OZ Academy “Farewell, Dynamite Kansai!” on 12/11/16 Review

Event: OZ Academy: Dynamite Kansai Produce “Farewell, Dynamite Kansai!”
Date: December 11th, 2016
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 2,100

After a 30 year career, the legendary Joshi wrestler Dynamite Kansai is hanging up her boots. This wasn’t a surprise, as she announced it early in the year and the last few months have had a variety of different farewell type events for her. But this is the final farewell, her last chance to say goodbye to all her fans. Korakuen Hall was packed for the event, and lots of both current and former wrestlers were on hand for the festivities. Here is the full card:

Per usual, you can click on the wrestler’s name above to go to their profile on Joshi City if I have one. All the matches except the main event will be heavily clipped, as they needed time for Dynamite Kansai’s Retirement Ceremony at the conclusion of the show.

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Bolshoi Kid, Reika, and Bachiko vs. Kaori Yoneyama, Yuki Miyazaki, and Aoi Kizuki

This one was short, further clipped, and silly enough that I had no idea what was going on. I don’t even know who some of these wrestlers are and I know almost literally every Joshi wrestler, but it was such a short opening match I didn’t feel like it was worth my trouble researching it. Looked like they had some cosplayers though. Anyway, a short match further clipped and a skippable affair.

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Manami Toyota and Hana Kimura vs. Yumi Ohka and Maya Yukihi

I’ll talk more about this one since it has wrestlers I adore in it. Manami Toyota is one of the top wrestlers in Joshi history, she must enjoy it since she still wrestles regularly even though its usually in matches like this. Hana Kimura is a champion in Stardom and daughter of Kyoko Kimura, she is still in her first year of wrestling. On the other size is two members of the Ozaki Army, Maya is back to wearing her black leather look and has her whip with her. Mio Shirai is the referee, she is also affiliated with Ozaki Army so this will not be a fair fight.

oz12-11-1We join this one in progress, with Toyota in the ring with Ohka. Toyota goes up top and hits a moonsault, but Maya breaks up the cover. Toyota tags in Hana, jumping knee by Hana in the corner and she hits another one before dropkicking Ohka to the mat for a two count. Hana picks up Ohka and hits a vertical suplex, she goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, but Mio does the count really slow so that Hana can’t pick up the win. Hana goes off the ropes but Ohka catches her with a boot, Hana rolls up Ohka but Mio does another slow count. Ohka and Hana trade covers while Mio alternates if she counts fast or slow, Maya comes in with her whip and whips Toyota out of the ring. Big boot by Hana to Ohka, but Ohka barely gets a shoulder up. Hana goes off the ropes but Ohka spins her around and Maya whips her in the face. Big boot by Ohka, and she picks up the three count! Yumi Ohka and Maya Yukihi are the winners.

Obviously this was too clipped to get a feel of, with us joining the match 75% of the way into it, but I liked what I saw. I don’t normally like heel referees but I adore Mio, so that makes it more bearable. Maya is a beast with the whip, and Hana got a lot of offense in on Ohka before she went down to the big boot. Probably a pretty fun match in full.

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Hiroyo Matsumoto and Rina Yamashita vs. Syuri and Hikaru Shida

oz12-11-2Now here is a quality group of wrestlers. Syuri and Hikaru have been tearing up the scene the last few months, and come into the match as both the Sendai Girls’ and OZ Academy Tag Team Champions. Hiroyo and Rina are not a regular tag team and usually are on opposite sides, which is likely why this is not a title match. Hiroyo is the OZ Academy Openweight Champion however so all of OZ Academy’s titles are represented in the match.

The clip starts with Hikaru alone in the ring with Hiroyo and Rina, and they hit her with a double lariat. Another lariat by Hiroyo, she covers Hikaru but Syuri breaks it up. Hiroyo picks up Hikaru but Hikaru hits an enzuigiri, she charges Hiroyo but Hiroyo delivers a discus lariat. Hikaru gets her kendo stick but Rina stops her from using it, Hiroyo goes to lariat Hikaru but she hits Rina by accident. Three Count by Hikaru to Hiroyo, she follows with the Soul of the Three Count for the three count cover! Syuri and Hikaru Shida are the winners.

Well this match was even more clipped than the last one. We barely got a taste of the action but what they showed was crisp, all four are quality wrestlers. Way too cut up but a fun one minute clip anyway.

