GAEA Japan “Splash J & Running G” on 9/23/95 Review

Event: GAEA Japan “Splash J and Running G”
Date: September 23rd, 1995
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 2,300

Over the next eternity, I will be watching and reviewing all GAEA Japan events in order, starting with their debut show on April 15th, 1995. Visit the GAEA Japan Project page for a brief history of the promotion, the roster page, my favorite matches from the promotion, and the full list of all events reviewed. I will also be uploading my favorite match from each show so that everyone can enjoy it.

If you want to watch the GAEA Japan events I am reviewing, Mike Lorefice sells the complete seasons at a very reasonable price both via download and physical copy. Mike’s quebrada.net is one of the sites I’m using extensively to write these reviews, its a great resource for learning more about GAEA Japan and wrestling in general.

For the first time, I am reviewing a GAEA Japan COMM release! GAEA Japan generally aired on GAORA TV, but they also put out commercial tapes as well. Most of their later commercial tapes are compilations, but in 1995 and 1996 they released several that showed entire events. This isn’t their first commercial tape of 1995, however I decided to just review the TV broadcast of the other shows. This event was never shown on TV, however, and since I didn’t want to miss any events I tracked down the commercial DVD (you can get it too at the link above). The show featured a one night six woman tag team tournament, here is the full card:

Since this was shown on tape and not on TV, nothing will be clipped. You can click on the names above to go directly to that wrestler’s profile here on Joshi City.

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Chigusa Nagayo, Chikayo, and Tomori Kobayashi vs. Hikari Fukuoka, Sonoko, and Kanako Motoya
Super Scramble Six Women Tag Tournament Semi Final

With only a four match card, there really isn’t a lot of filler, so we get a rare sighting of Chigusa Nagayo in the opener. Neither of these teams are designed to be unbeatable, in fact both teams have two rookies. Nagayo is the leader of GAEA Japan, teaming with her is a rookie from GAEA Japan (Chikayo) and a rookie from JWP (Tomori). Tomori had a very short career, which is why you haven’t heard of her, while Chikayo still wrestles today as a Freelancer. On the other team, Hikari Fukuoka is a veteran from JWP while Kato is a GAEA Japan rookie and Kanako is a rookie from JWP. So both teams have wrestlers with a variety of experience levels from different promotions, just to keep things fresh and fair.

Chikayo and Kanako start the match but Tomori quickly tags in and they double team Kanako in the corner. Kanako swats them away when they go for a double dropkick and tags in Sonoko, Fukuoka comes in too but Nagayo gets in the ring and clears house. She starts working over Sonoko and hits a suplex, but Fukuoka breaks up the cover. Nagayo casually slaps Kanako before tagging in Tomori, Tomori works a headlock on Sonoko but Sonoko suplexes her to the mat and throws her into the corner. She tags in Fukuoka, Kanako comes in too and they both dropkick Tomori. Fukuoka whips Tomori around the ring while kicking her, stretch hold by Fukuoka but Chikayo eventually comes in to break it up. Fukuoka tags in Kanako, dropkick by Kanako and she covers Tomori for two. Kanako goes for a sleeper but Tomori quickly gets out of it and tags in Chikayo. Dropkick by Chikayo and she hits Kanako with two more, she picks up Kanako and applies a crossface before tagging in Nagayo. Nagayo throws Kanako into the opposite corner so that Fukuoka can tag in, kicks by Nagayo and she drills Fukuoka with a heel kick. Fukuoka catches the next kick attempt and apples a cross kneelock, but Tomori and Chikayo both run in to break it up.

gaea9-23-1Kanako and Sonoko take care of them, Kanako goes to help Fukuoka but Tomori and Chikayo run in again. They still can’t free Nagayo as Fukuoka and Kanako won’t let go, finally Nagayo reaches the ropes and both Kanako and Fukuoka release the hold. Fukuoka tags Sonoko, Sonoko applies a kneelock but Nagayo laughs it off (literally) and slaps Sonoko to get out of it. Nagayo tags Tomori, body blocks by Tomori to Sonoko and she covers her for two. Tomori wants Fukuoka so she tags in, Fukuoka elbows Tomori to the mat but Tomori keeps firing back. Tomori tosses Fukuoka to the mat and tags in Nagayo, piledriver by Nagayo but Kanako breaks up the cover. Giant Swing by Nagayo, Tomori comes in and she gives Fukuoka the Giant Swing as well. Tomori tags Chikayo and she does the same, as Fukuoka is probably pretty dizzy by now. Cover by Chikayo, but Kanako and Sonoko break it up. Kanako and Sonoko both put Chikayo in the Giant Swing now, which is easier since Chikayo is an itty bitty wrestler, Fukuoka returns to the ring and gives Chikayo one final Giant Swing before Kanako tags in and covers Chikayo for two. Chikayo bridges out of the next pin attempt and hits the front roll push, but Fukuoka hits her from behind with a missile dropkick.

