1/17/99 Club Citta Kawasaki First Stage
THE FIRST STARDOM: Reggie Bennett & Mari Apache vs. Aja Kong & Fabi Apache. Highlights
THE SECOND STARDOM: Michiko Omukai vs. Mikiko Futagami. Highlights
THE THIRD STARDOM: Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida. Highlights
THE FINAL STARDOM: Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino vs. Rie Tamada & Hiromi Yagi. Highlights
1/17/99 Club Citta Kawasaki Second Stage
THE FIRST STARDOM: Reggie Bennett vs. Jessie Bennett. Highlights
THE SECOND STARDOM: Reggie Bennett vs. Fabi Apache. Highlights
THE THIRD STARDOM ARSION Survival Game: Mikiko Futagami & Rie Tamada & Hiromi Yagi & Mari Apache vs. Aja Kong & Michiko Omukai & Yumi Fukawa & Ayako Hamada. The 7 minutes they show (of 21:59) are excellent, particularly Aja's job of directing traffic and Fukawa's work.
THE FINAL STARDOM Queen Of ARSION Title Match: Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino. Akino is a great rookie, and Yoshida, who was in top form, lead her through a very strong technical match. Much better than Akino's debut, which was quite impressive in it's own right. ***3/4
1st ANNIVERSARY STARDOM '99 2/18/99 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
THE FIRST STARDOM Emiko Kado Debut Match: Aja Kong vs. Emiko Kado. *
THE SECOND STARDOM Lucha Triangle ~ARSION Mexico Match~: Mari Apache vs. Fabi Apache vs. La Galactica 2000. Highlights
THE THIRD STARDOM: Reggie Bennett vs. Mikiko Futagami. Highlights
THE FOURTH STARDOM: Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada. Yumi tried to work on a broken foot. Tamada focused her entire attack on the foot, which was good, except Yumi after 3 minutes Yumi legitimately couldn't even stand so the ref had to stop the match. *1/4
THE FIFTH STARDOM: Mika Akino vs. Ayako Hamada. **3/4
THE SEMI FINAL: Candy Okutsu vs. Michiko Omukai. **3/4
THE FINAL STARDOM Queen Of ARSION Title Match: Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi. Very good, technically excellent match wrestled totally in the new style Yoshida has developed. The matwork was more focused than previous Yoshida matches with Yagi injuring the arm with an udehishigigyakujujigatame and then trying to go back to it every chance she got. The transitions were also better. There were less high spots though, and the ones they did weren't worked into the match as well as they could have been. ****
This tape is a summary of everything that happened from 7/23/98-2/14/99. There are no complete matches, just a ton of highlights.
THE FIRST STARLET: La Galactica 2000 vs. Reggie Bennett. Digest
THE SECOND STARLET: Emiko Kado vs. Hiromi Yagi. *1/2
THE THIRD STARLET: Mari Apache & Fabi Apache vs. Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino. **1/2
THE FOURTH STARLET: Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada. Digest
THE SEMIFINAL: Michiko Omukai vs. Mariko Yoshida. Digest
THE MAIN EVENT ARSION Premium Raibu (?): Hikari Fukuoka (JWP) & Mikiko Futagami vs. Aja Kong & Candy Okutsu. ***3/4
THE SPECIAL MATCH: Hikari Fukuoka vs. Mikiko Futagami. Good short match. The post match was really great. Sakie tried to rolling savate Hikari after giving her flowers but Hikari avoided and they had a brief exchange culminating with Sakie turning Hikari's goofy wind up punch into her uranage. Sakie also uranage'd Aja then, along with Gami, held Aja so Hikari could moonsault footstomp Aja. Sakie and Gami proceeded to count 3, giving Hikari the unofficial win. Aja got a measure of revenge though, sneaking in a headbutt after presenting Hikari a bouquet of flowers.
THE FIRST STARLET: Aja Kong & La Galactica 2000 vs. Mari Apache & Fabi Apache. Digest
THE SECOND STARLET: Hiromi Yagi (free) vs. Yumi Fukawa. Good match, but unfortunately they edited it down to 4 minutes.
