ARSION Battle Station 2/4/01 taped 1/27/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

GAMI & PIKO & PIKA vs. Chaparrita ASARI & Ai Fujita & Faby Apache

Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida & Ryo Miyuki vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda & Michiko Omukai 3:48 of 20:00. Omukai was motivated and seemed on top of her game working a few strong sequences with Aja, but then Miyuki came in and managed to mistime or blow everything. My guess is you won't get over missing 2 MPH urakens no matter what, but especially not when you are teaming with the move's master, Aja Kong. It's no surprise that upstart Miyuki was not good and way out of her depth. The problem here wasn't so much Miyuki, but the fact the editor chose to cut three hall of fame calibre wrestlers - Shimoda, Mita, & Yoshida - out of the match to showcase her historically inept performance. If these were the highlights, thank God for the editing!

Azumi Hyuga vs. Mary Apache

Ayako Hamada vs. AKINO

ARSION Battle Station 3/4/01 ~Soritsu (founding) 3 Shunen (anniversary) Kinen (memorial) PART 2~ taped 2/12/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

New Age Special Elimination Match: Ai Fujita vs. Bionic J vs. Rena Takase vs. Yu Yamagata 8:09

Re-Drug Queen of Queen Tournament 1st Round: GAMI vs. PIKA 3:55

Re-Drug Queen of Queen Tournament 1st Round: Rie Tamada vs. PIKO 3:59

P*MIX Special (Mixed Gender Match): Mary Apache & Faby Apache & Gran Apache vs. AKINO & Chaparrita ASARI & Mister Cacao 11:40

Michiko Omukai vs. Ryo Miyuki 1:07

Re-Drug Queen of Queen Tournament Final: GAMI vs. PIKO 6:03

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Mariko Yoshida 5:59

QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. Azumi Hyuga 15:08

Battle Station ARSION 4/8/01 ~Yumi Fukawa Intai (retirement) Kinen (memorial) Kokyo (performance)~ taped 3/20/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Yu Yamagata vs. Rena Takase

Rie Tamada vs. Chaparrita ASARI

Lady Apache & Mary Apache & Faby Apache vs. GAMI & PIKO & PIKA

Mariko Yoshida & AKINO vs. Ayako Hamada & Ai Fujita

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Michiko Omukai & Bionic J 7:17 of 12:53. Fukawa's VIP teammates had a not so friendly battle for the title before her retirement. Yumi was clearly on the side of Omukai & J, laying on top of J to protect her from more chair shots after LCO bust J open brawling through the crowd. J was fired up, utilizing her energy to try to make this short violent contest an important match. It was one of her most effective performances, making a few fiery comebacks while mainly being brutalized. She was featured along with Mita, with both doing a good job and making you wish it wasn't so short. **1/2

Yumi Fukawa Intai Jiai: Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida

Yumi Fukawa retirement ceremony

ARSION GRAFFITI JAN --> MAR 2001 Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master.

Goes from 1/5/01-3/20/01

Battle Station ARSION 5/15/01 HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT ARS 2001 taped 4/30 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

PIKO & PIKA vs. Faby Apache & You Yamagata

TOURNAMENT ARS 2001 Ikkaisen

Bionic J vs. Rena Takase

GAMI vs. Rie Tamada

Ayako Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi

Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Omukai 4:58 of 9:20. Intense match with flexible matwork yielding to hot standup exchanges. Both women looked sharp.

TOURNAMENT ARS 2001 Junkessho

Michiko Omukai vs Bionic J 4:42 of 4:45. J outworked a sluggish Omukai whose energy level was down considerably from the Yoshida first round match. J’s mannerisms are improving, and while the transitions left a little to be desired, it seemed to be more due to Omukai.

GAMI vs. Ayako Hamada

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. AKINO & Ai Fujita

TOURNAMENT ARS 2001 Kesshosen: Michiko Omukai vs. GAMI 7:32. Hot opening giving way to both struggling to end the bout with submissions and pinning predicaments. Good effort, but it seemed as though they were doing a 15 minute match only to abruptly end it in half that time. **1/4

Battle Station ARSION 6/19/01 taped 6/9/01 Hokkaido Sapporo Teison Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master


ARSION Triangle Battle: Yu Yamagata vs. Faby Apache vs. GAMI. Nothing special since Yamagata got squashed in 2 of the 3 falls and GAMI didn't work hard. 5:58 shown. *1/4

Mariko Yoshida vs. Bionic J. Pretty good short match with J's power against Yoshida's submissions. Satellite signal dies during the finish.

