SEAdLINNNG ~Let’s Get Started!~
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 26th, 2015
Welcome to the debut event of SEAdLINNNG! After a shake-up behind the scenes in Stardom, which saw several wrestlers leave the promotion, Nanae Takahashi was the biggest name to move on. She did not stay inactive for long however, as soon after leaving she announced she would be starting a new promotion, called SEAdLINNNG. Along with her she brought her friend, retired wrestler Natsuki Taiyo, to act as her senior managing director. Details of the promotion slowly came out after that, and soon it became clear this would not be (at least to start) a 'regular' promotion but more like a produced event with more events planned in the future. The biggest announcement was the return to Japan of Amazing Kong, whom had not wrestled in Japan since 2007. Here is the full card:
- Eri vs. Takumi Iroha
Let's get to the unique action.
Eri vs. Takumi Iroha
Eri comes to us from JWP, while Takumi Iroha is representing Marvelous. Iroha was one of the wrestlers that left Stardom as I mentioned earlier, she was actually one of the first wrestlers to leave as she switched over to Marvelous back at the beginning of the year. No one knows exactly why but it was notable as she was starting to get a push in Stardom, which is the largest Joshi promotion, and left there to join Marvelous which rarely runs shows. Which means Iroha also freelancers in other small promotions such as SEAdLINNNG. Eri also used to wrestle in Stardom under her full name of Eri Susa, but she left the promotion back in 2013 and joined JWP. There is no real feud here, just two young wrestlers facing off to kick off the card.
Eri is so itty. Iroha has changed her look since last time I saw her and now has red hair. Iroha controls early on as the larger wrestler until Eri uses her quickness to get Iroha into the corner. Iroha drops Eri onto the apron but Eri rolls back in only to get dropkicked by Iroha. Eri dropkicks her back and they trade elbows, dropkick by Iroha into the corner and he covers Eri for two. Eri comes back with knees and kicks Iroha to the mat, getting a two count of her own. Eri goes up top but Iroha elbows her onto the apron before suplexing her back into the ring. Iroha applies a single leg crab hold but Eri gets a hand in the ropes. Elbows by Eri and she plants Iroha with a DDT. Dropkick by Eri, but it only gets two. Eri applies a short armbar into a cross armbreaker attempt, but Iroha slams Eri into the corner to get out of it. Tornado DDT by Eri and she hits a satellite DDT for a nearfall. Eri goes off the ropes but Iroha plants her with a powerslam. Back up they trade elbows, Eri goes off the ropes but Iroha hits a superkick. Iroha grabs Eri around the waist and drops her with a German suplex hold for two. Iroha goes off the ropes but Eri ducks the heel kick, roll-up by Eri but Iroha kicks out. Eri tries a few more quick pins with no luck, suplexes by Eri and she picks up Iroha but Iroha spins her around and nails the Liger Bomb for the three count!
This was fundamentally very sound. Eri is small, I mean really small, about five feet even. So offense against her by definition looks good because she is easy to throw around. Iroha is a very solid wrestler that improves a bit each time I see her, a shame she didn't stay in Stardom as they have a great dojo. As for the match, it was very fast paced and fun to watch, Eri had her quick moves while Iroha stuck mostly with power so it was a good dynamic, plus they worked together very well. Nice way to kick things off. Mildly Recommended
Kyoko Inoue vs. Syuri
On paper this is an odd match, as Inoue and Syuri have never faced off before. Inoue is a legend, as she has held over 12 titles in her career and wrestled during the heyday of AJW back in the early to mid-90s. A lot of her success came with her sister Takako as a tag team, but Kyoko was a force to be reckoned with as a singles wrestler as well. Now that she is in the twilight of her career (she is 46) she is affiliated with Diana and mostly wrestles there with occasional freelance matches sprinkled in. Syuri is a legit badass and kickboxer, and one of my favorite wrestlers to watch. She started in HUSTLE as KG (Karate Girl) before moving on to SMASH and WNC before finally landing in REINA. As a legitimate kickboxer (at the time of this event she held the Krush Women's Championship), she uses lots of strikes and submissions to win her matches. So basically this match is aged legend vs. young kickboxer, which means it will likely be either a fun trainwreck or boring as hell.
