Joshi Spotlight: JWP Thunder Queen Battle II

 

Full Playlist here!

JWP THUNDER QUEEN BATTLE II:
(20.11.1993)

* This is yet another big Joshi show; actually the third last really big one of the year- only Wrestlemarinepiad ’93 and St. Battle Final come later. This is a sequel of sorts to the first TQB from the Summer, which had the famous “Multi-Person Iron Man Match” that saw JWP pull out a last-minute victory against AJW. Here, we feature a ton more Dream Matches, with more focus placed on singles contests between people who haven’t fought before.

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: Hokuto’s ridiculous run in 1993 continues with a match against Mayumi Ozaki, we get Manami Toyota versus her Non-Union JWP Equivalent in a match over ****, and one of the best tag performances you’re gonna see, courtesy of Devil Masami against old rival Chigusa Nagayo’s team. This show kicks some serious ass.

THE QUEENS ROAD YOKOHAMA SECOND:
CANDY OKUTSU & FUSAYO NOUCHI (JWP) vs. CHAPARRITA ASARI & CHIKAKO SHIRATORI (AJW):
* The top rookies of JWP & AJW go at it! Okay, Okutsu is decent, ASARI has rapidly become a LOT of fun, Nochi’s okay, and Chikako stinks. ASARI’s in her banana-yellow leotard with all the puffy attachments, Chikako’s in the Floral Jobber Singlet, Candy’s in a complex blue & white singlet, and Nouchi’s in turquoise.

Nouchi, who is billed at 128 lbs., dominates ASARI using her sheer, raw power, but Chikako uses jobber offense to control her. ASARI uses some awesome dropkicks, but Candy tags in and does her own, then they work holds. Man, this ring is REALLY percussive- when CHAPARRITA ASARI can make it sound like a jackhammer, something’s up. Chikako tries to show off with some bridges, but Candy hits a wicked run-up missile kick that wows the crowd, then hits a great German Suplex on ASARI for two. Big dive takes out Team AJW, but Nouchi missile-kicks ASARI into the corner and Chikako hits dropkicks until the kid recovers, and it’s Backflip Kick, Carthwheel Handspring Mule Kicks and Sky Twi– no! Candy pulls her off the top for mega-heat! Chikako manages to hold her off and ASARI nails the Sky Twister Press for real at (13:15).

Well if you love dropkicks, have I got the match for you! But everyone here worked really hard (even Chikako), and Candy practically carried the entire match on her back, wrestling almost the entire thing. Great timing on her high-flying, and perfect move technique. Best rookie ever! I actually feel bad they spent the whole match building up to the Sky Twister Press (the ultimate crowd-pleasing move) because Candy was so good.

Rating: **1/2 (Honestly preposterously good given how young the wrestlers were- Nouchi & Chikako had nothing but effort, but Candy was AMAZING- what a pro)

BOLSHOI KID (JWP) vs. MIMA SHIMODA (AJW):
* WELL HELL. One half of the Evil Demon Waifus, Las Cachorras Orientales, is up against JWP’s highest-tier rookie. Expect lots of comedy and bitchiness. Bolshoi starts off with giant pink clown shoes that referee Mariko Yoshida makes her remove. This is clipped to a very short six minutes.

We’re joined in progress with Bolshoi doing her “evasion” schtick on Shimoda, who at 5’6″ looks like a giant, running across her back, then dumping her over the ropes and doing a Tiger Feint, harrying the heel. Shimoda bodyslams her off the apron (… ouch), but Bolshoi does two Rock Bottoms in the ring, then eats a DDT. They take forever to set up Bolshoi’s Super Rock Bottom, and Shimoda immediately bails after a two-count. Quebrada to the outside! She misses a Moonsault and Shimoda hits a German, a dive, and a Butterfly Superduperplex for two, as she pulls Bolshoi up! She aims for the Death Lake Driver (Tiger Superplex), but Bolshoi knocks her off and the Moonsault… is supposed to hit knees but instead misses (the announcer says “Chotto” so you know it was a screw-up). Tiger Suplex is reversed to a rollup for two, but then Bolshoi climbs like an idiot and gets caught- Death Lake Driver kills the clown… but Shimoda drags her up and finishes with the Tiger Suplex just to be a bitch at (5:12 of 13:55 shown).

