Joshi Spotlight: JWP in 1993 (Part 2)

JWP in 1993:
* Happy New Year! Here’s the second half of my look at the JWP stuff from 1992-93 in Rico Kasi’s YouTube videos! Time to see what JWP was up to in the second half of ’93, when left to their own devices! This features a lot of matches between their top stars, plus a couple of Dream Matches of a sort when a pair of construction worker gimmicks show up from AJW for some matches. One of them features proof that Mayumi Ozaki may be the greatest carry artist of all time- going nineteen minutes with NUMACCHI.

* The Battle of the Idols! Hikari’s slowly moving up, but this is a rare opportunity to see Cutie in the role as “experienced elder”. Cutie’s in white with some black bits, while Hikari’s in her goofy pink cone-bra gear.

This starts out pretty typically, with them trading basic stuff- Hikari controls to start, then Cutie. Things pick up with Hikari’s cartwheel dodge and Dropkick Spam, and she works the arm- Cutie comes back and hits a high knee. Restholdamania follows, but Cutie does a fun bit where she channels Takako and starts yanking hair, then no-selling the ref’s admonishment by smirking and going back to the clutch. Hikari lands a bulldog & cross-body to come back, tossing her around outside the ring, but Cutie comes back with an armbar after they f-up the snap-fallaway slam. She adds way more arm stuff, looking tight at some points but clumsy at others (there was a hideous JB Angels armbar). German gets two. Hikari overshoots a flying sunset flip but gets a powerslam, DDT, plancha & German of her own.

Hikari gets an abdominal stretch & rolling cradle, then a Super Powerslam- two! Crowd is finally getting more into it. Frog splash misses, leading to the Flying Stomp- Hikari bails, so Cutie lands two off the apron! Hikari reverses a punch to a Straightjacket Suplex, but overshoots her and can’t get a count, then Cutie lands on her face “reversing” a backdrop- Hikari lands a Moonsault for only two. Cutie reversers a follow-up to a flash pin, and Hikari, out of big moves, goes to another cross-body and Cutie rolls through for two. Hikari tries to climb, but Cutie brings her down with a Backdrop Superplex, and the Dragon Suplex finishes at (20:35).

Very, very typical “JWP Pace” match, with a LOT of stretching and match-padding, though at least they put some character into it. Cutie cheating and Hikari continuing to shake off the arm damage even after Cutie more or less stopped targeting it- stuff like that. But WOW that was a languid pace, with a lot of “stumble around into a move” stuff and clumsy-ass reversals- the worst kind of stuff you see from Cutie (who has sorta weak move application a lot), and Hikari being green.

Rating: **1/4 (fine in some points, but just way too long and slow, then kind of clumsy)

* So now it’s an assortment of “every big JWP star”, though Kansai’s team way outpowers the other- the top rookie and three big stars up against Devil, Plum, and two jobbers. Devil’s in purple, Plum’s in the “spackle” outfit, Bolshoi’s in every color (and is a clown), and Tomiyo’s in black & orange. Kansai’s in yellow & green, Ozaki’s in red, Cutie’s in white & Hikari’s in pink.

Hikari & Bolshoi do their trademark dodge-moves on each other, but Devil just beats on Hikari and lets Toyama have a turn. Cutie takes an overthrow powerbomb from Devil- Kansai’s in and the kaiju double-clothesline each other. Plum missile kicks Kansai and her team adds legholds- funny bit as she’s in Toyama’s figure-four for two minutes, and everyone takes turns interfering with kicks (Ozaki doing a “can-can” dance into Toyama’s back). Toyama gets murdered by the other team for a while, but Devil runs in and electric chairs Ozaki out of the corner to a pop. Bolshoi does Rock Bottoms and comedy, but Cutie hits a flying knee and now Bolshoi’s getting wrecked. Hikari missile kicks Cutie by mistake and Plum dives onto Oz after that. Bolshoi’s dive hits Plum by accident, then Hikari dives onto THEM… and KANSAI DIVES!! But she hits Hikari! Oz powerbombs Bolshoi for two, then Cutie’s flying headbutt & Kansai’s backdrop kill the clown. Bolshoi escapes Hikari, but Devil walks into the Rolling Cradle!

