SGPW on Nico Nico 3/11/15 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
-2hr 20min. Q=Ex. 2 DVDs

Michiko Miyagi vs. Meiko Tanaka

Eiger & KAORU vs. Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota

Hikaru Shida & Sareee vs. Michiko Miyagi & Ray

Kyoko Kimura vs. Meiko Satomura

Kairi Hojo & Nanae Takahashi vs. DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko

SGPW on Nico Nico 7/30/15 Tokyo Shinjuku Face
-1hr 50min. Q=Ex

Takumi Iroha vs. Michiko Miyagi

Eiger vs. Sakura Hirota

Ayako Hamada & Hikaru Shida & Hiroe Nagahama & Ray vs. Alex Lee & Hiroyo Matsumoto & Michiko Miyagi & Mika Iwata

Meiko Satomura vs. Arisa Nakajima

DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani 17:47. These four are great talents, & while it's no surprise they delivered a fantastic match, it was amazing just how well they worked with each other. They were figuring it out for sure, giving all the pairings time & everyone equal opportunity to show their best stuff, but this exploration was at their highest level. This is a one-dimensional match, but in the first try they already took the all action workrate match about as far as it was going to go. They didn't care that there were "315" fans, this was close to their best effort, seemingly for the fun of challenging themselves and one another. There was, unfortunately, no home promotion advantage here for the Jumanji Sisters. If anything, Thunder Rock got more reaction because Io is the most charismatic of the bunch, but Io was also on fire as usual, & who would want to root against her??? There was also no downtime here, it was perpetual motion with quick tags to keep pushing the pace. One thing that's so impressive about both teams is that they don't fall prey to working lighter in order to work faster. DASH, in particular, is always accelerating through her blows (striking through the target the way you are supposed to rather decelerating to simply touch the target the way most wrestlers actually do). Mayu, in particular, is a bumping machine who loves to find reasons to jump on impact so it appears that she was blown off her feet. She took a massive Ace crusher off the top from DASH that I kind of felt should be the finisher, especially given how much more impressive it was than the usual hormone splash that did end it, but it seems that the more MMA shows you win with whatever works on a particular night, the more pro wrestling clings to the superhuman notion that everyone can survive every crazy, depth defying stunt only to lose to the same thing everyone else lost to. I might not long for the Freedom Force era of AJW in the sense that the focus shifted almost solely to workrate, during '95-'96 especially, when Manami Toyota was really carrying the company and that style replaced the overall intensity & more diverse nature of the interpromotional era, but it's also been very rare in the current century to see a mindless joshi tag that was impressive enough for what it was that you could say it would perfectly slot in with the high end tags of that late end of the joshi heyday. What's better is they grew from this match, & the 9/23/15 rematch added a lot of the missing tension & fervor to the proceedings, actually slotting perfectly into the '93-'94 era. ****

SGPW on Samurai ~ Meiko Satomura 20th Anniversary Commemorative Show Women's Wrestling Big Show in Sendai~ 10/11/15 Sendai Sun Plaza Hall
-4hr 20min. Q=Perfect. 3 DVDs

Hiroe Nagahama vs. Michiko Miyagi

Eiger & KAORU & Ray vs. Alex Lee & Hikaru Shida & Jaguar Yokota

Jinsei Shinzaki vs. Sakura Hirota

Chihiro Hashimoto & Shinobu Kandori vs. Manami Toyota & Mika Iwata

Aja Kong & Cassandra Miyagi vs. Meiko Tanaka & Saree

Sendai Girls Tag Title Match: DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko vs. Kyoko Kimura & Takumi Iroha

Sendai Girls Title Match: Ayako Hamada vs. Meiko Satomura

SGPW on Samurai 11/21/15 Stardom vs. Sendai Girls Showdown taped 11/12/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=Perfect