Rating: **1/4 (Actually not bad, as Shimoda fed a lot of comebacks, their paces matched each other, and more. Bolshoi’s still green, but Shimoda’s gotten quite good at carrying people. Nice teases on the big moves getting reversed before Shimoda hits them for real)

Hikari Fukuoka - YouTube in 2020 | Fukuoka, Hikari, Youtube

Hikari Fukuoka mimics Manami Toyota both in hair, outfit choices, and even her moveset. Come see Manami show her appreciation! With MURDER!

SOLID BLACK QUEENS ENERGY:
HIKARI FUKUOKA (JWP) vs. MANAMI TOYOTA (AJW):
* A rematch from earlier in the year, where Toyota sold a bit for her Alternate Company Equivalent, but largely gobbled her up in the end. Hikari’s a weird wrestler who largely lifts her moveset and look (right down to the black leotard and long hair) from Toyota, who is the better of the two by a ways, and a much bigger star at this point- Hikari’s still in the “Spunky up & comer who loses after 15-20 minutes” phase. Apparently there’s a video on the VHS release where Hikari mentions Manami being her idol, and wanting to emulate her. However, despite the match name and their usual mirrored black gear, Hikari’s in the Tarzan get-up this time.

Hikari shows how much she respects her idol by jumping Manami before the bell and tossing her into stuff outside! Manami’s face as she finally takes her robe off is amazing- she just looks SO “ohhhhh you’re fucking dead, you little clone”, but almost amused with the assault. Hikari nails a Rolling Cradle and keeps up the attack in the ring using weardown stuff to keep the pace slow, so Toyota can’t just wipe her out with speed. Whatever Manami’s saying in these holds is REALLY wowing the crowd. She finally fights out by copying a hold, then dismantles the kid with stretching and fierce dropkicks, not being in a hurry or anything- she’s MILKING this. Hikari does her cartwheel dodge and the POPEYE PUNCH to take back over with multiple figure-fours. A bulldog follows, but she lights up the pace too much and BOOM- Running No Hands Springboard Cross-Body reversal gets two. See, Hikari? Keep it slow! Manami gains revenge with Dropkick Spam and a ton of stretching (her holds, naturally, are super-bendy and elaborate instead of basic like Hikari’s), but she, too, carelessly whips her opponent and Hikari backflips out and leg-roll clutches her for two.

Missile Kick & German get two, as Manami is taking HUGE bumps for the junior, here. Hikari chokes her, but gets powerbombed out of the corner for two and viciously dropkicked, but they reverse stuff until Manami lands on her from a Super Powerslam attempt for two. Hikari boots her off the top and follows with a plancha, THEN hits her Super Powerslam for two. Splash hits knees, and now Manami one-ups her AGAIN, hitting a Plancha over the railing and into the crowd! Moonsault… misses! German gets two for Hikari and the crowd goes wild! A careless whip sees the greatest bridging Dragon Suplex ever from Toyota for two! Moonsault… Hikari bridges out! Manami can’t get her finisher, so she settles for some Germans, looking almost amused at the kickouts. A third, and Hikari reverses to her own, then a Moonsault for two! She tries another suplex, but Manami reverses to a Rolling Cradle, and the dizzied Hikari is left vulnerable… Manami lifts her into the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, carrying her all over the ring for emphasis, and plants her at (22:55) for the emphatic three-count.

