Joshi Spotlight: Las Cachorras Orientales vs. D-FIX (Moneyball Ladder Match)

Proof Joshi didn’t suck after 1996! Mostly because LCO remained awesome for years!

MONEYBALL MATCH:
D-FIX (Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU, w/ Police) vs. LAS CACHORRAS ORIENTALES (Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita)
(GAEA Japan, Dec. 15th 2001)
* So here we look all the way into the future, when GAEA was the biggest joshi promotion on Earth (in a scorched industry, to be fair) and the other companies kept losing talent there- at one point in the 2000s, almost all of the big stars were there (if as freelancers). And Ozaki’s formed an evil stable with a weird  cheating asshole named Police as their minion, with her & KAORU looking like a pair of trailer park MILFs, and they’re such a pair of b*tchpies that MITA AND SHIMODA now come off like lovable babyfaces, and they’ve come to kick some Japanese Peg Bundy tail. The match stipulation is effectively a Ladder Match (but I guess there’s also pins), but the winning object is just this big ball full of money, and it’s only a little bit off the mat, so you could stand on a chair and get it. Shimoda humorously implies in the pre-match that Ozaki’s too short to get it. The gear here has to be seen to be believed- LCO in their wild technicolor geisha & cowgirl outfits, and D-FIX in denim skirts & boots and lacy shiny tops (TOO lacy, as it turns out).

You have to ask if everyone’s fighting before the streamers are even removed from the ring? KAORU even moonsaults Mita from the second rope to the floor, but runs in to stop Shimoda literally using Police as a stepstool to get the ball. Everyone’s using weapons as a board & chair get involved, Shimoda hitting Mita by mistake and getting German’d. KAORU splatters LCO with a table-piece, but Mita gets the big neon yellow chair and tosses out light shots. I like the ball being so low- it means everyone’s scrambling because you can actually get it QUICKLY- LCO hits a suplex & DDT and Mita immediately swings the ball to Shimoda, and Police has to stop them. Ozaki keeps grabbing this long-ass pole to get the ball and Police openly interferes, and Mita bodychecks KAORU off the chair and whacks her with it. Ozaki is, um, having problems with her top- she’s scrambling to put herself back together after every move. Everyone takes a weapon to the ass and scrambles for the ball- Mita hilariously can put both her hands on top of it because she’s a giantess, but everyone’s so fresh that anytime someone gets close they’re deflected off-course by an enemy.

Shimoda cleverly grabs both D-FIX members so Mita can stand on the chair, but Police just blasts in and dropkicks her off- twice more she nearly has it but he’s in again. LCO are just like “f*ck it” and lay waste instead of going for the ball- Mita Buckle Bombs Ozaki while Shimoda grabs a chain. Mita hits a piledriver, but a powerbomb nearly has Oz grabbing the ball from that position, but Mita threads it into the Death Valley Driver… for two? You can get pinfalls in this? Police takes away Shimoda’s chain, but KAORU plasters Oz with the board by accident and she’s DVD’d AGAIN and that’s a pin at (5:42). KAORU gets the same but Police breaks up the pin, only for LCO to pull out their trademark “Guardrail Spot”, bringing in the railing, stacking the table-piece & chair on D-Fix, and flying off the top with the rail! They try to use the rail to balance Shimoda into getting the ball, but Police shakes her off the ropes, taking a huge bump himself when his tailbone hits the apron and he goes upside-down.

LCO bring in a ladder and stack it on D-FIX, but KAORU’s long legs just push it off and they hit the ropes. LCO eat ladder shots like nuts and D-FIX is back in the game, LCO bleeding and getting their cuts worked over. Fun bit as they pin Mita to the corner with a ladder but when Ozaki climbs up with a board Mita has her arms free and just casually Iconoclasms her onto the ladder, then Shimoda hits her Ax Kick, getting two- Oz saves by tossing a ladder onto her butt. Oz grabs the ladder again, but Mita CHARGES in and jabs it into Ozaki’s ladder to bowl her over, then Shimoda climbs, only to have KAORU brain her, just crushing a board over her head, then rolling her up off the ladder for the pin at (9:01). Ozaki celebrates with her arms out and Mita just DESTROYS her with the neon pink chair, shattering the seat off on impact. Someone hilariously keeps brandishing a t-shirt at her while she sells, and LCO goes to mess with KAORU so Ozaki can FINALLY cover up.

