After a short break, we are back with another dive into Dave Meltzer’s five-star classics. We’re (as we often are) in Japan for this one and it’s our second appearance from all-around badass, Lioness Asuka. In this one, she goes up against her Crush Gals teammate Chigusa Nagoya in a match which takes both of them to the limit.
In the early goings, this seemed to be setting up a simple story. When these women went to the mat, it was all Nagoya’s as she twisted up Asuka. On their feet, however, Asuka’s array of dangerous kicks meant that getting her down to the ground was never going to be easy.
Then, suddenly, that changed. Nagoya fired up and hit a brutal series of kicks followed by a suplex. Asuka responded by taking Chigusa to the mat and wrenching on some limbs. The point was clear, these women are good at everything.
This match was constructed in a similar style to the Asuka Yokota match we looked at before. They started slow, feeling each other out and looking for openings. There were bursts of high octane offence when someone made a mistake, but on the whole, the action in the ring didn’t seem to go with the screams of the attending fans.
As things go on they slowly start living up to the noise. The big moves become more and more frequent and the time on the mat gets less. Suddenly, it’s a match that wouldn’t look out-of-place in today’s indie scene and damn do I wish I could see either of these women go up against the likes of Zack Sabre Jr.
Around the twenty-minute mark is when the fireworks start. They’re no longer interested in playing the long game, and they begin dropping each other on their heads. Piledrivers and suplexes galore. Plus, we get that incredible Giant Swing from Asuka which makes you dizzy just to watch it. The action is so engrossing that you don’t even notice the clock tick towards that dreaded time limit.
Sadly, even great wrestling can’t stop time, and the clock hits the half-hour mark. Despair not, though, for these two won’t be stopped, and they restart the match. Back into the fray they charge, and the crowd is deafening. These wrestlers must be exhausted, but they go right back to where they left off, beating the crap out of each other.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many kicks, how many suplexes and how many piledrivers these two women hit. They refuse to go down. It’s incredible. I’m amazed the pin wasn’t counted by accident when one of them was too knackered to kick-out. Luckily, they’re not as lazy as me, and once again the time limit runs out, and this war is (I presume, I can’t speak Japanese) declared a draw.
I have to be honest, before watching this and the previous match I knew little to nothing about Joshi wrestling. I’ve seen Mr Meltzer rave about its peaks many a time but never taken the plunge. It’s probably time to change that. This was another absolutely outstanding display of professional wrestling and if you’ve never seen it, seek it out now.