It’s time for another bunch of Legendary Goddess VHS reviews! Three at a time in this one, since it’s a lot of retread material, but DAMN some of it’s great footage.
LEGENDARY GODDESS IV- AKIRA HOKUTO:
* This one starts with some hilariously overwrought footage of Hokuto stalking around a temple wearing her traditional Noh theater garb, complete with big sound effects, which would be so incredibly stupid on anyone without Hokuto’s credibility. So instead it’s awesome. Partway through, there’s this “normal person” interview of her laughing and smiling on while some silly symphony plays, and it’s so unsettling to see the Dangerous Queen as a human being. Like, her mystique actually makes this stuff come off as odd. Then she strolls around in denim shorts and a floral-print shirt in black & white.
We get footage of a “Hokuto-Cam” match with her & Suzuka Minami against Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue, which sounds like it’s an easy ****+ with some effort, but here is blurry-ass house-show footage. A superplex reversal, stereo missile dropkicks, and a Rocket Launcher finish Yamada at (7:57). Then they show the very good Grand Prix match between Akira & Yamada, Akira looking like a champ at the end and winning decisively on her way to the GP crown- my review here. They then show the match from the Toyota LG set of Akira & Yamada against Manami & Yumiko Hotta- another good one. If you hadn’t seen those matches, this tape would be a good buy.
Hahahaha oh shit, now they show the legendary squash of Yasha Kurenai, where Hokuto no-sells most of her offense and kills her dead with the Northern Lights Bomb in under two minutes. The YouTube video for that match has over a MILLION views and more comments than anything else I’ve seen in joshi- it must be super-famous over there- my review here.
And that’s it! Well that was an easy review. This’d actually be one of the best tapes in terms of cool stuff if you hadn’t already seen it.
LEGENDARY GODDESS V- KYOKO INOUE:
* We see Kyoko gingerly running up sand dunes wearing a t-shirt with all the world’s flags on it, then runs to her first match. Later, we see her at a seafood market, then eating at a restaurant above the shop. Then it’s a short photoshoot and Toshiyo Yamada visits her apartment. Yamada makes fun of what I think are insect-traps in the doorway. I declare Kyoko to be the least-skilled decorator of AJW, alas.
KYOKO INOUE & TOSHIYO YAMADA vs. SUZUKA MINAMI vs. BAT YOSHINAGA:
* A pretty minor-seeming match, even for these sets. Kyoko’s in red & yellow, Yamada’s in the bright pink, Minami’s in black & yellow, and Bat’s in her usual black gear with the yellow design on the shirt.
Kyoko & Yamada wreck Minami to start (she’s a good sport for just taking beatings), and Bat takes the same, but makes the comeback and now Yamada’s getting knocked around. Minami hits her backbreaker and stretches Yamada’s back, but she fights out after some restholds and Kyoko hits her slingshot dropkick on Minami. Kyoko hits the Surfboard and man, BOTH are putting “big match effort” into this one! A camel clutch leads to Minami’s backbreaker coming back on Kyoko and now Bat gets some shine with her kicks, then restholds her until the Slingshot Backsplash puts her down. Yamada throws kicks & lariats, then her snap suplex and the hanging stretch muffler, but can’t spin her and instead just drops her.
Kyoko tries the Backsplash on both opponents, but they kick her in the back to counter and a kneeling powerbomb gets two for Minami. Bat throws her spinkicks again and again, getting two, but Yamada interferes with a superplex when Bat climbs! She tags herself in and hits Enzuigiri Spam, but now MINAMI delays a flying move, letting Bat counter with a chest kick. Minami misses the Flying Senton, so Kyoko hits the Run-Up Flying Back Elbow… for two! Niagara Driver countered to a Powerbomb… countered to a Niagara Driver, then Bat interferes and NOW the Slingshot Backsplash hits both! Everyone tries double-teaming, leading to Yamada getting a German for two, then stopping a double-team and hitting the Reverse Gory Bomb for the three at (16:20).
This match started great, with lightning speed offense from everyone, and had a few good flurries, but was largely a resthold-fest until they hit an extra gear in the last 4-5 minutes. And then we got “reversal psychology” at the end and we finally hit that third star, lol.
Rating: *** (they were having a pretty ordinary **1/2 House Show Match with some good stuff until finding their extra gear in the end)
KYOKO INOUE & YUMIKO HOTTA vs. LAS CACHORRAS ORIENTALES (Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda):
* This one is sadly incomplete, as it not only plays music over the match, but frequently just shows clips of Takako Inoue doing commentary, then flips around so rapidly that you can’t follow anything. Inexplicable camera shots, too- like, a resthold will have a close-up of the REFEREE. And far be it from me to complain about a close-up of Mita, but while Hotta’s on offense in the ring? Everyone is doing their typical spots and it seems pretty good, but Hotta’s being un-generous, as usual. She’s seen butterfly suplexing Shimoda, then we’re clipped to the finish- the Pyramid Driver on Mita at (11:24). Jesus, that’s a long match for this kind of cinematography.
