OZ Academy Puroresu King #93 11/25/06
Marvelous Night Special Sonoko Kato Restart Again!! 10/1/06 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE: Sonoko Kato & Aja Kong vs KAORU & Meiko Satomura 7:43 of 19:41. Good to see Sonoko back in the ring. She wasn't running as fluidly or freely as she did before all her knee injuries, but she was generally quite good. It was hard to gauge how healthy she really was because she did such a nice job of selling the knee as part of both the return and match storyline. In any case, if she's consistently at least at this level she'll easily rank among the better third of joshi wrestlers. Aja was edited out of the match because their only reason for showing anything from the 10/1 show was to give us a look at Kato. Apparently KAORU was paired with Aja, as she was nowhere to be seen either. Good.
~THE WIZARD OF Oz~ OZ Academy Openweight Title 1st Single Champion League Match: Aja Kong vs Chikayo Nagashima 7:47. A well executed match that helped remind us that when God wanted the real Devil, he made Aja Kong. Kong was in brawling mode, bullying Nagashima, who was soon sporting the crimson mask. Chikayo was pretty lifeless throughout, only surviving because Kong refused to pin her after each of her 3 urakens. She woke up a little after Kong pulled her up from a pin attempt the first time, but Kong cut her comeback right off and tossed her around some more so she could pull her up again! Finally, the ref had to stop the match because Nagashima was completely limp. Obviously, the problem with this match is Nagashima, the best worker actually in the league, was completely jobbed out for no good reason. It was so one-sided I kept thinking Nagashima must be going to score a flash pin, but she had maybe 30 seconds of offense. **
~THE WIZARD OF Oz~ OZ Academy Openweight Title 1st Single Champion League Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs Dynamite Kansai 5:38. Ozaki vs. Kansai was one of the best programs of the 1990's, they weren't exactly adding another brilliant chapter to their legacy tonight, to say the least. Police got some cheapshots in to give Ozaki the advantage then Ozaki blitzed Kansai with endless backhand blows. I mean, Kansai basically stood there taking wild spinning strikes for 5 minutes, and that was the entire match! If Ozaki were Kobashi, this might almost be acceptable, but by focusing on keeping the pace of the urakens to keep the pressure on Kansai, the impact was that much sketchier than usual. *
Carlos Amano Produce: Azumi Hyuga & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Ran Yu-Yu & Carlos Amano 14:47 of 23:45. If this is any indication, they should allow Amano to play matchmaker more often. Her JWP Class of 1994 reunion match was certainly one of the best matches in the history of OZ Academy. They worked hard and experimented a little, taking advantage of the strengths of all four members. Everyone was very good and put forth a big effort, but, of course, Hyuga was a class above the rest. She's a workrate machine, but she doesn't merely speed up the match, she forces the others to develop their counters at this high pace. Hyuga's fast sequences with Ran were exquisite, but I can't emphasize enough that what was so good about the match wasn't the plethora of cool spots, but that Hyuga forced her opponents to make intricate counters to pull them off. When Azumi wasn't in, it was still big moves throughout, but there was no particular creativity involved, as they essentially just waited for the opposition to pummel them. I give Kuragaki a lot of credit for working hard enough to reach the level of her classmates, especially after never making it as far as debuting with her class, then going through it all again 4 years later, at which point she was still quite a slow developer. She'll never be as naturally talented, but the combination of effort and being a spot merchant keeps people interested in her. The match seemed to go on about a minute too long. The whole thing was basically a fast paced finishing sequence, but they not only didn't have anything better than earlier, they started running out of ideas and getting sloppy. ***3/4
Chikayo Nagashima Produce: Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato vs Chikayo Nagashima & Toshie Uematsu 13:33 of 14:53. An hour after being demolished, Nagashima is suddenly a star again, putting together the GAEA Class of 1995 reunion match. The pace was similarly fast, but the maneuvering wasn't nearly as elaborate and advanced as in the JWP reunion match. Well, to be more specific, Nagashima vs. Satomura was actually up to JWP level, but Uematsu isn't capable of coming close. Nagashima's cut reopened quickly, and Uematsu wound up trying to pick up the slack to give her a break, which wasn't helping the match. Uematsu worked really hard, but was simply outclassed, particularly by Satomura, who was on fire. Kato was protected, but did okay with Nagashima mainly working her bad knee to lead up to the finish. Match had a couple interesting spots. At one point, Nagashima German suplexed Uematsu out of the way of Satomura's high kick with Uematsu taking no damage because she landed on her feet. Later, Kato & Uematsu fought over a chair, so Nagashima hopped on it and jumped off with a Frankensteiner to Kato. ***1/4