Event: SEAdLINNNG “Let’s Get d!!!”
Date: March 7th, 2016
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 988
This is event that has been talked about for almost two months, and it finally aired early this morning. The big talking point about this match, of course, is the return of Yoshiko. For those that are newer to Joshi, last February Yoshiko was in a match against Act Yasukawa which lead to Yoshiko intentionally injuring Yasukawa. The incident got a lot of press in Japan, and eventually Yasukawa was forced to retire, as her already damaged eye was further injured by Yoshiko. Yoshiko resigned from Stardom, but re-appeared in January in SEAdLINNNG. Nanae Takahashi is friends with Yoshiko, and left Stardom around the same time that Yoshiko did as there was a lot of backstage dissension. So that leads to this event, with Yoshiko having her first match in over a year. There are other fun things on this show though, as many great wrestlers are on the event. Here is the full card:
- Emi Sakura vs. Konami
- Command Bolshoi and MIZUKI vs. Kagetsu and Tsukasa Fujimoto
- Dynamite Kansai, Takako Inoue, and Yuki Miyazaki vs. “Big Bang” Nicole, Meiko Tanaka, and Sareee
- Rina Yamashita and Syuri vs. Ryo Mizunami and Yumiko Hotta
- Nanae Takahashi vs. Yoshiko
There is a lot of potential for goodness here, let’s see how it goes.
Emi Sakura vs. Konami
We kick off the event with a veteran leader vs. young wrestler match, but a unique one that hasn’t happened before. Sakura runs Gatoh Move, a promotion I have talked about some as they wrestle mostly in really small arenas. But Sakura is a great teacher, as she was one of the trainers in Ice Ribbon for many years. Konami is the young former protege of Kana, but once Kana left she has been mostly wrestling in REINA. Konami has shown a lot in just a year of wrestling, so I expect this to be a pretty even match between the two.
Konami gets the early advantage with a running knee to the head, but Sakura comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Sakura’s lip is already bleeding as she throws Konami in the corner and hits a crossbody. Sakura goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a footstomp followed by a reverse splash for two. She goes all the way up this time but Konami avoids the moonsault, high kick by Konami and she hits a fisherman suplex hold for two. Buzzsaw Kick by Konami, but Sakura gets her foot on the ropes. She goes for another one but Sakura ducks it, backslide by Konami but it gets two. Double underhook into a twisting slam by Sakura, she goes up top and she nails the Nyannyan Press for the three count! Sakura is your winner!
This is about as good as a short opener can be, even though it was clipped. Konami is so good with her strikes, if she stays in wrestling she is going to be a high level Freelancer in the near future. Sakura balanced well between giving Konami a shot while still being the veteran in control, as she stayed a step ahead of Konami for much of the match. Too little was shown to recommend highly but it was still a really solid way to kick things off. Mildly Recommended
Command Bolshoi and MIZUKI vs. Kagetsu and Tsukasa Fujimoto
Unlike the last match, this one will be a bit more of a lighthearted affair. The first clue is that the wrestlers in this match are pretty random as they all come from different promotions. The second clue is the referee of the match is Natsuki Taiyo, and in the other matches she has refereed there tends to be some comedy spots. Still though, I like all four of these wrestlers and it won’t go full comedy, it will just have some amusing parts with Taiyo flying around.
Kagetsu and MIZUKI start off the match, they trade armdrags until Kagetsu kicks MIZUKI in the face. Kagetsu slams MIZUKI but MIZUKI comes back with a dropkick. Kagetsu hits her own dropkick as they go back and forth, Fujimoto runs in and MIZUKI hits a crossbody on both of them with a little help from Taiyo. Bolshoi comes in to face off with Fujimoto, and she hits a reverse STO. Fujimoto kicks Bolshoi and they go through a similar exchange going back and forth until Bolshoi quickly rolls up Fujimoto for a two count. They trade quick pin attempts with no luck, MIZUKI comes in the ring and she trades elbows with Fujimoto. MIZUKI hits a headscissors on Taiyo by accident, then Fujimoto dropkicks Taiyo in the corner. Just because. Taiyo hits a dropkick of her own, MIZUKI rolls up Taiyo but it gets a one count (not a legitimate one of course). Taiyo and Fujimoto spill outside the ring while everyone else keeps wrestling inside of it, and Kagetsu slams Bolshoi into the corner.
