WAVE “Happy New Year WAVE 2017” on 1/8/17 Review

Event: Pro Wrestling WAVE “Happy New Year WAVE 2017”
Date: January 8th, 2017
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 398

Time to check in with Pro Wrestling WAVE! Full WAVE events don’t pop up too often so I am contractually obligated to watch them when they do. This is a somewhat playful event as there is a wet t-shirt match and a giant chicken, but we also get a big defense of the WAVE Tag Team Championship. Here is the full card:

There was also one non-Joshi match on the card, but for time reasons I will skip it in the review. As always, you can click on the names above to go to the wrestler’s profile if there is one on the site. Let’s hop to it.

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New Year Battle Royal

The Battle Royal is under Time Delay, Over The Top Rope rules with Fairy Nipponbashi and Aoi Kizuki as the first two in. Aoi is in a chicken suit for reasons unknown, and they start by dancing around the ring. Nipponbashi beats down Aoi with her wand until Moeka Haruhi comes into the ring, she pretends like she will help Nipponbashi but instead rolls her up for a two count. Nipponbashi is double teamed until Nagahama comes down, Nipponbashi keeps getting triple teamed until Rina comes down and gets everyone’s attention. Rina clears the ring but Cherry is down next and rolls her up from behind for a two count. Cherry fights off everyone until she gets put in a cobra clutch by the chicken, Aoi goes up top but Cherry shakes the ropes, sending Aoi crashing out of the ring. Aoi Kizuki is eliminated. Fujimoto arrives and dropkicks everyone that charges at her, she snapmares each wrestler one by one and kicks them in the back. SAKI gets in the ring and goes after Rina, but Nagahama dropkicks Rina from behind. Rebound crossbody by Nagahama to SAKI, but SAKI atomic drops her and hits a vertical suplex. Everyone jumps on Nagahama and they cover her for the three count! Hiroe Nagahama is eliminated. SAKI puts Cherry in a submission while Nipponbashi hits her with her wand, Kuragaki is next and she shoulderblocks Rina to the mat. Kuragaki goes up top, SAKI and Haruhi join her but Kuragaki slides over them and puts them both in an Argentine Backbreaker. She then walks to the ropes and dumps them over it, eliminating both Moeka Haruhi and SAKI!

wave1-8-1Nipponbashi rolls up Kuragaki from behind with no luck, Kuragaki picks up Nipponbashi in a press slam and throws her over the top, but Nipponbashi lands on the apron. She hangs onto Kuragaki as Toyota comes into the ring, she dumps Kuragaki over the top rope, eliminating both Kuragaki and Nipponbashi! Toyota picks up Cherry but Cherry gets away, Toyota grabs Fujimoto and she puts her in the rolling cradle. Fujimoto kicks out of the cover when Toyota finally stops, Toyota gets on the second turnbuckle but Fujimoto dropkicks her. Fujimoto, Rina, and Cherry all try to knock Toyota out of the ring, with a Fujimoto dropkicking sending Toyota to the floor! Manami Toyota is eliminated. Only Cherry, Rina, and Fujimoto are left, Rina is double teamed first and they put her on the apron, but Rina holds down the rope when they charge and both end up on the apron. They run around on the apron until Rina is trapped again, they try to throw Rina to the floor but she blocks it. Fujimoto dropkicks Rina but the force of her blow sends Cherry dangling from the top rope, Fujimoto kicks her in the back and Cherry falls to the floor! Cherry is eliminated.

This leaves just Rina and Fujimoto, they return to the ring and Fujimoto kicks Rina to the mat. Kicks by Fujimoto in the corner and she puts Rina in a cross-arm submission, but Rina gets out of it and kicks Fujimoto in the chest. Rina hits a backdrop suplex onto Fujimoto and puts her in the sleeper, but Fujimoto rolls out of it and kicks Rina in the back. PK by Fujimoto, they return elbows back on their feet until Fujimoto hits an enzuigiri. Crucifix slam by Fujimoto, she goes for the Venus Shoot but Rina stops her and hits a suplex for two. Rina charges Fujimoto but Fujimoto puts her in the Tarantula, Rina quickly gets out of it and charges Fujimoto but she ends up on the apron with her. They trade elbows on the apron, Rina puts Fujimoto in a sleeper but Fujimoto pushes out of it and stomps on Rina. Rina manages to not fall to the floor, dropkick by Fujimoto while still on the apron and she stomps on her stomach. They both get up, body block by Rina and Fujimoto falls to the floor! Rina Yamashita wins the Battle Royal!

