WAVE “Weekday WAVE Vol. 108” on 6/22/17 Review

Event: Pro Wrestling WAVE Weekday WAVE Vol. 108
Date: June 22nd, 2017
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 278

Sometimes, Pro Wrestling WAVE surprises us by uploading an event pretty quickly onto their WAVE Network. I reward them for doing this by reviewing the event and pointing people to their service if they want to see the event too. Everyone wins! This show has no title matches but a couple big matches anyway, with the highlights being Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Rina Yamashita and Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami. Here is the full card:

Isami Kodaka vs. Keisuke Goto was on the card too, but I’m skippin’ it.

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ASUKA vs. Mika Iida

We kick off the event with an interesting match and far from your typical opener. ASUKA is two years into her career and is only 18, but has gotten a decent push and has the size advantage over the much smaller Mika. Mika is a six year veteran but hasn’t held a title in almost three years, as she mostly just hangs out in the WAVE midcard. This is a real chance for ASUKA to impress against a wrestler that is her senior but low enough on the totem pole to be beatable.

wave6-22-1They circle each other to start before locking up, Mika gets ASUKA to the mat first but ASUKA gets out of it and puts Mika in a headlock. They trade submission attempts before returning to their feet, quick takedown by Mika and she puts ASUKA in an armbar. Crossface by Mika and she twists ASUKA’s arm before applying a seated armbar. ASUKA gets a foot on the ropes to force a break, takedown by Mika but ASUKA puts her in a guillotine. Knees by ASUKA and she hits a scoop slam, another scoop slam by ASUKA and she puts Mika in a guillotine, Mika gets out of it and the two trade elbows. Side Russian Leg Sweep by Mika and she puts ASUKA in a submission hold, but ASUKA rolls out of it. Takedown by ASUKA and she returns the favor by contorting Mika into a submission, but Mika gets out of it and puts ASUKA in the Stretch Muffler. ASUKA reverses it into a reverse armbar but Mika gets a foot on the ropes, Space Rolling Elbow by ASUKA but Mika catches her with an uppercut, rebound crossbody by ASUKA and she covers Mika for two. ASUKA goes for a kick but Mika reverses it and rolls ASUKA to the mat, kimura by Mika but ASUKA gets to the ropes. Running dropkick by Mika while ASUKA is still against the ropes, uppercut by Mika and she goes for the short armbar, but ASUKA rolls out of it tosses Mika to the mat from her shoulders. ASUKA picks up Mika but Mika reverses the waistlock and sneaks in two flash pins for two. Mika goes off the ropes but ASUKA catches her with a thrust kick, she goes for a chokeslam but Mika blocks it. Mika tries to roll up ASUKA but ASUKA kips out of it and hits a superkick, suplex by ASUKA in front of the corner and she nails the moonsault for the three count! ASUKA is the winner!

This was basic but sound. It started slow, which isn’t unusual for an opener but picked up some about five minutes in and stayed interesting the rest of the way. ASUKA is coming along really well, even though she got early press as the first transgender wrestler to join a Joshi promotion they haven’t exploited that fact and treat her like everyone else that has to work their way up the rankings. Beating Mika is definitely a good sign for her growth though, and now that she is 18 and two years into her career I expect her to start picking up more wins going forward. Not a bad opener.

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Aoi Kizuki, Hiroe Nagahama, and Moeka Haruhi vs. Cherry, Yoneyama, and Ohata

Certainly a random assortment of wrestlers. Aoi Kizuki and Kaori Yoneyama are both Freelancers, while Cherry wrestles out of DDT. The other three are all WAVE wrestlers, with Ohata being the highest ranking one due to all her success in the promotion. Hiroe is the baby of the group as she is only two years into her career, however Moeka isn’t ranked much higher as she hasn’t won any titles in seven years. Kind of a Mika Iida situation with her – lots of experience, very little success. No real story going into it, just an early card match to help get everyone on the show.

