Sendai Girls’ on 11/17/17 Review

Event: Sendai Girls’
Date: November 17th, 2017
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,070

Anytime a Joshi event airs in a timely fashion, I try to watch it, and this one certainly arrived quickly. Sendai Girls’ doesn’t run Korakuen Hall very often so they tend to put their best foot forward when they do, with several big matches on the card. We get a young wrestler battle between Hana and Mika that is bound to be good, and the tag team of Aja Kong and Meiko Satomura that doesn’t sound very fair. Then, in the main event there is a tag title defense, with Chisako and KAORU defending against Heidi Katrina and Cassandra Miyagi. Here is the full card:

Since this aired on Samurai TV, it may be slightly clipped. All the wrestlers above have profiles on the website, you can click on their names to go straight to it.

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Ami Sato vs. Manami

We kick off the show with a rookie battle! Even though Manami started before Ami, the age difference is significant (Manami is only 13 while Ami is 19) so I’d still give Ami Sato the edge in the match. Its great that Sendai Girls’ has more wrestlers debuting as their last few waves were solid, right now both are still learning of course but hopefully we’ll see some early promise to give us hope for the future.

sendai11-17-1Manami immediately dropkicks Ami into the corner, elbows by Manami but Ami switches positions with her and elbows her back. Armdrag by Ami, she picks up Manami but Manami snapmares her and applies a bodyscissors. Ami gets out of it and puts Manami in a camel clutch, she lets go after a moment and hits a series of shoulderblocks for a two count. Elbows by Ami but Manami dropkicks her into the corner, Ami fights back with an elbow and the two trade blows. Front roll into an elbow by Ami, but Manami kicks out of the cover. Ami applies a crab hold but Manami crawls to the ropes for the break, Irish whip by Ami but Manami ducks the lariat and delivers a dropkick. Another dropkick by Manami and a third, a final dropkick by Manami and she covers Ami for a two count. Ami kicks Manami and hits a scoop slam, she goes for a crab hold but Manami blocks it and rolls up Ami for two. Manami tries a few more flash pins with no luck, she goes off the ropes but Ami avoids her charge and schoolboys her for the three count! Ami Sato wins!

Basic, as one would expect, but fundamentally sound. This wasn’t clipped, so they wrestled for six-plus minutes without making any mistakes which is a real plus when dealing with wrestlers this inexperienced. Nothing exciting but a good rookie opener.

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Eiger vs. Kyusei Sakura Hirota

The “comedy” portion of the event. Eiger is Mizuki Endo wrestling as a ghost zombie if you will, similar to the character in The Ring (I think, I never saw the movie). Sakura recently returned to wrestling, she also mostly does comedy spots. I’m concerned this match doesn’t have a non-comedy wrestler to kinda ground things a bit, so we’ll see how this goes.

sendai11-17-2They waste no time confusing me on what they are doing, as Eiger plays with a cloth before putting it over Sakura’s head and hitting a DDT. Eiger creeps out Sakura before hitting a lariat, but the cover only gets two. Sakura responds with a face crusher, she puts Eiger in the ropes and delivers the Oil Check. Sakura bounces around in a comedic way before hitting a headbutt, but Eiger kicks out of the cover. I am normally against clipping matches but I am not sure if I’ve ever seen a full Eiger or Sakura comedy match and I’m not sure if I needed to. Sakura bounces off the ropes before kissing Eiger, she grabs Eiger’s arm and walks the ropes, but she eventually crotches herself and Eiger pushes her out of the ring. Eiger does a fake dive before blowing dust into Sakura’s face, they some comedy bits around the crowd before the referee fusses at them and tells them to get back in the ring. They do so, backslide by Sakura but it gets two. After more Eiger shenanigans, she finally hits a lariat and she pins Sakura for the three count! Eiger wins the match.