Chikayo stumbles to her corner and tags in Tomori, Bubba Bomb by Tomori and Chikayo hits an assisted crossbody onto Kanako before Tomori covers her for two. Running kick by Kanako and she tags in Sonoko, bulldog by Sonoko to Tomori but Tomori blocks the next one. Fukuoka attacks Tomori from behind, but Nagayo kicks Sonoko in the head from the apron. Tomori tags in Nagayo, heel kick by Nagayo to Sonoko but the cover is broken up. Kicks by Nagayo, Fukuoka tags in and goes for a suplex, but Nagayo blocks it. Spinning headscissors by Fukuoka, she goes for a hurricanrana but Nagayo catches her and hits a powerbomb. Nagayo tags Chikayo, roll-up by Chikayo but Fukuoka kicks out. Fukuoka goes for a Space Rolling Elbow but Chikayo moves, Tomori tries to help with a missile dropkick but she hits Chikayo by accident. Moonsault by Fukuoka to Chikayo, but Nagayo breaks it up. Fukuoka picks up Chikayo and gives her an airplane spin, but again the cover is broken up by Chikayo’s friends. Powerbomb by Fukuoka to Chikayo, she goes up top and nails the Rider Kick to Chikayo’s chest for the three count! Hikari Fukuoka, Sonoko Kato, and Kanako Motoya win!

This was an incredibly fun match and a great way to kick things off. Everything clicked so well, the rookies were going 100% from bell to bell and Fukuoka/Nagayo did their bits when needed to support them. Nagayo was a bit of a dick but only towards her own trainees, as she generally respected Fukuoka’s offense and sold her injured leg for as long as one could expect. Everyone got a chance to shine and they kept up the pace to keep it interesting. Really solid six woman match to open the show.  Recommended

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Dynamite Kansai, Makie Numao, and Yasuko Kuragaki vs. KAORU, Satomura, and Tomoko Kuzumi
Super Scramble Six Women Tag Tournament Semi Final

Onto the other Semi Final match, with teams that follow the same pattern as the first. Dynamite Kansai is the veteran of her team, and she is joined by rookies Makie (GAEA Japan) and Yasuko Kuragaki (JWP). Kuragaki still is wrestling, as Tsubasa Kuragaki, while Dynamite just retired last year. On the other team, KAORU from GAEA Japan is the seasoned vet with super rookie Meiko Satomura and Tomoko Kuzumi. Tomoko represents JWP and is better known to fans today as Azumi Hyuga.

Kansai throws her rookie teammates at their opponents before the bell rings to give them an early advantage, they stack their opponents in the corner but KAORU quickly gains the advantage and hits a moonsault on Kansai for a two count. Kansai quickly gets back to her feet and hits a Northern Lights Suplex, KAORU and Kansai trade strikes until Makie and Yasuko come into the ring to help. Yasuko stays in as legal but KAORU quickly takes over and tags in Tomoko. Yasuko snapmares Tomoko around and tags in Makie, dropkicks by Makie and she covers Tomoko for two. Tomoko tags in Meiko, jumping shoulderblocks by Meiko and she covers Makie for a two count. Meiko applies a bodyscissors, she then puts Makie in a camel clutch but Yasuko breaks it up. Meiko tags in Tomoko, dropkicks by Tomoko but Makie slides around her and applies a schoolboy for two. Makie tags in Yasuko, Yasuko tosses Tomoko around the ring and hits a scoop slam. Headscissors by Yasuko and she drives Tomoko’s head into the mat, Kansai returns and she kicks Tomoko around the ring. Sleeper by Kansai, she throws Tomoko into the corner and tells KAORU to tag in. KAORU does, backdrop suplex by Kansai and she covers KAORU for two. Kansai puts KAORU in a Scorpion Deathlock, KAORU’s teammates try to break it up but Kansai doesn’t budge.

