-Taped from Manhattan, NY
-Your hosts are of course members of the CHIKARA roster and staff
-Gavin Loudspeaker sings a little song about the finders of Joshi and the people who put the weekend together.
Match in Five Words or Less: An Impressive Debut
Match Highlights: Sugar Dunkerton was unable to make the show, so Saturyne is here to take his place. The crowd boos Kelly Kelly pretty bad when her name is pulled out of the hat. I bet if she walked into the room, everyone’s jaw would have dropped. Saturyne is a masked female competitor who recently made her debut at the first “Wrestling is Fun” taping. Junior and Dasher start. Feeling out process and of course shenanigans. Back rake by Junior. Dasher calls timeout. He shows off a baseball… and a game develops. Hijo grabs it himself. A fight ensues. They kick metaphorical dirt on the referee. Series of roll-ups on both men. Hijo and Junior taken to the outside. Baseball slide dropkick and Dasher is safe. Saturyne tags in. Hijo strokes his cone. Forearm across the back. One dropkick from Saturyne hits. A second misses. Hijo accidentally hits his partner. Saturyne hits another forearm. Again to the eyes. Hip toss. Dasher holds on to Hijo. Saturyne narrowly avoids hitting her partner. Forearm sends him down. Ice Creams stall. Junior misses a chop. Punt to the corner misses. Back elbow misses. Kick to the midsection. Across the back for an armdrag. Hijo boots her out of the ring. Saturyne comes back in and armdrags Hijo. Junior hits her from behind. Saturyne up and over. Shot to the throat. Heat segment on Saturyne. Quick sunset flip but Hijo powerslams her. Focus turns to Perez’s arm. Elbows from Saturyne. Junior drags her down by the hair. School girl broken up. Spinebuster. Saturyne kicks Hijo into Junior. Collision head to head. Dasher tags and goes to work. Tilt a whirl into a stunner on Hijo. Back drop on Junior. Jack and Jill hammer.Hijo breaks the count and runs away. Baseball slide countered. Saturyne hits a nice bulldog on Junior. Octopus. Hijo kicks her in the head. Knee lift and a knee strike. Leg lariat to the corner. Rana. Hijo sunset flips and gets three on the rookie.
Match Analysis: I’m not sure this should have gone sixteen minutes, but I am sure that Saturyne looked perfectly acceptable in the ring. To make your debut in NYC and at Joshimania cannot be easy, but she took advantage of an opportunity. Dasher carried the load pretty well, and Los Ice Creams were at the level they’re usually at.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Los Ice Creams/16:07/**1/2/***
-Portia Perez isn’t honored or privileged to be wrestling Gami. This promo was nails on a chalkboard.
Match in Five Words or Less: Perez Survives
Match Highlights: Portia immediately kicks Gami. Charging knee. Running dropkick. Strike exchange. Bodyslam and face rake. Snapmare into a chinlock. Into a chokehold. Kicks from Perez before grabbing a kneebar. Back elbow and a stalling vertical suplex. Fujiwara elbow. Roll-up by Perez gets two. Abdominal stretch. Kick from Perez. Perez can’t bring her down with a chokehold. Shots from Gami followed by a big kick. Leg drop for two. Gami once again shows her incredible balancing abilities by walking across the rope. Triangle choke in the ropes. Elbow to the arm. Perez rolls out of an armbar attempt with a kick. Low dropkick and a low DDT. Superkick. Gami stiff kicks her in the midsection. She goes for the megaphone. Perez rolls her up for two. Perez grabs the megaphone. Gami rolls her up for two. Referee tries taking the megaphone out of the ring. Gami stomps Perez on a handshake attempt. Small package for two. Perez blocks a German suplex. Avalanche German suplex. Perez hits a flatliner for two. Crossface. Crucifix pin by Gami gets two. Hard kick gets two. Clothesline against the ropes. Modified blue thunder powerbomb (Since she held Perez like a baby, I propose calling it the Baby Bomb) gets two. Fisherman’s suplex gets three.
Match Analysis: This was so much better than I expected. Perez has improved significantly from the last time I saw her in PWG. I’m still not a fan of her character, but I did see progress. If CHIKARA is interested in a full-fledged women’s division, Perez and Saturyne are two excellent candidates to get it going.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Gami/11:50/***/***1/2
-UltraMantis Black was looking forward to his respite but is looking forward to taking out Brodie Lee. He likes nothing about Lee, particularly his unkempt demeanor.
