Joshi Spotlight: JWP in 1994 (Jan-May)

* Here’s another collection of JWP bouts, this time from early ’94 to match the AJW content I’ve been going through. It’s actually a pretty varied bit of stuff, owing to most of it being from a single card in March, I believe. I also found an additional ’93 match (Cutie vs. Bolshoi) that I threw on the “1993- Part Two” review.

The second match in particular is a real stand-out, and why I search through these shows for hidden gems- Dynamite Kansai’s kicks here are some of the most lethal shots I’ve ever seen.


(Jan. or Feb. 1994)
* Two of JWP’s greener wrestlers take a shot at each other. Sugo’s in a black Jobber Swimsuit, while Nouchi’s in the elaborate red, white & blue.

They trade the most basic of basics to utter silence, running the gamut of Jobber Offense, but Nouchi hits a Flying Splash for two to some mild applause. Nouchi dominates, then Sugo does, Nouchi selling a half-crab really well. She finally comes back and they struggle into a JB Angels armdrag that takes a couple tries. Nouchi works the arm for an hour, but Sugo hits running shoulderblocks like crazy and works the leg again. Nouchi does a sunset flip, takes a running knee in the corner, then hits a mule kick for two. She misses a Flying Cross-Body… and then SUGO does, so Nouchi hits a pair of Missile Dropkicks (one to the back) for the three (13:17).

Basic Rookie Stuff- a long, drawn-out match of very basic stuff like half-crabs. The technical work was okay, and they didn’t just sit in the same armhold endlessly, but it was pretty dead and slow until they started hitting flying stuff near the end.

Rating: * (pretty basic rookie match- it’d be fine if it was shorter)

(Jan. 1994)
* So it’s three of JWP’s top wrestlers, but with Candy as the obvious weak link. She’s got a ton of potential, but Devil especially will eat her alive. Candy’s in white, black & gold, and Kansai’s in yellow & gold. Devil’s in black, and Cutie’s in white & gold.

Devil lariats down Kansai to start, but Kansai no-sells Cutie’s DDT and hits her with the same, and Candy’s in for some running attacks. Kansai KILLS her with a kick and goes to work, the idol screaming and gaining sympathy heat. Devil & Kansai keep giving each other these death glares, letting you know the story. Kansai kinda lets Candy do her thing for a bit, but Devil interferes and hits another lariat. She goes for the press slam, but Candy lands on her feet and monkey flips her! But she tries a sunset flip and Devil just beats her ass, overthrow powerbombs her, and does this sick dragon sleeper/surfboard thing and Kansai quickly saves. Devil tortures Candy some more, and directs Cutie to continue, Cutie now in the rare position of “Elder Bully”. Devil even assists with the stretching while Candy wails. Kansai finally gets sick of this b------- and lariats Devil to force the tag-out, then the monsters bring each other down! And again! Kansai controls for a bit and it’s Candy/Cutie again, Candy hitting pinning holds. Kansai/Cutie next, but Cutie actually hits the Octopus Stretch… and Devil pushes on Kansai’s head! Both monsters miss lariats and Cutie Germans Kansai! But then Candy Germans Devil! ooooooh they gonna pay.

Lariat/Missile Dropkick combo knock Devil into her corner and the juniors throw kicks until Cutie hits a Dragon Suplex for two- Kansai saves. Kansai’s team reverses a double-whip, but she lariats Candy by mistake! Cutie takes a NASTY face-bump trying to land on her feet from a backdrop- Devil runs over everyone but eats a double-lariat, then Cutie slips out of Splash Mountain, gets Kansai to wipe out Candy with a kick, and Germans her! DDT & Flying Double-Foot Stop get two. Devil Guillotine Legdrop- two! Powerbomb! Assisted Powerbomb! Kansai’s in trouble, but dodges another Guillotine and Candy does an amazing runaround on Devil, doing a Missile Kick, eating a lariat, but hitting ROLLING GERMANS for two! Kansai’s Flying Headbutt gets the same, as do two backdrop drivers. Cutie stops Splash Mountain, and they hit a Doomsday Device Cross-Body for two. Guillotine Legdrop- another two! Devil’s running outta s---, and Kansai throws a couple of KILLSHOT head-kicks when she recovers first. And so Candy divebombs Cutie so Kansai can hit Splash Mountain for the three (20:23). Kansai has to be helped to her feet after all that, and Devil is just DEAD- they have to roll her unconscious body out of the ring after several minutes, after which I presume she will slumber beneath Mt. Fuji for another month.

Jumpin’ Jesus, what a match. Taking advantage of Candy’s lower status actually IMPROVED upon things, as now Cutie of all people looked like a bully, and the kid’s evasion tactics, screaming selling, and great comebacks paid off. The monsters kept lariating the bejeezus out of each other and Devil kept on adding punishment until invincible, overpowered Kansai finally just recovers first after all Devil’s moves are exhausted, and redmists her head with the damndest kicks I’ve ever seen and hits her finisher.

