Joshi Spotlight: JWP Neo Street Fight (Kansai vs. Ozaki)

This damn match has 3-4 “Holy fuck, who agreed to THAT?” spots in it.

JWP HARD CORE GIG:

(Feb. 25th, 1995)
* Welcome to another set of JWP matches, this time from the first three months of 1995! This features a handful of throwaway bouts to start, but ends with the absolute best goddamn Street Fight I’ve ever seen save Triple-H/Foley. This match is INSANE, as diminutive Mayumi Ozaki pulls out some of the most Satanic evil shit in wrestling against the bigger, stronger Dynamite Kansai. It’s proof of how weirdly good JWP can be, where hordes of matches that “go way too long” or “Matches that would be ****+ but they wanted to give the rookies lots of match time” will suddenly be capped off with one of the best matches of the entire year.

CUTIE SUZUKI (JWP) vs. KAORU (GAEA Japan):
* Another “Give GAEA some awareness” match, as now it’s Cutie’s turn to go up against KAORU, who beat Mayumi Ozaki not too long before this. The video length is a bit intimidating, but KAORU has surprised me before. Cutie’s in white, KAORU’s in black, like normal.

Cutie throws a slap after some big, dramatic lockups, and KAORU elbows her down and adds some of her own and they tumble to the floor. Cutie gets a German back in, but KAORU controls with nasty hair-pulling and the like. Nothing much goes on and KAORU takes a full minute outside the ring while Cutie talks smack. Double hair-pull back in the ring and they actually hit the mat because they refuse to let go. KAORU uses the hair for a minute, then Cutie does it for two as they kill more time. And then we’re magically in another segment as KAORU hits a Thesz press, backdrop & two Moonsaults for two! Cutie shoves her off for trying another, but KAORU gets a torture rack into an inverted Samoan drop and a surfboard, and we’re back to stretching and “sticking fingers in the face” clutches. Crowd brawl kills another minute and KAORU sits in a chair in the ring to wait for Cutie to head back, and they kill ANOTHER minute getting rid of that!

KAORU misses a flying splash and takes a missile kick, but a German gets two. Backdrop superplex gets two for Cutie when KAORU climbs and now we’re FINALLY into the big moves! But she goes for the Dragon Suplex and settles for a cross-armbreaker as we slow it down again. Oh Christ a crowd brawl again. At least Cutie pays back the “sitting in the chair” spot from earlier. Oh god more holds. This stuff belongs in the first 5 minutes, not the last 5. KAORU gets a DDT, but Cutie hits a dragon sleeper & bridging fallaway slam for two. Missile kick & German get two. KAORU knocks her off the top and hits a pescado & Flying Stomp for two, swiping Cutie’s big move. Cutie eats and armbar but gets a German for two, then misses a cross-body- La Majistral by KAORU- two! Leg-trap backdrop hold for two. Springboard Moonsault… hits knees! Dragon Sleeper gets two for Cutie! See, NOW they’re trying for the finish and it’s good! Cutie’s cross-body hits this time, but KAORU rolls through for another near-fall. KAORU hits a piledriver for two, but they fight for flash-pins until Cutie hits a loose Dragon Suplex for two, and they fall off the top rope in a pile as time expires at (30:00).

UGGGGHHHHHHH all that time-killing. This felt more like a hair-pulling exhibition for the pervy uncles in the crowd than a match at first- fun stuff in small doses but they just did it ENDLESSLY here, and then they very awkwardly transition to a new “segment” of the match, just stopping the stretching and instead going for a whip and hitting big moves. And then you get too “see the puppet’s strings” over and over again as they use every time-killing trick in the book (restholds, crowd brawling, “keeping them from getting in the ring”, etc.) to hit thirty minutes, without ever looking like they’re trying to actually WIN until the last few minutes. At least that part was pretty good- the crowd bit on KAORU’s La Majistral.

