Daijo “Beginning of New Year” on 1/30/16 Review

Event: Daijo “Beginning of New Year”
Date: January 30th, 2016
Location: Osaka Joto Kumin Hall in Osaka, Japan
Announced Attendance: 118

Since I seem to be on a roll doing smaller non-Stardom events, lets take a look at Daijo, also known as Osaka Joshi Pro. Daijo is a very small promotion that mostly runs in Osaka (as the name of the promotion implies), and only has a handful of affiliated wrestlers. No title matches on this event as Daijo has none of its own titles, here is the full card:

You can click on the names above to to to the wrestler’s profile, if I have one on the site for them. This event was taped from a hard cam, so some of the action may be hard to see. I won’t pretend that Daijo is my favorite promotion but they have some solid wrestlers,  I don’t want to completely neglect the promotion as you never know what hidden gem you may find on these smaller shows.

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Hiroe Nagahama vs. Misaki Glico

For an opening match on a small show, this one has some potential. Misaki Glico is Misaki Ohata wrestling under a different name, I think it is part of a sponsorship with a company called Glico which is based in Osaka. Whether its an official or unofficial partnership I have no idea. Nagahama is a young wrestler from WAVE that debuted in late 2014, she has shown some potential but has yet to have a real breakout performance. She has enough experience now though that I doubt this will be overly one-sided, she’ll get a chance to show something against her veteran opponent.

daijo1.30-1Nagahama scores the first move of the match with a dropkick, but Glico recovers and they trade elbows. Glico dropkicks Nagahama back and hits a scoop slam before putting Nagahama in a submission hold. Nagahama manages to switch positions with her and returns the favor, back up Glico goes off the ropes and delivers a sliding kick. Running elbow by Glico in the corner but Nagahama comes back with a dropkick. More dropkicks by Nagahama and she puts Glico in a crab hold, but Glico crawls to the ropes and forces a break. Nagahama dropkicks Glico in the corner and hits a suplex, cover by Nagahama but it gets two. Glico awkwardly gets Nagahama to the mat and applies leg trap chinlock, she gets Nagahama against the ropes and nails a running low dropkick. Rolling Fisherman suplexes by Glico and she goes off the ropes, but Nagahama tosses her to the mat. They trade quick pin attempts, Glico gets the European Clutch applied and she picks up the three count! Misaki Glico wins the match.

While Nagahama has shown some promise, she is still a bit awkward in some key areas. For example her transitions are a bit shaky and she doesn’t always hit her moves as snug as she should. Which is why she is still opening cards, generally in Joshi you move up the card when you are ready and Nagahama isn’t quite ready. Ohata was solid, I love the dropkick against the ropes, but even some of her regular moves didn’t look quite right. While normally I recommend Ohata matches, this isn’t one that needs to be sought out.

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Police Woman and Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru vs. Kuroneko and Nyanber

This is going to be a comedy match and I am not going to like it. That is just a disclaimer. There is some comedy I like, for example Kikutaro comedy matches and Kana comedy matches generally give me a chuckle, but the ‘dancing while in costumes’ comedy doesn’t get much of a rise out of me. But here we are so we are just going to get through this together.

daijo1.30-2I sometimes struggle with saying what is going on in the ring during comedy matches as it is generally just silly fluff but I will do my best. The only good thing here is that none of the wrestlers are ‘serious’ wrestlers so there isn’t any false pretense that its going to be a legitimate match. After some dancing we get down to business with Kuroneko and Police Woman, hurricanrana by Police Woman but Kuroneko returns the favor and both women return to their feet. Nyanber and Ranmaru are tagged in and do some comedy shtick before Police Woman is tagged back in. Police Woman gets the better of Nyanber and gets a luggage case, and all four wrestlers toss it around to each other until Police Woman is hit with it. Nyanber is put in the ropes but Kuroneko pushes both opponents out of the ring.

