Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Endless Summer 1996

GAEA JAPAN- ENDLESS SUMMER!:
(July-August 1996)
* It’s time for more GAEA Japan! This week we have a variety of stuff from the summer! I guess I should have posted this before the Discover New Heroine show but it was released on a tape after the summer so I didn’t find it in my “Master List” until now. This one features a really fantastic GAEA Japan vs. OZ Academy bout, as JWP’s Mayumi Ozaki brings Reiko Amano and two GAEA traitors into an 8-Woman Tag against Chigusa Nagayo and her GAEA loyalists Kato, Uematsu & Hirota!

Also, we get Toshiyo Yamada show up in GAEA again as she & KAORU work a good match against each other, plus another GAEA/OZ match to start us off.

KAORU, CHIKAYO NAGASHIMA & TOSHIE UEMATSU vs. OZ ACADEMY (Mayumi Ozaki, Reiko Amano & Sugar Sato):
(July 17th 1996)
* It’s Ozaki’s OZ Academy vs. some of GAEA’s loyalists! Except OZ’s Chikayo is on the GAEA side, too. KAORU’s in white, Chikayo yellow, Toshie green, Ozaki red/black, Reiko blue/white & Sato white. The GAEA girls have now all “upgraded” their gear to be still monochromatic, but slightly more “advanced” to show they’re no longer jobbers.

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Ring on the Beat

GAEA JAPAN- RING ON THE BEAT:
(July 20th, 1996)
* Back to Korakuen Hall for more GAEA! More mix & match stuff as we get a GAEA trios match, featuring the first actual heel turn of the promotion, as Mayumi Ozaki of JWP comes recruiting for her heel stable! And holy crap would THAT group stick around- Manjiimortal notes that this may be the most influential/important show in GAEA history, just for that! Then it’s a very interesting solo match, as AJW’s Toshiyo Yamada takes on the #2-3 rookie in GAEA, Sonoko Kato, in a long singles match!

CHIGUSA NAGAYO, KAORU & TOSHIE UEMATSU vs. BOMBER HIKARU, CHIKAYO NAGASHIMA & SUGAR SATO:
* A basic GAEA trios match, albeit with the two leaders of the promotion on one side, making this a total uneven contest. Chigusa’s in red/yellow/black, KAORU’s in silver, Toshie’s in green, Bomber’s in blue, Chikayo’s in yellow & Sato’s in white.

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Gold Rush

GAEA JAPAN- GOLD RUSH:
(July 16th 1996)
* Hey, it’s more GAEA! Since I wanted to do all the AJW Grand Prix stuff in a row, there’s some stuff to run back to. Some summer shows are showcased here. This show features a Battle of the Chigusa Clones, as Chigusa Nagayo teams up with newbie Makei Numao against the ’80s Chigusa Clone, Toshiyo Yamada, and the modern Chigusa Clone, Meiko Satomura! This pays off a prior match where Yamada beat Meiko after giving her a 15-minute match!

We also get AJW’s Mima Shimoda invading for a tag match, then a trios match featuring an invading Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling midcard squad! GAEA’s run of interesting “new Dream Matches” continues! A three-match review today, as I hit another short show later in the week.

WONDER FORTH:
MIMA SHIMODA (AJW) & TOSHIE UEMATSU (GAEA) vs. KAORU & SUGAR SATO (GAEA):
* An interesting mix-up, as AJW’s Mima Shimoda comes in to team with Uematsu against two other GAEA wrestlers. Shimoda’s in red & gold, Toshie’s in green, and the other two are in their usual white gear.

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Japan’s Junior Star Tournament

GAEA IN SPRING 1996:
* Here’s a pair of GAEA shows featuring the usual assortment of rookies and bigger stars, complete with the goofiest battle royal you’ll EVER see (you think Chain Sleepers and other comedy bits are new? Check GAEA doing it in 1996), and the GAEA Junior Star Tournament to crown the best rookie! Come see the best friggin’ match two one-year veterans could possibly have!

NEO QUEEN HISTORY ’95:
SONOKA KATO vs. TOSHIE UEMATSU:
* Two of the most elite rookies go at it in the rookie tournament. Kato’s in blue & Toshie’s in green, as always.

They do the typical GAEA start with a ton of running attacks, Toshie using her “backflip off their chest” move and rollups, but Kato uses her bulldogs when Toshie tries to many running headlocks. Toshie dodges a legdrop and hits a victory roll & dropkicks, then a missile kick for two, but a flying splash hits knees. Kato gets a sleeper and they spam running attacks back & forth as this is frenetic, but quite sloppy- most things have very poor execution, but that kind of “they’re fighting for it like it was real” scrappy thing that joshi sometimes has. Toshie’s offense is like 60% flash pins. Kato finally catches her with the Tornado Bulldog, but Time Expires at (6:01 shown).

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA’s First Anniversary Show!

