It’s SEAd’s sixth birthday, and to celebrate, they’re giving the devil herself a title shot. It’s perhaps not how I’d have chosen to do it, but hey, it’s Aniki who is taking the beating, not me.
Yurika Oka defeated Riko Kaiju
If you watch enough joshi, the sight of a rookie charging across the ring to deliver a dropkick the second the bell goes becomes commonplace. However, the dropkick that Beast Kid started this match with was a thing of beauty. She turned Oka inside out, making that oft-repeated spot look deadly with the power she got behind it.
It set the standard for what was to come, as two of the more exciting rookies around put together a brilliant, back to basics performance. There was nothing particularly complicated about this, but Riko and Yurika are already capable of elevating simple wrestling. Whether they were throwing forearms or grappling, there was a real sense of two people doing everything they could to get the win. They pushed each other, both desperate to come out on top and prove to be a step or two ahead of their opponent.
It was the Sendai rookie who would take the bragging rights, bundling Kaiju up after a closing stretch that got a bit scrappy, but in a good way. You believed these two had been through a fight, and even if it only went seven-odd minutes, Kaiju had been beaten down enough to have her shoulders forced to the mat. Sendai and SEAd have some talents on their hands here, and I hope this isn’t the last time we see them face-off.
Verdict: Lovely Rookie Action
Leon defeated Thekla
I love that sucking up to Taiyo is a perfectly valid tactic in the High Speed division. Thekla certainly agreed, making sure to get the ref onside and reaping the benefits of it. They looked to be a decent team as well, showing off some lovely tandem work and even having a go at getting Leon’s mask off.
It set up a match in which Thekla seemed to be having the best time. She turned everything up to eleven, acting to the back rows as she yelped and strutted her way through it. They worked slightly slower than most High Speed outings (although they did spring to life on occasion), but Thekla seemed determined that it should still have the air of chaos that defines the division. Whether stamping on toes or showing off some of her Japanese, she certainly seemed to be having a good time.
That made for a solidly entertaining match which dragged a bit in the middle but started and ended well. Plus, it’s hard to take against anything when someone involved is having as much fun as Thekla was.
Yuu & Itsuki Aoki defeated Las Fresa de Egoistas (ASUKA & Makoto)
Las Egos are brilliant at cutting opponents down. It’s not often you’ll see someone like Yuu be worked over for as long as she was in this match, but ASUKA and Makoto make it work. They take every opportunity to grab a handful of hair or dig the boot in. It makes them taking a hoss like Yuu off her feet believable and helps sell how they could overcome a team of badasses by virtue of the way they wrestle together.
Not that they managed to do so here, as Yuu and Aoki proved to have a bit too much for them. They were as powerful a team as you’d expect, complementing each other nicely. I believe I mentioned before that Itsuki has become a reliable face in a host of promotions’ mid-cards, but I’m starting to think she should be a bit more than that. She’s consistently solid, and it feels like she is one big opportunity away from pushing through and becoming a player.
It was Yuu who would get win here, though, murdering poor Makoto with a hell of a Powerbomb. That made for a satisfying finish as Las Egos paid for their crime and set Yuu up for what she was planning later in the night.
Verdict: Two Great Teams
Nanae Takahashi, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Tsukushi defeated Rina Yamashita, Suzu Suzuki & Ayame Sasamura
Well, this was a shitload of fun. With six people involved, they were able to take the brakes off and go for it, giving us pretty non-stop action for nearly twenty minutes with no real breaks to slow things down and catch our breath. That kind of wrestling can almost be exhausting to watch, getting a bit too much as it transitions from moment to moment with no time to settle, but SEAd do it better than most, and there was enough of the fun stuff mixed in with the big hitters to keep me engaged.
A lot of it came at the expense of Nanae, as while she eventually picked up the win, she was rather hard done by here. Tsukushi, in particular, seemed to treat her less like a partner and more a living weapon to be fired at foes and stamped on at will. But then again, it’s Skoosh, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. The devil child also got the chance to show off with Suzu, their brilliant chemistry shining through on Suzuki’s first appearance in SEAd.
Then, afterwards, Nanae and Hiroyo used their win to challenge Makoto and ASUKA, something that ASUKA didn’t look too thrilled about. It appeared Makoto had to convince her to accept the challenge, but I’m sure she’ll turn up with her big game face on the day.
Verdict: A Blast
Ryo Mizunami defeated Arisa Nakajima to retain the Beyond The Sea Title
The start of this match was almost going too well for Aniki. She took control early on and looked to be keeping it, using her extra strength and size well. However, when she lazily hit Arisa with her Machine Gun Chops in the corner, the devil was unleashed. Not long after, Mizunami was being introduced to the railings, and any chance of a leisurely afternoon was gone.
From there, this became the physical battle you’d expect these two to have. Every strike and every throw looked like it hurt like hell and neither could dare hold back in case the other punished them for it. In some ways, it doesn’t need to be pointed out how brilliant Nakajima is because she’s been that way for so long, but she truly is an incredible wrestler. There are very few people who can rival her authenticity, and I’m never quite sure whether I’m in awe of her or terrified. Either way, I’d prefer it if she never hit me because it all looks sore as hell.
And I’m sure it left Aniki with a few bruises, but to my surprise, she still came out of this with the belt. I was near certain they would make the quick switch, but I’m delighted that they didn’t. Aniki has had a brilliant few years, all coming off the back of her trip to AEW, which convinced her not to retire. Throw in that COVID recently put her in the hospital, and her victory felt particularly heart-warming. Plus, she’s an awesome wrestler, and the fact she can go out there and trade blows with Arisa, standing her ground and meeting her head to head, tells you everything you need to know.
Verdict: Great Stuff
In the aftermath, Yuu came out and made the next challenge, which I’m sure will be another great match. Aniki then cut the show-closing promo, getting overwhelmed at one point and causing everyone to lovingly enter the ring and help her out as she failed in her battle to hold back the tears. She’s the best.
SEAd celebrated their anniversary in style, giving us a very enjoyable show with a great main event. With their last outing being cancelled thanks to the COVID outbreak, it feels like forever since we’ve seen them, and it was very nice to have them back.
Watch SEAdLINNNG on PPV: https://seadlinnnglive.com/