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OZ Academy Puroresu King #172 2/1/08 THE WIZARD OF OZ 2008 taped 1/13/08 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Devil Masami vs. Ran Yu-Yu 11:35 of 13:42. Devil rekindled her Super Heel gimmick, but this was a compromised version in order to have an actual match with Ran, who was working hard. Devil still stalked around, but wasn't overtly no selling as much. It was more that she'd take but not get knocked off her feet and then fire back when she'd had enough. Ran was very active and aggressive, doing all the moving so Devil didn't have to. When Ran would spend too much time in close proximity, she'd find herself on the wrong end of a bomb or driver. Good start to the match, but then it just ended. Still, it was better than expected. **

AKINO vs. GAMI 5:00 of 14:31. GAMI wrestled seriously, but it was an odd match. They didn't really attempt to damage each other after a certain point. Instead, the entire finishing sequence consisted of them countering into pinning predicaments.

Manami Toyoda & Dynamite Kansai vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata 15:48 of 17:37. Total squash. The IBUKI youngsters occasionally avoided something and got a flying move in, but basically were just there to allow Toyota to run through her moveset. The situation did improve somewhat as the match progressed, but there was never any sense of this being a competition, and why they showed so much of the match was beyond me. The work was fine, as Matsumoto & Ohata were competent takers, but there was no drama whatsoever, and it was just one of those matches where you got the idea really quickly. *1/2

Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU vs. Sonoko Kato & Chikayo Nagashima 21:10. D-FIX is the dark, mindless period of Mayumi Ozaki's career, but this reunion surprisingly produced a classic heel vs. face tag match. It wasn't original, but there would be a lot more good matches if they simply rehashed a logical and dramatic form and kept things under control. Ozaki & KAORU weren't so much in brawling mode as they were simply playing heel, with Police & Mika Nishio making it 4 against 2, and Nagashima & Kato getting brief opportunities to wrestle in between Ozakigun attacking Kato's knee both legally and illegally. They kept things under control, focusing on telling the simple story of Kato being trapped in the ring, bleeding heavily and having her knee debilitated until Nagashima finally made the hot tag. There were a few lame moments, particularly KAORU holding a broken table against Kato's head so Ozaki could repeatedly hit the table with her red staff, only to trip over the ref's back when backing out of the corner, but generally their offense and structuring was pretty effective. ***

~THE WIZARD OF OZ~ OZ Academy Openweight Title Match: Aja Kong vs. Carlos Amano 12:58 of 13:23. I had high hopes, but the match not only lacked the intensity and drama that should have provided the big match feel, it was simply contrived and totally unbelievable. Amano was getting submission lessons from Yoshiaki Fujiwara in preparation for the match. She was effective on the mat, countering into submissions, but lacked other offense that would actually damage Aja, particularly in standup. Amano overdid the whole concept of struggling for the move, to the point she just seemed to be gyrating incessantly. Story wise, they had Kansai handcuff Nishio and Police to the architecture before the match so they couldn't interfere, and Amano had Ozaki sit at ringside so she could witness her defeating Aja firsthand. However, wrestling wise they did nothing to make me believe Carlos could beat Aja, so in the end it was simply a result. If Amano at least won via submission, which was her strategy and the basis of the bout, it would have made some sense and at least been believable that she wasn't that convincing as a whole but found her moment. However, her Carlos goon (jumping headbutt) was a totally unbelievable way to conclude the contest. I'm glad Amano won, but not in a fashion where no one is going to take the result seriously and accept her as the champion. Instead of crafting a match that would help Amano succeed in that role, they instead did a stupid gimmick where Ozaki refused to acknowledge her as champion, ripping the contract up. Amano said Ozaki had gone to far in spoiling her moment of glory, but Ozaki grew increasingly infuriated with her speech and started slapping Amano around until Kansai restrained her. This set up a gauntlet match where Ozaki had to beat 3 wrestlers in a row on 2/10/08 in order to retain her role as principal player in OZ Academy, and, if not, whoever defeats her takes charge. *1/2

OZ Academy Puroresu King #178 3/7/08 OZ-WOMAN ON THE RUN taped 2/10/08 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

AKINO vs. Devil Masami

KAORU vs. Ran Yu-Yu

Tsubasa Kuragaki & Kayoko Haruyama vs. Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato

Carlos Amano vs. Mayumi Ozaki

Carlos Amano & Aja Kong & Dynamite Kansai vs. Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU & Police

OZ Academy Puroresu King #182 4/11/08 CARLOS WORLD taped 3/9/08 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Toshie Uematsu vs. Devil Masami 5:04 of 11:26. Masami carried the match, instilling her methodical pace but allowing Uematsu to play off of it. Though Masami had most of the offense, Uematsu had the element of surprise, as you never knew when she'd come up with a clever counter to one of Masami's power moves. Often these counters were flash pin attempts, and though Uematsu essentially did no damage the entire match, she managed to score the upset with her Solarina.

