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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

[Marvelous] A Marvelous Monday Fight Night 7/22/19

I attended Marvelous', "Monday Fight Night" on July 22 in Tokyo. Marvelous is a small promotion based in Chiba that does everything in a big way, with a screen over the wrestler entrance, smoke entrances, and overall great production quality. Great staff also. Marvelous frequently has shows in major cities in Japan, and even though their roster is small, that does not prevent Marvelous from presenting a great show every night. Marvelous is the brainchild of Chigusa Nagayo, a legend on the Japanese pro-wrestling scene. She also wrestled in WCW in 1996 as, "Zero".



One of the highlights of the show for me were the appearances by w-fix, a great heel faction. The fact that they are heels doesn't stop many fans from clapping their hands to the beat of their entrance theme song, "Out Of Control" by MAN WITH A MISSION & Zebrahead. DASH Chisako (who is actually a member of the Sendai Girls roster but appears frequently on Marvelous shows as a member of w-fix) and Megumi Yabushita represented the group in a match against Tomoko Watanabe and Yuu Yamagata, members of the LEVEL5 faction. w-fix and LEVEL5 have had many battles with each other, and LEVEL5 was victorious on this night. All four women are talented, and I am always especially impressed with DASH, who while she is one of the smaller wrestlers on the roster, has a more aggressive ring-style than most of them. Marvelous is wise to utilize this great talent as often as they can. Even if you are unfamiliar with the Japanese pro-wrestling scene, you may have still DASH, during her appearances in the UK and for SHIMMER and CHIKARA in the US. Yamagata is also someone who may be a familiar face with American fans from her appearances in SHIMMER, and she brings 18 years of experience to the ring.

Interestingly, there was w-fix faction participation in another match, but it involved the members facing each other in tag-team action, as w-fix' KAROU teamed with Samantha Heights against w-fix' Chikayo Nagashima and her partner for the night, Maria de la Rosa. Nagashima is a freelancer who has wrestled for many promotions including WAVE, where she won the Catch the Wave Best Performance Award in 2015. Maria de la Rosa is a wrestler from Spain who began wrestling in Japan this month for Sendai Girls and Marvelous. Samantha Heights has wrestled for many recognizable promotions over the past 6 years: Impact Wrestling, SHIMMER (where she currently is the Heart Of SHIMMER Champion), SHINE, WSU, JCW, and Sendai Girls. KAORU is a member of the Marvelous roster who has been very accomplished on the Japanese pro-wrestling scene over the past 32 years: Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion, 2-time AJW Tag Team Champion, 2-time Sendai Girls World Tag Team Champion, and JWP Tag Team Champion. She also appeared in WCW and CMLL in the 1990's.

This was a comedy-style match that provided plenty of laughs for the fans in attendance. All four women are capable of working a match of any style, especially KAORU, who is known as the, "Original Hardcore Queen", a reputation that she gained in the 1990's. She and Samantha Heights were the victors in this match.

Although Marvelous is primarily a women wrestler promotion, it also has a male division, which is called, "Marvelous Impact". Shunsuke Sayama and Leo Isaka faced each other in this night's Marvelous Impact match. Sayama is a freelancer who has also wrestled for companies such as NJPW, WAVE, and BJW. Isaka is a member of the Marvelous roster, but has also appeared in ZERO1 and WAVE. I think in time, the Marvelous Impact division will grow as it continues to draw talented men who are interested in getting involved with a division that is generally new and therefore offers the opportunity to become a major part of it. It definitely has gotten off to a good start with Isaka and the freelance talent that it has been bringing in for the past two years.

The main event was basically a match between the new blood of Marvelous and the established talent, as recent Marvelous graduates Maria, Mei Hoshizuki, and Mikoto Shindo faced former AJW Championship Nanae Takahashi, Sendai Girls World Champion Sareee, and Regina Di WAVE Champion Takumi Iroha. Currently one of the top names in Marvelous, Iroha has only just begun to show what she can accomplish in the industry. She along with Takahashi and Sareee faced tough competition in this match, as their three younger opponents come at them with a hungry, aggressive offense; but their dominant skill, strength, and experience won out, as Iroha picked up the win for her team after hitting Shindo with her, "Running Three" finisher and getting the pin. However, Maria, Hoshizuka, and Shindo did make it clear that they have bright futures in Marvelous.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

[Michinoku Pro][RESULTS] 2019 Tokyo Conference Vol. 4 7/6/19

I attended Michinoku Pro's 2019 Tokyo Conference Vol. 4 on July 6 at Shin-Kiba First Ring in Tokyo. This event was highlighted by a tag team main event featuring former Michinoku Pro Tohoku Tag Team Champions, a Chiba Six Man Tag Team Championship match, and multiple matches featuring Michinoku Pro talent facing talent from the Chiba-based 2AW.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Michinoku Pro is an Iwate-based promotion that has existed since 1993, and primarily has events in the Tōhoku region.However, they also occasionally have events in Tokyo, and when they do, they also present the Kantō region with a roster of talent that consists of names that fans in that region know, as well as ones they SHOULD know.

