Event: Actwres girl’Z Act In Osaka
Date: October 18th, 2020
Location: Osaka 176BOX in Osaka, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
Its been a long time since I reviewed an AgZ event on the site, over a year and a half in fact, so I figured we were long overdue. AgZ has changed quite a bit since then as they’ve had issues lately keeping wrestlers. Which is a common issue with smaller promotions, they build stars and then they move on to bigger and better things. Luckily for them they still have Miyuki Takase, the star of the promotion, who is a great wrestler. They also still (for now) employ Sekiguchi and Tae Honma, plus they are using Freelancer Andras Miyagi. So there are some good wrestlers on their roster, but a lot of them are still learning so its best to go in with lower expectations. But I’m still looking forward to it, here is the full card:
As this aired on NicoPro, all matches should be shown in full. The wrestlers on the show have profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their names above to go straight to it.
Ayano Irie and Yuko Sakurai vs. Mai Sakurai and Hasegawa
We start with a tag match with some of the less experienced wrestlers in the promotion. All four of these wrestlers debuted after October of 2018, with the newest being Mai who debuted earlier this year. None have really ventured much outside of Actwres girl’Z and none have won any titles, so they are still in the “learning” phase (which they may never leave). Watching less experienced wrestlers can be fun as sometimes you can see something in one of them that is encouraging, lets see how these four are.
Ayano and Hasegawa start the match, they go into a knucklelock but Mai comes in to help her partner as Ayano is double teamed. Yuko runs in to even the odds, she then joins Ayano in double teaming Hasegawa. Ayano snapmares Hasegawa and dropkicks hers, cover by Ayano but it gets a two count. She tags in Yuko, snapmare by Yuko and she applies a headscissors. Hasegawa gets to the ropes for the break, Yuko picks her up and slams her into the mat. She tags Ayano, Ayano puts Hasegawa in a crab hold but Hasegawa gets into the ropes again. Ayano goes off the ropes but Hasegawa drop toeholds her into the second rope and Mai kicks her from the apron. Dropkick by Hasegawa and she rolls to her corner to tag Mai, Mai boots Ayano and elbows Yuko when she runs in to help her partner. Mai throws Ayano into Yuko, boot to Ayano but Ayano elbows Mai in the chest.
Drop toehold by Mai but Ayano avoids the elbow drop, dropkick by Ayano and she covers Mai for two. Ayano tags Yuko, shoulderblock by Yuko and she hits a running elbow in the corner. Another shoulderblock by Yuko and she covers Mai for two. Scoop slam attempt by Yuko but Mai blocks it, Mai goes off the ropes but Yuko catches her with a scoop slam for a two count. Mai gets away from Yuko and boots her in the head, she tags in Hasegawa and they throw Yuko into the corner. Dropkick by Hasegawa and Mai follows with a boot, snapmare by Hasegawa and she hits a PK for a two count. Elbows by Hasegawa, Yuko picks up Hasegawa but Hasegawa gets her back for a sleeper hold. Ayano quickly breaks it up, double Irish whip to Hasegawa and Hasegawa is hit with a double dropkick. Yuko applies a Cobra Twist but it gets broken up by Mai, Mai stays in and helps set up their opponents so that Hasegawa can hit a double crossbody. Yuko avoids Hasegawa’s kick and rolls her up for two, Hasegawa goes for a flash pin but Yuko reverses it into her own cover for the three count! Ayano Irie and Yuko Sakurai are the winners!
The good news here is that no one looked like they didn’t belong. Some of the movements were stiff but the match flowed along without any major issues. The bad news is that no one really stood out here either. Hasegawa looked probably the best from an overall package standpoint but generally speaking they came across as competent wrestlers but nothing more. Which probably is why they are where they are. A decent enough way to open the show but overall pretty skippable.
