Best Joshi Puroresu - AJW, JWP, LLPW - Matches of 1992
Akira Hokuto, Las Cachorras Orientales
01/04 Akira Hokuto vs Kyoko Inoue
Introducing: the two best workers of the year. Akira still looks like a Marine Wolf (sigh). Kyoko decides in mid-match that wearing a mask is annoying, and perfectly ludicrous since it covers her joyful and expressive face. They put up an excellent match and wipe the bad taste out of the Korakuen crowd's collective mouth after the (Toyota vs. Yamada) debacle which just took place in the same ring.
06/21 Akira Hokuto & Bull Nakano vs Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue
Akira has become the evil Dangerous Queen after her trip in Mexico, and she teams with the new CMLL champion to abuse bitchy mid-carder Takako Inoue, who's way out of her league. Super fun match, especially if you enjoy the good looking girl being sadisticly beaten by large punkette and fucked-up No fetishist. Kyoko rules it too, in case you wondered.
08/15 Akira Hokuto & Toshiyo Yamada vs Bull Nakano & Aja Kong
Akira doesn't like her pure and gentle partner. She lets her know her feelings during the match, which amuses the large opposition. The issue of the match is not exactly in doubt, but it doesn't keep the workers involved from delivering some great stuff. Akira shows what she means by "Dangerous Queen", and Yamada works her ass off, like she ignored she still had 20 minutes to go with Manami afterward.
08/30 Suzuka Minami & Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta vs Akira Hokuto & Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda
Best six-woman match I've seen this year. Mita and Shimoda are out of her league against Bull and her veteran friends, but they just have to show some heart and will to their senpai. After all, Akira was nice enough to give them the opportunity to tag with the best worker of the year and to wear good looking outfits. It's basically a sprint, and a damn good one.
11/26 Estuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Miyori Kamiya & Chikako Hasegawa
Mita and Shimoda jerking the curtain as LCO, paying dues against soft veteran Kamiya and soft rookie Chikako.
11/26 Akira Hokuto vs Kyoko Inoue
My favourite match of the year, and it's pretty amazing as they make their first encounter look like a dull match. It's full of workrate, clean execution, hot sequences, selling, teases and whatnot. What can I say except that it's essential viewing to witness the two best wrestlers in joshi working against each other and having the best single match of the year.
12/13 Kaoru Itoh & Miyori Kamiya & Chikako Hasegawa vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda & Saemi Numata
Another curtain jerking effort by LCO, and a chance to look at young Kaoru Itoh's talent.
12/13 Akira Hokuto vs Takako Inoue
Really fun match as Takako has virtually no chance of winning but Akira still makes you think the impossible is not that out of reach. The biggest and best single match of Takako's career at this point.
01/04 Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda
Yoshida and Takako enlighten the undercard all year long, but this match against proto-LCO Mita & Shimoda (who were going nowhere) is merely an introduction to their talent.
04/25 Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa
When the two best undercarders (Yoshida and Debbie) meet in a tag match at Korakuen Hall, supported by good partners (well, semi-good as far as Sakie goes), and everybody work their ass off, what happens? They put 95% of the other tag matches of the year to shame. The crowd is going wild. Me too.
06/21 Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa
30 minutes is a long time for anybody in singles. Sakie is not that good of a worker then, (sloppily) overusing her rolling savate, and working your ass off doesn't always translate into quality. Mariko is God, and the two youngsters go broadway, get some great heat (Yoshida is over like hell with the Korakuen crowd) and show up the veterans working the main event.
06/27 Mariko Yoshida vs Etsuko Mita
Nice little All Japan title defense by Yoshida. Mita is Akira's second, so she heels up on Mariko's injured shoulder. Mariko is just a master at making the audience think that she will loose (read, great nearfalls with dazed look afterward, asking to the referee "It wasn't three, was it?").
07/15 Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Mima Shimoda & Debbie Malenko
Not half as good as it should have been because Debbie screws up her ankle on a plancha. Still some nice stuff though.
07/15 Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa
Just following her tag title defense, Yoshida has to defend the All Japan title against her rival. Not nearly as great as the 30 minutes draw, but Sakie vs Yoshida is always enjoyable.
08/30 Mariko Yoshida vs Manami Toyota
Semi-final of the Japan Grand Prix. Yoshida upset Kyoko earlier in the night, and there she goes as the super underdog. Manami doesn't quite understand what this match could have been and kinda works on autopilot. It's still very good because she doesn't screw up, and Mariko is her old great self.
04/25 Kyoko Inoue vs Manami Toyota
Long match. Too long apparently, especially since they don't seem to be on the same page. Kyoko badly outworks Toyota; Toyota sells badly. Still good because they can deliver the big spots.
