Typhoon & Shinja vs. Genichiro Tenry & Ultimo Dragon AND Koji Kitao & El Gigante (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s weirdest side-matches. This time some stuff Maffew showed me- possibly the greatest disparate bunch of dudes ever, all from a one-night tag tournament in Tenryu’s WAR promotion in Japan! Even better, there’s Buddy Rogers vs. Haystacks Calhoun from 1961, and Antonio Inoki versus the famous “Fat Motorcycle Twins”.

KOJI KITAO & EL GIGANTE vs. TYPHOON & THE GREAT SHINJA:
(One-Night Tag Tournament, Wrestle Association R, Japan, 12.08.1995)
* Maffew got this one for me, so you can blame him, lol. Gigante you know as the most hopeless wrestler ever; Kitao is infamous for the 1991 match where he & Earthquake shot on each other, and was a failed yokozuna-level sumo (promoted just to “have a native Sumo at the top level”), retiring in disgrace after never having won a tournament and feuding with his stable bosses (sumo is dirty as FUCK, though). Typhoon is from the WWF, and… Earthquake’s partner, so that’ll be interesting. The Great Shinja is Akio Sato of the Orient Express (in the shittier original version), and was also Hakushi’s manager Shinja in the WWF. Gigante’s in red shorts, Kitao’s in a white gi, Typhoon’s in his WWF gear (and pretty much exactly the same size as Kitao), and Shinja’s in a white shirt & pants that just make him look like someone’s dad who just wandered into the ring.

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Joshi Spotlight: The Beauty Pair

Beauty Pair’s signature song, aka “Every anime theme song during the 1970s”.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- THE BEAUTY PAIR:
JACKIE SATO
Real Name: Naoko Sato
Billed Height & Weight: 5’8″ 160 lbs.
Career Length: 1975-88

MAKI UEDA
Real Name: Makiko Ueda
Billed Height & Weight: 5’6″ 136 lbs.
Career Length: 1975-79

-Now this is a really deep dive into the history of Joshi- many fans online have no doubt at least HEARD of the Crush Gals, and how big they were in Japan in the 1980s, but it’s much less-known that they were begat (begotten?) by the Beauty Pair- Jackie Sato & Maki Ueda. Both groups were Joshi tag teams who were also “Idols” of a sort- becoming icons to teenage girls and even selling their songs!

Of the two, Sato is by far the most famous and important, so this is largely a bio on Sato herself- she was the one whose career lasted longer, involved a push as AJW’s top star, and became central to another whole company (the first incarnation of Joshi Women’s Pro-Wrestling- JWP). Sato herself was a basketball player who turned to pro wrestling, and became the biggest star in joshi, though Ueda actually became WWWA Champion first.

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El Gigante vs. The Great Muta (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s most unusually-booked matches! Or just random stuff on YouTube I found! First up, one of the most disparate matches ever in terms of the gulf in workrate between the two competitors. Plus one of those “Split up two tag teams and have them wrestle each other” WWF matches that I love, the Beverlies taking on the weirdest JTTS duo ever, and then one of WCW’s weirdest Jobber Matches- an 8-man tag mixing the Quebecers, Roadblock & Greg Valentine together.

As always, WWF-owned clips are non-kosher to publish on the Blog, but you can find them easily enough on YouTube.

THE GREAT MUTA vs. EL GIGANTE:
(08.02.1995)
* Oh this just looks fascinating. Keiji Mutoh is at the peak of his abilities here as the Great Muta, and he’s up against the most hopeless man to ever have wrestled. Gigante just LOOKS awkward, being all gangly and 7’7″, especially in his little blue gym shorts. Muta’s a huge star in his black pants and black & white facepaint. Entrances and interviews take up a HUGE amount of this, as they’re clearly building it up as a huge deal.

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Joshi Spotlight: JWP Thunder Queen Battle II

 

Full Playlist here!

JWP THUNDER QUEEN BATTLE II:
(20.11.1993)

* This is yet another big Joshi show; actually the third last really big one of the year- only Wrestlemarinepiad ’93 and St. Battle Final come later. This is a sequel of sorts to the first TQB from the Summer, which had the famous “Multi-Person Iron Man Match” that saw JWP pull out a last-minute victory against AJW. Here, we feature a ton more Dream Matches, with more focus placed on singles contests between people who haven’t fought before.