Ran Yu-Yu & AKINO vs. Manami Toyota & Tomoka Nakagawa 10:20 of 20:17. The fact that Nakagawa was the designated punching bag meant Toyota got to provide most of the offense for her team. The others helped keep the pace high, but only Toyota was delivering many hot moves. Nakagawa was scrappy and spunky though, and Toyota stepped it in an effort to make up for her green partner. Ran & AKINO were good, but below their usual level as neither Toyota nor Nakagawa are ideal opponents to develop their sequences with. Good match.

Aja Kong vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto 9:51 of 12:25. Standard Kong domination. I never thought I'd say this, but I was really impressed with Aja's dropkick. She doesn't get much altitude, but she goes up with her knees bent then kicks them out on contact with her opponent to really send them flying. Matsumoto had good fundamentals and was fairly confident in her abilities. Kong was usually in control, but put Matsumoto over enough to justify Matsumoto talking her way into Kong's new group. Kong formed this army with Leader Ran Yu-Yu, Captain AKINO, and Queen Manami Toyota after the match. They gave Matsumoto a bit of trouble before accepting her, then Aja jokingly named her the group's Ace. *1/2

KAORU vs. Sonoko Kato 13:10 of 16:49. With the rest of D-FIX banned, Kato was able to brawl with KAORU without having to worry about the short arm of the law. Though she jumped KAORU at the bell and took it to the outside, she soon decided this wasn't the best tactic, and although Kato bled and KAORU loves her table halves, it wound up mostly being a straight match. Kato was always a step ahead with KAORU making comebacks to more or less even the match. What I liked about it was Kato did a good job of keeping things under control. The pace was slower, so the selling was better, and the action was generally more restrained. I thought this would have been a good opportunity to justify Kato upsetting KAORU. **1/4

Chikayo Nagashima & Hiren vs. Carlos Amano & Dynamite Kansai 15:45 of 16:52. Nagashima recruited Hiren from SENDAI GIRLS. Hiren has only been wrestling two years, but she fit in with the style Nagashima & Amano are trying to wrestle well enough. She has the athleticism, but needs to improve the quickness and fluidity of her sequences. Of course, simply getting enough opportunity to become familiar with the opposition will make a great deal of difference in her future ability to work with them. Nagashima vs. Amano was the main entertainment, but Hiren & Kansai at least contributed. Hiren was holding Kansai off for quite a while as Nagashima tried to finish Amano, but when Nagashima hit her rolling footstomp, Hiren began stomping her own partner to break up the pin! Suddenly, the lights went out and when they came back on, Nagashima was handcuffed and the banned D-FIX wrestlers were doing a number on Amano. Ozaki & Police beat on Amano until Hiren was able to pin her then Ozaki announced Hiren was the newest member of D-FIX. The match would have been a nice opener, but would have been hard to get excited about as a main event if they went all out for 25 minutes, much less when they were simply doing enough to get it near the finish so the angle could prevent just that. Ozaki needs to stop watching WWE! **1/4

OZ Academy Puroresu King #184 5/8/08 THE WIZARD OF OZ ARIAKE MAX taped 4/12/08 Tokyo Differ Ariake
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Devil Masami vs. KANA 2:22 of 3:23. Kind of funny to think they only showed 2/3 of a match that was only 3 1/3 minutes. On the other hand, why would you skip 2/3 of the Nagashima & Kato vs. Tamura & Genki match where they were trying to deliver a memorable match to show a standard squash? Devil may be way past her prime, but she knows how to not only stay within herself, but also plug her opponent into a basic formula that will make the action competent and passable.