THE THIRD STARLET: Aja Kong vs. Rie Tamada. Digest
THE FOURTH STARLET: Aja Kong vs. Michiko Omukai. Digest
THE SEMIFINAL: Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino vs. Candy Okutsu & Ai Fujita (debut). Fujita is a good athlete and showed a lot of potential. She got to show off some hot moves like a moonsault and plancha before pinning Akino with a firebird splash. Fujita was the worst of the four, but she made such a good first impression that she was the one that stole the show, IMO. ***1/4
THE MAIN EVENT Queen of ARSION Title Match: Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami. This was better than the 12/18/98 Yoshida vs. Candy match to decide who became shodai Queen of ARSION that won ARSION match of the year for 1998, and is most likely the best ARSION match to date. Usually the main problem with Yoshida's matches is that it's hard to believe that any of the near finishes will indeed end the match. However, in this match, there were several points where it looked like it was over. I attribute this to two things, better selling and better counter moves. Another improvement was they did a much better job of switching between standing and the mat, which made the match flow so much better. For the most part, the reason this was so good is that these two have an incredible amount of ability, especially technically, and they finally had a match together that reached it's potential. ****1/4
TOURNAMENT ARS '99 THE FIRST ROUND
Hiromi Yagi vs. Rie Tamada. Rie's performance here was inexcusably bad because Yagi pretty much did the fast-paced style that Rie is supposed to be good at. It would have been a good match if Rie wasn't screwing up, she's just a step to slow at this point. At least Tamada did a good job of selling her knee. *3/4
Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida. Really beautiful match. Both women were on top of their game displaying smooth, clean technique and doing great counters. Fukawa just keeps improving, the difference between this match and their match from 5/8/98 is incredible. There Fukawa didn't know how to counter, here Fukawa had an answer for everything and it wasn't like she just watched what say Gami did against Yoshida and copied her. This booking of this show wasn't good because it didn't tell any stories, this was the only match that they really made you care who won. Fukawa was made credible and the fans got into her because she was trying so hard and doing so well. There were a couple spots where she had Yoshida beat, and this is what the fans wanted to see. Instead, they got a lot of upsets that just happened without anything being done to make you want to see them. Even though Fukawa lost in the first round, they gave her kanto sho (courageous fighter award) because her performance was so impressive. Normally I'd have a really hard time giving an 11 ½ minute match such a high rating, but I can't say enough about how good this match was. ****
Michiko Omukai vs. Mikiko Futagami. This match was way too short. It was good from a technical standpoint, but there just wasn't any time to build the match. Also, these two have the most character in the league, but there really wasn't time to display it. The spots were good, but they didn't really have any meaning. **1/4
Aja Kong vs. Candy Okutsu. This was just lame. They spent ¼ of the match playing to the crowd. Then Aja was throwing Candy all over, but Candy is a punk now so she kept asking for more. Then all of a sudden Candy pins Aja out of nowhere and Aja throws a temper tantrum hitting the mat with her hands and legs like a three year old. Campy. *
TOURNAMENT ARS '99 Junkessho
Hiromi Yagi vs. Mariko Yoshida. A good match, but very disappointing given who was involved. They mainly exchanged submission holds, once again not doing that great of a job of incorporating the pro style spots they did. Kind of like the Yoshida vs. Gami match from ARS '98 in that it was strong technically, but it just didn't really click and you wound up still being disappointed because on paper the match should have been much better. ***
Michiko Omukai vs. Candy Okutsu. Basically a two move match. It didn't work for Omukai like it did for Goldberg. DUD
SKY FLY DREAM Elimination 6 Woman Tag Match
Mari Apache & Fabi Apache & La Galactica 2000 vs. Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino & Ai Fujita. I can't believe how good this match was. It seemed like they practiced this for weeks to get all the spots involving 4-6 people down. The execution and timing weren't perfect, but it was exciting, well choreographed Lucha. Everyone was constantly involved and they did a lot of triple spots that they hadn't done before (at least not on a comm tape). Another good thing about the match was it was unpredictable. ***1/2
TOURNAMENT ARS '99 Kesshosen
Hiromi Yagi vs. Michiko Omukai. Another match that was too short. Both women were really fired up and pulled out all the stops, so it was quite good while it lasted. I really don't see why this wasn't longer though, Omukai had wrestled less than 7 minutes in her first two matches combined and Yagi has no problems with stamina. They weren't really over because the booking didn't go beyond results, so this didn't have the aura. Omukai winning this was a big surprise, but it seemed like one that people just weren't ready for. ***
STARLIGHT '99 6/30/99 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Aja Kong REPRODUCE BATTLE 7 FINAL: Aja Kong vs. Yumi Fukawa. I wanted to like
this match, but it just wasn't very good because the execution was spotty.
