All Japan Women DreamSlam I
An Enhanced Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: April 2nd, 1993
I am going to do something that I normally don't do, and that is give a brief prelude to explain what is going on during this event. I had to do a fair bit of research myself, so I am going to try to save you the trouble. This review is different than most as I really know very little about Joshi. I have watched a few matches here and there, but in terms of its history and rivalries... well I have no idea. So I am reviewing this with some background knowledge but in general as a newbie. So if I don't "get" any references to past matches or past storylines, that is why.
From the early 90s until 1995 or so, Joshi (Japanese women's wrestling) was in its glory years. The stars were hard hitting and tough (unlike most American women wrestling), and during that time period it wasn't uncommon for their big shows to have over 15,000 people in attendance. One of the largest promotions was All Japan Women (AJW), which was active up until 2005. This particular show, DreamSlam, was hosted by AJW but they invited other Joshi promotions to challenge their stars. Each match showcases an AJW wrestler(s) versus a wrestler from Japanese Women's Pro, Ladies Legends Pro Wrestling, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, or Empresa Mundial de Lucha Libre. Such a summit was unprecedented which made this event one of the most important in Joshi history at the time it took place.
I just want to warn anyone that has not seen Joshi before... this isn't the female wrestling you see on your TV each week. Since women (in general) are more quick and flexible than men, they can actually take even sicker bumps and the matches can be very hard hitting. Some wrestling fans have trouble watching Joshi just because some of the women wrestle in such a brutal style. This event is considered top to bottom one of the greatest shows ever, and while that is obviously very high praise I can't think of any events I could definitely say are better then this one. So sit back, enjoy, and if you have had no exposure to Joshi I hope that you might learn a thing or two about one of the greatest periods in professional wrestling history. Here is the full card:
- Plum Mariko and Hikari Fukuoka vs. Sakie Hasegawa and Kaoru Ito
This review might be a bit long as the event is spread over three DVDs. I'll do my best to call the wrestler's moves by what they called them, but since Joshi information is hard to find I do reserve the right to just describe the move the best I can and move on.
Plum Mariko and Hikari Fukuoka (JWP) vs. Sakie Hasegawa and Kaoru Ito (AJW)
Ito breaks it up with a dropkick, snapmare by Mariko on Hasegawa but Hasegawa reverses positions with her and applies a keylock. Mariko wiggles out of the hold, but Hasegawa applies the Camel Clutch. Bridging submission move by Hasegawa, but Fukuoka comes in and breaks it up. Hasegawa tags in Ito, Irish whip by Ito and she delivers a hip attack. Irish whip by Ito and she hits another hip attack on Mariko. Cover, but it gets a two count. Scoop slam by Ito, she runs to the second turnbuckle and hits a corkscrew senton. Cover, but again it gets a two. Kicks to the leg by Ito and she applies a crab hold. Mariko quickly gets to the ropes, and Ito tags in Hasegawa. Chops by Hasegawa in the corner and she hits a five straight double armed suplexes. After the fifth one though Mariko lands close to her corner and she manages to tag in Fukuoka. Hasegawa and Fukuoka trade strikes, with Fukuoka getting the better of it. Irish whip by Fukuoka and they collide as Hasegawa pulls down Fukuoka. Fukuoka quickly applies a crab hold into a leg lock, but Hasegawa gets out of it. Elbows to the head by Hasegawa, Irish whip, but Fukuoka hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Another headscissors by Fukuoka, cover, but it gets a two count. Fukuoka tags in Mariko and she nails a cross body for a two count cover. Mariko goes for the arm, but Hasegawa rolls out of it and tags in Ito. Kicks to the back by Ito, Irish whip, but Mariko hits two seated sentons for a two count cover. Vertical suplex by Mariko and she tags in Fukuoka. Irish whip by Fukuoka but Ito hits a hip attack. Ito goes off the ropes and hits a cross body, but it only gets a two count. Ito tags in Hasegawa, Hasegawa comes off the top turnbuckle with a cross body but it also gets a two. Hasegawa Irish whips Fukuoka into the corner but Fukuoka rebounds out with a sunset flip for a two count. Fukuoka tags in Mariko, who hits a release German suplex. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Mariko goes for the ankle again, but Ito promptly breaks it up. Ito goes for a backdrop suplex on Mariko, Mariko lands on her feet, but Hasegawa comes up from behind and hits a German suplex hold for a two count.