Andras Miyagi vs. Mari
I hope one day that Andras Miyagi writes a book as her career has taken a hell of a path the last two years. She went from a promising young wrestler in Sendai Girls’ with multiple tag title reigns, to a solid midcarder in Stardom as part of Oedo Tai, to suddenly losing a lot in Stardom/leaving and doing lower level indie shows like this one. And not in big spots, she’s second from the bottom. I don’t know if her career changes were her choice or the promotions not wanting her back, but she’s definitely not taking the path that most wrestlers would want. She is against Mari, who started in REINA but joined Actwres girl’Z in 2018. Five years into her career she hasn’t found much success either, even though she does have a great look. Andras is still the favorite just based off her past success, but either way its just an odd spot to see her in.
Mari wastes time to start, which is one of her fun things to do, but they finally get into it as Mari kicks Andras repeatedly. They trade waistlocks until Mari puts Andras in a stretch hold, Rocking Horse by Mari and she lets go only to stomp on Andras’ back. Single leg crab hold by Mari but Andras rolls out of the ring, Mari goes out to the apron but Andras ducks her kick. Mari kicks her anyway and goes out to the floor, kicking Andras in the head. Mari slides Andras back in the ring and kicks her in the head again, cover by Mari but it gets a two count. Mari picks up Andras and puts her on her shoulders, but Mari slides off and schoolboys Mari for two. An inside cradle also gets a two count for Andras, she charges Mari but Mari kicks her back and delivers a superkick. Mari picks up Andras and hits a Samoan Drop, cover by Mari but it gets a two count. Mari picks up Andras and goes for a backslide, but Andras blocks it and applies her own backslide for two. Schoolboy by Andras but Mari rolls through it, Andras throws Mari into the referee and schoolboys her again for the three count! Andras Miyagi is the winner!
Its so odd just seeing Andras with this new “style.” She didn’t really even do an offensive move in this match, Mari just kicked her around until she finally was successful with a flash pin. I don’t even know what to think about it. Mari looked really good, for someone who hasn’t gotten a lot of opportunities in wrestling I like her a lot. Her offense was tight and well done, I’m just eternally confused on what Andras is even bringing to the table these days. Maybe worth watching to see Mari but Andras didn’t do enough for me to recommend the match as a whole.
Hikari Shimizu and Matsui vs. Momo Kohgo and Momo Tani
Moving along, we get four wrestlers that also haven’t had a lot of success yet but are perhaps further along than the wrestlers we saw in the opener. None of these four have won any titles either but tend to branch out a bit more to other promotions, particularly PURE-J. Its still a little too early to know if any will really blossom, although at only 20 years old and with a wide range of participation in other promotions, Misa Matsui may be the furthest along. I haven’t seen them in awhile, so I am going in with an open mind to see who may show the most potential.
Hikari and Tani start the match and go right into a fast exchange, eventually reaching a stalemate. They tag in Misa and Kohgo, footstomp by Misa and she puts Kohgo in an armbar. She lets go after a moment and throws Kohgo into the corner, Misa stomps down Kohgo as Hikari helps from the apron. Misa picks up Kohgo and tags Hikari, snapmares my Hikari and she tags Misa back in. Irish whip by Misa and she hits a dropkick, footstomp by Misa and she covers Kohgo for two. Scoop slam by Misa and she tags Hikari, footstomp by Hikari and she tosses Kohgo down by the hair. Hikari applies a crab hold to Kohgo but she eventually lets go, Irish whip by Hikari but Kohgo reverses it and hits a dropkick. She rolls to her corner and tags Tani, running knee by Tani and she knees Hikari from the apron. Double kneedrops to Hikari’s back by Tani but Misa strolls in and kicks her from behind. Double Irish whip to Tani but Tani hits a double Codebreaker followed by a double running knee to both opponents. Tani goes back to Hikari’s back but Hikari kicks her and snapmares Tani before delivering a series of kicks. Hikari puts Tani in a choke hold but it gets broken up, Hikari throws Tani into the corner and hits a step-up kick for a two count. Hikari tags Misa, jumping crossbody by Misa and she gets a two count. Tani swats away a dropkick as they both return to their feet and trade strikes.
