Event: Sendai Girls’
Date: April 19th, 2018
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,170
I haven’t been keeping up with current wrestling shows as much as I’d prefer, due to real life stuff like my job getting in the way, but show event seemed worth the watch. Sendai Girls’ is a promotion that doesn’t ‘make air’ very often, but when they do they tend to go all out. This show not only has a big title match between Ayako Hamada and Chihiro Hashimoto but also a special singles match between Meiko Satomura and Io Shirai as their eternal feud continues. Here is the full card:
All wrestlers above have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name to go straight to it. As this was shown on Samurai TV some matches may be clipped.
Ami Sato vs. Manami
In traditional fashion, we start with a Rookie Battle! Manami is a kid as she is 13 years old coming into the match, while Ami is 19 so she has a bit of an edge there. Meiko Satomura is a quality trainer so even though both have under a year of experience I am sure they have the basics down pat by now.
They jockey for position to start and trade elbows in the ropes, monkey flip by Manami and she covers Ami for two. Manami applies a body scissors into a stretch hold but Ami gets to the ropes for the break. Camel Clutch by Ami, she lets go after a moment and hits a front roll into an elbow strike for a two count. Crab hold by Ami, she picks Manami up and hits a jumping elbow in the corner. Manami slides away and they trade flash pins, dropkick by Manami but Ami kicks her in the stomach, backslide by Manami but Ami kicks out. Manami applies the Cattle Mutilation and then cradles Ami, but it gets two. Manami goes off the ropes but Ami catches her with an elbow, shoulderblock by Ami but Manami blocks the crab hold attempt. Manami charges Ami but Ami slides behind her and applies a school boy for the three count! Ami Sato is the winner.
As I mentioned at the top, Sendai Girls’ doesn’t produce bad wrestlers, never has. Its basic, but both wrestlers know them well as this was smoother than other matches I’ve seen with long time veterans. Sendai Girls’ typically brings rookies along slow (unless you are Chihiro Hashimoto), but show early potential.
Sakura Hirota and Eiger vs. Solo Darling and KAORU
Comedy match time! Both Sakura and Eiger are pretty much 95% comedy wrestlers, and while their shtick never really changes it can be pretty amusing. KAORU has a decent role in Sendai Girls’ and recently was their tag team champion, she teams with Solo Darling who is in just her second ever tour of Japan.
Eiger and KAORU start the match and do some comedy bits with KAORU getting the upper hand, Solo runs in but so does Sakura. Sakura is booted by both her opponents but Eiger recovers and stacks Solo and KAORU in the corner. Sakura tries to jump off of Eiger’s knee but slips and crotches herself instead, KAORU gets her board and eventually manages to hit Eiger in the head with it. Eiger avoids the next shot but gets hit with it again anyway, Solo stays in as legal and hits a cutter out of the corner for a two count. Eiger gets Solo’s back and zombies her, KAORU comes in with the board but she hits Solo by accident. Eiger hits KAORU with the board, Sakura then kisses her and applies a cradle, but KAORU kicks out. Eiger goes spit dust in KAORU’s face, KAORU blocks it at first but Eiger just waits until she lowers the board and spits dust in her face anyway. Roll-up by Sakura, and she holds down KAORU for the three count! Sakura Hirota and Eiger win!
This was mercifully clipped, almost to the point it is hard to know what was really going on. It had the standard Sakura and Eiger comedy so if that is your thing, you’ll enjoy this. A harmless opening-style match.
Cassandra Miyagi, Katrina, Sammii Jayne, and Kong vs. DASH Chisako, Matsumoto, Momono, and Alex Lee
You know this is a stacked card when so many quality wrestlers are stuck in a big eight wrestler tag match. Most of these wrestlers don’t need an introduction, but we will do a run-down anyway. Cassandra Miyagi and Heidi Katrina come into the match the Sendai Girls’ Tag Team Champions, Aja Kong is one of the last legends of yesteryear still active in Joshi, while Sammii is a UK wrestler in her first Japanese tour. On the other team, DASH Chisako is a former tag team champion, Hiroyo Matsumoto a former Sendai Girls’ World Champion, Mio Momono is a bright young wrestler from Marvelous, and Alex Lee is a Sendai Girls’ (and OZ Academy) mainstay. Quite a collection of wrestlers, this will probably be a more laid back affair but still should be fun.
