GAEA JAPAN- WILD TIMES:
(Jan. 15th 1998)
* Back to GAEA Japan to see what they’ve got going on in January 1998. Las Cachorras Orientales shows up to wreck house on their top rookies, Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato! Chigusa faces her smallest first-gen trainee, Toshie Uematsu. We get KAORU & Yamada as “Wacky Tag Team Partners Who Hate Each Other”, and end with Mayumi Ozaki leading Sugar Sato against Meiko & Kato.
CHIGUSA NAGAYO vs. TOSHIE UEMATSU:
* The smallest of the first generation of GAEA takes on the boss to see how she’s leveled up so far.
Toshie pounces with a suplex immediately, but Chigusa stuffs the second, so Toshie just repeatedly knocks her down and hits flying moves. Chigusa keeps getting up and daring her to try more, and Toshie seems to get more frenzied by the challenge until Chigusa keeps fighting up and doing the “I’m hurt but won’t show it” thing to her subordinate. Chigusa armlocks her, but Toshie catches a roundhouse for the leg hump- Chigusa reverses to an ankle twist using her power advantage, but a lame powerbomb is immediately countered to an armbar. Chigusa finally catches her running and trips her into a bunch of sustained kicks, but her Scorpion Deathlock is reversed to another leghold. Northern Lights suplex & flying splash hit, but Chigusa traps her arm from that position and that’s a tap-out at (5:40). Poor Toshie just didn’t have enough oomph. She cuts an impassioned promo at the end, appearing frustrated, but Chigusa & KAORU (the co-trainer, on the floor) give her props.
I’m sure stuff like this led to “Chigusa is selfish” talk at points but of course their positions and size difference means this is the only real result. Chigusa “gave” a lot and sold a bit, selling the persistence and spirit more than the impact, and Toshie’s speed was such that Chigusa could never maintain an advantage for long and had to wait out mistakes using veteran instincts, and even some of those didn’t work.
Rating: *1/2 (just a basic “Veteran eventually beats rookie after they throw a ton of stuff but mis-time a few things” match)
Of course the thumbnail image is of Meiko hamming it up, lol.
LAS CACHORRAS ORIENTALES (Neo Ladies) vs. MEIKO SATOMURA & SONOKO KATO (GAEA):
* The kind of match that became very, very common in joshi in this era: LCO as Travelling Bitches bloodying up other promotion’s undercarders that they wanted pushed. Mita’s in purple & blue, Shimoda’s in purple & pink. Meiko’s in red & Kato’s in blue. Immediately the situation becomes obvious as LCO look like GIANTS next to these GAEA twerps- even 5’6″ Shimoda appears like a monster.
Team GAEA pounces immediately and works over Shimoda with double-teams, but she immediately powers up and starts kneeing them and the kids get brained with chairs. Meiko gets piledrived through a table (ALREADY?) while Shimoda takes Kato on a tour of Korakuen Hall, then Kato’s piledrived through a table in the ring. Kato bleeds like nuts and is soon a total crimson mask while Meiko gets color, too. LCO revel in the carnage and pose and work over on Kato, repeatedly taunting Meiko on the apron until Kato finally comes back with kicks. Meiko’s a spitfire against LCO but Shimoda casually comes back and Mita chops her down. Mita’s like “yeah go tag Kato; I don’t care” and treats her like an annoying gnat, defying Kato’s attempts at pulling hair and getting in her face. Meiko comes flying in with a bottle & bucket to cheat, helped by Chigusa, and she only barely sells both kids assaulting her before coming back with a pink chair to both. They finally bring Mita down with double-teams but she gets her knees up on a splash and Shimoda flying stomps a chair into Meiko’s chest. The ref won’t count and gets booted out by Shimoda, and LCO hits the Assisted Tope Con Hilo/Dive combo, then it’s another crowd brawl and the Guardrail Drop in the ring (taking a LONG time to set up).
Mita powerbombs Meiko- Kato saves. Kato stops the DVD so Shimoda Germans her, but Mita goes for the Avalanche Electric Chair and Meiko grabs her armbar out of that! Shimoda just saunters up and drills her with a chair to put a stop to that, but Mita’s finally now selling, and accidentally takes Shimoda’s chair and that lets Meiko hit HER Death Valley Driver, and Shimoda wipes out the ref last second to save! Mita’s wobbly as Meiko gets super-intense, but a Blazing Chop halts Kato. Kato stuffs Shimoda’s tiger suplex but Shimoda hilariously mimics Meiko’s windmill-arm charge into the corner, and Kato dodges but gets wiped out by a blue chair anyways. Shimoda hits the Tiger Suplex on her third try for two, but Kato dodges a chair and hits a shitty Buff Blockbuster for two. Dragon Suplex for two as the crowd is getting into the comeback! But LCO stop a double-team and hit a super-loose super chokeslam/superbomb combo, and Meiko has to save- man that move should be a KILLER but they’re obviously being super-safe to the point of distraction. Meiko gets BLASTED with a chair to set up a Powerbomb/Flying Chokeslam on Kato… but she bridges out! LCO just kind of go like “dammit” and wander around a bit before hitting a Powerbomb/Moonsault to finally dust her off at (20:59). Well that was anticlimactic.