Rating: * (even Larry Zbyszko would tell them to hurry it up. Maybe 8 minutes of actual “important offense” in the whole match, but like… it’s a 25-minute DUD with a 5-minute *** match tied to it. Hard to rate)

HIKARI FUKUOKA & TOMOKO KUZUMI vs. REIKO AMANO & TOMOKO MIYAGUCHI:
* Rookie mayhem as Hikari has to lead this one as the dominant wrestler. She’s in her Tarzan gear, Kuzumi’s in white, and their opponents are in black & blue (I don’t know which is which). This is joined in progress and clipped.

Hikari makes like Ozaki to start, murdering the rookie in blue, then shrugs off the black-clad rookie’s attempts to interfere and drags her in for some punishment. The kid tosses forearms and Hikari has this great amused, defiant look as she grits her teeth to avoid letting her know it hurts. She slaps the rookie around, then hits a GIGATON slap that drops her to the mat. Clipped to the blue one getting some shine on her, but Hikari laughs off her desperate windmill slaps and puts HER down with one, too. Backdrop suplex & figure-four keep it up, and she even catches the rookie trying a cross-body. Hikari Fukuoka doing power spots- now I’ve seen everything. She dropkicks the other kid off the apron to be a shit, then finishes with two missile dropkicks to complete the slaughter at (4:40 of 15:08 shown). Christ, this went FIFTEEN MINUTES live? What we got was a complete slaughter.

Rating: 3/4* (hilariously one-sided beating with Hikari being a complete shit- she’s actually AMAZING in this role)

DYNAMITE KANSAI, MAYUMI OZAKI & SUMIO TOYAMA vs. DEVIL MASAMI, CANDY OKUTSU & HIROMI YAGI:
* A 6-woman tag featuring the company’s top three stars, plus Toyama the rookie jobber on Kansai’s side, then two fairly-great rookies on Devil’s. Hard to say who has the advantage, as either rookie can kill Toyama but one side has two top stars on it. Toyama actually debuted for AJW’s Class of ’88, but left due to injuries and re-trained with JWP. Kansai’s in yellow, Ozaki’s in red, Toyama’s in orange & black, Devil’s in black, Candy’s in black & white and Yagi’s in black & pink.

Yagi gets her ass beat for two straight minutes by all three opponents, then Toyama gets the same treatment- Devil then crushes Ozaki with a lariat & overthrow powerbomb, and she & Kansai lariat each other down in their usual spot. Candy accidentally missile kicks Devil, but the Aces lariat each other AGAIN, and she leaps onto Kansai for two in a cute bit. Candy sticks & moves on Kansai, but she eventually no-sells a DDT and now it’s Candy being beaten. Toyama stretches her out, but Yagi tries on her- Kansai interferes and Oz hits a cannonball onto her. Great bit as Yagi rolls up Kansai from a lariat and the rookies get some shine on her with speed. And then in a non-descript crab-hold, Kansai eats a GUILLOTINE LEGDROP from Devil! Now THAT’s how you let the rookies put their offense on! Kansai takes it for a bit, but gets sick of that shit and throws kicks- Oz powerbombs Candy for two. Toyama & Candy go, but Devil kills Toyama with clotheslines and we go to an outside brawl.

Yagi hits a flying splash & German on Toyama for two-counts, then hits her judo-flip and a missile kick on a clearly exhausted Toyama, who dodges a second and hits chokeslams for two. But the vets don’t let her rest, and she’s left hitting MORE stuff until Yagi reverses on her and Candy hits Rolling Germans for two- Ozaki saves. Toyama FINALLY gets out of there and Kansai hits her corner lariat to a pop, but runs into a missile kick trying another. Cute bit as Kansai no-sells Candy & Yagi, but tries a double-lariat only to be double-tripped for two. Devil sleepers Kansai, but eats a backdrop & Ozaki hits a kneeling powerbomb for two, but then tries a Manami Roll of all things and eats a HUGE Powerbomb from Devil for two! Triple-Powerbomb gets two. Kansai runs in after a double-team and Candy gets a big pop for turning a lariat into a German. Devil Guillotine Legdrop gets two, but Kansai swings a kick into her head and calls for Splash Mountain! Devil gets onto the ropes to block it… only to be held there by Ozaki, so Kansai hits SUPER Splash Mountain… for two! The rookies dove in and saved! Everyone fights, but Candy hits a Run-Up Plancha to Kansai. Hilarious bit as Yagi tries to pull the dead Devil into their corner but can’t, so Candy has to help her. But then Candy flies right into Kansai’s kick, and eats a backdrop driver- Yagi saves, but that’s it- Splash Mountain finishes Candy at (23:08).

