Joshi Spotlight: Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda (Rematch in FMW!)

This video’s weird- runs the full match, then cycles back to mid-way, then does entrances again.

(FMW, 05.05.1993)
* So I had NO IDEA this match existed- a rematch from the Main Event of Dream Slam I, but on FMW turf! This is a stadium show and is non-title- given that it’s a rematch, I strongly suspect it’s to give FMW a win back as “payment” for jobbing out on the big interpromotional show, but you never know. That sucky FMW announcer is back (“To-yo-DAAAAEEEEEE!”). General consensus among most is that this is superior to the Dream Slam one (which I rated ****3/4). Yamada’s in blue, Manami’s in black (aw, no Giant Swan outfit like the first one), Combat’s in black & red, and Kudo’s in white & pink.

FMW attacks before the bell and we get an outside brawl (wow, big ringside area here) immediately, Manami quickly tagging out so Yamada hits the snap suplex & hold on Kudo, but Combat grinds away with her elbow to break it. Manami charges in and uses the JB Angels armdrag and a shotgun-like dropkick to the chest, but tries a suplex and Combat beats her down. Kudo works some holds and Combat just CRUSHES the back, splashing it, hitting a backbreaker, and doing a torture rack where she spins around, slamming Manami for two. Full “Fuck YOU!” bridge puts Manami on her feet and impresses the crowd. Combat skooshes her, but a whip turns into the Manami Roll for two! Yamada throws shots but gets stalled and Kudo tees off on her- both hold her down to prevent any steam- smart. Yamada finally headscissors out and throws kicks to splatter Combat, and Team AJW fires off running kicks in the corner and a double suplex- Combat kicks out at one. She body attacks Manami to come back, but she hits the Running No-Hands Springboard Cross-Body on Kudo! Kudo reverses a move to a crossface chickenwing, and Yamada draws boos for machine-gunning her in response, but Combat gets in and Kudo reverses a double-whip, landing the move after all.

Kudo grinds away on it while Combat throws Yamada around outside to prevent interference, but she gets away and kicks Kudo in the ass. An annoyed Kudo just stomps on hers in return as she walks away, and ass attacks and a flying shoulderblock get two. Combat’s flying elbow- another bridge-out! Combat knocks Manami into her own corner and Yamada reverses on Kudo with a German & Spinning Stretch Muffler. That one REALLY impresses- the FMW crowd probably hasn’t seen that one before. Manami hits Dropkick Spam & the Rolling Cradle for two. Yamada misses a kick, but Kudo hits Combat by mistake and Team AJW hits a missile dropkick into a German for a BIG near-fall! Kudo rolls Yamada up and escapes with Combat’s help, but Combat just eats a spinkick and Enzuigiri Spam! Snap suplex gets one, and Combat lands on her feet from a double-backdrop, but Kudo cross-bodies her by mistake- again, this team can’t work together and that keeps biting them in the ass. They boot Kudo away and hit a BIG Double Powerbomb on Combat for a big ouch- two-count.

Manami, frustrated, charges the monster, but unwisely tries another Manami Roll, and gets folded in half with a Powerbomb. Girl, you know better than to try that twice. She victory rolls out of a double-team for another close call, and a Flying Spinkick… hits Manami! Ooh, it swings both ways. FMW hits an assisted Flying Kneedrop, but the ref’s out of position- that gets two. Whip to the corner, but Manami dropkicks Kudo off the top and Yamada dives onto both opponents, then Manami goes for the Super Quebrada… misses by a mile but Combat acts like it grazed her. Double Flipover Backdrop to Kudo, and the hit the Stereo Flying Headbutts- Kudo kicks out! Manami Moonsault… misses! But Yamada pounces and they hit the Super Double Flipover Backdrop- NOW the Moonsault hits… Combat saves! Straightjacket Suplex gets two for Manami, then she aims for a German- Combat tips them over, converses with Manami, then they hit the epic “flipover bump off the lariat” spot from Dream Slam! Powerbomb/Flying Chokeslam! Yamada interferes, but Kudo finally deals with her… DOOMSDAY DEVICE TO MANAMI! Wow, I woulda totally guessed wrong at who would be holding and who would be flying off the top on that one. Kneeling Straightjacket Powerbomb… gets two! So Kudo finally hits the Tiger Suplex for the three, Combat dealing with Yamada outside (22:17).

Turned into a REAL hell of a match, here, full of that great “Big Match Joshi Finisher Escalation” with spammed out big double-team moves and everything. The opening was pretty slow, and some blame the lack of crowd noise on the fact that AJW (the unfamiliar duo to the fans here) just took a long beating to start instead of establishing credibility), but once they started surging out finishers, it got epic and didn’t stop. Kudo kicked out of the team’s 1992 finisher under her own power, and various double-teams went any which way and made the match unpredictable. Plenty of teases and “the move fails the second time you try” to boot. I actually didn’t like it as much as the Dream Slam match, but i liked that better than most (also, it’s possible since it was so early in my modern joshi watchthrough that I found the offense so unique that I overrated it).

Rating: ****1/2 (one of the best matches of the year, again)

FMW stuff, particularly for Joshi, isn’t easy to find on YouTube, so there is the occasional true gem like this that I didn’t know existed or was too hard to find. Terrific stuff, though- proof that these are some of the best in the world for the time. Combat wasn’t on their level, but knew what she was and knew how to do it, so she added to things instead of held them back, too.