Great match layout, as Hikari largely dominates using slow stuff to keep Manami grounded, and when she plays smart, she hits some big moves and goes right back to that- Manami works best at the “Toyota Pace”, so is stymied until Hikari gets careless. But then Toyota’s competitive streak rears its ugly head, and she starts one-upping Hikari’s stuff every time she can- Hikari’s weardown holds are countered with Manami using bendy stuff like her deathlock/bodylock bridge, and a plancha is one-upped with a plancha over the railing! But finally she completely overwhelms the kid, throwing way too much stuff out there, even as she misses as usual with her first Moonsault and gets reversed a few times. The finisher attempts were kinda weird, as if Hikari just completely sandbagged her every time- check how she goes almost parallel to the mat on the ending move, too. It’s a weird way to sell it- like she weighs 300 lbs. instead of 135 or something.

Rating: ****1/4 (said to be the first really good Hikari match, and it’s gotta be one of her best. Manami gave her a ton before eating her alive in the end)

This is clipped in the playlist for some reason- here’s the full version.

MOST SPECIAL PERSONS WRESTLING JAM:
DEVIL MASAMI & PLUM MARIKO vs. CHIGUSA NAGAYO & CUTIE SUZUKI:
* !!!!!! Yes, it’s the in-ring return of former ’80s megastar CHIGUSA NAGAYO, having done some return matches at the Dream Slams, but is now working for JWP, as AJW was kind of giving her the runaround on a big return, I guess. As JWP was hurting for stars and AJW is infamous for just ignoring veterans, and various other political things that probably happened (Chigusa later formed a new company and swiped a lot of AJW stars, including Akira Hokuto), I assume there’s a lot of stuff going down in the room where it happened, to quote Hamilton. This match has got to be a HUGE deal, as Chigusa & Devil are old rivals (and Chigusa’s return match was a losing effort to Devil at Dream Slam), and Cutie & Plum are great supporting stars- Can any team in history define “sympathy heat” better than Chigusa & Cutie? Devil’s in purple & black, Plum’s in purple & turquoise frills, Cutie’s in white & gold, and Chigusa’s in red, black & gold- similar to her GAEA Japan gear.

Pro Move: they tease starting with Plum & Cutie, building anticipation when the vets decide to go instead… so Plum missile kicks Chigusa in the back and Devil blasts Cutie off the apron! Plum Germans Cutie and Devil overthrow powerbombs her, as they work a deliberate, powerful pace. They work Cutie over (Plum even teasing a tag and then slapping her ass at Chigusa), but she reverses a powerbomb and in comes the vets! They trade “smart” spots and knowingly stop before moves can hit them, and alternate between dramatic lockups and “I can top you” headbutting. Man, NOBODY can make this simple stuff seem important like these two, with their defiant stares and taunts. Plum works the “Goldberg arm & leg hold” on Chigusa, and Devil keeps assisting… and then just drags Cutie into the ring and overthrow powerbombs her onto Chigusa! Chigusa escapes, and Plum missile kicks Cutie but runs into a Ligerbomb trying a Rana. Chigusa adds a Powerbomb & leg lariat, looking at Devil all the while, who chops her while she does the sharpshooter to wear Plum down- Cutie pays back the cheating with a flying kneedrop while Plum’s in that.

Restholds for a while, then Cutie runs right into Plum’s “reverse to a bridging fallaway slam” move. Plum gets that Rana now, but Cutie keeps reversing on Devil until she hits a DRAGON SUPLEX for two, wowing the crowd. They sandwich Devil with strikes, and a German hits. Devil takes the leg lariat & sharpshooter now, but Plum’s distraction leads to a Doomsday Device Flying Thesz Press. Plum works a dragon sleeper while the fangirls chant for their former idol, then it’s a Devil press slam to Cutie & Powerbomb to Chigusa for two! Chigusa reverses a second one to a rana, but misses her leg lariat! Devil’s lariat misses and Chigusa sets her up for Cutie’s flying knee, and Plum has to save! Devil’s “wobble sell” of some of these strikes is just otherworldly. Chigusa kicks Devil, Plum misses Cutie and hits Devil by mistake, but Devil surges forward anyways and lariats Cutie in a good bit, and Plum slides into Cutie with submissions. Cutie wails in agony while Chigusa does her best “I’m dying; please give me sympathy” sell outside like it’s a team of TWO Ricky Mortons! Devil keeps hammering her to prevent interference, but Chigusa just ducks one and ANNIHILATES her with a huge kick, then charges in with more. But Cutie sells the leg so well she can’t even make the tag, Devil bullrushing her down and slapping Chigusa on the apron! So Cutie gets wrapped up again, then Devil murders her with a huge Powerbomb for two.