gaea9-23-2They finally get Kansai off, Kansai tags in Makie and Makie delivers a diving crossbody. KAORU slaps Makie and kicks her repeatedly before tagging in Meiko, Meiko applies a cross armbreaker, KAORU comes in and applies a cross armbreaker on the other arm too, but it gets broken up. Yasuko tags in while Meiko tags in KAORU, dropkick by KAORU and she covers Yasuko for two. KAORU applies a crab hold but Yasuko eventually gets to the ropes, KAORU tags in Tomoko and hits a jumping crossbody for a two count. Yasuko hits a dropkick and tags in Kansai, sunset flip by Tomoko to Kansai and she tags in KAORU. Lariat by Kansai in the corner but KAORU ducks the next one, KAORU tries to rebound out of the corner but can’t complete the move so she applies an ankle hold instead. Kansai gets to the ropes for the break, KAORU tags in Tomoko and Tomoko dropkicks Kansai repeatedly in the leg. Meiko comes in and they both dropkick Kansai, but Kansai falls in her own corner and tags in Makie. Tomoko elbows Makie but Makie puts her in a Dragon Sleeper, Meiko tries to break up the second one but Yasuko dropkicks her. Missile dropkick by Yasuko to Tomoko, and with Makie they slam Tomoko to the mat. Yasuko kicks Tomoko into the corner but Tomoko sneaks in a sunset flip for two.

Meiko is tagged in and she hits jumping shoulderblocks to Yasuko, Meiko goes up top but Yasuko avoids her dive and dropkicks her in the back of the head. Yasuko goes up top but KAORU grabs her from the apron, giving Meiko time to pull Yasuko off the top turnbuckle and apply a cross armbreaker. Short armbar by Meiko but Kansai breaks it up, things break down a bit with some of the action spilling to the floor. Yasuko and Meiko stay in the ring, Yasuko slams Meiko but KAORU breaks up the cover. Yasuko picks up Meiko but Meiko applies a short armbar, she lets go and charges Yasuko but Yasuko slaps her and tags in Makie. Irish whip by Makie and she hits a back bodydrop, cover by Makie but Meiko bridges out of it. KAORU hits Makie from the apron and Meiko tags in Tomoko, Tomoko stomps on Makie and she hits a swandive missile dropkick. Swandive crossbody by Tomoko, but her cover is broken up by both her other opponents. Meiko comes in and cradles Makie, but she isn’t legal so the referee just looks at her funny. Tomoko recovers, she goes out to the apron and hits a swandive sunset flip, picking up the three count! KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Tomoko Kuzumi are the winners and continue to the finals.

This wasn’t as smooth as the opening match, pretty clunky in parts. It wasn’t bad, but it went a bit too long and not enough really happened to justify its length. Tomoko looked really good and Meiko showed her usual fire, so the issue wasn’t with the wrestlers themselves, it just really didn’t tell a story and didn’t have the same exciting feeling that the opener had. Decent enough, and the rookies are really coming along nicely, but just too back-and-forth with not enough substance to really hold my attention.

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18 Women Battle Royal

This is not a ‘time release’ battle royal, so all 18 wrestlers start in the ring. Battle royals in Japan are typically more lighthearted affairs, nothing is gained by winning and they tend to just be full of cute spots and wrestlers not taking things too seriously. All the wrestlers in the losing teams so far are in this match, plus a lot of other wrestlers that just wanted in on the fun.

The match starts with Bolshoi Kid, Bomber Hikari, Chigusa Nagayo, Chihiro Nakano, Chikayo Nagashima, Cuty Suzuki, Devil Masami, Dynamite Kansai, Makie Numao, Mayumi Ozaki, Rieko Amano, Saburo, Tomoko Miyaguchi, Tomomi Kobayashi, Toshie Sato, Toshie Uematsu, Yasuko Kuragaki, and Yuki Miyazaki all in the ring. I am not going to do normal play by play for this since its chaotic, but the first part of the match is mostly ganging up on the veterans since that is the only way to pin someone like Nagayo or Devil Masami. Let’s jump ahead to the final three, which are Bolshoi Kid, Bomber Hikari, and Saburo. Bolshoi Kid is double teamed by Saburo and Bomber, Bomber goes up top but Bolshoi pushes her from behind. Bomber thinks that Saburo did it and fusses at her, Saburo charges Bolshoi but Bolshoi pushes Saburo into Bomber. This makes Bomber mad again, giving Bolshoi a chance to hit a missile dropkick to the back of Bomber’s head.

