Posted in: It’s Time to Play The Game It’s Time to Play the Game: Joshimania Night 2 Review! (3rd night pending) By OniBarubary Dec 5, 2011 – 4:25:37 PM It’s Time to Play The Game!Review of Joshimania Night 2!Ladies and gentlemen (just gentlemen, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking multiple ladies read this), boys and girls (likewise, just work with me here), children of all ages (in the 18-35 bracket. so manchildren) welcome to Oni’s Review of Joshimania: Nights 1 and 2! I can tell you can’t hold in your excitement like a premature ejaculator at an orgy. And since I am writing this going off of 5 hours of sleep over a 48 hour period on the tail end of a Midnight Train to Georgia (er, Midnight Bus to Boston, more like) prepare for some crazy shenanigans and half-mad rantings. With much ado about nothing, let’s get this baby spanked.First off, I somehow managed to convince Cold (of this column fame and general twitter/forum/comment gremlin) to make the trip up to drive my ass down because my prowess at getting people to go out of their way to escort me like the Southern Belle I am is second to none. he was on hand for both of these nights, drawing cries of adulation and whispers of “Sir, please tell your son to calm down.” so big props to the big man for being so big-hearted and big carred.despite being in my home state and a mere 20 minute’s drive away, the Everett show was as painful as two dicks in a C clamp to get to. we can thank Cold’s GPS for sending us to Elm rd first without asking and landing us on the front step of one mr. and Mrs. Buttricktrundle who were delightful enough to serve us tea and/or call the cops on the two weirdos parked outside their house. upon discovering the right location at Elm St, we weren’t even sure it was the right location as there seemed to be no sign indicating what number it was, whether it was a hay silo or not and there was no entrance to the fenced in parking lot that a number of cars had somehow found their way inside, to never escape again and presumably be digested for a thousand years. we just sort of stumbled in wearily at bell time like two jailbirds recently escaped from the Police Station that so happened to be next door. Good thing too because hot damn were their no seats left. Mainly because they had to remove every row up to the third and an entire side. I’ve seen shows with less people, but this crowd was pretty pathetic.And before I go into anything, I need to discuss the so called crowds at these shows because of how weird they were and how depressed it made me. I thought that perhaps the new York crowd, with it’s…probably 100 or so more people and new Yorkian attitude would bring some noise and excitement and streamers to the show, but it was pretty much the same damn thing as Everett. I’m trying to find some nice, backhandedly polite way to say that the crowds fucking sucked, but I can’t. so let’s just say it; the crowd’s fucking sucked. I like indy crowds for the most part, even with their inherent smarkiness because at least they’re not the WWE brand of “sit on your hands for the whole shoooooOOOOOH MY GOD IT’S ORTON FUCKING YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY what now it’s some midcarder who tries really hard yawn I paid for a single wrestler” fans. so go ahead and chant “This is awesome” for an arm drag, start slow claps that turn into a fast smattering of applause in 3 seconds because you’re all white people with no rhythm, smell positively nostril incinerating, it’s fine. Because you’re doing fucking something. The crowds this weekend? did absolutely nothing. It was like going to a WWE live event that Cena and Orton missed the flight for, but somehow so much worse. or a Japanese wrestling show, one or the other (though the latter would explain a bit). I do thank the few of you that showed up because you were excited to see these women wrestlers and stood for the legends and applauded when good wrestling occurred right under your noses including the very nice gentlemen who were at both shows in the front trying to unsuccessfully start chants and rile the crowd up. The crowd was half mentally retarded people who called me a faggot on my way to the bathroom (not being disparaging, they were taken there by their custodian for some inscrutable reason), half people who I assume came to see a CHIKARA show and sat there without moving the entire time like slowly rotting caribou meat on an African river shore and half were the WORST kind of fan; fucking white trash racist and sexist shit-eaters who lived in the area and came because there was a-rasslin a goin’ ons and OH SHOOT LOOKIT THESE SLANTY EYED CHICKS.You’d think the whole arena was transported back to fucking 1850s Alabama (yes