So this one was clearly more about “give the rookies some ring-time”, as Toyama in particular is in there for AGES, visibly being bagged and forced to haul herself through various sequences that don’t look so great as a result. Seeing the rookies get Kansai to sell for them was great, though- they did a good job making all their stuff look like “clever rookie” reversals on the veteran. The final 4-5 minutes were great, though, with Devil/Kansai showing why they were the best, the mother of all moves killing Devil, and some good tag psychology as the rookies have enough “go” to break up tags, so Kansai finally has to smash them to pieces to bring one of them down- Devil lying on the apron like a corpse, unable to help.

Rating: ***1/2 (got very good, with big moves and good team psychology)

JWP JAZZ & SOUL:
(March 17th 1995)

FUSAYO NOUCHI vs. HIROMI YAGI:
* Rookie fight between Nouchi, in white & red, and Yagi, in a black & pink one-piece. Huh- that might be the first time I haven’t seen her in the “sports bra & shorts” look.

Simple catch-wrestling starts us off, Yagi getting a good reaction for a hiptoss from a test of strength position. Nouchi mostly controls, but I’m digging how it seems like they’re actively resisting and taking every available limb. Aaaaaaand then they do the technical stuff I dislike where they just trade simple armbars and kill time. They exchange reversals out of the corner and more Jobber-Fu, then Nouchi holds a Boston crab and bow & arrow for forever. Nouchi spams cross-bodies in a weird bit (Yagi has to awkwardly jump up just to take another one). Flying one gets two- Yagi rolls her over for one. Yagi hits five judo flips in a row and two missile kicks for two. Nouchi gets a rollup and dropkick, then a backdrop suplex and two missile dropkicks of her own for the three (13:55). Very anticlimactic finish to a very boring match.

Rating: * (these things are recappers’ nightmares- ten minutes where nothing interesting happens and they just lie around and then hit transition moves for the win. They blew an interesting start thanks to “Rookie Stuff”)

NEO STREET FIGHT:
DYNAMITE KANSAI vs. MAYUMI OZAKI:
* The main event of this show appears to be a no-rules Street Fight between Kansai and the #3 star in JWP, Ozaki. Ozaki is particularly gifted when it comes to any match where she’s allowed to cheat and use weapons, so this appears to be a dream for her- a real way to close the gap between her & the Ace. And she attacks Kansai on her way to the ring to prove this- both women are in street clothes, really pulling off the “unsanctioned FIGHT” nature of this bout. Oz has some bandanas randomly tied around her jeans like Chachi in “Happy Days”, Doc Marten shoes and a vest, while Kansai looks like she just came out of an army surplus store.

So Oz immediately goes for strangulation with a chain, but they get into a tug-of-war in the ring, Kansai finally hitting a backdrop and working Ozaki’s neck with holds. They brawl outside, Ozaki winning by using the chain to hang Kansai off the apron, cranking the shit out of it in a variety of ways. Oh yeah, here comes the chain-wrapped fists. Ozaki’s wild eyes and huge smirk, combined with Kansai flinging her head away on every shot, really sells the moment. Kansai gets her ass beat in and out of the ring until she finally catches Ozaki and dumps her over the top, then piledrives her on a chair! Then one of her seconds unthreads the friggin’ TOP ROPE and Kansai drags it outside to choke Ozaki with it! Well there’s your signature spot, right there. They disappear into the crowd as the ring girls desperate try to keep the ropes from tangling and… oh geez they’re fighting on the stairs leading down to the street, haha. Then they take a safe tumble down those and end up OUTSIDE, Kansai clotheslining Ozaki into a support column. Kansai hammers her again then drags her up the stairs through the now-jampacked audience at the top of the steps in a great visual.