Things immediately break down as the match starts as the action spills out to the floor, Chisako goes up top and dives down onto a pile of wrestlers before Miyagi dives out with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Mio and Miyagi appear to the the legal wrestlers as Mio hits a diving crossbody for a two count. Miyagi hides behind the referee before booting Mio in the face, she goes off the ropes but Mio rolls her up for two as they trade flash pins. Mio tags in Chisako, cutter by Chisako to Miyagi but Miyagi holds down the rope when Chisako charges and Chisako falls out of the ring. Miyagi goes out after her and throws Chisako into the ring post, she gets a push cart and gets on it while Heidi pushes her around. Whatever they had planned didn’t work as Chisako hits Miyagi with a chair, Chisako slides Miyagi back into the ring and hits a missile dropkick. Another dropkick by Chisako and she covers Miyagi for a two count. Miyagi and Chisako trade shots, Chisako goes off the ropes but Miyagi boots her in the head. Kong comes in and hits Chisako with a paint can, she lariats both Mio and Alex and then smacks Hiroyo to the mat for good measure. Miyagi tries to boot Chisako but kicks Kong by accident, Kong forgives her as with Miyagi they hit a double shoulderblock onto Chisako. Kong tries to lariat Chisako but hits Miyagi by accident, Chisako goes up top and delivers a diving footstomp onto Miyagi for a two count. She quickly goes back up top and nails the Hormone Splash, and she picks up the three count! Chisako, Matsumoto, Momono, and Alex Lee are the winners.
Even though I love many of the wrestlers in this match, it was just too clipped and disjointed to really get into. They focused on the right wrestlers with the clipping as Miyagi and Chisako are both great, but the match just had too many wrestlers as they didn’t even show Sammii doing anything that I can recall. Just filler, which is a shame since I’d have loved to have seen some of them with a bigger spotlight.
Hana Kimura vs. Mika Iwata
Business has finally picked up. Mika and Hana have been feuding pretty much since Hana debuted in 2016. They had their first singles match in November of 2016 and they have had three more since then, with Hana so far up in the series 3-1-1. Both have grown a lot their first two years in wrestling, with Hana in particular taking the Joshi world by storm due to her work in Stardom. Mika and Hana don’t mind hitting each other hard and often, so I have high hopes that they will deliver.
They tie-up to start, Hana pushes Mika into the ropes but she gives a mostly clean break. They trade strikes, dropkick by Mika but Hana dropkicks her back. Hana avoids Mika’s dropkick and stomps on her, scoop slam by Hana and she covers Mika for two. Crab hold by Hana but Mika gets to the ropes for the break, Hana stomps on Mika’s back and kicks her repeatedly as Mika starts getting up. Mika does make it back to her feet but Hana boots her in the face, Muta Lock by Hana but she lets go after a moment and stomps on her some more. Hana goes back to the crab hold but Mika gets to the ropes, Irish whip by Hana but Mika hits a face crusher followed by a superkick for a two count. Mika goes off the ropes but Hana catches her with a dropkick, boot by Hana and she hits a second while Mika is against the ropes for a two count cover. Hana applies the Ground Manjikatame but Mika wiggles to the ropes and forces the break. Elbows by Mika and she kicks Hana into the corner, jumping knee by Mika but Hana boots her in the face in return. Running knee by Mika and she hits the Codebreaker, but she is too hurt to capitalize. They both slowly get up, elbows by Hana but Mika delivers a knee followed by a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. High kick by Mika but Hana grabs her from behind and applies the sleeper hold, but Mika gets to the ropes.
Hana goes for a boot but Mika avoids it and rolls up Hana, she then applies the Rolling Clutch but she gets another two count. Boots and stomps by Hana but Mika delivers a superkick, Mika goes up top but Hana dropkicks her in the stomach as she dives off. Delayed vertical suplex by Hana and she puts Mika in a cross armbreaker, but Mike gets a toe on the ropes to get out of the hold. Hana goes up top but Mika elbows her before she can jump off, Mika joins Hana and she delivers a superplex. Mika and Hana trade elbows while they are on their knees, high kick by Mika but Hana headbutts her. Hana goes up top but Mika avoids the missile dropkick, Hana applies a seated armbar and reverts it into a cross armbreaker, but Mika is too close to the ropes and gets the break. High kick by Mika, she picks up Hana and nails a Buzzsaw Kick, but Hana barely gets a shoulder up. Mika drags up Hana and hits another high kick, Triangle Kick out of the corner by Mika but Hana grabs the bottom rope to break up the cover. One final Buzzsaw Kick by Mika, and she picks up the three count! Mika Iwata is the winner.
