Takako Inoue VS Haruka Matsuo
This was your classic senior VS young lioness match, with veteran Inoue putting the beat down on Matsuo throughout the match. Matsuo gets in those good bursts of offense to make it look like she has a chance, but it doesn’t work quite as well as it sounds when Inoue shrugs off everything thrown at her to continue her semi-squash of a match. Inoue looked hot though.Match Rating: *
Tag League The Best '04 - Round 1: Yumiko Hotta & Kana VS Tomoko Watanabe & Emi Tojyo
Te premise of this tag league is teaming up a senior with a young lioness. Tojyo is not a young lioness, but this was when she was literally rebuilding herself from scratch, going through the young lion process all over again. She did most of the work in the match along with Kana.
Which brings us to Yumiko Hotta. This right here is a good example of her throwing her weight around as she sold NOTHING for anyone, including the other senior in the match, Watanabe. Match Rating: *
Tag League The Best '04 - Round 1: The Bloody & Fang Suzuki VS Dump Matsumoto & SASORI
I REALLY wish Dump Matsumoto would go back into retirement. She’s just horrible on so many levels: She’s morbidly overweight and can hardly do anything because of it. All she can do is choke, kick and punch, and no sell any of her opponents moves. Sasori doesn’t have the size of Matsumoto, but is just as horrible to as she is by the way.
The match was mostly a big brawl, with Fang and Bloody playing the underdogs despite being two of the top talents in J’d. I really wonder what kept the referee so long to disqualify Dump & Sasori when they were blatantly cheating throughout the match.Match Rating: *
Momoe Nakanishi VS Saki Maemura
I’m not really sure what the backstory of the match is, but I’ve heard the word “costume” being thrown about throughout the build-up video as well as during and after the match. I think it was something along the lines of Maemura wanting a match with Nakanishi before she retires.
The match itself was a fun back and forth, faced paced match. Note Nakanishi is the senior going into the match, but she didn’t put herself so far above Maemura in the match unlike many of the other seniors on this show. Than again she also isn’t as big as many of the other seniors on the show.
Still a fun match overall.Match Rating: **
Lioness Asuka VS Hikaru
This match is another good example of all the things I hate about the current joshi scene. It was bad enough Lioness was squashing Hikaru, but she also had to use weapons, as well as cheat with help from The Bloody! Every time Hikaru would get some offense going, Bloody would get involved to cut her momentum. I know the Japanese system is different from everywhere else, but I also don’t get how after winning with help from Bloody that Lioness can tell Hikaru to try harder next time and Hikaru would shake her hand and bow in respect to accept that advice.
It’s just BS to me that Hikaru would accept the loss when the odds were heavily stacked against her like that.Match Rating: *
WWWA World Singles Title #1 Contender: Kumiko Maekawa VS Amazing Kong
Amazing Kong has a lot of similarities to Aja Kong: They both have size and power, and even a few similar moves. But a big difference between them is that Amazing isn’t made to look as unstoppable as Aja, like she was here against Maekawa.
Not a lot to the match, they went from brawling out into the audience (even though the building was far from sold-out, they just had to toss each other into the sections where fans were sitting <_<) to a stiff trade of strikes in the ring. Maekawa has some hard kicks, but I didn’t buy her axe-kick which she threw a lot of. They just didn’t look like they had any impact and Kong had to sell them like getting hit with a hammer.
OK match, but nothing too good.Match Rating: *1/2
WWWA World Singles Title: Ayako Hamada VS Nanae Takahashi
The story behind this match was that Ayako won the title off Nanae’s best friend, Momoe Nakanishi, and Ayako had already beaten Nanae twice before, with the tide turning once when Nanae pinned Ayako in a tag match. So this was the match to settle the score.
This was a wild match from the opening bell when they tore into each other with hard hitting, high impact moves, including both hitting their finishers almost right a the start and doing so over a dozen times throughout the match. But here is where we have a problem with the match as it lacked structure. The two of them were throwing out their finishers all over the place without building up to them. I lost track of the number of times Hamada used her AP Cross (Ki-Krusher ’99) and Takahashi used her Falcon Arrow, and who knows how many more they did in the 10 minutes of the match that was cut out.
There were a few really crazy spots in the match though, like when they brawled all the way up to the first floor and Nanae actually managed to drop Ayako off the balcony before diving down on her! And a really sick spot where Ayako gave Nanae a super-frankensteiner off the top out to the floor!
Just a good match overall which I felt was a bit anti-climatic in the end.Match Rating: ***
I case you didn’t get it from looking at the card, the them of the show was the young generation against the senior generation. It would have worked if some of the seniors actually did something (like Momoe and Ayako) to make the young generation look good. This is an obvious problem in the joshi industry where seniors like Hotta refuse to budge from their position of power in the industry (Hotta has been compared to Triple H a lot recently and I can see why).
Overall, this show was just passable.