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OZ Academy Puroresu King #40 2/15/06 13th OZ Academy taped 1/22/06 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 55min. Q=Perfect

Chikayo Nagashima vs. Kumiko Maekawa 12:42. Chikayo Nagashima is OZ Academy's version of Maekawa's greatest rival, Momoe Nakanishi, so even if Maekawa was nearly at the end of the line, this still had every reason to be an interesting match. Unfortunately, it was merely an annoying one, as Maekawa was given the star treatment over a peer who is a far superior in essentially every way. Nagashima sold all Maekawa's kicks, which by her standards were only average, as if she was clubbed by a baseball bat. As Maekawa was “too tough” for Nagashima to do any real damage to, she resigned herself to going for flash pins. All of this didn't ruin the match so much as the simple fact that Maekawa was just lethargic, showing no explosion at all. Nagashima took the pace down several notches, to the point her normally jaw dropping quick sequences were verging on deliberate. *1/2

Carlos Amano vs. Kaoru Ito 10:02 of 15:57. Ito apparently didn't get the memo that no one expects much from the undercard because she was bringing it from start to finish. Ito isn't as graceful as she used to be, but she can still go. I was hoping the former U*TOPS member would take better advantage of a rare opponent who can actually work on the mat, but alas Ito didn't deviate from her typical offense. She was more than willing to sell for Amano, so her knowledge of matwork and submission did come in handy, but on the other hand, her body control leaving something to be desired was the major downside of the entertaining match. Even if this victory was slightly flukish due to it coming on a small package, it was nonetheless a nice feather in Carlos' cap. **3/4

Mayumi Ozaki vs. Tomoko Watanabe 11:44 of 13:32. I don't mind that this wasn't a completely straight wrestling match as the previous two were, but I would have liked it to at least resemble wrestling or a match. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh and overexaggerated, but while a bit of well timed interference can certainly add a dimension to a match, one shouldn't need a scorecard to keep track of who is hopping in and out. Whenever Ozaki and Watanabe were in the ring, another OZ Academy member or Ito or Maekawa or the entire brood were also in the ring. The rest of the time, they just fought outside the ring. Normally a match with countless saves would be dramatic, but, in addition to killing killed any flow the match could possibly have developed, the constant run-ins rendered me numb. It was never a question of if there would be a save, but rather how many milliseconds before the next in line could get out of the block and into the ring. *

Aja Kong & Misae Genki vs. Jaguar Yokota & Dynamite Kansai 12:44. I haven't seen much of Yokota lately, but I hope this match is no indication of her current state. She wasn't looking quick or athletic enough for her style of wrestling, and as a consequence she probably had more miscues than in the entire decade of the 1990's. The other three weren't exactly picking Jaguar up either. Kansai was fairly good, all things considered, but in general the match was in slow motion and the offense was far too light. It's hard function solely in power wrestler mode when the opposition is as huge as you are, but they seemed to try because they didn't feel like getting beat up. 3/4*

Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima & Carlos Amano vs. Manami Toyota & Meiko Satomura & Nanae Takahashi 23:27. It doesn't help to do a long match if you aren't going to take the early portion seriously. It wound up coming off as an exhibition because they were having too much fun, killing time with poster poses. The wrestling was eventually good, but the athletes have to play with intensity in order for the fans to observe with intensity. This was more like an all star game where even though they really stepped it up toward the end to try to win, by that point you couldn't forget that they were just out there to entertain. **1/4

OZ Academy Puroresu King #48 OZ Academy in Mexico
1hr 55min. Q=Perfect

2/25/06: Martha Villalobos & Cinthia Moreno & La Diabolica vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima & Carlos Amano

3/4/06: Martha Villalobos & Cinthia Moreno & La Diabolica vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima & Dynamite Kansai

3/5/06: La Chola & Diabolica & Cinthia Moreno & Miss Janeth vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima & Carlos Amano & Dynamite Kansai

3/10/06, Rey De Reyes: Lola Gonzalez & Martha Villalobos & Cinthia Moreno & Miss Janeth vs. Tiffany & Chikayo Nagashima & Dynamite Kansai & Diabolica

OZ Academy Puroresu King #79 9/8/06 19th OZ Academy 10th Anniversary Commemorative taped 8/12/06 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Carlos Amano 4:37 of 5:34. Really good short match. They treated it as a big match, something of real importance. Obviously there was no time for development, but given it was essentially a lengthy finishing segment, it was pretty much everything one could ask for. The match was fast-paced and well executed. They wrestled with a sense of urgency, and were even laying into each other in the headbutt vs. uraken exchanges. Police handed Ozaki her chain early, but Carlos caught her with a diving lariat before she could use it, and otherwise the match went off with no weapons or interference. Carlos pinned Ozaki in a jackknife hold to avenge her loss on 4/30/06.

