JWP TV (Nov. 11th):
* Hey look! Some random JWP show from Nov. 11th! Slotted right after the huge AJW stuff, and including a random 3WA Title Defense by Dynamite Kansai against AJW’s Takako Inoue, and one of those “Okay, let’s go all-out and show off what we can do” amazing Joshi-Pace Trios matches!
KANAKO MOTOYA vs. TOMOKO MIYAGUCHI:
* Rookie Mayhem with AJW-tier Rookie Swimsuits! Motoya’s in black & pink, and Tomoko’s in one of those “Ellesse” suits in black & red. Motoya obviously quit early- she has no Cagematch profile- while Tomoko became supporting player “Ran Yu-Yu”.
Tomoko hits a good back elbow while Motoya does rookie bridge-outs and dropkicks, then adds some relish in various holds. They fight over a wristlock for a while, actually doing a good job of looking like they’re fighting to get their moves in. And then there’s this great bit where they both get hot and just start punching each other in the face, Motoya finally bringing Tomoko down with a 2nd-rope dropkick. But Tomoko tosses her off the top and spams running face kicks- “Fuck YOU!” bridge from Motoya! Tomoko does the “JB Angels” bridge out of a slam pin and backslides her for two, but Motoya spams running kicks of her own and hits a missile dropkick, only to fly off onto Tomoko’s knees, and shoulderblock spam & a flying splash gets a close two. Motoya gets a rollup, but ends up on Tomoko’s shoulders for an airplane spin into a Samoan drop… for the pin (12:22)!
Wow, actually very good for rookies! Neither had any experience yet they showed real emotion (screaming and getting aggressive), knew how to upgrade their spots over time, and even busted out a unique move for the ending. Great work for young kids.
Rating: **1/4 (a miracle for green rookies)
YUKI MIYAZAKI & TOMOKO KUZUMI vs. SABURO & FUSAYO NOUCHI:
* I hate having to look these people up every time, lol. Saburo is Sumiyo Toyama, who’s actually been around since 1988 (debuting for AJW before quitting and re-training with JWP). Kuzumi is future idol-adjacent wrestler Azumi Hyuga. Nouchi’s in red & white, Saburo’s in… 1960s grey & black shirt and pants right outta Carnaby Street, Kuzumi’s in white/black & Yuki’s in pink/green.
Saburo does comedy spots pretty quick, using her middle and forefinger like a club on Kuzumi’s arm, then they dump her in the corner upside-down and hit running attacks. Nouchi stretches out Kuzumi HARD, but Yuki charges in with ass attacks for two. Each hits a missile kick on Nouchi, but she bridges up out of a pin into a Stone Cold Stunner, only for her team to get run down by tandem moves off the second ropes. Kuzumi BADLY messes up a springboard and Saburo dives onto her and hits a Russian Legsweep Spam and Oklahoma Stampede for two. Kuzumi tries to reverse but eats Nouchi’s missile kick, but Yuki’s in anyways, only to eat CHOKESLAM Spam from Saburo for two! Missile kick from Nouchi sets up Saburo’s flying headbutt to the lower back, and Nouchi hits a flying splash & Saito suplex for two. Yuki reverses some stuff for two-counts, but runs into a Bridging German for the pin (7:39 of 14:04 shown).
Well this was another surprise! Everyone was working hard and running at top speed, just throwing out all the moves they knew, so it wasn’t just trading bodyslams or restholds. I wonder what was taken out, because what we got was non-stop moves. Granted it was largely “one spot to the next” but for people this young that’s pretty decent! Who knows what was missing from the 7 minutes cut out?
Rating: **1/2 (more hard work from the rookies)
THE NEW FACE ATTACK THE SECOND AGES:
COMMAND BOLSHOI vs. RIEKO AMANO:
* Bolshoi’s in her red & blue Rey Mysterio clown gear here, and up against Amano, whom I recall mostly from the name “Carlos Amano”, which she used to become a pretty big star (and a hell of a worker, having seen one 1998 match recently) in the dark ages of joshi. Here, she’s just a rookie wearing a blue swimsuit.
Bolshoi has an easy go of knocking Amano around, torturing her arm and doing a ropewalk around half the ring into a JB Angels armdrag. Amano finally gets some flash-pins and body attacks to come back, then they both hold legholds on the other. Amano misses a top rope thing but actually gets a close one with a rollup. Bolshoi does a Mysterio dodge and a slingshot kick for two, then a missile kick gets the same. Rock Bottom gets 2.7, but Amano reverses another for two- she takes a big swing, but Bolshoi catches her with a Bridging German for the win (9:43). Two matches in a row with that finish?