Mita promptly jabs Ozaki’s cut forehead with the pole, but Oz slugs Shimoda and uses the pole on her while KAORU bites Mita outside. A jagged board slices up Shimoda, and the two just start snarling and throwing punches, really selling the mess this has turned into. The ladder gets used on both, but Oz & Police double-strangle Shimoda with the chain while KAORU uses a ladder on Mita, then puts it around her own neck and starts spinning, taking out LCO, and Police bites Shimoda’s cut (I love how she gets p*ssed and tries to slug him in revenge even while she’s selling). D-FIX drape ladders against the ropes and hit stereo moves- KAORU’s suplex to Mita while Shimoda takes a HUGE sell off a powerbomb! LCO try to stop their climb and get jumped off the ladder (Oz cannonballing Shimoda), then chain Shimoda to the ropes and bludgeon her into a bloody pile- her selling here is FANTASTIC, just looking like she’s about to die. LCO manage to unchain themselves and take D-FIX off the ladder AGAIN, Shimoda paying back that cannonball, but KAORU knocks them both off the ladder with a missile dropkick.

KAORU climbs the ladder in the corner for some reason and Shimoda just hauls her down with a big superplex to a huge crowd pop (perfect timing, there). Police breaks up that pin and I want him to die now. He even beats on Shimoda outside while Oz locks Mita’s arm up with the ladder and KAORU brings in chairs and drapes another ladder across them- KAORU hilariously misses a moonsault by a mile (they’re RIGHT in the corner and she jumped way too far), so just hits a Michinoku Driver and Oz powerbombs Shimoda on top of her. D-FIX set up both ladders and climb, but Shimoda hauls back into the ring and SPRAYS RED MIST in KAORU’s face! Mita brings down Oz but can’t hit a DVD, so settles for an Ace Crusher, and when Police runs in, they grab him and give him a right proper beating for all that horsesh*ttery all match, Shimoda coming off the ladder and dropkicking him in the teeth. Mita hits a big powerbomb on Ozaki, but can’t get the DVD, again doing an Ace Crusher- Oz dodges Shimoda’s Ax Kick but just gets slapped down anyways. KAORU launches a ladder, but just clocks Ozaki with it, then eats an Ax Kick/DVD combo.

D-FIX get chained up with dog collars and dumped, but LCO take forever and get knocked off by Police again- Shimoda climbs again but gets a ladder to the back from a recovered KAORU, as does Mita. Shimoda climbs again and gets taken off, and KAORU hits a Michinoku Driver! That’s nearly it, as Oz bludgeons Mita to death with the chain, but when Police runs in to prevent Shimoda from interfering, she just CHUCKS him into the ladder, sending KAORU into a huge bump! D-FIX are still in those dog collars and are having issues, Oz keeps getting shoved off the ladder, and finally Mita gets sick of Police and wraps HIM up in the chain, then holds Ozaki down with him! And KAORU gets back in and Mita pulls HER down, and Shimoda finally unlatches the Moneyball for the win at (20:36)! LCO wins! Shimoda’s bloodied face and blank thousand-yard-stare completely sell the brutality, while Mita cheers on and holds the ball up.

Just a big, beautiful MESS of a match and I loved it. A modicum of psychology (ie. “go get the ball!” every time someone takes the lead), but the rest is just scrappy fighting, with weapon shots galore. Mita’s selling was excellent, acting tired from the get-go and doing this great “flopping over” sell constantly, while also carrying the lion’s share of the first half of the match for her team, and then Shimoda did a fantastic “I’m bleeding to death” sell, looking dead to the world while Oz went to work on her. KAORU spending a full minute setting up that big ladder moonsault and then missing and settling for something else was pretty funny- I mean she coulda just tried AGAIN, haha. Police’s constant interference paid off as he repeatedly got messed up for it, and I liked LCO being able to out-cheat D-FIX, throwing out stuff like the red mist. The ending was pretty clever, too- D-FIX kept having LCO outnumbered, and ladder matches are about positioning and controlling movement, so Mita just wraps up everyone possible and uses her weight and leverage advantage to keep down everyone as long as possible, allowing Shimoda to run the field!

Rating: ****1/4 (if it has a flaw, it’s SUPER long and never really has a “flow” beyond “Everyone doing everything they can to win”, but that’s fun in its own way sometimes)