AJW Real Earnest on 12/8/96
review by Suicidal Youth

Momoe Nakanishi vs. Miho Wakizawa - Rookie Tournament Final Match
A pretty basic match. Momoe goes apeshit on Miho for most of the match until Miho fires off about half a dozen Dropkicks and a Back Body Drop. Momoe does the same immediately after, though she gets the pin off the BBD. *1/4

Tomoko Kuzumi & Emi Motokawa vs. Genki Misae & Tanny Mouse
I'll be honest: The only way I kept up with this was listening to the announcers, and even then, it was hard, since I really didn't know any of the participants. Thank God Genki had some tights to differentiate her from the others. This one was once again basic, but also involved a bit of comedy. However, this overstayed its welcome, and really should have ended when Tanny took four awesome Locomotive Double Underhook Suplexes. She kicks out, only to be pinned moments later with a German Suplex. *3/4

Chiquita Azteca, Pequeno Azteca & Blood Phoenix vs. Fukawa, Yuka Shiina & Yoshika Tamura
As with the previous one, this was a bit hard to follow since I wasn't familiar with any of the participants. The Aztecas and Phoenix pretty much dominated this one, with the other three gaining the advantage sporadically, and a bit sloppily at some points of the match. There was plenty of Planchas and Missile Dropkicks all around. The finish comes when Pequena takes it home with a rather sloppy Dragonsteiner. **1/4

Rie Tamada vs. Chikako Shiratori - Japanese Championship
As with every match so far, this begins with a handshake (The **** is this? ROH for Christ's Sake? :D). However, immediately after, Chikako starts being the ever living hell out of Rie. Beyond that, though, the match was somewhat disjointed, with little that we haven't seen in previous matches (and someone kill the Missile Dropkick spamming already. Holy ****). Chikako manages to throw some offense together late in the match with an Avalanche DDT for a nearfall(ugh). Rie mounts the comeback, and lands her Dragon Suplex for the pinfall. *1/2

Fusayo Nochi vs. Chapparita Asari - WWWA Super Lightweight Championship
This is considerably more heated than the previous matches, and that helped to set it apart as well. Asari is an unbelievable high flyer, especially for her time. This is more like it, now. Asari offers the handshake, and gets the taste slapped out of her mouth for her sportsmanship. Asari charges at Nochi, looking for payback, but she eats a Release German Suplex instead. STIFF DDT spikes Asari once again, and she's in trouble right away. She battles back with some of her signature quick offense, including her Handspring Back Kick. A second is countered, and Nochi is right on top of her. Asari goes for it all with the Spiral Tap, but airballs, and Nochi lands the Senton Splash for two. Avalanche Gutwrench Suplex somehow fails to get the job done for Nochi. Asari brings her off the top with a Hurricanrana, and ends the match with a funky pinning hold that even I'm not sure to call it. ***

Yoko Takahashi vs. Saya Endo - Kickboxing Match
Kind of hard to rate the following four matches, since they're shoots, and I really don't rate actual fights. This one goes to a decision.

Kumiko Maekawa vs. Aya Mitsui - Kickboxing Match
Again, not going to rate due to it being a shoot fight. Again, goes to the decision.

Kaoru Ito vs. Malika
This one does not go to the decision. Jujigatame brings it home twenty nine seconds after the bell.

Rudina Ilyna vs. Yumiko Hotta
Rudina upsets Hotta with a Jujigatame. I was not expecting that.

Toshiyo Yamada, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Watanabe, Reggie Bennett & Momoe Nakanishi
Back into the wrestling, and what a way to be welcomed back. This one had sort of a Young Guns vs. the Old Vets vibe to it. Momoe's previous match must have been dictating whether her or her opponent would have been in this match. Momoe starts off nicely, but gets stuffed with a Piledriver, and everyone takes a turn at stomping on her. Things break down quite nicely at the end, with Planchas being thrown out at will, even by Bennett. Back inside, Mita eats a HUGE Reggie Bomb for two, and Mita isn't heard from for the rest of the match. Shimoda and Watanabe face off, and Tomoko manages to survive the Tiger Suplex. She heads up top, but is cut off by Yamada, and Shimoda damn near murders Watanabe with the Death Lake Driver!! HOLY ****!!! TWO COUNTO!!!!! Tomoko fires off the Screwdriver (NOT the Steiner Screwdriver), but Shimoda kicks out. However, a second Screwdriver does not fail, and Watanabe gets the victory. ***1/4

Aja Kong & Dynamite Kansai vs. Takako Inoue & Mariko Yoshida
I love Takako and Mariko, but they are about to die a horrible death via blunt force trauma to the upper body. This isn't going to be pretty. Mariko isn't the submission goddess that she would go on to become, and that's going to be a problem. The two survive early on, and manage to frustrate their more powerful opponents, but once they falter, the pain is brought. Mariko takes a kick to the throat in the process!! Takako and Yoshida come back with stereo Suicide Dives to buy themselves some time. However, back in the ring, Takako runs into a deadly Brainbuster from Kong. Kong picks off Yoshida, and goes for the Uraken, but Takako breaks it up with the Takako Panic!! Still, Yoshida eats a BRUTAL Brainbuster from Kong for a nearfall. Takako is on her own, and it doesn't look good. Splash Mountain from Kansai gets two when Yoshida breaks up the pin. Kong takes care of her with the Uraken, and Kansai plants Inoue with a second Splash Mountain for the pin. ***1/2

Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota - WWWA Heavyweight Championship
Another incredible match featuring these two. They had a spectacular match in May of 1995, which got Match of the Year recognition from AJW, as well as many other polls. Toyota starts strong, but Kyoko floors her, and goes right into the Boston Crab to work over the back and neck of Toyota. Toyota buys herself some time here and there, but not enough to get something going. She finally catches a break, and sends Kyoko to the floor. A Springboard Body Press knocks Kyoko down, and Toyota goes for the table. A Springboard Somersault Plancha cracks the table, leaving Kyoko feeling quite sore. Manami Roll back in the ring gets two. The Japanese Ocean Suplex sees the same result. Kyoko goes for the Rope Run Flying Back Elbow Drop, but Toyota cuts her off, and lands an incredibly stiff Avalanche Yoshi Tonic for two!! The Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex is unable to pin Kyoko. Toyota heads up top, but taken off the top with an Avalanche Headscissors, which gets two for Kyoko. Kyoko fires off a STIFF AS FUCK Niagara Driver, which somehow only gets two. Kyoko goes for her Avalanche Powerslam, but Toyota hangs on to her legs, and turns it into a Victory Roll Driver of sorts for two. A German Suplex gets another two. Kyoko gets out of another attempt, and lands a second Niagara Driver for two. Manami sneaks out of another attempt, and lands a second Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex for the same result as a first. By now, Kyoko isn't going to be denied. She lands a Lyger Bomb for two. Kyoko debuts her newest and deadliest creation, the Victoria Driver, and Manami is finally beaten. ****1/2

Overall: The main event is more than enough to warrant a purchase on its own, but coupled with two ***+ matches, as well as a few other solid matches, this event gets a rock solid recommendation. Lynch has this, and the quality is top notch.

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