Rating: 3/4* (technically fine, but really just one person easily beating on another for ten minutes save the occasional rollup comeback)
DEVIL MASAMI, HIKARI FUKUOKA & CANDY OKUTSU vs. MAYUMI OZAKI, CUTIE SUZUKI & HIROMI YAGI:
* A “Pair the spares” match with Star/High-End Idol/Rising Rookie dynamics on each team. Devil’s in black & purple, Hikari’s in leopard-print, Candy’s in white & black (with tassels now), Ozaki’s in black & red, Cutie’s in white ruffles, and Yagi’s in pink & black (with long tights instead of shorts this time).
Everyone trades off to start, Cutie heeling it up on Hikari by yanking hair- Ozaki adds a hooking clothesline & powerbomb for two, then some torture with arm stuff and biting. Devil saves Hikari from more abuse and chases around Yagi, who’s all “SQUIRREL TACTICS!” and avoids her- she & Oz haul down Devil with DOUBLE ankle-biting, but she just hits the claw on Yagi and uses an overthrow powerbomb. Candy flying splashes Yagi for two, then all three women do Giant Swings! Well that takes the fight out of her- Ozaki hilariously just dives in and drags Yagi’s paralyzed body to the corner for a tag, then she & Cutie do crazy spinning dragons sleepers on Candy for two- crowd was WAY impressed by that. Yagi dropkicks the shit out of Candy in a clutch, but Candy scores a run-up missile kick & DDT on Ozaki for two. Hikari adds a Monsoon-approved abdominal stretch & Rolling Cradle for two, then a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Devil hits an impressive surfboard, but gets Manami Rolled out of a powerbomb for two, and Cutie octopus stretches her. Devil powers out and Hikari adds a missile kick, but Oz tags in and clotheslines her. Hikari does the Moonsault dodge and cartwheel handspring, but gets booted on a second one and when she tries the POPEYE PUNCH~~, Cutie slugs her in the back of the head!
Oz hits the folding powerbomb for two- Candy saves. Yagi lands on her feet from a backdrop suplex but Devil bullrushes her down when Hikari drops in front of her (great timing) and clobbers everyone- Candy follows with the Run-Up Flying Plancha! Devil press-slams Hikari to the pile, but only hits their partner Candy! Devil does damage control by pressing Oz onto a table and dumping it over, then Yagi & Candy do a series of reversals in the corner, ending with Yagi hitting her Super Judo Flip & armlock- save by Hikari! But Candy immediately hits the Kick of Fear into Rolling Germans, but then Yagi stops the last one with a leglock reversal! All three women do Flying Stomps to Candy, but Devil saves. Candy avoids a double-backdrop, but Devil misses her double-lariat and Yagi missile kicks her- she recovers with a lariat to Ozaki, but Oz stops her next charge and flies out of the corner with a tornado DDT and an awesome Manami Roll-to-Rana for two. Tequila Sunrise (tiger/dragon suplex) reversed to lariat reversed to Tequila Sunrise- two! Devil no-sells Yagi’s dropkicks but charges into her judo flip to a pop, but reverses another to a monster Ligerbomb for two- Ozaki saves. Stereo Flying Headbutts from Hikari & Candy, and Devil hits an overthrow powerbomb into Hikari’s Moonsault… which misses! Hikari tries a Tiger Driver, but Cutie Flying Knees her and Yagi gets two off of that- everyone scrambles and Candy runs up and dropkicks Cutie off the top to prevent a replay, allowing Hikari to finally single out Yagi- German sets up THREE Moonsaults in a row for the emphatic three at (18:11)- Hikari wins it for her team!
VERY good match here- like something out of Dream Slam, with everyone just going out and doing “All our coolest shit” to show off and have the best match possible. Hikari looked great with her flips and reversals, Ozaki & Devil looked mean, and even Cutie ramped up heel tactics. The “Finisher Series” was terrific, as at several powers there were “maybe this could end it” bits, and Yagi even got to look good against Devil. I loved how all the pins were broken up, meaning the team that won would have to deal with both opponents- so Devil had to take Ozaki outside, and Candy got a flashy reversal to eliminate Cutie. And then of course the finisher is flashy as hell, Hikari using THREE Moonsaults to pin the subordinate, haha.
