A few weeks ago I got a package from the lovely Etsuko, containing the newest GAEA and Jd' shows on GAORA. GAEA has been sort of underwhelming lately, and this show is all stuff from mid-April meant to build towards their big show on the 29th. The show overall was pretty standard fare, with one notible exception in the main event. And so....
This was a non-title "revenge match", meaning lots of weapons, including bokkens, table pieces, and a rope used as if it were a chain. It isn't long before Lioness has done her prerequisite blade job here. Match is pretty much a clusterfuck with Lioness and Hokuto doing most of the better work, although it seems to be off a step and sort of disjointed.
One thing that's painfully obvious here is how weak Ozaki's offense looks in this kind of match. Her urakens are especially wimpy, more of a shove than anything. There's also a spot where Oz comes off the top with a chair and accidentally hits Hokuto, then falls over and sells it, empathy I guess. The bulk of the match is general milling about brawling with Hokuto throwing her suplexes, until Lioness catches her with the LSD II in 14:04.
The crowd was into this, but it wasn't really anything special nor did it have much direction. Decent - good opener.
This is pretty much the footnote to the Meiko - Kansai feud that's been going on since the new year, and I'm happy about that. This is a standard "faces use speed while heels use brawling" type of match, and they do it well for what it is. There's no excuse for Kansai using the clawhold not once, but twice in one match however.
Kansai is very very limited now, and doesn't really move or bump that much. KAORU of course brings the garbage spots, which are very RVDesque this match and therefore look rather sloppy. A really cool spot however, is KAORU about to wack Toshie with her table piece, when Meiko runs across the ring and puts her foot through the board in mid-swing. KAORU gets the pin with an Excalibur on Uematsu at 10:03. Post-match, Satomura goes apeshit on everyone, leading to a brawl. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a theme for the night.
Match was pretty solid, but nothing really interesting, which has been a theme with GAEA in 2001 unfortunately. The faces were the best, and Uematsu is really underrated in some circles. She's has exceptional timing and ring smarts, knowing when to do what and how to do it well.
This was taped at a really small spot show, and is the only clipped match on the tape. It's really a nothing match, the only thing of note being Uematsu's sweet rolling kneebar. It seems like they're going at half-speed, which they probably were on such a small house show. Yamada pins Uematsu with a stiff elbow in 8:37 (4:34 shown).
4.15.01 Korakuen Hall
Now we're talking, everybody picks it up for Korakuen.
Well then. This is a typical Hirota comedy match, notable mainly for Asuka's absolute lack of composure during the endurance J. 7:18
Woo! Finally an appearance by the lovely and extremely talented Chikayo Nagashima. Devil was hurting pretty badly by this point, and as a result didn't really move a whole lot. Nagashima made up for this by practically doing Devil's moves for her (including a bad ass endless powerbomb), and made it look really good in the process. Nagashima goes for a running crucifix into her triangle choke, but they mess it up and do it again. Devil rolls onto NagashimaŠ.and wins? Blah. Good to see all the most promising workers getting pinned in crappy ways. This only went 6:34 too. Post match: Everyone brawls.
Back to the previous night's spot show for that evening's main event.
The faces are really spirited in this one, even using their speed to tease the viscous Masami with false tags. Geez, I was one of the people who was really high on Masami late last year, but she's completely immobile in this match, and looks about fifteen pounds heavier to boot. During a double team she just ignores it and walks to her corner for a tag. I PUT MY FAITH IN YOU SUPER HEEL. Of course, she'd go down to injury soon after, but still.
The focus of the match is the beginning of the problems between Satomura and Hokuto, and they really have a lot of chemistry together, mixing good work with passionate brawling. Hokuto is a lot slower than she used to be, but she's still a very very complete worker who knows how to get an angle over with sheer hatred.
Nagashima and Masami also had a match coming up on the 29th, and Nagashima is bumping like a complete maniac to help out the aching Masami. This includes taking a neck bump on a lariat, as well as a HUGE Liger Bomb, which gets the win for the heels in 9:20.
One thing started to become very clear in this match. Satomura and Nagashima are both now complete wrestlers, who can lead and follow with equal ease, unlike some of their age-mates like Sugar and to some extent Kato. Nagashima did everything she could to make Masami look great in her dilapidated state, it was almost as if Masami was just standing in one place while Nagashima did the work for both of them, and it came of GOOD. Satomura has so much fire and intensity, I think she brought it out of Hokuto in a way. The match itself wasn't anything great, but the performances of the kids was very enjoyable.
Post match : Everyone brawls.
4.15.01 Korakuen Hall
The final wheels are set in motion for the main event of the 4.29 show.
This baby starts off wild, and doesn't let up for a second. KAORU begins the fun by hitting a completely out of control top on Asuka, which takes her into the floor at a high rate of speed. Simultaneously, Satomura makes a beeline for Hokuto and hits the DVB before the Dangerous Queen can even get her robe off.
They head into the crowd for some Zenjo style brawling, KAORU hits a really nice moonsault off of the aisle railing. Hokuto and Satomura wind up brawling (as well as trading submission movesŠ??) on a raised wooden platform where chairs usually go. Meanwhile, KAORU bludgeons Asuka repeatedly with her table piece in the ring. Hokuto even hits her backdrop on Satomura on the woodŠouch.
The crowd is going absolutely nuts at this point, as Hokuto returns to the ring to join in Asuka's abuse. Hokuto hits a really nasty NLB and goes for the pin. However, at the count of two, Satomura runs in and just BLITZES her flush in the face with a kick, and Hokuto does the unconscious sell. Satomura drags her limp body up, and then hits a DVB.
KAORU runs over the break the pin but Satomura springs up and Death Valley Bombs KAORU directly onto the corpse of Akira Hokuto. This is great great great stuff. Satomura is off the charts intense now, as is the crowd, and Meiko just punts both of the heels around the ring with reckless abandon.
Everyone starts to brawl, and the final moments are of Satomura and Hokuto going toe to toe with kicks and punches respectively, which is very reminiscent of a certain match some of you may have seen ;).
Once again, Hokuto knocks her opponent into next week with a straight right and scores the pin at 11:25. Satomura gets up, and has to be held down by all the faces as she mauls Hokuto. This was really tremendous, compelling stuff.
When I started watching this, it just seemed like another G-Panic, like all the rest. However, the final match alone makes this show worth the time of day. Satomura and Hokuto just click extremely well, and this set up their big match later in the month perfectly. They Kandori-esque ending was just awesome, and a definite sign of respect for Satomura. This is a prime example of a match where both get over even though one is jobbing, and a lot of that is due to Hokuto for really bringing up her game despite her many injuries. I'm also very pleased that Satomura has something she can sink her teeth into finally, as well as maybe, just maybe, getting that long awaited push to the very top. Go see it.