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: Hokuto’s ridiculous run in 1993 continues with a match against Mayumi Ozaki, we get Manami Toyota versus her Non-Union JWP Equivalent in a match over ****, and one of the best tag performances you’re gonna see, courtesy of Devil Masami against old rival Chigusa Nagayo’s team. This show kicks some serious ass.

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Andre the Giant, Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Kenta Kobashi, Toshiaki Kawada & Kikuchi (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s oddest Dream Matches! Two in one week, no less! Tonight we’ll see a “WTF?” Old-Timers vs. Rookies match as two of the Four Pillars face some washed-up megastars, and some WWF hossery from various giant dudes based off of historical & mythological figures! More Berzerker- challenging his counterpart, the Barbarian! Also the Warlord versus Hercules!

Once again, WWF-owned YouTube clips get the Blog into trouble, but they’re not hard to find with a simple search.

ANDRE THE GIANT, GIANT BABA & DORY FUNK, JR. vs. TOSHIYAKI KAWADA, KENTA KOBASHI & TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI:

* Okay, now this is just strange. I figured Baba was only in the “comedy matches” at this point, as he looks about as unintimidating as you can possibly look while being nearly as tall as Andre is, but there you go. He’s got his standard “broad and wide torso that nonetheless has all the ribs exposed like he’s a starvation victim” physique, with the lil’ tiny bird arms, and red trunks. Andre’s in a blue version of his regular gear, while Dory’s in blue- he’s a HUGE legend in Japan and deeply respected for his work with Baba and others. Kawada’s the Grumpy Kicking Asshole (ignoring Dory’s handshake attempt), Kobashi’s a young up & comer not quite into his big push, and Kikuchi’s his tag partner- a guy with a GREAT wrestling physique (Dynamite/Savage-style size & body), but who never got a serious push after that tag team. He’s instantly recognized as the “polite Young Boy wrestler” by him gleefully shaking Dory’s hand.

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Abdullah the Butcher vs. Zeus (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more bizarre finds of “what can I find by typing random names into YouTube?” (and also some requests from sadistic BOD members). This set sees a match between two of the worst workers of all time clearly booked by a monster, along with some unusual WWF matches- the Colossal Connection vs. The Rockers, plus a certain legendary JTTS worker “Huss”-es his way in!

Once again, WWF YouTube videos are non-kosher to post here, but you can find them pretty easily.

ZEUS vs. ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER:
(World Wrestling Council, 1990)
* OH MY GOD SOMEONE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN!!! This is in Puerto Rico, a pretty wild territory (a murderous one, even), with the famous blood ‘n’ guts wrestler Abdullah facing off against Zeus, following his WWF run, which was so bad he wasn’t even trusted to do a solo match with Hogan in a big way. They look like a pair of “Fist of the North Star” villains fighting- Zeus roided to the gills and in silver & black pants, and Abdullah this scarred-up monstrosity, baggy pants hoisted up to his tits. I mean, at least Zeus LOOKS like a star.

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Joshi Spotlight: Tomoko Watanabe

One of those wrestlers who doesn’t seem great on most cards, yet will have one of the most buckwild brawls you’re ever going to see at random. Ever wanna see someone take a bump so insane in Korakuen Hall that I don’t even wanna spoil it? Look here!

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- TOMOKO WATANABE:
Other Names: ZAP-T
Billed Height & Weight: 5’3″, 161 lbs. (it shifted a LOT, though- she was slender in the early ’90s, chubby later and really wide in the late ’90s)
Trainer: Jaguar Yokota
Career: 1989-today (still active)

-Tomoko Watanabe is one of those wrestlers who was quite good at times and has hit near-***** in multiple tag bouts, but has the bad luck of having some of the worst matches on the best Joshi cards of all time, owing to the Botchamania Highlight Reel that was the early part of her career. She was… very clearly the worst wrestler of the “Class of 1989”, with Sakie Hasegawa being the obvious future superstar, and Kaoru Ito being better than Tomoko and ending up the Ace when AJW ran out of stars- both were a lot more athletic than the squat Tomoko. But still, she was okay! Eventually! I mean, it took a while!

