AJW ALL JAPAN WOMEN'S PRO-WRESTLING 2002 DVD VHS
Zen Nihon Joshi Puroresu Tapes Videos


AJW ATHENA on Fuji 721 #41 1/19/02
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

12/16/01 Kanagawa Kawasaki-shi Taiikukan

Miho Wakizawa Intai Jiai Wacky Final Smile: Miho Wakizawa vs. Kayo Noumi 15:30. A good match for them. They kept it simple early on then Wakizawa started going to her "big" moves at 8:00. Wakizawa got the majority of the offense in since she was losing, which boded well since even an injured up Wakizawa has far better moves and execution than Noumi. Everything was well executed for Noumi. Well there was a lot of repetition since neither are capable of doing much, I'd certainly rather see more missile kicks, fisherman busters, and doublewrist armsaults and the usual goofiness. Actually, this was probably as serious as MihoKayo gets. Although it had surprisingly little atmosphere, especially for a retirement match, this is probably the best match they've had against one another. Noumi pinned Wakizawa with her own fishermanbuster. During Wakizawa's retirement ceremony, Rumi & Takako made it look like they were going to have Eagle beat Miho up. However, they "doublecrossed" Eagle with a double DDT and had Wakizawa pin her with a diving body press. **1/2
Michael Smith: The match started out slowly being that they were using very basic moves. The first few minutes were very reminiscent of a "green" girls match from say '94 or '95. That and the strategy of using eardrum piercing screams to make each other deaf took away from this match a bit. There were however a lot of nice near falls (which unfortunately were hurt by the lack of heat) over the last few minutes including Kayo rolling through on a top rope hurancanrana for a two count and another two count off Kayo's rolling doublewrist armsaults. It's a good thing this was Miho retirement match in the sense that Kayo surviving 5 fisherman's busters killed Wakizawa's finisher dead. Noumi eventually got the win with a fisherman's buster of her own that came off more like a regular fisherman's suplex (minus the bridging pin attempt). They kept the goofiness down in this match which helped it be better than I had expected going in. As I said before, the lack of heat hurt them but overall I feel they still put out a **1/2 effort. Miho got alot of streamers before and after the match, which makes you wonder why the crowd couldn't support her during it. I think she could come back though and be successful if she recovers from her injuries and decides she wants to wrestle again. She never was or will be a great worker but she and Kayo both have a lot of charisma as a team and since standards aren't as high as they were in the mid-late '90s, she certainly has a solid place in today's era. **1/2

Kanaami & Waisha Kamikiri Death Match ~Final Conclusion~: Kaoru Ito vs. Yumiko Hotta 45:37. Only in AJW do they have someone with very negative stamina go 45 minutes in a cage match. In their previous moronathon all the brawling around the building helped mask Hotta's lack of ability and stamina, but limited to the confines of the cage it was so painfully apparent. Hotta hit Ito with a ladder, leaving Ito bloody before the match even began. Ito bled all over the place, but that was one of the only "highlights." The reason Ito is a good brawler, while ZAP I for the most part isn't is that Ito brawls with fire, flair, and charisma while I is just a masked goon that hits you with a stick 100 times. At least ZAP I has an excuse since AJW strapped her with this ridiculous gimmick and never even gave them any legitimate credibility. Hotta's brawling is just a joke though. She's expressionless and inert. A chain can be interesting, but not if you just lean around once you wrap it around your opponent's neck. Too look at Hotta wrestle these days, you have to think she considers it a chore. Anyway, the match was absolutely endless. If you like nothing but chains, ladders, and fire extinguishers this was an instant classic. As the match "progressed," they added climbing since it was the usual escape rules. Even the haircut at the end was unsatisfactory; Fujii's normal hairdo is about the same length. Ito did a decent job, but she had to sell way too much for it to be a quality match, and even when she was on offense there wasn't a lot she could do with such a flat opponent. *
MS: This match was not as bad as I was led to believe, but it wasn't that good either. 50 minutes (including the pre-match brawl) was WAY too long for either of them to be out there, and as a result both women were blown up 20 minutes in. The positives about this match though were that despite the repetition of escape attempts, both women worked their asses off and as a result the crowd was into the match when they needed to be. Both women took a lot of punishment here (especially Hotta landing on her the back of her head after being pulled off the top of the cage and the several brutal footstomps Ito gave her), which made the fact that they were blown up acceptable in that it put over the toll the match was taking on them. Flashing back 4-1/2 years, Ito did the footstomp off the top of the cage and while not as dramatic as when she planted Shimoda with it, it was still a very impressive and awesome spot. They did a nice tease following this where Ito's leg was caught in the chain and she initially couldn't get over the top of the cage but was eventually able to. The cutting of Hotta's hair following the match came off as anti-climatic, but the show of respect between them (though expected) was nice to see after the war they had just gone through. *3/4

1/4/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

2/3 Falls WWWA Sekai Tag Senshukenjiai: Tomoko Watanabe & Nanae Takahashi vs. Rumi Kazama & Takako Inoue 9:08, 13:36, 7:36. Watanabe hasn't been as good of late. She seems less motivated and more about self preservation, probably because her knee is pretty bad. This was a lot better than Watanabe & Takahashi's title match against MihoKayo, but still seemed kind of flat and lacking in emotion. Everyone was decent, but no one really stepped up. **1/4
MS: Although this match went too long for these 4 it really picked up midway through the 2nd fall. Surprisingly the first 2 falls were completely held in the ring and lacked any brawling or interference (which I'm certainly not complaining about). The work wasn't bad, but it was nothing special either as nobody really did anything noticeable here. The one exception to that was a pretty cool spot where Takako slid down the drapes by the high balcony which drew a decent reaction from the crowd. Otherwise it was a good, solid, match but nothing you'd be hurt by missing.