They just couldn't get over the size differential even though they really
tried to. 1/3 shown. Below average.
Michael Smith: It was alright, but disappointing because they were a bit sloppy. Yumi did a solid job of selling and Aja let her push hard as well, but I expected better from them. They teased going to a 15 minute draw, but Aja was able to catch Yumi in an armbar for the tap. For once it didn't come off as selfish because Aja gave Yumi just enough to make her not look out of her league here.
TWINSTAR OF ARSION TITLE MATCH: Rie Tamada & Hiromi Yagi vs. Ayako Hamada
& Mika Akino. Fast-paced, all action match. Work and spots like all the
TWINSTAR matches have been. Tamada had a good day, but Yagi definitely carried
the team. It seems like a waste to have Akino with all the spot wrestlers,
it's not that she's not good at it, but she has the potential to be so much
more. It just seems ridiculous that even against Yagi, she wouldn't even
do one submission. After Hamada & Akino won the titles, they got wise
with LCO, who was sitting in the crowd toward the back of the hall, giving
them the kiss my ass sign. This got LCO to come to the ring, and Shimoda
talked until Fukawa ripped the mic out of her hands. Mita seemed to be acting
like Fukawa was a joke. Yoshida & Omukai wound up in the ring, and Gami
seemed ready to fight LCO right there, but Aja got them to go back to their
seats. In the dressing room, LCO, who were laughing the whole time, agreed
to accept TamaFuka's challenge then laughed at them some more. ***1/4
MS: This was very good. Everybody looked great here, even Tamada. Yagi was flawless. The best work was between Yagi and AKINO, though the hottest sequences came between AKINO and Tamada as AKINO kept pushing Tamada with constant near falls and reversals. The crowd was one of the hottest ARSION has ever had (granted, that doesn't mean a whole lot all things being considered) and this was a perfect example of ARSION at its best. Of course, there have been better matches in ARSION than this particular one, but they were able to combine everything that used to make ARSION so great. They kept a fast pace incorporating good looking submissions (that were applied and put over well) and strong spot oriented workrate. It's too bad that Tamada didn't keep the fire she use to have because she may've actually amounted to something good if she did. ***1/2
HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT SKY 7/25/99 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
ARSION "X" Zone: Rie Tamada & Yumi Fukawa vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda.
The match itself was good, but it was done all wrong. It made no sense to
introduce LCO in this manner. I mean, Yumi was the only one that even showed
that there was some semblance of a rivalry. It's pretty simple, if anyone
is going to think it's a big deal that some evil force has invaded the league,
everyone has to fight hard and play their roles right. You can't be nice
or indifferent, it has to look and feel like something special. Otherwise,
what's the point? A lot of the problem was the match was too long. It needed
to be heated right off the bat, but since they were going over 21 minutes,
they didn't do that much in the first 10. Some things they did were good
like Mita acting arrogant and making fun of Yumi's diminutive size. It was
good that LCO didn't adopt to ARSION style because why should they start
doing things the ARSION way, wrestling like all these women they are in opposition
with? They still had to adjust to Yumi's submission style, of course. It
was a good match because three of the four have too much talent for it not
to be, but anyone with half a brain should have been able to see that doing
it in this manner would kill off LCO's potential as a draw in ARSION. It
didn't help TamaFuka either because no one gave them a chance to win. I hate
the blade, but if there was ever a time for it, this was it. They needed
to get LCO over, and they needed to show TamaFuka wouldn't give up even though
they were really overmatched. Once again, they failed to give the fans a
reason to care. ***
MS: I wasn't overly optimistic about how this match would wind-up because of how LCO totally dominated the first 9 out of 10 minutes and showed zero respect for TamaFuka. Obviously a lot of that was part of their "invasion" angle, but they basically laughed off anything Yumi tried on them which made her look really weak. The last 11 minutes got progressively better though as LCO started to sell and the pacing went from methodical to nearly frantic towards the end. Mita, in particular, worked hard to keep up with Yumi and they did an excellent job of building towards Fukawa getting the upset win. The end hurt this effort though because I thought after Shimoda caught Yumi with an axe kick and Mita hit her Death Valley bomb that should've been the finish. However, Mita pulled her up and hit another DVB for the win. The reason I didn't like this was because it went from being a flash pin that LCO were somewhat lucky to get (because of how Yumi was countering everything Mita did leading up to it) to LCO not wanting to come off as "fortunate" to win. So Mita embarrassed Yumi by pulling her up, hitting another DVB and kneeling on her for the pin. You can argue that Yumi taking two DVBs would make her look better, but I don't think that's the case since she didn't kick out of the first one and didn't look like she would if Mita had not pulled her up. ***
HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT SKY Hokketsusen (alternate match)
Princess Suhei vs. La Galactica 2000. Only 45 seconds shown.
HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT SKY Ikkaisen
Tiger Dream vs. Ayako Hamada. Short spotfest. Could have been smoother and
better executed. A big disappointment. Below average.
MS: Both women didn't look their best here, so this wasn't as solid as I had expected. Since they only went 5-3/4 minutes and 3-3/4 aired it would be difficult to criticize them for this.
Mari Apache vs. Linda Starr. Deliberate, but they did some good moves. Really
short, but it seemed okay for what it was.
MS: They basically just showed the highspots and the finish. It was okay though because both women were clean and Starr hit a cool corkscrew plancha.
AKINO vs. Gami Metal (Mikiko Futagami). Very good, smooth work. Good fast action,
but all these matches are too short. The one good thing about the Gami Metal
gimmick is that Gami can be pretty funny. **1/2
MS: Unlike today, GAMI was actually funny here, but the match suffered from AKINO being terribly off with a lot of what she did. GAMI couldn't help her out because she would just stand there and wait for AKINO to hit her instead of finding a way to stall for AKINO to have more time to get into position. The finish was good though as AKINO hit her Dragon Ray (reverse springboard hurancanrana) for the win. **
Ai Fujita vs. Chaparrita ASARI. They did good moves, but Ai doesn't have the
timing down. Also, for whatever reason, she seemed kind of lethargic. Ai
is green, but this match was what the tournament was supposed to be, a glamourous
show of athleticism. *3/4
MS: I was very happy that they aired all but 40 seconds of this match. This is what ASARI vs. Hikari Fukuoka from 3/27/94 was billed as and should've been, an all-out gymnastics war. Each woman looked great and cleanly hit everything they tried. They didn't bother with anything but highspots (except a sleeper by Fujita to give them a brief rest), so there wasn't much in the way of selling or build. But that didn't bother me though because I got what I wanted from them which was excellent pure workrate. ***
TOURNAMENT SKY Junkessho
Ayako Hamada vs. Mari Apache. Much better than their ZION '98 match. Ayako
has definitely improved, but the main difference is Mari is way better than
she was then. It was still a spotfest, but they hit their spots now. The
highlight was Mari doing a swandive style corkscrew plancha. **1/4
MS: This was much better than I expected because Mari was very good here. It was also mainly spots, but not as high as the previous match in the tournament. They had nice back and forths though and Mari winning with the superbomb was a nice surprise finish. **1/4
AKINO vs. Chaparrita ASARI. ASARI's work has definitely improved, she seems
to almost be back to where she was before she broke her hip in early 1997.
AKINO was also quite good. Once again it was too short to warrant a high
rating, but people will like this match for the action. I was most impressed
by the speed they worked at, not so much that it was fast paced, but that
the sequences and transitions were so quick. The finish came out of nowhere,
but I actually thought it worked because the sequence was so complicated
with all the reversals. ***
MS: The only negative about this match was how short it was (though all the tourny matches except the final were under 9 minutes). AKINO was like a different person compared to her match vs. GAMI earlier in the show. Everything she did was smooth and flawless, which made the match work because she totally dominated it with submissions (which ASARI did a good job putting over). I can't credit her enough for how great she looked here and how seriously impressive her speed and transitions were outside of saying that for an 8-1/2 minute long match that was totally one-sided and mostly on the mat this was very exciting and fun to watch. ***1/4
Aja Kong & Michiko Omukai vs. Mariko Yoshida & Hiromi Yagi. Given who was involved, this match almost had to rule. Unfortunately, we'll never know because they only showed 3 minutes of it.
TOURNAMENT SKY Kesshosen
Mari Apache vs. Chaparrita ASARI. This was better than I expected. These two
worked well together, especially considering it was their first time in the
ring together. It was better than Mari 's match against Ayako, and Mari has
been working with her for a year. ASARI did her sky twister press to the
floor and Mari did a tope con hilo that had impressive height and distance.
