strength to get Aja up for the Niagra Driver but only gets 2, she trys for a 2nd but has no energy left. A big uraken and diving elbow from Aja later it's over. Really great match, even though most of what i've talked about was the beating Kyoko took she got in enough of her fair share. Really good job of putting over Aja as an absolute monster without making Kyoko look so bad you couldn't buy her at this lvl or think she had no chance of winning. Post match Aja calls everyone in the ring for a big team rally as they get ready for war vs the world at Dreamslam.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

AJW Fancam 3/13/1993

- Saemi Numata vs Masami Watanabe

5 minutes of the most excruciatingly boring wrestling you could ever see followed by 2 minutes of kind of ok decent stuff. Entirely skipable match. Numata wins with something I can't remember after watching 1 minute earlier and don't care enough to re-wind and check.

- Terri Power vs Etsuko Mita

Slightly better then the previous match in that it was more bland then boring. Simple match, mostly Mita in controll with the ocasional Terri stretch of offense from Terri who pins her win with a frankensteiner in 13 mins.

- (Midget Match) Mr.Buddhaman vs Tomezo Tsunokake

I was almost curious enough to check this out just to see if them working a house show match could possibly be worse then them working on the major shows but thankfully logic prevaled.

- Mima Shimoda vs Kaoru Ito

Ito vs any one of LCO is always a good pairing so the show finally picks up with this match. Goes to a 20 minute draw but manages to avoid many of the pitfalls most other matches that go to the distance avoid. There was a lot of mat work but it all felt organic and focused and both sold the submission atempts really well. They also did a good job of knowing when to pick up the pace with bigger highspots and nearfalls and then slow things back down without making it seem like they were stalling for time. Mita was especially fun playing the more agressive, cheating heel. Overall just a really good match that never draged or telegraphed the ending.

- Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue vs Bat Yoshinaga & Tomoko Watanabe

Guy taping things seemed a bit distracted during this so some stuff gets missed making it a bit hard to follow at times. Looked like a pretty decent match though, mostly Bat & Watanabe getting beat on. If nothing else Hotta & Bat kickin the snot out of each other always rules and there was a fair amount of that atleast and it's Hotta who takes her down w the Tiger Driver in the end.

- Suzuka Minami vs Kyoko Inoue

Pretty interesting match. The 1st 10 mins is almost entirely Kyoko stretching Suzuka almost to the point of overkill. It pays off however once Minami finally starts fighting back. She continues to put over the fatigue of the match but you also get a unique sense of intenisity from her, really cranking down on the holds and putting an extra little something behind the other moves as she goes for revenge on Inoue for everything that happened earlier which I got a kick out of. They rinse/repeat the 1st half of the match after that before going into the usual run of near falls at the finish ending after Kyoko misses her running back elbow setting her up for Suzuka to hit the diving senton to win. Pretty surprised at the result, by this time Suzuka was clearly on her way down the card and Kyoko had been getting pushed higher up top for a while but neither neither was at the point whear i'd call this an upset yet but with Kyoko getting a 3WA title match in a couple of days I thought for sure they'd protect her here. Really annoying fan in the crowd who was screaming "ME NA MEEE" for almost the entire time so i'm sure she was happy atleast. No particular part of this individually was anything special but by the end it all came together to form a pretty good match.

- Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa

All about Aja playing unstopable monster. Sakie would get beat up for a bit then Aja would come in to save her, punting ppl in the jaw, stiff chops, tossing bodies all over and all around smashing folks. Then after that Sakie would come in and pick the scraps, cool submissions and her usual bag of spin kicks and suplexes. Wasn't until the match turned into more of a brawl that Toyota & Yamada get the upper hand for a prolonged period of time. Yamada hauls off on Sakie with a bunch of kicks of her own, taking her out then tries to do the same to Aja with less success. They double team Aja and almost get her down but Sakie recovers enough to make the save. She ends up eating an accidental back fist from Aja however which knocks her out enough for Toyota to drop her with a suplex to win. Fun match to end the night. Aja smash always = enjoyable wrestling and Sakie was good in her role trying to keep up.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

AJW TV 3/11/1993

- Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs Suzuka Minami & Etsuko Mita

Really nice sprint, full of all the usual fast paced, big move, near fall goodness. Suzuka got to play heavy hitter for her team and wipes out Kyoko on a couple ocasions in this but the story of the match is W Inoue having better teamwork. Every time Suzuka or Mita would get a little something going one of the Inoue's was right thear to cut em off and take back controll of the match. After a nice string of stuff leading up to the finish the Inoues eventually get the win with their combo choke slam/niagra driver on Mita. About 10 mins out of 18 aired. Good stuff.