06/27 Kyoko Inoue & Akira Hokuto vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota
It's not easy to enjoy it because it's the worst Yamada/Toyota match of the year. It's also the worst Hokuto match of the year (excluding her CMLL match with Bull in which she was injured). It's also the worst Kyoko match of the year. I still enjoyed it to some point, so go figure. Recommended to sloppiness and blown spot lovers.
07/05 Kyoko Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida
Good Golly Miss Molly!!! Another 30 minute draw and Yoshida ends up in another great match. But this time she's not the best worker in the ring, amazingly. I can't say enough good thing about this half-hour of JGP, full of great sequences, killing work and even really fun comedy. I simply love it. And that's all.
07/15 Kyoko Inoue & Aja Kong vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota
It takes the awesome talent of Kyoko and the ever improving Aja Kong to finally give Yamada/Toyota a match that can live up to their reputation of "greatest team of joshi". I think there's something tricky about the 2/3 falls, because it's a bit of a systematic formula (especially the second fall). But it's the finest example of this genre delivered by the Zenjo troops.
08/15 Kyoko Inoue & Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda & Cynthia Moreno
Kyoko leads the best undercard team into a very good match against LCO and this particular Moreno sister, who was a cool luchadora. It's speedy, lucha infected and super fun. The Korakuen crowd, as usual with Kyoko and Mariko, gets hot.
08/30 Kyoko Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida
For a second time, they deliver an excellent match. The approach is very different from their 30 min draw, as this is a qualifying match for a JGP semi-final, and Kyoko isn't in the mood to joke around. Yoshida plays a great underdog, nearly loses and wins several times, before scoring the upset. Check Kyoko's look after the match: if you're not sad for her, you've got no heart.
12/13 Kyoko Inoue & Aja Kong vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota
Same teams working a straight tag match at Korakuen for the Tag League Final. Taking nothing away from Yamada and Toyota, Kyoko and Aja are the best team again, even better than in their previous encounter. Great antics by Aja, who's never been better this year. Kyoko is rewarded after being a trooper all year long (jobbing two single titles, elevating Yoshida) by pinning everybody's favourite princess. Awesome.
07/09 Mayumi Ozaki vs Dynamite Kansai
The JWP elite is nothing short of great. Dynamite is a mix between Aja and Yamada. Ozaki's stiff elbows make her the sexiest Misawa ever. The most fascinating thing about Ozaki is her aura of tought girl. She's small and light, but she looks as tough and badass as Dynamite. I won't reveal my wet dream of being beat up by Ozaki with "Venus in furs" in the background, so I'll only mention that this match is quite slow, early JWP style, but extremely good.
08/09 Mayumi Ozaki & Cuty Suzuki vs Dynamite Kansai & Sumiko Saito
Final of the tag tournament to crown the first JWP tag champions. It's a "2 count" match, and I admit it makes things quite interesting. Ozaki vs Dynamite is always a pleasure. Cuty is certainly the worst worker pushed on the top of the cards at this point, but she's not bad and always works hard. The best surprise in this match is the work of Sumiko Saito, nice underdog and nice worker.
10/22 Mayumi Ozaki & Candy Okutsu vs Plum Mariko & Sumiko Saito
Good little match that features the august talent of Plum Mariko, the most underused worker in joshi at this point, and Candy Okutsu, who was very young but worked circles around other JWP up and comers like Hikari Fukuoka.
11/26 Mayumi Ozaki & Dynamite Kansai vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota
What can be said? That it's the best match of the year, and probably of the decade? That Ozaki and Dynamite are better than their Zenjo counterparts? That it's the first interpromotionnal main event, and therefore the heat and intensity were off the chart? Let's say something negative to be an ass: the final count is blown, which is too damn bad. Who hasn't seen this match by now?
12/01 Mayumi Ozaki & Hikari Fukuoka vs Takako Inoue & Yumiko Hotta
Second interpromotional main event, this time hosted by JWP. Hikari isn't quite up to the challenge but doesn't embarrass herself either. Takako takes her chance to shine as a real bitch, and is the star of her team. Standing next to her, Hotta is all stiff, but can thank the opposition for making her look really good. Oz is as bitchy as ever. Great heat, good stuff.
01/04 Bison Kimura & Aja Kong vs Bull Nakano & Bat Yoshinaga
Good little brawling match. It never gets too great because Bat is in the house and they all wander a bit, but it's still nice.
