AtoZ “1st Anniversary Mainstream” on 7/19/04 Review

Event: Major Girl’s Fighting AtoZ “1st Anniversary Mainstream”
Date: July 19th, 2004
Location: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Yokohama, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown

Time to review a new promotion! Major Girl’s Fighting AtoZ (short for “ARISON to Zenjo”) was a short-lived wrestling promotion that ran shows from 2003 to 2006. ARISON was a popular Joshi promotion that went out of business in 2003, it was taken over by Yumiko Hotta who changed the name to AtoZ. “Zenjo” was a nickname for AJW, which is where Hotta originally wrestled, hence the name. Anyway, Hotta led the promotion with Mariko Yoshida, and current Stardom boss Rossy Ogawa was involved backstage as well. The promotion did not have a lot of its own contracted wrestlers but did have a world title, and also was the starting place for many future stars including Arisa Nakajima and Kana/Asuka. Finding information on the shows is difficult as they were one of many smaller Joshi promotions at the time, but I’ll do the best I can to gather the information available.

I picked this event to review for two reasons. First, it is the earliest recorded match I could find in Kana’s career, as she just debuted the month prior in AtoZ. Second, this was a major show for the promotion as it had a number of big singles matches, a retirement road match, and what may be a classic main event. Here is the full card:

  • Bullfighter Sora vs. Ofune
  • Flesh Girl’s Fighting: Kana vs. Natsumi Mizushima
  • Battle of J-Connection: Sachie Abe and Teruko Kagawa vs. The Bloody and Maru
  • Rie Tamada Retirement Road 3rd: Rie Tamada, GAMI, and PIKO vs. Azumi Hyuga, Yoshiko Tamura, and Misae Genki
  • Future Manifest: Mirai vs. Saki Maemura
  • Revive Violence: Amazing Kong vs. Mima Shimoda
  • Battle of A-Connection: Leona vs. Mariko Yoshida
  • Battle of Z-Connection: Mika Nishio vs. Takako Inoue
  • CLIMAX: Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi vs. Yumiko Hotta and Kumiko Maekawa

They somehow squeezed all this into a two hour show, so I think it is safe to assume there will be clipping. Hopefully not in the matches I want to see the most.

atoz7-19-1 atoz7-19-1a
Bullfighter Sora vs. Ofune

atoz7-19-1I predict heavy clipping. Bullfighter Sora is wrestler Atsuko Emoto under the gimmick she is best known for, as you can see above she wrestles in a mask with bull horns. She retired back in 2010 while wrestling in WAVE. Ofune was a K-DOJO wrestler, she had a relatively short career as she debuted in 2002 and officially retired in 2005 (she had a few matches after that but nothing major).  Ofune was the ‘ace’ female wrestler in K-DOJO however and was a pretty popular wrestler during her heyday.

The match is Joined in Progress with Sora body blocking Ofune, but Ofune kicks out of the cover. Sora goes up top but Ofune shakes the ropes and Sora falls out of the ring. She returns after a moment, tornado DDT by Ofune but the cover gets two. Ofune chops Sora but Sora headbutts her, vertical suplex by Sora and she covers Ofune for another two count. Sora runs up the corner and goes for a diving elbow but Ofune moves, Ofune goes up top and hits a diving knee strike for two. Ofune picks up Sora but Sora hits a backdrop suplex, Ofune quickly rolls up Sora and she gets the three count! Ofune wins the match.

As I figured, pretty clipped, but at least the ending stretch was all shown in full instead of just doing random cuts. Ofune was a rather beloved wrestler the few years she was around so its always fun to see her, but not enough was shown to be memorable.