Point System Match: Dynamite Kansai vs. Chikayo Nagashima 0:41. Nagashima wanted her huracanrana, while Kansai wanted her splash mountain. Nagashima won out.

Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Chikayo Nagashima 7:42. Same deal as the Ozaki vs. Amano match except it wasn't nearly as well executed, and thus convincing. They would have been better off putting less emphasis on speed and more emphasis on the impact, but these days it's never a bad thing when they try to be too impressive. **1/2

Point System Match: Dynamite Kansai vs. Carlos Amano 6:28 of 8:01. They cut out the deadtime rather than rather skipping the beginning as usual to show Kansai was once again looking for the splash mountain from the outset. Amano was focusing on one move finishes, either trying to catch Kansai in an arm submission or get a flash pin. It helps that they are so familiar with one another, but the primary reason the match was better than expected is Amano was just on fire tonight. **

Point System Match: Chikayo Nagashima vs. Carlos Amano 8:19 of 9:12. Best match so far. Rather than getting sucked into the usual scatterbrain rushing they really did a nice job of pacing this to put over the story of the night, slowing the match down to show their fatigue without losing anything in quality. They are capable of more impressive sequences, but this was a very mature performance from both, as they were smart about the manner in which they went about taking the pace down, focusing on executing as well as possible (they rarely connect so solidly on their strikes) and putting over the toll of the night. Amano was best able to wrestle again after brief layoffs, and was definitely the most consistent performer of the night. ***

Point System Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Dynamite Kansai 14:22 of 15:00. Joshi puroresu could still be really good if they would just take the time to think. In a sense, this Ozaki vs. Kansai match was really nothing special, but by merely doing a simple intelligent match they resurrected the once must see fued, delivering the best entry in years. It was really an Ozaki one woman show, but Kansai deserves much of the credit for that because she had to put aside her tough woman gimmick and allow Ozaki to give her a constant ass whipping. Kansai can still sell, and she can still execute well, it's trying to keep a high pace that gives her trouble. But amazingly, they did the smart thing and stayed slow throughout, first putting over the toll of the league, and then giving way to the specifics of the match itself. It was a logical match with a thoughtful progression of holds. Ozaki finally used a few gimmicks, but they totally added to the match because there was purpose and consistency. For instance, chair shot to Kansai's knee set up the figure 4 and the umbrella to the knee set up a diving footstomp to the knee and kneebar. There was also a good spot where Police finally decided to interfere, but this cost Ozaki because she finally got to the ropes to escape Kansai's ½ crab while the ref had her back turned to scold Police. As always, it's not what you do, but when and how you incorporate it. Due to Ozaki & Kansai splitting their three points by drawing, Nagashima won the league with 6 points to Ozaki & Kansai's 4.5. ***1/2

Mayumi Ozaki & Carlos Amano vs. Chikayo Nagashima & Dynamite Kansai 16:26 of 18:26. I like the wild fight concept better as a singles match since the Texas Tornado rules tend to render it chaotic. The pace was actually moderate and they took the time to sell, but it was more that you were either involved in the main action or down, so the selling was more a product of the other three doing a 2 on 1 spot than something they were putting a major effort into. I didn't find there to be any real drama here, so it just came off as a rather flat and underwhelming succession of weapon spots. Police stayed out of it until the last minute when he broke up Kansai's pin attempt following her splash mountain finisher with a florescent bulb. Suddenly, Nagashima just decided to double cross Kansai with a DDT on a chair and Ozaki hit Kansai with a super sized florescent bulb then her and Nagashima covered for the win. **

Plum Mariko highlights and memorial ceremony

Puroresu King #84 10/12/06 Platinum Flying Angela Manami Toyota 20th Anniversary Show taped 8/6/06 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Manami Toyota vs. Natsuki*Head 11:17

Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta vs. Stalker Ishikawa & Futoshi Miwa 6:07

Manami Toyota vs. Mima Shimoda 5:52 of 10:00

Azumi Hyuga & Chikayo Nagashima & Carlos Amano & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. Manami Toyota & Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe 19:48 of 23:46

Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota 19:44 of 23:38

OZ Academy Puroresu King #93 11/25/06 21st OZ Academy taped 11/17/06 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Marvelous Night Special Sonoko Kato Restart Again!! 10/1/06 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE: Sonoko Kato & Aja Kong vs KAORU & Meiko Satomura 7:43 of 19:41. Good to see Sonoko back in the ring. She wasn't running as fluidly or freely as she did before all her knee injuries, but she was generally quite good. It was hard to gauge how healthy she really was because she did such a nice job of selling the knee as part of both the return and match storyline. In any case, if she's consistently at least at this level she'll easily rank among the better third of joshi wrestlers. Aja was edited out of the match because their only reason for showing anything from the 10/1 show was to give us a look at Kato. Apparently KAORU was paired with Aja, as she was nowhere to be seen either. Good.