Cutie flies into Hikari, then eats Plum’s German for two. Everyone kinda grapples weirdly for a while, but Kansai kills Toyama, and Cutie adds three Germans for two- Devil powerbombs her so Toyama can cover for two. They beat on Cutie, but Devil gets Tiger Suplexed by Ozaki. In a great bit, everyone aims for corner attacks, but Kansai misses a lariat and Ozaki dropkicks Devil so Kansai can boomerang back with another. But she powerbombs Cutie for two. Plum hits her Flying Thesz Press, but gets German’d, then does the arm & leg-hold on Cutie, and her teammates finally bring down an interfering Kansai in a fun bit. Devil tosses Bolshoi onto Cutie, but takes a Flying Double-Stomp after interference. KANSAI does one, which looks brutal, and two backdrops get two. HUGE, dramatic Splash Mountain (sit-out Razor’s Edge) hits while her whole team blocks Devil’s… but the pile finally knocks them over at the last second- great timing. Hikari adds a Moonsault, and in what I’m sure is a botch, Kansai & Ozaki prepare a DOOMSDAY Splash Mountain (their super-MDK), but Devil slips out from Ozaki’s clothesline and they seem to improvise a head-kick from Kansai which allows Ozaki to score the quick pin (28:51).

A very solid “frequent tags” match, with lots of extended restholds all the same. At least they DID STUFF in them, like interfere (at one point, the whole team tries to pull Kansai off Bolshoi). But then you get the “JWP Problem” with the massive match-length, so there’s this huge extended period where it’s just Toyama getting some ring-time in it looks like. SEVERAL minutes of her struggling in submissions or taking light offense as they meander around until another “booking period” takes place. And it’s weird seeing people take offense for 4-6 minutes and then everyone’s suddenly tagging rapid-fire again. Also I think the finish comes off as out of nowhere (possibly since they messed it up).

Rating: *** (some good stuff, but SO long for what they’re going for here, and it was kinda sloppy at points)

* The two best “character” wrestlers in JWP fight now- Devil’s in black & purple and Ozaki’s in red.

Ozaki avoids a lariat and does a Rana from a powerbomb right away, but gets slapped and a big lariat gets two. Devil stretches her until both just start biting each other’s heads- Oz hits a clothesline but eats a mega-press slam onto the top rope, Devil teasing she was gonna just launch her out of the ring. They kill like two minutes of selling that and guardedly getting into contact again, Devil hitting a front suplex but getting caught in a flash-pin and dragon sleeper. Ozaki takes the worst of a beating outside, but hits some submissions until Devil just powers out- Powerbomb gets two. Devil actually hits Kyoko Inoue’s “Rock the Cradle” submission and a surfboard (this is around the great Kyoko/Devil bout)- but Ozaki lands on her feet from a press slam and hits a snap DDT! Wow, that was slick.

Flying Cannonball, backdrop hold & stretching keeps up the offense, Devil just HOWLING in an armbar. She comes back with power stuff, but misses a second lariat and eats ANOTHER armbar- Ozaki threads that into a Tiger Suplex for two. Weak powerbomb- two. Corkscrew Senton off the top gets two. Falling clothesline, but another gets her caught in a backdrop, and a rana reversal of a powerbomb is turned into a BRUTAL-looking crab. Ozaki climbs, but gets caught with an overhead belly-to-belly from there! That gets a close two, so Devil hits a Samoan drop, but misses a Guillotine Legdrop. Kneeling Powerbomb gets two for Ozaki, but she misses a flying move and takes a weak Ligerbomb for two- they really stumbled there. Regular Powerbomb, but Ozaki rolls out at two! BIG one… two! So Devil finally hits an even bigger one, getting three (21:24).

This was a unique one, as they built it entirely out of character stuff and holds (Ozaki twice verrrrry hesitantly locking up, killing time with indecisiveness and being extra-careful). This left the actual MOVEZ-count rather low, but it was still fine. Not really a highlight reel bout- almost all the powerbombs were either SUPER light or had Ozaki barely able to lift Devil until the end, when a couple whiplash ones hit well.

Rating: ***1/4 (not as great as they could probably get on a bigger show, but still a fine character display- Devil just hitting Powerbombs until Ozaki was dead was a good “Ace” move, and put over Oz’s resilience)

JWP in the Fall:
* The next four bouts seem to be from September & October 1993.

* Nouchi the rookie, in very colorful gear (white, blue & red), in a clipped match against Plum, who’s in extra-dark purple with light blue flare tonight.