yes, I’m sure they were a very tolerant place, boo hoo). And the absolute smegma on the dick what is shitty fans were the fucking local yardtards behind me who had to shit on the entire show and shout some fucking awful things at any women who were remotely attractive. as Cold can corroborate, after the fifth time this 17 year old shouted the same horribly offensive bullshit out of his useless cock-hole, I warned him that if he didn’t shut the fuck up I would break his jaw and embarrass him in front of his friends. They mostly shut up after that and left before the main event. new York didn’t have any of these goobers, but they did have something just as intolerable; drunkards that stumbled in off the street with tickets they must’ve paid for with handski money or something. you know what’s really funny? Shouting completely unfunny shit over and over. Yeah, Hogan sucks, you’re not amusing, pour more beer in there and die in a grease fire you useless sack of circumcised foreskin. I tried my damndest to shout and applaud and let the ladies know the effort was appreciated but in the end I just felt bad that for all their effort and for all their playing to the crowd and for all the sweat they left on that mat, they got a couple hand claps in between pretzel bites at the end. if I missed something and silence is some great show of respect, then slap me on the wrist and write to my mother about it. but I don’t think it is and it just made me feel bad for the women who flew all the way out here for a bunch of people to stare at for 3 hours before getting up and leaving.Enough about the crowd. Fuck the crowd, they got more attention than they deserve. Let’s talk about the matches.Joshimania: Night 1!Cherry and Shimono v. Gami and UematsuCherry being adorable, Shimono before she was fed her oats.I will…have to be blunt on this one. This match wasn’t particularly good. Cherry, bless her adorable little heart, is either green, awful or both. She tries hard and by tries hard, I mean throws awful strikes, waits for spots while looking generally lost and rolls outside after taking a bump to the center of the ring (seriously, it happened, it was really weird). Shimono was the workhorse of the match, and like most horses, carried everyone and was later turned into glue. She holds two belts in Japan, but that shit ain’t important in the face of a partner who’s an Otaku wet dream. Gami was good when she gave a fuck, which wasn’t this match, so she wasn’t good. her effort seemed to be directly related how into the match the crowd was and since they put no effort into caring, neither did she. Uematsu just seemed off, which was unfortunate as she’s actually decent (and was much better on night 3). Still she was really good at playing her character and using heel tactics to provoke a rather unresponsive crowd. On a side note, wrestlers have to use this secret hair gel that keeps their hair aloft in the wake of repeated face mushes to the mat and general hair-berdashery (it’s totally a word) because Uematsu’s little front hair spikes were straight up the whole damn time. Maybe they use workhorse glue. The match lasted a bit too long and one side won, or maybe the other, and that’s all I can pretty much tell you about that. The match just didn’t click. Expect Uematsu and Gami pics for Night 3.Kaori Yoneyama v Hanako NakamoriYoneyama and opponent Nakamori, with a Bison we will get to later.Much better match. Yoneyama has got a mildly offensive Native American gimmick going, perhaps thining we Americans see them as mythical extinct beasts. Not sure. but since I had not seen a decent amount of her body of work, it was nice to see she was actually pretty good. Loved playing to the crowd with bad Engrish which was good for a pop here and there. USA Numbah Won! indeed. Personally, I popped for her Lead Singer of Coheed and Cambria hair. She had some fun stomps and a lot of chops as well as some decent suplexes thrown in. The joshi stars really like fishermen and northern lights suplexes for some reason. Saw about one each from both of them. Something poetic about that. Fishermen guided by the northern lights. I should start a nautical themed wrestler. anyways, Nakamori’s style clashed big time with her outfit which was like Cherry’s but tossed in a dryer with a wolverine. Nakamori worked some awful strikes into her repertoire, forearm smashes that made Missou unconsciously groan all the way in whatever dive bar he probably found himself in that night. when she was on the ground, she was much better. Had some pretty fun submissions, including a surfboard variation where she pushed on the back with her feet instead of the legs that garnered a decent pop. Both took to the air a number of times and joshi apparently really