04/25 Bull Nakano vs Aja Kong
Excellent, impressive brawl by the two queens of grotesque. Bull is still clearly the superior worker, as Aja kinda kills the pace on occasion and does some bad looking stuff. It's a bit long and slow, but the final minutes are great.
06/21 Bison Kimura vs Aja Kong
I always loved this match, despite all its flaws. There's the headbutt from hell, to which Debbie Malenko (on commentary) openly cringes. There's the flow of blood on Bison's head. There's unbelievable stiffness. It's a real guilty pleasure of mine, as I love to see Bison get her ass handed to her. The submission ending, if "logical", doesn't work well as shown by the (lack of) crowd reaction. They should have bashed their heads in for good all the way.
07/05 Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong
A JGP match. And a dumb one too. Manami leads the way of stupidity, but Aja follows and even exceeds the princess of bad selling. If you've never seen the Korakuen Hall corridors, Aja will make for a great tour guide. There's some goodness too, but it's deeply hidden.
08/30 Aja Kong vs Toshiyo Yamada
JGP semi-final. Aja beats the shit out of Yamada, which is always fun. It's a very good match, and it's also a very good way to realize that Yamada is a better worker than her partner.
08/30 Aja Kong vs Manami Toyota
A disappointing JGP final. Aja and Manami don't exactly rock the house. Like in her match with Yoshida, Manami gives a very subdued performance. It's certainly nothing bad, but it won't leave a mark on the viewers mind.
11/26 Bull Nakano vs Aja Kong
The final chapter in Aja's chase of the akai belt. Not as good as their previous match, but it's more emotional to me, if only because of the nifty tribute Aja pays to all of the Jungle Jack members (especially Bison, whose retirement was a great moment taking place a few minutes before the match). Bull is still the better of the two by the way.
04/25 Bison Kimura vs Toshiyo Yamada
My undying love for Bison is the major reason why I enjoy this match, because it's nothing memorable.
06/21 Toshiyo Yamada vs Manami Toyota
A no time limit match, which was a scary thought considering the bad job they did with 40 minutes. But this time they are on. It's not the most exciting match to me, but no one can deny the high quality of work. Excellent stuff.
07/05 Bull Nakano & Etsuko Mita vs Toshiyo Yamada & Takako Inoue & Sakie Hasegawa
Very fun handicap match. Hokuto is at ringside in case her kohai gets in trouble. Bull squashes Takako and Sakie, and Toshiyo is their only hope to shine against the monstruous queen. Interesting mix.
08/15 Manami Toyota vs Toshiyo Yamada
The only match of their legendary series that lives up to the hype, but it sure makes up for whatever negative things they did during the year. Yamada's performance is nothing short of extraordinary considering she just worked another great match (even if it was a tag, which allowed her to rest). Manami's performance is nothing short of mind-blowing since for one magic night, she hits everything she wants to, and it's a thing of beauty. It's the definitive Manami/Yamada match that defines their style: speed/workrate/speed/workrate.
01/04 Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa vs Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta
Debbie, the best gaijin worker ever in joshi puroresu! And she's not exactly holding this title by default. She simply ruled all year long, carrying young and spotty Sakie on her back and piling good match after good match. This is one of their best, against two veterans who were pushed back to work with youngsters in the undercard. Very good stuff.
06/27 Debbie Malenko vs Sakie Hasegawa
Good little JGP match between the two partners, and not surprisingly, Debbie is clearly superior. Too bad she wasn't allowed to shine more.
08/30 Debbie Malenko & Takako Inoue vs Kaoru Itoh & Miyori Kamiya
Interesting match that features both Malenko and the young and already talented Itoh. The result is quite enjoying, as Kamiya is soft as ever, but doesn't hurt the match.
12/13 Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa vs Bat Yoshinaga & Tomoko Watanabe
The team reforms (with a Steiner influence on their look and antics) to challenge for the vacant All Japan Tag titles. The opposition is not quite there though, and Bat ends up looking better than Watanabe. Way too long and flat. Yoshida giving away her belt before the match is depressing. Fucking injuries…
Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta
06/27 Suzuka Minami & Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta vs Aja Kong & Miyori Kamiya & Terri Power
07/05 Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs Debbie Malenko & Terri Power
11/26 Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs Takako Inoue & Terri Power
12/13 Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs Bull Nakano & Terri Power
Former WWWA Tag champs (with different partners) Minami and Hotta were a nice veteran team working on the undercards. They rarely got an opportunity to shine, as they had the difficult task of teaching the willing but not-so-good gaijin Terri Power how to work. The results were uneven, going from painful (the last match), to rather fun (the trio match). Minami is Zenjo's version of Plum Mariko: I love to watch her but she's stuck in moderately interesting matches.