Dai-yondai Mikiko Futagami Nintei TWINSTAR OF ARSION Oza Ketteisen: PIKA & POKO vs. Rie Tamada & Rena Takase. Run of the mill house show match. Clowns showed some good teamwork at the end, but that was about it. 6:31 shown

Ai Fujita vs. Michiko Omukai 10:41 of 12:39. Veteran Omukai controlled the match, allowing upstart Fujita brief bursts of athletic offense. Though Omukai isn’t exactly Chris Benoit when it comes to carrying the bulk with simple but effective and interesting offense, they certainly had the right idea with this layout. Dragged a bit early, but got interesting when Omukai began giving Fujita stretches of offense that I’d probably argue were far too long if it wasn’t for the fact Fujita was on and totally making the match with her offense. Final minutes were good, and it’s the kind of match that could become noticeably better with some repetitions, particularly if they tightened up the early portion and Fujita figured out how to chain her holds together in a way that would make her offense flow. **3/4

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada & AKINO. The rematch of the classic 12/11/99 match turned out to be a total role reversal. This time LCO were the champs, but Hamada & AKINO wrestled like they were the favorites. They were extremely confident and took it to LCO from the get go. They double teamed and brawled before LCO had a chance to start it. Their use of LCO's chair led to Mita & Shimoda bleeding, although not credibly in Shimoda's case. Shimoda's cut was a disgusting gusher like Ayako's in the first match. Hamada & AKINO were a step or two ahead of LCO for the first 14 1/2 minutes, and they took them apart piece by piece in a rather deliberate manner. The problem with the structuring of this match is it should have babyfaced LCO, but that's not logical since they are the heels and Ayako is supposed to be the hero of the promotion. LCO finally came back, and did so with a vengeance including Mita piledriving Hamada through a table. What was good about their comeback beside their usual moves was that they acted totally dead throughout since the opposition had put them through the ringer. The crowd didn't react too much to the whole thing, but then when there are only a few hundred people there it's hard to have a ton of heat. Considering the small crowd in the small venue, although both are almost a given these days, it was a great effort by the wrestlers. ***3/4

Battle Station ARSION 7/17/01 STARLIGHT '01 taped 7/3/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Yu Yamagata vs. Ai Fujita 4:44 of 6:56. Fujita isn't going to carry a young wrestler (or anyone else, but her flying made it watchable. Started off boring, but there were some good moves, almost all by Fujita, in the last two minutes.

Rie Tamada & Rena Takase vs. Chaparrita ASARI & Faby Apache 6:35 of 10:52. ASARI & Tamada did some good moves, but seemed rather lethargic. Faby & Takase (even though she lacks offense) were more fun to watch because they were much quicker. Faby seems to have the PuroLucha style down with nice athletic movs, but also stiffness on moves like the lariat and Ligerbomb.

GAMI vs. Bionic J 6:41. Battle of power with some submissions thrown in. Pretty good intensity from J and selling from GAMI. Execution wasn't bad, but could have been crisper. Decent while it lasted, but so short. *1/2

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. PIKA & POKO 10:27. The clowns just did comedy. LCO isn't into this style and aren't going to give these opponents much respect. One-sided and uninspiring. 6:25 shown

Mariko Yoshida vs. Lioness Asuka 14:37. This was Lioness' first match in ARSION, and it's what LCO's debut vs. Tamada vs. Fukawa should have been. It was intense and urgent, which helped garner some heat. What impressed me the most about this match was they combined Yoshida's submission and Lioness's high impact brawling in a smooth, interesting, and believable manner. Exciting match with Yoshida doing a number of excellent counters into her big moves. I liked the early portion better because it was more unique, but they did almost all their top moves when they went into the familiar territory so it wasn't necessarily a negative. Excellent execution. Read Review. ****

QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. Michiko Omukai. 18:12. The potential for a good if not memorable match was apparent during the hard, fast opening where Ayako was flying all over the place. Her work was crisp and explosive, and establishing the danger of her aerial prowess early immediately send Omukai into trying to combat her with stiffness and brawling to avoid the running sequences she was getting destroyed in. Unfortunately, the bout quickly degenerated into nonsensical tough woman antics, rendering the bulk of the match was flat, contrived, and directionless. Omukai cutting Hamada with mount punches was okay, but it seemed like Hamada’s brain seeped out instead, as she spent the next few minutes throwing headbutt after headbutt, cutting Omukai and busting both of their heads wide open until both had the proverbial crimson mask. If her point was to prove her superhuman imperviousness to injury, Hamada succeeded, but she failed to generate any drama or even crowd reaction. It’s a shame because when she was wrestling, her work was excellent, but they got nothing out of the non flashy portions and where they didn’t help the match in any way. **1/4

ARSION But This is ARSION!! Ayako Hamada Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Original
ARSION But This is ARSION!! Ayako Hamada

4/21/01 QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida

5/6/01 TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada & Azumi Hyuga

Ayako Hamada hanging out and wrestling in Mexico

ARSION Ayako Hamada's Real Face Commercial Tape
-1hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen
ARSION Ayako Hamada's Real Face

Pre match activities - setting up ring, warming up, acting as ring girl for Tamada vs. Takase

7/14/01 Kyoto KBS Hall: Ayako Hamada & Azumi Hyuga vs. Michiko Omukai & Bionic J 18:28. Good efforts here. Didn't build, but good throughout and never dull. Ayako & Azumi worked well with Omukai, good sequences and counters. J looked plodding with Ayako, but they did a vicious exchange of chops and everything she did was high impact . ***1/4

post mach activities - signing at table, taking down ring, loading bus

4/21/01 QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida 6:21 of 16:06. Seemed to be a back and forth match, unfortunately in Ayako's style. In this form it all seemed meaningless.

Ayako highlight reel

5/6/01 TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada & Azumi Hyuga 5:20 of 19:03. Good chemistry and some drama. Seemed good if not better.

ARSION Battle Station 7/31/01 STARLIGHT 2001 taped 7/21/01 Yume Messe Miyagi
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rie Tamada vs. Rena Takase

PIKA & POKO vs. Ai Fujita & Yu Yamagata

GAMI vs. Chaparrita ASARI

Ayako Hamada vs. Emi Motokawa

Lioness Asuka & Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Omukai & Bionic J 16:05. J is really starting to come around, and getting her first tastes of the main event as Omukai’s partner due to Yumi Fukawa retiring and being LCO too expensive to use on every show had her highly motivated. J had a few good runs, but was mostly trapped in the ring for long stretches doing all the selling for her team. It didn’t help that Asuka & Yoshida were regularly double teaming her with no assistance from Omukai. She was in a weird mood, pacing around the apron looking disinterested. J got into it with her when she finally had a chance to tag, so Omukai hit her instead of tagging, leaving a battered and gassed J to be disposed of. Omukai kicked J after the match and walked off with Fujita, who would soon become her new partner, ending J’s push just as she seemed poise to prove she might actually deserve it. ***

ARSION Battle Station 8/14/01 HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING CARNIVAL THE QUEENS taped 7/29/01 Tokyo Ota-ku Taiikukan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rie Tamada vs. Yu Yamagata 5:13

Rie Tamada vs. Ai Fujita 7:19

Chaparrita ASARI & Emi Motokawa vs. PIKA & POKO 9:30

NWA Women's Pacific & NEO Nintei Single Double Title Match: Misae Genki vs. Bionic J 5:32

Michiko Omukai vs. Azumi Hyuga 9:00 of 15:00. I realize Hyuga is on loan from what’s left of JWP, but considering she’s probably the best pure working female in Japan, her lack of push in ARSION isn’t helping either league any. She was on top of her game here, displaying her quickness, flexibility, gracefulness, and precise execution. Omukai worked on a level we hadn’t seen all year, kicking it up several notches simply too keep up with Hyuga. It was great to see her motivated again, doing a fast paced complex match with impressive counters back and forth. The only negative was the slightly disappointing submission finish. Submissions were the weakest part of the match due to Hyuga generally ignoring that aspect throughout her career and Omukai reverting more to the pro wrestling slap a hold out of nowhere style rather than working for the holds as Yoshida taught her in the early days of ARSION. ***1/2

QUEEN OF ARSION Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. GAMI 18:18

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Lioness Asuka & Mariko Yoshida 30:00 + 4:04

8/3/01 highlights

ARSION Battle Station 8/28/01 HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING OPEN TOURNAMENT MAX A 2001 taped 8/12/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Tournament MAX 1st 2001 1st Round (all matches digested):

Noki-A vs. Faby Apache

Mima Shimoda vs. Ai Fujita

Etsuko Mita vs. Bionic J

GAMI vs. Emi Motokama

Mariko Yoshida vs. Kaori Nakayama

Michiko Omukai vs. Chaparrita ASARI 3:01 of 6:55. Pretty good combo of submissions and highspots with ASARI seeming to show better matwork than usual.

