Sendai Girls (4.14.19) review

Sendai Girls (4.14.19) review

Sendai Girls

 

April 14 2019

 

We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall. Sendai Girls tend not to name their shows so here we are. Let’s see what joys Meiko Satomura has for us. The main event here is Chihiro Hashimoto, who’s really strong, against Jordynne Grace. It’s a Hoss Fight in Tokyo!

 

Mei Suruga & Ryo Mizunami vs. KAORU & Mikoto Shindo

Mei is the 19 year old from Gatoh Move. They’ve got her in there with KAORU from Marvelous so that’s not great news. She’s about to learn a lot about heel/face alignment.

The match peaks with this, quite frankly. How do you outdo it? You might have to shut the fucking show down.

Sendai1Mei

My fears about KAORU are unfounded as she’s not booking this. Instead she goes hell for leather and her girl Shindo does too. There is heel work in there but it’s incredibly effective when it’s not massively overdone. I’m still not overly keen on her bringing foreign objects into the ring but it helps the pacing nicely. Which is incredible by the way. They go all out here in a hot opener. Shindo tries to pin Mizunami a lot but gets caught in a Boston crab and has to tap out. This was great. More of this! Mei and Mikoto were both excellent here. The future of Japanese wrestling is looking healthy.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Aiger & Sakura Hirota vs. Alex Lee & Bolshoi Kid

Bolshoi Kid is Command Bolshoi in an even clownier gimmick than usual. This card is loaded. This is very much the comedy bout though.

Sendai1Bolshoi

Aiger chases her own partner at one point and Hirota makes a living from falling over. Aiger vs. Bolshoi is a contest of who can be the scariest and apparently Bolshoi is scared of…whatever Aiger is.

There’s a lot of comedy in this match and not all of it hits. Hirota has a lot of shtick and not all of it is good. Alex Lee’s attempts to steal this shtick shows how badly uncoordinated she is. Luckily it’s all broad comedy so if she fucks it up it’s still funny. Maybe funnier. Bolshoi steals the Oil Check and puts Hirota away with it. This was…bizarre.

Final Rating: *3/4

 

Sendai Girls Junior Heavyweight Championship

Millie McKenzie (c) vs. Manami

Manami is only 14 years old so she’s the definite underdog here.

Sendai1Millie

Millie won the title in January and this is her first defence in Japan, having bested Charli Evans in Wolverhampton in between. Manami shows a lot of heart here but finds it hard to establish any kind of rhythm. Millie helps her out a lot by staggering around and falling into position for stuff, showing maturity beyond her years. Millie gets very little in the match, merely absorbing abuse for the most part before a Spear out of nowhere finishes.

Final Rating: **

 

Yuu vs. Mika Iwata

I’m happy Yuu has gotten the Sendai gig after a decent run in Europe.

Sendai1Yuu

She aimed to improve herself and worked out for her. She bet on herself. Mika Iwata had a great feud and series with Hana Kimura where they beat the shit out of each other. She brings those heavy kicks to this, which is a good mesh with Yuu’s judo throws and her chops. You don’t get many women’s matches with this level of violence without any weapons being involved. It’s good shit. It perhaps lacks a little bit of structure but I am still gripped by the perfect meshing of styles. Iwata works the arm to stop Yuu from throwing her around and hitting power moves, which is savvy tactics. Mika then catches Yuu with her diving kick, which has a name I can’t spell, and Yuu gets pinned very close to the ropes. A shame she couldn’t use her ring awareness to get a foot on the bottom strand and prolong the action.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Meiko Satomura vs. Sareee

Sendai1SareeMeiko

Meiko is one of the best wrestlers in the world and Sareee is a very promising talent. She’s only 23 years old but, because this is Japan, she’s an 8-year pro. In the past year or so she’s felt like she’s hitting another level. They do some excellent stuff here with arm vs. arm. Keeping it basic but making it feel like a struggle. When Sareee gets the upper hand it really feels like she earned it.