Hasegawa and Ito go for a double facebuster, Mariko flips out of it and holds Hasegawa for Fukuoka, but Hasegawa moves so Fukuoka accidentally dropkicks Mariko. Hasegawa picks up Mariko, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, and Mariko hits a catapulted dropkick. Hurricanrana by Mariko, but Hasegawa barely kicks out. Mariko tags in Fukuoka, who hits a moonsault from the top rope. Cover, but Ito barely breaks it up in time. Fukuoka picks up Hasegawa and gives her the Oklahoma Roll, but Hasegawa lands up in the ropes. Hasegawa is bleeding from the eye as Fukuoka gives her an Irish whip, but Hasegawa avoids the lariat and hits a spinning back kick. Hasegawa tags in Ito, Ito goes for the top rope double stomp, but Fukuoka rolls out of the way. Ito picks up Fukuoka and slides her out of the ring, where she throws her to the floor and hits a double stomp off the apron. Ito brings her back in, scoop slam by Ito and she nails the top turnbuckle double stomp. Cover, but Mariko barely breaks it up in time. Ito goes up top again, but Mariko holds her until Fukuoka recovers. Powerslam by Fukuoka from the top turnbuckle, cover, but Ito gets a shoulder up. Fukuoka tags in Mariko, Irish whip by Mariko, she goes for a pin attempt, but Ito rolls her up for a one count. Mariko goes off the ropes and goes for a hurricanrana, but Ito powerbombs her to the mat. SIX running double stomps by Ito, cover, but Mariko bridges out of it. Ito tags in Hasegawa, who nails Mariko with a spinning back kick. Another one by Hasegawa, and a third, and finally a fourth one. Uranage by Hasegawa, cover, but Fukuoka breaks it up. Hasegawa picks up Mariko, Irish whip, but Mariko ducks an attempted back kick and applies a waistlock. Hasegawa reverses the waistlock, but Mariko rolls her up for a two count. Hasegawa picks up Mariko, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, Hasegawa hops up onto the top turnbuckle but Mariko quickly joins her. Frankensteiner by Mariko, cover, and she picks up the three count! Your winners: Plum Mariko and Hikari Fukuoka
Match Thoughts: A bit sloppy but overall enjoyable. If the name Plum Mariko rings a bell, she is the wrestler that died from an in-ring injury in 1997, the first Japanese wrestler to ever die from an injury that took place during a wrestling match. All four of these wrestlers were non-stop and full of energy, which is one of my favorite things about Joshi. The downside is that they go so fast they are are bound to make mistakes, and it only made matters worse that these four had very little experience wrestling against each other since they were based in different promotions. Some of the moves were brutal though, Ito gave out a total of eight foot stomps.... I am sure their stomachs were bruised the next day. Oddly enough their highspots/bigger moves came off flawlessly, it was some of the smaller things that they messed up. The transitions were weak, but it is the opening match so it wasn't a major problem. Since the opening match's primary job is to get the crowd excited, I think this match accomplished that goal if even it was a little rough around the edges. Score: 6.5
Saemi Numata (AJW) and Terri Power vs. Shark Tsuchiya and Crusher Maedomari (FMW)
Match Thoughts: Not a very good match. On one side you had two wrestlers not exactly known for being easy to work with and on the other side you had two wrestlers that were still very green. To make matters worse, Powers (better known to many fans as Tori in the WWF) already had a badly injured shoulder and therefore wasn't able to do much of anything in the match. Not that it really would have mattered but at least it would have mixed things up a bit. Crusher and Shark hit some nice looking power moves, but that wasn't really enough to make this a good match as there were just too many miscommunications. Score: 3.5
Shimoda tags in Watanabe, who hits an elbow strike to the back from the top turnbuckle. Watanabe applies a modified Dragon Sleeper, but Tigrita breaks it up. Watanabe throws Tigrita into the ropes and then takes her out of the ring as Shimoda comes in and grabs KAORU. All four brawl outside the ring, as KAORU gets the advantage on Shimoda and slams her onto the table. Watanabe saves her however, and Shimoda gives KAORU a vertical suplex on the outside as Watanabe chokes Tigrita with a cable. KAORU and Shimoda get back in the ring, and Shimoda applies the Romero Special. Shimoda tags in Watanabe, Irish whip by Watanabe and she along with Shimoda hit a double lariat. Double vertical suplex, and the hit a double rebound elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Shimoda goes to the top turnbuckle, but KAORU dropkicks her off of it as Tigrita runs in and dropkicks Watanabe from behind. Scoop slam by KAORU on Watanabe and she nails the moonsault. Cover, but it gets a two count. KAORU picks up Watanabe, Irish whip, but Watanabe ducks the lariat attempt and knocks Tigrita off the apron as Shimoda runs in and kicks KAORU out of the ring. Shimoda and Watanabe then get onto the top turnbuckle (different ones) and hit planchas down to the floor onto their opponents. Watanabe suplexes Tigrita on the outside and returns to the ring, with Tigrita eventually getting back on the apron. KAORU gets on the apron as well, Watanabe tries to suplex her back in the ring, but KAORU lands on her feet. Backdrop suplex attempt by KAORU, but Watanabe also lands on her feet and she delivers a German suplex hold for a two count.
Watanabe tags in Shimoda as KAORU tags in Tigrita, Irish whip by Shimoda but Tigrita hits a body scissors roll- up for a two count. Shimoda picks up Tigrita, scoop slam, and she hits an elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Back up, Rising Star Suplex by Shimoda, but KAORU breaks it up. Shimoda picks up Tigrita and tags in Watanabe, Watanabe takes Tigrita to the mat and applies an arm submission hold. Shimoda holds back KAORU, but KAORU breaks free and applies a head scissors to Watanabe. Shimoda then applies a head scissors to KAORU (so that they all have submission holds applied), but the referee breaks them up. Watanabe picks up Tigrita, double Irish whip, they go for a double slingshot suplex but Tigrita arm drags them both to the mat. KAORU runs in, KAORU and Tigrita dropkick their opponents to the mat and then both hit missile dropkicks from the top turnbuckle. Watanabe and Shimoda roll out of the ring, and they both hit moonsaults from the top turnbuckle down to the floor. Back in, Irish whip by Tigrita on Shimoda, Shimoda reverses it, but Tigrita hits a quebrada. Cover, but Watanabe breaks it up. Tigrita holds Shimoda for KAORU, but Shimoda moves and KAORU hits a seated senton onto her own partner. Shimoda tags in Watanabe, Irish whip by Watanabe on KAORU to the corner, KAORU jumps onto the turnbuckle and goes for a moonsault but Watanabe steps out of the way. Double Irish to KAORU, but Tigrita pulls Shimoda out of the ring and KAORU delivers a hurricanrana to Watanabe for a near pinfall. Irish whip by KAORU, Watanabe goes for a rebound body press but KAORU ducks it. La Magistral by KAORU on Watanabe and she picks up the three count! Your winners: KAORU and Ultima Tigrita
Post match: Shimoda and Watanabe beat up Tigrita and KAORU some, since apparently they don't like losing.