Cutie FINALLY tags out after dodging a missile kick, and the crowd goes nuts… but Devil just catches Chigusa’s foot and locks on a half-crab. She finally makes the ropes and PLASTERS Devil with shots, Devil actually sinking into the corner and selling it as a KO! She’s up at 8… leg lariat & elbow to the back of the head and she collapses! Chigusa snags her with a sleeper at “7”, Plum running in but getting caught by Cutie’s Dragon Suplex- Devil sells dramatically and finally makes the ropes, but eats a German for two! Another- two! Plum Germans Chigusa to give Devil a shot, but now CUTIE runs in for one on Devil! Double-team punch leads to DEVIL’s sleeperhold, and now Chigusa’s fading- she does her best “silent pleading” sell, fighting up only to get dragged back down again, but Cutie’s interference stops it. Devil Powerbomb- two! Another one, and Cutie runs in at 2… but gets caught in one herself when Devil catches her leg! Another Powerbomb and Plum hits two Germans to set up the Guillotine Legdrop to the back of the head! HOW THE FUCK DID CHIGUSA KICK OUT OF THAT?!? Devil hits a German, but seems to lose the bridge arbitrarily. But another Guillotine Legdrop and that’s that at (33:07). Jesus Christ.

Man, this was a REALLY smartly-paced long-ass match, with EVERY MOVE being milked, so instead of just doing restholds or crowd brawls to waste time, they just made each move COUNT, often with simple facial expressions or the “looking at the person on the apron” thing to taunt them while crushing their partner. Plum did well with her big submissions being treated like killers, but man… DEVIL? She had some of the best selling I’ve ever seen in this match, taking strikes and acting like she was totally punch-drunk, staggering around and collapsing under her own weight as her legs buckle beneath her. That was some otherworldly stuff. Chigusa’s “I’m dead but will still fight” selling was at its peak here as well, getting crushed as Devil just kept coming at her and she had no answer. Eating three Powerbombs & two Germans before kicking out of a Guillotine Legdrop might seem silly, but she sold it like that was the last of her life energy, and she was a quivering mass of jelly for the next two moves, one of which finished her. This was a match full of great “little things”- perhaps too long but somehow lacking much filler beyond two minutes of resting in the middle- the characters bits of Devil & Chigusa made the whole thing, and I can see rating this even higher.

Rating: ****1/2 (some amazing selling by Devil carries half the match, and the best “Deliberate Pacing” 30-minute tag bout you’re likely to see, with every moment milked a ton and phenomenal character work)

PURE HEART MEETS THE DANGEROUS QUEEN- ONLY ONE TIME SINGLES MATCH:
MAYUMI OZAKI vs. AKIRA HOKUTO:
* A somewhat famous one, and the first meeting of two of the most venomous wrestlers and greatest sellers of the era. I’ve heard a ton about this from others on the Blog, and it’s highly rated everywhere. Ozaki’s in red as usual, while Akira’s in yellow- she talks shit to JWP’s President before the match, and he gets a rebuttal that actually draws a huge pop!