~THE WIZARD OF Oz~ OZ Academy Openweight Title 1st Single Champion League Match: Aja Kong vs Chikayo Nagashima 7:47. A well executed match that helped remind us that when God wanted the real Devil, he made Aja Kong. Kong was in brawling mode, bullying Nagashima, who was soon sporting the crimson mask. Chikayo was pretty lifeless throughout, only surviving because Kong refused to pin her after each of her 3 urakens. She woke up a little after Kong pulled her up from a pin attempt the first time, but Kong cut her comeback right off and tossed her around some more so she could pull her up again! Finally, the ref had to stop the match because Nagashima was completely limp. Obviously, the problem with this match is Nagashima, the best worker actually in the league, was completely jobbed out for no good reason. It was so one-sided I kept thinking Nagashima must be going to score a flash pin, but she had maybe 30 seconds of offense. **

~THE WIZARD OF Oz~ OZ Academy Openweight Title 1st Single Champion League Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs Dynamite Kansai 5:38. Ozaki vs. Kansai was one of the best programs of the 1990's, they weren't exactly adding another brilliant chapter to their legacy tonight, to say the least. Police got some cheapshots in to give Ozaki the advantage then Ozaki blitzed Kansai with endless backhand blows. I mean, Kansai basically stood there taking wild spinning strikes for 5 minutes, and that was the entire match! If Ozaki were Kobashi, this might almost be acceptable, but by focusing on keeping the pace of the urakens to keep the pressure on Kansai, the impact was that much sketchier than usual. *

Carlos Amano Produce: Azumi Hyuga & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Ran Yu-Yu & Carlos Amano 14:47 of 23:45. If this is any indication, they should allow Amano to play matchmaker more often. Her JWP Class of 1994 reunion match was certainly one of the best matches in the history of OZ Academy. They worked hard and experimented a little, taking advantage of the strengths of all four members. Everyone was very good and put forth a big effort, but, of course, Hyuga was a class above the rest. She's a workrate machine, but she doesn't merely speed up the match, she forces the others to develop their counters at this high pace. Hyuga's fast sequences with Ran were exquisite, but I can't emphasize enough that what was so good about the match wasn't the plethora of cool spots, but that Hyuga forced her opponents to make intricate counters to pull them off. When Azumi wasn't in, it was still big moves throughout, but there was no particular creativity involved, as they essentially just waited for the opposition to pummel them. I give Kuragaki a lot of credit for working hard enough to reach the level of her classmates, especially after never making it as far as debuting with her class, then going through it all again 4 years later, at which point she was still quite a slow developer. She'll never be as naturally talented, but the combination of effort and being a spot merchant keeps people interested in her. The match seemed to go on about a minute too long. The whole thing was basically a fast paced finishing sequence, but they not only didn't have anything better than earlier, they started running out of ideas and getting sloppy. ***3/4

Chikayo Nagashima Produce: Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato vs Chikayo Nagashima & Toshie Uematsu 13:33 of 14:53. An hour after being demolished, Nagashima is suddenly a star again, putting together the GAEA Class of 1995 reunion match. The pace was similarly fast, but the maneuvering wasn't nearly as elaborate and advanced as in the JWP reunion match. Well, to be more specific, Nagashima vs. Satomura was actually up to JWP level, but Uematsu isn't capable of coming close. Nagashima's cut reopened quickly, and Uematsu wound up trying to pick up the slack to give her a break, which wasn't helping the match. Uematsu worked really hard, but was simply outclassed, particularly by Satomura, who was on fire. Kato was protected, but did okay with Nagashima mainly working her bad knee to lead up to the finish. Match had a couple interesting spots. At one point, Nagashima German suplexed Uematsu out of the way of Satomura's high kick with Uematsu taking no damage because she landed on her feet. Later, Kato & Uematsu fought over a chair, so Nagashima hopped on it and jumped off with a Frankensteiner to Kato. ***1/4

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