Match Thoughts: Something just seemed off with this match. There weren't any terrible botches or missed moves, but a lot of the moves just seemed a split second off and at times they seemed to be going in slow motion. Again (and this will be an issue throughout the card) anytime you have a match with wrestlers that are not completely familiar with each other then you are going to have a few problems here and there. A lot of the "lucha" spots were particularly rough, perhaps Shimoda and Watanabe just weren't used to that style. The high spots were nice and it was far from unwatchable, it was just lacking something and they never seemed to really get into any rhythm. Score: 5.0
Etsuko Mita and Suzuka Minami (AJW) vs. Miki Handa and Rumi Kazama (LLPW)
Handa tags in Kazama, who kicks Minami in the leg before applying an armbar. Wristlock by Kazama but Minami gets a foot on the ropes. Kazama kicks Minami against the ropes and tags Handa back in the match. Irish whip by Handa, reversed, and Minami delivers a back breaker. Minami tags in Mita, Irish whip by Mita and she gives Handa the airplane spin. Mita picks up Handa and hits a vertical suplex, cover, but Kazama breaks it up. Snapmare by Mita and she applies a reverse chinlock. Handa knees out of it, but Mita chokes her and hits a fireman's carry slam. Cover, but Handa bridges up. Crab hold by Mita but Kazama eventually breaks it up with a kick to the head. Mita tags in Minami, who gives Handa a double armed backbreaker. Cover by Minami, but Handa kicks out in time. Irish whip by Minami, but Handa hits a jumping lariat. Another one by Handa, cover, but it gets a two count. Handa tags in Kazama, double Irish whip and they both hit jumping lariats. Back up, forearms by Kazama and she kicks Minami to the mat. Cover, but Minami kicks out. Kazama applies a reverse chinlock into an abdominal stretch, Minami tries to get away but Kazama applies an armbar. Mita comes in to break it up, so Kazama tags in Handa. Fujiwara Armbar by Handa, but Minami makes it to the ropes and Handa eventually breaks the hold. Stomps to the midsection by Handa and she chokes Minami against the ropes. Vertical suplex by Handa, cover, but it gets a two count. Handa tags in Kazama, Irish whip by Kazama, but Minami rolls her up for a quick two count. Minami tags in Mita, Irish whip by Mita and she clubs Kazama in the chest. Mita picks up Kazama, Irish whip, and she clubs her in the chest again. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Mita puts Kazama up onto the top turnbuckle, joins her, and hits an avalanche-style electric chair. Cover, but Handa breaks it up. Mita takes Kazama outside the ring and throws her into the railing. After a moment they get back in the ring, Irish whip by Mita, reversed, and Kazama delivers a spinning back heel kick.
Kazama tags in Handa, Irish whip by Handa, reversed, but Handa applies the Achilles Hold. Mita struggles to the ropes and eventually makes it, forcing the break. Handa applies the figure four leg lock and Kazama comes in to kick Mita while she is in the hold. Mita flips over to reverse the hold, and Mita manages to tag in Minami. Kicks to the leg to Handa by Minami and she applies a leg lock. Kazama breaks it up, but Mita runs in to stomp on Handa. Knee breaker by Minami and she re-applies the leg lock, but Handa makes it to the ropes. Minami picks up Handa, she puts her on the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex from the second rope. Cover, but Handa barely kicks out. Double Irish whip to Handa and they kick her in the stomach. Minami holds Handa for Mita, but Handa moves and Mita accidentally clubs Minami in the chest. This gives Handa time to tag in Kazama, who rolls up Minami for a two count. Irish whip by Kazama, Handa tries to help, Minami avoids the double lariat attempt, but Kazama hits a pair of high kicks for a two count. Irish whip by Handa, reversed, but Handa delivers a Victory Roll for a two count. Handa goes off the ropes but Minami catches her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tags in Mita. Mita puts Handa up on her shoulders and hits an electric chair. Minami follows with a top rope body press, cover by Mita, but it gets a two count. Waistlock by Mita, but Handa reverses it and hits a German suplex hold for a two count as Kazama dives out onto Minami outside the ring. Mita rolls to the outside, but Handa comes off the top turnbuckle with a plancha onto her. Handa slides Mita back into the ring and hits a backdrop suplex followed by a fisherman suplex hold, but Minami breaks it up.