KYOKO INOUE & BULL NAKANO vs. AJA KONG & AKIRA HOKUTO:
* Once again, I weep as a ****1/2+ Main Event is probably just a slow match on some house show, haha. Kyoko’s in the usual, Bull’s in black, Aja’s in purple & Akira’s in black.
Aja gets launched into chairs and railings to start, and Bull takes Akira apart in the ring. Aja beats on Kyoko, but Akira eats the slingshot dropkick, then manages to trip up Kyoko’s “Run-Up” attempt- Bull interferes and Kyoko hits the Giant Swing! Double-garrote over the top rope and some other double-teams leave Akira in danger, and Bull wears her down until Akira kicks off the ropes to break a light Dragon Sleeper. Aja slowly works Bull over, then Kyoko, and Akira’s flying splash gets two. Short piledrivers & sharpshooter wear her down, then it’s the “INOUAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!” avalanche from Aja! The ass-kicking is so pronounced the crowd starts chanting *clapclapclap KYO-KO!”, and after another couple minutes, she FINALLY escapes and Bull starts throwing down with nunchucks on everybody. Akira hits the Bridging German & Roundhouses to come back and tosses Bull around outside, but Kyoko hits the Slingshot Backsplash onto both opponents!
Aja misses a cross-body, Akira is caught and dumped from her flying one, and Aja finally hits it. Then Akira accidentally hits AJA with one, but gets caught, leading to Kyoko slapping them and luring them into Bull’s double lariat! Powerbomb gets two on Akira, then the Guillotine Legdrop- Aja saves! Bull climbs, but Aja uses the metal can and tries an electric chair drop, but Bull victory rolls her for two! Kyoko does the headscissors, then her Backsplash again- Run-Up Flying Back Elbow gets two! Niagara Driver is reversed, Uraken is dodged, but Aja hits a backdrop suplex & 2nd-rope splash for two-counts. Akira hits a missile kick but Bull stops the Northern Lights Bomb- Akira Superplexes a climbing Kyoko for two. Assisted Tope Con Hilo to Kyoko & Bull! Aja Superplexes Akira onto Kyoko- Bull saves! Aja rolls Bull out to deal with her and Akira fucking MURDERS Kyoko with the Northern Lights Bomb at (19:57). Holy shit, how is that woman still alive?
Just a relentless, long-form ass-kicking of Kyoko’s team, as they barely got any offense and were mostly stretched out and methodically pounded in an obvious “House Show” match that at least shared the crowd-pleasing spots to remain entertaining. And then suddenly there’s a fast-paced ending, with Kyoko hitting a huge flurry of moves, tons of people reversing stuff, etc., so they cram a ***1/2 match out of what was looking like a **1/2 rest-fest because Joshi is nuts.
Rating: ***1/2 (was looking fine, but dull, until the last 6-7 minutes or so. Everyone’s just so good they can easily hit good matches like this with their basic moves)
This is an odd one (especially with Kyoko taking a major ass-kicking, then losing the final match), though probably has the best average match-rating of the “Legendary Goddess” set so far. *** and ***1/2 aren’t bad for House Shows or whatever these are.
LEGENDARY GODDESS VI- AJA KONG:
* Aja is seen hoeing a field, dressed as a farmer but with her full facepaint on, and then she… comes in from the rain and cradles a kitten? Well this is unexpected. Then she prays at a temple, walks around an outdoor mall in her wrestling gear (and two metal tins!), ending up for her first match!
AJA KONG & KAORU ITO vs. MANAMI TOYOTA & TOSHIYO YAMADA:
* This match is shot so that we see Takako Inoue speaking on commentary for like two minutes while the action is going on, lol- who edits these? Aja’s in green, while Ito’s dressed in green Peter Pan gear, while Yamada’s in purple & Toyota’s in black. It’s mostly blur-o-vision and close-ups otherwise, so it’s hard to follow. Aja tortures Toyota for a good while, Yamada does Enzuigiri Spam on her, and more, then Toyota knocks Aja off the top so Yamada can finish Ito with the Reverse Gory Bomb.
Now we visit Aja’s apartment, complete with fuzzy fox slippers and an extraordinarily fat chihuahua. And another dog, plus a cat. Her wrestling trophies line one room, too.
AJA KONG & AKIRA HOKUTO vs. YUMIKO HOTTA & TAKAKO INOUE:
* !!!! Oh damn, this one sounds cool. Aja’s in the red & black camo gear, Akira’s in yellow, Hotta’s in purple & white, and Takako’s in white & blue. this match is weirdly shot, with a lot of close-ups and a really slow frame-rate, but isn’t an “Aja-Cam” match like the last one was.
