JWP TV New Generation Battle '90
Cuty Suzuki vs. Sachiko Koganei 11:03. Entertaining but erratic opener. Koganei’s tagline is “Eye of the Wolf”. She’s the more solid and technical wrestler of the two, but despite being a member of Eagle Sawai’s GUREN-tai heel group, she seems to disappear as the year goes on and Rumi Yasuda gets more of a push. Koganei controls the match, grounding Cuty and stretching her out, which allows Cuty to be the “underdog” babyface who takes a beating but makes the hot comeback with some flying. Both worked hard, but their desire to pull off a good match exceeded their ability to do so. Cuty tried to keep the pace up, but the choreography was rather deliberate, so the bout was better, if less entertaining, with Koganei in control. Cuty pulled out something of a flash pin, so good little heel Koganei attacked her after the match. **
Mayumi Ozaki & Dirty Yamato vs. Plum Mariko & Smiley Mami 11:35. Ozaki & Plum aren’t quite stars, but their rivalry to be the promotions hot up and comer is one of the better ones in 1990 JWP. They didn’t work together that much in this match, as they were saving it for the subsequent battle royal. Plum had her moments, but until the finish Ozaki & Yamato preferred to stomp her than run around with her trading holds. Yamato is one of those boring unskilled bite and rake style heels, and Ozaki unfortunately wasn’t wrestling to her ability due to concentrating on being a rudo. Plum & Smiley did a nice job of putting over Ozaki & Yamato’s brawling on the outside. A good finishing segment helped save the underachieving match. Again, GUREN-tai attacked after the bout. **1/4
Tokyo Cable Network Cup All Star Battle Royal 14:07. The combatants were Devil Masami, Shinobu Kandori, Eagle Sawai, Plum Mariko, Miss A, Cuty Suzuki, Mayumi Ozaki, Moon Ayako, Yuki Ito, Harley Saito, Smiley Mami, Oscar Tomo, Dirty Yamato, Yukari Osawa, & Sachiko Koganei. Japanese battle royals generally pale in comparison to the US ones, as it’s a bunch of random pile ups, but today they actually used the stacks to tell the story of the weak rising up against the strong. The result on this very well booked contest was one of the best battle royals Japan was produced. Of course, it helped that once the ring began to clear they did something that resembled a junior heavyweight wrestling match. The big stars Devil & Kandori locked up at the bell, but Ozaki & Oscar kicked them from behind. Smiley tried a high cross body, but was caught by Devil & Kandori. However, Yamato & Plum dropkicked Smiley’s back to knock Devil & Kandori over, and everyone piled on top to eliminate them. #3 star Miss A was piled on after missing a diving body attack, but she reversed and pinned Harley before departing. This left Eagle as king, with all her GUREN-tai cronies to assist her. However, when Sawai bounced off the ropes A tripped her from the outside and her disciples piled on her for the pin. They split into Sekigun vs. GUREN-tai with Cuty’s friends actually saving her from Ozaki’s pin attempts. It came down to Plum & Oscar vs. Ozaki & Osawa, but when Oscar & Osawa were eliminated after dropkicking each other it made sense that Plum & Ozaki were largely kept apart in the previous tag match. Their segment was a hot one – trading bridging suplexes - that stole the show and justified their being the finalists. Plum had Ozaki pinned in a sunset flip, but GUREN-tai interfered, switching Ozaki to the top while the ref was distracted. Ozaki must have held Plum in the ebigatame for 7 or 8 seconds, as it took a while for the official to get back into position and make the three count. ***
Cuty Suzuki sings
Ishu Kakutogisen 3Min 5Rd: Rumi Kazama vs. Miyuki Takayama R2 0:44. Since Rumi’s strength is supposedly kickboxing, they either need to get a weak kickboxer for her to overwhelm or someone from a different discipline that she can beat the crap out of. Instead of promoting Rumi, the goal of these dreadful worked shoots seems to be proving pro-wrestling is a superior martial art. How else can one explain Kazama taking the striking she does use in her regular matches out of her arsenal, and instead relying on a takedown and submission game that plays no part in her pro matches? Kazama would quickly take Takayama down when she tried to punch. The match was fine when Rumi was on offense, as she showed some diversity in her takedown into submission game. Takayama was so obviously pulling her punches it was embarrassing, flailing her misses and short arming her connections. When she didn’t do a terrible job of faking it, she actually hit Rumi, but the ratio seemed to be 100 pitiful punches to one accidentally good high kick. ½*
Miss A & Miki Handa & Harley Saito vs. Shinobu Kandori & Yuki Ito & Mami Kitamura 9:58. Good combination of action and rivalry, building to a Kandori vs. A singles match but giving others a role and a chance to show their stuff. Kandori is a commanding ring presence. Already a finished product, she helped make the match with her antics. A is a better worker with a far more impressive move set, but she hasn’t really found her character yet. Kandori tagged in, slammed Handa into her corner and helped her tag A for the big confrontation. All the heat was on that pairing, but the others made quick tags, working a fast pace to keep it interesting in between what the fans cared about. Kandori drew A’s ire by coming in and slapping her to break up her half crab on Ito. They wound up brawling to the floor after interfering in Ito vs. Harley, which was a good well matched pairing as Ito another athletic kicker. Kitamura’s tagline is “Powerful Spirit”. She is rather green at this point, but faired pretty well anyway. Fun match, but why so short? ***1/4
Devil Masami vs. Eagle Sawai (tape cuts off 14:39 into bout). Despite being the UWA International Champion and leader of the heel group, Eagle is a big underdog against the legend. To make things worse, Sawai’s knee was injured in a figure 4 as Devil took her time respecting the rope break. In the process of finally breaking the hold, Devil managed to role Eagle off the apron, causing Eagle to come down on the knee. Masami dominated her hobbled opponent, who was unable to come back even with the aid of Koganei. A chair was no help either, as Devil took it away and scolded her with a few whacks. Unfortunately, my tape cut off when they were outside the ring at the count of 8, so I don’t know if I’m missing 2 seconds or more likely another 10 minutes. The former would be a good match, but with the expected Eagle comeback it could be one of the best JWP matches of the year.