Handa tags in Kazama, who kicks Mita in the chest. Mita tags in Minami, Kazama goes for a kick but Minami ducks it and hits a backdrop suplex for a two count cover. Powerbomb by Minami, but Handa breaks up the pin attempt. Another powerbomb by Minami, cover, but Kazama kicks out at two. Minami goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Kazama moves out of the way of the missile dropkick. Handa comes off the top turnbuckle with a missile dropkick onto Minami, Kazama quickly follows with a German suplex hold but Minami barely kicks out. Kazama goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a spinning heel kick. Cover, but Mita breaks it up. Kazama tags in Handa, Irish whip by Handa but Minami hits a lariat and tags in Mita. Mita picks up Handa and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Handa lands on top of her and picks up a two count. Irish whip by Handa, Mita gets in position to hit a suplex, but Kazama runs in and kicks her in the back. Jumping lariat by Handa, cover, but Mita bridges up. Minami comes in, double Irish whip to Handa but she hits a lariat on both of them. Handa picks up Mita and goes for a suplex, but Minami knocks her down with a lariat. Minami picks up Handa and hits a powerbomb, both she and Mita go to the top turnbuckle and they hit simultaneous missile dropkicks. Cover by Mita but Kazama breaks it up. Mita picks up Handa and puts her on her shoulders, but Kazama runs in and kicks Mita in the midsection. Double DDT by Handa and Kazama, cover by Handa, but Minami breaks it up. Handa tags in Kazama, Kazama goes for a corkscrew splash off the top turnbuckle, but Mita moves out of the way. Mita goes to tag in Minami, but Kazama cuts her off and pulls her down by the leg. Kazama picks up Mita and hits a German suplex, cover, but Mita kicks out at two. Kazama picks up Mita and hits a sloppy powerbomb, cover, but again it gets a two. German suplex hold by Kazama, but Minami barely breaks it up in time. Mita picks up Kazama, Irish whip, but Kazama ducks the lariat attempt and plants her with a German suplex hold for the three count. Your winners: Miki Handa and Rumi Kazama
Match Thoughts: For those keeping score, AJW is now 0-4, much to the crowd's surprise. Now remember that I have never seen these four before, but I have decided that I am in love with Mita and Kazama really sucks. It was amazing to see the other three working so hard but with Kazama only delivering kicks and doing sloppy moves. But if you ignore her for a moment this was a great match. The action stayed fast paced but it was logical as well, with Mita being able to control just Handa but when Kazama helped her then she lost control. Mita and Minami also had a few miscommunications which allowed a hot tag and helped lead to the ending sequence. Mita was a lot of fun to watch as she wrestles with so much emotion that she got the crowd back into it the few times they quieted down. The crowd was hot by the end, although they seemed surprised to see AJW drop another fall. Overall it was an enjoyable match, I just wish that Kazama hadn't been so useless compared to the other three wrestlers. Score: 7.5
Bat Yoshinaga vs. Susan Howard
Chigusa Nagayo (AJW) vs. Devil Masami (JWP)
Chigusa goes outside the ring but after a minute returns, kick to the stomach by Masami and she hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Kick to the back of the head by Masami and she stomps on Chigusa a few more times. Cover by Masami but it only gets a one count. Irish whip by Masami to the corner, reversed, Masami jumps behind Chigusa but Chigusa kicks her in the head. More high kicks by Chigusa, she picks up Masami, Irish whip, Chigusa ducks a lariat attempt and pancakes but Masami hits a double stomp. Masami picks up Chigusa and hits a vertical suplex, she goes up to the top turnbuckle but Chigusa rolls out of the way of the somersault splash. Heel kick by Chigusa and she kicks Masami while she kneels on the mat. Back up, Irish whip by Chigusa to the corner but Masami avoids the heel kick and knocks her out of the ring. Masami then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha down onto Chigusa. Masami picks up Chigusa and nails a powerbomb, she returns to the ring but Chigusa makes it back in at around 12. Masami lariats Chigusa while she is on the apron though and Chigusa falls back outside the ring. Chigusa gets back on the apron again and hits a sunset flip over the ropes for a two count. German suplex hold by Chigusa, but it only gets a two count. She hits a second one, but it only gets a two count as well. Chigusa goes up to the top turnbuckle but Masami avoids the elbow drop. Kick to the stomach by Masami but Chigusa delivers a DDT. Chigusa goes up to the second turnbuckle, but Masami catches her up there and chops her back to the mat. Lariat by Masami into the corner and she nails a powerbomb. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Another powerbomb by Masami, cover, but again she only gets a two count. A third powerbomb by Masami, cover, but once again Chigusa gets a shoulder up. Looking frustrated, Masami drags Chigusa to her feet, puts her onto the top turnbuckle and and hits an Avalanche-style Northern Lights Suplex. Cover, and she picks up the three count! Your winner: Devil Masami
Match Thoughts: Not a bad match. Just in case you are imaging two old people, even though they both had a feud in the 80s and Chigusa hadn't wrestled in four years, Chigusa was only 28 when the match took place and Masami was 31. They would both wrestle for many years after this including battles over the AAAW Singles Championship. Anyway, considering that Chigusa was a little rusty this was a good match but nowhere near the matches they had in the past. Masami was pretty dominate the last third of the match or so, but especially in puroresu (long layoff = losing when you come back) that wasn't really surprising. Chigusa had marks all over her when the match ended as obviously her body wasn't used to the abuse. The ending was certainly definitive though as Masami killed her with a variety of high impact moves. The beginning and middle portions of the match were slow as they were wrestling at a different pace then the other matches on the card were, but the match was still entertaining overall and Chigusa looked good considering she had been out of action for awhile. Score: 6.0
Cuty Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki (JPW) vs. Takako Inoue and Kyoko Inoue (AJW)
Takako tags in Kyoko, Kyoko and Ozaki circle each other, kick by Kyoko and she hits two Mongolian Chops. Irish whip by Kyoko but Ozaki rolls her up for a two count. Kick by Kyoko and she hits another Mongolian Chop. Kyoko applies the Rocking Horse and throws Ozaki back to the mat before tagging in Takako. Crab hold by Takako and she drags Ozaki away from her corner, but Ozaki makes it to the ropes. Takako picks up Ozaki, Irish whip, but Ozaki hits a lariat and tags in Suzuki. Cross body by Suzuki, but it only gets a two count. Suzuki picks up Takako and hits a snap bridging fallaway slam, but that gets a two count as well. Irish whip by Suzuki, Takako leaps over her Suzuki but Ozaki jumps in the ring and kicks her in the head. Double Irish whip to Takako and they hit a double lariat. Takako and Ozaki climb to adjacent top turnbuckles, but Kyoko knocks off Ozaki as Takako runs over and hits an arm drag on Suzuki from the top. Cover, but Suzuki bridges up. Takako picks up Suzuki, but Suzuki rolls her up for a quick two count. Irish whip by Suzuki, reversed, but Takako hits a back bodydrop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takako tags in Kyoko, Kyoko picks up Suzuki and goes for a suplex, Suzuki lands on her feet and applies a waistlock, but Kyoko elbows out of it. Kyoko goes off the ropes, but Ozaki pulls her hair from the apron and gets in the ring. Double Irish whip to Kyoko, but Kyoko jumps onto the second rope and hits a springboard elbow strike on both of them. Kyoko slams Suzuki to the mat and jumps off the side ropes onto the top turnbuckle, but Ozaki runs over and knocks her off as she falls down to the floor. Suzuki kicks Takako out of the ring and they both sail out with dives onto their opponents. Suzuki stomps Kyoko in the back of the head on the floor as Ozaki assaults Takako.
