A Grow Together review may feel slightly redundant over two weeks after it happened, but it’s only recently aired on Nico, and it’s not often you get to talk about an Aja Kong main event in 2020. Plus, I regularly get people looking at reviews I wrote over a year ago, so I’m sure someone still cares.
Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Riko Kaiju
Lady Godzilla vs Beast Kid sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon that I would definitely watch.
There was a moment early in this match where Kaiju started slapping Matsumoto across the face. It was awesome, but, let’s face it, also dumb as hell, and she probably regretted it the second Matsumoto started hitting back.
Those slaps were a nice summary of this match. Kaiju wrestles like a hoss, throwing herself into every move like she’s six foot tall. If she keeps going, I’ve no doubt that one day she’ll have earned the tag. Matsumoto, meanwhile, hasn’t so much earned it, but made it her own. Kaiju went out there and tried to outmuscle the muscliest person around, and while she looked good, it was never going to work.
Despite all that, this was another fantastic performance from the rookie. She’s eighteen years old, and this was her eleventh match, which is almost scary. If she keeps going at this rate, it won’t be long till people are regretting slapping her.
Verdict: Lady Godzilla Crushes Kaiju
Tsukushi defeated Ibuki Hoshi and Kaho Kobayashi in a High Speed Three Way
Poor Natsuki Taiyo had a rough afternoon. It all started so well, a big hug from her favourite wrestler Tsukushi before the two of them convinced Skoosh’s Spring Meteor partner, Ibuki, to be on their side. So far, so High Speed, and a situation Kaho is becoming increasingly used to.
Unfortunately, things began to go wrong for Taiyo. Having given Skoosh a helping hand to get out of a joint submission by Kaho and Hoshi (she’d already betrayed her pal), she suddenly faced the wrath of not just the two people she’d kicked, but Tsukushi too. Why did she decide to attack her ref friend? I wouldn’t try and figure out what is going on in that devil child’s mind. It did, however, mean Taiyo wasn’t in position to count one of her pins, which did nothing to improve her mood.
Outside of all that enjoyable nonsense, this was great. It’s a High Speed match, and I don’t think I’ve ever met one I didn’t like, so that’s hardly surprising. We got a happy ending too, Taiyo getting a hug from her old pal Nanae on her way to the back, presumably commiserating with her on these damn kids and their fickle natures.
Verdict: High Speed Fun
Las Fresa de Egoistas (ASUKA & Makoto) and Saki Akai defeated MAX VOLTAGE (Ryo Mizunami & Itsuki Aoki) and Rina Yamashita
Saki and the strawberries are a near-perfect fit, aren’t they? I believe she’s teamed up with them before, but if it were to become a regular thing I’d have no complaints. She certainly slipped nicely into the let’s all kick Aniki in the head party.
I’ve written before about the magic of a MAX VOLTAGE mid-card tag. At this point, I am firmly convinced that it is impossible for them to be anything but good as they always nail a blend of silly fun and fantastic wrestling. Plugging wrestlers like Rina and Saki into the equation certainly isn’t going to be the thing that breaks said spell and we even got a wee Nanae cameo.
Sadly, Aniki and ASUKA didn’t seem too interested in having fun when they got in the ring together. Those two were much more intent on beating each other up, as they have awesome chemistry. It was the highlight of a very enjoyable showing from all involved, as MAX VOLTAGE do it again.
Verdict: Load Of Fun
Aniki and ASUKA weren’t done, Mizunami trying to go after her following the bell as the long-running feud between these teams seems to be narrowing in on those two. I am okay with that.
Sareee defeated Honori Hana
Honori Hana’s last four singles match have been against Maya Yukihi, Aja Kong, Skoosh and now Sareee. Is Nanae trying to get her killed?
You can’t fault Hana, though, she fucking throws herself into them. When she attacks, it’s a barrage, dropkick after dropkick, forearm after forearm, shoulder block after shoulder block. Sareee had to drag her to the floor, twisting her up in the hope she’d stay still for a few seconds. It’s exhausting to watch, so I can’t imagine what trying to deal with it is like.
Unfortunately for Hana, Sareee is a bit better at this wrestling stuff than me. She played a veteran’s game here, weathering the storm and eventually giving it back. Sure, there were a couple of scares, particularly in the flurry of roll-ups at the end, but Sareee knew what she was doing. While Hana fought well, when push came to shove a German saw her off. Still, this was a great wee match and another impressive showing from the rookie.
Verdict: She Ain’t Dead Yet
Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto) defeated Yuu and Ayame Sasamura to retain the Beyond the Sea Tag Titles
Is there another tag team that feels as big-time as Best Friends? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great teams out there, but the second Best Friends walk out you know you’re in for something special. They hold themselves like they’re the best, and it’s up to their opponents to step up to their level.
It was a challenge that Yuu and Sasamura were willing to take on. However, it has to be said that this was Sasamura’s match. Not long after, Yuu would announce she was taking some time out to heal an injury, which makes all the sense in the world watching this now. She picked her moments, charging in like the wrecking ball she is, but leaving the bulk of the work to her partner.
Who was fantastic. As someone who only really started watching SEAd this year, I had Sasamura down as a solid hand, but this raised my opinion of her tenfold. Whether she was on the offensive, going after Tsukasa’s leg, or being beaten up, she worked her arse off. By the final act, where she was trading suplexes with Arisa, I almost forgot that I knew she was headed for a loss, getting caught up in the moment as they went at it.
If you haven’t guessed, it led to a match that got the thumbs up from me. Best Friends have set an incredibly high bar for themselves, and while it probably didn’t reach the level of their best stuff, it was still very good. Now, let’s hope Yuu goes away and heals up, and when she’s fit and healthy, we can do this again.
Verdict: Sasamura Impresses
Yoshiko defeated Aja Kong to retain the Beyond The Sea Title
Aja Kong is not the wrestler she once was. That’s not news to anyone. Thirty-four years into her career, she’s put her body through a shitload and she ain’t moving like she once did. However, as she stood across the ring from Yoshiko, the two of them staring each other down, it was hard not to get excited.
Because Aja Kong doesn’t need to be the wrestler she once was. If she walked out, stared at people, smacked them with a bin and left, she’d still be one of the best. Aja Kong gets things over by being Aja Kong, and this was a great use of her. They told the story of Yoshiko trying to cut her down to size, going after her leg and daring to fight the veteran. In response, Aja did what Aja does, leaving her a bloody mess after introducing her to her bin and both halves of a pair of scissors. More importantly, she gave Yoshiko everything she could have asked for. It would be so easy for someone of her stature to be 99% ego, but there wasn’t a hint of that as she sold her arse off for the champ.
And there were flaws. At around twenty-minutes, it was too long, a few moments dragged out past what they needed to be, but it was nothing I held against them. They both worked really hard, and the match did what it wanted to do. Yoshiko was given a chance to step into the ring with a terrifying legend and cut her down to size. While I’d have loved to see what these two could do if Aja’s body had twenty fewer years of wear and tear on it, even with all that damage, they pulled a great match out the bag.
Verdict: Aja Still Rules
Sareee and Yoshiko have become best buds, so she came out to join the champ afterwards. It would turn out she had an ulterior motive, as they would end up challenging Best Friends, setting up a match that will definitely rule.
SEAd shows can feel like rare treats, only popping up now and then, but when they do come along, they always deliver. The main event wasn’t up to the level of some of their best this year, but it was a perfect use of Aja Kong while the tag title match was a worthy back-up to it. Outside of that, we got a really fun card, with some impressive showings from the rookies. What kind of bastard is going to complain about that?
Watch SEAdLINNNG on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/nicopro