The WWE Countdown finally comes to an end as Sareee’s final match in Japan would be with SEAdLINNNG. If anyone has any ideas about how we can stop her going, you better pitch them now because we’re running out of time.
Before the show could get started, SEAd had some visitors. Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe and Saya Iida had decided to pop round, confirming the big matches for Budokan as they did so. As expected, we’re getting Mayu vs Yoshiko and Momo vs Nanae. Then, after the show, they’d also announce Iida and Momo vs Nanae and Arisa for the next SEAd event, which has me very excited. To be honest, all of this is going to be awesome, and if Mayu and her two hard mates want to go on a wee trip and turn up in all the promotions, that would be fine by me.
Rina Yamashita defeated Hana Honori
The day before this Rina was in a death match that left her back looking like someone has taken a pizza cutter to it (I haven’t seen the match in question, so that might actually have been what happened). Thankfully, she’d shoved a couple plasters on it, so she was definitely alright to do this.
Considering her back was being held together by tape, and before the adrenaline kicked in seemed to be causing her some bother, Rina worked her arse off. She didn’t hesitate to bump and get across the feeling that Honori was giving her a real fight. It put this somewhere on the cusp between a rookie vs veteran encounter and a straightforward match between two good wrestlers.
Some credit for that has to go to the rookie too, who continues to show all the potential. Coming off her loss to Beast Kid, Honori was fired up, giving everything she had. Towards the end, Rina was kicking her in the head as she tried to rise, but the kid would not stay down, refusing to be put in her place. She may have eventually been choked out, but Hana made sure Rina knew she’d been in a battle.
Verdict: Don’t Tape Your Back Together
Tsukasa Fujimoto defeated Tsukushi Haruka, Makoto and AKARI in a High Speed match
From my understanding, each wrestler had a move (or possibly two) that they weren’t allowed to do in this match. For example, I think Skoosh was banned from using elbows and Tsukka dropkicks, but I may not have got that entirely correct. Whatever the specifics of the rule were, it would eventually get Makoto in trouble as instinct took over and she was banished from the ring. Meanwhile, things were still fraught between Taiyo and Skoosh as they would come together and break-up throughout the course of the action.
As for said action it was, as always with these matches, a blast. SEAd’s high speed shenanigans are one of my happy places, as they always fly by in an explosion of enjoyable wrestling. Coming in, Akari looked like the odd one out purely because I’ve only seen bits and pieces of her, but considering who she was up against, she did an excellent job of not being overwhelmed. She could have spent this sat in the corner, trying not to get in the way, but she didn’t, and that alone is worthy of a shout out.
Tsukka would get the win, being hoisted into the air in celebration by Taiyo and responding by dropping her with a DDT, showing she shares more than a bit of DNA with her Dropkickers’ partner. At least Akari was a bit nicer to the long-suffering ref, helping her up and earning a hug in response. Poor Taiyo, she just wants to be loved.
verdict: High Speed Delight
MAX VOLTAGE (Ryo Mizunami and Itsuki Aoki) fought Kaho Kobayashi and Ayame Sasmura to a time-limit draw
With AEW seemingly doing half of their upcoming women’s tournament in Japan, I hope they give Aniki a call again. I don’t particularly want her to vanish off to America full-time in the future, but she deserves to be placed in front of as big an audience as possible. Some people just have it, and Mizunami has it in buckets.
I’ve long held the theory that MAX VOLTAGE can’t have a tag match that isn’t entertaining, and this wasn’t the moment that changed. With Kaho and Ayame across from them, this captured that perfect blend of fun comedy and hard-hitting action that they never fail to provide. Much like the high speed shenanigans, this is the kind of wrestling you can relax into, safe in the knowledge that you are going to have a lovely time.
Sasamura would be incredibly close to getting the win at the end, coming within inches of putting Itsuki away, but the two of them would still be fighting as the fifteen-minute time-limit struck, leaving this one as a draw. Itsuki didn’t look particularly pleased about it, which may have played into her being incredibly unhappy at the end of the MAX VOLTAGE civil war match on the last show. Then again, I don’t know what it was that upset her then, so I might be talking bollocks. Whatever the reason, this was a good match.
Verdict: Max Voltage Always Deliver
Nanae Takahashi and Arisa Nakajima defeated Oni Ni Kanabo (Yoshiko and Sareee) to win the SEAdLINNNG Tag Titles
If you had any worries that Sareee was going to take it easy in her final match in Japan then, well, you obviously haven’t paid much attention to Arisa and Nanae because there was no chance they were going to let that happen, but you can also rest easy. It was obvious from the long, lingering hug that she and Yoshiko shared before they began that this meant a lot to her, and she wrestled it like that was the case. Amusingly, she didn’t take the fall, but this was far from a selfish performance, giving plenty to both Arisa and Nanae on her way out and looking as awesome as ever.
Outside of Sareee it was Nanae who shone as you would never believe that she was 42 and on only her fourth match after 11 months off. It takes a lot to pair up with Arisa Nakajima and grab the spotlight, but Nanae undoubtedly did, as it felt like she was involved in every major moment in this match, battling it out with both Yoshiko and Sareee. It’s great to have her back and while it’s always a bit amusing to see the booker return and go straight to holding a title, she’s also Nanae Takahashi, so I ain’t about to start complaining.
It almost feels a bit redundant to comment on SEAd main events at this point. They are, almost without fault, brilliant. It doesn’t matter that they pull from a tiny pool of wrestlers because the ones they use are incredible. You could make a very valid argument that these tag titles are now more prestigious than the single title, and that belt is probably already one of the most prestigious in joshi. The level is so high, that the simple act of being in a SEAd main event is enough to prove you’re one of the best.
And this was four of the best taking lumps out of each other. SEAd might not be my favourite joshi company, it sits behind the likes of Ice Ribbon, Marvelous and ChocoPro/Gatoh Move for that honour, but if you are looking for a company you can rely on to deliver excellence at every turn, this is the one to turn to. Unsurprisingly, the match involving these four brilliant wrestler was not the one to break that streak.
Verdict: They Always Deliver
Watching people get emotional will always cause me to follow closely behind, but seeing someone as fucking badass as Yoshiko battle the tears while saying goodbye to Sareee was somehow even worse. She got the send-off she deserved here as there is no denying that she is extraordinary. I don’t have much good to say about WWE, but I hope she finds whatever it is she’s looking for there. She’s too good to be wasted. If not, I’m sure companies like SEAd will be waiting with open arms if she ever wants to come home.
Well, we didn’t manage to come up with a way to stop Sareee going, but that was still a hell of a show. You can trust in SEAdLINNNG.
Watch SEAdLINNNG on PPV: https://seadlinnnglive.com/