Nouchi does some rookie stuff, but Plum soon locks on a vicious standing Stretch Plum, then her Rolling Arm & Leg Hold. Nouchi fires off four dropkicks and a crab, but Plum handily fights back and casually hits a backdrop, two DDTs, and a German, but time expires right before the three at (5:00 of ??). Not sure if it was clipped or not. Serves Plum right for being so lackadaisical!

Rating: 1/2* (just some random moves here and there- hardly a complete match)

Ozaki rules so much that the match thumbnail is her biting someone’s shoes.

* OH MY GOD A TWENTY MINUTE NUMACCHI MATCH WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? This appears to be a sacrifice to Ozaki, who’s jobbed all over AJW in 1993. I’m sure she appreciated having to wrestle this total jobber for that long. I can only imagine this is a “Dream Match” of sorts, since AJW’s Numacchi is on a JWP card.

Numacchi attacks with the shovel immediately and hits a crossface chickenwing, but Ozaki fights out and casually murders her with the thing, strangling her in the corner repeatedly while the ref admonishes her to let the shovel go. Attagirl. They trade restholds, Ozaki kind of being like “the fuck is this?” in Numacchi’s. The crowd at least likes Numacchi’s Running Face Kicks (the one okay move she has). Restholds! Ozaki hits two clotheslines and a backdrop hold for two. Restholds! Powerbomb & flying clothesline for two. Restholds! Ozaki looking amused as fuck while she wraps up ALL FOUR of Numacchi’s limbs at least gets the crowd into it. She even has the flexibility to rub her boot on Numacchi’s head from that position! Ozaki decides to put on Numacchi’s headband and MURDERS her with the shovel, popping the crowd again! Numacchi finally gets some running bulldogs to come back- Helmet-assisted headbutts! Oz’s mini-comeback is halted with Russian Legsweep Spam and a German for two. Both miss flying attacks, and Oz dumps her off a corner kick and charges off the apron- German & Cannonball Senton get two counts! Tiger Suplex- foot in the ropes! Oz has officially had enough, and a Ligerbomb dead-center finishes at (19:12).

Well this was the best possible long match you’re getting out of Numacchi. They had to pad the shit out of it, but Ozaki knew when to play the “elder bitch” and torture her, and look aggravated in Numacchi’s own restholds. She looked annoyed the entire time, then amused to be causing pain. Numacchi’s ugly, clumsy-looking offense was always a drag, but you at least bought the story of her giving Ozaki some trouble, as annoying as it is to see Hokuto crush her in seconds but Ozaki needing nearly twenty minutes.

Rating: **1/2 (going 19 minutes with Numacchi and hitting this rating is proof that Ozaki is a literal deity)

* Oh, found another one from this show. Cutie’s in white, and Bolshoi’s in red & blue.

Long, slow grappling to start, but Bolshoi hits an Asai Moonsault Press 3 minutes in. Dragon sleeper, then a Rock Bottom for two. Cutie hits the snap fallaway slam for two. More restholds, but she gets the crowd into it being a bully. Bolshoi’s run-up cross-body gets NOTHING from the crowd, though. German is reversed to a snap armbar from Cutie, and THAT impresses them. She goes back to it, but Bolshoi teases a JB Angels armbar and hits a leglock instead- Cutie sells well enough, but this is STILL very slow. Inverted Figure-Four is sold the same way. Bolshoi with a series of flying kicks from all four corners- two-count. Rock Bottom, but a Moonsault misses. Cutie with two Germans for two, then beats on Bolshoi outside. Bolshoi comes back with a slingshot cross-body and a Tiger Feint Kick to applause, but Cutie reverses another Rock Bottom with a DDT. Tombstone… but Bolshoi reverses it! Moonsault… and another! And a third! That gets two. Another triple move, with Germans, gets the same. Slingshot plancha misses and she hurts her leg, but dodges a Flying Stomp. Super Rock Bottom! That only gets two- Bolshoi’s out of shit, so Cutie tosses her off the top, hits a flying headbutt, Germans, a stomp off the apron, and a Flying Stomp, only for two! Bolshoi tries a bit more, but a Dragon Suplex finishes her at (24:11!!!!).

This was one of those frustrating JWP-style matches, as it’s got a bunch of theoretically good stuff (how better to showcase a rookie trying to beat an elder than having them spam their best moves over and over again in desperation?), but spread out SO FREAKING FAR over the course of 24 minutes when they should have shaved off ten. That just gets the fans to sit on their hands in the process of “giving them their money’s worth” with these long matches. And like… all those submissions COULD be okay, except nobody sold the limb for any length of time after those long holds- Bolshoi was even doing jumping moves after hurting her foot outside!