- Aja Kong vs Yumiko Hotta

Interesting match, full of all the things you'd exspect. Lots of hard hitting strikes, brawling and smash mouth action. At the same time, a bit more one sided then you'd think as well. We only get to see 7 mins of 16 and what airs is largely Aja kicking ass, pounding Hotta down, draging her all over the building, etc.. What small bits of offense Hotta gets in only comes after either attacking Aja from behind or being able to dodge one of Aja's moves and counter with her own. Finish comes when Aja blocks a Hotta kick & coming back with a stiff uraken right to the forehead and followed by her diving back elbow to end the match. Not as great as what they'd do a year later but this was still pretty enjoyable. Not a total squash but still did a good job putting Aja over as a monster.

- Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko

Things started out quite nicely, their tag league match a few months back was one of the better matches in 92 and it seemed like they were on course to have another really good one until Debbie gets injured 7 or 8 mins into things. She was catching Toyota on a dive, nothing special, your standard cross body but Debbie plants her foot wrong and snaps her ankle badly on the landing. Bit hard to see if you're not looking for it because it happens so fast, I re-wound the dvd to see if I could spot what happened and I actually really wish I hadn't now. The angle Debbie twist & then snaps her ankle at was nearly as bad as what happened to Sid. Really uncomfortable to watch. Toyota tries to continue the match but Sakie quickly realised something wasn't right and gets her off her pretty fast. After what felt like forever but was probably only a few mins they get Debbie to the back and they decide to have the match continue 2 on 1. They go another 5 mins or so a good portion of which ends up being a disaster with tons of blown spots and awkwardness but you honestly can't blame them for not being into it after what happened earlier. Yamada puts an end to things with the diving enzu kick. It'd be over 8 years before Debbie would show up in wrestling again, making a 1 time return for Sakie's retirement show in ARSION.

Undercard Highlights

Shimoda over Numata in 12:30
Bat & Watanabe over Ito & ? in 20:30

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hamada's UWF Vol 7 Comp - 1990 - 1993 Joshi

11/10/1990 - Kaoru Maeda & Mika Takahashi vs Xochitl Hamada & Esther Moreno

Bit of a weak follow up to the match the day before. More just a standard tag match with Moreno & Hamada going for fast paced flippy stuff and the Honey Wings slowing it down with mat work. Near the end team luchadora have a bit of miscomunication and get in a shoving match after accidenly hitting each other. Kaoru & Takahashi take advantage and are able to finish off Xochitl pretty easyily after isolating her. Takahashi gets the W with a big superplex.

11/12/1990 - Kaoru Maeda & Mika Takahashi vs Xochitl Hamada & Esther Moreno

A mix between their previous two matches. Like the first match it starts pretty hot with Kaoru & Mika again running out to jump them then when things settle down we get a long matwork section. Bit hard to focus at times due to the camera angle but this is a 21 year old fan cam so beggers can't be choosers. Moreno & Mika are really good during this part. The action picks back up once the lucha girls get in a big series of highspots , they miss a pair of dives outside which leads to some pretty nice brawling around the building for a while. Back inside we get a little more matwork before going into the finish which is a bit of a repeat of the last match only this time it's Moreno eating a giant double superplex. Post match Hamada goes nuts on Moreno beating her down with a chair, the Honey Wings leave at first not caring but Hamada keeps beating her down, including giving Moreno a tombstone on the chair until finally Kaoru & Mika begrudgingly make the save. Damn good match, bit of a toss up between for which is better, this or the first but I slightly lean towards 11/9 however. Sadly there's no footage of any Hamada vs Moreno singles matches that may have come out of this as i'm sure that'd be a great pairing opposite each other.

3/7/1991 - Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa

This was ok. They only got 8 mins so kind of a cliff notes version of what they could do as they run through the usual. Little sloppy in a few spots which hurt the momentum of the match too. Near the end Sakie goes for a diving cross body and somehow catches Yoshida in the nose on the way down busting it open so they go to the finish pretty soon after that. Sakie goes for a suplex combo but Yoshida reverses out and hits one of her own to win.

3/7/1991 - Noriyo Tateno vs Kaoru Maeda

Crowd was hyped to see Tateno as this was a little over a week before she was set to retire. They did a few nice spots in this, crazy suicide dive from Kaoru and Moreno dead lifting Kaoru up by the hair into a big slam were two of the highlights. Beyond that and a few other things they didn't do much else of interest. They went to a draw and even at a measly 10 minutes it still suffered from a lot of the same issues that plauge those types of matches.

3/8/1991 - Noriyo Tateno & Sakie Hasegawa vs Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Maeda

Bit better then either or their individual matches the day before. Kaoru & Yoshida get the early advantage and I dug the leg work with them going after Sakie's knee. When Tateno & Sakie gain control they don't fare quite as well. They get Kaoru in for an exstended beat down but every time it looks like she's gonna be in any real trouble Yoshida is thear to watch her back and make the save. All through the rest of the match Sakie keeps selling her knee from earlier which was a nice touch and eventually they go back to attacking it. Tateno gets the win out of nowhear with a surprise cradle on Yoshida. Fun match up until then.