I have some mixed feelings about this match. I love the intensity they have and it feels like a hated feud and not just two wrestlers going through their usual routine, which is always a plus. Hana’s offense has expanded a lot, which is great, but the problem is that not all of her offense really fits together. She threw a ton of boots, stomped on Mika’s back a bit, went for her back with crab holds but by the end was going after her arm with armbreakers before going back to the missile dropkick to try to win. So it just didn’t feel very focused and connected, while Mika’s offense was more straight forward. Both are entertaining wrestlers and their future is bright, it just may have been a bit too much time than they are able to fill right now at their level. Overall a fun match but not without its flaws, I look forward to them continuing to grow not only individually but as a feud as well as I think they will do even better down the road. Mildly Recommended
Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
The famed Io vs. Meiko feud continues! What is special about their feud is that its a rare Ace vs. Ace confrontation, and also that the matches are really spread out since they have their own situations to handle in their home promotions. In the last four years this is only their fifth singles match, they come into the match tied at 2-2 in the series. Interestingly, this is their first singles match to not be the main event of the show they are on, as this is their first singles match since their initial meeting in 2014 that is not for a title. Even not being in the main event and without a title on the line, I am sure they will still go all out as they always do.
They lock knuckles to begin as they feel each other out, they end up on the mat and trade holds but eventually reach a stalemate. Meiko slings Io to the mat but Io reverses things and takes Meiko down with a side headlock. Snapmare by Io and she puts Meiko in a stretch hold, but Meiko reverses it into a stretch hold of her own. Meiko puts Io in a wrist hold and kicks her repeatedly in the chest, knee by Meiko and she covers Io for two. Scoop slam by Io and she hits a double knee, Io picks up Meiko and throws her into the corner, Meiko jumps on on the turnbuckles but Io dropkicks her out of the ring down to the floor. Io goes to do a tope suicida but Meiko elbows her before she can complete the move, slingshot footstomp by Meiko and she applies a seated armbar, but Io grabs the ropes to get out of it. Meiko goes for the cartwheel kneedrop but Io moves and dropkicks Meiko, armtrap crossface by Io and she knees Meiko in the face. Io kicks Meiko into the corner and hits a double knee, she charges Meiko but Meiko catches her with a lariat. Rebound armdrag by Meiko and she puts Io in a STF, Meiko switches it to an armtrap crossface but Io eventually gets to the ropes for the break. Meiko slaps Io but Io slaps her back, Irish whip by Meiko but Io flips away from her and hits a dropkick. Meiko falls out of the ring, Io gets a running start and dives out onto her with a tope suicida. Io slides Meiko into the ring and hits the Tiger Feint Kick, swandive missile dropkick by Io and she covers Meiko for two. Io goes for a kick but Meiko blocks it and applies a sleeper, Io gets out of it but Meiko drops her with a backdrop suplex.
Another backdrop suplex by Meiko and she drops her with a DDT, cartwheel kneedrop by Meiko and she goes for the Death Valley Bomb, but Io flips out of it and hits a palm strike. Package German by Io, but it gets two. Running double knee by Io in the corner, she goes up top but Meiko gets her knees up on the moonsault attempt. They both are slow to recover, they trade elbows back on their feet until Meiko nails Io with a heel kick. Meiko picks up Io and nails a high kick, another kick to the head by Meiko and Io falls out of the ring to the floor. Meiko joins her and kicks Io repeatedly in the chest before sliding her back in, but Io swings around the bottom rope and kicks Meiko back down onto the floor. Io goes up top and delivers a moonsault onto Meiko, Io returns to the ring and waits for Meiko to recover. Meiko beats the count and gets back in the ring, elbows by Io and she hits a series of palm strikes. Double underhook facebuster by Io, but her cover only gets two. Io goes towards the corner but Meiko grabs her leg, Pele Kick by Meiko and she goes for the Death Valley Bomb, but Io slides down her back and hits a tombstone piledriver. Io goes up top but Meiko kicks her leg out form under her and hits another Pele Kick, Death Valley Bomb by Meiko but Io barely kicks out of the pin in time. Scorpion Rising by Meiko, but the bell rings just as she makes the cover as the time expires. The match is a Draw.
A fantastically structured and executed match, it doesn’t get much better than Meiko Satomura and Io Shirai going at it. There was so much to love here, everything they did made sense and had a purpose. The know each other so well that there were constant blocks and reversals, as Meiko was hell bent on Io Shirai never hitting the moonsault as she knew that may lead to her demise. But each time she blocked the moonsault she did it a different way, so it never felt repetitive. And Io in turn got out of the Death Valley Bomb twice, but after the third time she was well on the way to losing if she hadn’t been saved by the bell. Even though it went to a Draw it didn’t feel like they were stretching out the match to get to the Draw, which happens sometimes, and it stayed captivating from bell to bell. I hope we don’t have to wait another two years to watch these two wrestle again, they have great chemistry and deliver every time. Highly Recommended
(c) Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Ayako Hamada
Sendai Girls’ World Championship
Even though Chihiro Hashimoto is only 25 years old, she is already on her third Sendai Girls’ World Championship run as she looks to lead the promotion for years to come. Her current title reign began on July 15th, 2017 and this is her third defense of the title, after defeating Meiko Satomura and Cassandra Miyagi in her first two challenges. Ayako Hamada is one of the most respected wrestlers on the Joshi scene, she has over 25 title reigns in her career and is one of the top wrestlers from Pro Wrestling WAVE. This is the first time these two have ever met in a single match, as Chihiro has one of her toughest challenges to date.