Ozaki stalks around a smirking Hokuto, and tries to slap her to attention, but Akira just blows her off- yeah, Oz don’t like that, so Akira gets German Suplexed and we’re off. Ozaki strikes away, but Akira just big-leagues her and knocks her around. Ozaki countering the roundhouse kick with a submission puts the fight into her, though. She talks more smack in the hold, so Ozaki boots her in the face over and over again, but Akira’s hairpulling and slapping finally loosen the hold and a backdrop suplex gets two. She stretches the JWP star, but as soon as she lets go, Ozaki wraps her up again- countering Akira’s reaching for the ropes by biting the hand is part of why Ozaki can’t enter churches. Bow & arrow and falling Dominator get two, as does a backdrop hold and then we get the STUMP PULLER~~, leaning back and switching legs when Akira gets fight-y. LOL, now she’s biting the shoe. Hokuto dodges a flying thing and NOW hits the roundhouse, drawing a big reaction for whatever she said. Damn I wish I understood Japanese.

Another kick gets two and Akira locks on that sick “casual sharpshooter that still looks agonizing”. And adds a facelock to it because Ozaki’s so bendy. Jesus Christ. A whip leads to a slingshot splash and a falling DDT from Ozaki, and a Springboard Cannonball Suicida! Powerbomb on the floor! Now Hokuto’s in agony for a full minute and Oz is smacking her own back to deaden the pain, then does calisthenics. Akira finally gets on the apron… and is dragged up top for a Superduperplex for two. Well that’s gonna help her spine for sure. Then Ozaki hits THREE POWERBOMBS, Akira getting her feet up for the Turning Splash to come back- both are dying, but Akira hits her own powerbomb and a missile kick for two! She then fireman’s tosses Oz right over the top and follows with the Tope Con Hilo! And now in a great revenge spot, she DOES PUSHUPS, and now Oz takes a Northern Lights Superplex in another revenge spot! Oh shit snap leg submission from Ozaki! Powerbomb is countered, but she hits a Ligerbomb! Whip is countered to a DQ Bomb countered to a Rana for two! Ozaki charges and hits a foot, so NOW it’s the Dangers Queen Bomb for two! Ozaki is dead, and Akira readies the Northern Lights Bomb but OH SHIT TIGER SUPLEX FOR TWO! Huuuuuuuuuge reaction there. She climbs, but misses the Cannonball and that’s that- Akira kills her with the sick “Henkei” Backdrop and the Northern Lights Bomb at (18:26).

Oh shit, this was INCREDIBLE. It was classic “Joshi Template”, with 9 minutes of shit-talk and stretching, then 9 minutes of escalating craziness. I also like that instead of Toyota-style “BeamSpam” it’s more Akira-style “sell for a full minute on the outside” to put over each other’s offense, at least until they’d both hit a reversal and immediately land a finisher. Even when it was time to go back and get their own shit in, both women stumbled about, selling the beating like nuts and not just blowing off three powerbombs in a row like it was nothing. Ozaki herself would get up from the Tope Con Hilo, but only halfway and then stumble back into the railing- she looked HURT, you know? Unsurprisingly awesome given who was in it, but I was veering ****1/4-1/2 until the ending surge- it ends up being one of each’s best solo matches. This ends a year for Ozaki where she jobs to Manami, Takako & Akira- quite the drubbing, but with a ****1/2 floor, she’s made a name for herself.

Rating: ****3/4 (almost a perfect match time with minimal filler, great timing, good character work and an awesome finish)

FULL THROTTLE THUNDER QUEEN WORLD:
DYNAMITE KANSAI (JWP) vs. KYOKO INOUE (AJW):
* Yep- another big Interpromotional Show, another “Kyoko fights their Ace”- she was already on job duty against Shinobu Kandori earlier in the year, and I would imagine this is much the same. Kyoko is honestly your best choice in putting over other wrestlers, though- she’s a big-time seller, wildly popular, all her stuff is over, and she has a lot of credibility but is JUST SHORT of the Main Event status, so it’s a great way to put someone over while also giving her a lot of shine. As we’ve seen two top JWP wrestlers job out to AJW’s biggest stars, I don’t imagine anyone watching this had any expectations of a Kyoko victory. A lot is made in the pre-match and commentary over the war between finishers- Kansai’s Splash Mountain (sit-out crucifix powerbomb) and Kyoko’s Niagara Driver (sit-out over-the-shoulder powerbomb). Kyoko’s in pink & yellow, while Kansai’s in yellow & green.