Match in Five Words or Less: Brodie Is Back
Match Highlights: Injuries to lee prevented this match from happening in the 12 Large Summit. Mantis hits Lee with his staff and chokes away in the corner. Clubbering blows. Clothesline sends both men over. Somersault senton takes Lee out. Lee with a shot to the throat. Double chops. Uppercut. Black taken into the rail. They go to the back. Back onstage and Mantis sends Lee into some chairs. Lee boots Mantis backwards. Back drop into the ring. Open hand slaps. Shots to the throat. Forearm by Lee. Lariat misses. Mantis hits a full nelson slam for a one count. Truck Stop Slam gets a long two count. Kick from Mantis. Falcon arrow gets two. Mantis goes up top but gets met with a BOOT to the face. Sitdown powerbomb gets three.
Match Analysis: it’s no secret that Brodie Lee hasn’t had as much impact in CHIKARA as year’s past. Based on this strong victory, I can only assume they’re building him back up for a possible singles title shot. They packed a lot into this nearly eight minute match. I liked that Mantis knew he couldn’t win with wrestling, so he tried to turn into a brawl. Unfortunately, this is right up Lee’s alley. With a babyface champion, it makes sense that in the three CHIKARA singles matches, three heels (Tim Donst, Ophidian, and Brodie Lee) all won in convincing fashion.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Brodie Lee/7:44/***/***
Match in Five Words or Less: Fun
Match Highlights: The Colony and Batiri have had a mini rivalry going on this year, so we’ll see how this turns out. Uematsu and Cherry start. I love that Uematsu matched her face paint to the rest of the Dark Army. Some biting from the heel side early. Back elbows. Kobald simply comes in the ring. Cartwheel from Cherry. Double clothesline. Camel clutch but Kobald resorts to biting. Forearm exchange as Green Ant comes in the ring. Boot up. Bodyslam and here comes the Batiri. Soldier and Fire join the brawl. Double back drop. Double dropkick. Colony with a series of kicks to both members of the Batiri. Six feet of fury as Cherry joins in on the fun. Uematsu attacks Cherry from behind. She then brings Soldier Ant into corner. Ten punches in the corner. DDT and Kobald comes in with a springboard splash. Work on Soldier Ant continues. Soldier Ant drops Obaryion with a samoan drop. Wasn’t all that great of a landing. Fire Ant tags in and hits a cross body. Tornado DDT and running kick on Obaryion. Brainbuster for two. Kodama gets a kick and swinging suplex. Green Ant blocks a suplex and lets his partner hit a DDT. Green Ant drops Kodama face first. Spear by Kobald before he charges and his the post shoulder first. TKO by Soldier. Uematsu knocks him out of the ring. Back elbow on Fire Ant by Uematsu. Face wash. One last charge. Obaryion with a springboard dropkick. Kodama hits a cannonball. Kobald hits a splash. Everyone seemingly breaks up the cover. Uematsu slams Cherry down. Big splash misses. Crucifix pin gets two for Cherry. Exploder into a bridge, and it is again broken up. Kodama pushes Cherry off the top rope. Uematsu again hits a bodyslam and the big splash. Colony breaks the count. Green Ant clotheslines Uematsu. Roll-up from Cherry gets two. Colony each dive on various Dark Army members. Cherry ranas Uematsu but Obaryion breaks the count up. Suplex and Uematsu hits a splash for three.
Match Analysis: Not as good as last night but still some good work involved. The focus was rightly placed on the girls, and they each delivered strong performances. Uematsu also gets to end the U.S. portion of her retirement tour in a really nice way with a victory.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: The Dark Army and Toshie Uematsu/12:59/***1/4/***1/2
Match in Five Words or Less: The Veterans Battle
Match Highlights: Their costumes coming out are pretty epic. Ozaki won’t shake hands with Yoneyama. Instead, it’s a slap. Quick stomp and some dragging by the hair by Ozaki. Ozaski tied in the ropes. Drop toehold and dancing from Yoneyama. Double chops into a snapmare and body scissors. More biting from Ozaki. Into a fujiwara armbar. Of course, she bites and twists the fingers as well. They get real close to the ropes. One more round of biting and Remsburg finally breaks the hold. Yoneyama reverses a whip but misses a charge. Ozaki pulls the hair. Strike exchange. Rear naked choke from Ozaki. A second attempt but Yoneyama stuns her. To the corner. Ozaki lifts her up by the throat. Running boots. Elbows miss. Yoneyama with a running knee strike. Northern lights suplex gets two. O’Connor roll blocked. Spinning back fist misses. German suplex by Yoneyama. To the top for a senton. 1-2-NO! Hard back fist by Ozaki. Sitdown powerbomb gets two. Sent off. Sommersault senton gets two by Ozaki. Powerbomb blocked. Inside cradle from Yoneyama gets two. Backslide. Roll-up. O’Connor roll. None of them work. Everest German suplex gets two. Running knee to the back of the head. Double stomp misses. BACKFIST by Ozaki gets two. Sitdown powerbomb. 1-2-NO! Back fist and running leaping enziguri finally gets Ozaki three.