AJW Zen Nihon Joshi Puroresu Namajo. Vol. 7 DVD New Year's One Day Tag Tournament 1/6/02
-2hr 20min. Q=Master

1st Round

Manami Toyota & Chiemi Kitagami vs. Kayo Noumi & Mika Nishio

Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Tomiko Morii

Semifinals

Yumiko Hotta & Fumiko Yamane vs. Manami Toyota & Chiemi Kitagami

Tomoko Watanabe & Miyuki Fujii vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi

Final: Manami Toyota & Chiemi Kitagami vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi

MomoKayo vs. NabeNana New Year's bowling showdown

Nakanishi & Watanabe vs. Takahashi & Noumi New Year's ping pong

AJW Zen Nihon Joshi Puroresu Namajo. Vol. 8 DVD 1/18/02 Chiba Koen Taiikukan
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

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Fumiko Yamane vs. Ayako Sato

Handicap Match: Kaoru Ito vs. Mika Nishio & Saki Maemura

Kumiko Maekawa vs. Miyuki Fujii

Momoe Nakanishi vs. Kayo Noumi

bonus lifestyle segments

Manami Toyota & Tomoko Watanabe vs. Yumiko Hotta & Nanae Takahashi

AJW ATHENA on Fuji 721 #42 2/16/02 Zenjo Future Shock '02 taped 2/11/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Kaoru Ito Perfect Revive x 4 Handicap Match: Kaoru Ito vs. Kayo Noumi & Fumiko Yamane & Ayako Sato & Saki Maemura. A tuneup match for Ito. The first 3 segments were DUDs. She took out Maemura with one lariat and Sato with a lariat and a Boston crab. Noumi vs. Ito could have been interesting if the rookies had slowed Ito down some, but since she ran over them it was almost as one-sided looking as if Ito just had a singles match with Noumi. Still this portion was pretty good.

Kiss of the World music video

Manami Toyota & Miyuki Fujii & Mika Nishio vs. Yumiko Hotta & Kayoko Haruyama & Kaori Yoneyama. Toyota was very good, but had little support. She gave Yoneyama a wicked dropkick. Yoneyama certain fares better in more of a fast paced match like this with a lot of wrestlers than in a singles match because she's kind of like a young Kaori Nakayama. Fujii fares worse because the match is more above moves than solid work. The JWP girls were more impressive than the aside from Toyota. Pretty good match even though somewhat sloppy and uneven. **1/4

Black Joker's Turbulence in Korakuen: Takako Inoue vs. Tomoko Watanabe. A good mix of brawling and wrestling helped mask Takako's limitations and keep the match interesting. Takako has been hitting harder lately, so her urakens are now acceptable. The match should have been better than it was because Takako's offense didn't hold it down even though she was on offense the vast majority of the match. What sucked is that after taking just about everything Takako had, Watanabe beat her with two moves. **3/4
MS: A very banal and lackluster match. They did nothing you'd remember by the time the show ended, which was disappointing. I certainly wasn't expecting a classic here, but they basically went through the motions and I guess at this point Watanabe's injuries over the years have caught up to her because she moves like a glacier most of the time. She did a nice job of selling the stun gun, like she was barely concious as a result of getting shocked, but aside from a nice running springboard back elbow from her off the middle rope she didn't do much while in control. After some chair work (nice to see no blade here), Takako decided to forego any offense that wasn't an uraken, which killed this match because her strikes border on pathetic. She's always been one of my very favorites (for her attitude as much as her ability), but she seriously needs to find something more effective looking if she's going to rely mainly on strikes at this point in her career. The constant pin attempts off them and Watanabe kicking out might've drawn the crowd into the match if they actually looked decent, but they were horrible so no one believed she'd actually win with one. She finally did a nice Takako panic, but Tomoko escaped the 3 again. Finally Watanabe decided to stop selling the urakens and clotheslined then TigerDrove Takako for a merciful end. DUD

Video of Kiss of the World recording session

NanaMomo Road to Perfect Revive: Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Misae Genki. Another match that would have benefitted from being 10 minutes shorter. The final 11 minutes were very good, but they certainly didn't kill themselves during the first 20. The match did build up pretty well. Momoe was by far the best. Despite how great her matches with Maekawa are supposed to be, it was about equal whether she worked with her or Genki. The big dropoff was either of the two working with Takahashi. I liked the part where Genki tried to elbow and kick her way out of a German suplex, but Momoe kept dodging. ***
MS: Basically this was the Momoe and Kumiko show. This made sense though as they were heading into their 2/24 PPV match. Genki has become a good solid worker, but she was pretty much non-existent here which makes you wonder why they brought her in. Momoe shone throughout and Nanae was competent for most of the match. However she was clearly blown-up over the last several minutes, which led to it getting very sloppy. Kumiko seemed to get winded as well leading to her missing a few kicks over the last 3 minutes (though a couple of them were on purpose). There were still several great near falls towards the end and Momoe & Maekawa's interaction thoughout the match was good enough that it made you look foward to them facing off again two weeks later. ***

AJW Nihon Joshi Puroresu Namajo. Vol. 9 DVD Future Shock One-Day Tag Tournament 2/17/02 Honkawagoe Pepe Hall
-2hr 5min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

