OZ Academy #10 8/31/04 OZ IRON WOMAN TOURNAMENT
Iron Woman Singles Tournament 1st Round:
Ayako Hamada vs. Chikayo Nagashima 5:39 of 14:59. A very entertaining match that was the highlight of the 1st round, and probably the second best match of the tournament. Extremely fast paced action with both women emptying their arsenal. A couple spots were slightly off, but the level of difficulty put everything else on the show to shame.
Amazing Kong vs. Carlos Amano 4:26 of 4:37. The first half was what you'd expect with big vs. small and power vs. speed spots then they went to the outside where Amano turned it into a brawl, leading to the slowest ring out in history. Amano avoided a diving body press off the middle rope to the floor, with Kong breaking the table she'd set Amano up on just before the count of 13. Amano followed with her Carlos goon off the apron and a kick in the 40 seconds it took the ref to make it to 20 and ring out Kong. Passable while it lasted. Kong gives a lot more convincingly than she takes, but she was making an effort.
Aja Kong vs. Yumi Oka 2:51 of 4:50. They may as well have given Kong a bye. I mean, Kong is twice Oka's age and weight, but she can still move as quickly when she wants to, and speed is the “strength” of Oka's game. Kong sold a couple of athletic spots to be nice, but basically one blow from Kong did more damage than 25 of Oka's would have, so Oka was finished after Kong hit her a couple times. Oka was more than competent in what aired.
Manami Toyota vs. Michiko Omukai 4:04 of 4:57. Initial promise didn't really pan out. Toyota had impressive offense early and did step it up for the big show, but unfortunately, Omukai wasn't really on and wasn't always reacting quickly or confidently enough to Toyota's openings. The first few minutes were Toyota's workrate style, but suddenly they switched to a couple of Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori 4/2/93 style gu punch exchanges. This should have benefited Omukai since, at times, it seems striking is the only thing she can still do, but for whatever reason Toyota knocked her block off then won with her queen bee bomb.
Shark Tsuchiya vs. Chigusa Nagayo 9:21 of 11:52. Garbage brawl where they proceeded from one spot to another. It was a spectacle, but it lacked the drama of the Mr. Pogo vs. Atsushi Onita matches they were mimicing. Shark totally dominated, with Chigusa bleeding heavily. She wrapped Nagayo in barbed wire and did lariats until Chigusa came back ducking one and using her body as a battering ram to barb wire Shark (and herself). Shark actually sold a little, but once Chigusa tried to up the ante by using the barbed wire boards you knew Shark would immediately comeback since she never takes any legitimate damage with any of the gimmicks or weapons. Shark soon blew two fireballs on Chigusa for the pin. *
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Yumiko Hotta 3:07. Ozaki came out with a cigarette in her mouth, and well, that's about how seriously they took this one. It's hard to call this a match, and it's very annoying that they purported to present a main event when they were actually doing little more than giving Ozaki a free pass. Police was the ref, but Mima Shimoda was an active second for Hotta, so there was a ton of shenanigans but no substance. When Police's slow count didn't work, he simply attacked Hotta to break her pin attempt.
Takako Inoue vs. Lioness Asuka 3:50 of 4:52. Asuka was really good here, making it a worthwhile short match despite Police's heel ref shenanigans being the backbone of the typical shady OZ Academy victory. They teased the stun gun early with Police trying to hold Asuka, but Lioness attacked Police as soon as he slow counted her. Police was still down when Asuka was ready to try another pin attempt, and by the time he recovered, Ozaki launched a sneak attack on Lioness with a chair then Takako used the stun gun and uraken and Police did the super fast 3 count.
Sugar Sato vs. Dynamite Kansai 4:27 of 9:54. They made an effort to do a wrestling match, despite Sato bringing her drum into the ring. I expected very little, but actually both were on, seeming much looser and more confident than usual. Their match was not only more than acceptable, but probably one of the better first round matches.
Iron Woman Tag Tournament 1st Round:
Chikayo Nagashima & Amazing Kong vs. Michiko Omukai & Yumi Oka 3:53 of 5:56. Fast paced match with nice counters. The sequences were speedier and more complex, but Omukai was much better here, this time up to the task. Of course, it was Nagashima who was all over the place and single handedly making the match, which contained by far the best work since Nagashima's match against Hamada. Nagashima was really distinguishing herself tonight.