Aja Kong & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Dynamite Kansai & Tomoka Nakagawa 6:48 of 10:48. Fun match. Nakagawa got to show her offense today, and her move set was pretty decent. She worked a nice little lucha sequence with Aja, and a pretty good finishing sequence with Matsumoto. Matsumoto has potential too. She was even able to set Kansai up a few times. Kansai was moving well tonight, and it was nice to see some intensity in her work against Aja. Pretty good match.

Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato vs. Yoshiko Tamura & Misae Genki 11:01 of 18:30. Everyone was working hard to make the match memorable. They all not only have the capability, but Tamura & Genki are great opponents for Nagashima, in particular, because they allow her to showcase her diverse ability. Tamura can work up a storm, doing all the fast sequences and taking anything, while Genki can do all the big vs. small spots with the huge bonus that she's actually a willing bumper. Hot action from the outset with all the pairings delivering high quality wrestling. The chemistry was excellent and there was never a dull moment. ***1/2

3 vs 2 Handicap Match: KAORU & Takako Inoue & Hiren vs. Manami Toyota & AKINO 10:01 of 12:58. Started out as a hyper paced Toyota workrate style match, and although the pace never slowed, the match became quite chaotic due to all the outside interference. The spotfest may be empty, but it's something they can do well and entertain with. Police, on the other hand, is only a second for a reason, and Mika Nishio mainly stands around acting as if she's there for some purpose even though she's just getting in the way or cheerleading. This wasn't a bad match by any means, in fact it had the potential to be a really good one, but it was as if even the wrestlers themselves were distracted by what the seconds were doing. Aja Kong was there to negate Police, and there was a good spot where she pulled AKINO's arm into the ropes for an escape, but the pin due to the heel using the stun gun behind the ref's back is one of the reasons I have no patience for the cornball American crap. I was impressed by Hiren though, who partially due to the ring attire, was reminding me of a young Ran Yu-Yu. **1/2

~THE WIZARD OF OZ~ OZ Openweight Title & OZ Principal Position, 2/3 Falls Dress Up Wild Fight Hair vs. Hair: Carlos Amano vs. Mayumi Ozaki 7:38, 9:25, 6:04. I had extremely high hopes for this match because in the past, Ozaki's Dress Up Wild Fights have ranged from quite good to classic, and this was obviously going to be the match from 2008 they were going to be remembered by. They did make the effort to make it stand apart from the rest, but they had the kid in the candy shop mentality, which unfortunately meant they made the critical mistake of focusing on what they could use rather than how they could use it. No Ozaki match has ever had such diversity in weapons, and yet, that was actually a detriment. Nu Jack's garbage can of goodies never helped Nu Jack have an actual good wrestling match because none of them had any particular purpose. They were simply substitutes for actual wrestling moves, since Nu Jack had no ability to actually wrestle. I don't want to put Ozaki & Amano in that class because they are more than capable of having an excellent match in any style, but tonight they just sort of moved from one weapon to the other and it was all rather flat. Yes, they made a genuine effort to use the weapons to enhance their wrestling moves rather than replace them, but it was as if they couldn't do a move if it didn't involve a weapon. Thus, Amano was just wrapping a chain around Ozaki's arm and hoping we'd believe that somehow helped her sankakujime, and that's just silly! There were, of course, some good spots that merged wrestling with garbage such as Ozaki Ligerbombing Amano through a table, but that's not exactly original and in the end, you mainly noticed they were using a barbed wire chair, bat, chain, florescent light bulb, table, etc. The florescent light bulb was a new one, and it wisely lead to the finish, although, in essence, Ozaki standing there and getting clocked by the bulb was not particularly more or less exciting than if it had been a bat or a chair or whatever. And that they didn't make me care about one object or the other, or any of them was really the problem. The falls were all short, but they didn't seem that way because it was so gimmick oriented it was kind of tedious. They did the spots well, and there was plenty of gore and carnage from start to finish. If that's the main thing you are seeking, this is a nice match, but I wanted some drama, some reason to truly care. I don't think that's too much to ask from a match with control of the company, the top title, and their hair on the line. After Amano pinned her former mentor in her own tequila sunrise finisher, Amano took the scissors to Ozaki, but Ozaki was getting bored sitting around while Amano snipped 30 hairs at a time, so she took the electric razor to the rest of the long portions. Amano told Ozaki to get on her knees, and Ozaki obliged as a way to duck Police's lariat so it would hit Amano. D-FIX then beat Amano up, and Nishio held Carlos in the ropes so Ozaki could steal a few snips of Amano's hair. **1/4