Tag Tournament Round 1

Manami Toyota & Momoe Nakanishi vs. Nanae Takahashi & Fumiko Yamane 15:58. The problem with this match wasn't that Yamane was so ridiculously outclassed, although she was, but rather that the match wasn't that much better when Takahashi was in. Yamane looks like she could be a cousin of Bat Yoshinaga, but hasn't developed a style yet. Toyota & Momoe had to work down to Yamane's level because she's so green she barely even knows how to bump yet. I didn't mind Toyota joking around here because her totally dumbing down her real offense to Yamane's level is too ludicrous to suggest. In fact, that the match was as good as it was is to Toyota & Nakanishi's credit for having a good attitude and work ethic. The match was way too long given the mismatch, the limitations it entailed, and the fact Toyota & Momoe still had two more matches to work that night. It wasn't like seeing Toyota & Momoe because they couldn't and/or wouldn't do anything until the last few minutes. The execution was fine, but match wasn't compelling because it didn't pick up when whipping girl Yamane finally made the tag. *1/2
MS: The best segments were between Manami and Yamane. Not for the work, but because Manami had a lot of fun teasing the former rookie. Yamane was funny as well, bouncing around the ring like a pogo stick on soggy grass. To their credit Manami and Momoe worked to make this an adequate match. Nanae looked about as good as she can as well, and the 16 minutes they worked really flew by. There really weren't any negatives here because, although she was a joke, Yamane wasn't embarrassed by Manami or Momoe or put in a position where she could drag things down. Manami and Momoe were smooth and nearly flawless though, and that's what made the match. *1/2

Kaoru Ito & Yumiko Hotta vs. Tomoko Watanabe & Ayako Sato. Watanabe took most of the match and did pretty well. Hotta was sluggish as ever and Ito didn't bother. No one denied Sato was way out of her depth, but it was funny when Watanabe would come in and push Ito down after she caught Sato's high cross body. *1/4
MS: At least it was short at 7 minutes. As you'd expect, Hotta gave Sato absolutely nothing. Watanabe looked okay, and actually had the hottest sequence of the match with Hotta. Hotta being sloppy as hell killed it though because she could barely get off the ground during her spin wheel kicks. DUD

Tag Tournament Semifinal

Manami Toyota & Momoe Nakanishi vs. Mika Nishio & Miyuki Fujii. Pretty much the same story as the 1st round, another non-competitive match. Fujii & Nishio were inept, failing to even do a good dropkick. Toyota & Momoe laid back until the final few minutes to drag it out for 17. *1/2
MS: Manami and Momoe took it easy here to rest up for the finals. They mainly dominated with submissions, but didn't have any focus or direction to them. For example, Manami had Fujii in a prolonged figure four that Fujii sold well after it was broken, but Manami didn't care to follow it up so Fujii wound up dropping the knee pain after a minute or two. Nishio and Fujii were given very short spurts of offense here and there, but obviously neither has nearly enough to even slightly challange Manami or Momoe (though I think Mika will one day, Fujii has already shown that she's a perennial low-card caliber worker at best). There was one good near fall when Fujii rolled through on a Japanese ocean cyclone suplex attempt by Manami. However, there was no doubt at anytime that ManaMomo could put them away whenever they felt like it. *1/2

Kaoru Ito & Yumiko Hotta vs. Kayo Noumi & Saki Maemura. Ito & Hotta actually took "a lot" from Noumi & Maemura even though their offense is weak and it isn't credible for Ito & Hotta to sell for them. Still, it was readily apparent that Hotta could have pinned Maemura after the 1st move. Noumi was allowed to get some flash pins on Hotta. Would have been a better match if Noumi & Maemura showed they could take because no one was going to buy them beating either of these two with their uncredible offense. *1/4
MS: Hotta hit a nice spin wheel kick to start the match that dropped Saki like a stone. She didn't get up or even move, and appeared to be knocked out for a few moments. Finally, Hotta was able to get her up and into the corner so Kayo could come in. And to my shock, Yumiko actually took some bumps for Kayo before letting Ito tag in. This was the best part of the match as Ito sold for Kayo and eventually a double-team from Maemura as well. However, as soon as Kayo tagged out Ito sent Maemura into unconciousness again with a running forearm to the top of the head. Even though this led to the match being about 5 minutes long it wasn't bad because of the pacing of Ito and Kayo and the fact that Hotta wasn't involved much after Ito came in. *

Tag Tournament Final: Manami Toyota & Momoe Nakanishi vs. Kaoru Ito & Yumiko Hotta 20:15. A solid match with Hotta & Ito controlling Momoe, mainly by working her right knee, with some nice moments when Momoe used her speed and athleticism to evade them or Toyota made hot tags and did her flying. It was kind of slow, and Hotta wasn't really there, but they did enough to maintain our attention in between the high points. I would have liked to have seen some more inspiration to the submissions, and probably a few less of them and instead some more stiffness from Hotta and Ito, who were a bit light. That being said, Toyota, Momoe, & Ito certainly did enough to make it an acceptable final. **1/4
MS: Coming into this match ManaMomo had worked nearly 3 times as long as Ito and Hotta had (34 minutes to 12), so it was a major let-down that Hotta and to a lesser extent Ito partially dragged this match down because they appeared more worn out then ManaMomo. The work was fairly good, but way too one-sided in favor of Ito and Hotta. This wouldn't have bothered me if they were losing, but since they were going over it was a joke how Manami and Momoe couldn't get any sustained offense on either of them. Momoe was given virtually nothing by Hotta and not much more from Ito, so she basically got beat on 99% of the time she was in there. Even Manami wasn't allowed to do much as Hotta was selfish as usual and Ito wouldn't sell much for her. This surprised me because I while I somewhat expected them to pull that shit with Momoe, I didn't expect Manami to tolerate it happening to her. There was one strong near fall where Momoe got the latch on Hotta, but otherwise they just meandered through the match and to the finish which had virtually no build to it. **1/4

