GAEA JAPAN FIRST NIGHT IN OSAKA:
(Sept. 17th 1995)
* Another GAEA show, and this one is pretty stacked, featuring a VERY good Ozaki/Chigusa Street Fight, and JWP’s top stars Dynamite Kansai & Devil Masami teaming up against their own Hikari Fukuoka and GAEA’s KAORU! And even though it’s only 10 minutes of a 21-minute bout show, it’s an amazing one that I think would have gotten over huge had a lot of Western fans seen it during this time period.
HIKARI FUKUOKA (JWP) & KAORU (GAEA) vs. DYNAMITE KANSAI & DEVIL MASAMI (JWP):
* Here’s a fun Dream Match of sorts, mostly made by pairing KAORU up with Hikari against the Aces of JWP. Hikari’s in the leopard-print, KAORU’s in the shiny white outfit, Devil’s in purple & black, and Kansai’s in yellow.
We’re joined in progress to Hikari doing a tilt-a-whirl headscissors & rana on Devil for two, and KAORU adds a surfboard & half-crab. Devil Samoan drops Hikari to come back and does her own surfboard (man joshi crowds love that move), wowing people by adding a dragon sleeper, drawing in all the wrestlers. KAORU hits her Thesz press on Devil and leapfrogs Hikari into a stomp, leading to a Tiger Driver for two. KAORU Moonsault! Hikari Moonsault! Devil kicks out at two and avoids the next Moonsault, but Hikari lands on her feet, dodges Kansai’s lariat, then gets blasted by Devil’s- KAORU getting skooshed too! Then Kansai does one and backdrop drivers Hikari for two. KAORU runs in and also gets one, then the Aces hit stereo powerbombs! Hikari gets kicked to death, nearly getting counted down until she snaps awake at “8” and the ref counts her punch-drunk stance as being okay.
Kansai signals Splash Mountain to kill her off, but Hikari hooks her with an “under the arms” Rana reversal for two! Kansai shrugs off KAORU’s German attempts and laughs off her kicks, so KAORU ducks behind so Hikari can dropkick her into a proper German for two in a good sequence- Devil kicks out her leg to break the bridge, so they knock her off the apron, then do a Brainbuster into Hikari’s Flying Headbutt into KAORU’S Springboard Moonsault for two! Devil had to slide in to save! DOOMSDAY DEVICE SOMERSAULT DROPKICK! Kansai weakly kicks out- Moonsault Stomp by Hikari! Devil barely drags her off. They’re running out of shit and are frustrated, then Devil stops KAORU’s climb so Kansai aims for SUPER Splash Mountain, but Hikari hauls her off with a DDT off the top while Devil keeps getting knocked off by KAORU, who hits her Moonsault on Kansai- 1…2… DEVIL AGAIN! They get rid of her, but try a DOUBLE Moonsault, and miss! Double Guillotine Legdrops by Devil! The girls reverse another Stereo Powerbomb attempt, but Kansai helps Devil complete hers on KAORU. Now Hikari dives in for the save, so Devil press-slams her to the floor while Kansai hits Splash Mountain on KAORU for the three at (10:16 of 21:24).
haha, this was great! I wish it wasn’t cut to half the length because the last half was amazing for what it was. I LOVED those quick reversals into double-teams and all the threaded sequences- Kansai reversing Germans & kicks, then getting German’d and hit with a Brainbuster/Headbutt/Springboard Moonsault was amazing, as was this crazy succession of huge moves (Doomsday Somersault Dropkick & Moonsault Stomp) with Devil’s constant pin-breaking. Then Devil hits a double guillotine when the girls are down with their heads facing each other, with the kind of choreography you don’t even see coming- who else could make that spot look natural? And then the vets are too clever to fall for that, so Hikari is just tossed out of the ring with authority simultaneously with Kansai’s finisher, and that’s that.