Ayako Hamada vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki

Lioness Asuka vs. Rie Tamada

Tournament MAX 1st 2001 2nd Round:

Lioness Asuka vs. Etsuko Mita

noki-A vs. Michiko Omukai 4:18 of 11:33. Hot fast-paced action with excellent work from A. Omukai is back into pushing submissions, but unfortunately it’s more single holds than the developed matwork we saw in 1998. Still, generally good stuff here.

GAMI vs. Mariko Yoshida

Ayako Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda

Tournament MAX 1st 2001 Semifinals:

noki-A vs. Ayako Hamada

Lioness Asuka vs. GAMI

Tournament MAX 1st 2001 Final: Lioness Asuka vs. noki-A

ARSION Battle Station 9/25/01 STARTIST 2001 taped 8/25/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake & 9/11/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master


PIKO & PIKA & POKO vs. Chaparrita ASARI & Ai Fujita & Yu Yamagata

noki-A vs. Rena Takase

Ayako Hamada vs. Faby Apache

Michiko Omukai & Azumi Hyuga vs. Bionic J & Tsubasa Kuragaki 1:03 of 12:16

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Lioness Asuka & Mariko Yoshida vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada


Yu Yamagata vs. Bionic J


SKY HIGH Leaguesen: Miho Watabe vs. Faby Apache

SKY HIGH Leaguesen: Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. noki-A

SKY HIGH Leaguesen: Chapparita ASARI vs. Ai Fujita

GAMI & Rie Tamada & Rena Takase vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda & Michiko Omukai 12:37. Good action, particularly when GAMI was in. Started more similar to a 5 on 5 with the rest of VIP and ReDRUG partaking in the activities. Tamada & Omukai traded dramatic near submissions with their teammates restraining the would be savers before Tamada submitted to Michiko’s triangle devi. **3/4

Ayako Hamada & Azumi Hyuga vs. Lioness Asuka & Mariko Yoshida

ARSION Battle Station 10/2/01 HYPER VISUAL FIGHTING TOURNAMENT ZION 2001 taped 9/22/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

PIKA & Rena Takase vs. Yu Yamagata & Faby Apache

Tournament 1st Round

Rie Tamada vs. Azumi Hyuga

GAMI vs. noki-A

Mima Shimoda vs. Michiko Omukai 6:33. Short but effective match with Mita making it a 2 on 1 when necessary. Shimoda controlled, milking the chair for all it was worth. When Omukai came back, Mita stopped it dead by cracking her with the chair. Omukai got wise to this, but got caught when she turned around after stopping Mita’s chairshot, leading to the finish. **1/4

Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada

Tournament Semifinals

Mariko Yoshida vs. Azumi Hyuga

Mima Shimoda vs. GAMI

Lioness Asuka vs. Ai Fujita

Tournament Final: GAMI vs. Azumi Hyuga

Battle Station ARSION 10/23/01 STARGOLD '01 taped 10/21/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Bionic J & Yu Yamagata vs. PIKO & Rena Takase. Yoneyama attacked Takase after the match. 1:44 shown

SKY HIGH Leaguesen: Ai Fujita vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki. Good action but no flow. Exhibition of aerial moves. The "setup" was one woman lying on their back until the other was to the top rope almost ready to jump off. 4:51 shown

SKY HIGH Leaguesen: Chaparrita ASARI vs. Faby Apache. These two did a bunch of nice athletic moves, but they were well executed and done in stride. If you take away the submissions, Faby's offense might be better than ASARI's right now. Good stuff, but too short. **1/2

SKY HIGH Leaguesen: noki-A (AKINO) vs. Miho Watabe. These two aren't familiar with each other and it really showed. Watabe was trying her crazy spins around her opponent, but they weren't working too well. The match would have been good if they hit everything, but with all the mess ups it was only marginally passable. *1/2

