Let’s get D! Yes, we’re back with the company with the catchphrase that will always make me giggle because I am a child. On paper, this was a hell of a card, and spoiler, but it lived up to that expectation. So, I’m going to stop talking nonsense and get into the brilliance.
The show opened with Nanae leading a minute of silence for Rumi Kazama, who sadly passed away recently. Unfortunately, she’s not someone I know enough about to write a proper tribute, but all the love to her family and friends.
Itsuki Aoki defeated Thekla and Akari in a High Speed Threeway
My god, it’s a High Speed match not refereed by Taiyo. From what I gather, her back was playing up, so Barb Sasaki stepped in. Sadly, he didn’t go full Natsuki and get involved in the action, but hey, maybe he’s saving that for a rainy day.
To focus on the actual wrestlers, the foreigners were having a bit of fun at the expense of poor Itsuki. They interrupted her usual enthusiastic greeting to have a wee reunion of their own, including an incredibly elaborate handshake. Then, when Aoki looked to get involved, they very unkindly took it as a chance to team up on her. I guess you could argue they were doing their missing referee proud.
Of course, that alliance wouldn’t last, and this quickly descended into something that was close to all the chaos of your usual High Speed match-up. Akari and Thekla aren’t naturals at this style, but they’ve been in enough of them now to know the drill, while Aoki is always fun. Going High Speed without Taiyo does remove a touch of that chaos (plus a lot of personality and talent), but they managed to have an entertaining match anyway. The ending did feel like it came a bit out of nowhere, Aoki hitting a spear straight into a pin on Akari for the three, but then again, it’s a High Speed match, so I’m not sure anything can come out of nowhere.
Verdict: Fun, But It Did Miss Taiyo
Las Fresa de Egoistas (Ayame Sasamura & Riko Kaiju) defeated T-Hearts (Yumiko Hotta & Riko Kawahata)
Normally it’s those damn strawberries causing trouble, but you’ve got to feel sorry for the young ones being sent out to face Hotta. What did they do to deserve that? She did pull out at least one bump for Ayame, but her interactions with Beast Kid can be nicely summed up by the moment where Kaiju hit a dropkick to her while she was seated, and she didn’t even lie back. Still, watching Hotta beat people up has never stopped being fun.
Plus, Kaiju got to have a good time elsewhere. She and Kawahata looked to have great chemistry and a spark of tension coming off their draw on the last show. They started things off with some stiff slaps before moving into some nicely worked action. In fact, Kawahata looked good with both strawberries, doing all the bumping around and selling that her boss wouldn’t while still managing to hold her own. I’m really glad she’s found a home in SEAd while T-Hearts figures out what it is.
Sadly, it wasn’t only the young strawberries who were on the receiving end of a stiff Hotta shot as a misfire saw Kawahata being lariated into next week. Kaiju was on hand to pick up the pieces, and they’d snuck out with an unlikely win, much to the other Riko’s distaste. It was only Hotta dragging her away that stopped her from continuing the fight, but judging by what we saw here, I’d be more than happy to watch her face off with Sasamura and Beast Kid again.
Verdict: Hotta Dishes Out Some Beatings, But The Youngsters Steal The Show
Arisa Nakajima & Rina Yamashita defeated Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hanako Nakamori
SEAd fair packed this match with people who could beat the shit out of you, didn’t they? When you’re starting with Best Friends in the ring, you’re probably in for a good time.
If you had bet on that being the case, you’d be a very slightly richer person right now (let’s face it, the odds would have sucked). This was one of those matches that started on fast-forward but still managed to get quicker and quicker as it went along. As if the speed wasn’t enough, every blow sounded like it should have led to at least one casualty as these four felt no need to hold back. There was a headbutt from Arisa to the back of Hanako’s head (!) in the home stretch that damn near killed me, never mind poor Nakamori.
And it would be very easy to focus on Arisa and Tsukka here because, well, they’re Arisa and Tsukka. Anyone with taste knows they’re two of the best wrestlers in the world and their interactions backed that up. However, I assume everyone that reads this has taste, so I instead want to throw more of a shout out Rina and Hanako’s way. They might not be as widely lauded as Best Friends, but they are outstanding wrestlers and the kind who make their opponents look brilliant too. While the idea of being hit by either of them terrifies me, they’d be in contention if you asked me to pick someone to drag my useless ass to a passable match.
