Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling review (4.19.18)

Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling review (4.19.18)

Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling

 

April 19 2018

 

We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall. Sendai Girls loaded up this show and did a 1170 attendance off the back of it. That’s good numbers. Chihiro Hashimoto defends her Sendai Girls title in the main against Ayako Hamada but also Meiko vs. Io is on this show, as it Hana Kimura vs. Mika Iwata and there’s a crazy eight woman tag. I’m fired up. So much so I’m actually wearing my Sendai Girls t-shirt that I bought off Meiko in Wolverhampton!

 

SendaiMeiko

Sendaimain

 

Ami Sato vs. Manami

Manami is 13 years old. 13!! Ami is a veteran by comparison at a statesmanlike 20 years young. I know there will be complaints about Manami wrestling at such a young age when she’s not fully developed but she’s not small. When she is of age she’ll be quite the athlete. Both these girls started wrestling last year so they’re both green. Considering the lack of experience it’s a decent little match though. There are a lot of areas requiring improvement from basics like forgetting to hook a leg on a pin to waiting for a move to mistiming an Irish whip. But there’s a lot of positives. Many of their sequences are smartly done and smoothly executed. Manami’s bridges are excellent and they create decent tension in their near falls and submissions. Sato wins with a flash pin and they told a good story of two inexperienced grapplers coming close to victory. There’s a tonne of potential here.

Final Rating: ***

 

KAORU & Solo Darling vs. Aiger & Sakura Hirota

Lollipop wielding KAORU has been wrestling since 1989.

SendaiKAORU

Lollipop antics highlight this and it’s very strange seeing Solo work heel. Hirota’s gimmick is that she sucks and Aiger has a ghost thing going on.

SendaiSolo

Solo some fine work in being scared of it. There are a lot of plunder spots, leading to various miscues. There is a very heavy leaning on comedy. KAORU gets a face full of powder and is rolled up by Hirota, who can barely believe her good fortune. This was fun but not remotely serious. If you’re a comedy wrestler it might be worth looking at stuff you can steal.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Aja Kong, Cassandra Miyagi, Heidi Katrina & Sammii Jayne vs. DASH Chisako, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Alex Lee & Mio Momono

There are a wide variety of characters and such in here. Nice to see Sammii in Japan. She’s been killing it for EVE and is worth the spot. Cassandra is one of my favourites here. She’s come along so much in the past 2 years. I’m particularly fond of her near miss spots where she’s blatantly aiming for her opponent and they do have to move to make the spot work. That’s how wrestling should be.

SendaiCass

Aja Kong has slowed down in recent years but she’s used well here. Dominating with her size when she needs to.

SendaiAja

They do a great spot where Cassandra accidentally boots her in the face and this visual is a beauty. Aja ‘accidentally’ miscues on Miyagi and DASH pins her with a frogsplash. This was also fun but got heavily clipped from 16 minutes down to about 4 on the TV broadcast. The previous two matches didn’t get that level of eviscerated.

Final Rating: NR

 

Hana Kimura vs. Mika Iwata

These two had a match in March in Shin-Kiba that went to a 20 minute draw so they have another here as a decider. Perky babyface Hana wearing red is not something I’m used to at all. Oedo Tai Hana is such a different character. They do a good job of establishing both parity and hatred in the opening exchange, which ends in the ref having to separate them with handfuls of hair on both sides. Hana behaves like a total bitch, working a Boston crab (implying Iwata doesn’t belong in the ring with her) and stepping on her back and neck.

SendaiHana

A lot of Hana’s offence is a big old ‘fuck you’ to Mika and it’s super focused too. She wrenches and cranks at her submission attempts, tearing at Iwata’s back and shoulder. It’s savage stuff. Hana looks so determined to win this outright and Iwata is just trying to survive all match. For the longest time Iwata’s sole offence is cheeky roll ups. When Mika mounts a comeback, it’s all about testing Hana’s toughness. Mika survived everything Hana threw at her, now it’s Hana’s turn to show her resilience. Her response? A fucking headbutt!

SendaiKimura

And more of this! Back to the submissions she’s been creaming Iwata with all match. There’s one small problem; Iwata won’t tap out. She spends the whole match surviving and catches Hana with a kick to the head for the win. I loved how Hana dominated the entire match but with her doing so it would have been tough to also give her the win. Iwata came away looking tough for surviving all those submissions while Hana came off as tough for not letting Iwata back into the match, hardly at all. Iwata ended up getting lucky, after proving her resilience. Very good match.

