Chikayo Nagashima/Meiko Satomura/Sonoko Kato/Tsubasa Kuragaki/Carlos Amano -vs- Jungle Jack (Aja Kong/Ran Yu-Yu/AKINO/Hiroyo Matsumoto/Tomoka Nakagawa) (12/02/2012)
This was in the spirit of those 90s JWP multi-women matches where they start as a kinda singles gauntlet thing before the women all step up onto the apron together and join in the fun.
First the positives; The early Satomura/Kong segment was okay and the Nagashima/Matsumoto was fun. This is the first I've seen of Nagashima since her GAEA days and on this evidence she hasn't lost a step. Matsumoto was a good base for her and they worked a nice brisk pace. Kong looked as brutal as ever and her and Meiko have bunches of chemistry. Amano and AKINO were fine in their portion but I really could do without the comical headbutts, they always take me out of the action. The headbutts looked pretty poor too and, although the unflattering camera angle didn't help things, there was a lot of sloppiness in this match in general . Speaking of which - Nakagawa was quite terrible in this, sloppy, loose and all over the place.
Things go rapidly downhill after the singles period is ditched and all the girls clutter up the ring as they please. It's just a clusterfuck of girls constantly breaking up pins (do all four partners need to break a pin?) and tedious my-turn-your-turn shit. There's never a chance for any tension to build. And it goes on and on and on . . . There's one point 35 minutes in where Meiko seems to have a spark lit underneath her and starts destroying AKINO with an extra sense of urgency like she wants this damn thing to end . . but it goes nowhere, she's quietly snuffed out and disappears into the blur again.
I didn't like this match but I'm glad I watched it. I really want to check out a Nagashima/Matsumoto singles match now (please say they exist) and would like to see more of Kuragaki vs Kong. But it was nowhere near the level of them old JWP matches as it lacked the focus and good work.
Aja Kong/Sonoko Kato -vs- Ayumi Kurihara/AKINO 08/19/2012
The heavy clipping made it hard to get a full picture of this match but what was shown was fine. Kong and Kato spend the first half of the match dominating their opponents and coming out on top after every flurry. I enjoyed Kong getting the best of Ayumi and AKINO's double team attempts although I HATED that the pair completely no sold Kong's double suplex on them. Why the fuck would you do that? It's shocking how little Kong seems to have aged in twenty years. She's the joshi Dustin Rhodes. When AKINO/Kurihara finally start getting in some offence it turns into a nearfall-fest. I wish AKINO wouldn't do that horrible shining wizard thing. The match seems to continue after the time limit draw for some reason but I had tapped out by that point to be honest, although I did watch the finish and thought it was good. The best thing about this was the crowd which was surprisingly good by modern joshi standards.
Chikayo Nagashima -vs- Hiroyo Matsumoto. (Oz Openweight Title ) 08/19/2012
Well I didn't have to wait long to get my match! There were some major flaws in this - the chairs were unnecessary fluff and Hiroyo's 'fighting spirit' nonsense almost turned me off, (I don't have a problem with fighting spirit in itself but there's a right way to do it in my eyes. Kobashi getting fired up after an elbow to the face and delivering a backdrop is fine because he continues selling again after the move and once the adrenalines worn off. It feels like a desperate flurry and amps up excitement in a match. Matsumoto arbitrarily deciding that it's her time to control the match after Nagashima's viscous chair attack just looks fucking stupid, especially without her showing any signs of long term damage after her offensive burst. Makes everything pointless) - BUT the closing stretch to this was very good. Nagashima's small frame compliments Matsumoto's power very well and there were lots of cool powerbombs, roll ups and reversals. It was a bit my-turn-your turn but they were at least selling fatigue in between moves and building anticipation for the finish. The finish itself was great with a ref bump! and some GREEN MIST! I've only seen a handful of Nagashima matches and I will rectify that because she's looked great here. She actually looks like she's trying to fuck up her opponents which too many of these girls don't. I loved the bit where she was violently rubbing the point of her elbow across Hiroyo's cut forehead. Good stuff.