gaea9-23-3Bomber and Bolshoi end up double teaming Saburo, Bomber goes up top but she has to keep directing Bolshoi where to slam Saburo so she can dive onto her. Bolshoi finally does it right, diving double jump bodypress by Bomber, but Saburo kicks out. Saburo goes up top but Bomber slams her off, Bolshoi breaks up the pin for reasons unknown but Bomber drops Saburo with the Bombs Away. Bomber goes up top while Bolshoi positions Saburo, diving headbutt by Bomber but Bolshoi quickly covers Saburo for the three count behind Bomber’s back. Saburo is eliminated, leaving just Bolshoi and Bomber. Bolshoi wants to part of Bomber so she bails out of the ring, she finally gets back in and Bomber drops Bolshoi with the Bombs Away for a two count. Bomber goes for it again but Bolshoi reverses it into a cradle for two. Bolshoi goes off the ropes but Bomber catches her with a powerslam, rebound crossbody by Bolshoi out of the corner but Bomber kicks out of the cover. Scoop slam by Bomber but Bolshoi avoids her stomps, rebound elbow by Bolshoi and she covers Bomber for two. Bolshoi goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, but that gets a two count as well. Bolshoi tries to slam Bomber but Bomber blocks it and puts Bolshoi in an airplane spin, but Bolshoi quickly recovers. Misteriorana by Bolshoi, and she picks up the three count! Bolshoi Kid wins the Battle Royal!

As I mentioned above, this type of match isn’t something you’d have high expectations for. The veterans had fun, allowing the young wrestlers to do well but it was all with a smile on their face as losing in these matches means nothing. Bolshoi Kid back in the mid-90s was mostly comedy, she could wrestle but stayed within her gimmick most of the time. Mindless fun but nothing more than that.

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Hikari Fukuoka, Sonoko Kato, and Kanako vs. KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Tomoko Kuzumi
Super Scramble Six Women Tag Tournament Final

All six of the wrestlers got a nice break due to the long Battle Royal, so everyone should be somewhat fresh. As I mentioned above, both teams have one veteran (Hikari and KAORU, respectively) and two rookies, with the teams being split between GAEA Japan and JWP. The winner of the tournament doesn’t get anything, except for some bragging rights to use on future shows if applicable. Mostly it just gives the rookies experience working with new wrestlers, which is never a bad thing.

KAORU and Fukuoka start the match and waste no time getting right to it, as Fukuoka hits a lariat but KAORU follows with a dropkick. Fukuoka cartwheels away from KAORU and hits another dropkick, and both wrestlers return to their feet to face off again. Fukuoka tags in Sonoko while Meiko also tags in, and both wrestlers kick each other. Dropkicks by Sonoko and she hits a scoop slam, crab hold by Sonoko but Meiko gets to the ropes for the break. Kanako tags in and she bounces Meiko off the ropes, dropkick by Kanako and she covers Meiko for two. Meiko comes back with a hard elbow and tags in Tomoko, dropkicks by Tomoko and she slams Kanako. Sleeper by Tomoko and she then applies a bodyscissors, but Kanako gets to the ropes. Tomoko tags in KAORU, suplex by KAORU and she covers Kanako for two. Another suplex by KAORU and she applies a camel clutch until Sonoko breaks it up, Fukuoka comes in too and she puts KAORU in a figure four leglock. Meiko tries to break it up but Fukuoka keeps the hold on anyway, KAORU eventually gets out of it but Fukuoka slams her to the mat and tags in Sonoko. Kneelock by Sonoko and Kanako puts KAORU in a kneelock as well, then Fukuoka puts KAORU in a headscissors. Kanako stays in as legal, KAORU finally gets a move in and makes the tag to Tomoko. Crossbody by Tomoko, but Kanako bridges out of the pin. Tomoko grabs her to stop the bridge and puts Kanako in a crab hold, Kanako gets out of it and she boots Tomoko in the chest. Another boot by Kanako and she slams Tomoko in front of the corner before tagging in Fukuoka. Fukuoka comes in the ring with a missile dropkick, but Tomoko falls in her corner and tags in Meiko.

