I think it’s kind of fitting that the last Puroresu show I review this year is the very last GAEA show ever before closing it’s doors due to various financial problems within the company, mostly due to the decline of interest in joshi puro.
Show starts with some quick highlights of the company’s history, followed by the opening ceremony of wrestler introductions. And then we’re off to the opening match.Ayane Mizumura VS Dynamite Kansai
Kansai changed her look so much that I didn’t even recognize her here! Gone is the beach blonde hair and super hero type outfit, as she now sports her natural black hair color and donned military gear. She roughed up rookie Mizumura in the typical rookie squash match, but she wasn’t the stiff heavy hitter she used to be, opting more for a more brawler-like style. Mizumura couldn’t put much together, but she did manage to slam big Kansai which drew a big pop from the crowd.Match Rating: ½*
Carlos Amano VS Aja Kong
This match was a fun mix of stiff striking and comedy. The stiff striking of course coming from Aja, and the comedy coming from Aja hurting herself everytime she tried to strike Carlos in her hard head! Aja hurt her head from getting headbutted, Aja hurt her hand hitting Carlos in the head with the uraken, and she even hurt her leg kicking Carlos in the head! This lead to quite a funny scene at the end of the match where the referee had to cold spray Aja from head to toe cause her whole body was hurting!
There was also an awkward moment in the match where the referee got heeled by the crowd for making a really LONG 2 count, not really sure if that was intentional, but they ended up playing up to that with the referee continually checking with the crowd and the GAEA boss sitting at ringside if her counts were ok. Funny stuff, and the match was fun and enjoyable overall, even if it was a bit of a fast paced sprint.Match Rating: **Sugar Sato & Chikayo Nakashima VS Toshie Uematsu & Ran Yu-Yu
I guess since it was the last show they were going to do, they were going to have fun doing it as despite putting on a great fast paced match here, they also managed to incorporate a few fun comedy spots here and there. A lot of great fast paced action in this one, and just plain fun overall.Match Rating: *1/2Mayumi Ozaki VS Sakura Hirota
If there is one thing I definitely missed out on by not watching more GAEA, it’s the comedy antics of cosplay queen Sakura Hirota! If Ebessan is the God of Comedy, than Sakura instantly gets the nod as Goddess of Comedy!
After reading the results of how Sakura finally scored a victory over her long time mentor/nemesis, joshi legend Mayumi Ozaki, I was really wondering how she pulled it off. Did she for one instant finally turn serious since it was the last GAEA show? Unfortunately the answer is a big NO. Sakura was still her old comedic self, coming out dressed as the original Tiger Mask! If you thought Ebessan was good at impersonating wrestler’s personas, you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen Sakura in action!
What follows is one of the most hilarious comedy matches I’ve ever seen! It got so ridiculous that even Ozaki had problems keeping a straight face and was laughing for most of the match. So as you could guess, this was anything but serious, all the way down to the closing minutes when Ozaki’s cornerman, Policeman (not sure if it’s the same guy from Osaka Pro) got involved in the match and Sakura stripped off her Tiger Mask uniform and revealed a police girl uniform underneath, leading to an impromptu match within a match!
Seriously, after watching this one, I feel the need to dig up more classic GAEA shows just to see Sakura’s hijinks.Match Rating: **
Entertainment Rating: Chigusa Nagayo Retirement Match: Chigusa Nagayo VS Meiko Satomura
The old passing of the torch match. After the all the fun from everything else on the card, things finally get serious here as we are treated to a contest loaded with stiff kicks and a load of Death Valley Bombs from both competitors here. A great, heavily heated contest to close out the show and Nagayo putting over the next generation to close out her career.Match Rating: ***
Chigusa Nagayo’s retirement ceremony follows, and I’m surprised the audience still had enough streamers to literally cover the ring in red after already doing it once at the beginning of the match! Fun little trivia bit during the highlight video of her career, did you guys know that she was Zero, who invaded WCW before?
After Nagayo’s retirement, we get some closing speeches from the owners of GAEA, followed by the final closing ceremony of the show and the “last gong”, closing the doors on one of the longest running all-woman promotions in pro-wrestling history.Overall:
You’ll definitely want to pick up this show not just for the significance of it being the last GAEA show, but it was a truly entertaining show despite a bit of clipping in the matches. Now I gotta go look for more Sakura Hirota matches…