Rie Tamada Debut 10th Anniversary Match: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada. Nobody seemed particuarly motivated, but everyone was at least average. GAMI was pretty sharp, but LCo did some lame strikes and Tamada slipped off the top rope trying a missile kick (?). Tamada got beat on a lot, bleeding quickly. LCO by numbers. **1/2

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Title Match: Lioness Asuka & Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada & Michiko Omukai 20:49. Long meandering match with too much brawling and too few sequences. The Lioness vs. Ayako confrontation wasn't built to, but they made you anticipate their moves and who would gain the advantage. Not a great deal of rhyme or reason to the offense, but the moves were very well done got better and better. A pretty good mix of high impact, striking, flying (Hamada), and submission (Yoshida). Hamada got hurt when she overshot a tope so badly that she not only went over Lioness and Yoshida, who Omukai was holding, but also Omukai's shoulder (and Omukai is no midget). Omukai tried letting the opposition go, but she didn't have enough time to back up into the proper position, so if anything she made Hamada's angle of impact worse. Hamada kept using her arm, so I'm not sure if the injury was the cause of the match degenerating so badly. In any case, Lioness' garbage didn't help the match in any way. It broke down from something interestingly structured to wild table swinging. In the end, the match wound up seeming like a little of everything and a lot of nothing even though the stiffness of the garbage was at least equally impressive as the stiffness of the earlier strikes. Yoshida eventually stopped Lioness from continuing to hit the opposition with a table, leading to a ridiculous finish where the bloody Omukai suddenly came back to life and gave Lioness her shining wizard for the win. Lioness & Yoshida were at each other's throats after the match with noki-A siding with Lioness to set up them teaming in the tag league. Meanwhile, the new team of Omukai & Hamada never defended the titles, with Omukai going back to Fujita and losing to GAMI & Tamada in the finals of the TWINSTAR league that was contested for the vacated titles. **1/2

Battle Station ARSION 11/13/01 STARGOLD 2001 taped 11/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

10/23 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2 JBF Joshi Boxing Exhibition: Ai Fujita vs. Yamaki Uno. Fujita's punches weren't very heavy, but she's quicker and more aggressive than Uno. Fujita did good early firing jab after jab, but may have punched herself out in the process. 1:05 shown

Yu Yamagawa vs. Kaori Yoneyama. Short and very basic. 4:40 shown

TWINSTAR OF ARSION League Koshikisen: Chaparrita ASARI & Miho Watabe vs. PIKA & Rena Takase. Good PuroLucha action. The execution should have been cleaner, but with everyone doing a good amount of flying, the match was never boring. **1/4

TWINSTAR OF ARSION League Koshikisen: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Azumi Hyuga & Tsubasa Kuragaki. Good match that should have been better considering Tsubasa was not a detriment. Azumi was manhandled early on, which was probably done to give Tsubasa credibility by fairing much better when she came in and set Azumi up for a better showing later. However, it seemed to establish right off the bat that Azumi's team had no chance as it was just a mismatch. The problem with Azumi is she shows as much personality in the ring as a robot, so a match like this where the crowd is typically indifferent to her seems to be a failure because we've seen LCO do the same thing countless times in AJW with their more charismatic faces getting good reactions when they finally mount their offense. It's too bad because from any technical standpoint Azumi was in a league of her own. As the ARSION crowd is generally cold as ice, it's hard to hold the match coming off flat against it too much. This wasn't LCO's best effort, but their regular performance pretty much guarantees a good match when paired with someone as good as Azumi. ***

TWINSTAR OF ARSION League Koshikisen: GAMI & Rie Tamada vs. Michiko Omukai & Ai Fujita 11:44. All action spot oriented match that suited an exciting Fujita well. Quite good when solid working GAMI was in, but Tamada is that much worse now that she's gained weight. Omukai's work with Rie was still impressive though because her execution was quite good today and her strikes all had good impact. The pace was essentially the same throughout the match. With the spots piling up and the lack of emphasis on drama, the match kind of blended together and seemed to just end. **1/2