Battle Royals are a bit more playful in Japan than they are in WWE and are rarely taken seriously, but this one was a bit more serious than usual. Sure we had Nipponbashi and Aoi acting silly, but other wrestlers such as Kuragaki, Fujimoto, and Rina were treating it as if it mattered who won. Its not the type of match I’d really ever recommend since it just designed to be a fun opener, but the last few minutes was pretty well done even if it dragged a bit overall.

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Sumire Natsu and Maya Yukihi vs. Syuri and Tsukushi

If you thought this is a normal match, you would be incorrect. Sometimes WAVE does matches where the wrestlers wear white shirts and there are other wrestlers at ringside (like lumberjacks) with water guns. This is one of those matches. While it is odd seeing Syuri in this style of match, she has shown plenty of times to be pretty open minded so its not a complete surprise. The rules to win are still the same, the water guns are just for extra fun.

wave1-8-2All four brawl to start as the referee loses control from the get-go, but things settle down with Tsukushi in the ring with Sumire. Syuri comes in and they take turn running on Sumire’s back, Tsukushi puts Natsu in the ropes and pulls on her nose. Tsukushi charges Sumire but Sumire moves, Maya runs in but Syuri helps her partner out. Sumire ends up on the apron and her own partner accidentally knocks her to the floor, leading to Sumire getting sprayed with water guns. Back in the ring, Tsukushi elbows Maya but Mayu catches her with a backbreaker. Tsukushi goes off the ropes and rolls up Maya before hitting a footstomp, she goes to the corner and tags in Syuri. Kick by Syuri and she knees Mayu into the corner, jumping knee by Syuri and she hits a double arm suplex. Syuri goes for the cross armbreaker but Maya blocks it, she finally gets it locked in but Maya gets into the ropes. Meanwhile Sumire is still getting shot with water guns as Maya is double teamed in the other corner, Syuri trades elbows with Maya as they partners both run into the ring. Sumire and Maya both put in sleepers, but Yuki Miyazaki emerges for reasons I am not sure of and starts attacking Sumire and Maya. Sumire falls out of the ring and once again gets the water gun treatment, she is the main one getting it, while Miyazaki turns her attention to Syuri. So she is just attacking everyone. Miyazaki puts Natsu in a potentially embarrassing submission several times, she then kicks Tsukushi as she has effectively cleared the ring. Sumire steals a water gun and sprays Rina Yamashita with it, as the match has officially broken down. Syuri and Sumire get back into the ring, cross armbreaker takedown by Syuri but Sumire rolls out of it. Running knee by Syuri, but Maya breaks up the cover. Kick by Syuri but Sumire sneaks in an inside cradle for two. High Kick by Syuri, and she hits a Buzzsaw Kick for the three count! Syuri and Tsukushi are your winners!

I don’t really understand what happened here, since I do not know why Miyazaki came down and started randomly wrecking people. I am sure she had a reason, I just don’t know what it was. So this wasn’t an overly serious match, between the water guns and Miyazaki running rampant, and honestly even if I was watching for wet t-shirts they didn’t really show that much either. So it wasn’t titillating and it wasn’t an entertaining match, making it a general failure.

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Yumi Ohka, Mika Iida, Hikaru Shida, and Miyazaki vs. Yuu Yamagata, Kaori Yoneyama, Shimono, and ASUKA
Two Out of Three Falls Match

Well this may be a cluster but it should at least be a legitimate match. Not a whole lot of backstory here as some of these wrestlers aren’t full time WAVE wrestlers, but there is a fair amount of talent here. This is not an elimination match so I expect a lot of random chaos, hopefully it stays civilized enough that I can follow the action.