SendaiMika

SendaiHanaK

I’m also a big fan of them doing emotional interviews afterwards, showing just how much this match meant to both. Consider me fully invested in this going forward.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura

Pretty much the two best women’s wrestlers in the world right now. Not even the main event on this show because Meiko doesn’t want to overwhelm her own promotions title match.

SendaiMeiko2

This has a Big Match atmosphere. Io feels like a star coming in and Meiko is the best her own promotion has to offer. They know what they’re doing to. Everything feels like a struggle. There’s no dancing around each other. This feels legitimate from the first contact. From tests of strength to mat countering to Meiko targeting the arm like a seagull stealing your chips. MINE! You’re not getting that chip back Io. Meiko is always good but she raises her game when she’s in there with someone great and she sees the challenge of Io as something to be overcome.

Meiko gets hot about this and they throw in some sneaky pre-planned stuff that looks like it was improvised on the spot because it was in the midst of Meiko getting angry about Io’s aggression. That’s when pre-planned stuff works best, when it’s in the middle of character and match building. The match up to that point had felt very organic and natural and although the pre-planned bit was noticeable it didn’t take away from their flow. It was just a way of getting from A to B. Their capacity for telling a story is a complete throwback. I love it to bits. Then when they crank up the follow and start hitting dives and shit I’m already invested.

This honestly feels like one of those AJPW 1990s main events. Two powerful characters butting heads and seeing who’s superior.

SendaiIo

They both have killer moves at every turn and once they’re into unleashing them it’s awesome. I loved the build with each women trying to wear the other down but when they’re into the big bombs it feels like everyone earned the chance to unleash them based on the build. Like a simple move wasn’t finishing so we need something bigger and bigger and bigger. I love how they both sell the fatigue too. Meiko collapsing to one knee after hitting a high kick. Io dropping clean out of the ring at one point to recover. I would Gif the kicks in this but you can’t get the sound. You need the sound.

These two go all out but just as Meiko appears to have the match won the time limit expires. 20 minutes is not long enough for this! More! Why is there no more? Crowd give a long ovation, which is much deserved. I want this again!

Sendaione

Final Rating: ****1/2

 

Sendai Girls World Championship

Chihiro Hashimoto (c) vs. Ayako Hamada

They have a very hard job to follow Meiko/Io, which is arguably the two best women’s wrestlers in the world.

SendaiChihiro

Chihiro is in her third reign with this belt and it’s the longest reign of anyone since Meiko’s initial run in 2015/2016. Who ended that reign? Chihiro herself. Who did Meiko beat to win said title in the first place? Ayako Hamada. Also some interesting business with Linear titles (who doesn’t love that level of nerdery). Hamada is the Sendai Girls Linear champion coming into this match, having captured the Linear title in January. Yoshiko having won it in OZ Academy and Hamada taking it from her in SEAdLNNNG. There are a lot of crossovers in Japanese women’s wrestling.

 

It’s easy to forget, because she’s a three-time champion and is built like Rhyno circa 1999, that Chihiro has only been wrestling for 2 ½ years. Hamada is pretty meaty herself though and she makes Chihiro look small at times. While Chihiro is a little powerhouse built like a power lifter Hamada is versatile. She’s smart enough to play to Chihiro’s strengths, making the champion look more authoritative and sneaking around to avoid her power. Chihiro looks superb as the plucky, yet strong, champion and it’s a match that’s specifically laid out to make her look like a better professional wrestler than she did coming in. Hamada is ruthless when she does get an advantage and the story is that she outsmarts the younger wrestler.

 

Where the match struggles is in trying to follow two better wrestlers. It’s sluggish by comparison. It does pick up though, as all modern matches tend to. Hamada in particular has a gift for knowing when to step it up. The ripples of excitement in the crowd is indicative of their success. Hamada has unorthodox offence and her movements get increasingly erratic before putting Chihiro away with the AP Cross. The first half of this dragged but the second half got progressively better until we had ourselves a belting main event and the third straight great match on this show.

Sendaihamada

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Obviously there are issues here. Hamada failed to turn up for her first title defence, citing a knife attack. She was then arrested for some form of drug abuse, fired by WAVE and stripped of the Sendai Girls belt. All inside a month. That’s quite the storyline arc.

 

Summary:

One of the best women’s shows of the year I’d wager. Not only do you have the dream match of Io vs. Meiko but also two strong matches with good storylines either side of that. The TV block is less than 2 hours. Honestly, you’d be a fool to miss this. Go here for links:

https://puroresudream.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/2018-04-19-sendai-girls-at-korakuen-hall/

 

 

 

 

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