JD’ BEAUTY ATHLETE (August 6th, 1996):
* It’s the fourth of the JD’ Beauty Athlete shows I can find in YouTube! This one features AJW’s Chaparrita ASARI & Yumi Fukawa in a rookies match against Chikako Shiratori & Aya Koyama, then a Veteran/Rookie match between Jaguar & Yuki Lee and Cooga & The Bloody! Finally, our main event is the big star showdown of Bison Kimura (JD’s top star) vs. Lioness Asuka!
This is all shot from a single-camera point of view, similar to the wrestling of the 1950s. It’s odd how static it is, but gives the show a unique look and feel, and probably changes how the matches are wrestled, as people can’t run all over the place this way.
CHAPARRITA ASARI & YUMI FUKAWA (AJW) vs. CHIKAKO SHIRATORI & AYA KOYAMA (JD’):
* An interpromotional tag bout with two of AJW’s hottest rookie stars- the high-flying stunt worker ASARI and the more glamorous Fukawa, who keeps getting focused on around this time as an up & comer. Naturally, Chikako is a good opponent, being her JD’ counterpart. Koyama’s green as grass, though. ASARI’s in good red & white gear, Fukawa’s in a ridiculous black leotard with a pink frill going all around it, Chikako’s in black & blue, and Aya’s in a black jobber swimsuit with red & yellow stripes.
Chikako tosses ASARI around to start, but eats her knee strikes and a double-team. Clipped to Koyama being dominated, but Chikako’s allowed to tag back in and she hits DDTs on ASARI for two. ASARI gets a rana & cross-body, then Fukawa does missile kicks as I observe Chikako having a weird “lurch” walk and not really selling with the right manner, going down stiffly or with bad timing. She pulls Fukawa and works her over, but ASARI splashes her during a figure-four. Fukawa does some ugly stuff with both opponents and a bad Perfect Plex gets two on Chikako. Chikako takes down both fighters but ASARI rolls her out of a German for two, then they do a bad backslide and botch a wheelbarrow move HORRIBLY, Chikako leaning forward and dumping them both down. ASARI hits a cartwheel handspring mule kick but gets kicked in the butt on a second one, then eats the Mandatory 1996 German off the Second Rope and backdrop hold for two- Fukawa saves. Straightjacket German- same result. Chikako climbs but takes a Super Rana, saved by Koyama, then does a bad “Jaguar Bridge” out of a Fukawa flying cross-body pin, DDTs her, and the rookies fight. Koyama hits stuff but misses a move and eats a flying splash- Chikako saves- and Team AJW dumps both and ASARI planchas out. Koyama does the “Screw YOU!” bridge after a big missile dropkick to the face, but ASARI hits a Northern Lights suplex for two and finishes with the Sky Twister Press (13:20 of 15:32 shown) while Fukawa just pushes Chikako away to keep her from breaking it up.
Some really ugly rookie stuff here, as the kids get their reps. Fukawa/Koyama managed to mess up a SNAPMARE (Fukawa releasing too early) and Chikako sells weirdly, going down awkwardly and in a delayed manner. Then there’s that hideous wheelbarrow thing (ASARI does her “scissor hold then rolls back” thing and they promptly both faceplant), Koyama staring off into the distance before interfering (probably because she’s waiting for her mark instead of watching the actual moves and reacting to them with acting). Chikako herself is too gawky to do stuff right (her bridge-out- normally looking smooth and fast when Jaguar or a JB Angel does it- is jerky, slow and ugly), and Fukawa & Koyama are so green it doesn’t help. So it’s mostly people putting in a clumsy “House Show Effort”.
Rating: *1/4 (way, WAY too slow and ugly, plus extremely long, mostly to give the kids some experience. A showcase for how even Chikako needs a veteran in there to construct the match)
JAGUAR YOKOTA & YUKI LEE vs. COOGA & THE BLOODY PHOENIX:
* So Cooga beat The Bloody one show ago after a very long match, and now they’re teaming up against a top star and the top rookie prospect. Jaguar’s in black & animal print, Yuki’s in blue & silver parachute pants & top, Cooga’s in blue & silver with a mask, and Bloody’s in red & black with a mask.
Jaguar does her flip dodge & rana on Cooga right away, but eats a high knee and gets beaten up. Yuki/Phoenix go with some ugly basics- Yuki hits an electric chair drop & weak restholds, but Jaguar gets backed into the other corner & Cooga/Bloody do sleepers & chinlocks. Lotsa choking until Bloody hits a Super Vader Bomb for two, then everyone fights on the outside as the camera struggles to keep up and most everything is dark. Back in, Jaguar hits her windmill cross-body and butt-butts on Cooga, but Yuki immediately gets beat up- I gotta say Phoenix is a LOT more advanced than Yuki is. Her stuff is fairly smooth and hits properly instead of awkwardly. Yuki, for example, can’t hit a corner rollup without rolling the wrong way and she misses a “running hair-spin” by a mile.
