Joshi Spotlight: Lioness Asuka vs. Jaguar Yokota (JD’)
By Jabroniville on 3rd July 2023
JD’ IN 1997:
* So JD’ has some shit luck in 1997, as Bison Kimura breaks her arm in a trios match in the summer, and as she was aiming to retire anyways, just hung it up for good. She never wrestles again. Mike Lorefice says that JD’ never recovered from this loss, as Asuka (a Freelancer) and Jaguar (the trainer) were left to shoulder the entire promotion while the rookies gained reps.
BUT, they still have Lioness Asuka & Jaguar Yokota, who pretty much low-key become the best workers in all of joshi in 1996-97… despite being two of the very oldest to do it. Wrestling is weird.
TRANS-WORLD FEDERATION WORLD TITLE:
LIONESS ASUKA vs. JAGUAR YOKOTA:
(JD’, Oct. 22nd 1997)
* One of the greatest matches of the 1980s was Lioness vs. Jaguar, as Jaguar was essentially Ricky Steamboat at three times the speed and Asuka could hang with her the entire way, and they’ve had a match or two since JD’ began. This is allegedly one of their better ones, however. Jaguar’s in white and Lioness is in black & white. Asuka has her heel goons with her again, but draws applause just by shooing them away (wait- cheers for NOT CHEATING? That’s like… the literal minimum you should use for a polite response at best!)
Indeed the goons get involved regardless, Jaguar decking two of them, then cartwheel dodging between Asuka & another, then hitting a sweet bridging German when the goon boots Asuka by mistake- a Moonsault gets only a one-count and Asuka leapfrogs Jag over and then tosses her from the ring to the floor in a NASTY-ASS bump from a fireman’s carry! Asuka damn near overshoots her on a dive and suplexes her back in, but Jaguar does her fast-bridge-out and then Manami Rolls her for two. Asuka boots her in the gut a bunch of times to crush that momentum, gets the goons to beat on her, then launches Jaguar into rows of chairs and post-shots her. A backdrop suplex out there has Jaguar wiped out, then Lioness belts her with a chair and sits her in it for a kick to the chest and PILEDRIVES her on it while a goon holds down the ref, who still counts two anyways. Gutbuster from Asuka as this is ridiculously one-sided, Asuka now just kicking her diminutive opponent around casually- a moonsault using just the knees to the chest (yikes) gets two. Asuka just scoops her up from behind with a great Ligerbomb for two, then piledrives her THROUGH A TABLE and drives a broken piece into her head. Jesus Christ.
Jaguar lies bleeding and with a look of impending death on her face in a tremendous sell, one eye half-closed, then comes off the ropes into a face-kick from Asuka. Asuka just casually wraps a chain around her fist to bludgeon the veteran to death, but Jaguar shocks her with a LIGHTNING fast sunset flip counter to her Powerbomb! Asuka quickly pounces back on her and grinds the chain into Jag’s head, Jaguar doing a great flop-sell off a big right hand. Asuka hits a delayed suplex, pulls Jaguar up, and the Dangerous Queen Bomb gets two. But Asuka puts her on a chair for another face-kick, and Jaguar DUCKS it, crossing the arms for her big suplex… but Jaguar just rushes to the ropes and then spinkicks her in the back of the head. An annoyed Lioness just throws the chair at her a bunch, but again overdoes it by climbing in the corner, and Jaguar rifles her in the ass with the chair and hits a Backdrop SUPERDUPERPLEX, sending Asuka face-first in a terrifying landing. Asuka barely kicks out, and Jaguar hits her finisher, the Vertical-Drop Pedigree, getting two. A goon flies off the top with a chain, but accidentally nails her boss, so Jaguar whips the chain into the faces of the flunkies, wraps it around her foot, and missile dropkicks Lioness in the FACE, sending her bailing to the floor.
Juagar follows, not only cannonballing Asuka off the apron but trying a TOMBSTONE, but Asuka reverses it and Jaguar takes the move. And a full Ligerbomb on the floor! A delayed one in the ring gets two as Jaguar is fading- Lioness puts her on the shoulders in an inverted fireman’s carry but Jaguar rolls back and nearly pins her- Lioness stomps her for it and completes her attempt- the Towerhacker Bomb (inverted fireman’s to ligerbomb)… for two! Lioness then has her goons drape a table on the middle ropes in the corner, launching Jaguar off with a Super Overthrow Powerbomb- Jaguar grabs the rope at the last second! Lioness prepares a Super-MDK from Hell- a Superbomb off the table draped on the TOP, but with picture-perfect timing Jaguar swings up and hits a Super Frankensteiner into a pinning combination- 1…2…3! Jaguar wins (15:50)! Jaguar is the TWF World Champion!
Man, Lioness was KICKING ASS in this match. She just confidently took Jaguar apart, showing just how good she was, even with “Communal Joshi Offense”- every move was precise as hell and greatly timed, looking vicious and confident. That scooping backdrop into a sit-out powerbomb was SWEET, and she hit like four more sit-out powerbombs as the match went on, each one looking amazing. In the end it was probably TOO many giant moves into kickouts, especially as Jaguar had taken so much accumulated damage, but it was still a big spectacle. Jaguar just gets completely killed, only maintaining the tiniest comebacks, but each one is so remarkable and “almost got her” that it keeps on working, and the final shot is such a slick one-move reversal that you can still buy it- instead of ignoring all accumulated offense and doing a roaring comeback, she just hits one move and that’s it- and it’s such a huge move (Lioness eating shit on a massive bump straight from the top rope) right into a pinning combination that it’s believable.
Rating: ****1/4 (one of the best women’s matches of 1997)
That’s it for the Spotlights this week- just a one-match review, as I’m falling a bit behind and need to build up some more content, lol. Next week is a HUGE star-making match in Joshi history, as Las Cachorras Orientales defend the WWWA Tag Titles against a rookie squad of Kumiko Maekawa… and a 17-year old Momoe Nakanishi!