Takako Inoue challenges Mayumi Ozaki in Oz’s trademark “Dress Up Wild Fight!” hardcore match!
AJW IN 1996:
* So in this one I’ll take a look at some random 1996 AJW stuff (ie. a show that’s not on YouTube and some scattered crap I reviewed in the past or just now found online). Including another in the “Dress Up Wild Fight” series of Mayumi Ozaki’s, as she takes on Takako Inoue! In a Last Man Standing… oh jesus… 35 minute match!
AJW THE RISING GENERATION QUEENS CARNIVAL (Sept. 1st):
-AJW ran yet ANOTHER rookie-themed show in Sept. 1996, but it appears to be not on YouTube. Almost the entire thing is just random rookies fighting, but the interpromotional stuff picks up a bit. Of note is Tomoko Watanabe crushing Kumiko Maekawa very quickly, which seems wasteful as Kumiko’s rising in skill quickly. TWO AJW Titles change hands, going to other promotions’ rookies- this is a curious booking thing they sometimes did with their meaningless rookie belts, which got swapped around a fair bit. So GAEA Japan gets its first gold with the Japanese Tag Titles of all things, while the future Ran Yu-Yu pics up AJW Junior gold.
MIHO WAKIZAWA d. RUMI SEKIGUCHI (4:23): Rumi ever became anything. Miho lasted until the early Stardom era.
MOMOE NAKANISHI & YUKA SHIINA d. MISAE GENKI & YACHIYO KAWAMOTO (8:43): Momoe becomes something years later; Yachiyo retires later in ’96-97 and I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen her wrestle.
NANAE TAKAHASHI vs. AYA KOJIMA (8:14): Both are brand new, but are around for ages.
BOXING MATCH (Yumiko Watanabe d. Saya Endo by decision after 5 rounds): Man, they’re still doing stuff like this.
AJW JUNIOR TITLE- TOMOKO MIYAGUCHI (JWP) d. YOSHIKO TAMURA (10:30): Tamura has been showing potential in a lot of shows lately, so it’s a big shocker as JWP’s Miyaguchi (Ran Yu-Yu) defeats her and takes the rookie title with her.
TOMOKO WATANABE d. KUMIKO MAEKAWA (7:10): Notably the rookie-slayer crushes Kumiko so quickly- they’ll be tagging next year, but I guess Kumiko gotta pay her dues still.
JAPANESE TAG TEAM TITLES- OZ ACADEMY (Chikayo Nagashima & Sugar Sato- GAEA) d. TAMAFUKA (Rie Tamada & Yumi Fukawa- AJW) (18:16): Another title loss as AJW drops their rookie Tag Belts to Mayumi Ozaki’s team. Again this is kinda funny as TamaFuka were gaining a tiny bit of steam.
MANAMI TOYOTA (AJW) d. CANDY OKUTSU (JWP) (13:04): Oh man- this seems ugly. Like the World Champion fighting mid-ranked Candy?
WWWA SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE- CHAPARRITA ASARI (AJW) d. ESTHER MORENO (Mexico/JD’) (21:25): Holy crap- that’s a LONG match for ASARI. And this is the main event? Super-odd. She beats Moreno, who comes and goes from Mexico a bunch. And I’m pretty sure is way bigger than the Super Lightweights.
WWWA SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE:
CHAPARRITA ASARI vs. RIE TAMADA:
(WWWA Champions Night, June 22nd 1996)
* A match I’ve missed until just now- not sure how I didn’t see it when I posted the 3WA Tag Titles match from this show. Tamada’s set up against ASARI for her vanity title (meant to showcase her super-flippy style)- she’s a reasonable contender given she’s been treated as the “lowest ranked person who actually gets some offense” for ages. ASARI’s dress as a Mini-Liger complete with big mask, but takes it off before the match- Tamada’s in a frilly white outfit with skirt. This is also clipped to half.
Tamada starts hot, blitzing around with rookie-fu and ASARI can’t get anything going until she comes off a whip with a good javelin dropkick catching Rie in mid-air. She hits the Cartwheel Handspring Mule Kick, but another try sees her dropkicked in the ass. She gets a rana out of the corner for two, but Rie knocks her off the top and planchas her- back in, ASARI resists a German, dumps Rie and hits her own plancha, then does a crazy Molly-Go-Round (somersault ass slam) to the floor! But Rie stops the Sky Twister Press, dumps her and goes on the attack again- a missile dropkick right to the face gets two (ASARI gets her foot in the ropes). They each get Germans, and Rie’s Dragon Suplex is countered for two, and ASARI ducks a lariat and hits a leg-hook Northern Lights suplex for two. She climbs, but Rie gets the Mandatory 1996 German off the 2nd Rope, then climbs, but ASARI hits a Super Frankensteiner for two! And then it’s the Sky Twister Press (her thigh slamming Rie’s head) for the three at (6:38 of 12:09).
Very solid match between the high fliers- Rie’s more grounded, confident style gelling well with ASARI’s speedblitz stuff, as she “centers” the match a bit. I liked how the story was both just kept climbing to the top and getting killed- it fits the story of rookies fighting, because they have little “set up” and it’s mostly throwing bombs until someone gets caught- the Super Frankensteiner in this case being the one that puts the fight out of Rie and sets her up for the finish.