They didn't build the match, so when Mari got pinned and I was like,
that's it? **1/2
MS: This wasn't bad by any means, but not on the level of ASARI's previous two matches on the show. Both women looked tired here, so they couldn't go as fast as they tried to. The crowd was surprisingly behind Apache even though her execution went down as the match went on. ASARI was able to compensate for her though by staggering around while waiting for Mari to come off the ropes instead of just standing there like GAMI did with AKINO. The best spot was ASARI doing a wicked skytwister press to the floor and I was happy that ARSION put her over in the tournament because Ai wasn't ready for this and ASARI and her best epitomize what ARSION was trying to do here. **1/4
HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING SUMMER CARNIVAL THE QUEENS 8/6/99 Tokyo Ota-ku Taiikukan
QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong. Aja wins title. **** range
ARSION "Z" Zone Tag Match: Michiko Omukai & Mikiko Futagami vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda. 6:34 shown
HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT ZION '99 8/22/99 Tokyo Zepp Tokyo
Rie Tamada vs. Michiko Omukai. *
Hiromi Yagi vs. Aja Kong. 1:53 shown
Yumi Fukawa vs. Mima Shimoda. **1/2
Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (subbing for Yoshida). 3:16 shown
Michiko Omukai vs. Mikiko Futagami. **3/4
Aja Kong vs. Mima Shimoda. ***
TOURNAMENT SKY Premium: Chaparrita ASARI & Mari Apache & Linda Starr & Princess Sujei vs. Candy Okutsu & Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino & Ai Fujita. **1/2
Tournament Kesshosen: Michiko Omukai vs. Mima Shimoda. **
This tape is a summary of everything that happened from 2/18/99-8/6/99. There are no complete matches, just a ton of highlights. Aside from match highlights, there's a CAZAI recording session, Hamada+Fujita+Akino at the beach, Omukai's+Fukawa's birthday party, ARSION in Mexico, etc.
ARSION Premium Single VIRGIN '99: Candy Okutsu vs. Yumi Fukawa. 2:25 shown. Read Review: Matches 1-4
Lucha Libre Rule Saiyo (use) Tag Match: Rie Tamada & Linda Starr vs. Ai Fujita & Mari Apache. 3:15 shown.
SKY HIGH OF ARSION TITLE MATCH: Chaparrita ASARI vs. Hiromi Yagi. Fast-paced all action match, but not standard ASARI because Yagi was in top form and made it really great looking wrestling. Everything was so smooth. The sequences, counters, transitions, and bumps were all top notch. Damn good match, but unfortunately only 4:56 was shown.
ARSION & Toryumon Dream Mix: Magnum Tokyo & MagChama Tokyo vs. Sumo "Daddy Fuji & Mikiko Futagami "Beauty." I'd expect WWF to stoop to the level, but I was hoping for much better from these four.
QUEEN OF ARSION TITLE MATCH: Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida. The match lacked drama and was too short. Read Review. **3/4
TWINSTAR OF ARSION TITLE MATCH: Ayako Hamada & AKINO vs. Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita. LCO's best match since the 9/21/97 cage match. Great really bloody brawl that was designed to make Hamada & AKINO stars to the ARSION fans, and worked because it was laid out so well and everyone played their role to perfection. LCO mainly destroyed Hamada & AKINO, but Hamada & AKINO showed a ton of heart and just wouldn't stop fighting. They kept making little comebacks to give the fans, who were actually into it, hope. Read Review. ****1/2
Taped 12/19/99 Kyoto KBS Hall
'99 TWINSTAR OF ARSION Koshiki Leaguesen Kessho Tournament Junkessho: Ayako Hamada & AKINO vs. Michiko Omukai & Yumi Fukawa: Good fast-paced one dimensional action. 5:59 shown. Read Review: TWINSTAR Tournament
'99 TWINSTAR OF ARSION Koshiki Leaguesen Kessho Tournament Junkessho: Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs. Aja Kong & Rie Tamada. Aja & Tamada come to blows so Aja never gets back into the ring. 3:03 shown.
'99 TWINSTAR OF ARSION Koshiki Leaguesen Kessho Tournament Final: Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs. Michiko Omukai & Yumi Fukawa. Fukawa looked really good, but the match was way too short. *1/2
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