Well hello, hello again. You thought I had vanished as a joshi reviewer but here I am, returned from a prolonged hiatus due to real life getting in the way, as it does. Such a great show to come back to as well, this one being headlined by the long-awaited, legendary next chapter in the Meiko Satomura/Aja Kong saga that has gone on for years and years. Let’s jump right into this card, shall we?
This was the opening tag match that was chopped to pieces by Samurai TV’s editing. This match went 14 minutes in length and was cut down and aired at about five minutes. All that was really shown was a decent exchange between Iwata and Kobayashi, Iwata having most the dominance, kicking Kobayashi around. No action shown from Matsumoto or Kimura aside from Matsumoto lifting Kobayashi into a German to break a pin. Kobayashi made a comeback and hit a fisherman suplex on Iwata for the win.
I’m not really sure what to say about this match, it wasn’t really a match, more like just Eiger scaring the hell out of everyone, and it was absolutely hilarious. Alex Lee got the win with the Neck Hanging Bomb. A recommended match if you need a very quick laugh. Wrestling.
Personal feelings aside, Yoshiko is back and getting booked pretty much everywhere in joshi, it’s not something I can claim to be a fan of but at this point, it is what it is. As a reviewer, I’ll give you my thoughts on the match, ’cause that’s what I’m here for. The match was just a short brawl, Miyagi and Yoshiko fighting all around the arena. The bulk of it happened on the outside as they took turns trying to bash each other’s head into the wall. A solid sequence at the end once they got back into the ring, Miyagi trying to take Yoshiko down with some precision dropkicks, and even getting her up into an airplane spin into a spinebuster. Miyagi went up top with Yoshiko for some kind of move, which Yoshiko turned into a fireman’s carry throw off the top, into the diving senton for the win. Nothing exciting but a solid enough brawl, Miyagi looked great.
A battle of two strong as hell women starts off with Hashimoto just picking Nanae up over her shoulder and slamming her onto the mat. A good start for Hashimoto but then they start the grapplin’ on the mat, and Nanae gets most of the advantage with a guillotine choke that Hashimoto struggled to escape from. Nanae’s submissions are brutal but Hashimoto is too strong to submit, and keeps getting up and attempting to level Nanae, which is not an easy task. A true hoss battle of these two running at each other and trying to knock the other off her feet. The crowd pops for Hashimoto’s comeback sequences and gasps of awe for Nanae’s brutality added a lot to this. Hashimoto gets a series of nearfalls with an array of powerful moves, and Nanae hits her shoulderbreaker and then a leg lariat but only gets a two count! Nanae finally finishes her with a big lariat for the win. What a damn battle this was, great pacing, great matwork and just an awesome hoss battle between these two. It was only ten minutes, and that’s all they really needed to put on an awesome match. Don’t overlook this one.
All great names in this match, cannot hide my love for Hikaru Shida, especially teaming with Syuri. Essentially a hardcore match as everyone’s got weapons; Shida’s got her signature kendo stick, Kaoru’s got her wooden board and uh, Syuri has a big ass club. DASH has a Judas Priest shirt on which I will count as a weapon. Shida’s attempts to match her kendo stick with Kaoru’s board do not end well for her, she gets bashed in the head a few times and has the board casually dropped on her by Kaoru. Syuri gets the tag in to punish Kaoru with her ridiculous kickboxing skill. Lots of great sequences in this match, watching Shida work is so enticing, everything she does seems so effortless. Kaoru gets Shida set up on a table outside for DASH to hit a diving foot stomp on, the table doesn’t break and good god that didn’t look like a fun spot to take. They even break out a damn ladder in this ridiculous match. Syuri gets enraged by Kaoru’s board and starts smashing it with her club. The match pretty much completely breaks down from there, lots of weapon spots, lots of jumping off the ladder and general insanity in the last four minutes of the match. Shida hit a beautiful falcon arrow off the ladder on DASH, but then was smashed over the head with Kaoru’s board. Kaoru hit the Valkyrie Splash from the turnbuckle, and DASH hit the Hormone Splash on Shida off the ladder for the win! Really fun match, nothing ground-breaking, just a real good spotfest, very enjoyable and didn’t feel like it dragged at all, being a nearly twenty minute match.