love moonsaults, too. Hrm, fishermen guided by the northern lights under the shine of the moon. Dammit Oni, concentrate, we’ll pitch this to the E later. a few too many 2.9 kick outs for my taste, but it was a decent enough match so it doesn’t bug me none. Yoneyama wins this one with, what I can only assume, is her finisher because right before it she shouted “FINISHO!” about 4 times. nothing special, but fine enough.Ophidian v. Gregory IronNo picture, you know these guys. Maybe?The mandatory men’s match for the evening, like rasberry sorbet to cleanse your pallet. yes, it is that Gregory Iron who you guys berate on Main Page Comments for being crippled (I’m kidding, mostly). Ophidian working his heel gimmick is pretty fun, but must be a bitch to work with because he throws kicks like his opponent dug up his dead mama and made a Facebook page for her. Iron Man didn’t get much offense in and what offense he did, didn’t show too much. This was the Ophidian Power Hour (minus a couple dozen minutes) plain and simple. Still, entertaining.BUT FUCK DOSE DUDES, BACK TO DA JOSHI!Mayumi Ozaki v. Mio ShiraiOzaki at 43 still putting boots to faces. Cute Mio related faces.I feel like in my prelude column, I did an enormous disservice. I didn’t want to go on and on and on and bore an already indifferent crowd, but the only one I specifically talked about being excited to see was Kong. And that’s just a wee bit of an untruth that slipped my lips. Because to neglect to mention Mayumi Ozaki doing these shows as well is a travesty to my joshi loving nature. Ozaki is just as much a legend as Toyota or Kong, perhaps moreso. I know Tuna Meltz star ratings get people’s panties all a-fluttering but it should be noted that she holds not one, not two, not three and not even five but FOUR five star matches from the Meltz man himself and took home (with Toyota and two others) the MATCH OF THE YEAR for 1993. She is probably one of the most infamous dark horses in joshi or even wrestling because of how fucking good she is and how generally unrecognized she has been (other than by Meltz that one year). Even if you have an allergic reaction to Meltzer that breaks you our in hives shaped like waffles, you cannot ignore what she has accomplished.And holy fucking hell, was she good. She KNOWS wrestling, she just gets it intimately. She is famous for using every dirty trick in the book to get her way and she ran the entire gamut here tonight. Pulling hair, tangling people in ropes, biting hands and feet, fish-hooking, pulling from rope breaks, holding til 5, you name it and she probably did it. And god can she work a crowd. Even with as dead fish as the crowd was that night, she still got them laughing and clapping (at least briefly before they resumed their staring contest with the wall on the other side of the room). She moves very spryly and is still agile as hell. also throws a good power bomb or two. Just by watching her face you could tell she was loving working with Mio and fucking with the fans.And let’s not count out our dear Mio. One half of the Purple Thunder Sisters with her…sister Io and part of the Triple Tails faction with Kana in Tajiri’s SMASH promotion, she is one of the few modern joshi stars I can say I follow and enjoy the work of. Having only seen her work a Japanese crowd, I can honestly say I was delighted to see that like Ozaki she just GETS wrestling. I can’t say how many American crowds she’s wrestled in front of, but it can’t be many, and yet she still knows exactly how to play to us. when Ozaki had her in an armbar and was biting her fingers with the ref on the opposite side, she pleaded “HEP ME! HEP ME!” and grabbed at his collar and pulled him around to watch Ozaki who just looked at him with big eyes and went “Huh? what? give up? ask?” to which the ref did and went back, leading her to bite again all while Mio tried to get him to pay attention, muttering about his idiocy in Japanese. another hilarious moment came when Mio reversed the tables on Ozaki and got her in a camel clutch which got the fans rallying behind Ozaki (all 4 of us). Mio looked around in disbelief, saying “Ozaki? No! No! Mi-o! Mi-o!” and tried to get us chanting for her until one guy did and she thumbs upped him before getting countered. She also has surprisingly good strikes for being made out of Japanese girl.Ozaki and Mio eventually started trading big moves towards the end which saw Ozaki win after hitting a shining Yakuza Kick to a seated Mio. Not too long of a match but holy shit was it really fun. I wouldn’t say it was the best match on the card but it was still great in it’s own right. Both these women can go and make it a fantastic time.about this time there was an intermission, I think? wherein I stumbled