Rating: **** (really great story overall, with very little “filler” for that match length)

MARCH 1994:
* The following are all from March 1994, near as I can tell.

* Hiromi, the Best Rookie Ever from this year, gets a shot against a mid-tier JWP wrestler and Future Top Star. This is actually listed from 12.03.1994, so we have a real date. Devil Masami thanks the fans for coming to this small arena show. Hikari’s in a black leotard with lots of arm straps- very Toyota-esque- while Yagi’s in a black & pink Jobber Swimsuit.

Yagi gets a jobber dropkick frenzy to start, but Hikari sidesteps her and delivers one of her own. Yagi’s so lightweight that even Hikari can power her around, and she does some stretching, brawling and slams. Yagi actually does the bodyscissors reversal, then a sleeper to keep her elder down. Cross-body & crab keep on her, and Yagi does some of her judo and works the arm. Hikari has to get out of what I think is a keylock, then finally powers out with a backdrop. A pissed-off Hikari whips Yagi around the ringside area and slams her on the mat in a funny bit, then hits a big dropkick & Flying Cross-Body for two. Clipped to Yagi making a comeback, and she hits three Judo Flips in a row for two! She avoids a missile kick and hits a Flying Cross-Body of her own for two, but tries another whip and eats a powerslam and a Missile Dropkick, kicking out at 2.9. Hikari’s like “are you SHITTING ME?” and annoyedly slaps on a Rolling Cradle, not even bothering with the pinning part, and KILLS her with a German Suplex at (11:40 of 14:24 shown).

Hikari was unexpectedly great as being a bullying veteran, as she hauls Yagi around, powers her into stuff, reverses good judo holds with raw strength, and finally has had enough and EMPHATICALLY hurts her with a huge suplex after getting angry at all these kickouts.

Rating: ** (good Veteran/Rookie bout)

* Bolshoi tends to job hard on these shows, but I think Candy is much closer to her level, so this will be interesting. Candy’s in the white, black & gold again, and Bolshoi’s in mostly green & red.

Bolshoi Samoa Joes out of the way of a dropkick to laughter (man, he’ll swipe from ANYONE Japanese), and they trade quick stuff and basics. Bolshoi pulls on the hair repeatedly during stretching and does more goofy stuff to get the fans into it, really annoying Candy, then switches it up and just MMAs her with arm stuff. Candy finally makes a comeback six minutes in and soon does restholds, too, but Bolshoi runs across her back and missile kicks her into more restholds. Candy grabs the clown’s pom-pom for some comedy, so Bolshoi comes back with a ropewalk armbar all the way around the ring before hitting a JB Angels armdrag. Flying cross-body gets two, but Candy muscles her into a German, then cycles into Rolling Germans for two! Run-up cross-body gets two. Missile kick misses, and Candy avoids a plancha only to eat a tope suicida. In the ring, Candy reverses a Rock Bottom with a small package for two, but Bolshoi reverses a German for two, then Candy rolls back for two, and her own Tombstone is reversed to Bolshoi’s for two! Moonsault- two! Rock Bottom hits this time, but she makes the cardinal Joshi mistake of Going For A Move Twice, and this Moonsault misses, and Candy does a Japanese Leg Roll Cradle for the three (14:06).

Took ages before they did the “serious match” stuff, but the comedy antics and holds were at least well-wrestled and made for a bit of a story. Still a trifle more dull, but Bolshoi’s still pretty new, and Candy’s stuff looked good. They did the standard “losing person gets most of the offense” to a ludicrous degree, Bolshoi damn near dominating until the end, but the main issue was it was so long.

Rating: ** (fine enough undercard match)

* This WILDLY one-sided 8-woman tag is clipped pretty hard- it’s essentially the #1-4 (minus Devil Masami) versus Hikari and a bunch of rookies- I think Plum even outranks Hikari by this point. Kansai’s in yellow/blue, Ozaki’s in red, Cutie’s in white & Plum’s in lavender, while Hikari’s in black, Candy’s in white & black, Nouchi’s in red & blue, and Yagi’s in black.