AJW LIVE SPECIAL ATHENA YOKOHAMA BAY-SIDE Zenjo Turbulence '02 2/24/02 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan Part 1
-2hr. Q=TV Master

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First Turbulence: Saki Maemura vs. Fumiko Yamane. 1/2*

Zenjo vs. JWP Tag Match: Miyuki Fujii & Mika Nishio vs. Komina Ichikawa & Kaori Yoneyama. *1/2

Black Joker's Turbulence: Tomoko Watanabe & Nanae Takahashi & Kayo Noumi vs. Rumi Kazama & Eagle Sawai & Takako Inoue. **1/2

AJW LIVE SPECIAL ATHENA YOKOHAMA BAY-SIDE Zenjo Turbulence '02 2/24/02 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan Part 2
-2hr 10min. Q=TV Master

All Pacific Senshuken Oza Ketteisen: Kumiko Maekawa vs. Momoe Nakanishi. ****1/2

Dream Tag Match ~super collaboration~: Shinobu Kandori & Yumiko Hotta vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda. **

WWWA Sekai Single Senshukenjiai: Kaoru Ito vs. Manami Toyota. ****

AJW ATHENA on Fuji 721 #43 3/23/02 ATHENA YOKOHAMA BAY-SIDE Zenjo Turbulence '02 taped 2/24/02 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan
-1hr 55min. Q=Near Perfect

Black Joker's Turbulence: Tomoko Watanabe & Nanae Takahashi & Kayo Noumi vs. Rumi Kazama & Eagle Sawai & Takako Inoue. **1/2

All Pacific Senshuken Oza Ketteisen: Kumiko Maekawa vs. Momoe Nakanishi. ****1/2

Dream Tag Match ~super collaboration~: Shinobu Kandori & Yumiko Hotta vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda. **

WWWA Sekai Single Senshukenjiai: Kaoru Ito vs. Manami Toyota. ****

Battle Station AJW 4/30/02 taped 4/28/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Nanae Takahashi & Kayo Noumi & Mika Nishio vs. Eagle Sawai & Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe. Watanabe is obviously a big improvemt over Rumi, but it weakens this matchup as a whole because Nishio is worse than Rumi and now there's no one to carry the AJW side. Match was mainly one person running at the other and knocking them over. Good effort, but not much skill. **
MS: AJW seriously needs to bring Mariko Yoshida in full-time to lead the faces against Black Joker. The four members of Black Joker (including Rumi Kazama) are all established women while the faces side is filled with younger women who'd be very low on the card if AJW had more depth. Of course, if AJW actually knew how to book you could look at this fued as a chance to elevate the 3 faces. However, the Matsunaga's don't know how to do this and they'll probrably let Joker run all-over Nanae, Kayo, and Mika. Realistically none of those 3 has much in the way of offense anyway, so it's tough to ask women with the resumes of Takako and Watanabe to sell 4 straight dropkicks every night, but bringing in Yoshida could eleviate much of this problem. She could teach her teammates how to work and give them some credibility (unfortunately not much because of how ARSION's buried her). Nanae is already being moved up by winning the WWWA Tag Titles again, but she needs to eventually try an establish herself away from Momoe. Back to the match itself, nobody did much here though Watanabe took a couple of good bumps for Nanae and buried her with a couple of strong looking screwdrivers. **1/2

Saki Maemura vs. Ayako Sato. They tired each other out throwing dropkick after dropkick. 3:20 shown

WWWA Sekai Midget Senshuken "Tsunokake's Final Smile" Midget Puroresu Tomezo Tsunokake Intai Jiai: Tomezo Tsunokake vs. Little Frankie. Thankfully it only lasted 59 seconds.

Kaoru Ito vs. Kumiko Maekawa. These are two of the promotions best, but that doesn't make this a good matchup. Both women kick their opponents ass, but here someone had to sell. Maekawa was supposed to be the one doing this, but she's never done this well. The match was pretty strong when they used their offense that doesn't require much help from the taker, and granted that's much of their move set. They didn't have good chemistry though, nor did they put any thought into structuring or building the match. What aired could be on the low end of good, but that they cut so much out is likely telling since the live report I got said it wasn't that great and the reasons why were certainly apparent. 7:44 shown

Manami Toyota vs. Miyuki Fujii. They showed close to half the match, but there were so many edits to cut out 30 seconds here and a minute there that it killed whatever flow the match might have had. I'm not thrilled with these matches where Toyota makes fun of her lesser opponent, but her making it jokey does allow it to last a lot longer than she should need to beat them. 8:34 shown