Clipped to Bloody & Cooga hitting a double backdrop to twin sentons on Jaguar, then Cooga’s tornado DDT gets two. Jaguar does her corner rana then the bridge-up into a Straightjacket Suplex for the same. Cooga reverses the Vertical-Drop Pedigree with a mountain bomb for two, but Phoenix runs in and eats it instead- Cooga saves. Yuki gets a powerslam, karate chop & Perfect Plex for 2-counts, but Bloody gets a sleeper & German, but can’t hold the bridge. Jaguar hits a flying cross-body to help out Yuki, so Bloody hits a dive & Cooga a tope con hilo! After a long beatdown outside, Cooga misses a flying thing and takes a leg-trap backdrop hold from Yuki for two, but Jaguar missile kicks Yuki by mistake and a backdrop hold gets two on her. Cooga directs Phoenix to toss Jaguar for breaking up the pin and finishes Yuki with the Flying Knee Smash at (15:21 of 16:49 shown).
UGGGGGGHHHH- the “endless restholds and clumsy rookie segments so they get experience” match. Just like the last one! And a lot of JD’ stuff! The growing pains of new promotions are a harsh mistress. Yuki looked AWFUL in here- awkward and stumbly, while Phoenix is already pretty decent (hitting GERMANS as a rookie is kind of crazy- most AJW rookies are still doing bodyslams for years).
Rating: *3/4 (slightly better than the prior match thanks to 3 of the 4 being good, but still very slow and plodding)
BISON KIMURA vs. LIONESS ASUKA:
* Okay, now THIS is a solid main event- a top-tier freelancer (not really officially “in” JD’) vs. Bison, supposedly their big star. Asuka’s in black & white, while Bison’s in yellow & black, and just charges into the ring and clocks Lioness in the damn face with her tonfa rod, and we’re off.
Bison clobbers Lioness, powerbombs her and tosses her into stuff and buries her under chairs, and we’re clipped to a beating in the ring, but a bloodied Lioness makes a comeback and does a giant swing on the floor. Bison counters with her Chop in the ring and works the cut some more, going for ages until another Bison Chop is reversed to an armbar. Lioness kicks the crap out of her to take the lead and tries a cross-armbreaker, and that’s fought over for a while until Bison slips into a legbar & STF until she comes off the top onto Asuka’s foot. Asuka does a ground & pound with palm slaps, but Bison uses the tonfa to break a sleeper and goes to work with that again, going FOREVER and re-doing the chair spots from earlier. Bison climbs, but takes the show’s second German off the second rope. Bison clubs her again but takes a rolling kick to the arm (the camera makes it look bad, though), and a bedraggled, dazed Lioness hits a gutwrench Ligerbomb for two- Cooga runs into the ring possibly to break that up, but that leaves the ref distracted so a Ligerbomb gets nothing, nor does a backdrop superplex! The ref ignores a couple Bison chairshots to Lioness, but gets choked out and chaired herself while Bison hits a piledriver & powerbomb, then puts Lioness across a table for the Moonsault… faceplanting her belly and falling off in a classic “Invincible Japanese Table” spot. Bison hits a regular Moonsault and the dazed ref slowly makes the pin at (16:10 of 17:03 shown). So I guess Bison is now an evil heel using minions to hold back invading stars?
I can’t tell if this is just a house show or what, but they did a LOT of just “lying around in holds”, with the single camera making it look like they were just taking a nap for much of it. Then you have the two LONG extended beatdowns with the tonfa rod and that comes off like more “filler”- like it wasn’t done with great urgency or “I’m gonna kill you!” so it’s just Bison hitting Lioness with the weapon… then walking around… then hitting her again, and this goes on for minutes at a time- twice! The ultra-close camera was NOT helping, either, as you could see strikes not connect since they were mostly shot from right in front. Though I’ll give points to Lioness doing a good “I’m messed up but I GOTTA KEEP FIGHTING!” look, staggering around and trying to fight through it.
Rating: ** (I guess it gets okay in parts, and Lioness did well, but SO MUCH PADDING)
JD’ is a DIRE promotion to watch at first, man. I’d been warned a bit but I wasn’t ready for the “JWP Style” (ie. tons of aimless stretching & crowd fights to fill time in extended matches) to be done with people way below those standards. Like this promotion has only THREE REGULARS better than Miki Handa for god’s sake. Building 15+ minutes matches out of THIS talent pool is completely nuts and leads to unpracticed rookies given too much time, and even veterans padding everything out blatantly.