Ohata and Nagahama start the match but Ohata is immediately jumped from behind and triple teamed by all her opponents. Yoneyama and Cherry finally come in to help and now it is Nagahama getting triple teamed, curb stomp by Ohata to Nagahama and she covers her for two. She takes in Yoneyama, Yoneyama stomps down Nagahama in the corner and with Ohata’s help attacks her while she is caught up in the ropes. Yoneyama stretches Nagahama before tagging in Cherry, monkey flip by Cherry and she rams Nagahama’s head into the mat repeatedly. Nagahama fights back with a dropkick and makes the hot tag to Aoi, Yoneyama comes in too but Aoi and Moeka hit a double crossbody onto both of them. They do the same three more times to Cherry, double cover to Cherry but it gets a two count. They continue to double team Cherry until Cherry hits a double neck drop, she puts Aoi on top of Moeka and hits a double stomp onto her back. Nagahama runs in but she gets the same treatment, Cherry picks up Aoi but Aoi stretches Cherry over her knee. Cherry quickly hits a bridging suplex, she goes off the ropes but Aoi delivers a jumping lariat. Backfist by Cherry and she tags in Ohata, while Moeka is tagged in as well. They trade elbows, a battle which Ohata wins, crossbody by Ohata and she gets a two count cover.

wave6-22-2Moeka ducks a spinning chop and hits a hurricanrana, hanging armbar by Moeka and her teammates come in to play defense. Aoi helps Moeka hits a double suplex, cover by Moeka but it gets two. Moeka tags Nagahama, dropkick by Nagahama in the corner and she delivers two more dropkicks for a quick cover. Nagahama picks up Ohata and hits a rebound crossbody out of the corner, but Ohata kicks out at two. Nagahama picks up Ohata but Ohata slides down her back and they trade flash pins. Stunner by Ohata, she goes off the ropes but Nagahama does too and goes for a bodyscissors roll-up. Ohata blocks it and hits a suplex, low crossbody by Ohata and she tags in Cherry. Yoneyama also comes in and they double team Nagahama in the corner, double face crusher to Nagahama and both Yoneyama and Cherry get onto the top turnbuckle. Nagahama avoids Yoneyama’s diving senton however, Aoi then gets up top and hits a swivel body press onto Yoneyama. Diving footstomp by Moeka onto Yoneyama, Nagahama grabs her and hits a Northern Lights Suplex, but the cover is broken up. After some chaos with all six wrestlers in the ring, Nagahama gets a few more flash pins but Yoneyama sneaks in an assisted jackknife hold and picks up the three count! Cherry, Kaori Yoneyama, and Misaki Ohata win!

Just mindless fun. The match was actually better when they weren’t trying to be serious, the general chaos with wrestlers running in whenever they wanted to worked well with the skill sets of some of the participants. A good match for this part of the card, a short multi-tag sprint never hurt anyone as long as it isn’t presented as too important which this wasn’t.

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Heidi Katrina and SAKI vs. Maya Yukihi and Natsu Sumire

A rare Heidi sighting! For me anyway. Heidi is a regular over in REINA and comes into the match with the REINA-CMLL International Championship, which she defends around the world wherever she is wrestling. SAKI is a nomad that has become a normal fixture in WAVE this year, four years into her career she is yet to win any titles. Maya hails from Ice Ribbon, while Natsu is the only contracted WAVE wrestler in the match. So an interesting assortment of wrestlers, to say the least.

wave6-22-3SAKI and Natsu start the match, SAKI immediately trips Natsu and the two trade armdrags. They square off again, kick by Natsu and she stretches SAKI in the ropes. Running elbow by Natsu and she tags Maya, kicks by Maya and she covers SAKI for two. Maya goes up top but Heidi grabs her from the apron, SAKI recovers and she tosses Maya to the mat. Reverse Splash by SAKI and she puts Maya in a modified Scorpion Deathlock, but it quickly gets broken up. Maya kicks SAKI but SAKI kicks her back and tags Heidi, Heidi elbows Maya in the corner and gives her the Giant Swing. Leg drop by Heidi, but Natsu stops the referee from making the count. Heidi charges Maya but Maya hits a superkick, giving her time to tag in Natsu. Boots by Natsu but Heidi catches one and hits a headbutt, Heidi goes off the ropes but Maya hits her from the apron. Running boot by Natsu to Heidi, she goes up top and hits a diving crossbody for a two count. Natsu and Heidi struggle for position, Maya runs in to help and with Natsu they suplex Heidi. Double boot to Heidi, cover by Natsu but it gets a two count. Natsu picks up Heidi and applies a sunset flip for two, she goes off the ropes but Heidi catches her with an over the shoulder powerslam drop for the three count! Heidi Katrina and SAKI win!