Suzuki slides Kyoko back into the ring, Suzuki picks up Kyoko and nails a dragon suplex hold for a two count. Suzuki scoop slams Kyoko, goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a double stomp before tagging in Ozaki. Ozaki hits a double stomp of her own, Suzuki follows with another one, and Ozaki hits a fourth. Suzuki then gives Kyoko a fifth top rope double stomp, cover by Ozaki, but Takako breaks it up. Ozaki goes for the Tequila Sunrise, but Takako runs in and kicks her before she can get the move applied. Kyoko goes off the ropes but Suzuki holds her there and Ozaki hits a release German suplex. Ozaki goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a rounding body press, but it only gets a two count. Ozaki goes for a hurricanrana, but Kyoko blocks it and powerbombs her to the mat. Cover, but Suzuki breaks it up. Kyoko tags in Takako, backdrop suplex hold by Takako but Suzuki breaks it up again. Achilles Hold by Takako, Suzuki briefly breaks it, Kyoko tosses Suzuki out of the ring so that Takako can the hold back on but Ozaki reaches the ropes. Takako goes for another backdrop suplex, but Ozaki lands on her feet and delivers a perfect Tequila Sunrise for a two count. Ozaki stomps Takako and goes for it again, but Takako rolls her up for a two count. Takako tags in Kyoko, Kyoko picks up Ozaki and slaps her to the mat. Kyoko runs up the turnbuckle and hits a top rope elbow drop, cover, but Ozaki barely gets a shoulder up. Kyoko calls for the powerbomb, but Suzuki kicks her from behind. Takako runs in to take care of Suzuki, Kyoko picks up Ozaki to hit a powerbomb but Ozaki rolls down her back and picks up a two count cover. Kyoko gets Ozaki to her feet but again Ozaki gets out of the powerbomb attempt and hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Ozaki picks up Kyoko, Irish whip, but Kyoko jumps onto the second rope and springs back with a dropkick. Sit-down powerbomb by Kyoko to Ozaki, but Suzuki barely breaks it up. Takako goes up to the top turnbuckle as Kyoko tries to get up Ozaki for a powerbomb, but Suzuki runs over and kicks Kyoko before she can get Ozaki up. Ozaki gets on top with Takako, but Takako chokeslams her to the mat. Cover, but again Suzuki breaks it up. Kyoko forearms Suzuki out of the ring, picks up Ozaki for a powerbomb as Takako gets back on the top turnbuckle and they deliver a powerbomb/top rope chokeslam combination for the three count pinfall! Your winners:Takako Inoue and Kyoko Inoue
Match Thoughts: This match from start to finish was really fun. All four of them went all out the entire time and unlike in the past few matches all the spots were hit perfectly and there were very few miscommunications. I am not even sure which one of these four I thought did the best, they gelled together so perfectly. I did love at the end the expression on Takako's face after the pinfall, after such a hard struggle she had the biggest grin in a moment of genuine emotion that is too rare in wrestling these days. Ozaki had the bigger part on her team and her selling at the end was top notch, as it seemed like she was getting killed. Kyoko could have had the pin on a number of occasions, but they couldn't pick up the win until they finally had taken care of Suzuki so she wouldn't break up the cover. A great match to start what will be a run of great matches for the rest of the card. Score: 8.0
Aja Kong and Bull Nakano (AJW) vs. Eagle Sawai and Harley Saito (LLPW)
Kong throws Saito back into the ring and holds her up so that Nakano can hit a lariat off the second turnbuckle. Cover, but Saito barely kicks out. Nakano picks up Saito and holds her the same way for Kong, but Saito rolls up Nakano for a quick two count while Eagle knocks Kong out of the ring. Irish whip by Nakano, but Saito hits a spinning heel kick. Backdrop suplex by Saito, but Nakano is up first and hits a reverse DDT. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nakano goes to tag in Kong, but Saito grabs her from behind and hits a tiger suplex hold for a two count. Scoop slam by Saito, she tags in Eagle who hits a reverse splash for a two count. Irish whip by Eagle and she hits a tilt-a-whirl slam followed by a slingshot splash by Saito from the apron. Eagle picks up Nakano and hits a powerbomb, Eagle tags in Saito who hits a diving headbutt. Cover, but Nakano gets a shoulder up. Backdrop suplex hold by Nakano on Saito, but it gets a two count. Nakano tags in Kong, Irish whip by Kong but Eagle hits her from the apron and Saito rolls her up for a two count. Kong picks up Saito, Irish whip, but Saito hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Saito goes off the ropes and goes for another one, but this time Kong catches her and hits a slingshot reverse powerbomb. Cover, but Eagle breaks it up. Kong calls for the end, she waits for Saito to get up and nails her with a uraken. Another uraken by Kong takes off Saito's head, she tags in Nakano, who hits a guillotine legdrop off the top turnbuckle. Cover, but Eagle gets by Kong and breaks it up. Nakano quickly goes up to the top turnbuckle, hits a rolling guillotine leg drop and this time picks up the three count! Your winners: Aja Kong and Bull Nakano