After your traditional feeling out process (that lasted a bit longer than I was expecting), Ayako works a headlock until Chihiro gets out of it and applies a headlock of her own. Ayako gets out of it and they both go for shoulderblocks, but neither can knock the other down. Ayako finally wins the shoulderblock battle, she picks up Chihiro but Chihiro returns the favor and knocks Ayako to the mat. Back up they trade elbows, double underhook suplex by Chihiro and she covers Ayako for two. Chihiro applies a stretch hold but Ayako gets out of it, stomps by Chihiro and she shoulder tackles Ayako into the corner. Irish whip by Chihiro but Ayako avoids her charge, they trade waistlocks until Ayako slaps Chihiro in the corner. High kick by Ayako but Chihiro hits a body avalanche, she goes for a slam but Ayako blocks it. Chihiro tosses down Ayako and hits a pair of running somersault sentons, front fireman’s carry slam by Chihiro but Ayako avoids her somersault senton from the turnbuckles. Kick to the head by Ayako and she kicks Chihiro some more, but Chihiro kicks out of the cover. Ayako applies a short armbar but Chihiro gets a foot on the bottom rope, enzuigiri by Ayako but Chihiro fires back with a spear.
Chihiro gets Ayako up and hits the waterwheel drop, she gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers the somersault senton for a two count. Chihiro charges Ayako but Ayako holds down the ropes and Chihiro tumbles out of the ring, Ayako gets on the apron but Chihiro grabs her before she can perform the Asai Moonsault and pulls her down to the floor with her. Ayako throws Chihiro into the ringside chairs, they both get up onto the apron and trade strikes until Ayako slams Chihiro’s head into the apron. Chihiro ends up back in the ring, Ayako goes up top but Chihiro joins her and hits a powerslam to the mat. Chihiro drags up Ayako and lariats her in the back, but Ayako hits a back kick followed by a lariat of her own. Ayako goes off the ropes but Chihiro levels her with a lariat, Chihiro picks up Ayako and hits another lariat followed by two more for a two count cover. Chihiro picks up Ayako but Ayako blocks the suplex attempt, lariat by Chihiro and she finally nails the release German. Chihiro goes off the ropes but Ayako catches her with the Samoan Driver. Chihiro recovers first and goes for another suplex, but Ayako lands on her feet and connects with a strike combination. Heel kick by Ayako, she covers Chihiro but Chihiro barely kicks out. AP Cross by Ayako, and she holds down Chihiro for the three count! Ayako Hamada is the new champion!
There was something missing here to put it over the edge to being a match I can really recommend. The initial ‘feeling out’ section just felt like it went on forever, I can get it in storyline that they hadn’t fought each other in a singles match so they were being careful, it just wasn’t overly interesting. My bigger issue is that it just felt like Chihiro went down too easy. Unless someone has a normal flash way of winning, I prefer if the champion is a bit harder to beat than Chihiro was here, not that Ayako didn’t hit a notable series of moves but the end stretch didn’t feel long or hot enough for such a big match. Chihiro is still growing as a wrestler and I see no issue with her losing to a respected seasoned veteran (well, Ayako would get stripped of the title less than a month later but that’s another story), but she seemed over-matched here which was an interesting dynamic. The middle portion of the match was entertaining though and Chihiro is a beast, the beginning and end just left room for improvement. A good match, but it never went beyond that which is disappointing for a title match. Mildly Recommended
Unfortunately, this event turned out to mostly be a one-match card. Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura was fantastic, a great match between two of the better wrestlers in the world. Everything else ranged from average to good, which isn't ideal for such a big event. Hana vs. Mika was a solid match but felt longer than it needed to be, and the main event didn't have that big match feel that you'd expect from a title change. On the plus side, nothing on the show was bad as Sendai Girls' has a really good roster (and uses quality Freelancers), so for a casual watch nothing really needs to be skipped. Overall I was a little disappointed, but definitely track down Io vs. Meiko if nothing else, it is a true MOTYC.