I don’t want to say the match was bad, since it was too short to be offensive, but it certainly wasn’t good. The ending was incredibly out of nowhere, I assume the commentary team held up their pen and they went to the finish early since nothing was really happening. Much of the action wasn’t overly crisp, although Heidi looked pretty polished. Just a nothing midcard tag match.

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Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Rina Yamashita

Business suddenly picked up in a hurry. This is a rematch, as Chihiro and Rina battled back in March to a ten minute draw. Since that wasn’t satisfying, they are trying again so hopefully they can reach a conclusion. Chihiro is still early in her career but coming into the match was already a two time older of the Sendai Girls’ World Championship, while Rina won the Catch the WAVE Tournament this year and has an upcoming title match herself. Always fun to see the young future Aces from two different promotions collide, with Rina once again having the home turf advantage.

wave6-22-4They circle each other to start, Rina pushes Chihiro into the ropes but she gives a clean break. They lock knuckles, Chihiro takes down Rina and they struggles for position on the mat. Chihiro applies an ankle hold but Rina kicks her off, Chihiro puts Rina in a stretch hold but Rina gets out of it. They both go for shoulderblocks but neither budges, Chihiro finally knocks Rina off her feet but Rina returns the favor. Rina throws Chihiro into the corner and hits a lariat, she puts Chihiro into a Scorpion Deathlock but eventually gets to the ropes for a break. Rina mushes Chihiro against the bottom rope with her boot, Rina picks up Chihiro but Chihiro drives her into the corner and hits shoulder tackles. Body avalanche by Chihiro, and she covers Rina for a two count. Scoop slam by Chihiro and she hits a rolling senton, another senton by Chihiro and she covers Rina for two. Chihiro picks up Rina but Rina slides off her back and goes for a sleeper, which Chihiro quickly gets out of it by slamming Rina into the mat. Rina and Chihiro trade elbows until Chihiro hits a vertical suplex, Chihiro picks up Rina and hits a fireman’s carry roll followed by a somersault senton off the second turnbuckle. Chihiro goes up top but Rina recovers and joins her, they trade elbows until Rina superplexes Chihiro down to the mat. Rina applies a sleeper but Chihiro gets to the ropes, Rina goes off the ropes and she knees Chihiro in the back for a two count. Rina elbows Chihiro repeatedly, she goes off the ropes but Chihiro catches her with a spear. Back up they trade elbows and lariats, Chihiro finally knocks Rina to the mat but Rina blocks her suplex attempt. Back bodydrop by Rina but Chihiro comes back with a lariat, waterwheel drop by Chihiro but the bell rings as she goes for the cover.  The match is a Draw.

While I don’t really love draws, at least here there is a reason behind it. Last match they had was a 10 minute draw, while this one was a 15 minute draw. Both are the future leaders of their respective promotions, so they are really building up to a big match down the road, ideally for one of their titles. This just keeps the interest up, we’ve established they are very equal and hit extremely hard, but neither can wear down their opponent enough with a shorter time constraint. It leaves me hyped for a rematch, even if it doesn’t happen for awhile. But a very hard hitting and entertaining match, it wasn’t fast paced but never felt like it was dragging, and they both showed a lot of emotion. Sometimes a slow simmer is the way to go, and as long as the relationship between Sendai Girls’ and WAVE doesn’t fizzle, we are in store for an epic match at a future date judging by their interactions so far.  Recommended

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Kyuri and Mio Momono vs. Yuki Miyazaki and Yumi Ohka

Even though Yuki and Yumi were the WAVE Tag Team Championships coming into the match, this is not a title fight. Yuki and Yumi won the belts back in January and have been a rather dominating tag team in the promotion since then, combined they have over 30 years of wrestling experience. The other team consists of two young wrestlers from different promotions – Kyuri is a 19 year old wrestler from Ice Ribbon while Mio is a 19 year old wrestler from Marvelous. Because this match is so lopsided, it has special rules – Yuki and Yumi must score two pinfalls/submissions to win the match, while Kyuri and Mio only need one pinfall. Kyuri and Mio also can win by throwing their opponents over the top rope, only need a two count to get a pinfall, and win if the match is a Draw.