Rating: * (would have been a *** match with a ton of time cut off- you BOUGHT that last surge by Bolshoi, and there was good psychology in Cutie finally dealing with her! But just way, way too long)

* Cutie takes on JWP’s top rookie. Nouchi’s in blue with red & white now, while Cutie’s in some white & black thing I haven’t seen before.

They chain-wrestle a bit, Cutie mostly leading. Cutie hits a jumping knee, but Nouchi does this dramatic headlock takeover with such flourish it actually earns some clapping from the audience. Nouchi does back stuff, then Cutie does, but she misses a missile kick. Nouchi butchers a rolling toss out of the corner so tries again, also looking ugly, and Cutie dodges a dropkick and hits a Flying Double Stomp for two. Flying Headbutt wins at (9:07).

Rating: *1/4 (mostly fine technically, but a dramatically-uninteresting match made up of restholds and a couple big moves)

* Here’s a weird Dream Match- the two titans of JWP with their best rookie (Hikari)… and a giantess from AJW (Reggie). Reggie was JUST new to AJW at the time. Here, she’s in her orange shirt and blue shorts, while Devil’s in purple & black. Kansai’s in one I’ve never seen- bright yellow and PINK of all things, and Hikari’s in the Tarzan gear.

Hikari charges in like a crazy person and IMMEDIATELY gets powerslammed, but the two giants are tricked into clotheslining each other (Reggie kinda forgetting her end of selling) and Reggie’s booted out of the ring and plancha’d! Back in, Reggie hits a MONSTER legdrop to a great reaction (her specialty is making the basics look devastating) and they hit some lariats, but Kansai tags in and wallops Reggie with some kicks. There’s a bit of awkwardness (Reggie has a very “flaily, don’t know the next position to be in” manner about her), but there’s some strike-trading and good old defiance. Devil works Kansai’s hurt shoulder for a bit and Hikari throw dropkicks, but Reggie comes back with a splash & Saito suplex for two. Hikari does the Moonsault dodge & rolling cradle on Devil for two, and Kansai plasters her chest with kicks in a camel clutch. Reggie hits TWO Powerbombs, but doesn’t bother to follow up with much, just standing on Hikari’s hair and hitting chinlocks. Devil adds an Overthrow Powerbomb for two.

Reggie hits a side slam, shouting “ONE MORRRRE!”, but Hikari reverses the next with a headscissors, bringing in Kansai! But her big kicks are barely sold, and Reggie just hauls her down from a piledriver attempt. Reg does restholds but Devil eats a backdrop and Kansai stretches HER. She fights out of an STF after two minutes and takes a LETHAL kick to the face, but she escapes Hikari and Reggie takes a double-dropkick and simultaneous submissions. Reggie Saito suplexes Hikari again, and Devil adds a press-slam, but Kansai hits a leg lariat and Hikari’s cartwheel elbow in the corner blasts her! And another! Northern Lights suplex gets two. Hikari hits a missile dropkick, but Devil no-sells, lariats her, and Reggie comes in with a powerslam reversal for two. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two and she hits the Reggie Rack! Hikari actually doesn’t quit, so Reggie just slams her down- Devil misses the Guillotine Legdrop, but Kansai tries to interfere and hits her own partner with a leg lariat- Reggie hits a big splash off the second rope (Devil has to shoo her away- she’s not legal), and Devil’s Folding Powerbomb gets the pin while Reggie lariats Kansai to prevent interference (22:58).

Interesting match with some fun spots, but it didn’t really end up in the proper “Finisher Surge” because Kansai was so clearly holding back and they were waiting for Hikari to get crushed. Reggie’s moves usually looked great, but she had her usual “doesn’t know how to thread stuff together” problem (to be fair- different country & language), but the bout really put her over.

Rating: *** (actually pretty good for such a long tag match with someone totally new thrown into the mix)

Once again, similar stuff to the last JWP set- plenty of good matches, but every one had that “we gotta fill some time!” aspect to them, resulting in a lot of quiet spots. And since these aren’t big shows and more “House Shows” of a sort, the level of work isn’t quite there like it would be on a major show. Like, they were working hard to give fans their money’s worth, but not “Let’s hit ****” exactly, right?