Meiko isn’t going to take this shit lying down. Everything after this dropkick is significantly stiffer. Oh, you wanted a fucking fight little girl? Ok then.

Sendai1Meiko.gif

Sareee gets horribly mutilated and beaten up. The screaming when she gets trapped in an armbar variant is quite horrifying. It’ll haunt my dreams. Sareee does a good job of convincing me she’s about to lose and yet pulling out plucky underdog comeback spots. The missile dropkick is great but Meiko is back on top of her almost straight away, hitting brutal suplexes and trying to choke her out. Sareee takes one horrific spot after another but keeps popping back up. “Not today death, not today”. And she’s not treating Meiko kindly either. Meiko gets dropped on her head too and kicked square in the face. Sareee then pulls out one more Saito suplex and Meiko stays down. Huge win for Sareee. This was 15 minutes of beautiful violence. I was very into it. Could be the match that makes Sareee for me.

Sendai1MeikoSareee

Final Rating: ****1/4

 

Hikaru Shida & Killer Kelly vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & DASH Chisako

Shida is AEW bound. I’m excited for her. She’s one of those talents that people don’t know but should. It’s interesting to me that Kelly got such a high profile match here. Almost leapfrogging Millie in the pecking order. Hiroyo vs. Shida is where the match seems to work best. Two very accomplished wrestlers pushing each other. However it’s also effective when DASH pushes the pace on Shida. Kelly has a hard time living up to her playmates. She’s shown she could step it up from a small Indie scene in Portugal to make it in Germany but this is another level up again. This match has a 20 minute time limit and before I know it we’re up to 15 minutes deep and DASH is windmilling the shit out of Kelly. As they head towards the finish Kelly looks more and more out of her depth. You can see this in the selling and positioning. Especially when DASH has to drag her into the right place for the finish. Meanwhile Hiroyo and DASH manage to his a splash and a powerbomb at exactly the same time. Frogsplash finishes Kelly. This could be good at a later date. Kelly being in Sendai is a fantastic opportunity for her to get to another level. She’s not there yet and this showed it but this is the place to learn.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

Sendai1Main

Sendai Girls World Championship

Chihiro Hashimoto (c) vs. Jordynne Grace

Sendai1Chihiro

Grace is normally a bigger more powerful wrestler than anyone she could face but Hashimoto is also a powerhouse. Both have strong bases but different upper body structures. Grace is a little leaner but they’re both fast as well as thicc. It’s a great match up. Jordynne seems to struggle with the size of the ring, for whatever reason, and her pacing the ring on running is weird. This results in a longer than expected feeling out period. It’s Grace who pushes the pace, finding her feet in the ring, with a few big power moves. The aim is to create the concept of the champion finally being the least powerful person in the ring. Chihiro does a good job of selling this concept too, looking overwhelmed and allowing the match to be 80% Jordynne. The match swings on Grace making errors of judgement too. She tries to hit the ropes and gets hauled down. When it’s a straight up battle it’s Grace’s to lose. It’s quite deliberate that Chihiro cannot get Grace off her feet without help.

This happens because Jordynne tries to get a boot up in the corner and effectively lifts herself halfway into position. German suplex finishes straight afterwards with Jordynne never recovering from the powerbomb.

Sendai1Grace

This took a little while to get going but once they found a groove they told a very good story. Chihiro was pushed to her limits and we got to see a match between two powerhouses that you won’t see in any other women’s promotion. Not to this degree of execution. Chihiro has a few words for Grace; “very strong”.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Summary:

A very good show from Sendai Girls, who are arguably the best women’s promotion going at the moment. Meiko vs. Sareee was terrific and the main delivered. They’re building for the future here and they’re doing a great job of it. They’re appealing to young talents and building them up. Japan has become the most intriguing battle ground for women’s wrestling because it’s where you want to go if you want to get good, rather than just ‘signed’.

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