gaea9-23-4Meiko eats a dropkick too, cover by Fukuoka but it gets two. Double wrist-clutch armsault by Fukuoka, but the cover is broken up. Side headlock by Fukuoka, she picks up Meiko and chokes her before slamming Meiko to the mat. Fukuoka tags Sonoko and they both shoulderblock Meiko, Sonoko snapmares Meiko and puts her in a headscissors. Meiko fires back with elbows and hits a running elbow smash in the corner before tagging in KAORU. Scoop slam by KAORU and she puts Sonoko in a Mexican Surfboard until Fukuoka pushes them over, Irish whip by Meiko to Sonoko and she hits a jumping shoulderblock. Another one by Meiko and she hits a third, one final shoulderblock by Meiko and she covers Sonoko for two. Double swandive missile dropkick to Sonoko, but Sonoko bridges out of the pin. Cross armbreaker by Meiko, but Kanako breaks it up. Space Rolling Elbow by Fukuoka to Meiko but Meiko avoids the second one, cross armbreaker takedown by Meiko but Fukuoka gets a foot on the ropes. Meiko tags KAORU, KAORU goes up top but Fukuoka rolls out of the way of the moonsault. Sonoko comes up from behind and hits a bulldog, missile dropkick by Kanako to KAORU and she covers her for two. KAORU is put into the Tree of Woe and triple teamed, Kanako goes to pick up KAORU but KAORU blocks her and hits a piledriver.

Elbows by KAORU to Kanako but Kanako applies a wheelbarrow roll-up for a two count. Kanako tags in Sonoko, bulldog by Sonoko and she hits the Acid Drop out of the corner. Sonoko picks up KAORU and goes for a second one, but KAORU pushes her off and boots Sonoko in the face. She goes for another boot but Sonoko catches her leg, hard slap by KAORU but Sonoko rolls her up from behind. Sonoko tags Fukuoka, and Fukuoka comes in the ring with a diving crossbody. KAORU rolls through it and tags in Tomoko, Fukuoka gets Tomoko on her shoulders but Tomoko slides off and rolls her up for two. KAORU flies into the ring with a missile dropkick, Meiko goes up top and hits a diving bodypress before Tomoko hits one of her own. Moonsault by KAORU, but Fukuoka bridges out of the pin. KAORU picks up Fukuoka but Fukuoka avoids the brainbuster and hits an Aztec Suplex Hold for a two count. Sonoko and Kanako both hit diving bodypresses onto KAORU, moonsault by Fukuoka and she quickly hits two more moonsaults, but Meiko breaks up the cover. Sonoko and Kanako put KAORU on the top turnbuckle, Fukuoka then charges her and DDTs KAORU from the top turnbuckle to the mat. Rider Kick by Fukuoka, but again the cover is broken up. Fukuoka goes back up top and dives out of the ring onto Meiko and Tomoko, she returns to the ring and goes to the top turnbuckle, but KAORU avoids the moonsault footstomp and hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Fukuoka tries to go up top but is grabbed by Meiko and Tomoko, avalanche armdrag by KAORU to Fukuoka and she puts her in La Magistral, but they end up in the ropes. While all of this is happening there is constantly interference and action around the ring, Fukuoka goes up top but KAORU dropkicks her in the middle of her moonsault attempt. Brainbuster by KAORU to Fukuoka and she nails the swandive moonsault for the three count! KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Tomoko Kuzumi win the tournament!

This match took a bit to get going, but the last five minutes were crazy. It should be noted that even though they all had wrestled earlier, they still were going 100% full tilt the entire match, without any signs of being tired. Their cardio is insane. KAORU and Fukuoka provided the ‘veteran base’ really well and hit all their high spots, both were flying all over the place to keep the match excitement up. The double and triple team spots looked good and while I think the tag rules were pretty loose it didn’t hurt the match any since both sides were doing it. The ending stretch was just constantly something happening, and they hardly gave the viewer a chance to catch their breath with all the action going on. Maybe a smidge too long as it was almost 25 minutes, and we had already seen two similarly structured six woman tag matches, but still a fun match overall.  Mildly Recommended