Kana vs. Natsumi Mizushima

Super Baby Kana! This is the first recorded match of Kana that I can find, she debuted on June 16th so this is only one month into her career. I don’t have to go too much into the career that Kana has had since then, as she is currently one of the most popular female wrestlers in the world. Mizushima had a nice career for herself as well, you may know her better as Natsuki Taiyo, a star of NEO and Stardom. She retired in 2014 and currently works in SEAdLINNNG as a referee and in a backstage role.

atoz7-19-2Kana and Mizushima get right into it as the bell rings, trading elbows until Mizushima throws down Kana by the hair. Kana boots Mizushima and dropkicks her, snapmares by Kana and she starts working on Mizushima’s arm. Mizushima gets away and dropkicks Kana, knees by Mizushima but Kana hits mounted elbows. Mizushima returns fire and headbutts Kana before throwing her down by the hair, modified Camel Clutch by Mizushima  but Kana applies a backslide for two. Dropkick by Kana, she picks up Mizushima and dropkicks her into the corner before dropkicking her some more. Mizushima finally is tired of being dropkicked and headbutts Kana in the gut, she goes up top but Kana pulls her back into the ring. Hip attack by Kana and she hits another one, they trade chops until Mizushima hits a scoop slam. Mizushima gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving headbutt, cover by Mizushima but it gets a two count. Mizushima picks up Kana but Kana sneaks in a schoolboy for two, Irish whip by Kana but Mizushima applies a backslide. Mizushima goes up top but Kana joins her, Mizushima headbutts Kana back to the mat and hits a diving headbutt for the three count! Natsumi Mizushima is the winner.

They actually showed the bulk of this match as only a couple minutes were clipped. This was a really solid match considering both were rookies, both showed fire with their strikes and the action was pretty smooth. I won’t say the obnoxious “from watching this match it is no surprise both turned out to be big stars” as that would be silly, but I will say that both showed a natural ability early in their careers. A fun match.  Mildly Recommended

Sachie Abe and Teruko Kagawa vs. The Bloody and Maru

The match was referred to “Battle of J-Connection” as all four of these wrestlers trained in Jd’ Star. Bloody and Abe are the two we are most familiar with today, as both had championship success (even though all Abe’s titles were when she wrestled in JWP later in her career). Kagawa still occasionally wrestles, most recently in Actress girl’Z, while Maru had multiple Jr. Heavyweight title reigns during her seven year career.

atoz7-19-3Bloody and Abe start the match for their teams and quickly end up in a strike battle, Abe elbows Bloody into the corner but Bloody kicks her in the head. Abe gets back in control and hits mounted elbows on Bloody, but Bloody hits a release German suplex. Abe dropkicks Bloody and throws her into the corner, Bloody jumps up onto the second turnbuckle but Abe joins her. Bloody stretches Abe on the top turnbuckle, she lets go after a moment and Abe hits a springboard elbow followed by a missile dropkick for a two count. Abe gets on the top turnbuckle but Bloody avoids the diving body press, Bloody boots Abe but Abe flips her out to the apron before kicking her out of the ring. Abe goes out after her while Kagawa gets on the top turnbuckle and dives out of the ring onto Bloody. Abe then goes up top and dives out onto Bloody and Maru, Bloody is slid back into the ring and Abe hits a diving victory roll for a two count. Snap dragon suplexes by Bloody to Abe, she kicks Abe in the head before tagging in Maru. This quickly backfires as Abe applies quick flash pins for two, Abe puts Maru in the Victory A Clutch and Maru has no choice but to submit! Abe and Kagawa are the winners.

While I love me some Bloody, the match was too short and random. I am assuming the end was clipped and Maru wasn’t literally pinned 30 seconds after getting into the ring, I’ll forgive the oddness of the layout if it wasn’t the wrestlers’ fault. Abe and Bloody both looked good with their high spots, but we didn’t get to see much from Kagawa and Maru. Just too clipped to be good.