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Giant Gonzalez vs. Nailz (and other Dream Matches)

It’s time for more Dream Matches! Some of which are unironically good! We start off with one of the most infamous combinations of poor workers in history, and go from there.

Note: I skip YouTube links for the WWF-owned stuff, since I believe it demonetizes the blog.

EL GIGANTE vs. NAILZ:
(New Japan Pro Wrestling, 1994 G-1 Climax)
* Wearing black shorts and with a curly mullet, the 7’7″ Jorge Gonzalez was given a “Freak Show” match or two in New Japan, and here his opponent is a real shocker- NAILZ, fresh from being fired by the WWF for attacking Vince McMahon in a dispute over money (told hilariously here by Bret Hart). This is, quite literally, the worst match I can imagine putting together- Nailz was an absolutely horrendous worker whose offense consisted of choking with one hand and choking with two, and he’s up against probably the worst professionally-trained wrestler in the world. A guy as big as Nailz not even coming up to a guy’s collarbone is a pretty astounding sight, I will admit.

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Joshi Spotlight: Flying Dangerous vs. Aja/Sakie, & JWP on TV!

Hostess Roll Toyota runs wild!

Something a little different today, as I could only find one Tag League match from a particular show, but also found an episode of Champ Forum TV featuring JWP matches from 1993 as well! So it’s a double-whammy today!

“TL;DR: What’s the Big Deal?”: The three best wrestlers in AJW in one tag match, with the other one being a rookie phenom who can hold her own. Plus an interesting look at JWP in “normal people” interviews and that ***** Bull Nakano/Devil Masami match I’ve reviewed before!

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Andre the Giant, El Canek & Villano III vs. Yokozuna, Bad News Brown & 2 Cold Scorpio (and other Dream Matches)

This is like what happens when you hit “Random” in Fire Pro.

RANDOM DREAM MATCHES:
* So randomly searching YouTube for stuff, I found some true gems and some weird stuff, and decided to make a thing of it. This first one is just BONKERS and it got a great reaction when I posted it in the live thread a week back, so I had to share it here. Some are ironic “LOLWTF THOSE guys wrestled!?!” while others are legitimately good. A few of these are WWF & WCW matches posted on YouTube, so I won’t post them here (it demonetizes the blog or somesuch thing), but they’re easy to find.

ANDRE THE GIANT, EL CANEK & VILLANO III vs. KOKINA MAXIMUS, BUFFALO ALLEN & BLACK SCORPIO:
(Universal Wrestling Association, Mexico, 03.05.1992)
* Yes, it’s YOKOZUNA, BAD NEWS BROWN & 2 COLD SCORPIO! Fighting ANDRE, plus Mexican legend El Canek (one of the few guys to slam Andre) and Villaino III (elder brother of IV & V). This is like what happens if you hit “Random” in Fire Pro to make your teams- Andre dressed in a red singlet teaming up with fighting Yokozuna, Bad News Brown and 2 Cold Scorpio! Andre is BEYOND washed up at this point, while Yoko is almost ready for his WWF run, being not quite as fat as he’d be in his 450-lb. debut. Andre’s in a red singlet, Canek’s in white, and Villano’s in blue. Kokina’s in black trunks, Allen’s in his usual black, and Scorpio is wearing a yellow mask and long tights- he’s got a great physique here, too.

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Joshi Spotlight: LLPW Women’s Sparkling Fireworks

Thankfully, this uploader (Joshi Puro Oshi) puts all their stuff in a playlist.

LLPW WOMEN’S SPARKLING FIREWORKS (LLPW vs. AJW):
(11.09.1993)

* This show has popped up a couple of times during these Spotlights, as I recognized this extremely distinctive arena (looking like a high school gym with high bleachers on one side), but didn’t realize that these matches were all from the same show. This actually precedes the mega-show LLPW vs. AJW: Nagoya Super Storm by a couple of weeks, meaning this is much less of a big deal. But in that, you kind of get some freedom- silly matches, squashes, true rarities, etc. The Main Event is the cap-off to the Akira Hokuto/Rumi Kazama mini-feud that’s sprouted up over these shows during the summer months, while the Ace of LLPW is in a unique tag match right before the main, and AJW’s Ace is facing a jobber.