Miyazaki and Yamagata start the match, Miyazaki takes Yamagata to the mat but Yamagata rolls through it and kicks Miyazaki in the back. She tags in Kaori and Miyazaki tags Iida, Kaori’s teammates all run in and Iida is dropkicked by all four of them. ASUKA stays in as the legal wrestler and kicks Iida in the face, Iida eventually rakes ASUKA in the eyes and stomps her in the corner. Iida throws down ASUKA by the hair and tags in Shida, jumping knee by Shida and Shida’s team takes on all of ASUKA’s team as they run into the ring to try to help. Things settle back down and Shida tags in Ohka, she stays in the ring and helps Ohka choke ASUKA. Ohka knees ASUKA repeatedly before tagging in Miyazaki, and Miyazaki keeps the pressure on ASUKA as she puts her in a submission hold. She tags Shida back in, ASUKA goes for a Space Rolling Elbow but Shida kicks her in the back. Backbreaker by Shida, she picks up ASUKA but ASUKA spins out of the backbreaker attempt and hits a rebound crossbody. That gives her time to tag in Yamagata but Shida punches Yamagata as Iida comes in too, but Shimono runs in to help Yamagata take back over. Yamagata jumps at Shida but Shida catches her and dumps her on the apron. Shida goes for a superplex but Shimono lariats her, Yamagata goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick. Yamagata tags in Kaori as Miyazaki is also tagged in, DDT by Kaori and she knees Miyazaki in the back of the head. Iida knees Kairi from the apron, Ohka boots Kairi and Miyazaki drops her with an Samoan Driver. Miyazaki goes up top but Yamagata grabs her from the apron, she shakes free but Kaori avoids the moonsault attempt. Seated senton by Shimono to Miyazaki, and Kaori applies a jackknife for the three count! Kaori and company win the first fall.

wave1-8-3As the second fall starts, Miyazaki hits a German suplex onto Kairi, she then flips Iida onto Kaori with a body press. She does the same with Shida, Ohka is next as all three hit the catapult splash. Gedo Clutch by Miyazaki and she gets the three count! The teams are now tied 1-1.

All eight brawl to start the final fall and they all end up outside the ring. After they clash around ringside and up into the stands, Kaori and Miyazaki return to the ring with Kaori in control until Ohka comes back in to help. Kaori tags in Shimono, elbows to the back by Shimono but Miyazaki hits a DDT and tags in Iida. Stomps by Iida but Shimono hits a body avalanche in the corner, she goes for the seated senton but Iida moves out of the way and dropkicks her. Uppercut by Iida and she delivers a running uppercut for a two count. Iida goes for a lariat but Shimono blocks it and tags in ASUKA, Space Rolling Elbow by Asuka but Ohka knees her from the apron when she goes off the ropes. Ohka gets in the ring but ASUKA hits a springboard moonsault on both of them, cover by ASUKA but Shida breaks it up. Miyazaki comes in to try to help but she kisses Iida by accident and ASUKA hits a release German on Iida. ASUKA goes for an Irish whip but Iida blocks it and puts her in seated armbar, cross armbreaker by Iida but ASUKA gets a foot on the ropes to force the break. Iida goes off the ropes but ASUKA superkicks her, reverse STO by Iida and she tags in Ohka, while ASUKA tags in Yamagata. Codebreaker by Yamagata but Ohka ducks the enzuigiri, Backstabber by Yamagata but Ohka knees her in the head. Dropkick by Yamagata but Ohka hits a chokebomb for a two count. Ohka picks up Yamagata but Yamagata gets her in a crossface, Kaori helps her out but Shida breaks up the hold. With Ohka in the corner, everyone hits running strikes but Ohka avoids Yamagata’s. Yamagata hits a Backstabber anyway, she goes up top but Shida runs in and hits a superplex. Shida picks up Yamagata and lets Ohka boot her in the head, another running boot by Ohka but Kaori breaks up the cover. Every other wrestler runs in as they take turns knocking each other out of the ring, Buzzsaw Kick by Yamagata to Ohka but Miyazaki comes in and distracts Yamagata with a loving kiss. Big boot by Ohka to Yamagata, and she covers her for the three count! Yuma Ohka, Mika Iida, Hikaru Shida, and Yuki Miyazaki win!

I thought this match was… fine. It had some solid action since there were a fair number of quality wrestlers in the match, it was just a bit all over the place. Having a Two Out of Three Falls Match where two of the falls happen within a minute of each other is a bit silly, I am not sure why they couldn’t have just had it be One Fall at that point. ASUKA continues to improve, she debuted in the summer of 2015 but she didn’t look out of place with a ring full of veterans which is always a good sign. I just can’t really recommend this match with a clear conscious, it wasn’t bad but ultimately it is a forgettable match with mostly random moves until Yamagata was done in by a kiss (which seems a bit out of place in a non-comedy match). Some good parts for sure but nothing special.

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(c) Misaki Ohata and Ryo Mizunami vs. Kyoko Kimura and Kagetsu

Originally this match was Kyoko Kimura tagging with her daughter Hana, but after Hana broke her wrist their friend Kagetsu stepped in for her. I really hope this match is awesome so that I didn’t waste two hours of my life, but there is a lot of potential here. Ohata and Mizunami won the titles on August 8th, 2016 from Ayako Hamada and Yuu Yamagata, but this is only their 2nd defense of the titles. Kyoko Kimura is set to retire on January 22nd, so this is one of the last title matches of her career.  This is also her last big WAVE match, so I fully expect them to go all out here to send her out with a bang.

