Joshi Spotlight: Collision in Korea & Bridge of Dreams

Most North Koreans are relatively small, compact, and conservative in how they handle themselves. When it was time for the Japanese women to wrestle, they didn’t know how to react.

“These female wrestlers were just completely from another planet,” remembers CNN correspondent, Mike Chinoy.

“Bull Nakano had hair dyed blue, and it went straight up about six or eight inches. She was wearing a white sleeveless shirt over a leotard with half-calf boots. Manami Toyota sported a black leotard with partly opened arm coverings and looked like a dominatrix from some S&M movie. And these North Korean men were sitting there staring. Whether they had any idea what this was about is entirely beyond me.”

https://prowrestlingstories.com/pro-wrestling-stories/collision-in-korea/

COLLISION IN KOREA:
(April 28-29, 1995)
* So today I’ll be doing a double-whammy, as we’ve hit the point in my reviews were they stars of AJW and other Joshi promotions hit both the Tokyo Dome’s Bridge of Dreams show, and go to North Korea for the WCW/NJPW dual-show, Collision in Korea! This is AJW’s contribution to the Collision in Korea double-show, as they apparently stuck to themselves and quietly went out there and wrestled. Though I think this is how Kensuke Sasaki met Akira Hokuto, his future wife.

AKIRA HOKUTO vs. BULL NAKANO:
* So they’re teaming up the next night, but today they fight each other- AJW’s top two stars, even then. Bull’s in all-black, with her giant blue hair, and Akira’s in green & white.

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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.

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Joshi Spotlight: JWP Stars on Tour (October)

JWP STARS ON TOUR:
(Oct. 30th, 1994)
* As we continue through the last part of 1994, here’s a set of JWP bouts from a VERY dark arena, with a bizarre set-up- it’s an elevated stage in an auditorium like how you watch lectures and live theater, so the fans can only see one side of the ring (you can only see this in the final bout). It has two AJW/JWP Junior League matches (where rookie wrestlers fight each other), and is capped off by an 8-woman tag from people who’ve already wrestled that day.

So it’s an interesting look at tiny rookies putting in 10-minute sprints (a welcome change from “20 minutes, but half is padding”), and leads to some very good matches, especially considering the last one is everyone’s second match of the evening! So come take a look at Joshi’s #2 (or #3 if you REALLY like Megumi Kudo’s FMW stuff) promotion when left mostly to its own devices!

AJW/JWP JUNIOR LEAGUE:
CANDY OKUTSU (JWP) vs. RIE TAMADA (AJW):
* An interpromotional rookie match, as the lower-card wrestlers get more shots against each other. Candy’s in black & white, and Rie’s in white & blue.

Rapid-fire stuff to start, as they jockey for position and Candy hits rollups, but Rie controls with a chinlock and stretching. Candy comes back with her own, and the camera bounces around a lot, doing random close-ups. Candy tries Manami’s Running No-Hands Springboard move again, but overshoots her feet and falls- Rie covers for it and Candy soon hits a Run-Up Cross-Body out of the corner instead for two. Backslide gets two for Rie, but Candy slips AGAIN on a Run-Up, then tries again and Rie simply dodges. Rie hits two missile kicks for two, then two spinning cross-bodies for the same. Candy does her corner-dodge missile kick, and another big one gets two. Flying Splash… Rie “Fuck YOU!” bridges out! Candy tries and tries for a German, finally hitting it for two. She aims for another, but Rie rolls forward and wraps her up for the three (10:45).

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Joshi Spotlight: JWP in 1994 (August)

AUGUST 5, 1994:
* And we’re back with more JWP focus, as Rico Kasai’s channel hits a VERY busy stretch in August 1994. One set of bouts is from is a VERY puny arena (Ibaraki-ken), with a big curtain on one side, and a lot of people fanning themselves. Another takes place during a “Body Heat” tournament. The matches here alternate between “acceptable filler”, “way-too-long and boring” and then some REALLY excellent stuff with some great spots- the Ozaki/Devil match in particular is a real banger and shows the hidden gems on this guy’s YouTube account.