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: So the interesting thing from a “wrestling nerd” perspective is all these stars you rarely find on these shows otherwise, plus things like utter squashes. LLPW is throwing mid-tier star up against top-tier AJW foes, but also dumping many of their lower-tier stars in one-sided contests against big names. Some of the matches are clipped, but not by much.

The crowd here is REALLY sparse at first, with empty chairs seen everywhere. And there’s four weirdos who spend all the matches sitting in the aisle while facing the crowd, then stand up to block the fans during entrances. Are these out-of-work train workers?

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Joshi Spotlight: Tag League THE BEST- Part One

AJW TAG LEAGUE THE BEST 1993- PART ONE:
(10.10.1993):

And as we wind down the crazy-ass 1993 in Joshi, here comes the end-of-year Tag Tournament once again! Except this time… it’s totally random-ass. Like, NONE of these people are regular partners! Except for LCO, I guess. The top teams in AJW are Toyota/Yamada, Hotta/Takako & Bull/Aja, and now they’re all split up. But now we get the debut of a NEW Big Gaijin star in AJW (the incomparable Reggie Bennett), and a trio of tag matches so random they look like a WCW “Lethal Lottery”- except all the wrestlers are good so it should be rad.

“TL;DR- What’s The Big Deal?”: The best wrestlers in the company putting their “big show” efforts into their matches, producing some of AJW’s better stuff.

PS I love that their sashes all read “TAG LEAUGE”.

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Joshi Spotlight: Kaoru Ito

Kaoru Ito

I’ll be nice and not use the “Peter Pan” gear from 1993 as her image. Also I couldn’t find a good pic of it.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- KAORU ITO:

Real Name: Kaoru Ito (aka Black Blizzard, Makai Majo #1, ZAP-I)
Billed Height & Weight: 5’3″, 238 lbs. (was… MUCH lighter in her younger years)
Career: 1989-today (currently active)

-And now it’s time for a bio on Kaoru Ito, aka “The most terribly-dressed wrestler of all time” on any ’90s Joshi show you’ll watch, and the “wait, SHE became the top wrestler?” star of the same.

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Joshi Spotlight: Devil Masami vs. Dump Matsumoto (and the best squash EVER!)

Shit like this is why Hokuto is an all-time legend.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- DEVIL MASAMI vs. DUMP MATSUMOTO:
* Okay, so with this week’s Spotlight being a tad short (a single match plus a recap of two old reviews), I figured I’d find some ’80s stuff, including a Devil/Dump match I was linked to weeks ago. And also, someone uploaded the Hokuto/Numacchi match from Super Whirlwind so I can review that arduous epic here!

So read on and see some of that wild 1980s Atrocious Alliance clusterfuck goodness! And an ultra-rare WWWA Title decision!

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Joshi Spotlight- AJW Super Whirlwind

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT: AJW SUPER WHIRLWIND:
(05.09.1993)
Only one match from this show appears to be on YouTube, but the rest of the card doesn’t look too promising, aside from one match. This gives me the opportunity to review that one, then make notes on the two big Joshi shows that I already reviewed, but putting them more into the context of what’s been going on in the promotions, having seen much of 1993 so far.

The tag match itself features Takako Inoue & Yumiko Hotta fighting the reformed Marine Wolves- Akira Hokuto and Suzuka Minami.

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Joshi Spotlight: AJW Legacy of Queens

AJW LEGACY OF QUEENS:
(25.08.1993, Tokyo Nippon Budokan)
* So this is a positively AWESOME AJW show devoted to the interpromotional rivalries going on, effectively doing another Dream Slam-tier show full of mega-Dream Matches- it’s easily one of the biggest shows of the year, surpassed only by Dream Slam 1 & 2 and St. Battle Final (later in the year). Much like the Slams, this features “AJW wrestler vs. JWP/LLPW/FMW wrestler” in one-of-a-kind bouts that, if they’re not competitive, are at least unique. And this time, it’s not AJW’s tag titles on the line- both their #1 and #2 singles golds are up for grabs, as Akira Hokuto defends against an LLPW wrestler and Aja Kong defends the Red Belt against the Ace of JWP, Dynamite Kansai! And LLPW’s Ace, Kandori, is up against one of AJW’s biggest stars in Kyoko Inoue, plus we have a duo of multi-person match sprints.

