I know Oni already did a review of this one on the old boards, but I really wanted to do one and seeing as this one is all fresh and that ;D
Misae Genki & Haruka Matsuo vs. Yoshiko Tamura & Emi Sakura (NEO, 7/16/07 - NEO Tag Team Titles)
This is the most fun modern tag match I've seen in a while and there are a number of reasons for that.
The first is that there are a number of great story threads that have been going for a while and that all build up to this match and second is that the roles that everybody plays in the match completely come out of that story and help to make the match so much damn fun.
Tamura started out mocking Emi. She seemed to feel that Emi was becoming something of a joke, spending all her time "playing" around with her Ice Ribbon girls and completely ignoring her own wrestling career. Tamura was goading Emi and trying to force her into a title match against herself but Emi didn't want to play along. Tamura even stole the hand made belt from Ice Ribbon and mocked her with that. She resisted the whole time even right up until the very night of their double titles match. She looked nervous as hell. But she stood in the middle of that ring and the crowd chanted her name and hurled a blizzard of orange streamers onto the mat nearly engulfing Emi, almost as if it were a retirement ceremony. It was a sign of the crowds respect and love. That night, once that bell rung, she gave Tamura a wrestling lesson and nearly pulled out the "upset" win. Respect was earned.
Emi probably thought she was now safe and could go back to the easy life outside of high-end competion but that match had made up Tamura's mind and she had decided Emi wasn't done. She set her sights on the Neo tag titles and called out Emi to be her partner. Again Emi begged off and again Tamura, with a little help from Aoi Kizuki, roped Emi in until she couldn't escape. The new odd couple tag team was forged in the cauldron of competition.
Genki and Matsuo on the other hand is a completely different story. Despite a number of succesful defences of their titles and spirited performances from Matsuo, Genk had become more and more disiillusioned with her tag team partner. She just doesn't trust that Matsuo can cut it or be depended upon in the ring and has been treating her accordingly. And Matsuo just cant understand why with every win Genki seems to respect her less and less. She won't even shake her hand in victory.
The story of the match completely keys into all of this.
Seeing Emi on the stairs before that match, she again seems nervous as hell, whilst Tamura is as Icy as the blue eyeshadow she always wears. Emi is ready to be sick while Tamuras just ready to kick some ass! Emi even has to go behind the curtain to wretch a couple of times before finally getting in the ring.
Genki and Matsuo come out with Matsuo coming out first and looking back as if to check that Genki is even going to bother coming out. They stand together but they barely look at each other. Emi wont even look at the belts when the ref shows them to the wrestlers and the crowd, she's just standing holding the rope looking like she'd rather be anywhere but there.
The match starts and Genki and Matuso rush the challengers and take it to the outside. At one point Genki just drops the thick steel Korauken hall door on Emi. (Why in god's name would you LET anybody do that to you?) The match gets back in the ring and it's Emi and Tamura controlling, with a cool double AIIIIICEUU CRUUUUSHHHAAA! spot and then finally the match settling to Tamura and Matsuo. Matsuo gets a little bit of control and Genki decides to come in and take over. Genki now is pretty much just gonna do it for her self. She doesn't need that girly Matsuo Just getting in the way. Genki is all over Tamura and Emi tries to help but ends up being involved in a funny spot where Genki picks her up and tries to throw her at Tamura but Tamura just dodges, not really caring if Emi eats mat or not.
But you see, Emi is now like the Lioness backed into the corner, defending her cubs (read reputation, or against Genki, perhaps Life) and that little moment has just pissed her off. Tamura elbows Genki down and then Emi just grabs Tamura, hoists her up and just slams her onto Genki. Tamuras face is just like " WTF?* Tamura and Genki keep going at each other with neither getting the upper hand until they both need to tag out. Tamura does but Genki doesn't.
At this point Emi and Tamura spot the name of the game. It's called "beat the s*it out of the big girl and the rest will fall". Oldest rule of the playground!
They trade stiff slaps until Emi starts just unloading on Genki. Genki takes her down but Emi rolls through and starts wailing away again with the slaps. Have you ever seen the littlest cat in the street just slapping the piss out of the biggest? Then you know exactly how it looks. Tamura comes in and Emi points where she wants Genki's prone body, so she can hit some splashes off the ropes. Tamura DDT'S her but it's NOT in the right place and Emi shouts at Tamura to get it right. Tamura at this point is trying not to laugh in surprise at this ring general she has unleashed. Words cannot describe.
Soon after Genki makes a dive from the outside to Emi. The crowd understandably oooohs at the possibility of Emi having to be peeled off the Korauken floor. Genki go Splat. Back in the ring the power moves and head explosions start coming out as everybody gets desperate and it rules. P.S I love seeing Emi do her 420 splash. It Is Awesome! With a capital AWE.
The flow and story of this match are just special. The look on Matsuo's face at the end of the match says it all. If you haven't seen this sucker yet, what are you waiting for? Go on, go and do it! Now!