DDT by Misa and she covers Tani for two. Misa goes off the ropes but Misa connects with a Backstabber, double knee to Misa’s back by Tani and she puts Misa in a stretch hold. Misa gets to the ropes for the break, Tani gets on the second rope and hits a diving double knee to Misa’s back. Tani goes back to the stretch hold but this time Hikari quickly breaks it up, Tani tags Kohgo and Kohgo dropkicks Misa a few times. Scoop slam by Kohgo and she covers Misa for two. Kohgo applies a crab hold but Hikari breaks up the hold, Tani comes in two and Misa is double teamed in the corner. Kohgo picks up Misa but Misa gets away, putting Kohgo in the Octopus Hold. That gets broken up, Misa gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody for a two count. Misa picks up Kohgo but Kohgo blocks the suplex attempt, sunset flip by Kohgo but Misa reverses it and the two trade flash pin attempts. Hikari kicks Kohgo in the back before Misa delivers a low crossbody for a two count. Misa goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving footstomp, but Kohgo kicks out of the cover. She goes all the way up the next time but Kohgo avoids the footstomp attempt, schoolboy by Kohgo but it gets two as does La Magistral. Kohgo goes off the ropes but Misa dropkicks her, low crossbody by Misa and she hits two more. Cover by Misa, but Kohgo gets a shoulder up. Misa drags up Kohgo and she nails the MARU X MARU Suplex, picking up the three count! Hikari Shimizu and Misa Matsui are the winners.
This match won’t blow anyone away, but it was smartly worked and all four played their parts well. I really enjoyed Misa’s work on her opponents’ back, really any type of body part-focused offense I am going to be fan of if it is done well and they certainly were trying to tell a story. The Hikari/Misa team seemed to be the only one with a path to victory as the Momos weren’t doing much effective, looking mostly for flash pins and what not to try to win. So even though the presentation was a little lopsided, it never got boring over the 15 minutes and there was a definitive winner which I like. For a midcard tag match, they went a little beyond what I was expecting and put on a solid match. Mildly Recommended
Ami Miura and Tae Honma vs. Rina Amikura and SAKI
For fans of Joshi in general but not of Actwres girl’Z in particular, there should still be two recognizable names in this match. Tae Honma has a moderate amount of popularity and wrestles in Ice Ribbon a lot, she is also one of the most seasoned wrestlers on the show as she debuted in 2015. SAKI has been wrestling since 2012 and has been active in a slew of promotions over the years, including Gatoh Move, PURE-J, and WAVE. Miura and Amikura both are a little less experienced, with Ami Miura still being a rookie as she just debuted two months ago. A good combination of young/learning wrestlers and veterans, hopefully the vets can take control of the match and help the other two along.
Tae and SAKI start the match, SAKI works a headlock but Tae Irish whips out of it and rolls SAKI to the mat. Tae goes for a dropkick but SAKI avoids it, cradle by Tae but it gets two. SAKI picks up Tae but Tae slides away, schoolboy by Tae but that gets two as well. They tag out as Rina and Ami run in, SAKI returns as well and Ami is double teamed. Body press by Rina, but it gets a two count. Rina throws down Ami by the hair and hits a scoop slam, she tags in SAKI and SAKI stomps on Ami. SAKI tags Rina back in, Rina tries to shoulderblock Ami over but Ami stays up. They both try to knock each other over with no luck until Rina finally sends Ami to the mat. Back up they trade chops, Rina chops Ami into the corner but Ami hits a shoulderblock and tags Tae. Tae comes in the ring with a missile dropkick but Rina connects with a body avalanche in the corner followed by a shoulderblock. She goes for a running senton but Tae moves, body press by Tae and Ami jumps on Tae’s back before Ami hits another body press. Cover by Tae, but it gets a two count.