Rie Tamada, GAMI, and PIKO vs. Azumi Hyuga, Yoshiko Tamura, and Misae Genki

This is part of Rie Tamada’s retirement tour. Tamada retired on August 22nd, 2004, so this was one of the last matches of her career that began in AJW back in 1991. GAMI and PIKO (aka Command Bolshoi) were regulars in AtoZ, while the other team was a mixture of JWP and NEO wrestlers.

atoz7-19-4Tamada and Hyuga are the first two in, after some shenanigans dealing with GAMI things settle down with Hyuga being triple beamed in a comedic way. For a ‘Retirement Road” match this one didn’t start overly serious. GAMI puts Tamura in a crab hold, they do the thing where someone at ringside grabs GAMI’s arm to provide extra pressure but they do it in a chain all the way into the crowd and up into the balcony. GAMI eventually lets go, PIKO goes for a dive out of the ring but Misae and Tamura catch her before sliding her back into the ring. Tamada and Hyuga end up in the ring, tornado DDT by Tamada and she tags in PIKO. PIKO applies an armbar before rolling up Hyuga, and we clip ahead to Tamada being in the ring with Misae. Release German by Tamada, and we clip ahead again to Tamada and GAMI double teaming Hyuga. PIKO comes in too and they triple team Misae in the corner, Frankensteiner by GAMI and PIKO hits a diving hurricanrana. German suplex hold by Tamada, but the cover gets broken up. Tamada goes for another suplex but Misae blocks it, Tamada goes off the rope but Misae catches her with a chokeslam. Tamura runs in and elbows Tamada, G-Driver by Misae and she covers Tamada for a two count. Misae picks up Tamada but Tamada ducks the discus lariat and hits a German suplex hold for two. GAMI tries to help but it backfires, another G-Driver by Misae and she gets the three count! Azumi Hyuga, Yoshiko Tamura, and Misae Genki are the winners.

Too odd of a match for my personal tastes, when matches try to be a hybrid of comedy and straight up wrestling it tends to not really work out. The clipping didn’t help of course, as if there was any type of structure to it we wouldn’t know from the way the match aired. I liked Misae Genki a lot and appreciated she took the match back to a more serious level, but I was hoping for a bit more in one of Rie Tamada’s last wrestling matches.

Mirai vs. Saki Maemura

I am not sure if “The Future Manifest” part of the match came true, however this is a match with two young wrestlers that showed a lot of potential. Maemura wrestled from 2001 to 2009, she won the AJW Championship late in the promotion’s run but that’s about it before ending her career wrestling in ZERO1. Mirai sadly passed away in 2005 while still a professional wrestler, she drowned in her bathtub after passing out (there are theories as to what happened that I won’t get into, but no foul play was suspected). Should be a good match between two growing stars however, as both had a lot of fire and ability.

atoz7-19-5They lock knuckles which the much taller Mirai easily gets the better of, Mirai takes down Maemura with a headlock but Maemura quickly reverses it. Mirai gets in the mount and rains down elbows while Maemura applies a bodyscissors, Mirai chokes Maemura to get her to release the hold before hitting a pair of jumping lariats. Back up they trade strikes, atomic drop by Mirai and she hits the Giant Swing on her smaller opponent. Bridging scoop suplex by Mirai, she goes up top but Maemura ducks the diving crossbody. Maemura dropkicks Mirai out of the ring, she gets out on the apron and hits a missile dropkick. She then goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving plancha, she slides Mirai back in before going back up top and hitting a missile dropkick. Diving body press by Maemura, but Mirai kicks out of the cover. Mirai elbows out of the German and chops Maemura, Maemura slaps her however and hits a release fisherman suplex. Hard chop to the chest by Mirai and she applies an Octopus Hold before rolling Maemura to the mat while keeping it applied, but Maemura gets a foot onto the ropes. Mirai quick re-applies it, she lets go after a moment and goes for a scoop slam, but Maemura reverses it into a roll-up. Mirai chops Maemura into the corner but Maemura ducks one and hits a release German suplex, fisherman suplex hold by Maemura and she picks up the three count! Saki Maemura wins the match.