OZ Academy Puroresu King #191 9/12/08 Plum Blossoms in the Land of OZ 2008 taped 8/10/08 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

Misaki Ohata vs. Super Heel Devil Masami 5:40

Hiren vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto 12:36

Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs. Toshie Uematsu & Ran Yu-Yu 15:43

AKINO & Ayako Hamada vs. Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato 20:30

OZ Academy Tag Title, 2/3 Falls Hair vs. Hair Match: Carlos Amano & Dynamite Kansai vs. Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU 21:11, 7:20

OZ Academy Puroresu King #193 10/24/08 OZ-Starting Point taped 9/11/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

8/10/08 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong 17:19 of 19:21

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto 8:41 of 10:00

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Aja Kong vs. Tomoka Nakagawa 4:53 of 6:26

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: AKINO vs. Takako Inoue 6:23 of 10:00

Carlos Amano & Sonoko Kato vs. Devil Masami & Hiren 8:18 of 25:48

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: KAORU vs. Ran Yu-Yu 8:19

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Chikayo Nagashima vs. Manami Toyota 9:13

11/23/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE: Carlos Amano & Chikayo Nagashima vs. Devil Masami & KAORU 2:39 of 13:37

OZ Academy Puroresu King #194 11/22/08 taped 9/23/08 & 10/12/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

OZ-Star* 9/23/08

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Aja Kong vs. Takako Inoue 3:07 of 8:42

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Tomoka Nakagawa 2:08 of 6:14

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Manami Toyota vs. Hiren 2:27 of 9:49

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: AKINO vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto 2:00 of 8:23

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Ran Yu-Yu vs. Sonoko Kato 2:00 of 9:08

OZ-Protect it 10/12/08

Sonoko Kato vs. Hiren 5:10

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Aja Kong 9:14

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Takako Inoue 1:43

Devil Masami & AKINO vs. Carlos Amano & Tomoka Nakagawa 15:31

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Ran Yu-Yu vs. Manami Toyota 8:14

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Chikayo Nagashima vs. KAORU 10:00

OZ Academy Puroresu King #196 12/13/08 OZ ~Chaos Girl~ taped 11/3/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

6/7/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE: Devil Masami vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto 4:54 of 10:19

Devil Masami & Carlos Amano vs. Aja Kong & Hiroyo Matsumoto 11:05 of 13:08

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: Takako Inoue vs. Tomoka Nakagawa 8:08

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: KAORU vs. Hiren 7:35

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Manami Toyota vs. Sonoko Kato 9:56

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League A Block: AKINO vs. Mayumi Ozaki 7:19

OZ Academy Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League B Block: Chikayo Nagashima vs. Ran Yu-Yu 8:30 of 8:49

Chigusa Nagayo Produce Puroresu King Special 1/5/09 MARVELOUS NIGHT V Devil Masami Retirement Match End of long fight taped 12/30/08 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-3hr. Q=Perfect. 1DVD

Devil Masami & Dump Matsumoto & KAORU vs. Chigusa Nagayo & Yumiko Hotta & Meiko Satomura 7:27

DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko vs. Ryo Mizunami & Yukari Ishino 7:28

Ray & Misaki Ohata vs. Ayako Sato & Hanako Kobayashi 6:01

Kana & Yumi Oka & Cherry & Moeka Haruhi vs. GAMI & Kyoko Kimura & Shu Shibutani & Bullfight Sora 9:42

Misae Genki vs. Yuki Miyazaki 5:49

Kayoko Haruyama & Command Bolshoi & Kaori Yoneyama vs. Azumi Hyuga & Tojuki Leon & Arisa Nakajima 10:00

Takako Inoue vs. Noriyo Tateno 6:20

Mayumi Ozaki & Manami Toyota vs. Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato 10:00

Devil Masami Retirement Match: Aja Kong & Ran Yu-Yu & Toshie Uematsu vs. Devil Masami & Dynamite Kansai & Carlos Amano 22:00

OZ Academy Puroresu King #197 1/10/09 OZ-THE WINNER taped 12/14/08 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
1hr 45min. Q=Perfect

OZ Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League 11/24/08 digest

11/24/08 OZ Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League Match: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Aja Kong 2:53. Ozaki & Aja were tied with 5 points, so the winner would surpass AKINO (6) to take this block. Ozakigun blitzed Kong as soon as she came through the entrance, pulling her to the ring and quintuple teaming her as much as Jungle Jack 21 would let them get away with, which surprisingly was quite a bit. Ozaki's cronies kept coming at Aja from all sides and angles, and all piled on top of her for the pin after Ozaki's Oz kick as if it were an All Japan battle royal. With the pool being decided by such a lengthy, hard fought, classic match, every fan undoubtedly vowed to buy tickets to every future league and tournament show.