Rina chops Tae and goes off the ropes, but Tae catches her with a Fujiwara Armbar. Rina gets to the ropes for the break, hard shoulderblock by Rina to Tae and she hits a senton. Body press by Rina, but it gets a two count. Rina makes the tag to SAKI, rolling cradle by SAKI but it gets two. SAKI picks up Tae but Tae gets away, knee by SAKI and she puts Tae across the ropes in the corner. Running knee to the midsection by SAKI but Tae hits a running elbow in the other corner followed by a dropkick. Fujiwara Armbar by Tae and she switches it to a double armbar, but SAKI gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Tae goes off the ropes and dropkicks SAKI, she tags in Ami but SAKI boots Ami in the chest. Ami elbows SAKI and the two trade shots, knee by SAKI and she kicks Ami to the mat for two. SAKI goes for a suplex but Tae breaks it up, double Irish whip to SAKI but SAKI fights them both off. SAKI puts Ami in a crab hold, but Ami gets to the ropes for the break.
SAKI goes to the second turnbuckle but Ami rolls out of the way of the Reverse Splash, dropkick by Ami but SAKI blocks the scoop slam and puts Ami in a stretch hold. Rocking Horse by SAKI but Tae breaks it up, Rina comes in but Ami throws SAKI into Rina and hits a dropkick. Tae goes up top and hits a missile dropkick on both opponents, Ami picks up Rina and scoop slams her. Double chop by Ami to SAKI, she picks her up and hits a scoop slam for two. Ami goes to pick up SAKI but SAKI cradles her for two, big boot by SAKI but Tae elbows her in the chest. SAKI boots Tae before Rina hits a somersault senton on her, but Ami dropkicks SAKI. Ami Irish whips SAKI but SAKI blocks it and hits a snap vertical suplex. SAKI positions Ami and goes to the second turnbuckle, nailing the Reverse Splash for the three count! SAKI and Rina Amikura win!
Even though the bulk of this match was fine, something was missing. Unlike the last match there wasn’t really a focus or story told in any way, it was mostly just random action as they didn’t do much to even play up the experience dynamic. Even though SAKI is decent enough there is a reason she is an eight year pro wrestling in the mid-card of AgZ – there is little special about her and some of her offense is lackluster. I couldn’t get a great feel of the less experienced wrestlers but Ami seemed fine, and though I like Tae she didn’t do a whole lot in this match. Overall a perfectly watchable match but one with nothing memorable about it whatsoever as they seemed to just be going through the basic motions for the bulk of it.
(c) Miyuki Takase vs. Kakeru Sekiguchi
Time for the big main event, as Miyuki Takase defends her title against Kakeru Sekiguchi. Miyuki won the title last November in a tournament versus Himeka “Jumbo” Arita, which was a bit of a reset for the promotion after Saori Anou left and Reika Saki got injured, leaving the top of the promotion literally vacant. Miyuki really has grown into the role of Ace and this is her third defense of the title, which is impressive considering the pandemic took out a good chunk of the year for live wrestling shows. Kakeru is a solid challenger, as she is a three year vet and has been featured a lot in OZ Academy, which has given her a lot of experience. Both are really solid wrestlers and I expect them to go all-out in the first title match in AgZ since the pandemic began last Spring.
Kakeru elbows Miyuki instead of shaking her hand, Miyuki avoids her dropkick however and stomps Kakeru in the back. The two trade elbows until Miyuki hits a DDT, Miyuki chops Kakeru into the corner and she delivers a dropkick. Another dropkick by Miyuki and she hits a scoop slam followed by a leg drop for two. Miyuki applies a single leg crab hold but Kakeru gets to the ropes, Miyuki stands on Kakeru’s back but Kakeru elbows her and they trade shots. Kakeru goes for a scoop slam but Miyuki reverses it into one of her own, Miyuki applies a guillotine choke but Kakeru gets out of it and the two end up in the ropes. They both get back up, takedown by Kakeru but Miyuki quickly gets in the dominate position and puts Kakeru in a submission hold. Kakeru quickly gets to the ropes, Miyuki chops Kakeru into the corner and hits a dropkick from the second turnbuckle. Miyuki dives off the second turnbuckle but Kakeru catches her with a Fujiwara Armbar, but Miyuki gets into the ropes. Kakeru twists on Miyuki’s arm and dropkicks her arm from the apron before snapping her arm over the top rope. Kakeru pulls Miyuki out of the ring and throws her into the ring post, Kakeru puts Miyuki’s hand on the apron and jumps down onto Miyuki’s arm.