Finally back in the ring after 4-5 minutes, Kansai hits this glorious swinging backdrop suplex, flattening Ozaki for two. She signals Splash Mountain, but Ozaki spins out of it with an armdrag and hits a Tiger Suplex for two! Oh, there’s that chain again- Ozaki ties Kansai’s face to the post, leaving her completely helpless against a pair of chairshots and a shitload of running boots to the face. Oh that’s just mean. Chain-wrapped chair and facecrusher off the guardrail keep up the torment, and NOW we finally have blood. Oh it’s everywhere, too- full crimson mask as Kansai gets a dog collar placed around her neck and is dragged around, putting the blood on display for every paying fan- this is why Oz is God-Tier. Not only does she bite the cut, but she SPITS BLOOD at the ref for admonishing her- jesus christ that woman. Three DDTs in a row get two and the crowd roars, Ozaki looking up with blood trickling down her chin, all pissed off.

Kansai is just POURING blood still, looking like she’s about to keel over from blood loss, and the kickout gets the fans into it, chanting “KAN-SAI!” while Ozaki runs around and throws shots, the chain clattering with every move so it sounds more devastating. And BOOM! Lariat reversal! Kansai staggers to her feet and hits more with a chain around her arm, and keeps building up more and more with each shot until Ozaki’s flipping over on the sell-jobs. I love how Kansai’s got her comeback going, but is still rubber-legged and hundred-yard staring the entire way, like her mind is controlling a dead body. She wraps the chain around her ankle to deliver some kicks that dump Ozaki and buy her some time. She throws a table into the ring and plans a big move, but Ozaki teases the crowd by fighting out of it, and they end up in a slugfest instead… then Ozaki goes for Tequila Sunrise (tiger/dragon suplex), Kansai fights out, but swings right into it again- that gets two! Release powerbomb on the flattened table- two! Ozaki tries a Manami Roll, ending up RIGHT in Splash Mountain position, but slides out… and Kansai redmists her head with a kick to buy herself more recovery time! Ozaki gets an “8” count before she’s up. Backdrop gets two and Kansai’s had enough- she sets the table up again. HUGE piledriver through the table! But Ozaki STILL kicks out at two! SPLASH MOUNTA— oh fuck, the armdrag reversal again- Flash pin… and OZAKI WINS!!! (22:30). Holy fuck what the hell!?

This was bloody FANTASTIC. They took every garbage match known to man and added their A+ acting & wrestling skills to it, turning what could have been a random bloodbath and made it incredible, swinging the momentum all around and giving us some great vicious bits. The trick with matches like this is being memorable when the entire thing is violent, and “getting into a fight in the entrance to the arena” and “using the entire top rope as a strangulation device” are exactly how you do it- iconic spots that people will remember for years more than “they punched each other fifty times and bled”. And that BLOOD SPIT- it wasn’t even this giant spot, it was just Oz being all “haha, fuck you” but it was SO nasty. And that ending completely floored me- they built it up PERFECTLY For Kansai to finally murder this evil hag once and for all, getting her sweet revenge by teasing that damn table spot a full four minutes once it’s set up in the ring… but then Ozaki not only KICKS OUT, but reverses Kansai’s finisher again, catching her because it’s been a bloodbath and anything can win. I get that, but man I still would had the piledriver end it. But Ozaki’s now put over incredibly strongly as Kansai takes another big loss.

Rating: ****3/4 (so, SO close to hitting the full monty- remember that I’m not a huge fan of brawls or weapon matches and I still went this high. This is easily one of the greatest Street Fights I’ve ever seen)