This match really really didn’t need to be shown in full. I think Eiger is generally funny, and Sakura is sometimes funny, but ten minutes of their shtick was too much. There is certainly a place for this type of match on a card, it just needs to either be shorter or have a non-comedy wrestler to help as both Eiger and Sakura are too “gimmick” to even have normal sections in their matches. An easy skip from me.

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Ami Sato, Hikaru Shida, and Alex Lee vs. La Rosa Negra, Mio Momono, and Hiroyo Matsumoto

This will be more standard. Ami is pulling double duty as she was the ‘surprise’ teammate of Shida and Lee. Alex Lee is evil in OZ Academy but not here, while Shida is one of the top Freelancers in Joshi. La Rosa Negra many fans will remember from her run in Stardom, currently she is in Japan wrestling for pretty much everyone else as she has appeared in SEAdLINNNG, Marvelous, and ZERO1. Mio Momono is a talented young wrestler from Marvelous, while Hiroyo Matsumoto is another high level Freelancer that has held four different titles this year. So a good mixture of young wrestlers and veterans, this should be fun.

sendai11-17-3We join this one very slightly in progress with Ami being triple teamed, but it quickly switches to Rosa Negra being on the wrong end of a beatdown. Shida stays in with Rosa Negra, armdrag by Rosa Negra and both wrestlers dropkick each other. Backbreaker by Shida and she tags in Ami, elbows by Ami but Shida tags in Mio. Mio and and Ami trade elbows until Ami connects with her rolling elbow smash for a two count. Ami tags in Shida, Mio goes for a crossbody but Shida catches her and puts Mio in the corner. Alex Lee comes in so that Shida can suplex her onto Mio, Shida picks up Mio but Mio blocks the suplex attempt and hits a series of elbows. Shida finally blocks one but Mio smacks her repeatedly in the head, she goes off the ropes but Shida nails a jumping knee. Shida tags in Lee, kicks by Lee to Mio and she hits a hip toss for two. Lee chokes Mio but Rosa Negra kicks her from behind, Lee superkicks Rosa Negra but Mio rolls up Lee for a two count. Mio dropkicks Lee and tags in Hiroyo, body avalanche by Hiroyo and she goes up top, but Ami grabs her from the apron. Shida comes over and superplexes Hiroyo into the ring, Lee goes up top and she hits a diving footstomp onto Hiroyo for a two count cover. Ami is tagged back in and tries to shoulderblock Hiroyo over, Shida runs in and hits an enzuigiri as she tries to help Ami knock over Hiroyo, and finally she succeeds before covering Hiroyo for two. Ami scoop slams Hiroyo but Hiroyo elbows her back and hits a backbreaker. Hiroyo gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a reverse double kneedrop, crab hold by Hiroyo but it gets broken up. Mio goes up top and hits a diving crossbody onto Lee and Shida, Rosa Negra comes in and dives out of the ring onto everyone but Hiroyo and Ami with a tope suicida. In the ring, Hiroyo picks up Ami but Ami rolls her up for two. Ami goes off the ropes but Hiroyo hits a hard elbow, vertical suplex by Hiroyo and she covers Ami for two. Hiroyo puts Ami in an Argentine Backbreaker, and Ami taps out! La Rosa Negra, Mio Momono, and Hiroyo Matsumoto are the winners.

It didn’t pop as much as I was hoping, but it was still a fun match. Ami shows a lot of fire, which is probably why they put her in the match, and everyone got a bit of a chance to shine. I really liked the Mio/Shida segment, Mio is definitely one to watch and Shida is always a pleasure. A bit all over the place but a good match with some memorable spots throughout.  Mildly Recommended

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Hana Kimura vs. Mika Shirahime

Battle of the Future! Hana Kimura probably needs no introduction for any Joshi fan, she is best known as part of Oedo Tai in Stardom but she is a regular in Sendai Girls’ as well and even challenged for the tag belts here last summer. Mika Shirahime is in her third year, she was in the same class as Chihiro Hashimoto and while she hasn’t had Chihiro’s success so far she has really grown as a wrestler. A match between two wrestlers that could be stars for many years to come.