around for the bathroom and got called a fag by some disadvantaged youth and Cold pulled a pretzel out of God knows where. perhaps a pocket in his coat, kept for situations like this. I didn’t go up to the merch tables due to having a crippling shyness problem that makes me act like a teenage girl like when meeting wrestlers I like/respect and didn’t want to half stumble through English they wouldn’t understand to thank them (that would happen the 2nd night!) by not buying anything. funny enough, most of the “less attractive” wrestlers didn’t get much attention at their tables but Cherry must’ve taken 20 pictures and sold 10 shirts proving that wrestling fans are pretty much the same everywhere. oh well. Back to the action!Sara Del Ray v. Tsubasa KuragakiDel Ray taking it to M. Bison. Er, Iron Mike Bison. I mean…fuck.This was more than likely the match of the night. Having never seen Kuragaki before I did not really know what to expect. She’s built like a refrigerator with arms as big as Cold’s but it really belies a flexibility I was surprised she had, like some kind of rubber barrel. She was capable of doing moonsaults and twisting splashes and at one point threw out a German suplex wherein she rolled through on and did a complete bridge OVER Del Ray. Pretty cool. Just imagine Mark Henry doing a rolling bridging German. It was kinda like that. but yeah, she tossed out throws and suplexes and hammerfists like a belligerent ogre finding elves in his sock drawer. She really earned her Iron Bison nickname (coined because she wasn’t born but smelted and poured into a mold. also, she has horns. Hard to see in that picture).Del Ray surprised me too, but in a different way. Apparently she’s taking this goal of the E to heart because she has lost a LOT of mass. I wouldn’t say she was a big girl before, more like thick because it was all utility muscle. The kind that could lug around bricks all day then carry the house she built on her back. but goddam did she slim down a lot. She’s still got muscle on her but it is a distinct and noticeable difference. That being said, she still kicks like a drunk mule. what was odd and made it all the more focused was that Kuragaki was the bigger one and the powerhouse of the match, making Del Ray the weaker underdog. This is not a role that Del Ray is used to playing. I’m not sure if that made her falter a bit, because I’d put two to one that Kuragaki was better in this match. but that’s like saying that the $3800 dollar gold ring you got from your boyfriend wasn’t as nice as the $4000 dollar one you got from your other boyfriend; they’re still solid gold you dumb whore. so I’m nitpicking a bit. but really, it was an exciting match. Early on to get the crowd in Del Ray proceeded to do a tope off the top to Kuragaki on the outside, resulting in my chair getting decimated by heavenly bodies. you can probably see me look like an idiot as Del Ray stands on a chair and I flail about like an epileptic school girl. They went back and forth a good majority of the match and kept the pace up the whole time. Del Ray couldn’t get her up for the Royal Butterfly the first time, so when she attempted it off the top she stumbled and fell with her which was unfortunate as I get the feeling the match was supposed to end there. so instead she just put her in a normal one and got the match won that way.despite the somewhat awkwardness of reversed roles between the two (I’d reverse roles with them…wait, no. No, wait, yeah) and the botched top rope Butterfly, this is probably my match of the night. Entertaining the whole way through with hardly a dull moment. Del Ray is one of if not the best women workers today and Kuragaki is someone I’m going to have to follow from now on.Manami Toyota, Mike Quackenbush and The Colony v. F.I.S.T. and Portia PerezThis was the only pic I could find. I have nothing funny to say. Toyota isn’t even in this pic.For some reason fire Ant has a literal contingent that follows him around. Like 10 people with signs and shirts. I assumed they were related, like termites or those weird rolypoly beetles. Just odd, as he definitely got the biggest reaction of the night.Colony was the Colony, FIST was FIST. as much as I think Icarus is blowful in the ring, he definitely is extraordinarily fun to fuck with because of how he interacts with fans, so I’ll always give him credit for that. Gargano grabbed a sign someone made for him and after ripping it up, Icarus failed to kick half of it out like 4 times. That earned derisive applause from me, accompanied by “Great job Icarus.” Icarus proceeded to tell Cold to shut his teenage kid up and called me Rainbow Brite. Pretty hilarious stuff. he also started off against Manami and proceeded to let her know he was going