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Aja Kong, Hamada, Kyoko Kimura, and Kuragaki vs. Kato, AKINO, Kobayashi, and Kagetsu

This is likely the last match for MISSION K4, at least for the foreseeable future, since Kaho is leaving for Mexico soon and Kagetsu after the last match agreed to team with Hiroyo to go for the Oz Academy Tag Team Championship. They face off against a very strong veteran team, led by the legendary Aja Kong. Together, Aja Kong’s team has 82 years of wrestling experience, so they have the upper hand going into the match.

oz12-11-3Hamada and Kagetsu are battling as we join the match, Kagetsu rolls up Hamada before leveling her with a spear for a two count. She tags in Kato, kicks by Kato to Hamada but the pin attempt is broken up. Kato picks up Hamada but Hamada hits a sit-down powerbomb for a two count. Hamada tags in Kyoko, Kyoko goes for a boot but Kato catches her leg and hits a dragon screw. Kato goes for a kick but Kyoko catches her leg and headbutts it, high kick by Kato but Kyoko absorbs the blow and hits a chokebomb for two. Kyoko picks up Kato but Kato nails the Dragon Valley, she tags in AKINO while Kuragaki is also tagged in. Jawbreaker by AKINO but Kuragaki kicks her in the head, lariat by Kuragaki in the corner and she goes up top, but Kaho grabs her from the apron. AKINO joins Kuragaki but Kuragaki blocks the superplex attempt and tosses AKINO back to the mat. Backdrop suplex by Kuragaki, Kaho comes in along with Kagetsu as things start to break down. High kick by Kato but Kong comes in with her metal paint can and hits everyone in the head with it. Kyoko hits a big boot on AKINO, heel kick by Hamada and Kong finishes her with a slap to the face. Metal Wing by Kuragaki, but the cover is broken up. Kuragaki picks up AKINO but AKINO gets away form her, Kong tries to lariat AKINO but she hits Kuragaki by accident. All their teammates run in but they cancel each other out, leaving AKINO and Kuragaki alone in the ring. Lariat by Kuragaki, and she covers AKINO for two. Kuragaki picks up AKINO and hits back and forth lariats, she goes off the ropes but AKINO catches her with a high kick. Frankensteiner by AKINO, and she picks up the three count! MISSION K4 are your winners!

A little more of this match was shown than the others, but it was still cut to a third. Kong got to take it easy in the portion that we saw, as Kuragaki did the bulk of the work. They are a bit older than what we have seen so far but everyone can still move to a decent degree, some stiff strikes and impressive power from Kuragaki. As is the common theme today, too clipped up but a decent watch.

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Dynamite Kansai vs. Mayumi Ozaki
Dynamite Kansai’s Retirement Match

All the other matches on this show were heavily clipped so that GAORA could give as much time as possible to Dynamite Kansai. And she has earned it of course, every second of it, as what a career Dynamite Kansai has had. Kansai had a dozen championship reigns over a 30 year career that saw her wrestle in AJW, JWP, OZ Academy, WCW, BJW, Jd’, and everywhere between. She overcame injuries, backstage politics, and even cancer to have some of the most memorable battles in Joshi history. But all good things must end, and Dynamite Kansai is going out on her own terms, on her own retirement show against one of her best enemies. Kansai has wrestled primarily in Ozaki’s OZ Academy since 2000, and she has had more matches with and against Ozaki than she’d likely care to count as they have been wrestling together since the early 90s in JWP. In the last match of her career, Kansai will try to take down her friend, her enemy, and her boss before riding off into the sunset to enjoy what will hopefully be a long and enjoyable retirement.