This was a really fun match, I enjoy watching two young wrestlers that have passion for wrestling going non-stop with a variety of strikes and suplexes. Mirai used her height and size advantage well, winning a few exchanges with it, but Maemura was too slick to keep down and her high flying moves helped make the difference. A bit clipped but a good percentage of it was shown, no real complaints as it was an entertaining match bell to bell.  Mildly Recommended

Amazing Kong vs. Mima Shimoda

Here is a wrestler that American fans are very familar with – Amazing Kong! Kong is best known here for wrestling in TNA as Awesome Kong and briefly in WWE as Kharma, however she first gained success and popularity while wrestling primarily in Japan from 2002 to 2006. By 2004 she was a regular in GAEA, where she teamed with Aja Kong to win the AAAW Tag Team Championship on May 5th, 2004. Shimoda started wrestling in AJW back in 1987 and is best down as one half of LCO, teaming with Etsuko Mita to become one of the top Joshi tag teams in history. I couldn’t find any previous encounters between these two so I am not sure what the backstory was, if any, but it should still be a fun clash.

Shimoda attacks Kong before the match starts and the streamers fly, pink streamers are literally everywhere as Kong and Shimoda battle at ringside. Kong takes Shimoda into the crowd and throws her around before they return to the ring, she goes for a powerbomb but Shimoda reverses it with a back bodydrop. Kong fires back with a lariat, Shimoda drives Kong into the corner but Kong avoids he charge and nails a Buckle Bomb. Shimoda takes back over with kicks to the back of Kong’s head, Shimoda stomps down Kong in the corner and takes her out of the ring before assaulting her with chairs. Shimoda slides some chairs in the ring and brings Kong in with her, Shimoda throws Kong onto the chair pile and goes up top, hitting a diving footstomp onto Kong. Kong blocks the slam attempt and lands on top of Shimoda, and we get a good shot of Shimoda’s face which at some point got busted up all the hell. Shimoda goes up top but Kong pushes her out of the ring to the floor, Kong goes out after her and takes her up onto the balcony (Joshi promotions during this time period loved the balcony at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium), she tries to throw Shimoda off of it but Shimoda hangs on by the railing.

atoz7-19-6Kong goes back down to the floor to try to pull Shimoda off the railing, but Shimoda kicks Kong away and with help drops down to the floor unscathed. Kong isn’t on the defense for long and she rolls Shimoda into the ring before going to get a table, she sets up the table at ringside before continuing to toss Shimoda around the floor. Kong brings Shimoda up onto the apron and tries to powerbomb her through the table, but she partially misses it and Shimoda barely touches it before going straight down to the floor. Somehow she isn’t injured, she gets on the apron but Kong lariats her from inside the ring. Double underhook facebuster by Kong, Kong get on the second turnbuckle but Shimoda avoids the body press. Lariat by Kong, she goes for a powerbomb but Shimoda reverses it with a hurricanrana. Kong hits another lariat, she goes up top but Shimoda hits her before she can jump off. Shimoda joins Kong and tosses her to the mat, somersault legdrop to the back of the head by Shimoda but Kong kicks out of the cover. Shimoda picks up Kong but Kong pushes her off, both wrestlers connect with punches but Kong connects better as Shimoda is knocked out. She barely makes the referee’s count, Kong promptly lariats her before hitting a Uraken. Powerbomb by Kong, she goes up top and she nails the diving body press for the three count cover! Your winner is Amazing Kong!