to give her what she really wanted, which was a slow unzipping of his jacket and revelation of his truly AWFUL tattoo. Manami did what all of us have wanted to do at one point or another and kicked a hole in his chest. Chuck Taylor played the part of Super Chuck Taylor which is like normal Chuck Taylor but with 50% more random smarky silliness. he delivered such delightful lines as “KARATE!” when he chopped Green Ant or that for every time the fire Ant Friends (…need a better name) chanted his name, he would kill him. he never stopped talking the whole damn match. Quack was…Quack, which means that for all his experience and lucha flips and submission know-how, he still DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO FUCKING STRIKE. I swear to god, lepers who feared their arms might slough off from a palm strike would still deliver one stiffer than Quack. I unintentionally groaned when he hit Portia with a palm strike that was a gentle stroke and caress of her hair, delivered lovingly and with tender affection. Maybe he has a crush on her, I dunno.Speaking of Portia, the best description I’ve heard of her has been the female Eddie Edwards. And it’s startlingly accurate. I don’t want to be mean, but she’s not very good. She can land a kick and sell a beating but when it comes to making sense or being vaguely interesting she falls by the wayside faster than a surprise tranny thrown from your speeding El Dorado. to be fair to her though, she did her job well in this match. And that job was to get her fucking face dismantled by Manami Toyota.I don’t know if maybe they had a falling out backstage or Portia insulted Grorious Nippon or maybe Manami is just racist against latinos, but for whatever reason it seemed like Toyota had a vendetta against Portia that could only end with her violent and boot-related demise. every 15 seconds it seemed they were near each other, Toyota stiffed the fucking tan off her body with brutal face and chest kicks and head-dropping maneuvers. It was so apparent that even Portia was silently mouthing “What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this.” a couple times she seemed to tag out just to get away from Manami, and not in “time for the men to wrestler her, I’m the coward heel so I’ll run away” type way but the “I think I’m bleeding in my chest” kind of way. Toyota ran through her normal run of signatures and stood her own against the men in very entertaining fashion. a number of leaps to the outside abounded and even with Manami in the match, it played out very much like a standard CHIKARA 8 man. Hilarious that Toyota of all people was the stiffest worker. also probably the best. Toyota got the pin on Portia after grabbing her off the top and delivering an Cyclone Ocean Suplex (look it up, she invented it. Straight jacket electric chair bridging suplex). At that point it must’ve been a mercy killing. Good match. The ones before and after were better but very good nonetheless.Aja Kong v. Ayako HamadaHamada backing away from a raging Kong, which is about all you can do in that situation.The moment I had been waiting for. as soon as Judas Priest’s “Electric Eye” cued up I proceeded to flip my shit and headbang to it (which, as I noticed later, got Gami pointing this out to Mio, who then proceeded to headbang as well). Kong came out and the crowd (50% of them) were on their feet. what was surprising (not really) and to me personally depressing was that Hamada got a much larger reaction than Kong, but it’s to be expected if you think about it. Kong had 3 matches in 95 WWF and Hamada had a recent year long stint with TNA so one of them is in the eye of American fans more than the other. That’s fine, Hamada’s pretty cool too.Kong though? Kong has not lost a step. as age has crept up on her (she’s actually younger than Ozaki, if you can believe that) she has evolved the way all good older wrestlers do (first at level 16, then at level 32); by getting stiffer, curmudgeonly and acting like the tough as nails old vet. when Hamada tried to shift her with shoulder blocks, she looked at her as if to say “Really? This is really what you want to try with ME of all people?” and would just stand still while Hamada tired herself out until Kong got bored of it and thrust her shoulder out to blast Hamada down. She worked the crowd well, and actually got people to boo for her, even though they came from miles around to see her. She spit in Bryce’s face not once, but twice when he didn’t count the three. Don’t let me make you think that she was lazy or wanted to coast by on her reputation and let Hamada do all the work; Kong took a number of bumps from the top, got stiff shots from Hamada and worked her ass off. her shots were just as brutal as they ever