Hiren vs. Tomoka Nakagawa 6:39 of 7:10. The performers were adequate, but it wasn't much of a match because Police interfered anytime Nakagawa threatened to get something going. Given what they were planning in the main event, it's ridiculous that they had Police deciding this meaningless opener. There, his interference was capable of angering and annoying the crowd, but a few more shows of him interfering in even the opening match, and he'll simply be disinteresting. Hiren used chairs to the right leg to set up the ankle lock, but the leg was quickly forgotten once Nakagawa made one of her brief comebacks. *

Manami Toyota & Takako Inoue vs. Aja Kong & Hiroyo Matsumoto 10:20 of 15:10. Toyota changed the kanji in her first name now that's she's a heel in Ozakigun. It still spells Manami, but the ma kanji is the one that means demon or evil spirit and the nami is wave. Toyota is essentially wrestling in street clothes now, and I'm not sure if she was uncomfortable with her new costume or weighs a bit too much to optimally perform her brand of wrestling or was simply moving slowly, but she was definitely having an off day. It should have been good since battered and bloodied Aja was selling for Toyota a lot, but Toyota was having more trouble than usual lifting Aja for her suplexes and bombs. Takako seemed much quicker than Toyota, but wasn't doing any real wrestling. *1/4

Ran Yu-Yu & AKINO vs. Sonoko Kato & Misae Genki 8:43 of 20:41. As this was one of the best OZ Academy matches of the year, they decided to air as little as possible. What we saw was mostly AKINO vs. Kato, which was a very good thing as they were doing really well developed, one counter after another, sequences. Kato is more or less back to peak form, and while not as good as AKINO or Ran or Chikayo, she's a great opponent for all of them because she can handle anything they throw at her without slowing them down. Too bad Genki decided to retired a few weeks after this show because she was one of the only active big women that could still work. The finish was a bit shaky with AKINO and Kato starting at each other trying to get back on the same page, but otherwise everything was impressive. Very good match.

Dynamite Kansai Return Match: Dynamite Kansai vs. KAORU 1:20. This was Kansai's first match back since losing her hair in a tag match against Ozaki & KAORU on 8/10/08. Ozaki designated KAORU to supply another embarrassment, but Kansai returned with a vengeance, whipping the floor with KAORU in 80 seconds.

OZ Openweight Title Next Challenger Decision League Final: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Chikayo Nagashima 13:42. After Ozaki “earned” her spot in the finals against Nagashima on 11/24/08, Nagashima challenged Ozaki to prove she could still actually wrestle by agreeing not to use weapons or have the Ozakigun interfere at every turn. Ozaki agreed so Nagashima would have nothing to bitch about when she didn't beat her. Ozaki had put a 2 million yen bounty on Carlos Amano's head at the beginning of the league which would go to the winner if they were able to take the title from Carlos, so the stakes were high. To help ensure the money stayed in her pocket, after setting aside her weapons and instructing her cronies to watch from the back, Ozaki mentioned that, oh by the way, Police is the special ref. Chikako dominated the match, but couldn't get a pin because a normal person could count to 15 by the time Police slow counted 2. Ozaki wasn't doing much on her own, but would take control after Police's cheap shots, and Police nearly counted to 3 by the time the audience realized Ozaki was even trying a pin. Nagashima knew what she had to do, and with two low blow kicks followed by her diving footstomp to the balls, Police had to be replaced by the regular, less crooked OZ ref Sachiko Ito. At this point, apart from Ozaki loosing her footing on a shining wizard, the match got really good because Oz can, in fact, still wrestle when she feels like it. Unfortunately, just as Nagashima was about to pin Ozaki following her rolling footstomp, Police returned with a shining wizard, but Nagashima kicked out of the world's fastest count and kicked Police. Nagashima went to her other finisher, the fisherman buster, but Ozaki countered into a small package for the fast count victory. ***