Match Analysis: Although these two girls are both on their way to retirement, they didn’t hold anything back. What a wonderful ten minutes. Ozaki was a complete heel the whole way, and I think a lot of young wrestlers could learn from what she did in the ring. Yoneyama did a great job with her comebacks, and this was truly a joy to watch.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Mayumi Ozaki/9:49/***3/4/****
Match in Five Words or Less: An Epic Showcase
Match Highlights: Kurgaki is the only heel who chooses to shake hands with the babyfaces. Toyota and Kong start. Kong spits at her and tags in Shirai. Immediate kicks off the ropes. She goes a bit low but misses one more. Slap from Toyota. Leg lariat sends her down.Nakamori in to match up with Kong. Kick exchange. Test of strength. She steps on Nakamori’s hands. Nakamori gets out and goes to work. Sweep by Kong. Clothesline from Nakamori. Slaps form Kong. Chops send her down. Kuragaki and Shimono in next. Some mat work. Kicks from Shimono. Snapmare into a chinlock. Kurgaki brings her over. Kong hits a series of stiff kicks. Leaping elbow drop. Chops. Into the heel corner. Heat segment continues, including some triple team work. Cradle from Shimono and a tag to Nakamori. Both she and Toyota enter and a double team. Whip across. Triple team from the tecnicos on Shirai. Nakamori works on Shirai’s back. Modified surfboard. Double axehandle by Toyota. Headbutt from the top rope. Indian deathlock. She transitions into a bow and arrow. She sends Shirai back flying into the corner. Bodyslams from Shimono. Cover but Kong breaks the count. Nakamori applies a Boston crab. Nakamori goes over into a pseudo STF. Kong tags. Forearms no sold. Slap sends Nakamori immediately down. Piledriver for two. Northern lights bomb gets two. Cross body from Nakamori gets two. She dives for a tag attempt but fails. Kong then applies a surfboard as Kuragaki fires away at Nakamori’s partners . Kicks from Shirai. Back heel trip for two. Kick blocked into a stretch muffler from Nakamori. Six woman brawl. Nakamori sends Kuragaki and Shirai down. Shimono tackles Shirai a number of times. She’s met with a knee. Judo throw and sitdown splash. A second one to the back and cross armbreaker. Hard forearm exchange. Axe kick from Shirai gets two. Running boot to the face for two. Vertical suplex from Kong. Nakamori kicks away at Kong. Kong cross bodies them both. Shoulder tackles from Shimono do nothing. Kong lays her down. Shoulder tackle sends Kong into corner. Running splash. She tries lifting her. Nope. Not happening. Kong back drop drivers her into the mat. Kuragaki and Shirai clear the ring. Kong climbs up top. Shimono meets her. Kong swats her away but Shimono won’t quit. SAMOAN DROP! 1-2-NO! Kong meets Toyota with a vicious kick. Clothesline misses. Rolling cradle countered. Running boot from Toyota, Kuragaki send outside. Shirai wrapped up. Dropkick. Nakamori cross bodies the heel team on the stage. Toyota does the same. Toyota applies a figure four leglock on Kong. Shimono and Nakamori also apply figure fours as well. Toyota dropkicks Kong off the top rope. Kurgaki comes from behind. They place Toyota on the top turnbuckle. Nakamori prevents that. Sunset powerbomb from Toyota gets two. Back fist from Kong misses. Northern lights bomb gets two. Kuragaki tags in. She drops Toyota but only gets two. Powerbomb attempt blocked. Back drop. Elbows from Kuragaki. Clothesline misses. One to the back of the head hits. To the top she goes and a dropkick hits. Toyota no sells and gets the rolling cradle. Into a two count. Toyota goes for a moonsault. Kuragaki knocks her down. Sunset flip gets two for Toyota. Moonsault met with knees. Kong takes out the babyface corner. Kurgaki moonsault attempt but she meets feet. Nakamori hits a fisherman’s suplex for two. Kong sends Nakamori hard to the mat. Kurgaki climbs up. Shimono blocks a move. Nakamori battles with her. Toyota and Kong also end up in this mess. Kurgaki pulls off the torture rack on Toyota and Nakamori. No tap-out this time. Double back suplex. Kuragaki moonsaults Nakamori for two. Everyone hits their big moves. Nakamori hits a suplex and shining wizard on Kurgaki for two as Kong breaks the count. Series of kicks. Lariats from Kuragaki get two. Nakamori rolls Kuragaki for two. Lariat for two. Splash mountain into a facebuster gets three for Kurgaki at last.