Oh yes. The time has come. These two, how can you really describe them? This isn’t a hoss battle, this is a final boss battle. A storied rivalry that has taken place over the span of nearly two decades, once again another chapter written. The bell rings and these stare intensely at each other for a short while before engaging, Satomura going for lethal kicks to start, blocked and dodged by Kong. No hesitation, no need to feel each other out, they go right to work on each other. Satomura nails a spinning roundhouse and goes for the sleeper, a move she’ll continue to try for throughout the match to not much avail. She goes for the cartwheel knee drop early, but Kong dodges it and hits some mean kicks of her own, and hits a huge backdrop, Satomura getting up but getting hit with it again and again. Satomura dodges a suplex and goes for the sleeper but Kong just falls backwards and crushes Satomura! No stopping, no pausing, Satomura struggles up and stops Kong from crushing her again off the ropes with a kick to the temple, and goes up top herself. Satomura goes for a frog splash but Kong BOOTS her in mid-air and Satomura goes flying across the ring and comes down hard. Holy SHIT. This is only 5+ minutes into the match, folks. My lord.
The crowd reaction and the commentary reaction transcends all language barriers, you can see people in the front row cover their face with their hands in shock, the gif of that spot has been making the rounds but you have to watch it and hear the reaction to it to get the full effect. Satomura is visibly shaken after that, rolling out of the ring to the floor to recuperate. Kong shows no sympathy and just throws chairs at Satomura’s head at ringside. Satomura dodges a lariat and Kong connects with the ringpost and Satomura picks her arm apart. It’s not too long before the match goes right back into them kicking the shit out of each other. The stiffest shots you’ll ever see, Satomura’s fierce kicks responded to with brutal hands from Kong, every shot is a KO. Kong grabs a bin from the corner and brainbusters Satomura on it. Absolute, sheer brutality. You’ll never see Satomura handled this way by anyone but Aja Kong. She even throws a goddamn steel panel from the crowd barrier at Satomura’s head. Satomura is getting destroyed all around the damn arena. Finally back in the ring, Kong goes for a back elbow drop off the top but Satomura catches her in an armbar! This doesn’t last long, they’re right back on their feet throwing bombs at each other, Kong nails a backfist but Satomura hits a penalty kick, both down.
Through some sheer power of will.. or just because she’s Meiko f’n Satomura, she gets up and hits the Death Valley Bomb on Kong, but Kong gets up and hits the brainbuster before she falls. My. God. Another backfist from Kong into a pinfall that doesn’t even get a one count, another Death Valley Bomb from Satomura that does the same, not even a one count. The crowd is nuclear at this point. Satomura gets up and hits the SCORPIO RISING~! on Kong! A move she hasn’t used in god knows how long, and it gets a close 2.9 count. Kong with a Death Valley Bomb of her own and a spinning backfist and I was sure it was over, but Satomura pops her shoulder out as the ref’s hand was a centimeter away from three. Somehow, they get to the top rope and fight it out, Satomura breaks Kong away with a brutal axe kick, and hits a second Scorpio Rising on Kong to finally, finally end this battle.
Meiko Satomura retains her world title, in a fashion that cannot be described with words. What a fucking WAR. Not a match, not a fight, an all-out war. This was like a battle of the immortals, two legendary warriors battling it out, two women who have been around for countless years, having one of the best matches I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. The counters, the stiffness, the amount of fight these two had that never stopped throughout was incredible. The crowd and commentary reactions added so much to the match, this was a match that meant something, you could feel how special it was. Aja Kong has never lost her stride as one of the most fearsome and brutal wrestlers in the business, and this match proved that even further. Meiko Satomura may very well be the best in the world, and she has made that argument for herself with the incredible work she’s done over the past year alone. She’s a spectacle to watch, she hasn’t lost a step in her career, she’s just incredible. I hope these two transcend mortality and continue to fight each other until the very end of time itself.
— Roy (@narukiroy) April 17, 2016
— Roy (@narukiroy) April 17, 2016
I’m gonna need some time to recover after that one, my lord. Post-match, Satomura is confronted by Nanae Takahashi and Yoshiko, Yoshiko challenging her to a match at the next SEAdLINNNG event. Something that has been teased on Twitter since Yoshiko came out of retirement and Meiko was seemingly legit infuriated by it. That match may be bloody, if it actually does happen. In any case, I am spent. The card was fun overall, the last three matches of course being the spectacle. I sincerely hope Hashimoto/Takahashi isn’t overlooked, cause that’s a real damn good match. The highlight is of course, Satomura and Kong’s brutal battle that will surely not be forgotten, and will surely be talked about a whole lot come year-end awards time. Thanks for reading, now go watch this show.