CUTIE SUZUKI & CANDY OKUTSU vs. DEVIL MASAMI & MAYUMI OZAKI:
* Two of the top stars take on the idol and the rookie. Cutie’s in white, Candy’s in white & black, Ozaki’s in red and Devil’s in black.

The vets play “kill the rookie” for a while, working the arm over with basic stuff. Devil keeps throwing Candy into the corner JUST short of the tag, which is funny. After like four minutes of this, Ozaki whips her to the ropes and Candy does a friggin’ RUNNING NO-HANDS SPRINGBOARD CROSS-BODY, which is Toyota-territory for impossible jumps, and that’s just crazy. Cutie’s in with a TON of hair-pulling, pretty much doing the “House Show Special” at this point (send the fans home happy without killing yourselves with MOVEZ). Devil adds to this by just jumping Candy and whipping her around outside, including a MONSTER toss into the guardrail. Cutie gets the best of Ozaki out there, but Devil tortures Candy with a front piledriver, surfboard and Lion Tamer that even WCW Jericho would be like “the FUCK, lady?” at. And Oz makes it a double, cuz why not?

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Joshi Spotlight: JWP in 1994 (Jan-May)

JOSHI WOMEN’S PRO WRESTLING IN 1994 (Jan-May):
* Here’s another collection of JWP bouts, this time from early ’94 to match the AJW content I’ve been going through. It’s actually a pretty varied bit of stuff, owing to most of it being from a single card in March, I believe. I also found an additional ’93 match (Cutie vs. Bolshoi) that I threw on the “1993- Part Two” review.

The second match in particular is a real stand-out, and why I search through these shows for hidden gems- Dynamite Kansai’s kicks here are some of the most lethal shots I’ve ever seen.

JWP THE STARS ’94:
(11.01.1994)

FUSAYO NOUCHI vs. HIROMI SUGO:
(Jan. or Feb. 1994)
* Two of JWP’s greener wrestlers take a shot at each other. Sugo’s in a black Jobber Swimsuit, while Nouchi’s in the elaborate red, white & blue.

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Joshi Spotlight: Hiromi Yagi

Hiromi Yagi

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- HIROMI YAGI:
Statistics:
Real Name: Hiromi Yaginuma (aka HYAGIE, Masked Angel Rosetta)
Billed Height & Weight: 5’0″, 117 lbs.
Career: 1994-2004

-One of my favorite things about doing these Spotlights is the occasional “found surprise”- much as I love looking up the best matches of the biggest stars that I knew about already, it’s great to discover someone I’ve never heard of who turns out to be a really good wrestler, too. On most of the big AJW shows around a certain point, you’ll see token “Rookie Matches” in the beginning- often way too long for their own good, they feature five-foot-tall rookies trading basic jobber offense until one wins with like… a body slam or something. They’re filler and meant to be a learning experience, and audiences are patient with them, but they’re generally pretty bad.

So imagine my surprise when the obscure throwaway shrimp Judo Flips someone right the fuck off the top rope and puts on an OUTSTANDING performance in what should have been a throwaway slot! One of those “okay, who is THAT and what’s their best stuff?” moments.

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Joshi Spotlight- Big Egg Wrestling Universe (Part One)

BIG EGG WRESTLING UNIVERSE:
(“AJW Doumu Super Woman Great War”)
(Tokyo Dome- 20.11.1994)

-Now it’s FINALLY time I dive into the ludicrously over-stuffed mega-event- Big Egg Wrestling Universe! This event is the only Joshi event in history to take place within the massive Tokyo Dome, stuffing 42,500+ fans into the huge “Big Egg” for… a one-night super-tournament of Main Eventers (the V*Top). And some legitimate athletic contests. And a midget match. And a “cram every single person onto the card” undercard. It’s… a loaded show. Joshi: So advanced that it was putting on hideously bloated 6-hour stadium shows WAY before WWE was! True innovation!

TL; DR- Why Should I Watch This?: Well, one of the greatest matches in history is fought tonight. Also, Aja Kong surpasses Bret Hart’s “Three good matches in one night” achievement in terms of quality, several people put on AMAZING performances, and you see Joshi in its biggest spectacle in history- something women’s wrestling has never matched since.

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