The setting is really awesome- like one of the early King of the Ring shows, with huge gated doors visible on the hard cam at the end of the aisle.

This show is MASSIVE and would prove a monster 2-parter to review, but thankfully I’ve reviewed three of the matches before on separate sets.

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: This show is up there with some of the greatest, boasting FOUR MATCHES at **** and over, the legendary first Kong/Kansai match, a spectacular carry-job by Hokuto, and one of those unique situations where nearly every wrestler seems to be trying to show up every other wrestler.

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Joshi Spotlight- Rumi Kazama

Akira Hokuto (AJW) vs Rumi Kazama (LLPW) - YouTube

Rumi Kazama! Google carefully.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- RUMI KAZAMA:
Billed Height & Weight: 5’0″ 136 lbs.
Career: 1986-2003

-Rumi Kazama is one of those “hey, who is that again?” wrestlers, rarely appearing on big shows and typically lacking a lot of extraordinary showings or a huge push in most of the Interpromotional stuff I’ve seen in the mid-1990s. She’s probably most recognizable for her weird ’80s-style gear, like leopard-print shoulder pads and chest-piece on a bright purple jacket, an all-tiger-print set of tights, and a purple leopard-print set with black epaulettes. Not to mention her hilarious “Soccer Mom Hair”, sporting this GIANT teased mullet on a few ’90s shows I’ve seen.

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Joshi Spotlight: Takako Inoue vs. Mayumi Ozaki

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- TAKAKO INOUE vs. MAYUMI OZAKI:

* Doing these Joshi Spotlights kind of piecemeal, then trying to go in order, certain things kind of stand out. Little feuds here and there, or people who take special relish every time they’re in the ring against each other. Takako Inoue in particular tends to hate other pretty girls- every time she’s in the ring with another “Idol wrestler”, she acts like a mirror just told her that girl was fairer than she. Mayumi Ozaki, too, seems to delight in tormenting and bullying all of her rivals, especially the pretty ones.

But when it’s Takako VERSUS Ozaki? Every time they step into the ring against each other, thunder crashes and you can hear horses whinny in the distance.

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AJW Grand Prix- Finals

Toyota vs. Hokuto- two of the best ever fight for 17 minutes!

AJW GRAND PRIX 1993 FINALS:
-And now, after four LONG shows and several months’ worth of random GP matches taking place on AJW’s events, we get the finals. And of course because I can’t find it on YouTube, I can only produce a couple of matches, lol. Stupid Ringstarfield! Four of the five shows and the FINALS he’s missed uploading?

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: So even though I could only find two matches… they’re both at least ****.

Here’s how the event shook down:
Wrestler: Points: Wrestler: Points:
Akira Hokuto 6.0———-Yumiko Hotta 6.0
Harley Saito 5.0———-Manami Toyota 5.0
Toshiyo Yamada 4.5———Bat Yoshinaga 5.0
Suzuka Minami 3.0———Hikari Fukuoka 4.0
Sakie Hasegawa 3.0———Kyoko Inoue 3.5
Takako Inoue 3.0———-Mima Shimoda 2.5
Etsuko Mita 3.0———-Kaoru Ito 2.0
Tomoko Watanabe0.5——Saemi Numata 0.0

SEMI-FINALS: Akira Hokuto (vs) Manami Toyota; Harley Saito (vs) Yumiko Hotta

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Joshi Spotlight: AJW TV (Aug. 5th, 1993)

AJW TV SHOW (Aug. 5th, 1993):
* So in the midst of the never-ending AJW Grand Prix, here’s an August TV show I found! It was taped at the Kasumigaura Cultural Gymnasium in Kasumigaura, Ibaraki on August 5th, airing Aug. 13th, and features a Grand Prix match between Akira Hokuto & LLPW’s Harley Saito! There’s also a pair of Big Monster Veteran (vs) Up & Coming Undercard Wrestler matches.

So highlights here are a one-time-only bout (Hokuto/Saito I do not believe ever met in singles competition again), and the goddamn Dragon Ball Z theme song being used as an entrance theme. Plus the truest test yet for Bat Yoshinaga after a fairly impressive year for the up & comer.

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