OZ Academy Puroresu King #184 5/8/08 THE WIZARD OF OZ ARIAKE MAX
Devil Masami vs. KANA 2:22 of 3:23. Kind of funny to think they only showed 2/3 of a match that was only 3 1/3 minutes. On the other hand, why would you skip 2/3 of the Nagashima & Kato vs. Tamura & Genki match where they were trying to deliver a memorable match to show a standard squash? Devil may be way past her prime, but she knows how to not only stay within herself, but also plug her opponent into a basic formula that will make the action competent and passable.
Aja Kong & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Dynamite Kansai & Tomoka Nakagawa 6:48 of 10:48. Fun match. Nakagawa got to show her offense today, and her move set was pretty decent. She worked a nice little lucha sequence with Aja, and a pretty good finishing sequence with Matsumoto. Matsumoto has potential too. She was even able to set Kansai up a few times. Kansai was moving well tonight, and it was nice to see some intensity in her work against Aja. Pretty good match.
Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato vs. Yoshiko Tamura & Misae Genki 11:01 of 18:30. Everyone was working hard to make the match memorable. They all not only have the capability, but Tamura & Genki are great opponents for Nagashima, in particular, because they allow her to showcase her diverse ability. Tamura can work up a storm, doing all the fast sequences and taking anything, while Genki can do all the big vs. small spots with the huge bonus that she's actually a willing bumper. Hot action from the outset with all the pairings delivering high quality wrestling. The chemistry was excellent and there was never a dull moment. ***1/2
3 vs 2 Handicap Match: KAORU & Takako Inoue & Hiren vs. Manami Toyota & AKINO 10:01 of 12:58. Started out as a hyper paced Toyota workrate style match, and although the pace never slowed, the match became quite chaotic due to all the outside interference. The spotfest may be empty, but it's something they can do well and entertain with. Police, on the other hand, is only a second for a reason, and Mika Nishio mainly stands around acting as if she's there for some purpose even though she's just getting in the way or cheerleading. This wasn't a bad match by any means, in fact it had the potential to be a really good one, but it was as if even the wrestlers themselves were distracted by what the seconds were doing. Aja Kong was there to negate Police, and there was a good spot where she pulled AKINO's arm into the ropes for an escape, but the pin due to the heel using the stun gun behind the ref's back is one of the reasons I have no patience for the cornball American crap. I was impressed by Hiren though, who partially due to the ring attire, was reminding me of a young Ran Yu-Yu. **1/2
~THE WIZARD OF OZ~ OZ Openweight Title & OZ Principal Position, 2/3 Falls Dress Up Wild Fight Hair vs. Hair: Carlos Amano vs. Mayumi Ozaki 7:38, 9:25, 6:04. I had extremely high hopes for this match because in the past, Ozaki's Dress Up Wild Fights have ranged from quite good to classic, and this was obviously going to be the match from 2008 they were going to be remembered by. They did make the effort to make it stand apart from the rest, but they had the kid in the candy shop mentality, which unfortunately meant they made the critical mistake of focusing on what they could use rather than how they could use it. No Ozaki match has ever had such diversity in weapons, and yet, that was actually a detriment. Nu Jack's garbage can of goodies never helped Nu Jack have an actual good wrestling match because none of them had any particular purpose. They were simply substitutes for actual wrestling moves, since Nu Jack had no ability to actually wrestle. I don't want to put Ozaki & Amano in that class because they are more than capable of having an excellent match in any style, but tonight they just sort of moved from one weapon to the other and it was all rather flat. Yes, they made a genuine effort to use the weapons to enhance their wrestling moves rather than replace them, but it was as if they couldn't do a move if it didn't involve a weapon. Thus, Amano was just wrapping a chain around Ozaki's arm and hoping we'd believe that somehow helped her sankakujime, and that's just silly! There were, of course, some good spots that merged wrestling with garbage such as Ozaki Ligerbombing Amano through a table, but that's not exactly original and in the end, you mainly noticed they were using a barbed wire chair, bat, chain, florescent light bulb, table, etc. The florescent light bulb was a new one, and it wisely lead to the finish, although, in essence, Ozaki standing there and getting clocked by the bulb was not particularly more or less exciting than if it had been a bat or a chair or whatever. And that they didn't make me care about one object or the other, or any of them was really the problem. The falls were all short, but they didn't seem that way because it was so gimmick oriented it was kind of tedious. They did the spots well, and there was plenty of gore and carnage from start to finish. If that's the main thing you are seeking, this is a nice match, but I wanted some drama, some reason to truly care. I don't think that's too much to ask from a match with control of the company, the top title, and their hair on the line. After Amano pinned her former mentor in her own tequila sunrise finisher, Amano took the scissors to Ozaki, but Ozaki was getting bored sitting around while Amano snipped 30 hairs at a time, so she took the electric razor to the rest of the long portions. Amano told Ozaki to get on her knees, and Ozaki obliged as a way to duck Police's lariat so it would hit Amano. D-FIX then beat Amano up, and Nishio held Carlos in the ropes so Ozaki could steal a few snips of Amano's hair. **1/4