sendai11-17-4They tie-up to start, Hana pushes Mika into the ropes but slaps her face instead of doing a clean break. Mika kicks her back and gives her a slap of her own, more slaps by Hana and she flings down Mika by the hair. Hana picks up Mika and hits a dropkick, Mika dropkicks her back but Hana hits another dropkick for a two count cover. Hana picks up Mika but Mika pushes her away, kicks by Mika and she hits a Codebreaker for two. Mika kicks Hana into the corner but Hana ducks one and headbutts her, superkick by Mika and she nails Hana in the face with another one for a two count. Double wrist-clutch suplex by Mika, but that gets a two as well. High kick by Mika, she goes up top but Hana dropkicks her in mid-air when she dives off. Sliding Kick by Hana, and she covers Mika for two. Hana gets up on the second turnbuckle and nails a missile dropkick, running boot by Hana and she covers Mika for the three count! Hana Kimura wins!

Even though the match was only about five minutes, I loved every moment of it. These two went into it hard, with stiff slaps, kicks, and a killer headbutt by Hana. With the time constraints, everything had to matter and it did, and even though the match was short it still felt right. Hana is starting to combine having a great personality with on-point offense and an attitude, if she sticks with Joshi I can really see her being one of the biggest stars in a few years at her current trajectory. One of the better five minute matches I’ve seen in awhile, check it out.  Recommended

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Aja Kong and Meiko Satomura vs. Chihiro Hashimoto and Ayako Hamada

Chihiro Hashimoto comes into the match the Sendai Girls’ Champion, but I have a feeling she is about to take a beating. Kong and Satomura are two long time ass kicking veterans, but both have been pinned by Chihiro in title matches so you know they aren’t going to take it easy on the young wrestler. Ayako Hamada is a solid teammate for Chihiro to make it close to even, as Hamada is also veteran with many title reigns under her belt. Still, I see the story of this match being Chihiro trying to overcome the Kong/Satomura combination, with Hamada just there to fill out the match.

Chihiro and Satomura start the match, Chihiro takes Satomura to the mat but Satomura puts Chihiro in an ankle hold. Chihiro rolls into the ropes for the break, back up Satomura kicks Chihiro in the leg before letting Chihiro up. Chihiro drives Satomura into the corner and hits a body avalanche, but Satomura slaps her back and knocks her into the corner. Jumping elbow by Satomura and she tags in Kong, Kong and Chihiro trade holds on the mat, Kong gets the better of it and kicks Chihiro in the back. Chihiro scoop slams Kong and makes the tag to Hamada, Hamada and Kong trade strikes until Kong chops Hamada to the mat. Backdrop suplex by Kong, and she covers Hamada for two when Hamada gets a foot on the ropes. Kong tags in Satomura, kicks by Satomura but Hamada snapmares her and kicks Satomura in the back of the head. Running boots by Hamada and they trade slaps, Satomura goes off the ropes but Hamada delivers a heel kick. Satomura heel kicks her back, she tries to rebound out of the corner with an elbow strike but Hamada catches her with a dropkick. Hamada goes off the ropes but Kong throws her paint can at her head, cartwheel kneedrop by Satomura and she tags in Kong. Hamada grabs Kong’s arm and jumps up to the turnbuckle the ropes, Satomura meanders in the ring so that Hamada can hit an armdrag/headscissors combination on them. Hamada tries to knock down Kong with lariats and finally does so, Kong gets back up and they trade strikes until both end up hurt on the mat. Hamada recovers first and tags Chihiro, Chihiro picks up Kong and hits a waterwheel drop for two.

