Friday, May 21, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Cuty Suzuki VS Mayumi Ozaki - JWP Openweight Championship Semifinals 10/15/1995

JJZ: I'm sure when watching matches to play forward, like me sometimes you get five ten maybe even 15 minutes into a match and decided this ain't cutting the mustard and turn it off. Several times I considered bailing because of the slow start and I just was not in the mood for something like that at that moment. But boy oh boy did this son of a bitch build to an epic ass home stretch. Just gonna point out that there was a little slop rounding third, but I didn't mind. Joshi's wildness is something I've always appreciated more than been bothered by. During this Joshi ride my unfamiliarness has been great because everything is new to me baby!!! I had no clue who was gonna win and since it's part of a tournament I hope you don't either.

CJD: So you know I usually watch your match first and read your comments second. And I was literally going to come back and say something like "the first half of this match was fine, the second half was fucking bananas." Low and behold you already lead with pretty much that! Really the 50/50 build wasn't bad, there was good intensity, it just wasn't that engaging. But man Ozaki flips out on the outside with the damndest one handed bulldog I've ever seen, a wacky dive, a 2 Cold Scorpio direction change splash back in, and then Cuty eventually transitions back to offense with an electric chair slam and 3 consecutive top rope double stomps!! And I'm not even giving away the biggest holy shit moments in this match! Ozaki is one of those classic joshi names I know and I've liked what I've seen but I'm pretty green overall. Looking forward to watching more of her next week. This Friday joshi run is going strong and I have no idea if there's an end in sight but I like the little PIF subplot it's created and our good buddy Phil joining in on so much of the ride. And Cuty Mania Vol 2 keeps delivering!! Last thoughts, we talk a lot about what makes for a good opening round match and finals in a tournament, but this was a perfect semi final. Builds at a good pace, doesn't outstay its welcome, big finishing stretch but still leave something on the table for the main event. Also it set the seeds for some story line work going into the finals I would assume.

PB: The last few entries have presented me with the opportunity to express my adoration for the quintessential joshi narrative. This time around I knew I was in for something different before the match even started. The staredown prior to the bell immediately tells you everything that you needed to know about what to expect in the 17 minutes to follow. Whether intentional or not, there is a slight hint of intimidation behind Suzuki's brave posturing. This felt appropriate considering Ozaki doesn't often play nice. The a-typical silence and brooding pace of the first few minutes sucked me in, but as much as I love a good slow-burn part of me wonders if choosing to forgo the traditional high-paced opening salvo came at the expense of getting the crowd invested from the start. I'm not sure whether the pacing of the rest of the event contributed to the underwhelming response, but it didn't stop them from telling an incredibly solid story which isn't always easy in a tournament structure. The ending was a little on the loose side, but the body of the match and the extra thought put into the psychology left me wanting very little from this match.

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