Missile dropkick by Kagetsu but Bolshoi catches her with a reverse double armbar. Kagetsu muscles out of it but Bolshoi puts her in a stretch hold. Taiyo makes her break it and they go through a comedy bit with Taiyo getting the better of Kagetsu and Fujimoto. Fujimoto dropkicks Taiyo out of the ring but Bolshoi takes care of both of them, she covers Fujimoto but it gets a two count. Kagetsu hits a missile dropkick on Bolshoi, Samoan Drop by Kagetsu but MIZUKI drops her with a swandive crossbody. Fujimoto grabs MIZUKI but it is broken up, and all four of them run the ropes. MIZUKI is isolated in the ring, suplex by Kagetsu but Bolshoi breaks up the cover. MIZUKI and Fujimoto trade quick pin attempts while Bolshoi knocks Kagetsu out of the ring before diving out with a pescado. Fujimoto slams MIZUKI in the ring but MIZUKI keeps getting up. MIZUKI goes for a wing clutch hold but Fujimoto reverses it, and Fujimoto applies the Venus Clutch for the three count! Kagetsu and Fujimoto are your winners.
A bit too silly for my personal tastes. I like Taiyo a lot, I wish she would just start wrestling again as she clearly has the passion for it, but all of her matches as a referee are pretty similar. I don’t know if there was an official or unofficial rule but Taiyo kept making everyone run off the ropes even when it wasn’t really logical, so there was very little structure. There were some really well done spots and it was a smooth match, just a bit too goofy and random for me.
Dynamite Kansai, Takako Inoue, and Miyazaki vs. “Big Bang” Nicole, Tanaka, and Sareee
While on paper this looks like a bunch of random wrestlers thrown together, there is some method to the madness. Kansai and Inoue are both legends, and legends tend to team up when the opportunity presents itself. On the other side, Tanaka and Sareee are a regular tag team, and Nicole has been wrestling in Diana for much of the year so she is familar with her partners here. Kansai and Inoue are past their wrestling prime but still put in maximum effort, so there shouldn’t be an issue of anyone coasting through the match.
Kansai and Sareee kick things off, Kansai elbows Sareee hard but with Tanaka’s help, Sareee dropkicks Kansai to the mat. Sareee goes for a slam but Kansai has none of it and hits a slam of her own. Kansai tags Inoue, DDT by Inoue and she stands on Sareee by the ropes. Inoue puts Sareee in a submission and Kansai kicks Sareee in the chest. Miyazaki is in next as Sareee continues taking the beatdown until she fires back with elbows, giving her time to tag in Tanaka. Tanaka and Sareee double team Miyazaki in the corner before Tanaka dropkicks her in the ring. Sareee is tagged back in but Miyazaki knocks her down with a jumping lariat, jumping elbow in the corner but Sareee rolls away from her and rolls up Miyazaki for two. Miyazaki kicks Sareee and hits a dropkick, she drags Sareee’s head over the bottom rope and hits a leg drop. Sliding apron kick by Miyazaki, Inoue and Kansai come in to the ring to hold off Sareee’s friends while Miyazaki puts Sareee in a submission hold.
Tanaka manages to break it up, Inoue is tagged in and she trades elbows with Sareee, dropkick by Sareee and she rolls Inoue to the mat before hitting a footstomp. Sareee tags in Nicole and Nicole sits down on Inoue for a two count. High kick by Inoue and she tags Kansai, kicks to the leg by Kansai but Nicole hits a body avalanche in the corner. Handstand body press by Nicole and she tags in Tanaka, Tanaka goes for shoulderblocks but Kansai doesn’t go down. Kansai applies THE CLAW but Tanaka is saved, they Irish whip Kansai but Kansai lariats both of them. Kansai kicks Tanaka and tags Miyazaki, Miyazaki goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. TKO by Miyazaki and she covers Tanaka for two. Miyazaki goes up top but Sareee grabs her, Tanaka tries to join Miyazaki but Inoue pulls her off. Miyazaki goes for the moonsault but Tanaka gets her feet up, now Tanaka goes up top and she hits a diving senton for a near three count. High kick by Miyazaki but Tanaka fires back with a spear. Kansai runs in and lariats Sareee, Miyazaki kisses Tanaka and rolls her up for two. Gedo Clutch by Miyazaki and she gets the three count! Kansai, Inoue, and Miyazaki win the match.