Zenjo vs. ARSION Taikosen Road to Starwars: Yumiko Hotta & Momoe Nakanishi vs. Rie Tamada & Miyuki Fujii. Got off to a nice start with Momoe & Fujita's flying, but Hotta & Rie quickly sucked the life out of it. Compared to Momoe & Fujita, these two were in super slow motion doing incredible deliberate sequences. Rossy was sitting in the back initially, but by 7:30 Hotta had hit him and Rossy took a seat at the timekeepers table. I hate unentertaining non-sport more than anyone, but I at least expected the Japanese to do a less disgraceful version of it. I can't even begin to describe how bad the segments involving Rossy were though. He made Leno look like Kanemoto in his prime. The spot where he tripped Hotta was so lame it was laughable, but nothing could top Hotta having to make like someone was restraining her while Rossy took a minute to get his suit off, not even Rossy's deadly offense of tickling Hotta's face with a piece of paper! I never thought I'd stick up for Satan, but at least Vince is in shape. Rossy looks like the type that at 17 was the last pick in a game with a bunch of 8 year olds, and now he can't even move or bend. The fans were throwing drinks at him. When he finally got his suit off, a fan behind him dumped a glass of water on his back. To top it all off, the ref threw the "match" out after Hotta "tackled" Rossy and "ripped" some of his clothes off. In the midst of all this nonsense, Fujita did more of the best wrestling she's ever done against Momoe. She's the better flyer of the two, but that's really her whole game. What makes Momoe amazing is how she uses her athleticism to make her opponents look so much better than they are, whereas Fujita doesn't make anyone look better. DUD
MS: I realize that hate is a very strong word, but I don't know another more fitting for my feelings towards Rossy Ogawa. It was bad enough that Momoe had to sell a lot for that load Tamada, and that Hotta was moving so slowly that she was traveling back in time. Those two totally dragged this match down, but having that old dirty bastard completely ruin the outstanding work of Momoe and Ai had me wishing that someone would throw something stronger than water at him. Momoe and Ai were easily **** range with their work against each other until everyone else decided to piss the match down the drain. I'd recommend checking it out just to see the rematch segments between Ai and Momoe, but prepared to see it get buried by the egos of a glorified scrub in Tamada and a walking piece of refuse named Rossy. **3/4 solely due to Nakanishi and Fujita's work.

Battle Station AJW 5/15/02 taped 5/5/02 Zenjo Garage
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

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Toyota dresses up as a little girl and lip synchs

Manami Toyota vs. Ayako Sato. 4 matches. *1/2

Kumiko Maekawa vs. Miyuki Fujii. *

Cosplay Handicap Match: Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito vs. Nanae Takahashi & Mika Nishio & Saki Maemura. -**

Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi. **1/2

Battle Station AJW 5/31/02 Japan Grand Prix '02 Opening taped 5/26/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

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Miyuki Fujii & Ayako Sato vs. Mika Nishio & Saki Maemura. 4:59 shown

Black Joker vs. Queen Bee: Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe vs. Manami Toyota & Nanae Takahashi. 6:04 shown

Japan Grand Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Rie Tamada vs. Yumiko Hotta. -***

Japan Grand Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Kaoru Ito vs. Momoe Nakanishi. ****

Japan Grand Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Kayo Noumi vs. Kumiko Maekawa. *

Battle Station AJW 6/13/02 Japan Grand Prix '02 taped 6/7/02 Mobara Shi Taiikukan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Japan Grant Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Kayo Noumi
MS: The first five minutes were pretty slow as they engaged in fairly weak and meaningless matwork. Kayo started fairly hot but quickly went into a stall mode. Momoe finally took over the work by focusing on Kayo's leg (which including a poor figure four attempt by her) and then back which saw decent to good selling on Kayo's part. Noumi did throw in some verbal comedy but otherwise stayed away from the goofy faces and mannerisms. Around 10 minutes in Kayo regained control of the match with a couple of variations of dropkicks and a monkeyflip which all looked good but to my disappointment she didn't bother to sell her leg or back even though that's were the last 5 minutes of the match went. But on the plus side when she went back to the submissions she did focus on Momoe's back and actually put some effort into making the holds look good. And in return Momoe briefly sold her back coming out of it. After some brawling outside both women seemed to be gassed as they started to move very deliberately and were taking big gasps of air. Therefore even though the pacing picked up around the 16 minute mark it was still rather slow since neither was moving that well. The heat may've played a part in this as kayo seemed to be sweating a lot for not doing much and toweled off everytime they went outside. But Momoe was actually the one who brought the match down as she was moving in slo-motion for the last half of the match and looked about as bad as I've seen her look over the last year and a half. But in giving her the benefit of the doubt, I believe she was injured coming into this match so that must've played the major part of her problems here because she's shown several times this year that she has no problems going long. Normally I like when a match ends with a long series of near falls but here 7 minutes was way too long as both women kept repeating the same pin attempts over and over again and this elongated sequence really exposed Kayo's lack of offense and innovative thinking/ability. To his credit, the play-by-play guy tried his best to put this over but even being as big a Kayo mark as I am, this back-and-forth seemed to go on forever. Because of the lackluster way the match was built and the fact that there was no doubt that they were going to a draw, the last couple of minutes had no drama to them whatsoever even though a few of the covers looked good. Overall I felt that Kayo had a decent showing and held up ok over the 30 minutes that this match went. I certainly place no blame on Momoe but it was clear that she couldn't hold up her end of the match so it wasn't that good and certainly not on the level I was hoping it would be. *3/4

Ayako Sato vs Saki Maemura
MS: This wasn't one of their better showings. Sato looked decent, but Maemura looked fatigued very early on. She also took a couple of weird bumps off dropkicks. Basically she fell backwards as if she was going to make snow angels. I don't think it was planned or intentional (and it certainly wasn't a comedy spot), but it was kinda funny nonetheless.

Kumiko Maekawa vs. Mika Nishio
MS: Not much happened here. As you'd expect Maekawa dominated and didn't give Nishio much. What little Mika did happened to look good, and she did kickout of a couple of decent pin attempts by Maekawa following good looking kicks.

Tomoko Watanabe vs. Miyuki Fujii
MS: What you'd expect. Watanabe did as little as possible and Fujii doesn't have much to do. For what it was though it wasn't that bad because they were mistake free with what they did do. But the match came off as just a time filler, (i.e, they did just enough to fill their their allotted time).

