Joshi Spotlight: AJW TV (Oct. 13th 1994)

AJW TV (Oct. 13th, 1994):
* So we’ve entered a strange bit of time in available Joshi matches, as we just started Tag League THE BEST 1994, but there’s two months before it ends and in the meantime there’s a dozen random JWP & LLPW bouts available, PLUS some shows I already reviewed fall here, such as the major Tokyo Dome show!

But for now, here’s another edition of the AJW TV show, with LCO fighting the monster squad of Aja Kong & Reggie Bennett, plus Double Inoue vs. Sakie Hasegawa & Toshiyo Yamada. This aired in October but was taped in August, as we seem to miss September ENTIRELY for AJW releases (I guess they made one commercial tape, with an interesting Manami/Sakie/Kyoko vs. Reggie/Aja/Ito match on it). But thankfully we’re back to Japanese commercials! Clipper, the chip-like snack with the kawaii mascot! A Japanese version of A Christmas Carol! And they announce Sakie Hasegawa’s new persona as the manga character brought to life- Blizzard Yuki! This would be them finally shooting their shot at making her a huge star.

They show clips from AJW’s September tour- one show has a Hotta/Minami duo pinning Manami Toyota with a great Flying Rolling Kick/Ligerbomb combo. And there’s Akira Hokuto as “Reina Yabuki” (her Mexican persona)- she & Hotta kill LCO in less than six minutes on one show (Yabuki hitting a Dragon Suplex to finish Mita), and a SECOND-ROPE DROPKICK of all things pinning Shimoda at 18:21 in another day’s show. Jesus, those are some major “House Show” endings. They also show clips from Tag League THE BEST (Part One) and Wrestlemarinepiad ’94, which is when I realized that they literally happened one day apart, which is insane given how hard-hitting some of those shows were.

* So now the Aja/Reggie mini-rivalry stops as they team up against the midcard psychos of LCO! Aja’s in yellow & black, Reggie’s in the orange top, and LCO are in red & gold.

Reggie no-sells a double-dropkick to start, then splashes LCO simultaneously in a unique opening, then tries a submission so basic it’s just “grab Mita’s arm and try to tear it off”. Aja keeps on it, and Mita just WAILS during most this whole bit. She escapes Reggie, who then tosses Shimoda around, and Aja adds a billion slaps. They double-team the hell out of Shimoda, and Aja bowls Mita over from an attempted comeback and now it’s some murder outside the ring! Aja piledriver gets two. Shimoda FINALLY gets a comeba– nope, Reggie clotheslines her. Shimoda springs out of the corner for a splash, Aja catching her but Mita forcing them over, but Aja just cross-bodies both right away.

Reggie misses an avalanche and Shimoda’s falling clothesline brings down Aja, but Reggie’s whipped into Shimoda and then clotheslines Mita over. Shimoda FINALLY ekes out a comeback by reversing a backdrop to a Tiger Suplex on Aja for two. Aja mountain bombs Mita & escapes, but Reggie misses a splash and takes Blazing Chops (she’s actually hunched over for one and Mita improvises one to the back) for two. Aja hits LCO with her metal can, but they dump the duo and hit the Assisted Plancha & Dive combo! But Reggie immediately lariats both down. Aja accidentally nails her with the can off Bret’s Rope, but Reg hits a double-suplex when LCO try to suplex HER. 2nd-Rope Splash gets two for Reggie- Mita saves, but Aja dumps her and the Reggie Rack finishes at (12:39 of ??? shown).

Holy JESUS. I’ve seen some one-sided bouts in Joshi, but nothing like LCO getting annihilated for ten minutes straight, every comeback being stuffed as the monsters just assault them at-will. Pretty crazy to see- what on Earth is the story HERE? Obviously some cuts were made (then announced 15:00 at 10:00 or so), but wow.

Rating: **1/2 (Good enough stuff in the match, but it was so one-sided it’s hard to rate super-positively)

* So the #1 contenders for the WWWA Tag Titles now team up against one of the champs, plus Sakie (notably, the two had a rivalry for much of the year). Sakie’s in an orange & red paint-splatter singlet, Yamada’s in silver & salmon, Kyoko’s in yellow & pink, and Takako’s in yellow & blue.

The Inoues dominate Sakie to start, hitting Kyoko’s early-match stuff. Quick tags set up stretching and SIX DDTs in a row- Jesus, AJW is worse than the U.S. indies for weakening that. Takako’s Tombstone w/ knees to the face gets two, but Sakie reverses on Kyoko to escape. Yamada kicks her ass with strikes, but promptly tags out and Sakie hits hooking clotheslines and a flying splash, which is all-new offense for her. They work the arm for a while until Kyoko slingshot dropkicks out- Sakie does well against Takako, but she & Yamada reverse on each other until a flying elbow smash nails Takako for two.

Takako dodges a kick and hits the Aurora Special (shoulder-mounted backdrop) for two- Kyoko misses the lariat and eats Enzuigiri Spam, but reverses a double-whip with a Slingshot Backsplash! Run-Up Flying Back Elbow gets two on Sakie, but she reverses the Niagara Driver with two Savate Kicks for two. Kyoko kills her with a lariat to stop an Uranage, and Takako’s backdrop is reversed to a Savate Kick, which is reversed to a Backdrop Hold, getting two for the idol. Super Chokeslam gets two. The Flying Knee gets two- Yamada saves. Double Inoue set up the Niagara Driver/Flying Knee killshot, but Sakie dodges and hits an Uranage on Kyoko! Two more get two, but Kyoko charges for a Run-Up Belly-To-Belly Superplex for two! Yamada saves and stops a Niagara Driver, so Kyoko settles for the lariat… for two! Finally they hit the Niagara Driver/Flying Knee at (13:07), Takako diving on Yamada to stop her from breaking up the pin.

Really, REALLY slow-paced “House Show Match”, albeit with good technique as always. Everyone here was really steady, but weren’t swinging for the fences at all, just doing by-the-numbers offense and very simple reversals. Though it still served the “Push Sakie” role, as she takes all of Double Inoue’s best stuff and either gets saved or kicks out until they land the real killer move for the finish. Yamada was honestly almost never in it, and mostly there to do saves.

Rating: **3/4 (slow pace and very basic, but they’re all really good so it’s still a good TV match)

All in all, a pretty ordinary TV show, with two tag matches featuring big stars- both were very one-sided, as if to set places as much as anything. What follows after this point is some scattered JWP stuff from two separate shows, plus a Spotlight on Debbie Malenko!