Chigusa Nagayo & Yumiko Hotta vs. Lioness Asuka & Dynamite Kansai 4:27 of 10:29. Better than expected, largely due to a good performance by an energetic Chigusa Nagayo, who was warmed up now and wrestling surprisingly well. They used the pace, a considerable amount of double teams, near falls and saves to develop a sense of urgency. The downside was Hotta, who was sucking pretty badly, particularly when using, or should I say, barely connecting with the chain.
Iron Woman Singles Tournament 2nd Round 2 digest
Iron Woman Tag Tournament Semifinal: Chikayo Nagashima & Amazing Kong vs. Chigusa Nagayo & Yumiko Hotta 5:08 of 7:06. Typical Chigusa sprint. Hotta isn't at home in this sort of match, but Nagashima made it worthwhile. Nagayo did a good job and actually let Nagashima pin her without it coming off flukey.
Iron Woman Tag Tournament Semifinal: Aja Kong & Ayako Hamada vs. Shark Tsuchiya & Takako Inoue 6:12 of 7:12. Match started out all over the place with Hamada doing her flying moves in between Shark choking her with a barbed wire rod. In the end, Hamada's style won out, and it was an enjoyable sprint where Tsuchiya's involvement was kept to a minimum. Takako was actually running from corner to corner to do her Takako panic.
Iron Woman Singles Tournament Semifinal: Carlos Amano vs. Manami Toyota 0:53. I don't mind a quick pin if it's earned through some good offense or even a nifty counter, but Amano just tried a couple basic pins and that was the match.
Iron Woman Singles Tournament Semifinal: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Sugar Sato 4:48 of 7:19. Sato was on offense until the final two moves, pushing Ozaki to some extent. She was using her drum to chokeslam Ozaki onto, but the first one didn't go as planned, with Ozaki banging her elbow because Sato put her down sideways. Ozaki eventually used the drum to her advantage, Oz kicking Sato off the drum for the win.
Iron Woman Tag Tournament Final: Chikayo Nagashima & Amazing Kong vs. Aja Kong & Ayako Hamada 8:02 of 8:58. They worked a dissension angle between Amazing & Nagashima beginning with Amazing pushing Nagashima off the apron because she didn't get her a chair. Nagashima finally cooperated, but Aja saw Nagashima trying to break her pinfall with a chair shot and rolled out of the way. Amazing started to slap Nagashima around, but Hamada snuck up from behind with a pin attempt. Amazing soon became so frustrated she decided to tank the match, following Aja's backdrop to Nagashima with a diving body press, but Nagashima avoided her partner's attack as well as the Kong's subsequent attempt to sandwich her. Amazing had the better position than Aja to save Hamada when Nagashima turned her AP cross into a pin attempt, but she remembered she got more money if they won so she allowed her partner to score the pinfall. **
Iron Woman Tag Tournament Final 4 Way Match: Manami Toyota vs. Sugar Sato vs. Amazing Kong vs. Chikayo Nagashima 9:02. Something different, and the wrestling was consistently pretty good. As expected, Nagashima pretty much wrestled circles around everyone. Sato also had a good night though, fairing well in all of her matches, and Toyota provided some hot offense. The main drawback is they always had all four in the ring, so half the time one or two of them were just laying around, which didn't exactly add to the credibility.
Iron Woman Tournament Final: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Carlos Amano 14:53 of 16:53. After all these hours, we finally got two wrestlers going all out to deliver a memorable match. That's perhaps not the knock on the performers it sounds like, as the format sets them up for a handful of short matches rather than one potentially substantial one. In any case, to an extent they wrestled as if it were going to be another brief excursion, keeping the pace high and more or less doing big moves from start to finish. However, there were quite a few important differences from the typical OZ Academy match, most importantly they took the time to act and sell to give the contest some substance and aura. There was good intensity from the get go. The story was Amano was really pushing Ozaki, particularly abusing her arm to setup the cross armbar. Police stayed out of it during the first half, but then interjected himself when Ozaki was in danger of being forced to submit. Though he was an important part of the match, rather than being the typical mind numbing handicap match, Police was largely relegated to making saves as a tag partner would. Ozaki was in top form here, going all out to not only have an excellent match, but also to make her understudy a star. It was the sort of match where Amano was pushing so hard you figured she'd ultimately lose by getting screwed over by the law, but Ozaki made the wise decision, giving Amano the opportunity to become a star by putting her over on the biggest show in the history of the company. ***3/4