Manami Toyota & Nanae Takahashi vs. Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito
MS: The work here was good and everybody except Hotta looked good. Manami was the best, of course, but Nanae worked hard and Ito did what she had to do as well to carry her side. It was built like the usual AJW tag main events on these small shows. Starting with mostly matwork and building towards a hot finish. What hurt this match though was the lack of that hot finish. Nanae was just pinned with a footstomp off the top rope by Ito. There weren't any strong near falls leading up to the finish, so the match didn't realize the potential it showed over the first few minutes. **1/2

Battle Station AJW 6/25/02 Japan Grand Prix '02 taped 6/16/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta vs. Kaoru Ito & Takako Inoue
MS: This was a weird match in that they wrestled it like they were on a small house show instead of Korakuen Hall for a TV taping. The pacing was very methodical and there were numerous rest-holds killing the faster pace Manami normally tries to establish. Nobody looked bad, but aside from Manami nobody did much either (and even she had a very paired down set-list tonight). Hotta was competent and didn't drag things down as she normally does, but Takako and Ito seemed to be in slow motion for the majority of the match. There did seem to be an undercurrent of legitimate heat between Manami and Ito (obviously some being worked) which would've made things more interesting had they faced-off more often. Instead Takako spent most of the time in the ring vs. Manami, and a lot of that had her putting Manami in long submissions that neither tried to make look good. Even the finish had nothing going for it as most of their "A" offense was left unused. **1/2

Ayako Sato vs. Miyuki Fujii

Saki Maemura vs. Mika Nishio

Japan Grant Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Kayo Noumi vs. Rie Tamada
MS: This wasn't too bad though it was hindered by Tamada spending most of the time on offense, despite the fact that she was going over. Not that Kayo has an incredible or even solid arsenal of her own, but being that she was the home girl and was losing it would've been nice to see her challenge more than she did. The last couple of minutes were pretty good though with some cool near falls that got the crowd into it (though Kayo was getting reactions throughout). Before the match they shook hands and after the match Rie helped Kayo up and showed her respect by raising her arm (i.e. like a wrestler normally does when they win), so apparently she's a tolerable wrestler and nice person on her own and only a horrible heel when Rossy is around. **

Japan Grant Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Nanae Takahashi vs. Tomoko Watanabe
MS: It's hard to make 13 minutes seem like an eternity, but they certainly tried to here. A very banal match that was about as boring as it gets. Nanae worked hard and did her best, but she's not good enough to carry anyone, especially a slug like Watanabe has become. Tomoko looked pretty washed up here with the exception of a couple of good looking screwdrivers. It was too bad that Nanae lost because her going over would've been the only saving grace this match could've have. *1/4

Japan Grant Prix '02 Koshiki Leaguesen: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Kumiko Maekawa
MS: I wasn't expecting this to be as good as their 2/24 match of the year candidate, but it was still a big let-down nonetheless. Continuing the theme of this show, they worked a very deliberate pace for the majority of the match. Alot of this had to do with the fact that Kumiko seemed to be on offense for 21 or 22 of the first 25 minutes. It was totally one-sided for the main body of the match but she didn't do enough to make you think that Momoe was in any danger of losing. Maekawa mainly relied on various submissions and a few kicks that were ok but nothing special. They went outside a couple of times as well but since it was obvious that they were going long, a lot of what they did came off as stretching. Things finally picked up about 26 minutes in with them going to back-and-forth near falls. The problems though were that Maekawa appeared to be blown up and Momoe was either hurt, tired, or selling so much that her execution wasn't nearly as fluid as usual. And as a result there was no drama at all for the last few minutes and nobody believed that they weren't going to a draw. Overall a pretty good match but a disappointing one. ***

Battle Station AJW 7/12/02 The Queendom of WWWA taped 7/6/02 Tokyo Ota-ku Taiikukan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Yumiko Hotta & Kayo Noumi vs. GAMI & noki-A.
MS: Surprisingly the crowd was totally into the sports entertainment aspects of this match. I guess this was good in the sense that the Zenjo vs. ARSION program is working. The bad news though is that it's killing the quality of the matches associated with it. On paper this wasn't a great match anyway, but I was looking foward to see Kayo vs. noki-A. Unfortunately, the main focus of the match was the flip-flopping of the referee from ARSION's side to AJW's side after the :49 second screwjob pin and not the actual wrestling. Both Hotta and GAMI were out of position a couple of times each when taking moves, and overall there was noticeable miscommunication between all four women. Akino did look good with what little she was allowed to do, which was the only highlight here. After the "second" match Kandori came out to a huge pop, which was cool, but her and Hotta looked bad because they toyed with punking Rossy but just let him escape unharmed. And it came off looking very lame as a result. *1/4

