Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Second Battle & Champ Forum

GAEA SECOND BATTLE:
(4/15/1995)
* More GAEA Japan goodness, as Chigusa does a tag match alongside her Mini-Me, Meiko Satomura, against some LLPW invaders on one show, and then two months later, we check out the match everyone wanted to see- a Dream Slam rematch between ’80s icons Chigusa & Devil! Plus more from the Angry Teenager Division!

I wasn’t sure if I should split this into two reviews (1500-ish words each) or one big one, so let me know which y’all would prefer.

GAEA NEO SOUL 3 ON 3 MIX:
TOSHIE UEMATSU (GAEA), SONOKO KATO (GAEA) & YASUKO KURAGAKI (JWP) vs. MEIKO SATOMURA (GAEA), TOSHIE SATO (GAEA) & TOMOKO KUZUMI (JWP):
* So this is six rookies piled into one match, with two GAEA girls joined by a JWP girl each, and we’re joined in progress, so I miss announcements and thus have to use process of elimination here. Uematsu’s in green & Kato’s in blue, so Yasuko is in black/blue. Meiko’s in red & Sato’s in white, which makes Kuzumi the black/pink one. Okay, so the JWP girls are in near-exact gear- suuuuuuuuuure makes things easier.

Read more

Joshi Spotlight: GAEA Japan’s First Show!

The first two matches of the show.

GAEA MEMORIAL FIRST GONG:
(April 15th 1995)

* HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER! So sometime in 1994, Chigusa Nagayo, having come out of retirement the previous year and wrestled the occasional match for JWP Project (curiously, rarely at her former company, AJW), announced that she had formed a new Joshi promotion called GAEA Japan, with some different backers. Given that Joshi was still going through a Golden Age of sorts, this seemed like someone was trying to capitalize on a hot product, and Chigusa could control things in a way she liked. I dunno what the general impression was with the public at the time, but Chigusa was still the biggest star in Joshi history, even though her peak was ages ago (it would be like Hulk Hogan backing a promotion in 2001… wait, didn’t that actually happen?).

This ends up throwing a spanner into the works of Joshi promotions as a whole, as there were only four promotions really doing it (and FMW only did it as a small division of their shows). GAEA adds a fifth, though the star power isn’t huge at first- Chigusa poaches Kaoru Maeda (herself barely used by AJW) and the two train the entire first class by themselves, including names like Meiko Satomura, Sonoka Kato & Toshiyo Uemura. JWP still seems on friendly terms with her, too, judging by their usage on this show. I often wonder what would have happened if cooler heads had prevailed and the companies would just merge and be stronger- a combined LLPW & JWP would make for a much stronger company, y’know? And imagine GAEA attaching to THAT. But I guess people had to hate each other and try their own thing.

This ends up having major repercussions for the business, though- through a variety of business, economy-related and star-power concerns, Joshi goes through a major flux in the next couple of years, producing even MORE promotions as things splinter in a way that the business never recovers from… and GAEA Japan will one day sit at the top of it, getting its own reputation for good and ill (“The Joshi Retirement Home”, never mind Chigusa’s manner of booking herself). But for now it’s just one star, one minor star, and a bunch of rookies!

“TL;DR- Why Should I Watch This?”: Most of the matches here are super-green rookies debuting against each other, but the last two matches are legitimately fantastic ****-ish affairs, and are one-time only Dream Matches. Also this is the very first match of the legendary Meiko Satomura.

