Friday, May 7, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Hikari Fukuoka VS Tomoko Kuzumi - JWP 10/11/1998

JJZ: Well. I'm going to put this out there right away. I loved this match. it isn't perfect but aside from a few timing issues this really blew me away. You know Joshi is a weak point in my wrestling knowledge so this was all new to me. You and our friends have shared matches with Azumi in them to me before but I'm still very green with her. To start I'm used to Joshi matches starting with a shotgun blast so when Azumi tried to take the match to that level and Hikari kept grounding her I was smitten right away. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen from that first headlock takeover. Within 15 minutes they told a complete story that lead to some fucking sick high spots. One of which I yelled out holy fucking shit and my wife came running into the room because she thought one of our kids got hurt. I was biting so hard on those falsies I think I chipped a tooth. Loved the finish. Now I think this was a title match but I'm not even sure who the champ was going in because they didn't show either wrestler with the title. I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

CJD: Well you've thrown me a curveball with this one but one I'm excited to size up. So after doing some research Hikari Fukuoka has been wrestling 5 years longer than Hyuga who has been wrestling for 4 years as of this match, still under her real name. Hikari is the JWP Openweight Champion coming into this non-title match and this is actually the last years of her career. It's not surprising that even though she was a high flyer in her younger years (innovator of the moonsault double stomp!) that she's trying to ground the ball of energy that is a young Azumi Hyuga in this match. If I had to use one word to describe this match it would be endearing. We both listen to the ThROH The Years podcast a bit and something they talk about from time to time is when a match has such a strong work ethic that it basically wills itself to greatness even when things aren't going its way. That's what I was thinking of here. There's quite a bit that wasn't perfect, some of it I think worked with the cat and mouse psychology, some of it not so much. But damn the work these ladies put in and the smart approach to the match overall made this into something great no matter how rough some of the edges were. I agree completely that I just enjoyed the hell out of this match. Maybe how little joshi we've featured comes into play but I think you found a legitimate great one here. And man do I love Hyuga more and more with each match of hers I watch.

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