Kakeru finally slides Miyuki back in but Miyuki pushes her off, scoop slam by Kakeru and she covers Miyuki for two. Kakeru applies an armlock but Miyuki wiggles to the ropes and forces the break. Miyuki elbows Kakeru and the two trade strikes, Kakeru wins the battle and goes to the top turnbuckle, hitting a missile dropkick. Slingshot doublestomp to the arm by Kakeru and she rolls Miyuki to the mat as she goes to the arm, but Miyuki lands too close to the ropes. Kakeru goes off the ropes but Miyuki catches her with a powerslam for two. Miyuki picks up Kakeru but Kakeru slides away and goes for the cross armbreaker, but Miyuki blocks it. Kakeru goes for a choke but Miyuki powerbombs out of it, Miyuki gets Kakeru on her shoulders and hits the Kamikaze. Miyuki goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving legdrop, cover by Miyuki but it gets two. Miyuki picks up Kakeru but Kakeru sneaks in a cradle for two, another cradle by Kakeru but that gets a two as well. Judo tosses by Kakeru and she hits a STO, picking up another two count. Kakeru picks up Miyuki and hits another STO, she goes off the ropes but Miyuki catches her with a lariat. Jackhammer by Miyuki, but Kakeru barely gets a shoulder up on the cover. Miyuki comes out of it holding her arm so she is slow to capitalize, Kakeru is up first but Miyuki elbows her against the ropes. Miyuki goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, another lariat by Miyuki and she covers Kakeru for two.
Miyuki picks up Kakeru but Kakeru reverses the Jackhammer attempt into a guillotine choke. Miyuki manages to get a foot on the ropes for the break, Kakeru goes off the ropes and delivers the running STO for two. Kakeru stomps at Miyuki but Miyuki grabs her leg as she tries to go up top, Kakeru finally makes it but Miyuki joins her and hits a series of headbutts. Superplex by Miyuki and she puts Kakeru in a modified headscissors, but Kakeru gets a foot on the ropes. Miyuki picks up Kakeru and lariats her while she is against the ropes, cover by Miyuki but Kakeru barely gets a shoulder up. Miyuki gets Kakeru up and drops he with a Jackhammer, but again Kakeru kicks out. Lariat by Miyuki and she hits another one, but Kakeru reverses the cover into one of her own for two. Kakeru goes off the ropes but Miyuki hits a lariat, she gets Kakeru on her shoulders and hits a Samoan Driver. Miyuki drags Kakeru to her feet and nails the Jackhammer, and she gets the three count! Miyuki Takase wins and retains the championship.
A pretty great match between two quality young wrestlers. Kakeru’s arm work was really well done and Miyuki didn’t (completely) forget about the damage as she’d occasionally signal that it was bothering her throughout the match. Miyuki’s strategy seemed to be lariats and power moves, and the two meshed their two different win strategies together well to make a cohesive match. Nothing they did felt wasted and the 17 minutes went by pretty quickly, it felt like it ended at about the right time. The last few minutes were a bit too big-move-spammy which happens sometimes in title matches, it didn’t put a major damper on the match as a whole but it probably could have been tightened up a bit. Still, a great title match and a fitting conclusion to the event. Recommended
For an event from one of the smaller Joshi promotions, this was pretty solid. AgZ has a lot of wrestlers still figuring things out beyond the basics and lets face it, many of them won’t make it either due to lack of skill or just moving on to the next phase of their life. Still, they do have a handful of enjoyable wrestlers, with several showing potential. The use of Andras Miyagi was disappointing but the mid-card tag match and the main event both delivered in their own way. Its a tough show to recommend to a more casual fan but its a pretty breezy watch and Miyuki Takase will one day be killing it in a larger Joshi promotion.