07/09 Devil Masami vs Cuty Suzuki
09/15 Mayumi Ozaki vs Cuty Suzuki
10/22 Command Bolshoi vs Cuty Suzuki
12/01 Dynamite Kansai vs Cuty Suzuki
I have a soft spot in my heart for Cuty. She's not a very good worker, but she always works hard to make up for her physical limitations. Plus she's able to bust out some pretty good stuff you wouldn't except from her (she can execute a dragon suplex, yes she can). These matches are pretty much all clipped, except for the last one, which is also the best. It's a JWP single title match (the very first one actually) with the "2 counts" rule, and it works pretty well. Cuty is both a bitch and a victim, and I enjoy her despite all her (numerous) flaws.
06/27 Takako Inoue vs Mima Shimoda
Nothing special about this JGP match, but it's a nice little one. There are probably some very impure reasons why I enjoy it that much.
08/29 Rumi Kazama vs Shinobu Kandori
The main event of LLPW's very first show. It defines what the promotion is all about: Kandori is a beast who slaps very very hard and who can break your body in half if you piss her off. Rumi deserves all the credit in the world and knows how to put her own monster over. She kicks hard and takes her beating, so she deserves her spot in my heart. The match itself, well, is not particulary good.
11/26 Kaoru Ito vs Tomoko Watanabe
Kaoru Ito is certainly not Yoshida, so the All Japan title matches don't look quite the same, but she shows a whole lot of potential, whereas Watanabe shows a whole lot of sloppiness. Interesting if only to see Ito win her first single title.
Surprise! You suck!
01/04 Toshiyo Yamada vs Manami Toyota
It's good for 20 minutes, then it goes downhill fast. Very fast and pretty low. And when they get to the overtimes, it gets down fast and low. Very low. Embarrassing to watch these two workers deliver such a dog.
08/29 Noriyo Tateno & Harley Saito vs Miki Handa & Utako Hozumi
This should have been good. This was gonna be good since it involves the old heelish Tateno (watch from who Takako learned the armdrag) and kicking machine Harley. Handa and Hozumi seem competent. Except this went more than 35 minutes. Yep. That long. So it went down the crapper.
10/07 Mayumi Ozaki & Cuty Suzuki vs Dynamite Kansai & Hikari Fukuoka
Incredible! Ozaki is her old self, but Hikari nearly ruins the match by herself by blowing spots left and right. Like her showing absolutely nothing to her opposition wasn't enough. Where are Saito or Plum when you need them? Unforgivable, but don't put the blame on Oz.
10/22 Dynamite Kansai vs Devil Masami
It's edited, and it's a good thing, because 30 minutes is obviously too long for two monsters like them. Even edited, it's an excellent sleeping pill.
Here are my essential matches of 1992:
1: 11/26 Akira Hokuto vs Kyoko Inoue (22 :16)
2: 08/15 Manami Toyota vs Toshiyo Yamada (19:43)
3: 07/05 Kyoko Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida (30:00)
4: 06/21 Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa (30:00)
5: 01/04 Akira Hokuto vs Kyoko Inoue (24:54)
6: 07/09 Mayumi Ozaki vs Dynamite Kansai (25:11)
7: 04/25 Bull Nakano vs Aja Kong (21:40)
8: 08/30 Kyoko Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida (15:22)
9: 11/26 Bull Nakano vs Aja Kong (20:19)
1: 11/26 Mayumi Ozaki & Dynamite Kansai vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota (14:38//1:43//24:01)
2: 12/13 Kyoko Inoue & Aja Kong vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota (27:06)
3: 04/25 Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa (18:12)
4: 07/15 Kyoko Inoue & Aja Kong vs Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota (15:08//5:50//12:42)
5: 08/15 Akira Hokuto & Toshiyo Yamada vs Bull Nakano & Aja Kong (19:21)
6: 12/01 Takako Inoue & Yumiko Hotta vs Mayumi Ozaki & Hikari Fukuoka (22:05)
7: 06/21 Akira Hokuto & Bull Nakano vs Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue (16 :17)
8: 08/09 Mayumi Ozaki & Cuty Suzuki vs Dynamite Kansai & Sumiko Saito (18:37)
9: 01/04 Debbie Malenko & Sakie Hasegawa vs Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta (15:46)
1: 08/30 Suzuka Minami & Bull Nakano & Yumiko Hotta vs Akira Hokuto & Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (17:52)
2: 08/15 Kyoko Inoue & Mariko Yoshida & Takako Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda & Cynthia Moreno (15:38)