3/9/1991 - (Special ref Kaoru) Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa

No clue why Kaoru is on ref duty tonight, bigger mystery is why the heck they had her wearing a garbage man's uniform to do it in. Essentially they do 5-6 mins of really basic low level stuff then all of a sudden Yoshida nearly kills herself on a suicide dive outside, landing bad as her head goes splat on the concrete floor. Miraculously she appears to be ok, enough to continue the match atleast which wakes the crowd up and a big Yoshida chant ensues. They don't go too much longer however and back inside they imediatly switch it into high gear with a bunch of counter sequences that sees Yoshida come out on top, again reversing something of Sakie's into a pin for the win. Last few mins were good but before that pretty average.

5/24/1992 - Mariko Yoshida vs Mima Shimoda

K, this is more like it as we skip ahead a year and are now in the middle of Yoshida's run as one of the best wrestlers in the world. Story early on sees them take it to the mat with Shimoda focusing on Yoshida's arm. As always, Yoshida does a great job putting it over not only while on defense but continuing to do so while on offense. She drops an elbow but it only serves to injure her own arm, she goes for a boston crab but doesn't have the strength to hold on to both legs so has to switch to a half. Great little things like that make her stand out as one of the best. For a while the match turns into a Yoshida showcase as she goes on the attack for a bit. Shimoda hits a lot of really nice flying clotheslines during the comeback which she always does but tonight they looked better then usual. Switching things up she starts going for a bunch of leg lock submission attempts now. In another cool little touch she locks in an ankle lock and when Yoshida tries to push up out of it Shimoda reaches over and punches her in the gut to shut that shit down. Like a lot of Yoshida matches that i've noticed, in the end things come down to them dodging and countering a lot of each others moves, lots of athletic back and forth stuff. Really puts over Yoshida as the type of wrestler who wins by outsmarting her opponents. Damn good match, i'd say this is just a notch or so below the great match Yoshida would have with Shimoda's partner Mita a month or so later. Really played to both girls strengths well.

5/7/1993 - (CMLL Women's Title) Xochitl Hamada (c) vs Kaoru

Skipping ahead another year, Kaoru had droped the last name by now and had started working in the mask as "Infernal Kaoru". No major highlights in this, just a good solid match with Hamada mostly dominating and Kaoru fighting back ocasionally. Not enough in the end as she gets powerbombed to hell as Hamada retains.

Friday, November 25, 2011

JWP TV 2/11/1993

- (Sumiko Saito Retirement Match) Hikari Fukuoka vs Sumiko Saito

Sucks Sumiko didn't stick around longer and retired just as joshi was begining another boom period. The few times i've seen her in the past I was pretty impressed. Match is JIP with Fukuoka dominating things and getting in a big flurry of offense coming close to getting the W a few times but Saito isn't going down easy in her last match. Tide changes once Saito is able to grab an STF, followed up by a few suplexes and another STF for a near submission. They go back and forth a bit more with Fukuoka coming out on top, a couple of big powerslams including 1 off the top rope and a cross armed german get her the win. Good little match for Saito to go out on, about 10 mins aired. Your usual joshi retirement ceremony follows.

- Devil Masami & Debbie Malenko vs Dynamite Kansai & Plum Mariko

Always thought it also really sucked that Debbie got hurt shortly after this and had to retire before getting to mix it up with JWP girls like Plum. Quite excited when I found out this match existed as I didn't know it had even taken place until a couple of months ago. Pre match promo Debbie puts over everyone involved and says she's just happy to be thear. JIP with her locking in a Fujiwara arm bar on Kansai, once she escapes they blow a running headscissors spot but recover nicely. Debbie & Plum have a short section that sees Deb drop her with a few suplexes. Devil comes in and gets worked over for a while, long long boston crab spot from Kansai that goes no where. Things pick up when we get more Deb/Plum action and finally get to see them take it to the mat a tiny tiny bit. Devil comes back in and does that nasty spot whear she press slams folk onto the top turnbuckle which always looks like it sucks to take. Kansai comes in and eats a giant powerbomb to hell from Devil for her trouble as well. Match goes outside and we get a cool dive train starting with Plum climbing up Kansai's shoulders to hit a diving cross body and ending with Debbie doing her crazy suicide dive as a follow up. Back inside Debbie gets the armbar in on Plum as they go at it a little more, her & Devil hit stereo superplexes on both in another big highlight. Finish sees Kansai & Devil throwing bombs at each other, funny moment as Kansai tries to call out Debbie so Devil straight arm lariats her right in the face for ignoring her. Few moments later Kansai makes her pay with some stiff kicks and gets revenge for earlier with a big powerbomb of her own which backfires as Devil reverses the pin attempt into a cradle to get the win. Post match Debbie & Plum talk shit to hype up Dreamslam whear it was supposed to be Debbie in Ito's place vs Plum & Fukuoka. I was pretty disapointed we didn't get more exchanges between the 2 in this, especially on the mat as that's what I most wanted to see. I imagine it got left on the cutting room floor as while we got about 17 mins of this, in full it was 33+. Still, taking this for what it was instead of what I wanted it to be it was a damn good match, especially Kansai & Devil opposite each other, worth checking out for sure.