Joshi Spotlight: JWP From 1992-93 (Part One)

JWP SHOWS (1992-1993):

-So a while back, I discovered a YouTube channel called “Rico Kasai”, which uploads exclusively JWP-produced matches. And finally, after a LOT of work (seriously, oh my god), I cross-referenced all his un-dated stuff so I can figure out an approximate order, lol. Pain in the ass, that was. It turns out a bunch of them were from 1992-93, so this allows me to complete the library a little more. This will be in two parts, with the second coming this Friday- it’s too much to post all at once.

First, a bunch of ultra-clipped matches showing only a minute or two of action. None really deserve ratings.

(1991 sometime)
-Devil, in a black one-legged outfit, charges Ozaki (in green), but misses and gets missile kicked. She tries a Manami Roll but gets a HUGE Powerbomb, but just rolls Devil back for a rana-style pin for two, then Devil rolls her back for the same. Devil works her way into a surfboard, but Ozaki does a cool flip into a pin from up high. Clipped to Ozaki getting a German for two, but she fires too many running shots and gets caught in a backdrop-to-Powerbomb move at (2:08 of 14:39 shown).

-This is from wayyyyy early in JWP’s restart phase. Plum isn’t even in her frilly gear- it’s just a lavender leotard. Kansai, in her orange & black gear, attacks right away with a lariat and hits a Superduperplex. We’re clipped around to stuff (Kansai missing a dive, Plum’s missile kick & rana, Kansai’s powerbombing out of a rana and a backdrop driver), and Kansai catches a running Plum with a standard side suplex for the pin (2:06 of 16:10) shown. That’s a weird ending given all their cool shit.

-Same show as the last one, I think. Devil catches her on a jump and seems to have a bit of trouble in submissions, but folds her in half with a Powerbomb for three (1:45 of 15:02 shown).

-Devil, in a floral-print singlet, slaps the rookie to start, but earns a slap back, then shakes her hand for having spirit, lol. Toyama does a dropkick off the apron and uses movement, but we’re clipped to a Sit-Out Powerbomb getting the pin (1:02 of 18:07 shown).

(1992 sometime)
-This is hilariously almost the entire JWP roster at this point- a couple big stars, some secondary ones, and three rookies. It’s mostly the elders killing the rookies (only a few of whom turned into anything). Plum (I think), in blue & black, takes the worst of it, as they seem to be showcasing her a lot. Kansai lariats Plum from behind while Devil takes the other three, but then both lariat each other when Hikari ducks a sandwich version. They later miss a double-lariat and hit the post! Ozaki & Hikari both hit good bridging suplexes on Toyama, but she repeatedly kicks out. Finally, the elders hit a frickin’ Doomsday Device/Powerbomb on poor Hikari, then set her up for Toyama’s Flying Cross-Body for the win (5:59 of 20:26 shown).

Rating: *1/2 (actually not bad, even in a heavily clipped form. Lots of good moves)

* Here’s Devil, with a perm and her funny pink floral singlet, against Cutie, in her black gear.

Devil immediately hits a pair of impressive press slams to start- attagirl. Cutie gets a cross-body, but is easily hefted off- they chain-wrestle, but Devil hits a lariat & legdrop for two. They work restholds, with Devil selling a figure-four terrifically, just snarling in pain and trying to get out. Devil uses the dreaded FOOT BITE, but Cutie pays her back with the same, ending up in a half-crab sold as poor agony. Surfboard & delayed suplex sees Devil take the lead again, but Cutie reverses on her outside- headscissors & dragon sleeper keep up the advantage, and she actually cross-blocks a lariat and hits a German for two! Lariat off the apron and a flying double-stomp gets two, but she runs in and eats a one-armed Powerbomb for two. Cutie reverses another one for two, but takes a full Tiger Driver for two. Superplex finishes at (14:02 of 15:24 shown).

Rating: **1/2 (Perfectly fine match, kept pretty simple and with basic moves for most of it. Obviously Cutie was too new to be doing too well against Devil, but was booked well as the underdog)

JWP (Feb. 1993 Shows):
* This show looks like it’s from Feb. 1993. It includes the JWP/AJW Tag Match I’ve reviewed previously (Takako/Hotta vs. Ozaki/Hikari), plus some other stuff taped around the same time.

The Main Event:

* Ozaki is pretty established here, but the rest are rookies, Hikari being the most elite. Ozaki’s in green & pink, Candy’s in black & blue, Hikari’s in her pink “cone bra” get-up, and Bolshoi’s in a very bright red & blue outfit.

Running attacks harry Candy to start, but Ozaki comes in to bully Bolshoi around. Repeated clipping sees momentum shift around- Hikari manages a helicopter slam on Ozaki which looked pretty good. She & Bolshoi do Handspring Back Elbows, but she gets the mother of all Ligerbombs on Bolshoi for two. Miscommunication sees Bolshoi German Candy for two, and a tombstone & Moonsault finish her at (5:27 of 21:17 shown).