SKY HIGH League Digest

TWINSTAR OF ARSION League Koshikisen: Lioness Asuka & noki-A vs. Ayako Hamada & Faby Apache. Smooth, slick action. Kind of one dimensional, but excellently worked fast-paced match with impressive moves. noki-A was extremely impressive. Her offense is more original, making better use of her speed and athleticism. The highlight of many highlights was noki-A running up Lioness's ladder - which was propped up rather vertically in the corner - turning around, and jumping off for a dropkick. ***1/2

-4hr. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

ARSION vs. JWP Young Fight I: Rena Takase vs. Kaori Yoneyama. Yoneyama's offense is still developing, but she sticks to her strengths of athleticism and flexibility. Not a bad match to watch by any means, but it was so short and could have been executed a lot better even though they didn't blow their spots. Takase accidentally got a bloody lip. *

ARSION vs. JWP Young Fight II: Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. Yu Yamagata. Fast-paced with good athleticism and counters, but also incredibly short. Fluidity and smoothness was pretty good and better than I expected. *1/4

ARSION Saisho Tagsen It's a Small World: baby A (Miho Watabe) & Chaparrita ASARI vs. PIKA & PIKO. Fun Lucha match. Everyone did a dive.It was like a long finishing sequence since they only had 5 1/2 minutes to work with so they went right to the highspots. baby A did this amazing small package where she spun around her opponent 3 times before hooking it. **

New York Kyusai Kikin (relief fund) American Aid: Bionic J vs. Debbie Malenko. Malenko was still in good shape, but certainly not as athletic as she was in 9 years ago and obviously rusty. Very basic match. They didn't work well together to say the least. Choppy, contrived, and not well executed. Malenko was extremely unimpressive. 1/4*

BLACK & WHITE Battle Venus: Azumi Hyuga vs. Ai Fujita. Fujita wears open hand shooting gloves like Yoshida now, and Yoshida already has her punching well. Fujita still did all her flying moves, so the new dimension to her offense was an improvement rather than a switch. Meandered along for a while then got good in the final minutes when they started using their big moves. **

P*MIX SPECIAL Battle Family (Mixed Tag Match): noki-A & Men's noki-A vs. Faby Apache & Gran Apache. The women were treated fairly equally, and it was a pretty serious mixed match aside from the requisite gran kiss. All lucha. Nice moves and sequences. Most of it was very good with a high level of difficulty, but there were some botched and blown spots. Papa did a cool tope con hilo where he ran the apron and boosted himself over the ring post. ***

THE ARSION LOVE: Michiko Omukai vs. Sakie Hasegawa. Hasegawa keeps in good shape, but her body will never recover and her neck and knee problems limit what she can do and take. Hasegawa wrestled with the same hard working pull out all the stops mentality, doing a plancha and all. She might not be able to do some of the athetlic spots she tried anymore though, leading to bad looking or blown spots. I felt really bad for Sakie because you could tell it was important to her that she put on a good show, but she doesn't have it anymore physically and that's tough to deal with. Omuki was really nice to and respectful of Sakie, selling for her the entire early portion of the match. Sakie gave Omukai her rolling savate finisher after the match and Omukai let her pin her. Someone might like it for the nostalgia, which included Hasegawa & Malenko doing their pose during the match, but I'd rather keep my good memories of these two then see them labor through a match of flubs and miscues. 3/4*

ReDRAG vs. Las Cachorras Orientales in NHK ~4th UWA Sekai Joshi Tag Oza Ketteisen~: Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada. GAMI, who didn't seem very healthy, was at her all-time worst here, screwing up often. She couldn't pull off a Frankensteiner off the top through a table properly, so she stood on the center of the gimmicked table and tried to piledrive Shimoda through it, but their weight broke the table before GAMI could do the move. Tamada added to the sloppiness. The match had no flow and never picked up steam. Shimoda didn't take over the match to try to save it. It was basically just a bloodbath. *1/2

LEGEND OF GOLD 2001: Manami Toyota vs. Mariko Yoshida. Both did their style well, but the combination was weak. Toyota brought nothing to the table when Yoshida was doing her matwork. There was no atmosphere or sense of urgency, and the match was poorly paced. Toyota did a lot of nice moves, but her selling didn't make Yoshida's moves seem the least bit dangerous. Technique and execution were fine, but the match was lackadaisical and drawn out. **1/2

