Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Japan Second Anniversary Show
By Jabroniville on 12th January 2023
GAEA JAPAN- SECOND ANNIVERSARY SHOW:
(April 21st 1997)
* It’s time for more GAEA Japan! And it’s their Second Anniversary show! As AJW stuff becomes more and more sparse, it looks like GAEA was the only promotion really busting it out there. This April show features Toshie Uematsu defending a *WCW* belt, as she faces AJW’s Yuka Shiina for the WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Title!
Unfortunately, this show is quite massively clipped and only has two matches available. But there’s another show a week later… and it features the Japanese debut of ZERO!! Wait with baited breath!
WCW WOMEN’S CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE:
TOSHIE UEMATSU (GAEA Japan) vs. YUKA SHIINA (AJW):
* Yup- it’s April and Toshie’s already defending her newly-won WCW gold against another promotion’s wrestler, as Yuka Shiina comes in from AJW for a shot. Shiina is now angry-looking, in a red top & white shorts, looking a bit less like a jobber. Toshie’s upgraded past her green singlet and is now wearing a lot of green frills on a leotard. The giant kneebrace is a sad sign of things to come.
They get into a good old-fashioned scrappy beatdown immediately, fighting with pure hate and nearly every hold being added to via an elbow or biting. They pretty much stay in the “early match stretching” phase for like eight minutes, but they never let up and are talking smack the entire way and hit the occasional running move with a lot of authority to pop the fans. Toshie scores a bunch of stiff back elbows for two, but Shiina gets a DDT. Toshie comes back with an armbar, but takes a victory roll. They both do running stuff, then Toshie tries a Northern Lights suplex, but a flash cradle gets two. Shiina flies off the top onto Toshie’s feet, but dropkicks Toshie out of mid-air on her own leap, and a missile dropkick to the back of the head gets our hot near-fall- Toshie bridges out, then gets a crappy sunset flip off the top for two. A big flying splash gets two, then she ducks a lariat and hits a kick-wham-Northern Lights suplex for the three (11:14), holding down a struggling Shiina.
This was kinda fascinating, actually- like an entire match constructed out of the opening phase of a **** classic from other wrestlers. Maximum effort all the way, but all stretching, flash-pins and slapping- I wonder if someone told them to make a match out of the simplest stuff. In any case, they did a good job of it- the move application was starting to flag as their cardio went down, but that’s kind of to be expected and can even fit the “story” of how hard they were going. Even the NL suplex fits that a bit, as flash-pins were doing more than big slams.
Rating: **1/2 (perhaps Shiina’s best singles match yet- a hard-fought rookie-style bout with the simplest things done at peak-effort)
AKIRA HOKUTO & MAIKO MATSUMOTO vs. OZ ACADEMY (Chikayo Nagashima & Reiko Amano):
* A strange match pitting Akira and who I guess is a second year (I almost never see Maiko, but she’s now been elevated to different colors- a yellow & black detailed bodysuit), against two OZ goons. Amano still looks like a baby in a white & blue jobber swimsuit, while Chikayo’s in yellow & blue with tassels. This is clipped.
Borderline comedy starts us off, as Hokuto (who is shown slapping the OZ kids and arguing with Mayumi Ozaki before this match) just leaves Maiko to fight them on her own, but she does okay. They divebomb Hokuto, who refuses to even budge or react to their beating. Maiko scores repeated atomic drops like it’s a hold in Street Fighter II, getting two on Chikayo. Clipped to Amano knocking over Hokuto with a flying clothesline, but she just Samoa Joes out of another move, only to get locked in a flash submission, actually selling it as upsetting. Both partners interfere, but Amano refuses to break and the ref has to unhook them. Bridging suplex gets two, but Chikayo does a flying stomp and Hokuto just gets up like nothing happened and decks her with a slap, shaking off the pain in her leg and ribs a sec, then cutting a promo over her unconscious body to an amused Ozaki on the floor. Then spikes her with the VICIOUS Inverted Brainbuster (4:10 of 9:58 shown), looking straight at Oz.
One of those fun “The veteran sells NOTHING” matches, as Akira just laughs off the juniors (which… is iffy, given how Chikayo is actually getting kind of a push) and won’t give them the dignity of selling… though there’s funny bits where she shakes off the pain or reacts with real agony- she just doesn’t want to let them SEE it.
Rating: *1/4 (about as fun as casual destruction was gonna be)
CHIGUSA NAGAYO & SONOKO KATO vs. DEVIL MASAMI & MEIKO SATOMURA:
* Another Chigusa/Devil clash, with Devil in all black (like a skirt over a bodysuit). Everyone else is in the usual.
The vets do a headbutt clash like two angry rhinos as we’re joined in progress, and Meiko dodges a kick and windmill punches the boss- Devil gets her out of a sleeper and she works the arm. Devil hits a flying stomp & slams Meiko onto her, but gets caught in a hold & sells for Kato a bit. Devil charges Chigusa on the apron but just takes a big bump over the top and Kato scores a leap off the apron, but Chigusa lands on her own partner trying the same. Clipped to the vets clobbering each other with kicks and Devil gets a powerbomb for two. Chigusa misses a wheel kick and Meiko blitzes her, then Devil backdrops Meiko into a STOMP on Kato! Devil’s Ligerbomb gets two- Chigusa saves. Chigusa saves Kato from a Triple Powerbomb (well, the second one), but Meiko holds her off and Devil finishes with a BIG Tiger Driver at (7:31 of 15:24 shown). Devil handily wins via the old “single out the rookie” technique. This is half-shown and more or less the typical GAEA thing, with the veterans selling just a bit for the kids until one can’t help their partner.
Rating: **1/4 (pretty basic stuff at this point- great powerbombs by Devil but “paint by numbers” for the rest)