Rena Takase vs. Ayako Sato

Saki Maemura vs. Mako Ogawa

Mika Nishio vs. Emi Tojo

Miyuki Fujii vs. Rie Tamada

Tomoko Watanabe vs. Kumiko Maekawa

WWWA Sekai Single Senshukenjiai: Manami Toyota vs. Kaoru Ito 27:48 of 29:06. The Toyota vs. Ito series was Manami's last notable program, so it was only fitting that Toyota ended her career as a serious performer firing up one last time against her greatest remaining rival. Though both women lacked the speed and flexibility of their youth, and sometimes it appeared the brutality stemmed more from this in addition to their excess weight, Ito at least was still able to reach a pretty high level. The match was almost entirely Ito, I'd say she was responsible for 80% of the quality. In Toyota's defense, she was asked to sell the whole way, mainly laying on her stomach, and put over the challenger, but you felt as if that was a strategy to keep things from going awry. The story of the match was Ito debilitating Toyota's back. The focus was excellent, with the entire first half plus devoted to this theme, although the 1/2 crab has never been more than 1/2 interesting for long. Toyota did a nice job of selling all Ito's back stretching, and would make brief flashy comebacks to give her fans hope, but Ito would either pick on the back or lay her out with a brutal power move. Both took to the air from time to time, but the match was more of a slow building heavyweight style bout with many of the big moves being bombs. They pulled off what they tried, but it was a very one-sided match that lacked the spark of their best stuff together. It was one of the best AJW matches of 2002, but nowhere near Momoe vs. Maekawa from 2/24/02, or even that Toyota vs. Ito. Toyota shocked the audience after the match by announcing her departure to Chigusa's retirement home. It was the day the Zenjo died. ***1/2
MS: This was a weird match to watch because of the natural tendency to try and pick out things that would denote whether or not it was obvious that this would be Manami's last match in AJW (at least for the time being). Ito totally dominated the match, but she didn't make Manami look bad or go overly stiff on her either. And to Manami's credit any problem she had with the company coming into this match didn't affect her performance at all. This was one helluva performance by her that featured some of her best selling ever, certainly the best she's done since the culmination of her fued with Kyoko in '96. She did appear to torque her back a bit when Ito put her in a reverse chinlock, but I believe the majority of the pain she was showing was her selling as opposed to a legitimate injury. But the last few minutes is what really made this match excellent. It was very much like an old AJ main event with one big move after another building to an awesome finish, though there were a lot of dangerous looking head dumpings by both women. After Ito literally knocked out Mika Nishio with a suicida (she caught Manami with her arms but Nishio caught the main impact of the move with Ito mistakenly wiping her out. It wasn't that Manami moved at all, Kaoru just missed her spot with the jump), Manami finally took over on offense for a sustained period. This is what I found most interesting about the surroundings of this match. Manami wound up pushing Ito to the limit before getting pinned as opposed to the challenger pushing the champion before either winning or succumbing to a pin. Manami rolled out every big move in her arsenal and some I've never seen her do before including a brutal looking double armed DDT that was one of the most dangerous looking I've ever seen. Although it was ironic that the champion was pushing the challenger, it worked here because it was obvious how desperate both women were not to lose and since Ito was the #2 in the company at the time it wasn't like they threw someone without merit into this match. And no one was happier than me to see how amazing Manami can still be when she wants to, disspelling some of my comments in Quebrada 81. Before the match both women were literally flooded with streamers, and Ito was again after the match. During the match though, the crowd was totally pro-Manami as she was by far the most important wrestler there in the fans eyes. During the post-match, it was surreal watching Manami announce her leaving Zenjo as the crowd was totally stunned with disbelief. Half the crowd was chanting her name, half were standing silently by not knowing how to react, and some of each group were crying as well. There was also a small percentage that appeared to think it was a work, but I'd say 99% knew it wasn't. Probably the match of the year right now slightly edging out Nakanishi vs. Maekawa from 2/24. ****1/2

2/3 Falls WWWA Sekai Tag Senshukenjiai: Rumi Kazama & Takako Inoue vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi
MS: A pretty disappointing match on every level. Takako looked the worst I've ever seen her look. The urakens were as weak as usual, but she moved like she was either sick, resentful for having to drop the titles, or like she couldn't care less. NANAMOMO got their asses kicked for 98% of the match that aired, barely getting any offense in on two women who are hardly known as being dominant wrestlers. The worst part of the match though was Nanae abandoning Momoe (who was getting killed in a 2 on 1 by Takako and Kazama) to tie Eagle and Watanabe to the ring post. It was nice to see Kayo finally interfere on her behalf (after watching them face a 4 on 2 for most of the match), but it was stupid for Nanae to leave to for a few minutes to deal with the rest of Black Joker when Momoe was in an easy position to get pinned for the 3rd fall. Granted, Eagle and Watanabe needed to be stopped from intefering at will, but after she hit them with a suicida she could've left Kayo and Fujii to rope them so she could help out Momoe, who was actually one of the participants in the match. Instead, she again came off as not overly bright for potentially costing her team the match. I'm sure Momoe was by far the best of the 4, but since all she did was get pounded it was hard to tell (though she did a great job selling her injured neck early on). **

AJW Battle Station Special 7/14/02 Japan Grand Prix '02 Final taped 7/9/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Kaoru Ito & Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Tsubasa Kuragaki & Miyuki Fujii & Saki Maemura

Rising Generation League Match: Ayako Sato vs. Mari Kuwada

Rising Generation League Match: Mako Ogawa vs. Mika Nishio

Japan Grand Prix ’02 League Match: Nanae Takahashi vs. Kayo Noumi 19:12

Japan Grand Prix ’02 League Match: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Tomoko Watanabe 6:10

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Semifinal: Nanae Takahashi vs. Kumiko Maekawa 5:53

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Semifinal: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Rie Tamada 6:57

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Final: Nanae Takahashi vs. Momoe Nakanishi 6:20

AJW Battle Station Special 7/26/02 Japan Grand Prix '02 Final taped 7/9/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

 

Japan Grand Prix ’02 League Match: Nanae Takahashi vs. Kayo Noumi 19:12

Japan Grand Prix ’02 League Match: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Tomoko Watanabe 6:10

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Semifinal: Nanae Takahashi vs. Kumiko Maekawa 5:53

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Semifinal: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Rie Tamada 6:57

Japan Grand Prix ’02 Final: Nanae Takahashi vs. Momoe Nakanishi 6:20

AJW Battle Station 9/8/02 Odaiba W Explosion 2002 taped 8/27/02 Odaiba Fuji TV 7F
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Zen Nihon Junior Oza Kettei Leaguesen: Ayako Sato & Kaori Yoneyama