Match Thoughts: Not the best Bull Nakano match I have seen (I love her dearly), but still entertaining. I don't think I have seen Kong before even though I had heard a lot about her, and she really knew how to get the crowd into the match. Saito played her role well, but I really wasn't impressed with Eagle... the other three outshined her in this particular match. Since Saito was the obvious weak link (she was half the size of everyone else) it made sense for Nakano and Kong to target her. Some of the transitions were poor or nonexistent, but when you have three beast wrestlers that are used to doing whatever the hell they want in a match then that is bound to happen. The plancha suicida by Kong was great, you don't see people that size hitting moves like that very often. It wasn't the best tag match on this event by a long shot but it was still a perfectly fine match-up that kept the crowd into it without stealing any thunder from the main events. Score: 7.0
Dynamite Kansai (JWP) vs. Yumiko Hotta (AJW)
Kansai goes up to the top turnbuckle but Hotta rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. Lariat by Kansai, cover, but Hotta kicks out. Sleeperhold by Kansai, she picks up Hotta, Irish whip to the corner, she hits a lariat but Hotta ducks the second and hits a backdrop suplex. Kicks to the midsection by Hotta and Kansai slides out of the ring. This time Hotta follows her out and continues kicking Kansai in the head. Hotta slides Kansai back into the ring and gives her a stiff kick to the head. Tiger Driver by Hotta but it only gets a two count cover. Hotta goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Kansai avoids the heel kick. High kicks by Kansai to Hotta, but Hotta hits her as she goes up to the top turnbuckle and she gets tangled in the ropes. Hotta takes advantage by kicking Kansai unmercifully in the head until she falls down. Back in the ring, Tiger Driver by Hotta but it only gets a two count. Hotta kicks Kansai in the back of the head and the referee starts a 10 count, but Kansai is up at 8. High kick to the back of the head by Hotta, she picks up Kansai, puts her onto the top turnbuckle and hits a suplex down to the mat. Cover, but Kansai barely kicks out. Hotta picks up Kansai and hits a Pyramid Driver, cover, but Kansai gets a foot on the ropes. Hotta goes for a high kick, but Kansai ducks it and hits Splash Mountain. Cover, and it is declared a three count even though it appeared that Hotta got a shoulder up. Your winner: Dynamite Kansai
Match Thoughts: An enjoyable little stiff-fest until the ending, which I will get to in a minute. I had heard that Hotta was stiff, and they weren't kidding... but Kansai matched her kick for kick so it didn't come across as her being a bully. Some of the strikes looked like legitimate knockouts, and the end of the match climaxing to them doing finisher-type power moves made perfect sense as obviously it is easier to throw around someone that is loopy then someone that is still at full strength. The end was screwy, as she obviously got her shoulder up. I don't know if a wrestler messed up, the referee messed up, or if it was political decision but regardless it put a bit of a damper on things. It was very different then the other matches on the card though which really helped, and overall it was still fun to watch. Score: 7.0
Akira Hokuto (AJW) vs. Shinobu Kandori (LLPW)
Hokuto finally gets back in the ring, with a now-bleeding Kandori following (not near as bad as Hokuto however, although that is not really a fair bar to set). Back in the ring, Hokuto kicks Kandori and stomps on her head. Running kick to the head by Hokuto, she waits for Kandori to get up and gives her another one. Hokuto kicks Kandori against the ropes and goes for a spinning heel kick, but Kandori catches her foot and throws her to the mat. Repeated kicks by Kandori, she picks up Hokuto and unceremoniously dumps her out of the ring. Kandori then goes over to the ropes and hits a plancha down to the floor. Kandori grabs Hokuto as soon as she re-enters and hits a backdrop suplex, Kandori wrenches on Hokuto's arm but Hokuto manages to get to the ropes even as Kandori pulls her away from them. Slap to the face by Hokuto, she picks Kandori up and nails a piledriver. Hokuto grabs Kandori, Irish whip, and she hits a heel kick. Both wrestlers are slow to get up, Kandori trips Hokuto and goes for the leg, but Hokuto gets a foot on the ropes. Kandori picks up Hokuto and punchers her in the head before hitting a DDT. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kandori goes for the arm, but Hokuto reverses it into a single leg crab hold. Kandori quickly gets out of it and applies one of her own, but Hokuto gets to the ropes. Back up, punches by Kandori but Hokuto returns fire and hits a snap suplex. Cover, but Kandori kicks out. Hokuto picks up Kandori, scoop slam, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a body press. Hokuto goes up top again and goes for a second one, but Kandori gets her knees up. Kandori picks up Hokuto and hits a powerbomb, cover, but it gets a two count. Kandori goes up to the top turnbuckle as Hokuto gets up but Hokuto avoids the missile dropkick. Hokuto picks up Kandori and hits a suplex, but it gets a two count. Hokuto slowly gets up and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Kandori has recovered and pulls her off. Sleeperhold by Kandori, Hokuto briefly gets out of it but Kandori locks in a choke. Hokuto crawls and rolls to the ropes, forcing a break.
