OZ Academy Puroresu King #79 9/8/06 19th OZ Academy
I kept wondering how OZ Academy could be celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2006 when the league had their debut show on 6/21/98 until it finally dawned upon me that this was the 10th Anniversary of Ozaki forming the group rather than the league. This was an interesting idea, having an entire show with just the 4 members, but let's just say if they want to wrestle like this, they are more than welcome to have as many Anniversaries as they'd like. Everyone worked really hard, and no one was going downhill due to fatigue. It was as if we were in the mid 90's rather than the mid 00's. Okay, the wrestling wasn't stellar, but given their usual level, it was well more than a cut above.
Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Carlos Amano 4:37 of 5:34. Really good short match. They treated it as a big match, something of real importance. Obviously there was no time for development, but given it was essentially a lengthy finishing segment, it was pretty much everything one could ask for. The match was fast-paced and well executed. They wrestled with a sense of urgency, and were even laying into each other in the headbutt vs. uraken exchanges. Police handed Ozaki her chain early, but Carlos caught her with a diving lariat before she could use it, and otherwise the match went off with no weapons or interference. Carlos pinned Ozaki in a jackknife hold to avenge her loss on 4/30/06.
Point System Match: Dynamite Kansai vs. Chikayo Nagashima 0:41. Nagashima wanted her huracanrana, while Kansai wanted her splash mountain. Nagashima won out.
Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Chikayo Nagashima 7:42. Same deal as the Ozaki vs. Amano match except it wasn't nearly as well executed, and thus convincing. They would have been better off putting less emphasis on speed and more emphasis on the impact, but these days it's never a bad thing when they try to be too impressive. **1/2
Point System Match: Dynamite Kansai vs. Carlos Amano 6:28 of 8:01. They cut out the deadtime rather than rather skipping the beginning as usual to show Kansai was once again looking for the splash mountain from the outset. Amano was focusing on one move finishes, either trying to catch Kansai in an arm submission or get a flash pin. It helps that they are so familiar with one another, but the primary reason the match was better than expected is Amano was just on fire tonight. **
Point System Match: Chikayo Nagashima vs. Carlos Amano 8:19 of 9:12. Best match so far. Rather than getting sucked into the usual scatterbrain rushing they really did a nice job of pacing this to put over the story of the night, slowing the match down to show their fatigue without losing anything in quality. They are capable of more impressive sequences, but this was a very mature performance from both, as they were smart about the manner in which they went about taking the pace down, focusing on executing as well as possible (they rarely connect so solidly on their strikes) and putting over the toll of the night. Amano was best able to wrestle again after brief layoffs, and was definitely the most consistent performer of the night. ***
Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Dynamite Kansai 14:22 of 15:00. Joshi puroresu could still be really good if they would just take the time to think. In a sense, this Ozaki vs. Kansai match was really nothing special, but by merely doing a simple intelligent match they resurrected the once must see fued, delivering the best entry in years. It was really an Ozaki one woman show, but Kansai deserves much of the credit for that because she had to put aside her tough woman gimmick and allow Ozaki to give her a constant ass whipping. Kansai can still sell, and she can still execute well, it's trying to keep a high pace that gives her trouble. But amazingly, they did the smart thing and stayed slow throughout, first putting over the toll of the league, and then giving way to the specifics of the match itself. It was a logical match with a thoughtful progression of holds. Ozaki finally used a few gimmicks, but they totally added to the match because there was purpose and consistency. For instance, chair shot to Kansai's knee set up the figure 4 and the umbrella to the knee set up a diving footstomp to the knee and kneebar. There was also a good spot where Police finally decided to interfere, but this cost Ozaki because she finally got to the ropes to escape Kansai's ½ crab while the ref had her back turned to scold Police. As always, it's not what you do, but when and how you incorporate it. Due to Ozaki & Kansai splitting their three points by drawing, Nagashima won the league with 6 points to Ozaki & Kansai's 4.5. ***1/2
Mayumi Ozaki & Carlos Amano vs. Chikayo Nagashima & Dynamite Kansai 16:26 of 18:26. I like the wild fight concept better as a singles match since the Texas Tornado rules tend to render it chaotic. The pace was actually moderate and they took the time to sell, but it was more that you were either involved in the main action or down, so the selling was more a product of the other three doing a 2 on 1 spot than something they were putting a major effort into. I didn't find there to be any real drama here, so it just came off as a rather flat and underwhelming succession of weapon spots. Police stayed out of it until the last minute when he broke up Kansai's pin attempt following her splash mountain finisher with a florescent bulb. Suddenly, Nagashima just decided to double cross Kansai with a DDT on a chair and Ozaki hit Kansai with a super sized florescent bulb then her and Nagashima covered for the win. **
Plum Mariko highlights and memorial ceremony