Yumi and Mio start off the match, Yumi immediately boots Mio and goes for the cover, but Kyuri breaks it up. Yumi goes for a tiger suplex but Mio reverses in a backslide, she tries a few more quick pins but Yumi kicks out of each. Hard shoulderblock by Yumi and she tags in Miyazaki, Miyazaki picks up Mio but Mio wiggles away and tags Kyuri. Kyuri goes for a crossbody but Miyazaki catches her, legdrop by Miyazaki but Kyuri kicks out of the cover. Mio runs in to help but gets pushed away, crab hold by Miyazaki to Kyuri but Kyuri eventually gets to the ropes. Miyazaki picks up Kyuri and hits a DDT, she tags in Yumi and Yumi knees Kyuri repeatedly in the head. Running boot by Yumi, but Kyuri kicks out at two. Judo toss by Kyuri and she tags in Mio, dropkicks by Mio and she finally gets Yumi to the mat, but the pin only gets a one count. Scoop slam by Mio and she continually covers Yumi, but Yumi won’t stay down for the two count. Mio charges Yumi in the corner but she keeps booting her back, dropkick to the knee by Mio but Yumi boots her when she climbs to the top turnbuckle. Big boot by Ohka in the corner and she hits a second one, cover by Ohka but Mio barely gets a shoulder up. Yumi immediately puts her in an armtrap crossface, Mio gets to the ropes but Ohka boots her in the face again. Mio tries to roll-up Yumi and does with Kyuri’s help, but Yumi kicks out at one. Another roll-up by Mio and she dropkicks Ohka, Mio tags in Kyuri and Kyuri hits a series of neck drops for a one count. Kyuri picks up Yumi and hits a few elbows, but Yumi snaps off a DDT and covers her for two. Kyuri rolls through the cover and goes for a submission, but Yumi is too close to the ropes. Diving crossbody by Kyuri, she picks up Yumi but Yumi blocks the fisherman buster and hits a heel drop for a two count.

wave6-22-5Backstabber by Kyuri and she rolls up Yumi a few more times, but each time gets a one count. Yumi suplexes Mio, Mio manages to tag in Kyuri but Miyazaki comes in too. Kyuri is double teamed until Yumi tags in Miyazaki, the action spills to the outside where Kaori Yoneyama and Cherry lend a hand to Kyuri. Miyazaki gets back in the ring while Yumi comes in with Kyuri, they hit the Magic Killer onto Kyuri but Kyuri kicks out of the cover. Scoop slam by Miyazaki, she gets on the second turnbuckle but Mio comes in and pushes Miyazaki over the top rope. She tries to pull her down (remember they can win by Over The Top), but Miyazaki pushes them away and gets back into the ring. A quick roll-up by Kyuri gets a one count, as does a leg clutch hold. Yumi runs in but she boots Miyazaki by accident, cover by Kyuri but Yumi breaks it up. Fisherman suplex by Kyuri, but Yumi breaks that up as well. Eye poke by Miyazaki, Gedo Clutch by Miyazaki and she gets the three count! Miyazaki and Yumi now have one pinfall, they need one more to win the match. Kyuri grabs Miyazaki around the waist but Miyazaki trips her, quick roll-up by Kyuri but Miyazaki reverses it and the two go back and forth. Kyuri tags in Mio, Mio tries to pin over Miyazaki repeatedly but each time she gets a one count. Mio picks up Miyazaki but Miyazaki kicks her and delivers a dropkick. Miyazaki grabs up Mio and hits a Samoan Driver, but Kyuri breaks up the cover. Miyazaki picks up Mio but Kyuri runs in and grabs her, backslide by Mio but it gets a one count. Around this time the bell rings, as time has expired. As the rules stipulated, due to the match being a draw, Mio Momono and Kyuri win!

Matches tend to suffer when there are so many stipulations, and this one was no different. It was a cute concept, the two young wrestlers getting the rules advantage against two wrestlers much more experienced, but I think they just over-did it a bit. They could have just done the rule that Yumi/Yuki needed two pinfalls and that the young team only needed a draw, no need for the two count pinfalls or Over The Top Rules to get their point across. The action was ok but nothing too memorable. Probably a more fun match live but a bit too weighed down by stipulations for my preference.