Rating: **1/2 (a match comprised almost entirely of high spots and suplexes- about what you’d expect from ASARI with all the chaff cut out)
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE- GET UP BEFORE “10” RULES:
DRESS UP WILD FIGHT (Takako/Ozaki)
(May 14th 1996)
* I found another “Dress Up Wild Fight”! This is from a couple months earlier than where I am in the timeline, but doesn’t seem to make much difference… and I’m dreading it, as Ozaki does NOT have a good track record with 30+ minute Hardcore matches. Both are in very similar gear, with knee-high giant boots, black skirts and black tops, but Takako’s has white on it. This match is under “Last Man Standing” rules- pins count and then you have to 10 to get up.
Takako starts us off right away by nailing Ozaki with a stick, hits a meaningless early-match Tombstone and then uses Oz’s own Tequila Sunrise (tiger/dragon suplex) for three- haha, you bag. Oz gets to her feet and a chain gets used- Takako is powerbombed for two. Oz defies wrestler physics by just hopping to stop running off a whip, and they pull hair. Oz gets a DDT, clothesline and a tornado DDT Takako doesn’t even bother to sell, then Takako gets the chain as things look to be breaking down (or giving us a “OMG it’s a shoot” sense), but Oz brings us back with a huge slap that draws the biggest reaction so far. Takako gets a dog collar put around her neck (is this a fetish thing?) but they just fight back & forth until she unhooks it when Ozaki stretches the chain over the post when they’re both on the floor. Then we go for a walk. A LONG one. Takako waits it out for a minute and a bloody Ozaki stumbles back to ringside and Takako grinds a pipe into the cut, but Ozaki now does the same thing to her.
Now TAKAKO is bleeding (something I haven’t seen before), Oz taking a rest and then brings her back via the dog collar again, at least brandishing it to the crowd in triumph. 19 minutes gone. Each grabs a chain and they run into each other into a double-down- Takako charges into a tiger suplex and gets chained to the corner, Ozaki using the pipe and just CLOBBERING her with it, smashing Takako all over the place. She chains Takako to a chair and boots her repeatedly for two, but Takako manages to facecrusher her on it, then wraps the chain around her KNEE so she can hit her “knee them in the face” Tombstone, on the chair, for two! See, that’d have been an epic move if that was a finisher-tier move in Japan. Takako goes for a stroll and comes back with a table left flat in the ring, chokeslamming Ozaki on it twice for two. Aurora Special (shoulder-mounted backdrop)… CRUNCH! Right on the table! Wow that sounded bitchin’. That gets two, so Takako rolls up the chain on the table, but they both smash head-first into it after a struggle.
Another double-down sees Takako finally stumble up, but the Flying Knee misses and Ozaki powerbombs her on the chainy table for two! Oz re-sets it and tries her cannonball on it, but misses! Takako climbs, but Ozaki DDTs her off the top onto the table, getting two. Weak Tequila Sunrise on the table gets two but Takako avoids another and hits a Flying Knee! That gets… two, because the ref says Ozaki’s foot’s on the ropes. Takako sets Ozaki up on the cracked table, now upright, and hits her Flying Knee onto THAT, getting three. Ozaki’s up so handily at “8” that the fans don’t react (partially because Takako’s already gathering weapons for when she does, calling attention to it), and Takako smashes her with a FLYING pipe shot for three- Ozaki suddenly bursts up at “6” to Tequila Sunrise Takako for two, then hits a friggin’ Ligerbomb on that poor table, STILL not breaking it entirely. Chain-assisted Sunrise gets two. Ozaki finally does some thing with shackles (?) then powerbombs Takako, cross-arm powerbombs her, and finally powerbombs her on the pipe for three. She flies off with a facecrusher when Takako’s up, getting two- she loads up her arm with the chain for a final mega-punch, misses, but catches her with a backfist and THAT gets the three, and is a total TKO, Takako not even threatening to get up, at (35:10).
Okay, this was maybe the most brutally padded match since Kansai/Ozaki Wild Fight #2, the the same kind of “okay we gotta conserve our energy” cardio-saving nonsense for 20 freaking minutes. They do a smattering of stuff in the opening minutes, then largely do the “Attitude Era Walk & Brawl”, two such ending with one-minute cardio breaks after the repeated “chairshots to blood” spots. Like, the “Real” match didn’t start until about 23:00 in, as they then do twelve minutes of the “real stuff” aiming for pinfalls. Like, even though there’s blood and chairshots, there was no sense of urgency or hatred like “RAAHHHHH I gotta kill you DIE!”, so they’re just kinda going for strolls and occasionally hitting each other- even the choking came off less like strangulation and more like being aggravating to each other. The fans pretty much were trained by this point only to react to the “real” stuff, too, so it’s not just me- they were doing the “scattered yells” stuff right until the pipe beating in the corner. But then after all the cool stuff and the powerbombs on the table and stuff… they slow it down again, wait out some counts, then casually walk around to set up more spots, killing the momentum again. Last Man Standing rules tend to such for that reason, draining momentum repeatedly.
Rating: **1/2 (kind of a waste of 35 minutes, really- even though the last 10 is good even THAT suffers from a momentum shift)