Joshi Spotlight: Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Momoe Nakanishi
By Jabroniville on 10th July 2023
So one month before this, LCO have one of their all-time best matches (a month after their OTHER all-time best match, against Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue), losing to Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe in an absolute bloodbath of a Cage Match, Tomoko doing some of the best babyface selling ever, acting in complete agony as LCO tear her apart. LCO were at their whiny best, screeching every time they’re made to sell, while being as unsympathetic as possible because of the glee with which they tore into their opponents. But LCO were ultimately vanquished, Ito hitting the mother of all Flying Stomps to Mita from the TOP OF THE CAGE before escaping. Review here: https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2021/01/15/joshi-spotlight-violence-war-las-cachorras-vs-the-utops-steel-cage-deathmatch/
But LCO are still the World Tag Team Champions, and now one of the former champs (Kumiko Maekawa) is teaming up with a 17-year old girl to take on the still lethal, still chair-tossing savages of LCO.
WWWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
LAS CACHORRAS ORIENTALES (Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita) vs. KUMIKO MAEKAWA & MOMOE NAKANISHI:
(Oct. 18th 1997)
* A pretty wild Tag Title match tonight, as LCO have beaten Kumiko’s team with elder Tomoko Watanabe twice this year already, and now Kumiko (herself debuting 4 years after LCO did, and thus being way lower on the totem pole) is allying with MOMOE? Momoe is green as grass at this point, being only a 1-year veteran- she is spectacular for her level of experience though, being a real prodigy. As AJW is being gutted by people quitting over the not being paid, it’s time to elevate some rookies VERY VERY QUICKLY, I guess! Though this should mostly be LCO destroying their opponents- Momoe is 17 years old and has no experience in big matches. The kids are in light blue & white matching gear, Kumiko in her sporty two-piece and Momoe in a singlet- the Champs are in purple & white, Shimoda now with Karen hair as she walks up to flick at Kumiko’s face just to be a snot.
FALL ONE: Momoe has the temerity to try ROOKIE DROPKICKS on the giant Mita, and is immediately slaughtered for it. LCO of course use rope-rakes, helicopter-hairtosses, hairpulling and assorted methods of cheating to deal with the threat of a 17-year old girl. Mita hits a piledriver (making sure to face Kumiko as she does it) and instead of pinning just goes for a one-handed choke like it’s the funniest thing ever. Momoe’s selling is good- pained, but in an offended, angry sort of way. They bite each other and Momoe finally tags out, and Mita suddenly ain’t smug no more. And amazingly, Kumiko boots the hell out of Mita, hairwhips HER, and then repeatedly drives Shimoda off the apron with a side boot and the crowd marks out! And yes, it’s my favorite spot- someone puts a submission on Mita and Shimoda rifles a pink chair at their face for it. Shimoda soon eats a beating, too, being sure to act extra “Hey, WTF?” about it as if she hadn’t literally just chaired Kumiko in the head- she kicks out after a roundhouse kick and manages to scrap away for a while, but Kumiko’s up fast and they trade some pretty big whiffed shots (the camera is WAY too close), and Kumiko keeps aiming for her big Pump Kick but eats Shimoda’s falling clothesline and Mita’s blazing chop.
Mita goes for the DVD, but Kumiko leaps out, parries the blazing chop with a kick and then nukes Mita’s head for 2.5! She misses another kick but rolls out of a DVD for two- Momoe misses a run-up crossbody, but manages two helicopter ones and a victory roll out of the electric chair drop for two. Momoe slips out of a run-up spot, ruining Shimoda’s attempt to chair her in the face mid-leap, and she rolls Shimoda up out of a tiger suplex attempt for two. Kumiko attempts the Pump Kick again but gets chaired by Mita from behind and LCO dumps everyone for a walk & brawl, Momoe going into seas of empty chairs and arriving back at the ring covered in blood. Kumiko takes a missile kick and tiger suplex for two-counts, but kicks free and… ducks Mita’s chair so Shimoda takes it! Ax Kick while Momoe desperately staggers in to stop Mita! For TWO! Oh crap thought that was it. But they dump Mita and Momoe flies out on her to stop another pin, and the Ax Kick gets three (11:21)! The babies win it! Okay, that’s brilliant- they’re huge underdogs, so they win the first one so LCO have their backs to the wall the entire rest of the match.