Syuri is in a playful mood and dances around, but Inoue is not feeling it and they begin slowly with tie-ups, with Syuri hitting the first moves in the match with two knees in the corner. Inoue elbows Syuri back, kicks to the leg by Syuri but Inoue shoulderblocks her down. Inoue charges Syuri but Syuri pulls down the rope to dump Inoue out of the ring. Jumping knee by Syuri from the apron and she kicks Inoue around the ring and into the crowd before returning to the ring. Inoue gets back in as well, kicks by Syuri but Inoue fires back with a lariat. Inoue butt smashes Syuri in the corner and puts Syuri in the Mexican Surfboard, she releases the hold and hits a snap vertical suplex. Inoue works the chinlock and puts Syuri in a series of submission holds, but Syuri hits a satellite headscissors to regain the advantage. Syuri goes for the cross armbreaker and gets it locked in, but Inoue is too close to the ropes and forces a break. Kicks by Syuri to the arm and she applies a hanging armbar over the top rope. Syuri kicks Inoue some more and hits a trio of running knees, cover by Syuri but it gets two. Syuri picks up Inoue but Inoue hits a lariat, another lariat by Inoue and she gets a nearfall. Inoue goes for a powerbomb but Syuri gets out of it and applies a cross armbreaker takedown. Seated armbar by Syuri but Inoue gets into the ropes, kicks by Syuri and she knees Inoue to the mat. Syuri gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a jumping knee, she gets up on the second turnbuckle again but Inoue joins her and delivers a superplex for a two count. Syuri schoolboys Inoue for two, and a roll-up pin gets the same result. Running knee by Syuri but Inoue kicks out of the cover. German suplex by Inoue, she charges Syuri but Syuri nails her with a high kick. Cover by Syuri, but Inoue barely gets a shoulder up, and the bell rings before any further action can take place. The match is a Draw.
While I am not a fan of midcard draws for a variety of reasons, I will give Inoue credit for being game for this match. Even though she is 46 she took all of Syuri's kicks, did a superplex, and generally didn't hold anything back. They still had to slow it down a tick for her and the middle of the match was pretty uneventful, but no one can say that Inoue was just coasting on her name to get a quick pay check. That being said it still wasn't a great match, Inoue is limited to mostly lariats these days, but I liked Syuri's game plan and her strikes were on point as always. Watchable for sure and not disappointing, but still a bit lackluster.
Kaori Yoneyama and MIZUKI vs. Sareee and Tsukasa Fujimoto
This is a hodgepodge of wrestlers from small promotions all thrown together. Yoneyama technically is from YMZ, but you may know her better as a regular in Stardom. MIZUKI hails from LLPW-X, a promotion that doesn't run a lot of shows so she mostly freelances. Sareee is adorable but oddly represents DIANA, which is mostly a legends promotion. Then there is Fujimoto, my personal favorite and one of the stars of Ice Ribbon. So no real storyline to speak of here, although the team of Sareee and Fujimoto is by far the most adorable team we will see tonight so it does have that going for it. For some reason Natsuki Taiyo is the referee for the match, if it was explained why, it wasn't in a language I understand.
MIZUKI and Sareee start the match, MIZUKI sends Sareee to the mat first with a dropkick, she goes to the apron and tries a swandive move, but Sareee moves out of the way and both wrestlers miss dropkicks before tagging out. Fujimoto and Yoneyama go off the ropes and trade quick pin attempts with neither getting any success. They Irish whip Taiyo but Taiyo slides out of the ring, as MIZUKI and Sareee both return as the legal wrestlers (I guess). Sareee and MIZUKI trade elbows, but Sareee connects with multiple dropkicks to send MIZUKI to the mat for a two count cover. Sareee goes up top but MIZUKI avoids the body press and hits a footstomp off the second rope. MIZUKI tags in Yoneyama, running senton by Yoneyama and she applies a chinlock. She pulls on Sareee's hair while Taiyo tells her to stop, Irish whip by Yoneyama but Sareee jumps out of the corner with a crossbody. Armdrag by Sareee, Yoneyama rolls out of the ring but MIZUKI hits a swandive crossbody (I guess we are doing Lucha tag rules). Fujimoto comes in the ring and kicks MIZUKI, Fujimoto picks up MIZUKI but MIZUKI jumps over Fujimoto with a sunset flip for two. MIZUKI runs at Fujimoto but Fujimoto moves, and MIZUKI hits a satellite headscissors on Taiyo by accident. Powerslam by Sareee, but the cover only gets two. Fujimoto pushes Taiyo, allowing MIZUKI to sneak in a schoolboy for two. Sareee runs in, they throw Taiyo into the corner she flips out of it and they all crisscross in the ropes in a ridiculous manner until Taiyo runs full speed into Sareee, then Yoneyama and Sareee trade quick roll-up pins. Everyone is down on the mat, until Sareee and Fujimoto kip-up, and they hit missile dropkicks on Yoneyama. Sareee grabs Yoneyama and hits a German suplex hold, but MIZUKI breaks it up. Sareee goes off the ropes but Yoneyama catches her with a high kick, elbows by Sareee, Fujimoto runs in but she kicks Sareee by accident. German suplex hold by Yoneyama to Sareee, but Fujimoto breaks it up. Yoneyama goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving senton on Sareee, picking up the three count!