* Oh jesus this video is 2 minutes long and features two people who never appear after early 1993- I don’t imagine a close contest here. One’s in green, and one’s in black with “ellesse” on her shirt- a common brand among rookie joshi.

Kansai’s smack-talk wows the crowd, and she easily no-sells some weak offense before doing an unconvincing double-whip (both girls stumble about and can’t seem to place themselves right) into a double lariat. She slams the one in black onto the one in green and sits on the pile- we’re done at (0:38 of 2:11 shown). Now THAT’S a squash! I have no idea where they could have clipped it, short of threading together two “both girls sell on the mat at once” scenes.

* This one’s interesting, as it’s pretty well the entire “legitimate” midcard of JWP in one match, with Hikari & Bolshoi as the obvious unproven juniors. Cutie’s in her rare black gear, Plum’s in a spackled leotard with tons of frill, Hikari’s in pink, and Bolshoi’s in a blue & red get-up.

Incredible pace to start, as they swap running stuff & submissions, trading off on each other. It settles a bit into basic stuff, with Plum hitting a nice Rana for two on Hikari. Cutie adds a nice jumping knee and restholds, then Bolshoi hits her with a flying cross-body & uranage for two-counts. She does a rollup on Plum, but Plum uses the rolling head & leg submission- Bolshoi uses an ankle lock and Hikari dropkicks both opponents. Double-dropkick on Cutie and Hikari wins a brawl with the POPEYE PUNCH for two! Cutie escapes and Plum hits a mother of a Stump Puller on Bolshoi, sold like agony, but even that turns out to be a resthold. Cutie’s figure-four turns out to be two goddamn minutes, Bolshoi finally hitting the ropes after the crowd gets into a comeback halfway through, and Plum bullies her with more stuff, holding her arm out for Hikari to JUST miss tagging.

Bolshoi finally gets kicked over to her corner, but Hikari only manages a backflip out of the corner before Plum’s launched into her with a kick. Hikari tries a Powerbomb, but Cutie Germans her for two. Plum hits a pair of her own, then hits a tombstone & a Flying Thesz Press- Cutie’s Flying Stomp gets two as Bolshoi saves. Hikari finally gets some offense going with a Rolling Cradle. Bolshoi hits a flying attack but eats a great Bridging German from Plum, who then awkwardly Thesz Presses her own partner after miscommunication. That leads the rookies to hitting Stereo Moonsaults for two! Hikari Germans Plum for two, but Bolshoi Moonsaults her by mistake. Uranage & Kickk on Cutie, but Hikari misses two flying moves and eats a Dragon Suplex for a near-fall. But she manages to reverse a Tombstone to her own, then puts Cutie up top and hits a Super Powerslam for the surprise victory (24:27)!

Everything looked pretty slick and well-done, but this largely turned into Restholds: The Match, as they pad for time and do one or two cool moves, then sit in a half-crab or a chinlock for an age. As usual, they last so close to sixty or 120 seconds that I’m SURE they literally time it as such. But then of course the last 8 or so minutes are all fast-paced action again. It was looking to really pick up, but some awkward pacing and odd bits where they stumble around into position didn’t help the match any. Ultimately, I liked parts of it, but there were too many issues.

Rating: **1/2 (fine tag match drawn out for too long- some awkwardness and move repetition)

* Well this looks one-sided- Sure it’s the #1-2 vs. #3-4, but there is a WIDE gulf between the two teams. Kansai’s in yellow & blue, Devil’s in black, Cutie’s in a rare white/black leotard, and Ozaki’s in red. They’re in that cool KBS arena that looks like a church with all the stained glass-looking stuff.

The monsters attack to start, but Kansai lariats Devil by mistake and takes a German while Cutie missile kicks Devil. Devil stops the momentum and wipes Cutie out with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker & surfbord. Kansai dismantles Ozaki slowly, and they get into a fun slapfight in a resthold. Outside brawling, then Devil hits a big Tiger Driver for two- Cutie saves, and Ozaki IMMEDIATELY slaps on a dragon sleeper. Cutie gets her own after a flying clothesline, Devil finally muscling her into a pin and a Northern Light suplex for two. Big press slam and Kansai does basic stuff, then Devil works over Ozaki, who FREAKS when Devil starts putting on the surfboard. When Devil releases, Oz tries to pin her, then Cutie locks on an abdominal stretch. They both do half-crabs (Oz throwing a big flying splash to the back that Devil sells huge) as we’re REALLY into resthold-city. Devil breaks free with an electric chair drop and Kansai lariats & backdrops Ozaki for two.

