SHIMODA! Minami Toyota! LIGER! Takada! Hase! and other stuff I saw this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #20!
It’s the holidays and I’ve not had a lot of time to gander at a batch of wrestling and, to top it off, I’ve been making a lot of tapes to send fellow Grapplephiles (WTF? You know who you are!) so this will be pretty dang short.
I FINALLY started watching AJW Gran Prix Red and Blue 95 and SO FAR- It ROCKS! Fuck it, Mima Shimoda is the coolest wrestler to ever wrestle in AJW. She was so freaking awesome in her match against Minami Toyota (Malibu Dreamhouse Not included) that I was all busted up after the match- Torn between her, Hotta, Aja, Chigusa or KAORU as the coolest woman wrestler on earth. The PINNACLE of wrestling itself AS WE KNOW IT is the absolutely HORRIFYING four suplexes outside the ring- one on each side of the ring- as if Mima was seeing which side wanted to see Barbie busted up the most, like one of those “we got spirit yes we do, we got spirit how bout you” contests. Shimoda gets extra special points for fishhooking Malibu Stacy’s mouth and making faces behind her back as she does it. I KNEW she was the coolest when she was in that mixed tag tag match in Michinoku Pro, but this seals it. Minami whipped ass too by doing her best “Talented Sabu” impersonation, trying very hard to kill herself with two springboard planchas and one springboard senton that was lost in the camera work. She did two table spots- both of which hurt Minami more than it hurt Mima or the table (Hint to Japanese wrestlers: Those half tables never break in half. Don’t dive into them from the top turnbuckle.) Shimoda really kicks this matches ass into gear during the last eight minutes by just suplexing the living HELL out of Toyota repeatedly and taunting her as only a Female Vixen Icon can. Toyota fired back with a succession of suplex variations that only she can make look that beautiful. Maybe it’s the GREAT hair flailing to the violent motion or the fact she gets such height and extension, all I know is that Moonami does the best, most specatular suplexes on earth when she is healthy (which I guess is “Never Again.”) There were so many near falls in this match it was crazy- twice so close that the ref actually hit the mat the third time- I was in a frenzy by the end (I THINK it was because of the pinfalls! Of course Shimoda should wear more extensive clothing because the hotpants distract from her acute wrestling prowess.) This was one of the better matches I’ve ever seen just because I never figured such an AJW pro style wrestler could be so convincing beating the hell out of someone. Usually you have to wait for the real women (Aja, Kansai((in JWP)), Hotta) to supply the ass stomping, but no more- Welcome Shimoda, God’s Cutest Ass-Stomper!
I re-watched the Yamada/Takada and Yamada/Hase matches from the Best of Liger tape and they were quite awesome in a little way. These were matches where Yamada basically gets his ass handed to him. Takada basically goes through the motions and takes him to the mat, not bothering to kick the hell out of him a lot. It’s great seeing Liger with bad hair and a REALLY bad warmup suit. His boots were awesome pre-gimmick though. This was basically a Takada glorified squash that isn’t apparent until Yamada submits to a halfcrab after nine or ten minutes. The Hase match was strange because the whole time I was fascinated how technically perfect Hase was back then. Hase had the great quality to all of his moves in that they all looked like nobody else couls possibly be graceful enough to those moves. Sort of the Rey Misterio Jr mystique but on the mat and much more subtle. Malenko achieves this state every now and then. I await Hase’s All-Japan debut. Yamada once again plays the young punk who has no WAY of winning (a trend that continues until they cover up his ugly mug.) and it translates later to his booking style in that he has had Ohtani, Ishizawa, Kanemoto and Takaiwa assume that role, and he himself and Benoit have translated the elder wrestler roles that Takada and Hase portrayed to him. In all the matches before the gimmick, he slowly but surely is getting moves over that aren’t getting him wins but are getting him pops so that by the time he is feuding with Owen Hart (back when Owen was one of the greatest workers on earth) the Future Liger had gotten himself positioned to make the matches seem in doubt. More Next Week (Hart feud to the WHIP ASS NAOKI SANO FEUD).
I heard REAL weird rumors on the various august internet sources and the weirdest was that Nagata (NJ Young Lion) was coming in to WCW for THREE years! If this is true, is he going to college here or something? I also read that Toshie Uematsu had won the Road To The WCW Tournament and would be over for a few months. That would be really great, though she is still pretty green and wrestling Medusa ain’t gonna help her. I hope they send Sonoko Kato and Satomura over with her so they can wrestle each other and I can watch it for free on TV. If she wrestles Akira Hokuta for three months while she is here, her skills will skyrocket
NEXT WEEK: Back to hours and hours of viewing! More Liger! More Lucha! All the stuff Hesh and St. Phil (future Shimodiac!) sent me! WOO-HOO!
Dean Rasmussen, SonokoHEAD!