Meltzer’s Classics: Lioness Asuka, Mika Komatsu, Kazue Nagahori, Mitsuko Nishiwaki, Etsuko Mita and Sachiko Nakamura vs. Chigusa Nagayo, Yumiko Hotta, Mika Takahashi, Mika Suzuki, Yumi Ogura and Yachiyo Hirata, 12/6/87

Time to be honest. There is no way I am going to be able to write out a match report for this or even anything close to one. There are twelve women in this and – outside of Nagayo and Asuka – I know nothing about them. They also all wear very similar gear and are constantly switching in and out of the ring. What I’m trying to say, is I don’t have a clue who anyone is. On top of that, I don’t think the full thing is out there. As far as I can tell there’s only a seventeen-minute highlight package online. It’s far from convenient but as Meltzer once described this as the best match he’d ever seen, I don’t think I can miss it out. So I’ll have to do my best with what I have.

And what I have are seventeen minutes of insanity. You know those wild PWG tag matches that annoy some people and which others adore? This is that, but in 1987 and worked in that Joshi style which I’m growing to love. It is a constant flurry of dropkicks and brutal looking moves. Every single one of these women goes out there and does something incredible, and it’s exhausting just watching it. Imagine what the full thing must be like? They have to slow down occasionally… don’t they?

What makes it stand out is that Joshi style, though. This is stiff and everything from the slams to the strikes looks like they hurt. At one point it breaks down entirely, and people suddenly start flying from the top rope to the outside. This wasn’t one of those nice friendly promotions that put mats on the floor either. It was all wood.

My lack of Japanese means that I’m not entirely sure of the story here. I assume we are continuing the Asuka and Nagayo feud that I’ve covered before. Embarrassingly, it wasn’t until half-way through that I realised it was an Iron Man match (the score ended 33-30) and then I felt dumb because I’d already seen multiple pinfalls. I’m sure with the whole thing, or for people who understand Japanese, it would make a lot more sense. With what we have it does feel a bit like you’ve got half the pieces to the puzzle and no box.

Taking a seventeen-minute chunk from a much longer match and calling it a five-star classic is tough. However, I can definitely recommend that you watch that chunk. It is twelve women going out there and throwing everything they have into the ring. Today’s PWG style insanity may have gone far beyond this, but when you remember that this was over twenty years ago, it’s difficult to hold that against them.


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