Ohata and Kagetsu start things out, armdrag by Ohata but Kagetsu comes back with an armdrag of her own. Dropkick by Ohata, and both wrestlers tag in their partners. Kyoko and Mizunami pose for awhile but eventually engage, shoulderblock by Mizunami but Kyoko boots her when she charges in. Ohata helps hold Kyoko in the corner but Kyoko boots Mizunami back again, Octopus Hold by Kyoko and she puts Ohata in a submission as well. Kyoko tags in Kagetsu, Mizunami scoop slams her and hits a leg drop. Ohata helps out for a bit as they take turns on Kagetsu, until Kagetsu dropkicks Ohata in the face and makes the tag to Kyoko. Kyoko chops Ohata and scoop slams her, crab hold by Kyoko which she releases to put Ohata in an armbar. Ohata gets to the ropes to force the break, Kagetsu goes up top and she hits a double ax handle onto Ohata. Camel Clutch by Kagetsu to Ohata, she releases the hold and kicks Ohata in the back for a two count. Kagetsu picks up Ohata but Ohata rolls away, Ohata goes for a crossbody but Kagetsu catches her. Ohata gets out of her grasp with a DDT before hitting a dropkick and making the tag to Mizunami. Spear by Mizunami to Kagetsu and she hits Kyoko with one as well, double spear by Mizunami and she lariats Kagetsu in the corner. Kagetsu springboards out of the corner with a dropkick, jumping elbow by Kagetsu and she kicks Mizunami in the chest. Mizunami fires back with elbows but Kagetsu boots her in the arm, Kagetsu goes for an armbar but Mizunami gets into the ropes. Kagetsu goes off the ropes but Mizunami flips her inside out with a lariat, she crawls to her corner and tags in Ohata. Kyoko is also tagged in and the two trade elbows, a battle that Kyoko wins. Kagetsu kicks Ohata from the apron and gets in the ring to help Kyoko boot Ohata in the face. Double boot to Ohata, and Kyoko covers her for a two count.

wave1-8-4Kyoko goes up top but Mizunami runs in and puts Kyoko on her shoulders, Ohata goes up top and after Mizunami slams Kyoko, Ohata dives off with a diving body press. Sleeper by Kyoko, but Ohata gets a foot on the ropes to force the break. Boots to the face by Kyoko but Mizunami runs in and lariats her, more lariats by Mizunami and once Ohata recovers she assists in the attack. Ohata boots Kyoko and hits a spinning double chop, cover by Ohata but it gets two. Kagetsu runs in and slams Ohata into the corner, she sits her on the top turnbuckle and Kyoko climbs up too. They go for the Assisted Avalanche Gory Bomb, the timing is off but Ohata gets planted anyway. Cover by Kyoko, but Mizunami breaks it up. Kyoko picks up Ohata but Mizunami runs in and lariats Kyoko, Kagetsu comes in to trade elbows with Mizunami but she is dropped by the 3-D. German suplex hold by Ohata to Kyoko, Mizunami then hits one as well and Ohata delivers one more but Kagetsu breaks it up. Fisherman Buster by Ohata, but Kyoko barely gets a shoulder up. Ohata goes for the Blue Dahlia but Kyoko gets out of it and nails a Big Boot. Mizunami walks in but Kagetsu spears her, Kyoko headbutts Ohata and goes for the Gory Bomb, but Ohata reverses it with a Blue Dahlia for a two count. Buzzsaw Kick by Kagetsu to Ohata but Mizunami drops her with a release Dragon Suplex, Ohata chops Kyoko but Kyoko headbutts her. Blue Dahlia by Ohata, but Kyoko barely kicks out. Ohata quickly picks up Kyoko and nails the Blue Sky Suplex Hold, and she picks up the three count! Misaki Ohata and Ryo Mizunami are still the champions!

This one took a little bit of time to get rolling, but once it did I thought it was a really good match. I love Mizunami and Ohata’s teamwork, both were encouraging each other and constantly intercepting their opponents before something bad happened, I enjoy it when a team acts like a real team and not two individuals. Kyoko and Kagetsu are the same way but to a lesser extent, they work together but they don’t have that bond that is palpable with Mizunami and Ohata. At times it felt a bit too back and forth with some transitions that didn’t really work, and there were a couple miscommunications which is rare, but the end stretch was really entertaining. A solid match and a fitting main event, worth the watch.  Recommended