sendai11-17-5Chihiro grabs Kong around the waist but Kong slides away, Chihiro kicks her however and delivers the somersault senton. Chihiro gets on the second turnbuckle but Kong avoids the diving somersault senton, Kong snaps Chihiro’s neck and slaps her hard in the face. Kong tags in Satomura, Satomura kicks Chihiro repeatedly in the chest before kicking her in the head, but Hamada runs in and slams Satomura to the mat. Chihiro gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a somersault senton, gutwrench suplex by Chihiro and she covers Satomura for two. Chihiro goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, Satomura recovers and the two trade elbows until Chihiro lariats Satomura in the back of the head to win the duel. Chihiro picks up Satomura and nails a powerbomb, she goes to the top turnbuckle but Satomura kicks her before she can jump off and delivers a Pele Kick. Death Valley Bomb by Satomura, Kong hits a diving elbow drop and Satomura hits another Death Valley Bomb, but Hamada breaks up the cover. Satomura drags up Hamada, Kong tries to backfist Chihiro but Chihiro ducks and she hits Satomura by accident. Release German by Chihiro to Kong, she picks up Satomura and hits a German suplex hold but Kong breaks it up. Chihiro picks up Satomura but Satomura elbows her off, superkick by Hamada to Satomura but when she goes for a heel kick she hits Chihiro by mistake. Scorpion Rising by Satomura to Chihiro, she picks her up and finishes her off with a Death Valley Bomb for the three count! Meiko Satomura and Aja Kong win the match!

To be honest, Chihiro didn’t take the beating I was expecting, although her getting pinned was in line with my thoughts of the veterans wanting to show her they weren’t ready to roll over quite yet. The first half of the match had some really shaky transitions and it felt like they were just running through spots with no regard, but about halfway through it got cleaned up. Chihiro is a beast, loved her suplexes here and at least Hamada tried to help her throughout and didn’t just watch from the apron. A good match, I was hoping for a bit more but you can’t go too wrong with these four.  Mildly Recommended

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(c) DASH Chisako and KAORU vs. Heidi Katrina and Cassandra Miyagi
Sendai Girls’ Tag Team Championship

I am not too privy to Sendai Girls’ storylines, so it is interesting that Cassandra Miyagi is making another tag challenge after forfeiting the belt earlier because she didn’t care about it. Part of the issue is that the titles exist, the roster is small, so the same wrestlers kinda have to keep going for same titles. This is Cassandra’s 4th tag title challenge so far this year (she actually won the belts a few months ago when teaming with Chisako), which is a bit crazy for someone who doesn’t want it. It is Katrina’s first title shot in the promotion, she recently joined the Sendai Girls’ roster. DASH Chisako and KAORU have been teaming somewhat regularly since Sendai Sachiko’s retirement in early 2016, and this is their first defense of the titles.

Chisako and Cassandra start for their teams, Chisako gets Cassandra into the ropes but she gives a clean break. Cassandra gets Chisako to the mat and applies a crab hold, but Chisako reverses it into a crab hold of her own until Cassandra gets into the ropes. Chisako and Cassandra trade elbows until Chisako avoids one and applies a short armbar, but Cassandra gets to the ropes for the break. Chisako gets Cassandra to the mat again and schools her a bit, but Cassandra gets out of it and both wrestlers reach a stalemate again. Heidi tags in, she slams Chisako to the mat but Chisako springs back up, armdrag by Heidi and she hits an elbow drop. KAORU attacks Heidi from behind but Heidi dropkicks both of them before tagging Cassandra back in. Cassandra slaps at Chisako and boots Chisako in the head, cover by Cassandra but Chisako kicks out. Heidi returns and elbows Chisako hard in the face, another elbow by Heidi and she covers Chisako for two. Heidi drops Chisako to the mat again before tagging Cassandra, Cassandra comes in the ring with a slingshot leg drop before elbowing Chisako hard for a two count cover. Cassandra goes off the ropes but Chisako drop toeholds her, KAORU comes in and she puts Cassandra in a camel clutch. Chisako goes off the ropes and dropkicks Cassandra, Heidi comes in but she gets double teamed as well and dumped out of the ring. Chisako and KAORU leave the ring too as things have broken down, with KAORU beating Heidi into the stands. Cassandra and Heidi eventually swing the tide and Cassandra hits a double missile dropkick off the apron, she then finds a ladder and sets it up at ringside.