oz12-11-4Before we even get started, you should know that Ozaki Army is at ringside and Kansai has lots of friends at ringside too, so it is going to be a crazy match. They lock knuckles, but Ozaki bites Kansai in the arm and applies a camel clutch before the Ozaki Army runs in to stomp on Kansai. Kansai is already bleeding above the ear so Ozaki rips at it, Kansai lariats her in the corner but Ozaki throws her out of the ring and Kansai is assaulted on the floor by Police. He gets a chain and chokes Kansai with it, they all get back into the ring and Kansai is chokes by all the members of the Ozaki Army. Chairs are piled up in the ring and Kansai is thrown onto the stack before getting hit with more chairs, as the Ozaki Army takes turns throwing chairs at Kansai. They then get the chain and choke Kansai with it, Kansai blocks the suplex attempt but Ozaki connects with a double chop to the face. Armlock takedown by Ozaki, but Kansai gets to the ropes to break the hold. Armbreakers by Ozaki but Kansai slaps on a sleeper, adding a bodyscissors, but Ozaki Army runs in to break it up. Finally MISSION K4 runs in to help and clears the ring so that Kansai can keep the hold locked on, but Ozaki gets into the ropes to force the break. Kansai picks up Ozaki, quick armdrag by Ozaki but Kansai fires back with a lariat. Back up, Kansai goes for a backdrop suplex, but Ozaki Army runs in to attack Kansai. MISSION K4 return to even the odds, other wrestlers such as Aoi Kizuki and Rina Yamashita come in too and everyone attacks Ozaki in the corner. Dynamite clearly doesn’t watch enough Joshi retirement matches, as she at first is excited for the help until she is turned on and everyone does the same to her in the other corner (in most modern Retirement matches, the wrestler retiring gets a series of running attacks in the corner by everyone as a way of saying “goodbye”.).

oz12-11-4aOzaki goes last but Kansai lariats her, MISSION K4 stays in to help but after Kansai hits Splash Mountain the ring fills with Ozaki Army. Aja Kong makes a surprise appearance and tries to help, but she lariats Kansai by accident and Ozaki Army takes back over. They hang Kansai over the top rope before taking her into the crowd, and Kansai is attacked by the chain and chairs as she is led around the bleachers. They finally return to the ring but Ozaki continues attacking Kansai with the chain, but Kansai is eventually able to connect with a backdrop suplex. A second backdrop suplex by Kansai and two more, she hits another backdrop suplex as each one wears down Ozaki a bit more. She hits another one for good measure, one more backdrop suplex and she covers Ozaki for a two count. Kansai picks up Ozaki but Ozaki quickly rolls her up for two, Kansai retorts with a big boot but Police and company break up the pin. Kansai lariats Ohka and Yukihi, Police tries to lariat Kansai but she doesn’t go down. Ozaki tries to spit red mist at Kansai but she ducks, with Police being hit with it instead so the two legends are alone in the ring again. Kansai and Ozaki trade strikes, Ozaki gets the better of the battle and she covers Kansai for two. Ozakick by Ozaki, but AKINO from ringside breaks up the cover. Ozaki gets a table and lays it on top of Kansai, she goes up top and hits a somersault senton onto it for a two count. Ozaki sets up the table this time but Kansai hits a backdrop suplex when she goes to pick her up. She calls for MISSION K4 to come in and help her keep the Ozaki Army at bay, she goes up onto the table with Ozaki and piledrives her through it! Cover by Kansai, but Ozaki barely gets a shoulder up. Green Fall by Kansai, she goes up to the top turnbuckle  and she hits a diving footstomp, but the cover is broken up. MISSION K4 helps clear the ring, Kansai picks up Ozaki and she delivers one final Splash Mountain, picking up the three count! Dynamite Kansai wins!

After the match, they show Dynamite Kansai’s Retirement Ceremony, which includes old friends/foes coming to the ring to say goodbye, a speech, and of course some streamers. Very touching and emotional for everybody.

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There are so many ways to look at a match like this. Purely in a vacuum, this is not my favorite style of match. I really don’t like the OZ Academy’s big match style with lots of interference, it just isn’t my cup of tea. Every time Kansai got an upper hand there were three or four people of Ozaki Army in the ring and it happened so much it just killed the flow of the match. Having MISSION K4 at ringside helped even things up, but it just made the entire 30 minute match a cluster. As a Retirement Match though it mostly worked, as the crowd was super hot throughout and Kansai was giving every ounce she had to put on her best. I mean you have two older broken down Joshi wrestlers going 30 minutes, and while I had my issues with the match structure it never felt slow or plodding, they were going all out. The mid-match “retirement” spot with everyone attacking Dynamite in the corner was really touching, especially when wrestlers like Manami Toyota took her turn, and moments like that really help these matches feel special. Kansai winning was nice too, doesn’t always happen in retirement matches but she overcame a lot here and deserved it. Looking at it as a spectacle and special moment, I enjoyed watching it overall, even though the constant interference didn’t do a lot for me. A recommended watch for long time Joshi fans, however newer fans that don’t have any emotional attachment to what is going on may not enjoy it.  Recommended