GAEA JAPAN- GAEAISM GRAND OPENING 1ST ANNIVERSARY:
(April 29th 1996)
* GAEA Japan is now one full year old! With the greatest inaugural rookie class ever but shows still dependent on other companies to fill out the card, it’s maturing quickly. This set of matches is all clipped, but it’s got the final ten minutes of a BIG one- LLPW’s most credible wrestler, SHINOBU KANDORI (aka the woman who fought two classics with Akira Hokuto) comes calling, bringing rookie (and future terror) Michiko Omukai up against the biggest women’s star in history- Chigusa Nagayo and her own rookie, Sugar Sato. The match proves fun mostly for Kandori’s antics as an elitist shooter- she’s a truly underrated character.

The GAEAISM channel is missing a few matches:
HIKARU FUKUOKA (JWP) d. BOMBER HIKARU (GAEA) (15:45): this seems oddly padded and kinda long for Bomber to last, but that’s the style of both companies at this point.
WONDERFUL FREE: KAORU d. Carol Midori (10:52)

GAEA NEO SOUL BATTLE NEW FACES:
RINA ISHII vs. MAIKO MATSUMOTO:
* Holy s---, NEW wrestlers! This is the first I’ve seen of either one, and is Rina’s debut. She lasts two years and Maiko three, so they’re not GREAT successes but at least stuck around a bit. They have to pick unique colors, as enough of the early crew are still around in their Arena swimsuits- Maiko’s in an ugly brown one, and Rina’s in a light… puce? Salmon? Google says that’s “coral”, I guess. It’s pink, I dunno. Rina is TINY and super-thin, probably around 5 feet tall, and Maiko is comparatively bigger and thicker.

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA- War is a Friday Night

GAEA- WAR IS A FRIDAY NIGHT:
(Feb. 16th, 1996)

* With possibly the greatest show tagline of all time, we’ve got an interesting mixed batch here, as I found the first GAEA vs. *AJW* match I can find, as Sakie Hasegawa gets to go to GAEA Japan on her retirement road and face Chigusa Nagayo!! And Chigusa leads her girls against heel invaders from LLPW, with Eagle Sawai’s GUREN Corps showing up to act as ANOTHER “Evil Girls Group” against mega-babyface Chigusa.

CHIGUSA NAGAYO, BOMBER HIKARI & SONOKO KATO (GAEA) vs. GUREN CORPS (Eagle Sawai, Jenn Yukari & Michiko Nagashima) (LLPW):
* So what looks to be LLPW’s big heel stable at the time (Eagle had recently been LLPW Champion) invades GAEA, with Chigusa shoring up a lame “veteran” and a rookie against Eagle & midcarders Jenn Yukari (a person so minor I could barely find squat to focus on in a Spotlight just for her, haha) and Nagashima. Chigusa appears to respond to a GUREN invasion and taunt-job simply by asking two people to join her for an impromptu match. Chigusa’s in red/yellow/black, Bomber’s in black/green/white & Kato’s in blue, while Eagle’s in black, Yukari’s in red/green/white & Michiko’s in a black “Manami Toyota”-esque outfit with cut-outs.

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Joshi Spotlight: GAEA The World

GAEA THE WORLD:
(Dec. 2nd, 1995)

* One more GAEA show- this one has a weird look to it, where the ring is HIGHLY reflective and looks nearly silver on the tape transfer, so there’s these super-prominent dark shadoes of the wrestlers. It’s very odd.

BOMBER HIKARU & CHIKAYO NAGASHIMA (GAEA) vs. BAD NURSE NAKAMURA & MIWA SATO (FMW):
* A weird “Dream Match” of sorts, as FMW’s mid-tier heel team takes on GAEA’s Bomber, plus a rookie. Sato has frizzy, crimped hair (the universal sign of the high school ruffian) and silver facepaint, Bad Nurse has black clothes and ghost-white facepaint, Bomber’s in black/purple/green & Chikayo’s in yellow/black. And the GAEA girls storm the ring during the introductions to go right on the attack!

Bomber stacks the heels up and splashes onto them, then scraps with Sato, who actually does the JB Angels bridge-out before getting caught in a crab. Chikayo takes a beating once she’s in, Sato & Nurse making like LCO and repeatedly double-teaming her and taunting the crowd. This goes on for way too long, with nothing more complicated than a bodyslam, but Chikayo finally hits a Stone Cold Stunner and escapes, only for Bomber to get nailed from the apron and whipped with a flag (?) and struck by multiple soda cans (which a camera close-up reveals are EMPTY). But Nurse eats one by mistake and Bomber steals hers and whales away with it. Chikayo does rookie offense on Nurse but actually nails a rana, then leapfrogs off Bomber’s shoulders with a dropkick for two. But the towel gets involved and they beat on Bomber with some very basic stuff, then Nurse uses a rolling cradle of all things for two. She does an STF so bad even Cena would shame her, but runs into a powerslam for two.

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