A mixed bag with some good wrestling, but it didn’t really have a lot of cohesiveness and there really didn’t need to be six wrestlers. Nicole did very little as did Inoue, it wouldn’t have hurt the match if this was just a four woman tag team affair and the wrestlers had more of a chance to shine. Tanaka has really stepped up her game the last few months, she looked the best here as she hit everything well and was always on the same page as her veteran opponents. The ending was chaotic but entertaining, it didn’t drag on too long before Miyazaki snuck in the win. More good than bad for sure as there were some nice sections, but it needed either more time or less wrestlers to really gel. Mildly Recommended
Rina Yamashita and Syuri vs. Ryo Mizunami and Yumiko Hotta
Here is a unique mixture of wrestlers that you will only see on random independent events. Neither are regular tag teams, as Yamashita is based out of Daijo (although she wrestles in WAVE a lot) while Syuri is a Freelancer that until very recently was affiliated with REINA. On the other team, Mizunami is affiliated with WAVE while Hotta is affiliated with Diana. It is an odd combination for sure, we’ll see how they all get along.
Yamashita and Mizunami take the first rotation, they are familiar with each other so a smart way to begin. They start slow with strikes and submissions, they both try to knock each other over until Yamashita shoulderblocks Mizunami down. Mizunami returns the favor and then elbows Yamashita in the corner, running lariat by Mizunami and she covers Yamashita for two. Hotta is tagged in, she trades strikes with Yamashita until Yamashita hits a back bodydrop. Kick to the chest by Yamashita but Mizunami comes into the ring to help Hotta. Yamashita lariats Hotta and tags Syuri, kicks by Syuri to Hotta and she knees her into the corner. Jumping knee by Syuri and she kicks Hotta in the back, cover by Syuri but she gets two. Syuri goes for Hotta’s arm but Hotta gets into the ropes, Hotta knees Syuri in the stomach to regain the advantage and they take turns kicking each other in the back. Yamashita and Mizunami are both tagged in, suplex by Yamashita and she puts Mizunami in the sleeper. Mizunami throws Yamashita to get out of the hold and they trade lariats, elbows by Mizunami but Yamashita knocks her to the mat. Yamashita suplexes Mizunami and applies the sleeper again, but Hotta breaks it up. Syuri is in the ring but Hotta hits a face crusher on both of them, lariat by Mizunami on Yamashita but Syuri breaks up the cover. Spear by Mizunami on Yamashita, but the cover only gets two. Mizunami gets Yamashita on her back but Yamashita reverses it into a sleeper. Hotta breaks it up, Syuri comes in to take care of Hotta, Syuri kicks Mizunami in the head and Yamashita applies a sleeper. Syuri kicks Mizunami again to speed up the process, Yamashita keeps the hold applied on the mat and Mizunami is out! Yamashita and Syuri are the winners of the match.
My main issue here is a good chunk of the match was clipped, which is never ideal. The match was a bit disjointed because of that, I will say that I loved Yamashita’s fire here. My opinion of Yamashita fluctuates, I do think she is limited but she showed a lot of emotion and it really made the match feel important. There wasn’t enough Syuri shown though, she is my favorite of the bunch and I wanted to see her face off against Hotta more. Unfortunately the main thing she did here was the ‘we take turns sitting down and being kicked’ thing which I don’t particular like. What I did like was the ending, really loved Syuri kicking Mizunami in the head to ‘enhance’ Yamashita’s sleeper. It made the ending memorable and still kept Mizunami strong at the same time. It probably was great in full, as presented it was still decent but nothing too memorable long term. Mildly Recommended
Nanae Takahashi vs. Yoshiko
Now we have reached what so far is the most controversial match to take place in Japan this year, at least in the opinion of a lot of American fans (not sure how fans in Japan feel about it). Without getting into the whole backstory, this match is at least partially about Yoshiko redeeming herself and Takahashi giving her a chance to do so. Yoshiko for the last year has been saying all the right things regarding what happened with Act Yasukawa, but she has always had a physical style and a mean streak in the ring, so it will be interesting to see if she adjusts her attitude in-ring at all. A win here for Yoshiko would quickly vault to her back near the top of the Freelancers list, whether or not any other promotion would be interested in using her after what happened is another story altogether.
