Are you ready to Fall in Love with D? Let’s all fall in love with D together. Sorry, couldn’t resist. One should be serious about a show headlined by Sareee vs Yoshiko because we all know that’s gonna be violent. The D is getting stiff (last one, I promise).
We opened with an idol duo treating us to a song and dance. They were no Up Up Girls, but who is? I’m also not sure of their name, but feel free to fill me in below. I think it was the same group that kicked off the anniversary show.
Maya Yukihi defeated Honori Hana
There was an awkward moment or two in the early-going of this match. It was that classic sight that every wrestling fan will know, two people stopping and staring at each other for a second, both waiting for the other to do something.
They got it back on track, though, Yuki grabbing control of Hana and laying into the rookie with some boots. That played into the story of the action too. Maya put in a veteran performance here, working as the experienced head who never doubts for a second that she can put this rookie to bed.
The key to that match style is Hana giving everyone a moment where they think she can do it, a fleeting second where they believe she’s going to win. On that count, she did an alright job. Her flurry might have never got me out my seat, but it kept me gripped and made sure this was a solid opener, even with the early hesitation
In the aftermath, Honori Hana demanded Aja Kong, which is, well, brave. Nanae told her she could have her next week, with Hana’s reaction suggesting that while she did want the match, she’d maybe expected a bit more time to prepare.
Kaho Kobayashi defeated Tsukushi and Misa Matsui
It’s a High Speed match involving Skoosh, how do you think I felt about it?
I saw someone on Twitter compare High Speed to Billy Bird Boy before suggesting that they’re the same thing. Now, I didn’t respond on Twitter because I’m taking a break from the discourse, but I am going to explain why they’re wrong.
High Speed is good.
Not enough? Fine. Ospreay creates these elaborately choreographed sequences that he and his partner dance through with as much passion as I take a shit. Watch the clip from the Shingo match that was going around and tell me what Takagi’s role in that is. In fact, I’ll tell you. He’s a prop. A prop Will uses to make himself look good. And when you turn your opponent into a prop, you ensure that every time you enter one of these sequences, it’s the same as the last time. I’ve seen a whole bunch of Will’s stuff come across my timeline, and I honestly couldn’t differentiate which match is which. All I remember is that dumb spot where he flips out of a Lariat into a Powerbomb.
In comparison, these SEAd matches make everyone look good. They burst with personality, even the fucking ref getting a chance to show what they do (I will accept that Red Shoes is not Natsuki Taiyo). Right from the start, you’ve got Kaho complaining about Skoosh and Taiyo’s relationship before Matsui tries to catch them both off-guard, leaping into a Dropkick. It’s three seconds of action, but it tells us all we need to know. Yes, the matches also features these long, complicated, pre-planned sequences, but everyone gets to shine in them, each wrestler infusing the action with a bit of themselves. They’re also built around a need to win, flurries of flash pins making sure it never stops being a contest.
Look, I’m not about to have a go at anyone for liking Ospreay’s style (although if you like the man you can do one). It’s not that long ago I was praising him, and everyone is entitled to love the wrestling they love. However, for now, I’ll take a single High Speed match with these three over a million Ospreay G1 epics.
Verdict: Yes, I Know I Didn’t Really Review the Match, It Was Good
Both Taiyo and Skoosh threw temper tantrums afterwards, infuriated that Kaho had won. I love them so much.
Las Fresa de Egoistas (ASUKA and Makoto) defeated Miyuki Takase and Riko Kaiju
Those damn strawberries refused to shake Kaiju’s hand, but she was rather insistent about it, slapping ASUKA to get her attention. Takase was forced to drag her enthusiastic wee partner away, taking her back to their corner.
That’s the kind of action that would cause me to fall in love with any rookie and Kaiju backs it up in the ring. Her instincts are spot on, both from a comedic and serious standpoint. There was a moment where Makoto was slapping her arse, so she responded by doing the same before running away, hiding in the corner. In a lovely twist, that cute comedy spot then opened up the ring for her, giving her the chance to escape Makoto’s clutches and find the opening to make a hot tag, sending Takase in to go to war with ASUKA.
Ultimately, though, this was another match designed to get those damn strawberries over as a team. Takase hossed it out while Riko fired off with a ridiculous amount of Dropkicks, but ultimately ASUKA and Makoto were too good. ASUKA finally got the rookie alone and teed up with some brutal strikes before murdering her with a Spin Kick. The kid did good, but Las Fresa de Egoistas were a step too far.
Verdict: That Rookie Is Special
Hiroyo Matsumoto, Yuu and Ayame Sasamura defeated Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto) and Rina Yamashita
Do you know those matches where you can sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that you’re in the hands of some of the best? Yea, this was one of those.
It might not have been a Max Voltage tag, but it did follow a similar formula. There was some light comedy to start, then Best Friends started kicking the shit out of Matsumoto. With who was involved, that unsurprisingly opened the door, and there was more than one wince-inducing moment that followed.
It ended with a big old upset too, Yuu pinning Arisa for the win. With Best Friends having recently beaten MAX VOLTAGE to become the number one conteners, that somewhat threw a cat among the pigeons. That title match is already booked, but it still gave Yuu the confidence to grab the mic and (presumably) making her challenge alongside Sasamura. I’m not quite sure what Matsumoto said in return, but the stare down between her and Best Friends suggested that tensions were running high.
Verdict: Great Wrestlers Do Some Great Wrestling
Yoshiko defeated Sareee to retain the Beyond the Sea Title
If you thought the tag was as stiff as this show was going to get, then you were sorely mistaken. Yoshiko opened the main event by booting Sareee in the face and away we went.
Honestly, this is the kind of match that makes me question what I know about wrestling. They can’t be hitting each other as hard as it appears, but I also can’t see how you throw Dropkicks and strikes the way they do without it just hurting. There was no leg slapping here, that was for sure. Sareee and Yoshiko were having a fight, beating on each other and toughing it out to see who could take the most.
And my god it made me hate the fact Sareee is off to WWE because fuck me is she good. I hope she gets what she wants there, but in what world is she wrestling this style in that ring? The way she kicked and stomped on a downed Yoshiko, the perfect balance between dismissive arrogance and brutal intensity. She has an undeniable aura, a legitimacy that is earned through her ability to kick the shit out of you.
She’s not the only one, though. Yoshiko came into this on a downer, as since winning the belt her four SEAd matches have ended in defeat. However, she’s still Yoshiko, and if you’re offering her a fight, she will take it. This presumably wasn’t the original plan for her first defence, but it turned out to be pretty perfect. She got to go and bruise it out with one of the best, surviving Sareee’s offence and giving it back harder. It was an ideal first challenger, and while she may have been unable to stand to have the ref raise her hand in the aftermath, she could rest assured that it was a job well done.
Verdict: All Of That Looked Sore
Do SEAd do bad shows? I’m not sure they do, you know. Great rookies, High Speed delights and a main event that made me wince in sympathetic agony. You can’t argue with that shit, and I’m certainly not going to try.
Watch SEAdLINNNG on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/nicopro