Chikayo Nagashima & Kyoko Kimura vs. Alex Lee & Saree

Hiroyo Matsumoto & Santana Garrett vs. Ray & Sakura Hirota

Senjo vs. STARDOM Showdown 6 vs. 6 Singles Knockout Match: Momo Watanabe & Hiromi Mimura & Kris Wolf & Io Shirai & Kairi Hojo & Mayu Iwatani vs. Chihiro Hashimoto & Mika Iwata & Sendai Sachiko & Meiko Satomura & DASH Chisako & Cassandra Miyagi 65:03. Basically a show unto itself, which was good in terms of giving the younger girls a more meaningful match that people outside of the live audience couldn't just skip past to get to Satomura, but obviously detrimental to the overall match quality since each side really only has 3 completed quality wrestlers. When it was good, it was really good, but let's be honest, only 3 of the 9 matches are good, and they're all in a row, though they do account for 46% of the actual match time. Though the first half was filler to get to the big matchups, Io vs. Sendai, Hojo vs. Satomura, & Mayu vs. DASH. the early portion had purpose, focusing on arguably the brightest prospect in joshi, 23-year-old Chihiro Hashimoto. Hashimoto debuted the previous month, but impressed so much she won Tokyo Sports Rookie of the Year based on less than 2 months of activity & would go on to win the Senjo title from Satomura a few days after her first anniversary! Hashimoto is a legitimate high level college amateur wrestler, but what's so exciting about her is she's something that's always in very short supply, a genuine power wrestler. She looks something like Kyoko Inoue cerca 1996, but her size is more attributed to the weight room, where she benches close to her body weight. Satomura seems to have trained her more in the old AJW style, as her offense isn't much to talk about right now, she actually gets the first elimination on Momo Watanabe with a body slam, but she's very solid & fundamentally sound. Who knows how long she'll last or if she'll really pan out, this is joshi after all, but I don't think she'll be intimidated, as she already possesses the confidence of someone who has been wrestling for several years. Normally, in these type of gauntlet elimination matches, no promotion gets too big a lead, but Hashimoto cut STARDOM's ranks in half, running through their three youngers in about 3 minutes each, and putting the onus on Io to carry the league, which luckily for STARDOM is something she's never failed to do all year. Io vs. Hashimoto was entertaining & heated, with the crowd actually taking Hashimoto seriously now after she buzzsawed through the young idols. Io worked down to Hashimoto for sure, but it was all very competent & not purely you do your spots & I'll do mine, with Hashimoto already being a more interesting opponent for Io than recent adversaries Hudson Envy, Dark Angel, & Mia Yim. Iwata, who has been wrestling a whole 4 months, made a positive showing for herself too, also showing good composure. She's limited, basically just throwing kicks, but she has the characteristics that make a striker interesting, she's fiery, aggressive, energetic. Despite her intensity, given STARDOM was down 3-1 & their ace was the opponent, the only question was how long Io would carry Iwata before putting her away. Io & Sendai racheted up the intensity immediately exchanging stiff blows. Sachiko injured Io's back with a suplex on the floor, & went to work on it inside the ring, which wasn't what I expected from these two at all, but would have been great if they weren't limited to 10 minutes. This was quite good, & Io was hitting her quebrada & the like soon enough, but you felt they were never exactly sure what this match should be, even though everything they did was well done & their talent & drive was enough to make it work. Sachiko got the best of this draw because she was fresh, and more notably they were setting up her Wonder of Stardom challenge a few days later. Hojo was doing a better job of putting enough on her strikes to hang with Satomura, though they set up the most hilarious spear ever. She had Satomura down in the corner, and Satomura never moved the entire time, which Hojo obviously saw given she charged the length of the ring right at her and didn't jump until she was a foot away. Nonetheless, Hojo proceeded to spear the spot where Satomura's midsection would be if she were standing, which meant I don't even think her boobs grazed the top of Meiko's head as Kairi shouldered the corner (at least Meiko didn't sell this, but then neither did Hojo). A few missed spots aside, this was very good desperate, high intensity stuff, as they just exchanged high impact blows in a failed attempt to get done in 10 minutes what they couldn't get done in even 30 on 6/14/15. DASH & Mayu started doing lucha as Mayu typically does, but once Mayu kicked DASH in the back, the war was on. DASH was punking everyone, even kicking the eliminated STARDOM wrestlers who were still at ringside cheering Mayu on in the face while she was waiting for Mayu to get up so she could knock her right back down. This was the best segment, partly because it felt the most like an actual full functional match. They built it up well with the attitude giving it intensity, & the striking leading to the high spots, moving back & forth so seemlessly between styles & building the match up well. The other thing is this is the only match that felt as though it had a real finish. I mean, it was very near the time limit, but it didn't feel forced or contrived, it felt like a wrestling version of a real fight finish, as most times the time a fighter is prone or unconscious is very short . Mayu landed a big kick which left DASH open for her reverse Frankensteiner. It was a flash finish if sorts, and DASH was right up attacking Mayu until she was restrained, but it wasn't fluky. I don't have a problem with them doing two draws, overall this was pretty well booked with the exception of Mayu vs. DASH not being last. That had the kind of intensity you want to close the match, but I don't care which of the big matchups you put last, Satomura vs. Hojo would have been great (but Satomura would have had to give her win back), just don't give up the opportunity to send the fans home feeling they saw something awesome by sending Mrs. Miyagi out as your closer. Beyond the huge decline in match quality, everyone knows that's game, set, match for STARDOM, might as well just hit the exits right now. Miyagi has the least potential & upside of the Sendai girls because she's just not particularly athletic or fluid, and going from Mayu & DASH beating the crap out of each other because they could to Miyagi stalking around as some lame cross between Super Heel and take your pick of plodding Americans was even shutting Mayu down to some extent. I mean, she always tries hard, but all the challenging & pushing herself came against DASH, a worthy & capable adversary, now Mayu was just waiting for something to happen. Adding to the annoyance of putting this last, because a promotion had to win there was no time limit, so Miyagi got to work the longest segment, thus logging more ring time than Satomura & Jumanjis. Miyagi does some of the same stuff as DASH, stomping, stepping on the face, etc, but DASH makes it work because it's not the move, it's the way you do it, the execution & the attitude, and she's not merely doing things precisely, she's always challenging & inciting the opposition as a good punk should. Also, while DASH isn't going to do a bunch of flips, she's capable of working more or less as fast & athletic a style as any opponent, so she's choosing to humiliate you & then backing it up with great wrestling, whereas Miyagi is more of a Great Muta type psycho character except that she doesn't have the explosion or athleticism to impressively change gears from the idle stalking to the actual wrestling. Anyway, while it's probably too much to expect a match with this many performers to build up over the course of an hour, it's obvious that it's going to be hard to accept & support someone who is an awkward mover & keeps throwing weird bent leg dropkicks after seeing some of the best in the game in top form. You still had Mayu out there, but I don't think it's fair to expect too much from her here because the opponent is one of those big girls that doesn't take much (or well), so basically Iwatani did what she was forced to do, which was wait for Miyagi to drag her around & hit her. Miyagi is no Trevor Hoffman, so eventually Mayu took her out with the Dragon suplex to set up her much deserved World of Stardom title shot on 11/15/15. I don't know how to rate this match because, roughly speaking, the three star vs. star matches that accounted for half an hour were worked at about a 4 star level and, flaws of the format aside, were some of the best joshi of the year, while the other six that accounted for 35 minutes were worked at about a two star level & would mainly have been good candidates for the chapter advance button. ***