It’s a beating outside and ANOTHER half-crab- Cutie interferes so Devil overthrow powerbombs Ozaki onto her. Devil hits a Northern Lights Superplex for two, then press slams Oz onto her knee and hits a double-lariat. Team Small takes a breather outside, but Devil hits a gourdbuster on Cutie and rips Ozaki’s head off with a lariat. German & Stereo Flying Headbutts finally put Kansai down, though, and Cutie’s Dragon Suplex gets two! Kansai catches her with a Northern Lights suplex for two, and Devil hits a Folding Powerbomb for the same. Cutie leaps out of another and Oz flies in- Doomsday Device Cross-Body! They reverse a bunch of stuff, but Kansai hits the Razor’s Edge for two on Ozaki. Superplex- Cutie breaks the pin. So Kansai Razor’s Edges her again, lariats Cutie to death, then Devil comes in with a Folding Powersbomb… TWO!!! Crowd goes nuts and starts chanting for Ozaki… who does a Manami Roll but swings back with a Hurricanrana… for the three (25:02)! Team Small wins!! Okay was not expecting that one- Ozaki once again pulls out a last minute win with a clever flash move.

Very typical “JWP Padding” with TONS of half-crabs and assorted restholds, but Devil & Ozaki are such great sellers it usually at least looks good. They have the best facial expressions for stuff like this. This match was mostly Team Big demolishing Team Small, slowly taking them apart but for the occasional mini-comeback. However, Ozaki pulled out a miracle kickout (three powerbombs in a row is a BIT much…) then scores a flash pin, catching one of the Kaiju.

Rating: ***1/4 (great selling and a good Big vs. Small match, though one-sided and very rest-y)

JWP (July 1993):
* All of these matches seem to have taken place in July ’93, though not all on the same day, as you see the same faces multiple times.

* Plum now wrestles the rookie Toyama, who was an AJW trainee who bombed out then re-trained for JWP for a few years. Plum’s in her spackled leotard with pink frills, while Toyama’s in an LLPW-esque tricolor singlet- pink, black & gold, in this case.

Toyama draws some great applause for a taunting slap out of a lockup, so Plum is like “Yeah, OK” and boots her & hits two Ranas for two. Toyama reverses a third and puts Plum over the top, but gets “zoned” (in Fighting Game terms) and is outmaneuvered, and Plum hits a Thesz Press off the apron! Toyama does some technical stuff, but Plum soon schools her (it’s her specialty, after all) and throws “veteran stomps” while she’s at it. Toyama hits Russian Leg Sweep Spam of all things for two, then an Argentine Backbreaker and some more basic stuff to control. Toyama falls backwards out of the Rolling Head & Leghold, so Plum wisely just turns it to a leghold, a weird figure-four thing, and a standing stretch plum, putting over Toyama’s resilience.

Toyama reverses a whip to her OWN stretch plum, drawing a pop as she cranks it on and grinds her elbow into Plum’s head. Pumphandle short powerbomb and a running powerslam keep up her offense, but Plum All Japans her with a German, and a Bridging one gets two. Missile kick misses by a mile and Toyama impresses with a weird arching crab-hold, and Plum runs into a chokeslam for two. Plum stuffs her on a second one and hits a side STF/Choke for the submission win (14:16), kind of losing the leg at first.

Decent Vet/Rookie match, with Toyama being very basic and a bit hesitant, but selling well and Plum being good at submissions to wear her down. Toyama being older than your typical rookie showed a bit, as she did good character stuff like disrespectful slaps and spiteful “revenge holds”, copying Plum’s stuff, too. I liked her little run of bigger moves at the end- it looked like she had a chance, but Plum was just too much for her, reversing things until she snagged a real non-resthold submission.

Rating: **1/4 (fine rookie/vet stuff- a bit long)

* The Ace takes on a rookie in a bout I imagine won’t be very even. Candy’s in her blue & white gear, while Kansai’s in yellow & green.

Candy, dwarfed by her more experienced opponent, throws some ineffectual dropkicks and gets killed. Kansai, gloating over the corpse, decides to beat on her outside the ring, suplex her on the bare floor, and then tortures her with restholds. Candy then PAYS HER BACK, hitting falling clotheslines to come back, then throwing her into railings outside and bashing her with chairs! She then hits a DDT, her own restholds, and a Flying Headbutt for two. Kansai finally kicks her down to end that, being really shitty about it. Tombstone, but she wastes too much time on her own Flying Headbutt, missing. Candy actually hits a GERMAN for two, then another, but Kansai keeps stuffing things and tauntingly no-sells some missile dropkicks. But this creates a big crowd pop when a THIRD one knocks her on her back for two! Straightjacket German gets two! Candy goes up, but NOPE- she lands right into a kick, and Kansai folds her right in half with a huge lariat, and a backdrop suplex makes this academic at (10:23).

Another fine Vet/Rookie match, with Kansai being horribly arrogant and making Candy out to be a jobber, and paying for that arrogance repeatedly- Candy is legit already and has a ton of great-looking moves, but has zero credibility against a top-tier opponent.

Rating: **3/4 (it’d be even better if it wasn’t so one-sided, but Candy had no business being competitive)

Overall, this was a fine bunch of wrestling, but hits that “JWP Pace Problem”- having to stretch out every match over twenty minutes means there’s a LOT of cheats- extended selling, hesitance, restholds, etc. So every match feels solid, but not as good as it COULD be, because there was so much padding.