Rating: ****1/4 (this is how you try and show up your Main Event- everyone going all-out and having the archetypical “Wild Manami-Pace Trios Match”)
WWWA WORLD TITLE:
DYNAMITE KANSAI vs. TAKAKO INOUE:
(Oct. 31st 1995)
* Okay, THIS is weird. Manami Toyota won the right to challenge Kansai for the Red Belt a month or so before this, but in the interim, we have Takako, who in no way was a credible challenger for the time. She’s an upper-midcarder for sure, but nobody would think she’s a threat. It does seem like a fresh match-up, though, so I can dig it- she’s a good enough worker to handle herself well, too. She’s in her “Black Idol” gear, while Kansai’s in her lime & white gear, with red/blonde hair. The arena is pretty small- the kind of place JWP ends up in often. Kansai gives Takako the death glare in the handshake, dragging her up close, just to be awesome.
Kansai dares Takako to take a shot, so Takako machine-guns her with knees, but Kansai pops up and levels her with some of her own before missing a lariat and getting kneed down, having gotten too cute. But Takako gets overconfident and is clobbered, and has to manage a Fujiwara armbar takedown when Kansai dives in again. Takako stays on the arm, more to contain Kansai than to really do much damage, the crowd sitting on their hands until Kansai pops up and starts booting her around the ring to wake them up. She hits the chinlock, but climbs up and gets armdragged off. Takako hits the STF to crickets but draws a big reaction when she spins Kansai into her Tombstone after repeatedly failing to lift the bigger wrestler at first! The classic knees to the face hit and she PLANTS Kansai right on the hard camera- I’m pretty sure she hit flush there. That gets two.
We hit a long chinlock, as it becomes clear that a lot of Takako’s gameplan is to not only wear down the champ, but to STIFLE her- Kansai’s ludicrously powerful but Takako’s holding her momentum back so she can’t get any of her lethal offense going. But when Takako ties Kansai in the ropes for a kick, the champ gets fired up and annihilates her with several of the same. See, Takako acted like an asshole and lost the gameplan and now pays for it. Kansai drops elbows and a weak sharpshooter to keep the pace slow… and now they’re starting to rev it up. Kansai hits a corner lariat, but Takako gets a German and actually holds Kansai off with running kicks. She misses another but reverses a lariat to the armbar again, but Kansai flat-backs her off a kick to buy herself some recovery time. Haha and then she just bowls her over with a lariat when Takako’s up at “8”. That gets two, and Takako’s barely up after a kick to the back, but suddenly springs to life and throws a million punches, a DDT, ax kick and a Backdrop Hold for two with this great frenetic “OMFG I have to make this count!” energy. And she charges up for the Flying Knee and absolutely beans Kansai RIGHT in the fucking head, getting two as well. Wow, that was absolutely the best version of that move I’ve ever seen.
Kansai stops another Flying Knee and beats her up outside the ring, but Takako snags her on the apron for the Aurora Special (shoulder-mounted backdrop) to the floor! Chokeslam off the apron! Flying Knee in the ring… but Kansai just absorbs it! She staggers right into her taunt position to Hulk Up and Takako cowers in fear like she’s seen a fuckin’ ghost, ambling back and having her desperate punches ignored, but she snaps on a quick dragon screw and legholds! But when she goes up to Flying Knee the leg, Kansai kicks her in the stomach and hits a backdrop driver. Another gets two, and she goes for Splash Mountain (sit-out Razor’s Edge)- Takako gets a weak backslide for two to reverse, so Kansai kicks her in the face for two, then finally hits a huge Splash Mountain for the pin at (17:31). After the match, Kansai gets the 3WA Title ceremony but demands Takako come back and shake hands like a real competitor.
I actually found this merely “pretty good” the first time I watched it, with a verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slow match to start, with the first ten minutes more or less consisting of “hit a move, then sit in a hold” like it was a house show match and not a title defense. But during a livewatch a few days back I definitely got way more into it, so maybe it was just my mood the first time around, or I was just taken in by the more enjoyable “communal livewatch experience”. They revved up a lot 12 minutes in with Takako getting a flurry of finisher-tier moves to make you think “just maybe”, with some REAL stiffness and impact on them too, but Kansai eventually just weathered everything and kind of emphasized the difference between her tier & Takako’s effectively squashing her in the end. Like, Takako would kick out or slip out of the move but you knew it was only going one way for the last couple of minutes.
Rating: **** (much improved from my early perception)
So overall, an awesome night of wrestling. A great interpromotional match with a lot of good character bits, especially Takako’s canniness but also desperation whenever she can get anything going, and then JWP’s stars go all-out in a super-flashy display for a trios match, trying to show up each other and throw as many false-finishes as they can.