Match Analysis: This is one of the fastest thirty minutes you’ll ever experience. An incredible way to cap off the weekend (although technically not the main event). I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Kong and Toyota, but everyone performed so well that it becomes a minor complaint.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Aja Kong, Mio Shirai, and Tsubasa Kuragaki/28:59/****/****
Match in Five Words or Less: A Great Ending
Match Highlights: Each of these two ladies have wrestled Aja Kong in a Joshimania main event. Feeling out process quickly ends with a big kick from Hamada. Armdrag exchange. Sweeps are blocked. STF. Del Rey locks in a cravat. Test of strength. Hamada grabs a submission hold focusing on the legs. Del Rey out of the hold and into an armbar. Sweep exchange. Stalemate. Kick and headbutt from Hamada. Del Rey responds in kind. Strike and kick exchange. Del Rey comes out on top. Kicks from Del Rey. Forearm. Hamada with a kick and leaping DDT. Del Rey blocks a suplex. High kick to Hamada. Up and over. Headbutt from Hamada. Del Rey on the floor. Del Rey send into the side of the ring. Battle on the apron. Hamada blocks a suplex and hits a DDT. Hamada hits a moonsault for two. Del Rey reverses into an armbar. Hamada gets her foot on the rope. Headbutt to the arm. Del Rey hits a crescent kick and bridges over with a northern lights suplex. Hamada slaps Del Rey and brings her down with an iconoclasm. Running kick and a two count. Slap to the face. High kick and German suplex from Del Rey gets two. Knee strikes. Vicious enziguri and powerbomb from Hamada. 1-2-NO! Del Rey hooks in a superplex. Immediate leg lariat from Hamada gets two. Leg lariat blocked. Combo kick from Del Rey. Axe kick gets two. Royal Butterfly. Slams her down. 1-2-NO! Hamada hits a Michinoku driver but can’t cover immediately. Del Rey small package for two. Another spinning leg lariat and Michinoku driver from Hamada gets two. Hamada goes for a Royal Butterfly. Kicks from Del Rey. Combo kick misses. Hard strike. Cutter off the second rope. 1-2-NO! Michinoku driver blocked. Discus forearm from Del Rey, Right into a piledriver. 1-2-3!
Match Analysis: These two have wrestled each other before, and it shows. Lots of great exchanges and reversals from both women. I wouldn’t say this was as good as the six woman tag, but it certainly served as an excellent main event to end the week. Perhaps most importantly, Sara Del Rey went undefeated over the weekend and got to look excellent in all three singles victories.
Winner (s)/Time/Match Rating/Entertainment Rating: Sara Del Rey/14:52/***3/4/****
Many of the women who participated in Joshimania get their props from the crowd. A fine weekens for Joshi this was.
5. Saturyne might be the newest woman’s wrestler to enter CHIKARA, but she has a very bright future if tonight was any indication. I hope CHIKARA brings her along slowly but continues to at least allow her on shows.
4. Gami beat the holy hell out of Portia Perez, and I pretty much loved every minute of it.
3. Mayumi Ozaki might be my new favorite heel wrestler in the world after tonight. Everything she does just makes her seem unlikable and she seems to enjoy the jeers of the crowd.
2. Sara Del Rey has pretty much clinched a spot in the fave five for every CHIKARA show it seems. She again had a great singles match as part of Joshimania and picked up a victory. The fact that she went 3-0 cannot be a coincidence.
1. I know this violates the rule of the fave five, but all six women in the tag team semi-main event deserve credit for putting on a great performance and really showing off what Joshi is all about. Special mention Shimono for putting on her best performance of the weekend after a slow start in Philadelphia.
The Verdict: Night three was easily the best of the Joshimania shows. The second half features three borderline classics and must see matches. For people who only want to dabble in Joshi, this is the night for you. A big thumbs up for a fantastic show.
For more information in CHIKARA Pro, including tickets and event information, please check their website. While you can purchase DVDs there as well, you can also purchase their DVDs on Smart Mark Video. To get a great sense of history and participate in discussion of the company, check out their official messageboard. One thing the promotion does really well? Videos. They have frequent (almost daily) updates on their YouTube channel.
As someone relatively new to reviewing these shows and not nearly the CHIKARA fan as certain others, even I need to look up information and have a good CHIKARA resource. I can can think of no better place to do this and also read exclusive reviews of every CHIKARA show in history than at The CHIKARA Special. Kevin Ford maintains this little blog and also updates a CHIKARA Special Tumblr with news and videos nearly every day.
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