Zen Nihon Junior Oza Kettei Leaguesen: Mika Nishio vs. Saki Maemura

W EXPLOSION SUMMER JUNGLE: Yumiko Hotta & Miyuki Fujii & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. noki-A & Bionic J & Melissa

W EXPLOSION SUMMER STORM: Kumiko Maekawa & Rie Tamada vs. Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue

All Pacific Title Match: Momoe Nakanishi vs. Kayo Noumi

WWWA Sekai Single Senshukenjiai: Kaoru Ito vs. Nanae Takahashi

AJW Battle Station 9/26/02 New Break '02 taped 9/8/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. Saki Maemura 10:59

All Japan Junior Champion Decision League Match: MARU vs. Ayako Sato 10:43

All Japan Junior Champion Decision League Match: Mika Nishio vs. Emi Tomimatsu 13:10

Eagle Sawai & Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Kayo Noumi & Miyuki Fujii 13:00 of 16:06

Kaoru Ito & Yumiko Hotta vs. Nanae Takahashi & Momoe Nakanishi 21:34

AJW TV 10/30/02 Tag League The Best '02 taped 10/15/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Mika Nishio vs. Saki Maemura 6:11 of 10:24

Miyuki Fujii vs. Saki Maemura 5:24 of 11:05

Tag League The Best ’02: Kumiko Maekawa & Genki Misae vs. Megumi Yabushita & Sumie Sakai 14:54 of 20:44

Kaoru Ito vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki 13:02

Tag League The Best ’02: Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Yumiko Hotta & Mariko Yoshida 5:33

Tag League The Best ’02: Nanae Takahashi & Fang Suzuki vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi 21:01

AJW TV 11/7/02 taped 10/20/02 Kanagawa Kawasaki Shi Taiikukan
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Blizzard Yuki #2 (Mika Nishio) vs. Miyuki Fujii. 2 min shown

MARU & Saki Maemura vs. Kaori Yoneyama & Rena Takase. 4 1/2 min shown

All Pacific Title Tournament 1st Round: noki-A vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki. 7 min shown

All Pacific Title Tournament 1st Round: Kayo Noumi vs. Fang Suzuki. 6 min shown

Mega Power: Nanae Takahashi vs. Eagle Sawai. 4 min shown

Vale Tudo Match: Yumiko Hotta vs. Amazing Kong

Tag League The Best '02 Koshikisen: Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Misae Genki. 4 min shown

All Pacific Title Tournament Final: noki-A vs. Kayo Noumi

WWWA Sekai Single Senshukenjiai: Kaoru Ito vs. Momoe Nakanishi

AJW TV 12/4/02 Tag League The Best '02 taped 11/3/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Chaparrita ASARI vs. Saki Maemura 9:24

Tag League The Best ’02: Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Miyuki Fujii & Mika Nishio 12:33

Tag League The Best ’02: Yumiko Hotta & Mariko Yoshida vs. Megumi Yabushita & Sumie Sakai 17:03

Tag League The Best ’02: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Nanae Takahashi & Fang Suzuki 23:27

Tag League The Best ’02: Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Misae Genki 30:00

AJW TV 12/11/02 Tokyo New Cage Cruelty Legend '02 taped 11/29/02 Tokyo Budokan
-2hr. Q=TV Master

All Japan Single Title Match: Miyuki Fujii vs. Kaori Yoneyama 9:32 of 13:37

Bionic J & noki-A vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Saki Maemura 15:33

Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Kayo Noumi & Mika Nishio 15:11

2/3 Falls WWWA Tag Title Match: NANA (Nanae Takahashi) & MOMO (Momoe Nakanishi) vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda 26:11

Cage Death Match: Amazing Kong vs. Yumiko Hotta 15:37

AJW TV 1/14/03 taped 12/22/02 Kanagawa Kawasaki Shi Taiikukan
-2hr. Q=TV Master

All Japan Junior Title Match: Mika Nishio vs. Reina Takase 3:48 of 12:12

Miyuki Fujii vs. Saki Maemura 3:05 of 12:50

Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Mari Kuwada & Hiroka Yaginuma 1:22

Eagle Sawai vs. Kumiko Maekawa 3:38 of 9:51

Tag League The Best ’02: Fang Suzuki & Nanae Takahashi vs. Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe 17:40 of 20:40

All Pacific Title Match: noki-A vs. Kayo Noumi 18:42

Cage Death Match ~survivor of a war 2~: Yumiko Hotta & Momoe Nakanishi vs. Amazing Kong & Shark Tsuchiya 15:52

AJW TV 1/15/03 taped Tag League The Best '02 Saishusen taped 12/23/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Yoshimi Shioya Debut Match: Kaoru Ito vs. Yoshimi Shioya (Hikaru) 0:06

Kaoru Ito vs. Yoshimi Shioya 4:37

Amazing Kong vs. Saki Maemura 4:08

Tag League The Best ’02: Megumi Yabushita & Sumie Sakai vs. Miyuki Fujii & Mika Nishio 7:17 of 12:51

Tag League The Best ’02: Nanae Takahashi & Fang Suzuki vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Misae Genki 17:43 of 23:39

Tag League The Best ’02: Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita 8:25 of 9:26

Tag League The Best ’02: Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi vs. Yumiko Hotta & Mariko Yoshida 8:30

Tag League The Best ’02 Semifinals: Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi vs. Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita 4:31

Tag League The Best ’02 Semifinals: Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue vs. Nanae Takahashi & Fang Suzuki 4:47

Tag League The Best ’02 Final: Momoe Nakanishi & Kayo Noumi vs. Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue 4:19

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