Well I enjoyed the hell out of this match. Kong at the time was still pretty raw, she was a solid wrestler but was mostly a brawler as she wasn’t always super smooth with her moves. Shimoda being the underdog was fun as normally she is the one using weapons and being the heel, here she was outdone by Kong in both of those departments. These types of matches work well as a change of pace, lots of brawling and chair shots and general chaos. Kong almost killed Shimoda with the missed powerbomb and the balcony spots always add a degree of excitement since you never know what will happen. An entertaining crowd brawling match, with a convincing win by Amazing Kong.  Recommended

Leona vs. Mariko Yoshida

The match was referred to “Battle of A-Connection” as both of these wrestlers were best known for their work in ARISON. Yoshida is a legendary wrestler and trainer, she had five title reigns while wrestling in ARISON and later created IBUKI to help train new wrestlers. She is considered one of the better ‘technical’ wrestlers in Joshi history and innovated the Air Raid Crash. Leona is better known as the masked wrestler LEON, she was still pretty early in her career but she did have success in AJW as she was their Jr. Champion. A bit of a mismatch, but Leona was feisty and used to overcoming adversity in her career.

atoz7-19-7Yoshida quickly takes Leona to the mat but Leona repeatedly wiggles away from her, Yoshida generally stays in control but she can’t get a hold locked in. Yoshida finally gets a kneelock applied while also kicking Leona in the back, but Leona gets a hand in the ropes to force a break. Yoshida takes Leona back down and kicks her in the back, Irish whip by Yoshida but Leona reverses it before Yoshida flips Leona out to the apron. Diving armdrag by Leona, Yoshida falls out of the ring and Leona dropkicks her when Yoshida gets on the apron. Leona charges the ropes, she jumps straight to the top rope and springboards out onto Yoshida with a Plancha. Back in the ring, diving somersault senton by Leona but it gets a two count. We jump ahead to Yoshida being back in control, Air Raid Crash by Yoshida but Leona barely gets a shoulder up on the somewhat cocky cover. Yoshida goes to pick up Leona but Leona puts her in the Spider Twist, which is one of Yoshida’s finishing moves. Yoshida gets a toe on the ropes, back up Yoshida kicks Leona in the chest but Leona hits a spear for a two count. German suplex hold by Leona, she goes off the ropes but Yoshida boots her hard in the chest. Yoshida picks up Leona in a vertical suplex position before dropping her with a kneeling tombstone piledriver, picking up the three count! Mariko Yoshida wins!

Since I have not seen Yoshida finish a match with that move, I will assume that was her way of sticking it to Leona for trying to take her finishing move. Leona put up more of a fight than I was expecting, which made the match a lot more fun to watch as she is a really solid high speed wrestler. The match was too short/clipped to make it worth seeking out, but it was a fun back and forth match and Yoshida’s reaction when Leona put on the Spider Twist showed that she realized Leona wasn’t going to be as easy to beat as she may have originally thought. Overall entertaining, I just wish more was shown.  Mildly Recommended

Mika Nishio vs. Takako Inoue

The match was referred to “Battle of Z-Connection” as both of these wrestlers were best known for their career in AJW (aka Zenjo). Any day that Takako Inoue is on my TV is automatically a good day. Takako was the most successful ‘model turned wrestler’ in Joshi history, it was something tried on a regular basis but none had the success that Takako had in the ring. Takako had 19 title reigns in her career in four different promotions, won the Tag League The Best once, and had two Five Star Matches in the Wrestling Observer. Nishio had a much shorter career, her in-ring career lasted from 2000 to 2006 (she retired due to injuries), and later she was part of Ozuki-gun in OZ Academy but not as an active wrestler. It doesn’t look like a fair fight, but Nishio did have a few title reigns in AJW and wasn’t a complete pushover.

atoz7-19-8Takako and Nishio circle to start, armdrag by Takako and she attacks Nishio in the corner. Kicks by Takako from the apron and she hits a double underhook suplex, picking up a two count. DDT by Takako but Nishio fires back with elbows, they trade slaps until Takako sends Nishio to the mat. Backdrop suplex by Takako but Nishio ducks the spinning backfist, Takako connects with the next one and goes for the Takako Panic, but Nishio ducks it and hits a jumping heel kick. Nishio picks up Takako but Takako blocks the suplex, another jumping heel kick by Nishio and she gets another two count. German suplex hold by Nishio and she picks up Takako, but Takako rolls her to the mat and covers her for two. Back up, tiger suplex hold by Nishio but Takako gets a shoulder up. She goes for another one and hits it, but again it gets a two count. Nishio goes off the ropes but Takako nails her with a spinning backfist, she hits a second one and covers Nishio for the three count! Takako Inoue is the winner.