Taiyo being involved made the match a lot better, as even though her parts interrupted the match (and her quick counts were crazy), it was going to be a nothing match anyway. So if you are in a meaningless midcard match you may as well have Taiyo around to inject something different into it, so that part was fun. Really all four looked good here, there were no unplanned miscommunications and overall I can say that I enjoyed it even though it wasn't much of a match in the traditional sense of the word. Maybe my viewpoint got twisted because it was nice just to see Taiyo again but for where it was on the card it was perfectly fine both action-wise and entertainment-wise. Mildly Recommended
Arisa Nakajima, Emi Sakura, and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Kotori, Manami Toyota, and Yumiko Hotta
Like the last match, this is basically just a mixture of wrestlers represented different promotions with no real meaning behind it. Nakajima comes from JWP, and is one of their bigger stars. Sakura represents her own promotion called Gatoh Move, that is pretty small and originates from Thailand. Matsumoto also represents her own promotion, S-Ovation, which rarely runs its own events so she is basically just a freelancer. For the other team, Kotori is also with Gatoh Move, while Hotta is from DIANA. Toyota is too awesome to represent any one promotion, so she is just a freelancer. This is a good mixture of legends and wrestlers that are a bit more spry, and they have enough wrestlers here that the action should never get stale even though I am not expecting a lot of structure.
The match starts with a bang, as team Nakajima get the early advantage, but team Toyota regains the advantage and triple team Sakura. Sakura and Toyota stay in the ring as legal but Toyota quickly tags in Hotta. Sakura gets the better of her too but again Kotori makes the save, and Hotta tags in Kotori. Sakura throws down Kotori by her hair and puts her in the Mexican Surfboard, but Kotori gets out of it and hits a dropkick with Toyota. Hotta comes in but Sakura hits a crossbody on her before Matsumoto comes in the ring. Hotta kicks Matsumoto and they trade strikes, they both try to knock each other over with Matsumoto finally winning the exchange. Matsumoto tags in Nakajima, Nakajima elbows Hotta and she hits a footstomp on her. Nakajima goes up top but Hotta is up and punches her down to the floor. Hotta goes outside with Nakajima while Toyota and Kotori run over to help, Kotori goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha out onto the crowd. Toyota then goes up top but Sakura grabs her from behind and pulls her back into the ring. Hotta, Nakajima, and Toyota come in the ring but Nakajima drops Hotta with a release German. Nakajima goes off the ropes but Hotta catches her with a heel kick, Matsumoto runs in to stomp on Hotta while Toyota gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a double missile dropkick on Matsumoto and Nakajima. Toyota goes up top but Nakajima hits her from behind and throws her to the mat. Running knee by Nakajima, she goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick for two. Nakajima goes off the ropes but Toyota hits a big boot, Oklahoma Roll by Toyota and she holds on for a two count.