QUEEN OF ARSION TITLE MATCH: Ayako Hamada vs. Lioness Asuka. It's hard to say how much Ayako's injury hurt this match. She used both arms regularly for strikes and throws, even going so far as an inexplicable immediate test of strength to show one was as good as the other. There were a years worth of blown spots in Lioness' matches though. There were some great spots like Hamada doing a moonsault off the top to the floor then a spider Ligerbomb and Lioness doing her Ligerbomb off a table on the 2nd. Ayako never had Lioness in any trouble though. At one point she kicked out of Ayako's spin kick finisher at 1 (it was at the start of Ayako's comeback) then took 3 in a row before falling down again. When Ayako tried it again, Lioness blocked it - flipping her the bird at the same time - and did her spinning high kick. Good moves, but no drama at all and disappointing in many other aspects. It lacked the pacing and workrate of Lioness' matches, instead seeming flat and sluggish. The pace did pick up a lot in the last few minutes, but like the Lioness vs. Yoshida match the finish seemed rushed (this one didn't have to fit into 15 minutes either). **1/2

Battle Station ARSION 12/11/01 TWINSTAR OF ARSION taped 12/8/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

Mariko Yoshida vs. Yuu Yamagata

Rena Takase & Pika vs. Baby*A & Bionic J

TWINSTAR OF ARSION Tag League digest

TWINSTAR League Match: GAMI & Rie Tamada vs. Azumi Hyuga & Tsubasa Kuragaki

TWINSTAR League Match: Ayako Hamada & Faby Apache vs. Ai Fujita & Michiko Omukai The 20-minute team of Ayako & Omukai faced each other in their quest to re-attain the titles they’d just vacated with a lesser partner. Quick athletic match with no noticable dropoff from Ayako to the improving Faby. Fujita has always produced good action, but she’s becoming a good tag wrestler now that she’s a lot crisper with her execution and more precise with her flying. She always shows good motivation, which is important when you are teaming with Omukai, who is more than content to sleepwalk. Fujita was able to do some lucha with Hamada & Fujita, which improved the quality of the sequences. ***1/4

TWINSTAR League Match: Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs. Lioness Asuka & noki-A

TWINSTAR League Final, 9th TWINSTAR OF ARSION Champion Decision Match: Michiko Omukai & Ai Fujita vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada 9:23. Again, GAMI & Fujita are making the match and Rie is still trying but never very sharp. Tamada scored the upset pin on Omukai to become the 9th TWINSTAR champions. **1/4

Battle Station ARSION 12/25/01 taped 12/23/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

One Night 6 Woman Tag Tournament Ikkaisen: Lioness Asuka & noki-A & Rena Takase vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada & Yu Yamagata. Fast-paced match with good action, but a bit sloppy. It seemed to just go along and didn't really capture my interest. Takase does a spear now. What's next, a spear by Watabe or Cuije? **

One Night 6 Woman Tag Tournament Ikkaisen: Ayako Hamada & Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Mariko Yoshida & Michiko Omukai & Ai Fujita 10:32. These teams worked together pretty well, but the match was kind of hit and miss. Hamada & Fujita were the most inspired and brought the best offense. Shimoda chose to wrestle and fly rather than do much brawling. I'm not sure how much that contributed to her disappointing performance, but Shimoda vs. Yoshida sequences shouldn't look contrived. **1/2

Exhibition Man vs. Woman Mixed Match: Gran Apache vs. baby A. Baby is way too small for Apache to sell for. He made her various moves where she spins around the opponent's body before hooking them in something look fantastic by whipping her around really quickly. Otherwise he made her look like a fool because it was obvious he was going really easy on her, and she still wasn't able to compete. Baby wrestled seriously fighting hard for respect, while Apache hammed it up. I can't blame Apache, it's just a stupid matchup.

One Night 6 Woman Tag Tournament Kesshosen: Lioness & noki-A & Rena Takase vs. Mariko Yoshida & Michiko Omukai & Ai Fujita 13:33. They paired Yoshida & Takada, Asuka & Omukai, and A & Fujita. Good work from each pair, with a motivated Asuka bringing out Omukai’s best work since her 7/29/01 match against Azumi, but unfortunately even the final had no drama. Of course, it didn't help that there were maybe 500 people in the building. Yoshida was quality as always, and Fujita also looked good flying all over the place and working quality sequences with noki & Lioness. Takase is looking better and using a few more moves, including delivering a tornado bulldog. ***