Rating: ***3/4 (kind of a spotfest, but a mind-blowing one. If you showed this to contemporary fans in a tape-trading compilation set circa 1996 or so, all four women would be legends in online circles the way the Michinoku Pro guys were, easily)
THE STREET FIGHT IN FULL HOUSE:
CHIGUSA NAGAYO (GAEA Japan) vs. MAYUMI OZAKI (JWP):
* Ozaki’s street-fighting shitheel act continues, this time with GAEA’s top star as her opponent. Oz pinned Chigusa in the inaugural GAEA event thanks to chicanery and her typical lucky streak for flash-pins, thus setting up this one. Oz is undefeated in these Street Fights, having beaten Dynamite Kansai (JWP’s Ace) twice. Both are in a black t-shirts & jeans (Chigusa looking like the exact woman young Alison Bechdel is singing about in “Key Ring”), and Ozaki has black gloves on. I thought she’d dyed her hair red, but…
We’re joined in progress with Chigusa having gotten the better of Ozaki outside the ring, and drags her in via a friggin’ hangman’s noose, then hits her GAEA Main Event Sleeper. Oz is ALREADY bleeding, too- volumes of it. Chigusa, blood all over her arm, just releases and slugs away on what looks like a dead woman, getting two. Ozaki finally fights back up, but gets snap-suplexed and belly-to-bellied for two counts, and a sleeper drains the fight out of her again. Great bit as Ozaki’s counted down, but rises at “7” and THEN starts roaring and no-selling headbutts and ohhhhh fuck there’s as dog collar to the head. Ozaki bludgeons & chokes Chigusa with that, and there’s a funny bit where Chigusa tries to do the “Hooooohhhh that doesn’t hurt” thing, then starts having to sell because Ozaki puts some mustard on her swing, haha. The collar ends up around Chigusa’s neck and she’s dragged everywhere and hit with chairs, but she uses the rope and a roundhouse kick, then a powerbomb for two. Ozaki’s face is now merely caked with blood instead of the gusher she had earlier. Ozaki escapes the ThunderFire Bomb, but gets kicked in the head.
Chigusa, stymied, climbs but they both tumble to the floor when Ozaki tries a rana from there. Time for a walk’n’brawl, as Oz buries her under a wooden sign and throws chairs at it- Chigusa has to do the “walk of shame” back to ringside. Ozaki attempts a sunset flip powerbomb off the apron but it looks like shit- Chigusa just banged her ass against the ring apron. Cannonball off the middle rope on Chigusa, and they mess about for a minute, Oz bringing a table into the ring, but Chigusa backdrop suplexes her onto it and both are out. Chigusa recovers first and tries to piledrive Ozaki through the table, but it’s reversed to a DDT (bad camera angle shows Chigusa’s head missed the table by a foot). She tries another DDT, but Chigusa hauls her to the top rope and tries a running powerslam, only to be caught with the Tequila Sunrise (tiger/dragon suplex) for two!
Ozaki hits her Flying Cannonball to Chigusa’s back for two, but charges for a Manami Roll right into a Razor’s Edge! Chigusa tries one through the table (telegraphing it to the fans!), but Ozaki rolls her up for two. Chigusa powerbombs her on the table, knocking it over. She gets two, but Ozaki reverses the TF Bomb for a choke and the crowd FREAKS. Chigusa teases death but hoists herself up and backs Oz into the corner… but walks away and Ozaki pounces for another Tequila Sunrise! And another! And another! A fourth, with a bridge, gets TWO! Great lean on the bridge by Ozaki to put over her desire to win. Ozaki demands a count, and of course pounces the second Chigusa’s up at “9”. But the next time she tries it, Chigusa meets her with a lariat! And then hits two Tequila Sunrises in return and kicks her head off, milking repeated KO-counts as she’s out of energy. Oz manages to backfist her down, but they both climb on top of the table, fighting… until Chigusa manages a monster powerbomb off of it, and demands a count! 5… 6… 7… 8… Ozaki fights to her feet but collapses! 9! 10! Chigusa wins via TKO at (21:36 of 25:48)! Great ending there. Shocked they didn’t actually break the table though, haha.
A pretty typical “Dress Up Fight” brawl to start, but it had a pretty good flow, and the last five minutes were tremendous. A few spots looked like crap due to bad positioning or Chigusa babying the bumps she was going to take, but that’s probably safer. There weren’t many memorable spots (aside from the gory bladejob) until 15 minutes in, but they did a LOT of teasing of that table, making the spot much more memorable than if they’d done a ton of table moves- that it was actually the finish worked, too. Also I loved Chigusa fighting out of the sleeperhold, smashing Ozaki into the corner, and walking off just to get hit with the Tequila Sunrise Spam- that was such good timing and a momentum-whiplash by Ozaki. I liked them milking the counts as both just kept kicking out of EVERYTHING, and Chigusa had to give up her TF Bomb finisher and just hope to get something clean and hope for a 10-count again. And after all the brawling and strikes, she finally had the energy for that powerbomb off the table, and the extra crunch from that kept Ozaki down.
Rating: **** (a *** match that elevated itself big-time in 5-6 minutes)