Kuroneko goes up top but Nyanber keeps holding their opponents facing the wrong corner so she can’t dive out. Kuroneko and Ranmaru return to the ring and Ranmaru puts Kuroneko in a submission hold, but it is quickly broken up. Ranmaru is double teamed but Police Woman lariats both Kuroneko and Nyanber. Police Woman goes up top and tries to drop the luggage on Kuroneko, but she moves out of the way. Lou Thesz Press by Kuroneko, she goes up top and hits a diving crossbody but Ranmaru breaks up the cover. RAINMAKER by Nyanber, but the pin is broken up. Nyanber and Kuroneko hit a double vertical suplex, everyone but Police Woman is tagged in the corner but all three end up hitting moves on her instead. Ranmaru throws Kuroneko to the mat and kicks Nyanber, Run Magistral by Ranmaru and she gets the three count! Police Woman and Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru win!

This was not the worst thing I have ever watched! So there is that. Some of the wrestling was solid and the comedy wasn’t overly excessive, so that is a plus. I am not sure if any of these wrestlers are particularly great in-ring wrestlers, it is hard to tell since they all wrestle in gimmick, although Kuroneko seemed to be the best of the bunch. Nothing exciting but it was vaguely watchable.

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Fairy Nipponbashi vs. Mei Lee vs. Yuu Yamagata

daijo1.30-3Oh hey another comedy match, which is literally all you will get when Nipponbashi is in the match. What did poor Yamagata do to deserve this? I can enjoy Nipponbashi in small doses but since she can’t tag out, it means the whole match will be a Nipponbashi match. After watching one lackluster comedy match I am not sure if I am ready for another one. I would have preferred Nipponbashi just be in the last match and combine it all into one, but we can only watch it as it is given to us.

This is going to be even more silly than the last match, between it being a triple threat and having two comedy wrestlers. They dance around to start with Yamagata being the only one doing any real offense. Yamagata punches Lee but Nipponbashi breaks up the cover, she gets out the wand and flings the referee to the mat. Yamagata gets the wand but it doesn’t work for her so she hits Lee with it instead. They all get some papers and read them, and no I don’t know what is going on. This goes on for several minutes. It finally ends and Lee is kicked by both her opponents, Nipponbashi rolls up Yamagata but Lee breaks up the cover. Yamagata boots Nipponbashi in the head and puts Lee in a facelock, and Lee quickly submits! Yamagata wins.

I will admit that a match like this isn’t designed for me, as half of it was a skit and the other half was comedy or things generally not entertaining. It probably isn’t designed for you either so just skip it.

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Mari Anne vs. Misaki Ohata

A real match! Ohata graces our televisions for the second time on this event, this time just wrestling as herself. Anne is a Freelancer and wrestles mostly on the undercard in the smaller promotions. Besides Daijo, she also wrestles in WAVE and Ice Ribbon, but doesn’t win very often. This is an interesting match to have  under the main event as Ohata is a very accomplished wrestler, but this is a smaller show so the normal rules don’t really apply. Hopefully Anne can do something special here to help save this event so I can recommend something.

Ohata and Anne start with waistlocks and wristlocks, dropkick by Ohata and throws Anne down by her hair. Ohata throws down Anne by her hair a couple more daijo1.30-4times, she puts Anne in the ropes and rakes on her face. Scoop slam by Ohata and she puts Anne in a crab hold, but Anne gets to the ropes. Ohata stretches Anne before hitting a curb stomp, cover by Ohata but it gets two. Anne finally makes a comeback with a couple dropkicks, but Ohata dropkicks her back. Ohata puts Anne back in a submission hold, she goes up top but Anne ducks the diving crossbody. Dropkick by Anne but Ohata blocks the scoop slam. Dropkick by Anne and she hits a few more, she goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Anne picks up Ohata but Ohata knees her off and hits a sliding crossbody in the corner for two. Ohata picks up Anne but Anne sneaks in a backslide for a two count. Anne tries a few more quick pins with no luck, she goes off the ropes but Ohata catches her with an elbow smash. Sliding crossbody by Ohata but Anne reverses it into a two count cover. Double back drop to the face by Ohata, she goes up top and she nails the diving body press for the three count! Ohata wins the match.

This would have been the perfect opener, as the less experienced Anne tries to overcome the veteran and superior Ohata. But as a match this late on the card it didn’t make a ton of sense, as it was a pretty basic match. Ohata hit some of her big moves, I love all the different ways she does crossbodies, but that wasn’t enough to really make up for the fact much of the action was pretty flat. It wasn’t a bad match, certainly the best on the card so far, but it still was only barely solid at best.