Toyota gets Nakajima on her shoulders but Nakajima slides off and hits a German suplex hold, but Toyota gets a foot on the ropes. Nakajima tags in Matsumoto, Matsumoto shoulderblocks Toyota but Toyota blocks the backdrop suplex. Matsumoto hits a suplex anyway, elbows by Matsumoto but Kotori runs in and dropkicks her. Toyota hoots Matsumoto and she hits a cross-arm suplex for a two count. Matsumoto elbows Toyota and Nakajima hits a missile dropkick from behind as Hotta strolls in and knocks over Nakajima. Sakura comes in and she hits a suplex on Toyota with Matsumoto. Matsumoto puts Toyota over the second rope so Nakajima can hit a diving footstomp, cover by Matsumoto but Kotori breaks it up. Matsumoto goes for a powerbomb but Toyota back bodydrops out of it and hits a heel drop. Toyota tags Kotori while Matsumoto tags Sakura, Kotori throws around Sakura but Sakura gets Kotori on her shoulders. Nakajima goes up top but Kotori slides off and throws Sakura into Nakajima. Matsumoto drops Kotori with a backbreaker, Sakura and Nakajima get onto Matsumoto's back and Matsumoto hits a double kneedrop onto Kotori. Sakura picks up Kotori but Kotori applies a sleeper, Sakura gets out of it but Kotori trips up Sakura and rolls her up for two. Sakura kicks Kotori but Kotori judo throws all three of her opponents. Toyota comes in and hits a moonsault onto Sakura, Kotori then goes up and hits a diving crossbody for two. Kotori goes off the ropes but Sakura hits a backbreaker, gutbuster by Sakura and she she hits another one but Hotta breaks up the cover. Toyota runs in and crossbodies Sakura, Nakajima elbows Sakura by accident, and Kotori nails the Morning Stars on Sakura for the three count!
Kotori pinning Sakura is actually a big deal. Kotori is about as big as my left leg, a little thing, but very spunky. She is only 17 but has been wrestling in Gatoh Move for a few years, with Sakura as her trainer. So this was 17 year old trainee pinning veteran mentor, which is unusual in Japan. Beyond that this was a typical legends match, they are interesting in a way as wrestlers just stroll in whenever they want but they don't always help. One time in particular Hotta came in the ring, her teammate started losing but she just slowly went back to the apron like nothing was happening. They are only sporadically helpful, when they deem it appropriate. This wasn't a high speed match as they aren't the most light-on-their-feet bunch and it probably was a little longer than it needed to be. A little disappointing and overall an average match, even though it had its bright spots.
Ayako Hamada and Nanae Takahashi vs. Amazing Kong and Meiko Satomura
Here we go, main event time. As I mentioned above, this is Takahashi's promotion so she got to hand pick the wrestlers to star with her in the finale. Hamada is the only unusual pick as she is a WAVE wrestler with limited background with these wrestlers. Satomura is in her own class and she came in with the Stardom Championship, which was Takahashi's old promotion. Takahashi and Kong feuded a long time ago and she was the big 'surprise' for the show as she has not wrestled in Japan since 2007. Either way it should be an entertaining match as all four are quality wrestlers.
Takahashi and Satomura kick things off, Takahashi gets the early advantage and hits a body avalanche in the corner. She tags in Hamada but Satomura ducks the heel kick and delivers one of her own. They trade elbows, Hamada knocks Satomura into the corner but Kong grabs Hamada from the apron. Satomura hits Kong by accident, then Hamada lariats Satomura before tagging Takahashi back in. Takahashi and Hamada both hit lariats on Satomura, Kong comes in however and lariats both of them. Everyone leaves the ring and they brawl into the crowd, which is hard to see since they have a hard cam setup. Satomura and Takahashi return to the ring after a moment with Satomura in control, and Satomura applies a leg submission hold in the mat. Satomura tags in Kong, and Kong throws Takahashi around the ring. Kong tags in Satomura as the beatdown on Takahashi continues, Kong is brought back in and she throws Takahashi down before applying a chinlock. Kong goes for the cross armbreaker but Takahashi blocks it and applies a cross kneelock. Kong gets out of it but Takahashi hits a lariat in the corner, giving her time to tag in Hamada. Hamada goes off the ropes but Kong shoulderblocks her to the mat, Hamada goes off the ropes and fires back with a lariat. Hamada goes up top but Satomura grabs her from the apron, giving Kong time to recover. Hamada slides away but Kong elbows her off, Kong holds Hamada for Satomura but Satomura kicks Kong by mistake. Hamada grabs Kong's arm, she walks the ropes and hits an armdrag on Kong while hitting a flying headscissors on Satomura. Satomura and Kong fall out of the ring, Takahashi comes in and she dives out onto both of them. Hamada then gets on the top turnbuckle and nails the moonsault down to the floor. Kong is rolled back in, Hamada goes up top and goes for a crossbody but Kong mostly catches her and sends Hamada to the mat. Headbutt by Kong but Hamada hits a back bodydrop. Hamada goes for a lariat but Kong catches her with a sideslam for a two count cover. Satomura goes up top and she jumps off while slamming Kong's head into the mat.