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Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami

We end the night with a second big singles match. Even though Hikaru is a regular in WAVE, this is their first singles match in two years. Ryo came into the match with the Regina Di WAVE Championship, but like the last match this is a non-title fight. Both wrestlers come into the match accomplished, however Hikaru is known more as a tag team specialist as she holds two tag team championships. A win here would set up Hikaru for a potential title shot down the road, while a win by Ryo would solidify her role in WAVE as the Ace.

They start with trading holds, Ryo gets Hikaru to the mat and shoulderblocks her, but Hikaru kips up. Hikaru trips Ryo but Ryo avoids the dropkick, they trade strike attempts but neither can connect. They get into a knuckle lock, Ryo pushes Hikaru to the mat and knocks Hikaru against the ropes. Ryo applies a front necklock but Hikaru gets into the ropes, scoop slam by Ryo and she hits a quick legdrop for two. Camel Clutch by Ryo, she drives Hikaru back into the corner and hits a series of shoulder tackles. Hikaru boots Ryo back and elbows her in the corner, she goes for a jumping knee but Ryo catches her and throws Hikaru to the mat. Ryo rams Hikaru’s head into the mat repeatedly before picking her up and hitting a lariat in the corner. Ryo knocks Hikaru off the apron to the floor, but Hikaru throws a kendo stick at her and hits a running knee. Hikaru picks up Ryo and drops her onto a steel chair, she brings Ryo over to a table and suplexes her on it. Hikaru knees Ryo repeatedly in the chest, she gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover by Hikaru, but it gets a two count. Hikaru applies a crab hold, Ryo gets to the ropes but Hikaru hits a running knee. Ryo falls out to the apron but Hikaru suplexes her back into the ring, cover by Hikaru but Ryo kicks out. Ryo fires back with elbows but Hikaru hits an armdrag and delivers a Falcon Arrow for two. Hikaru goes off the ropes but Ryo avoids her knee, Hikaru connects with the next one but Ryo hits a lariat.

wave6-22-6Ryo lariats Hikaru in the back of the head but Hikaru snaps off a hurricanrana, she goes off the ropes but Ryo hits a powerslam for two. Jumping knee by Hikaru, but Ryo quickly rolls her up for two before applying an Anaconda Vice. Hikaru gets to the ropes to get out of the hold, spear by Ryo but Hikaru slides off her back and hits an enzuigiri. Uranage by Ryo, she covers Hikaru but it gets a two count. Ryo picks up Hikaru but Hikaru gets way again and rolls up Ryo for two, Hikaru gets her kendo stick and hits Ryo in the head with it. Hikaru hits a pair of running knees, but Ryo gets a foot on the bottom rope to break up the pinfall count. Hikaru puts Ryo on the top turnbuckle and joins her, but Ryo pushes her off. Ryo goes for the diving leg drop but Hikaru avoids it, two more running knees by Hikaru but Ryo gets a shoulder up. Hikaru tries to hit Ryo with her kendo stick but Ryo blocks it, dragon suplex hold by Ryo but it gets two. Big lariat by Ryo, she goes up top and nails the diving leg drop, but that gets a two count as well. Hikaru pokes Ryo in the eyes and applies in an inside cradle for two, she goes off the ropes but Ryo catches her and delivers the Hot Limit. Before she can make the cover, the bell rings as time has expired. The match is a Draw.

This was an oddly structured match but I think they accomplished their goal of putting on a good show while protecting both. I didn’t love that Ryo kept kicking out of Shida’s Three Count knees, but then Hikaru kicked out of the diving leg drop so it was just one of those matches that neither was going to stay down under any circumstances. I’m not sure what the point was as Shida isn’t really in the main event scene, but if they just wanted to put on an entertaining match for the fans I’d preferred the match have a more conclusive ending as a Draw leaves you wanted more that isn’t imminently coming. The action was really solid, Ryo was sandbagging Hikaru some which was interesting, not sure if there was a backstory there or just an effort to make her look tougher since WAVE is her promotion. I enjoyed it, I wish it had a real ending since the last two matches also went to the time limit, but both are great wrestlers and they put on a fun main event.  Recommended