A step down from the last few matches but still not a bad one. It was just a bit disjointed, the transitions were shaky at best as they seemed to mostly take turns hitting moves on each other with little rhyme or reason. Nishio must not have had a deep pool of moves as she kept going for the same two or three during the last half of the match, and without a ‘bigger’ finishing move it was hard to believe she would beat Takako. Some solid parts and its always good to see Takako, but overall a bit underwhelming.

Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi vs. Yumiko Hotta and Kumiko Maekawa

Time for the main event. Coming into the match all four of these wrestlers were quite accomplished, with AtoZ leader Hotta being the most successful as she was the AtoZ World Champion at the time of the match. Her partner Maekawa started wrestling in 1991 and held many titles of her own, including three tag title reigns with her partner Tomoko Watanabe. On the other side, Takahashi was a former six time WWWA Tag Team Champion (including a run with her partner tonight) and AJW Champion, while Momoe at the time was an eight year veteran that started wrestling in 1996 and twice held the AJW Championship. There are no weak links on these teams, as while Momo and Takahashi were less experienced they came up together in the AJW Dojo and were a much more regular tag team, giving the younger wrestlers a bit of an advantage.

Nanae and Momo have no time for streamers and attack Hotta and Maekawa before the match starts, as the battle spills out of the ring. Nanae and Momo control the action on the floor and into the crowd, eventually they bring Hotta back into the ring but Hotta hits a double face crusher on them. Hotta gets her chain but Momo dropkicks her in the knee, elbow drop by Nanae and they both attack Hotta in the corner. Momo stays in but Maekawa gives Hotta her chain again and she hits Momo in the head with it. More chain shots by Hotta, she wraps it around Momo’s neck and applies a choke with it while Maekawa kicks Momo in the chest. Maekawa is tagged in and she kicks Momo in the face, but Nanae comes in and they both dropkick Maekawa. Missile dropkick by Nanae but Maekawa kicks her into the corner and tags in Hotta. Nanae greets Hotta with elbows but Hotta applies a sleeper until Momo breaks it up. Well she tries anyway but Hotta keeps it locked in while Maekawa grabs Momo, Momo gets away from Maekawa and chokes Hotta with her own chain until she lets go of Nanae. Nanae elbows Hotta against the ropes but Hotta comes back with a spinning heel kick, she hits a second one before Maekawa chokes Nanae in the corner with the chain. Hotta Irish whips Nanae but instead of bouncing off the ropes she sails out of the ring with a tope suicida onto Maekawa. Momo comes in the ring with a missile dropkick, she goes up top again and dives out onto Maekawa while Nanae hits a backdrop suplex onto Hotta. Dropkick by Nanae to Hotta, she goes for the Reverse Splash but Hotta moves and kicks her in the head. Tiger Driver by Hotta, but Nanae kicks out at two. Maekawa comes in but Nanae gets away from her and they trade strikes, big boot by Maekawa but Nanae fires back with a shoulderblock. A superkick sends Nanae to the mat but she pops back up and hits a lariat for a two count cover. Hotta comes in and kicks Nanae, they both boot Nanae in the stomach but she avoids Maekawa’s rolling kick. Maekawa hits a high kick anyway, Nanae finally hits the Reverse Splash but Maekawa bridges out of the pin and kicks Nanae out of the ring. Momo lays out Maekawa on the floor, she slides her back in and Nanae hits a reverse double footstomp for a two count.