were, making me wince enough to memorize what the inside of my eyelids look like. She dumped Hamada on her head with some devastating backdrop drivers and showed that her Uraken is still brutality in sweaty leather half gloves by taking Hamada’s jaw off and knocking it into the bleachers. All it takes is one.Hamada put her work boots on as well. She wasn’t just going to sit back and sell for Kong. She blasted Kong with stiff forearm shots and some ridiculous spin kicks. her selling for Kong was stellar as she’s not a small girl by any means and their interactions with headbutts were fantastic. Hamada throws headbutts to floor opponents, but Kong took them and threw a devastating one back, throwing her own head against the turnbuckle repeatedly to show that Aja Kong ain’t nothing to fuck with. It wasn’t a complete slapfest though, both had to ground the other to work them over enough to hit suplexes and set up for finishers. Hamada tried her damndest and actually got Kong up for a Power Bomb from the top that shook the damn ground, as well as hitting both the Hamada Driver (Michinoku Driver) and AP Cross (fisherman brainbuster, damn you joshi and your love of the sea!) more than once I believe. great shows of strength.I loved this match. I admitted earlier and will probably stick by the fact that Tsubasa/Del Ray was the best match on the card, but this one was my favorite for more selfish reasons. I finally got to see Aja Kong work in real life and soaked up every bit of everything she did. every movement, every strike, everything she did showed how much of a fucking legend she is. Nostalgia may easily color my view, but give yourselves a chance and try to catch this match when you can and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Hamada was great too, she’s got to be one of the only joshi workers going today that you can really call a modern superstar and she worked off Kong fantastically. what was all the more touching was that after Kong knucked Hamada’s face and made it a win, Hamada and Kong embraced in the center of the ring. It was really emotional for both of them.I can believe it, it was for me too. Not enough to cry (can’t lose that manly street cred) but this meant an awful lot to me. what a fantastic match to see one of the very first people I ever really watched wrestle have. Right there, twenty feet away. It was something else that I am truly grateful that I was able to see.And after writing all this, I have noticed how ridiculously long it is. since it’s taken me so long to write just this, and since it’ll take all of you so long to read it, I’ll be back later this week with my review of Night 3. I won’t put you through all that in one column (just yet).but before I go, I know everyone likes solid numbers they can argue over and ignore the rest of a review for or anything actually important, so here are mine for this night.The Mexican food Cold and I had for Dinner: 4 stars, maybe 4.5 I love Olecito, the little place by my house. They really know how to make their burritos. Cold said it was the best quesadilla he’s ever had and I’m prone to believe him.The crippling gut pain I had mere hours later as I arrived at Cold’s house in Jersey:5 stars. Holy shit, I thought the lady put acid in my burrito or maybe a facehugger egg so an alien would burst out of my chest/ass.Cold’s GPS: 2 stars. It got us there but it sure jerked us around a lot. if I have to hear “Turn tight he-RECALCULATING” one more time in my life, I’m going to get PTSD.The yardtards behind us: No stars. I hope a comet falls on your house and kills your dog/humanity.Bryce Remsburg:5 star human being. was real cool to talk to, awesome guy. Talked to him about venues and stuff. I’m supposed to get back to him about finding some Boston locations that are affordable so they can actually have shows downtown or not 50 miles from the city.Toshie’s Chair Replacing Apologies: 3.5 stars. Hearing her, while setting them back up after Del Ray cleared them, saying “Daijobu, daijobu” was pretty funny.Complete lack of Io or Kana despite Mio being there: 1 star. Wish the other two Triple Tails made it, and am kinda pissed Kana was in the states for a while but left before Joshimania. That would’ve made my night complete.And that’ll do it for me. Look forward to later this week when I review (hopefully more succinctly and less rambly) Night 3 of Joshimania. The action! The joshi! The embarassing pictures I took with some of them and hilarious stories of interactions as well as surprise guest that freaked me out! Look forward to it, true believers!All picture credits go to Diva Dirt and the wrestling wiki I pulled them from. sorry.E-mail me at: OniBarubary@gmail.com
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