sendai11-17-6She starts to climb it but Chisako promptly pushes it over, Chisako puts Cassandra near the bleachers before jumping off of them with a double footstomp. Heidi helps Cassandra back into the ring so they don’t get counted out, double Irish whip to Cassandra and she eats a double boot from Chisako and KAORU. Chisako tags in KAORU and the double teaming of Cassandra continues. KAORU knees Cassandra before hitting a vertical suplex, but Cassandra fights back with a jumping elbow and a boot and makes the hot tag to Heidi. Heidi shoulderblocks KAORU and hits a suplex, side Russian leg sweep by Heidi and she covers KAORU for two. Heidi goes for a lariat but KAORU dropkicks her in the knee and cradles her for two, Heidi then hits her lariat before booting KAORU in the chest. KAORU lands in her corner and tags in Chisako, missile dropkick by Chisako and KAORU boots Heidi in the corner. Double face crusher to Heidi, and Chisako covers her for a two count. Knee lift by Heidi and she dropkicks Chisako, she goes up to the second turnbuckle and delivers a diving legdrop. Heidi tags in Cassandra, dropkicks by Cassandra to Chisako and she connects with a missile dropkick for two. Cassandra goes off the ropes but KAORU grabs her, running elbow by Chisako but on the second attempt she hits KAORU by accident. Cassandra knocks Chisako out of the ring, Heidi holds open the ropes for Cassandra and Cassandra sails out of the ring onto KAORU and Chisako with a tope suicida. Fallaway Slam by Heidi and she gives Chisako the Giant Swing, Cassandra goes up up and hits a missile dropkick, but Chisako kicks out of the cover.

Airplane Spin into a Samoan Driver by Cassandra, she goes off the ropes but KAORU trips her from the floor and Chisako hits a dropkick. Brainbuster by KAORU to Cassandra and Chisako follows with a diving footstomp, but the cover only gets two. Chisako goes back up top but Cassandra joins her, Chisako elbows her off but Cassandra hits a dropkick before climbing back up. Superplex by Cassandra, back up she trade elbows with Chisako until Chisako beats Cassandra down to the mat. Chisako goes off the ropes but Cassandra kicks her in the head, cover by Cassandra but it gets two. Chisako goes off the ropes but Cassandra catches her with a tombstone, but KAORU breaks up the cover. Cassandra picks up Chisako but Chisako lands on her feet on the suplex attempt and cradles Cassandra for a two count. More flash pins by Chisako with no luck, KAORU comes in the ring and they hit Cassandra with a catapult dropkick. German suplex by Chisako, but Cassandra blocks her crucifix attempt and hits a Samoan Drop. Cassandra goes up top but KAORU grabs her from the apron, Chisako joins Cassandra up top and nails an avalanche Ace Crusher, but Heidi breaks up the cover. Chisako goes back up top while KAORU gets on the second turnbuckle, Chisako gets onto KAORU’s shoulders and hits a diving senton, but Cassandra barely gets a shoulder up. Chisako quickly goes back up top and nails the Hormone Splash, and this time she gets the three count! DASH Chisako and KAORU are still the champions!

Due to the participants I wanted to love this match, but it was just a bit too disjointed for my tastes. Longer tag matches need a hook and this match didn’t really have one – it didn’t have a super worker to tie everything together, it didn’t have a sympathetic babyface the crowd was really behind, it didn’t have fast paced sections, it didn’t have but a few memorable spots. Heidi isn’t a bad wrestler but she doesn’t have a lot of chemistry yet with Chisako or KAORU, making some parts of the match a bit rocky, and really only the Cassandra/Chisako parts had any pop to them. That being said, the home stretch was really good as they finally started going all out, lots of brutal moves done to Cassandra and they finally hit their rhythm. It just took too long to get there. A hot ending gives the match some value, just not enough to make it worth going too far out of your way to see.  Mildly Recommended