Yagi gets killed to start, then Candy does- Ozaki hits a cannonball and glees in torturing her. The rookies divebomb her for the save, and Hikari uses the POPEYE PUNCH~~ to win a slugfest with Cutie. Cutie gets tossed around a bit, then Hikari cartwheel dodges Ozaki and dropkicks her about. They hit about nine billion dropkicks on her, trading off all the while, but she finally escapes and Kansai pounds on some rookies. Clipped to Hikari getting double-teamed repeatedly. Clipping abounds- Nouchi cross-bodies Cutie & Hikari octopus stretches Kansai. Headscissors! Quadruple Kick by the rookies! That gets a close two, but Kansai slaughters Candy. Cutie’s Flying Double-Foot Stomp hits Yagi, but the kid judo flips out and Hikari does a Moonsault Dodge into a Rolling Cradle for two. Moonsault- Plum saves! Splash from Candy hits knees and Ozaki’s Kneeling Powerbomb gets two. Cannonball misses but Plum runs in with a German to stop a tag. A mass effort stops Kansai’s Splash Mountain, and a Northern Lights Suplex gets two. There’s a brawl outside and the vets finally take things with Kansai clobbering Candy until Cutie’s Dragon Suplex gets the three (10:31 of 19:01 shown).

Kind of a fun fluff match, as the rookies got a ton of shine on tape while the veterans just waited their turn. This was obviously another “Hikari Showcase” as she looks good in defeat. It’s kind of funny watching the vets be stymied by all these double-teams and fast tags, and have to use careful tactics and running interference to finally bring one of the kids down.

Rating: **1/4 (fast-paced and with some good spots. Too clipped to get the full match but hard to hate)

* It’s JWP’s top two Idols teaming up against the Co-Ace Devil Masami, but her partner is the rookie Hiromi Yagi. Devil & Yagi are in black, while Cutie’s in white & Hikari’s in the black strapped gear. And we’re in that weird arena with the red curtain and the low-lying stands on the other side.

Hikari pushes Yagi around to start, but the judo-kid gets a sleeper and controls until Hikari powers out. Yagi gets some flash-pin attempts and Devil hits the press slam, just MILKING it like a pro. Overthrow powerbomb & crab keep it up, and they stay on her for a minute or two until knocking her too far and Cutie’s in. She hits knees and a Tombstone, going for a pin in the worst possible position, especially once Yagi bridges out hips-first, and the crowd laughs at the image. Dragon sleeper & backdrop suplex & Hikari adds Dropkick Spam- Cutie’s Flying Double-Foot Stomp gets two. Devil tries a powerbomb but Hikari lands on her, then finishes Yagi with a Moonsault at (10:29 of 17:39 shown).

Fine enough abridged match, mostly showing that Yagi is good and can hang for a while until the veterans can destroy her- even Devil couldn’t save the day.

Rating: ** (pretty standard clipped match)

* Interestingly, despite this being the #3 and the #5 star in the company in the company at this point, I can’t remember ever seeing them work a singles or tag match together. So of course it’s six minutes long, lol. The arena’s a decent size, but the upper decks are empty, making it look pretty podunk. Ozaki’s in the red fruit-rollup gear, while Plum’s in very light pastel lavender frilly stuff.

Ozaki pounces at the bell and tosses Plum into the wooden boards on the far wall, then hits as falling clothesline & DDT in the ring. She chokes away and acts real sarcastic-like to the ref, doing similar stuff repeatedly. Bulldog gets two. Plum reverses a crab to an armbar that Ozaki wails in, but Plum puts her up top and eats a Cannonball because of it. That gets two, as does a Powerbomb. Another is reversed to a DDT, and Plum gets an ugly takedown into a hold, but Ozaki tries for the Tequila Sunrise (Tiger/Dragon Suplex), Plum gets out, but Ozaki’s next try hits it for the pin (5:38 of 19:43 shown).

Rating: * (way too short and abridged to get a proper rating. Finish seemed kinda out of nowhere as a result)

(May 1994)
* High-ranked Ozaki takes on the rookie Nouchi in a shorter match. Ozaki’s in red, and Nouchi’s in that white/red/cyan one. And it’s that cool arena with the big theatre stage and curtain on it!

Ozaki, a real pro, jumps Nouchi early and drags her up the steps to the stage (inching them both past an obstacle), and bodyslams her on it, then strikes a pose. She beats on Nouchi in the ring and does a submission that’s equal parts casual and f------ painful-looking, holding it for ages, even biting Nouchi’s hands and tauntingly holding her hands close to the ropes. They bite each other’s feet and Nouchi mounts a mini-comeback, with Ozaki selling the holds more with disgust than with pain, like this is some sort of nuisance to her. Ozaki SLAMS her into the mat for two, demanding the audience’s applause for it, then counters a tornado headlock takeover with a backdrop, but misses the Cannonball Senton- Nouchi gets a victory roll for two, but Ozaki stuffs her comeback and hits a backdrop suplex hold for three (9:16).

Rating: ** (Ozaki’s so great- a completely one-sided bout, but she makes both her stretching and Nouchi’s seem fun with good character bits)

All in all, the first batch of this year’s JWP stuff is fine, inoffensive stuff. Most 1994 bouts so far have been very clipped and not a great showcase of full matches, though at least one was excellent.