Satomura picks up Hamada and they trade strikes, Hamada goes off the ropes but Satomura kicks her in the gut. Hamada replies with a heel kick, Satomura tries to rebound out of the corner but Hamada dropkicks her. Hamada goes up top and nails the moonsault, cover by Hamada but Satomura barely kicks out. Hamada tags in Takahashi and Takahashi lariats Satomura in the corner. Satomura kicks at Takahashi and hits a DDT followed by the cartwheel kneedrop. Satomura charges Takahashi but Takahashi boots her back and hits a lariat. Takahashi goes up top but Satomura rolls out of the way of the dive. Backdrop suplex by Satomura but Takahashi hits one of her own, another backdrop suplex by Takahashi and she covers Satomura for two. Takahashi goes up top but Satomura kicks her before she can do anything, Satomura goes for a Death Valley Bomb but Takahashi slides out of it. Overhead kick by Satomura and she applies a sleeper, but Hamada quickly breaks it up. Jumping kick by Takahashi to Satomura and she hits the Michinoku Driver for a two count. Takahashi picks up Satomura but Satomura quickly hits a Death Valley Bomb, getting a two count of her own. Satomura tags in Kong, body avalanche by Kong and she hits Takahashi with a lariat. Bodypress by Kong, but it only gets two. Kong elbows Takahashi but Takahashi blocks the lariat and knocks Kong into the corner. Takahashi goes for a backdrop suplex but Satomura breaks it up, Takahashi lariats Satomura as Hamada rolls in the ring and hits a palm thrust on Kong in the corner. Takahashi and Hamada both hit heel kicks to Satomura at the same time, but the cover only gets two. Takahashi goes up top but Kong gets her feet up when Takahashi goes for a diving bodypress. Double underhook facebuster by Kong and she hits another one, but Hamada breaks up the cover. Kong gets on the top turnbuckle but Hamada grabs her, Takahashi joins Kong but Kong pushes her off. Kong climbs back down, she picks up Takahashi and she hits a scoop slam. She goes for a bodypress but Takahashi moves out of the way and hits a sliding kick. Takahashi goes off the ropes but Kong hits a spinning backfist, cover by Kong but Takahashi gets a shoulder up. Kong gets on the second turnbuckle and she nails the diving bodypress, but Hamada breaks up the pin. Kong goes for a backfist but Takahashi ducks it and hits a back bodydrop. Reizouko Bakudan by Takahashi, and she picks up the three count!
This match was fine, but even though Kong was the big selling point of the show I thought that she held the match back quite a bit. Whenever she was legal, the match slowed to a crawl and there were numerous miscommunications when she was in the ring (but none when she wasn't). That isn't to say it was her fault but there was a clear disconnect between Kong and the rest of the wrestlers in the match. It probably also went a bit longer than it needed to as a few parts dragged a bit. All that being said it was still a solid match, Takahashi looked great in her first match in Japan since the Spring, and Satomura was on point as always. A mixed bag overall, but still worth a watch, just don't go in with too high of expectations. Mildly Recommended
For a debut event this was a solid start, but they are going to have to do something more special to elevate the promotion beyond just being another mid-level indy. Five matches isn't a lot so its a hard sell in the first place, and literally the only thing that set it apart from any other Joshi freelancer event was the inclusion of Kong. There were definitely some good matches here, with Kotori being a bundle of fun in particular, and if you sit down to watch the entire show you likely won't be disappointed. It was just nothing overly memorable as I can see other legend matches, fun young wrestlers, etc. on half a dozen other Joshi promotions so hopefully for their next show they will step it up. And since Aja Kong came out at the end of the show to show support for Amazing Kong, maybe they plan to do exactly that.
event reviewed on 9/9/15