atoz7-19-9Momo stays in and dropkicks Maekawa in the head, but Maekawa comes back with a high kick. Jumping kick by Maekawa, and she covers Momo for two. Rolling kick by Maekawa, but this time Nanae breaks up the cover. Drop down kick by Maekawa and she hits a running boot in the corner, she goes up top but Momo joins her, Nanae comes in and she superplexes Maekawa. Diving body press by Momo, Nanae picks up Maekawa and delivers a backdrop suplex. Lariat by Nanae, German suplex hold by Momo but Maekawa kicks out. Mom picks up Maekawa but Hotta runs in and slaps her, kick by Maekawa and she tags in Hotta. Hotta comes in with her chain and shoves down the referee, but Momo sneaks in a victory roll for two. Maekawa returns but Nanae does too and they dropkick Hotta and Maekawa. Momo goes up top and goes for a diving body press, but Hotta gets her feet up. Hotta picks up Momo but Momo slides away and hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Momo picks up Hotta again and dumps her out of the ring, but Maekawa runs in and hoots Momo out of the ring as well. Maekawa then kicks Nanae out of the ring and follows her out, as all four brawl on the floor. Maekawa grabs she chairs and throws them in the ring for Hotta, Momo is slid back in and Hotta puts her on the second turnbuckle. Hotta joins her and hits a German suplex down onto the pile of chairs, cover by Hotta but the referee is not interested in counting due to all the cheating. Nanae runs in and lariats Hotta, Momo and Hotta trade elbows until Hotta punches her in the face and hits a Liger Bomb for a two count. Hotta picks up Momo but Momo gets away, punch by Hotta as Maekawa runs in but Maekawa boots Hotta by accident. German suplex by Nanae to Hotta, Momo jackknifes over Hotta as she picks up a two count. Momo☆OK by Momo and she hits a second one, but Hotta kicks out of the cover. Momo☆Latch by Momo, but Hotta barely gets a shoulder up. Momo picks up Hotta she is hit by a fireball from Hotta’s help at ringside, Hotta picks up Momo and drops her with the Pyramid Driver. Momo comes back with another Momo☆OK but Hotta hits her with the chain. Pyramid Driver by Hotta, but Momo gets a shoulder up on the pin attempt. Hotta picks up Momo but Momo elbows her, Nanae tries to help but Hotta swats her away. A Momo☆Latch gets a two count, Hotta gets Momo up on her shoulder and she nails a Pyramid Driver EX for the three count! Hotta and Maekawa are the winners!

I don’t even know where to begin for a match like this. It had an old school feel, lots of being stubborn and generally not selling things nearly long enough considering what they were doing to each other. Hotta has a reputation as being a selfish worker, likely deserved, and its just odd watching her as its like a relic from the old days where wrestlers didn’t want to ever look weak. She wasn’t uncooperative, she just wasn’t putting a lot of effort into making her opponents look good. Momo and Nanae were the better team as they were putting a lot more effort into making the match entertaining, Maekawa was fine but was mostly just doing kicks and otherwise letting Hotta do the heavy lifting. I enjoyed parts of it, rolled my eyes during other parts and scratched my head more than once, just an oddly put together match. More good than bad for sure but not exactly a classic, watching Hotta is a bit of a chore in of itself unless she is in the ring with someone that doesn’t put up with her shit, which wasn’t really an option for Momo and Nanae. Maybe worth a watch but mostly for Momo and Nanae.  Mildly Recommended

Final Thoughts


This was a pretty big show for AtoZ, and for the most part I thought they delivered. It is hard to condense a show of this size down to two hours, they didn’t waste a lot of time with video packages but the majority of the matches were still clipped. The last half of the card had a lot of solid matches in it however and nothing was bad, and it was enjoyable to see Kana and Taiyo wrestling when they were both so young. The main event was a mixed bag and a bit more of a “Hotta” match than I would have preferred, but Nanae and Momo helped bring it up a notch or two. Overall a fun event worth picking up, it showed how strong AtoZ was for their big shows, even if the promotion only lasted a few years.