Diana on 11/8/20 Review

Event: Diana
Date: November 8th, 2020
Location: Diana Dojo in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown

Sometimes, you are just in the mood to watch some Diana. For many years, Diana events literally never made TV and the only way to watch them was on “clips” shows or to purchase the one DVD they put out a year. But recently they have been having more events on NicoPro or Youtube, giving long time Diana fans a chance to finally see their shows. Diana is a very small promotion, with a tiny roster and limited broad appeal, but they do have some good wrestlers and their events tend to get straight to the point. Plus Sareee is back to wrestling in Diana so we get to see the best wrestler in the world, which is never a bad thing. Here is the full card:

Only three matches, with the entire video being only an hour long. Just heavenly. As this aired on Youtube all matches will be shown in full, to visit the wrestler’s profile here on Joshi City you can click on their names above to go straight to it.

Ayako Sato vs. Nanami
Ayako Sato vs. Nanami

We kick things off with an extreme version of the “veteran vs. rookie” match. Ayako Sato comes into the match the Diana World Champion and has been wrestling for almost 20 years. She hasn’t had a lot of success in her career but is a very respected veteran. Nanami has been wrestling for about a year and is a child, as she is just 14 years old. Also, she isn’t very good, even by “child wrestler” standards. I don’t expect Ayako to give Nanami a lot here, but since its a three match card I don’t expect it to be a squash either.

They tie-up to start and trade waistlocks, Sato applies a full nelson but Nanami reverses it. Snapmares by Sato and she applies a sleeper, she then lets go to put Nanami in a stretch hold. Sato applies a bodyscissors but Nanami gets out of it and elbows Sato in the chest. Nanami stomps on Sato and throws her down by the hair a few times, boot to the chest by Sato and she hits a monkey flip. Wristlock by Sato and she applies an arm wringer, hammerlock by Sato but Nanami reverses it. Headlock by Sato and she gets Nanami to the mat, Nanami gets her in a headscissors but Sato quickly gets to the ropes. Irish whip by Sato and she hits an armdrag, Nanami goes for a crossbody but Sato blocks it with a knee. Running knee by Sato and she hits a scoop slam, cover by Sato but it gets a two count. Sato picks up Nanami and hits a back bodydrop, she covers Nanami again but she gets another two count.

Back on their feet they trade elbows, boot by Sato but Nanami shoulderblocks her to the mat. More shoulderblocks by Nanami, and she covers Sato for a near two count. Sato rakes Nanami in the eyes and mushes her with her boot, but Nanami fires up and throws down Sato by the hair. Rolling cradle by Nanami but Sato kicks out of the cover, she goes for a backslide but Sato rolls through it and dropkicks Nanami in the head. Knee by Sato but Nanami sneaks in a backslide for two. Sato throws Nanami towards the corner, Nanami reverses it but Sato hits a dropkick from the second turnbuckle. Sato goes off the ropes and knees Nanami, Sato delivers a series of running knees but Nanami barely kicks out of the cover. Irish whip by Sato and she hits a front dropkick, double wrist clutch armsault by Sato but Nanami kicks out. Sato goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick, but that gets two as well. Sato picks up Nanami, she applies a modified cradle and she gets the three count! Ayako Sato is the winner.

The finishing move translated in Google Translate as “Sato Squared” but I’m not really confident in that being its real name. Anyway, Sato gave Nanami quite a bit of offense and Nanami did show some fire and ability, more than I’ve seen from her in the past anyway. Nanami did manage to mess up the rolling cradle, which was amusing, but otherwise the match went off without a hitch. If anything, the champion of the promotion gave the kid too much leeway with kicking out of her big moves, you’d think a 14 year old could be pinned after a half dozen running knees. A good experience for Nanami, maybe not all hope is lost with her but I’m still not overly optimistic.

Jaguar Yokota vs. Madeline
Jaguar Yokota vs. Madeline

I am sure there is a large section of wrestling fandom that would swear up and down that some crusty slow motion Luchador is the best wrestler over 55 years old, but to me it will always be Jaguar Yokota. Yokota has as much chill in 2020 as she had in 1985, which is none. She’s been in a love/hate relationship with Madeline for awhile, they team sometimes but other times beat each other up, a side effect of having a small roster is its hard to find good friends. Madeline is a bundle of energy and fun, still getting some of the finer points of wrestling down pat but I like her spunk. Yokota is clearing winning here, but hopefully Madeline doesn’t get hurt too bad.