Takako is tortured for a while, acting like a right princess about it- these two were made to stretch out Idols like her. Takako finally backdrops out after four minutes of this and Hotta pastes Hokuto’s mouth with kicks while she does her great “defiant dying person” sell. Akira gets stretched, but Aja machine-gun slaps Takako and they take over on her AGAIN. 11 minutes and it’s still mostly holds, but they’re at least sold well- interestingly, it develops into the U.S. tag formula with Aja cutting off Takako’s hot tag attempts, even fireman’s carrying her to Hotta to taunt her with the closing distance to her own partner’s hand. Takako FINALLY armdrags out and tags Hotta to a tepid reaction, and Hotta does her Overthrow Powerbombs to Akira. Aja takes the rolling kick, but slowly rises during a storm of boots and Vader Attacks Takako down and we’ve got a big chair-throwing brawl outside!
Akira hits a flying splash and the roundhouse kicks for two, and Takako gets sat on by Aja but she reverses on Akira for two. Hotta helps her get a Super Armdrag for two, but Aja lariats Hotta and takes over with stuff- backdrop, piledrivers and “HO-TAAAAAAAAAAAA!” avalanche get two-counts, then the metal tin hits Akira by mistake. Akira takes double-teams, but clears Hotta out and superplexes Takako for two, they front suplex Takako out of the ring, and it’s the Assisted Tope Con Hilo to both! Aja then superplexes Akira ONTO Takako, getting two. Good powerslam gets two, but she misses a splash off the second rope, luring Hotta in. Aja Urakens her from behind, setting her up for the Northern Lights Bomb, getting the sudden three count at (20:59).
Sadly disappointing match, as they never got out of first gear, never had a big Escalating Finishers portion, and spent about 80% of the match doing stretching. They’re GOOD at stretching, mind you, but it’s definitely a lackadaisical effort, and the finish more or less comes out of nowhere (Hotta’s barely in the match and then she’s two-hit KO’d for the pin?).
Rating: **1/2 (way too long and takes forever to really get going, and even then it barely escalated until the last 2 minutes)
Aja then samples some stuff from a snack shop (??) and buys some while wearing a “100% Home Boy” shirt and shorts, then eats in some restaurant.
AJA KONG & SAKIE HASEGAWA vs. AKIRA HOKUTO & MANAMI TOYOTA:
* Another weirdly-shot one, this time in an outdoor arena, with grass and dirt outside the ring area. Aja’s in purple, and Sakie’s in that light blue singlet. Akira & Manami are both in black.
More blur-o-vision to this one, with a ton of close-ups on everyone. And it won’t always make sense- we’ll get a big close-up of Akira’s nonchalant face while Sakie starts her Rolling Butterfly Suplexes on Toyota. Manami takes a long beating until Akira comes in with her roundhouse kicks on Sakie, then it’s an outside brawl (Aja running part of the guardrail into Manami). Aja cross-bodies both women, then sits on Toyota for two. In a cute bit, they do Aja’s “TOYOTAAAAAAAA!” avalanche in the corner, but with Sakie doing a squealing rookie “Toyota” ass-slam into her first.
Akira gets the hot tag, but immediately gets clotheslined around by Sakie, until an outside brawl sees Manami use the TIMEKEEPER’S HAMMER, but delivers the softest strikes ever on-camera (this is why you hire pros to direct big events) until Sakie takes it away and smashes away at her. Aja uses the tin, but the Manami Roll gets two. Akira gets caught coming off the top, but does the Sunset Flip Powerbomb reversal to Aja for two. Double-Sunset Flip attempt sees Aja sit on BOTH of them, and Sakie fires herself up for Savate Kick Spam on Toyota! Aja tins Sakie by mistake- Akira gets whipped but she somersault-kicks Aja off the apron and planchas her on the dirt, then hits a Powerbomb for two! Aja tins everyone to stop the onslaught, but Sakie eats a Missile Dropkick Sandwich, taking a great fall (just collapsing down as if they both flattened her)… for the three (16:56)!!
Well that was actually a nice surprise- the camera angles made it annoying and it felt skippable at first, but they melded into a good series of counters and double-teams, with a fun outdoor backdrop, ending in a great double-team on the rookie. Everyone looked great, and it was probably a ***1/2 match or so if seen with proper direction.
We end the VHS, naturally, with Aja screaming her ass off in the rainy farmer’s field. What a weird set.
These Legendary Goddess tapes are some strange viewing- humanizing the wrestlers and showing their apartments is kinda fun (just wait till you find how BULL NAKANO decorates!), but the matches are either shot poorly or wrestled at half-speed for the most part.