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Kaho Kobayashi and Rina Yamashita vs. Ryo Mizunami and Sawako Shimono

It is main event time! At least this match is worthy of a main event, even if no titles are up for grabs. Kobayashi and Yamashita come in as the more distinguished team (individually), as even though neither held any championships at the time of this match, both did have multiple title reigns in 2015. Mizunami and Shimono are not a regular tag team either, so this is Daijo just putting four of the best wrestlers available together to give the fans an entertaining match.

Kobayashi and Yamashita charge their opponents to start as they isolate Shimono and double team her. Shimono fights them both off and slams Kobayashi before putting her in a crab hold. Shimono puts Kobayashi in a surfboard and covers her, but Yamashita breaks it up. Shimono tags Mizunami and she elbows Kobayashi hard in the face. Yamashita comes in but Shimono promptly throws her out of the ring, Mizunami picks up Kobayashi and takes her to the mat. Mizunami tags Shimono but Yamashita runs in to assist, Shimono knocks Yamashita back and goes back to beating on Kobayashi. Shimono tags Mizunami and slams Kobayashi and hits a leg drop, cover by Mizunami but she only gets two. Hard shoulderblocks by Mizunami and she puts Kobayashi in a camel clutch, she then throws Kobayashi in the corner and hits a lariat. Shimono comes in and hits a jumping knee, Mizunami then tags Shimono in but Kobayashi sneaks in an inside cradle for two. Kobayashi dropkicks Shimono and makes the hot tag to Yamashita, Mizunami comes in but Yamashita suplexes both of them. Yamashita kicks Shimono in the chest and lariats her in the corner, but Shimono comes back with a body avalanche. Yamashita and Shimono trade elbows, judo throw by Shimono but Yamashita avoids the seated senton. Yamashita puts Shimono in a sleeper but its quickly broken up, Mizunami and Shimono take turns lariating Yamashita before Mizunami hits a jumping leg drop. High speed leg drops by Mizunami and she covers Yamashita for two.

daijo1.30-5Yamashita and Mizunami trade shoulderblock attempts with Yamashita eventually winning, lariat by Yamashita and she covers Mizunami for a two count. Backdrop suplex by Yamashita and she tags in Kobayashi. Dropkicks by Kobayashi in the corner and she elbows Mizunami, Kobayashi slides out to the apron and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Mizunami blocks the fisherman suplex and powerslams Kobayashi, picking up a two count. Jumping leg lariat by Mizunami and she spears Kobayashi, but Yamashita breaks up the cover. Mizunami tags Shimono and she shoulderblocks Kobayashi, she sets her up in the corner and hits a lariat. Shimono slams Kobayashi to the mat, she picks her up and hits a Samoan Drop for two. Mizunami lariats Kobayashi but Yamashita breaks up Shimono’s cover. Samoan Drop by Shimono, she goes up top but Yamashita runs in and superplexes Shimono off the top. She then lariats Mizunami, enzuigiri by Kobayashi and she hits the Fisherman Suplex Hold for a two count. Kobayashi goes for the 120% Schoolboy but Shimono blocks it, elbow by Mizunami and Shimono hits a pump handle slam for a two count. Shimono picks up Kobayashi but Kobayashi applies the 120% Schoolboy. Mizunami breaks it up, TKO by Shimono on Kobayashi but Yamashita breaks up the pin. Hurricanrana by Kobayashi to Shimono, she goes off the ropes but Shimono hits a lariat for two. Shimono goes off the ropes but Yamashita lariats her, 120% Schoolboy by Kobayashi and she gets the three count! Kobayashi and Yamashita win!

A really good match, hurt more by the unmanned far away hard camera than anything else. All four of these wrestlers can go, Yamashita is the most limited but she works well in tag team matches. Kobayashi is a great face in peril, she is itty bitty so takes everything well but the crowd gets behind her when she makes her comebacks. Plus she has a nice bridge. I thought everything clicked here really well and it went the perfect amount of time as it never dragged and never felt excessive. Wish the camera work was better but still a great match.  Recommended