After an enthusiastic handshake, Madeline grabs a metal rod when Yokota isn’t looking and hits her from behind with it. The referee tries to get Madeline to stop as she chokes Yokota with it, but has little success. Madeline hits the referee with the rod before going back to Yokota, Madeline avoids Yokota’s lariat attempt and goes for her arm, getting the Fujiwara Armbar applied. Yokota gets to the ropes for the break, dropkick by Madeline but Yokota hits her with a hard elbow. Madeline takes down Yokota and attempts to apply a cross armbreaker, Yokota struggles to block it and gets to the ropes before Madeline could get it fully locked on. Madeline picks up Yokota and goes to the top turnbuckle while holding her wrist, walking the ropes before hitting an armdrag. Irish whip by Madeline to the corner and she hits the Space Rolling Elbow, she goes for it a second time but Yokota blocks it and hits a heel drop to Madeline’s head. Somersault double leg drop by Yokota, and she covers Madeline for two. Yokota picks up Madeline and puts her in a stretch hold, roll-up by Yokota but it gets a two count.

Irish whip by Yokota but Madeline cartwheels way, she goes for a crossbody but Yokota sidesteps it. Yokota gets a steel chair and hits Madeline in the head with it, she tries to choke Madeline but Madeline blocks it (somewhat) with the metal rod she had earlier. Yokota picks up Madeline but Madeline blocks the piledriver, drop toehold by Madeline and she walks over Yokota’s back. Madeline throws Yokota into the corner but Yokota avoids her charge, but Madeline applies a sunset flip for two. Madeline gets on the second turnbuckle but Yokota joins her, superplexing Madeline back to the mat. Cover by Yokota, but it gets a two count. Yokota picks up Madeline and hits a backdrop suplex, but that gets a two as well. Fisherman Buster by Yokota, she slowly covers Madeline but Madeline bridges out of it. Annoyed, Yokota gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a somersault double leg drop, but Madeline kicks out. Yokota drags Madeline to her feet and drops her with a piledriver, cover by Yokota and she finally gets the three count! Jaguar Yokota is the winner.

Even though the in-ring work wasn’t exactly high end, there is something enduring about Madeline. She’s scrappy and resourceful, and while she wasn’t going to win the match she had a plan and wasn’t easy to put down. Yokota can do whatever she wants at this point but I have to laugh that here she is in a midcard match taking place at a dojo and she is still bopping Madeline in the head with a chair. I’m going to give this the slightest of recommendations because I love Madeline, but it may not be a match that someone parachuting in would appreciate the charm of.  Mildly Recommended

Haruka Umesaki and Kaoru Ito vs. Kyoko Inoue and Sareee
Haruka Umesaki and Kaoru Ito vs. Kyoko Inoue and Sareee

Already time for the main event! What a great little short show. I hope that Sareee is keeping a positive attitude about all this, as she went from “about to sign with WWE” to now back to wrestling regularly in the Diana Dojo. To call it a step down would be an understatement. But this is a big match, as both younger wrestlers pair with a legend from heyday of AJW. Ito and Inoue have 40+ title reigns between them and 30+ years of experience each, so to say they are on the top tier of respected veterans would be an understatement. Sareee of course is well known and one of the best Joshi wrestlers on the scene, while Haruka Umesaki has shown a lot of potential in her first two years. All four of these wrestlers put in effort regardless of the situation, so I am hopeful they will deliver a fun main event.

Haruka and Sareee start the match and tie-up, arm wringer by Haruka but Sareee flips out of it and sends Haruka to the mat. Irish whip by Sareee, reversed, and Haruka delivers a dropkick. Armdrag by Sareee and she dropkicks Haruka, she tags in Inoue who attacks Haruka in the corner. Inoue puts Haruka in a leg submission while Sareee stands guard, Inoue lets go after a moment and applies a chinlock. Inoue tags Sareee back in, and Sareee puts Haruka in a Sickle Hold. Sareee picks up Haruka and flings her down by the hair, she tags in Inoue and Inoue puts Haruka in an Argentine Backbreaker. She eventually lets Haruka out of the hold by flinging her to the mat, vertical suplex by Inoue and she tags Sareee. Dropkicks by Sareee to Haruka, she picks up Haruka and delivers a scoop slam for a two count. Haruka finally gets away from Sareee and hits a dropkick of her own, giving her time to tag in Ito. Ito elbows Sareee, Irish whip to the corner and she hits a lariat. Single leg crab hold by Ito, she switches it to a chinlock before Haruka comes in so they can slam Sareee’s knees into the mat.