They tie-up to begin, Takahashi gets Yoshiko to the mat but Yoshiko gets into the ropes. After jockeying for position for a few minutes things get more heated as they pull at each other’s hair, Takahashi finally knocks over Yoshiko with a shoulderblock and she slides Yoshiko out of the ring. Yoshiko gets back in the ring when Takahashi goes out after her however, and Yoshiko catches Takahashi with elbows when she followers her. Stretch hold by Yoshiko but Takahashi reverses it, Samoan Drop by Yoshiko and she throws Takahashi in the corner. Takahashi moves when Yoshiko charges in and stretches her on the mat before putting her in a camel clutch. Takahashi stomps on Yoshiko and hits a dropkick in the corner, bootscrapes by Takahashi and she knees Yoshiko in the head. More elbows by Takahashi while she challenges Yoshiko to fire back, Yoshiko does but Takahashi lariats her against the ropes. Takahashi chops Yoshiko in the corner but Yoshiko jumps up on the second turnbuckle and hits a lariat. Knees by Takahashi but Yoshiko hits a hard shoulderblock and gives Takahashi her own bootscrapes. Codebreaker by Yoshiko but Takahashi comes back with a running senton, Takahashi charges Yoshiko in the corner but Yoshiko slides out to the apron.
Takahashi lariats Yoshiko off the apron to the floor, Takahashi goes off the ropes and she sails out of the ring with a tope suicida. Takahashi throws Yoshiko around the bleachers and hits her with a chair before bringing her back into the ring. Takahashi goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, lariats by Takahashi in the corner and she covers Yoshiko for two. Takahashi goes up top but Yoshiko gets her feet up on the diving body press attempt. Takahashi and Yoshiko trade lariats until they both lariat each other to the mat. Back up, slaps by Takahashi but Yoshiko knocks her to the mat with a lariat. Running senton by Yoshiko, she gets on the second turnbuckle and she delivers the diving senton for a two count. Yoshiko goes all the way up this time but Takahashi cuts her off and joins her, hitting a superplex back into the ring. Back to Belly Piledriver by Takahashi, but Yoshiko kicks out of the cover. Takahashi picks up Yoshiko but Yoshiko slides away and applies a sleeper. Takahashi barely gets a foot on the ropes to break the hold, Yoshiko slaps Takahashi but Takahashi slaps her back and hits a sliding kick for two. Elbows by Takahashi but Yoshiko catches her with a lariat, cover by Yoshiko but Takahashi barely kicks out. Takahashi fires back with her own lariat, she goes up top but Yoshiko recovers and they trade elbows while Takahashi is sitting on the top turnbuckle. Takahashi knocks Yoshiko down and goes for a missile dropkick, but Yoshiko catches her in mid-air with a lariat and covers her for the three count! Yoshiko wins the match!
First, I just have to say that watching Yoshiko wrestle doesn’t bother me. I know it does some people and that is understandable, but its not something I’ve ever had an issue with when it comes to wrestling…. I can still watch Benoit, TARU, and Invader I matches and Yoshiko is below them on the ‘horrible people’ scale. So now that we got that out of the way, I thought this was a really entertaining match that was only hurt by the fact it started slow and Yoshiko took time to get going. I don’t blame her since she hadn’t wrestled a normal match in 13 months but the first five minutes or so were really slow paced which is not usually how Yoshiko matches go. Once she got into the grove however the action was really solid, I was shocked that Yoshiko won, clearly they plan to make Yoshiko a big part of the promotion going forward. The ending was unique and memorable and there was no overkill at all, which is a nice change from many Takahashi main event matches. Overall I liked it a lot, solid action throughout and a good re-introduction for Yoshiko. Recommended
This event did a lot of things very well, with my main complaint a normal one - matches being clipped. When 20% or more of a match is missing it just really hurts the flow of the match, it isn't the wrestlers' fault but I can only give an opinion on the event as it was presented to me. The main selling point of the show is that every match was good, the Taiyo match was a bit too silly for me but it was still a change of pace and was perfectly watchable. The opener was really fun as was the co-main, then the main event was very solid, bordering on great. I know not everyone will be interested in watching this, but if you do you'll no doubt find something entertaining as it was a fun event from start to finish.