Read more

NXT UK – August 19, 2021

NXT UK
Date: August 19, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

It’s title week around here as Pretty Deadly is defending the Tag Team Titles against Moustache Mountain. That alone should be enough, but we also have Stevie Turner getting a Women’s Title shot against Meiko Satomura. Throw in the last push towards the UK Title match between Walter and Ilja Dragunov (in America) and we should be rolling this week. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – August 12, 2021

NXT UK
Date: August 12, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andrew Shepherd

It’s tournament time as we have eight people vying to become the new #1 contender to the Heritage Cup. That alone should take quite a while to cover so hopefully they have something else going on to fill in some of the gaps. I’m not sure what that is going to be, but NXT UK has surprised me before. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – August 5, 2021

NXT UK
Date: August 5, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd

We’ve got a big one this week as it’s Jordan Devlin vs. A-Kid in a thirty minute Iron Man match. Devlin injured A-Kid’s knee in a previous match to set this up so let’s have a good one. That alone should be enough to carry the show but you know there is going to be at least a little bit more. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – July 15, 2021

NXT UK
Date: July 15, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

It’s a double title week as both the Heritage Cup and Women’s Title are on the line. That alone should be enough for a huge show, but it is also time to hype up the United Kingdom Title match for next week, which should be a candidate for match of the year. This show has a tendency to be good lately so maybe they can keep that up here. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – July 1, 2021

NXT UK
Date: July 1, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

We have a pretty stacked card this week with Jordan Devlin vs. A-Kid and Tyler Bate defending the Heritage Cup against Jack Starz. This is a good example of what NXT UK does well, as they have built those matches up to feel important rather than throwing big names out there and having them do whatever. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – June 10, 2021

NXT UK
Date: June 10, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd

It’s a title night as Meiko Satomura is challenging Kay Lee Ray for the Women’s Title. The two of them had quite the showdown back in March and it could be great to see what they could do again with the stakes at a high level again. Other than that, Walter is back and that means we could be in for an important appearance. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – April 29, 2021

NXT UK
Date: April 29, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd

It’s time for a cool but also odd match as Meiko Satomura will be facing Aoife Valkyrie. That could go in a few different directions but it is a great test for the so far impressive Valkyrie. Other than that, we could be a long way off from the next main event story around here, but you never know with NXT UK. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK: Prelude

NXT UK: Prelude
Date: April 8, 2021
Location: BT Sports Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd

I’m not sure what the deal is with this one as the show has a fancy title but it seems to just be a beefed up episode of the show. What matters most here is that Walter is defending the United Kingdom Title against Rampage Brown, which should be a heck of a hoss fight. This show does have some potential so let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – April 1, 2021

NXT UK
Date: April 1, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

It’s the go home show for NXT UK: Prelude, which does look like a pretty solid card. I’m not sure what else we can expect here other than the hard sell for the show, but Pretty Deadly are having their first Tag Team Title defense. Other than that, hopefully we are in for another nice week. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – March 18, 2021

NXT UK
Date: March 18, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

It’s another title match this wee as the now lighter Trent Seven is challenging Jordan Devlin. This comes after Seven has spent several weeks dropping weight to get under the 205lb weight limit for a Cruiserweight Title shot and only made weight this morning. That could make for an interesting main event so let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – March 4, 2021

NXT UK
Date: March 4, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Andy Shepherd, Nigel McGuinness

It’s time for a special show with a huge main event. This week the Women’s Title is on the line again as Kay Lee Ray defends against Meiko Satomura in what sounds like a final boss fight (because that’s an awesome/appropriate nickname). I’m not sure how I see it going but it would be a bit un-NXT to have someone pop in and win the title in her first major match. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – February 11, 2021

NXT UK
Date: February 11, 2021
Location: BT Studios, London, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Andy Shepherd

This week is about revenge as Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews are facing the Hunt, after the monsters attacked them more than once over the last year. That makes for one of the better built feuds around here in a long time and hopefully the match lives up to the hype. Other than that, Meiko Satomura is making her debut in something that is likely to feel a bit more awesome. Let’s get to it.

Read more

NXT UK – July 9, 2020

NXT UK
Date: July 9, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

We have another theme show this time around as we look at NXT UK wrestlers coming over the United States. That makes for some interesting possibilities as the NXT UK wrestlers coming over has been a semi regular treat. There is some incredible talent over in the UK and seeing their styles mesh against others is rather fun to see. Let’s get to it.

Read more