Kyoko decides to get into a strike war, so of course she gets kicked right in the face. She plays evasive but eats more kicks, slowing things down with counter-grappling- big pop for the surfboard. Kyoko charges into the corner and meets a boot to the face, but kinda dodges it on the second try and plants a MONSTER DDT that wows the crowd. Kansai sells that like a killer, and Kyoko works the brain with legdrops to the back of the head. She climbs, but Kansai brings her down with a superduperplex as we’re ALREADY doing crazy shit. That gets two, and a couple of lazy sharpshooters and an STF kill some time. Methodical dropkicks backfire into a Giant Swing, but Kyoko can only get nine revolutions before dropping her- Kansai’s a big ‘un. Kyoko dumps her to earn some recovery time in a smart bit, and Kansai’s fireman’s-tossed, but hits a Northern Lights Suplex after some holds. They both kinda methodically wear each other down with strikes, but Kyoko goes for her Slingshot Backsplash… and gets kicked right in the ass!

Kansai boots her around and adds a backdrop suplex, setting up Splash Mountain, but Kyoko backdrops out and hits a lariat for two, and follows up with the Run-Up Flying Back Elbow! Niagara Driver attempt, but Kansai backdrops HER, now, but Kyoko manages rollups, a DDT and a missile kick anyways, but Kansai lands on her from another ND attempt! Splash Mountain, but Kyoko hits a MANAMI ROLL of all things (these are pretty big gals; that’s a crazy counter)- that gets two, and Kyoko charges with a lariat while both are on their knees (hey, they do that at Big Egg next year, kinda!). Driver attempt, but Kansai brains her repeatedly for two, then hits a Flying Headbutt for the same! She misses a kick… release German! They both sell like All Japan until Kyoko gets two, but Kansai manages a lariat reversal and Splash Mountain… again fails, Kyoko hitting a Bridging German for two. She goes for the Driver, but Kansai kicks out of it and Kyoko hits a leaping victory roll for two! The crowd loves that one, but Kansai’s up first, scores a kick, and we’re done- Backdrop Driver and a wicked Splash Mountain finish at (20:46).

This was kinda disappointing for a lot of it- it had a fast start, but they settled into restholds and then “slowly walk around and kick/dropkick the other person” stuff for a long time, as if they were saving for a hot streak that took forever to get going. The story of “Who can hit their finisher?”, once started, got great, however, as they just kept going for the moves, but could never get a proper surge of momentum going to properly land the finisher. Kyoko kept getting Germans and athletic flash-pins to reverse (something she used to beat Devil Masami months earlier, mind you), while Kansai settled for simple kicks, and her ability to just thread anything into a boot to the face won the day, as Kyoko was finally left vulnerable enough. Kansai gave Kyoko a lot, but this still felt diminished from their other big matches (they’d hit ****1/2 against each other next year).

Rating: ***3/4 (kind of disappointing given how good they are and it’s the main event; good psychology, but low speed and without a lot of dramatic near-falls)

Match Ratings:
Candy/Nouchi vs. ASARI/Chikako: **1/2
Bolshoi Kid vs. Mima Shimoda: **
Hikari Fukuoka vs. Manami Toyota: ****1/4
Devil/Plum vs. Chigusa/Cutie: ****1/2
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Akira Hokuto: ****3/4
Dynamite Kansai vs. Kyoko Inoue: ***3/4
-Amazingly kick-ass show- the Toyota/Fukuoka match was a legend among us Joshi Boyz on the Blog, and here it was only the third best match on the card! Devil Masami’s standout performance in the tag, and Hokuto/Ozaki being an amazing hate-filled death-march with a great ending sequence pushed both of them ahead. The Main Event was still very good, and the other matches were fine. So a great performance from JWP and its wrestlers yet again!