Another very, VERY one-sided match, as the GAEA kids are just not in the “Challenge the World Champions” zone yet, but they looked much weaker than they’ve usually done even against Chigusa-led teams. LCO wasn’t even in the “give them some huge comebacks” mode and just ate them alive, doing their early-match beatdown and then casually coming back with almost contemptuous ease, doing things like “kick them in the stomach from the ground” and “ignore a kick and just power them over”, Godzilla-ing the tiny teenage opponents. The move execution was pretty sloppy and we had things like wibbly-wobbling on all the flying moves and Mita doing the classic “do a back bump” piledrivers which look almost TOO safe. But halfway through things ramped up and most of the moves looked better, albeit you had things like “a Buff Blockbuster where they look like ships passing in the night” and “a superbomb/super chokeslam that just looks like a weak lob off the top rope”. I liked bits like “Kato tries the Dragon Suplex, gets a blue chair thrown at her back, but blocks an incoming clothesline with the Dragon Suplex” bit and the Tiger Suplex being fought for repeatedly- little things like that help put over the moves a lot better.
But I wasn’t a big fan of the finish- instead of sheer mania and frenzy to end the last five minutes, as is tradition, it was mostly “LCO tries stuff and gets uncontested moves until they finally hold the kids down”, and Kato kicks out of one double-team just to eat another rather than Meiko charging in for a comeback. Just kind of anticlimactic and you never once bought that the kids stood a chance- if that DVD from Meiko had happened nearer to the end it would’ve RULED, but they just wrestled another five minutes.
Rating: ***1/4 (kinda too long for what it needed to be and mostly the kids getting the absolute dogshit beaten out of them, but it wasn’t intense or precise enough to really have as much “oomph” as they seemed to be going for- often babying the bumps or being too loose with what should be huge moves)
DEVIL MASAMI & SAKURA HIROTA vs. KAORU & TOSHIYO YAMADA:
* From a Jan. 19th show- Adversaries KAORU & Yamada are teamed up for this one, against Devil (from JWP, though she might be GAEA exclusive by this point) and Sakura the jobber rookie. Devil’s in black, Sakura purple, KAORU light blue, Yamada like a bumblebee.
JIP with Sakura messing up KAORU’s springboard to set up Devil’s comeback, but KAORU hits a rana & leghold. But Yamada starts beating on her OWN PARTNER- Devil demands Yamada fight her and eats a running enzuigiri before blocking a second and beating her down. Powerbomb- KAORU saves… but then stomps on Yamada’s head. Devil is just annoyed by this, and an assisted powerbomb gets two. Man, Sakura looks bad even trying THOSE. Sakura tries a slingshot ass-attack (which would have hit NOTHING) and KAORU deflects her with a missile kick in some good timing. Flying Ass gets two but Sakura eats the spinkick- Devil repeatedly comes in (stopping a pin off a backdrop driver) and KAORU springboard dropkicks her own partner, setting up Sakura’s pin for two. Yamada stops a double-team but gets clotheslined, but boots Devil over the top into a fight with KAORU and hits a Thrust Kick of sorts on Sakura for three (6:09 of 22:00 shown). Dear god- 22 minutes!?! Devil talks some shit and gives props to Sakura after, and Chigusa runs in to swat her GAEA teammates and make them feel shame like an angry teacher would.
Rating: *1/2 (just a basic House Show Match dominated by a “partners who fight” angle, Sakura’s sloppy offense, and Devil only kinda trying. Yamada looked good)
OZ ACADEMY (Mayumi Ozaki & Sugar Sato) vs. MEIKO SATOMURA & SONOKO KATO:
* From Jan. 19th. More of Meiko/Sonoko as they team up against Ozaki and her GAEA subordinate. Same gear as before, but Ozaki’s in red/black and Sato’s in white.
JIP with Meiko & a bleeding Kato hitting a Hart Attack on Ozaki for two, but Sugar cheats and they work over Kato. She & Sugar take turns defiantly no-selling each other, and Kato can’t get her rolling fireman’s but gets the Owenzuigiri for two. Meiko flies onto Sugar’s knees and Ozaki flying stomps her- Meiko picks a fight with both of the like a dumbass, but Ozaki cannonballs Sugar by mistake. Nice bit as Meiko hits a windmill charge, Sugar stops a second, but Meiko hits a European uppercut on Ozaki, then ducks an uraken and catches a returning punch with the Fujiwara armbar, leaving Ozaki scrambling for the ropes. Meiko hits her Super Cross-Armbreaker, Ozaki taking so long to sell I wonder if she was stunned legit- she bails and eats Kato’s plancha and a beating outside the ring, but when the camera’s back on them Ozaki’s hitting a powerbomb in the ring for two.
Kato lands the Dragon Suplex for two, and they hit double-teams on her until Ozaki hits an uraken to escape. Sugar messes up a powerbomb attempt and Kato avoids the next one and ducks an uraken so Ozaki eats it, and tries a sleeper. Kamikaze Bomb (rolling fireman’s off the top)- Ozaki saves! Sato reverses Meiko’s DVD and tries her run-up flying elbow, but Kato kicks her in the head on the run and she falls back… into Meiko’s Cross-Armbreaker! Ozaki pounds on her to break it up, and Meiko dumps her to reapply, Sugar making the ropes. Meiko is furious and tries to finish, but Oz slugs her with a backfist from the apron, letting Sugar hit one- Meiko avoids the ligerbomb but Sugar just swats her again and Ligerbombs her for the pin at (10:05 of 20:37 shown)- Sugar beats Meiko!
Much, much more competitive than the last match and had some good bits, despite being a lesser show. Good effort throughout and some fun reversals. I like watching Sugar slowly develop a better style, mimicking Ozaki’s backfists and having real finishers to make the “Ace” rookies of GAEA. Ozaki was notably barely in the bits we saw but it was still good.
Rating: *** (only half the match is on here but it’s very good and full of good reversals and bright spots)
Overall a good little show! LCO using their mayhem in other companies is always fun (much as the match is a bit long and one-sided) and a few GAEA wrestlers gave good performances.