The opening match was Michinoku Pro Wrestling's Koji Kawamura going against 2AW's Tatsuya Hanami. At first, both men attempted to out-technical wrestle each other, with the more experienced Kamawura havng the upper hand. Hanami is the stronger and faster of the two, and he tried to use this to his advantage. It wasn't enough however, as Kamura's experience overcame this and he made Hanami tap to a boston crab submission. Along with being a member of the Michinoku Pro roster, Kamamura has also appeared in ZERO1 and DDT.

Next was six man tag team action as The Great Sasuke (w/ Pretty Ohta & Gorgeous Matsuno), Brahman Shu, and Brahman Kei faced Jinsei Shinzaki, Kenbai, and HAPPY MAN. All six competitors are a very big part of Michinoku Pro. Along with being members of the Michinoku Pro roster, Braham Shu & Kei are also seen regularly in Big Japan Pro Wrestling, where they are former Tag Team Champions. Kenbai is a great talent with 13 years of experience who has impressive speed and agility- he has wrestled for many promotions in Japan, Mexico, and the UK, and all fans should definitely take an opportunity to see him in action. HAPPY MAN is a talented comedy wrestler with a secret identity- he wears a hood over his head that covers his hair but not his face, and if his opponent manages to remove HAPPY MAN's hood, he covers his face. Shinzaki and Sasuke are the two biggest names on the Michinoku Pro roster- they both have wrestled for companies all over the world, including ECW, AJPW, NJPW (where Sasuke is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion), and WWE. An interesting WWE-related note about Sasuke is that before WWE rebooted the lineage of the WWE/WWF Light Heavyweight Championship in 1997, the championship was originally created in 1981, and was captured by Sasuke twice in 1986.

Any time Brahman Shu and Kei are involved in a match, it can be expected that things are going to become insane, and this match was no different. Spitting, spraying, and throwing water at the fans and other wrestlers before and during the match, almost everyone in Shin-Kiba was soaked by the time the match was over- and the fans loved it. The Brahmans interact with fans during their matches more than anyone else does, which is probably the biggest reason why they are very popular in Michinoku Pro. One of their favorite things to do during a match is place a suitcase between an opponent's legs while their opponent is sitting in a corner of the ring, with a side of the suitcase facing the other corner; then grab a bowling ball, and throw the ball into the suitcase from the opposite corner. The Brahmans also involved a traffic sign in the match. This was a comedy-style match (as all matches involving the Brahmans are), with every wrestler in the match (as well Pretty Ohta and Gorgeous Matsuno) making the fans in attendance laugh. Comedy adds to the fun of match when it performed by wrestlers who can wrestle, and the Michinoku Pro roster definitely fits that definition. The Brahmans picked up the win for their team by taking advantage of HAPPY MAN wanting to hide his identity- they removed HAPPY MAN's hood and pinned him while he was preoccupied with covering his face.

The next match was another Michinoku Pro Wrestling vs. 2AW match, as Michinoku Pro's Taro Nohashi faced Kaji Tomato from 2AW. A former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, Nohashi has been with Michinoku Pro for 14 years and is one of the favorites of Michinoku Pro fans. His strength and experience posed a big challenge to Tomato as Nohashi used power moves and submissions. But Tomato's biggest asset is his speed, which he used to eventually outmaneuver Noashi and get the win.

In the semi-main event, the Chiba Six Man Tag Team Championship was on the line, as Yapperman 1, Yapperman 2, and Rasse defended the championship against 2AW's Shu Asakawa, Ayumu Honda, and Kyu Mogami. There was a lot of high flying action from the wrestlers of Michinoku Pro, while 2AW's team opposed it with power moves. In the end, the Yappermen and Rasse came out on top and retained the Championship.

In the main event, the team of MUSASHI & Kengo went up against the team of Rui Hyūgaji & Ayumu Gunji. There was a lot of tag-team experience in the ring for this match, with all four men having had held the Michinoku Pro Tohoku Tag Team Championship at some point in their careers. Gunji took a lot of punishment during this match, as he was a victim of power moves, submissions, and double-teaming. Rui Hyūgaji eventually got the hot tag and cleaned house, but soon after became a victim of double teaming from MUSASHI & Kengo as well. MUSAHI picked up the win for his team after pinning Gunji.