Kandori picks up Hokuto and goes for another powerbomb, but Hokuto reverses it into a rana for a two count. Kandori is up first, she gets Hokuto to her feet, Irish whip, but Hokuto reverses it and hits a powerbomb. Cover, but Kandori barely kicks out. Kandori is up first, but Hokuto hits her with a heel kick and Kandori falls out of the ring. Hokuto then goes up onto the top rope and hits a springboard somersault senton (more like a kick then a senton though), sending Kandori back to the floor. Hokuto goes up to the top turnbuckle as Kandori stands up and Hokuto hits a missile dropkick. Hokuto gets back in the ring first with Kandori slowly following her. Hokuto picks up Kandori and goes for the Northern Lights Bomb, but Kandori reverses it with a cross armbreaker. Luckily for Hokuto she is right by the ropes and she forces the break. Kandori picks up Hokuto and goes for the arm again, Hokuto gets out of it but Kandori hits a Tiger Driver. Cover, but Hokuto barely kicks out. Lariat to the back of the head by Kandori, she waits for Hokuto to get up and hits her with another one. She goes for a third, but Hokuto ducks it and hits a backdrop suplex hold for a two count. Hokuto grabs Kandori and nails a Northern Lights Bomb, cover, but Kandori barely gets a shoulder up. Hokuto picks up Kandori and goes for another one, but Kandori reverses it and hits Hokuto with her own move! Cover, but it only gets a two count. Both wrestlers slowly get up and Hokuto punches Kandori in the face. Again they slowly get up and Kandori punches Hokuto back. Back up, Hokuto floors Kandori with a hard right punch, cover, and she picks up the three count! Your winner: Akira Hokuto
Match Thoughts: What to say about one of the Top Ten matches of the 90s? I'd be lying if I didn't say that Hokuto gushing blood didn't help the match significantly, it really put over one of the main points of the match. Kandori's attack on Hokuto was two fold: she injured the arm early so it was constantly a point of attack, and since Hokuto was losing so much blood her energy slowly drained as the match progressed. Hokuto had a spurt of offense right after getting busted open, the adrenaline really kicking in, but it was a slow decline from there with only small bursts here and there. With her arm so weak, if at any point Kandori had gotten a submission on in the middle of the ring it probably would have been the end of the match.
The deck was certainly stacked against Hokuto, but she wore down Kandori with a variety of power moves and high risk moves to even the playing field. By the end, both wrestlers were having trouble even standing up as they were equally exhausted and hurt. The match ending on a punch might seem odd at first glance, but it shows just how hurt they were after wrestling for over half an hour. Hokuto didn't have the strength anymore to pick up Kandori or climb a turnbuckle, and Kandori didn't have the strength to kick out of a rather simple move that if done 30 minutes ago would only have temporarily dazed her. Overall this was a fantastic match that was virtually flawless, save for a few slow parts towards the middle. But Hokuto's awesome selling and determination to battle on even though she had a cut on her head that didn't stop bleeding for the better part of the match made this a classic match that won't be forgotten by anyone that sees it. Score: 9.0
As a side note for the match above, the official that bladed Hokuto would be banned for not doing the best job. Like I said, I can't complain though, as it added a lot of drama to the match.
(c) Manami Toyota and Yamada (AJW) vs. Megumi Kudo and Combat Toyota (FMW)
Knee to the back by Kudo on Toyota and she kicks her against the ropes. Kudo charges her and applies a stretch submission hold. Kudo picks up Toyota, scoop slam, and she applies a crab hold. Combat comes in and hits an elbow drop, and Kudo tags her in. Top rope elbow drop by Combat, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Combat but Toyota rolls her up and manages to tag in Yamada. Irish whip by Yamada to the corner and she hits a lariat. High kick by Yamada, Irish whip and she hits another lariat. Yamada delivers a DDT, cover, but Combat is up at one and grabs Yamada by the throat. Irish whip by Combat and she hits a running body press. Combat elbows Yamada out of the ring and joins her, throwing her into the railing. Combat slams Yamada into the front row as Kudo takes Toyota into the crowd as well. Combat throws Yamada onto the table and gets back in the ring, with Yamada slowly following. Back in the ring, kick by Combat but Toyota is tagged in and she hits a trio of dropkicks. Another dropkick by Toyota, she goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Yamada rolls up Combat, but it only gets a two count as well. Double-armed suplex by Toyota, she picks up Combat but Combat sweeps her to the mat. Roll-up by Toyota and she applies a side headlock, but Combat tags in Kudo. Kicks to the back by Kudo, snapmare, and she uses her feet to push onto Toyota's back. Kudo picks up Toyota, Irish whip, and she hits a hip attack. Irish whip again and she hits another hip attack. Kudo goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow, cover, but it gets a two count. Combat goes up top and they hit a spike piledriver on Toyota, cover, but it gets another two count. Kudo tags in Combat, Irish whip by Combat and she hits a dropkick. Combat picks up Toyota and hits a forward slam, cover, but Toyota bridges up. Kudo and Combat give Toyota another spike piledriver, cover, but this time Yamada breaks it up. Combat puts Toyota onto the top turnbuckle, joins her, but Toyota lands on top of her as they fall and she picks up a two count. Camel Clutch by Toyota on Combat and Yamada kicks Combat in the chest.