The aggression didn’t end with the bell, as Arisa, in particular, seemed determined to continue the fight. Considering how much this fucking ruled, I agree with her, let them fight.
Verdict: FUCK YES!
Nanae Takahashi & Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Las Fresa de Egoistas (ASUKA & Makoto) to win the Beyond The Sea Tag Titles
It’s not often I’d feel sorry for wrestlers quite as talented as this bunch, but they had a hell of a challenge on their hands having to follow that tag. I needn’t have worried.
Because, let’s face it, these four are smarter than me. While I was worrying if they could compete with what came before, they knew fine well there was no need to do so. It would be stupid to go out and try to work a faster, harder-hitting bout, so they did something completely different. Instead, this was all about those damn strawberries trying to hold Nanae and Hiroyo at bay. ASUKA and Makoto knew that if they let those two get a head of steam, it would take their head off, so they did everything in their power to stop that happening. And yea, sometimes that involved launching a chair at a diving Nanae. It made this a match all about the momentum, as we were left craving the moment where Takahashi and Matsumoto broke free and started beating on people.
Of course, the longer it went on, the harder it was to stop the beating and eventually, this hit the throwing bombs, all-out war part of the evening. However, by that point, we’d all been on such a ride that any comparisons were long forgotten. You were hooked into the action, desperate to see who would come out on top as they beat the living shit out of each other.
And much like the previous match, it’s very easy to praise everyone involved. It’s increasingly clear that people who don’t like Nanae are idiots, while some of Hiroyo and ASUKA’s interactions were incredible. However (not for the first time recently), it was Makoto who I was most impressed with. Throughout this reign, she’s generally been called on to take the beatings for ASUKA, but this was a very different match. Here we got to see her go out and get physical with Takahashi and Matsumoto, and she never once looked out of place. She’s not someone I’ve ever pinpointed as a particularly physical wrestler, but watching this, I realised that is yet more proof I’m an idiot.
So yea, if you haven’t figured it out, this fucking ruled.
Verdict: FUUUCCCCKKKK YEEESSSS!
Ryo Mizunami defeated Yuu to retain the Beyond The Sea Title
Okay, if I felt sorry for the tag title bout, I was gutted for Yuu and Aniki. They’re great, but Jesus, how do you follow those two matches?
And, to start things off honestly, I don’t think they managed to top them. However, that shouldn’t be taken as too heavy a criticism. Those tags were incredible, and this was great, so we’re dancing around different levels of good here. Yuu and Aniki were still smart enough to go out and give us yet another type of match, one in which two hosses bounced off each other, and that’s never going to be a bad thing. If the tags were thrill rides, this was a gruelling battle where they chopped and ground on each other until one was no longer standing.
They also made me realise that I have seen far too little big match Yuu, as she has a decent argument for being the wrestler joshi promotions have slept on the most in the last couple of years. Aniki is not used to being out-powered, but Yuu could bully her, dragging her to the mat and trying to choke her out. If anything, I’d have liked to see a smidge more of that, as she could have been more selfish, dominating more and selling less. Still, I came away very impressed, and you’ve got to think that, at some point, a company will let her be the monster she should be.
Unfortunately, if it is to be SEAd, it wasn’t starting here, an Aniki Leg Drop eventually getting the win. This would have been the standout match on any other card, but they had stiff competition and couldn’t quite reach that level. Even so, I had a lovely time watching them beat each other up, so there were no complaints from me.
Verdict: Hoss Fight!
Arisa is clearly still stewing over losing to Aniki on the anniversary show and reckons she should get another shot. Of course, you could argue with that logic, but I’m certainly not going to be the one brave enough to do so. It will be happening in December, as Mizunami is heading back to AEW for a bit and taking the title with her.
I think that was my favourite SEAd show in a while, or at least since the last time I made that claim. Either way, it fucking ruled. SEAd’s house style isn’t my favourite, but when they hit, they hit hard, and this was a big old hit.
Watch SEAdLINNNG on PPV: https://seadlinnnglive.com/