FALL TWO: LCO are down one as the champions so they’re gonna be fighting hard now. But Shimoda is so staggered she takes a bunch of running kicks for two- she catches a chair and beans Kumiko with it in a mis-timed spot (Kumiko looked “ready” too quickly so had to stand there like a doofus for a bit). But a LEAPING Gamengiri kick knocks Shimoda flat for a close one! She misses an Ax Kick, but Momoe’s missile kick sets up a proper one and Mita BARELY runs in for the break-up. Possibly because Momoe blocked her a bit TOO well and she had to actually evade her for real, lol. Finally Mita just interferes for real, catching Kumiko on the top and hitting the Death Valley Driver, but in a cool bit Momoe dives in with a German on her for revenge.
The poor kid can only barely lift Shimoda off the mat, and is left hitting Mongolian chops while the crowd chants for her, but Shimoda just gets angry and kicks her down- only Momoe tenaciously hangs onto her leg and continues her efforts, flipping over Shimoda… right into a pastel blue chair from Mita. Ooh, that- oh god!- she dodges another and Shimoda takes it, and a Bridging German gets the closest pinfall I’ve EVER seen, as the crowd completely buys it! Desperate, Momoe aims for a flying splash but eats feet, but manages a Run-Up Sunset Flip for 2.8! She’s clearly fading, and LCO take the lead with the Electric Chair Drop into a somersault guillotine legdrop- Kumiko saves. But that’s it, as Momoe is put up top and OH GOOD SHIT- Shimoda hits the Death Lake Driver (tiger superplex) landing Momoe flat on her head in a deadly landing, then sitting on her chest for the obvious “3” at (3:44). Jesus that was a packed fall. Made better by LCO fighting from underneath for the whole thing, like Kumiko’s kicks were so deadly that Shimoda nearly lost two straight.
FALL THREE: Shimoda starts off against Momoe’s dead body, and has to be tossed off by Kumiko trying her finisher again, but tries something else and Momoe sunset flip powerbombs her for two. A completely fresh Mita comes in, Momoe desperately and sloppily reversing on her for two-counts. Mita just tosses her into Kumiko and LCO hits their assisted plancha (a somersault this time!) and dive combo, then toss them around the stands again, but Mita finishes Momoe’s beating with a piledriver THROUGH A TABLE at ringside, which is just so excessive on an already bleeding rookie I love it. Then they of course pile up Chair Mountain in the ring, lay the challengers on them, then do the Guardrail Drop. Mita with a triumphant powerbomb on Momoe’s corpse, but Kumiko saves! Shimoda then chairs the crap out of Momoe, but BAM! Ax Kick to the back of her head by Kumiko! And another! And another! Mita tries her DVD reversal of Kumiko’s top rope thing again, but SHE gets kicked, but it’s the Death Lake Driver- unassisted kickout! She whips Kumiko off the ropes… Gamengiri Kick reversal! For two! But she misses a Roundhouse and Mita grabs her on the follow-through right into the Death Valley Driver! And Shimoda hits a second Death Lake for the pin at (5:46), finally scoring the win.
A very well-booked match considering the participants- Kumiko was young but had physical credibility, but Momoe was a teenager and had none, so they had to put over her “Fighting Spirit” in fighting on despite these horribly unfair tactics and LCO’s sheer glee in causing mayhem and pain. Naturally she got some hope spots but was mostly killed, which made it look great when, bloody-faced, she stumbled across the ring in a desperate attempt to stop Mita from breaking up pins, and hugged her partner after the lucky first fall. And since these were underdogs, having them win the first fall was a cool move, because it put LCO to the fire, especially as they spend the entire second fall getting their asses kicked. There were a few application problems in the first fall, probably because Kumiko is still somewhat new at big-money matches (despite being 6 years in) and a few blown spots (like Momoe completely missing the ropes in one run-up attempt and messing up a “running straight into a chairshot” spot), but they recovered well enough. But the second one had GREAT selling, with Shimoda unable to get anything going and Momoe doing a great “I’m dying of blood loss but trying SO HARD” thing. And holy shit that bump straight onto her head.
Rating: **** (given how limited their opponents still are, this is a remarkable match from LCO- effectively carrying a rookie through things just by her reversals and kickouts, and selling Kumiko’s kicks like deathblows)
This match is generally considered to be the one that MAKES Momoe, by the by- she becomes a big name in joshi in the 2000s, but the legend starts right here with LCO.