Yamada is tagged in and she hits a series of high kicks to Combat. Combat finally goes down, Yamada picks her up and slams Combat to the mat, cover, but it gets a two count. Toyota comes in, double Irish whip and they hit a double dropkick. Yamada takes Combat to the mat, picks her up and tags in Toyota. Irish whip by Toyota but they collide with Toyota falling to the mat. Irish whip by Combat and she bumps Toyota to the mat again. Irish whip by Combat but Toyota delivers a dropkick. Rounding body press by Toyota but it only gets a two count. Toyota tags in Yamada, double Irish whip and they slam Combat to the mat. They then go up opposite corners and hit double diving headbutts. Cover, but it gets a two count. Yamada picks up Combat so that Toyota could hit a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle, but Kudo runs in and knees Yamada from behind. Combat grabs Yamada, but Yamada hits a release German suplex for a two count cover. Yamada picks up Combat but Kudo knees her from behind again. Combat goes for a powerbomb but Yamada lands on top of her for a two count. Yamada picks up Combat and begins to set up Combat for the Kudome Valentine, but Kudo quickly breaks it up. Combat grabs Yamada and hits a sit-down powerbomb, cover, but Toyota breaks it up. Combat goes for another powerbomb, but Yamada reverses it with a backslide for a two count. Yamada tags in Toyota, but Combat grabs her and powerbombs her to the mat. Combat tags in Kudo, Toyota forearms Kudo against the ropes and charges her, but Kudo moves and Toyota falls out of the ring. Kudo then gets a running start in the ring and sails out onto Toyota with a tope suicida. As Kudo gets up, Yamada comes off the top turnbuckle with a plancha onto Kudo. Toyota then gets up and goes to the ropes, but Combat pushes her back outside the ring. Combat then goes onto the top turnbuckle and goes for a plancha, but her opponents move and she only hits Kudo. Toyota quickly goes up onto the apron and hits an Asai Moonsault down onto Kudo and Combat.
Toyota brings Kudo back into the ring, hits a scoop slam, she goes to the top turnbuckle but Kudo rolls out of the way of the moonsault. Kudo picks up Toyota and hits a German suplex hold, but Toyota barely gets a shoulder up. Kudo tags in Combat, Irish whip by Combat and she kills Toyota with a lariat. Combat tags in Kudo, double Irish whip to Toyota and they hit a double gut buster. Cover by Kudo but Toyota bridges up. Kudo picks up Toyota, Irish whip, Kudo puts Toyota on her shoulders and Combat jumps off the top turnbuckle with a lariat. Cover, but Yamada breaks it up. Kudo picks up Toyota, tags in Combat, and they hit a lariat/powerbomb combination. Cover, but Toyota gets a foot on the ropes. Kudo goes up top and goes for a splash, but Toyota rolls out of the way and makes the tag to Yamada. Irish whip by Yamada, reversed, but Yamada kicks Kudo twice in the head. Yamada goes off the ropes and connects with a heel kick, she picks up Yamada but Combat runs in and lariats her. Double Irish whip to Yamada, but Yamada ducks the charges and while Toyota hits a German suplex on Combat, she hits a German suplex hold on Kudo for a two count. Yamada picks up Kudo, scoop slam, and Toyota hits a moonsault. Cover by Toyota but it only gets a two count. Toyota holds Kudo so that Yamada can hit a kick off the top turnbuckle, but Kudo moves and Yamada kicks Toyota on accident. Kudo picks up Toyota, Irish whip, reversed, but Kudo hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count cover. Kudo picks up Toyota as Combat gets on the top turnbuckle, but Toyota dropkicks Combat off the top turnbuckle down to the floor. Toyota then puts Kudo onto the turnbuckle with the help of Yamada, but Combat is back and pulls them both to the mat. Combat holds Toyota for Kudo but Toyota moves so Kudo hits Combat with the seated senton. Yamada puts Kudo onto the top turnbuckle with Toyota's help and they hit a double avalanche-style backdrop suplex. Toyota picks up Kudo, but Combat breaks free and pushes her down. Toyota picks her back up, and Yamada tricks Combat into accidentally kicking Kudo. Yamada tackles Combat, and Toyota nails the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex on Kudo for the three count! Your winners and still champions: Manami Toyota and Yamada
Match Thoughts: Even though the wrestlers in the match are individually good wrestlers in their own way, they did not mesh well in this match at all. Combat at times looked downright uncooperative, and even though I tend to leave such things out of my play by play there were quite a few moves that were hit very sloppily. It is as if the two teams had talked with their team mates before the match but not their opponents.... it was that bad at times. The last five minutes or so were hot however and they built to the ending well (as ring veterans should be able to do), but there were too many bumps on the road to get there. A disappointing way to end the event, I wouldn't call this a bad match overall but some of the matches that came before it were so good that this one came as a let-down. Score: 6.5
This event from top to bottom is without a doubt one of the top ten events of the 90s, probably one of the top five. Only one match was below average, and I rated four matches over 7.0 which is ridiculous. Hokuto/Kandori was simply an awesome match if you can stomach it, and the heat was off the charts for most of the show. The main event didn't deliver at the same high level as the other matches, but that is really the only knock on the event. If you want to get into Joshi, this show wouldn't be a bad place to start, and if you watch Joshi and somehow have not seen this show then get it right now.