Ito tags in Haruka, Haruka goes for a crab hold but Sareee blocks it. Elbows to the chest by Haruka but Sareee switches positions with her and hits elbows of her own before tagging in Inoue. Chops by Inoue to Haruka, Haruka hits a dropkick but Inoue stays up. Inoue swats aside the next dropkick attempt, Irish whip by Inoue but Haruka hits a jumping lariat. Haruka grabs Inoue and puts her in a stretch hold, stomps to the back by Haruka and she hits a missile dropkick off the second turnbuckle for a two count. Haruka goes for a suplex but Inoue blocks it, Inoue goes for a powerbomb but Haruka gets away and dropkicks her in the knee. Front flip neckbreaker by Haruka and she tags in Ito, Ito grabs Inoue but Inoue elbows her off. They take turns trying to lariat the other down until Ito catches Inoue with a side slam, Sareee comes in but Ito hits a jumping crossbody on both of them. Haruka then gets in the ring but Inoue lariats both of her opponents, giving her time to tag Sareee. Sareee comes off the top with a missile dropkick to Ito, picking up a two count. Sareee goes for a German suplex but Ito blocks it, Ito goes for a lariat but Sareee ducks it and goes for the suplex again. Still no luck so Sareee elbows Ito, satellite schoolboy by Sareee but it gets a two count.

Sareee elbows Ito but Ito levels her with a lariat, senton by Ito and she covers Sareee for two. Ito tags Haruka, missile dropkick by Haruka but Sareee blocks the attempted suplex. Knees by Sareee but Haruka trips her and applies a modified figure four leglock. Sareee eventually makes it to the ropes for the break, stomps by Haruka but Sareee gets up and elbows her hard in the chest. Dropkick by Sareee but Haruka gets away from her suplex attempt, elbows by Haruka and she goes off the ropes, catching Sareee with a powerslam for a two count. Haruka picks up Sareee and rolls her to the mat, but Sareee rolls through it and hits a footstomp. Dropkick by Sareee while Haruka is against the ropes, Inoue comes in but she lariats Sareee by accident. Ito comes in too and knocks over both Inoue and Sareee, Haruka picks up Sareee and delivers double wrist-clutch armsault, but Inoue manages to break it up. Small package by Haruka but that gets a two as well, as does the schoolboy into a jackknife hold. Haruka goes off the ropes but Inoue hits her with a lariat, Ito comes in but Sareee greets her with a kick to the face. Sareee goes to the top turnbuckle and with Inoue’s help she hits a front flip senton. Fisherman Suplex Hold by Sareee, but Haruka barely get a shoulder up. Sareee quickly picks up Haruka and delivers a German suplex hold, and this time she gets the three count! Sareee and Kyoko Inoue are the winners.

The thing that helped this match the most is it didn’t have any bad eggs to drag it down, so it wasn’t really ever going to have any dead moments or awkward exchanges. Ito and Inoue may be past their primes but they know their limitations and wrestle within them, and they don’t mind putting over the next generation when it is necessary to do so. Sareee was her usual on-point self, hitting all her moves flawlessly and not seeming to have lost a step after a pretty long layoff. Haruka doesn’t have the experience of everyone else but for a young wrestler she has a ton of potential and showed a lot of fire in this one. Both teams acted as units so it didn’t come across as a series of singles matches, which is always a plus. There wasn’t one particular ‘wow’ moment as they kept it more based, but they kept the action up to keep things interesting. The camera setup hurt the match as we missed the impact of some of the moves, but for a small dojo show I thought this match delivered pretty well and its always a pleasure watching Sareee.  Recommended

Final Thoughts:


For a dojo show, this was pretty fun. We got to see a few of Diana’s younger wrestlers, some legends, and of course Sareee is always worth the price of admission (this was a free show on Youtube anyway). Nothing here will blow you away but it was 30 minutes of action that was generally entertaining. The camera angle is an issue as most primarily “hard cam” shows are, but still worth a casual watch if you are in the mood to see some new wrestlers or just want to watch something different.