Event: GAEA Japan “HEARTFUL BODY LANGUAGE IN NAGOYA”
Date: January 28th, 1996
Location: Nagoya City Gymnasium in Nagoya, Japan
Announced Attendance: 2,500
Over the next eternity, I will be watching and reviewing all GAEA Japan events in order, starting with their debut show on April 15th, 1995. Visit the GAEA Japan Project page for a brief history of the promotion, the roster page, my favorite matches from the promotion, and the full list of all events reviewed. I will also be uploading my favorite match from each show so that everyone can enjoy it.
If you want to watch the GAEA Japan events I am reviewing, Mike Lorefice sells the complete seasons at a very reasonable price both via download and physical copy. Mike’s quebrada.net is one of the sites I’m using to write these reviews, its a great resource for learning more about GAEA Japan and wrestling in general.
We continue our march with GAEA Japan with this smaller even in Nagayo. Not necessarily smaller in regards to attendance, but this event didn’t really have the big matches that the last few shows have had. We are getting two more matches in the Neo Energy Queen History Tournament, which lasted for months, so at least we will get to see the rookies in singles action. Here is the full card:
All the wrestlers on the show have profiles on the website, you can click on their names above to go straight to it. There may be some clipping but hopefully it will be minimal since none of these matches were super long anyway.
Toshie Sato vs. Toshie Uematsu
Neo Energy Queen History ’95 Tournament
Battle of the Toshies! Even though we are now in 1996, the 1995 tournament continues. The Neo Energy Queen History Tournament was a round robin tournament featuring the GAEA Japan rookies. Coming into the match, Toshie Sato had 1 point and Toshie Uematsu had 2.5 points, so if Toshie Sato wants to reach the finals she is really going to need a win here so she doesn’t fall any further behind.
Uematsu and Sato tie-up, Sato bumps Uematsu to the mat before kicking her. Uematsu comes back with a dropkick and applies a headlock, she picks up Sato and applies a grounded necklock. Sato gets out of it, snapmare by Sato and she puts Uematsu in a crossface. Uematsu gets back up and hits a back elbow in the corner, another elbow by Uematsu and she mounts Sato in the corner before delivering a couple punches. Scoop slam by Uematsu and she covers Sato for two. Sato sneaks in an inside cradle, dropkick by Sato and she hits a scoop slam for a two count. Wristlock by Sato and she kicks Uematsu’s arm in the ropes, armdrag by Sato and she goes for a cross armbreaker. She gets it locked in but Uematsu quickly gets to the ropes and forces the break, Sato picks up Uematsu and goes back to work on her arm. Armbar by Sato but Uematsu applies an inside cradle for two. Irish whip by Sato but Uematsu hits a jumping crossbody for another two count. Uematsu trips Sato and puts her in a crab hold, she stretches Sato before covering her for two. Uematsu goes for a snapmare but Sato reverses it into a backside, stomps by Sato and she hits a scoop slam.
Sato puts Uematsu in a crab hold, she lets go after a moment and goes for a back bodydrop, but Uematsu jumps over her and the two trade flash pins. Uematsu goes off the ropes but Sato catches her from behind and rolls her up for two. Sato throws Uematsu into the corner but Uematsu avoids her charge and does a kick flip. Cradle by Uematsu, but it gets a two. Sato charges Uematsu in the corner but Uematsu cradles her for another two count, Sato slams Uematsu to the mat and hits a neckbreaker. Another neckbreaker by Sato, she picks up Uematsu but Uematsu hits a side headlock takedown. Scoop slam by Uematsu, she goes up top and hits a diving body press but it only gets two. Face Crusher by Sato, she throws Uematsu to the ropes and hits a hard shoulderblock. Sato goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, shoulder powerslam by Sato and she hits a pair of elbow drops for a two count. Sato goes up top but Uematsu hits her from behind, Japanese Leg Roll Clutch by Uematsu and she picks up the three count! Toshie Uematsu is the winner and gets a point.
Even for a rookie match, this was really basic. I’ve seen both of these wrestlers do more, maybe they really do need a veteran in the ring to string together something more complex as this was basically just submission holds and cradles. Pretty much a nothing match, both went on to have solid careers but almost one year into their careers they weren’t ready yet to put on an entertaining match on their own.
Chikayo Nagashima vs. Makie Numao
Neo Energy Queen History ’95 Tournament
We skip ahead on the card to the next match in the young wrestler tournament. Chikayo and Makie both debuted for GAEA Japan in 1995, going into this match Chikayo had 2.5 points and Makie had 0 points. Makie actually debuted after Chikayo as she didn’t get her start until last summer, she only had a four year career before retiring while Chikayo still wrestles to this day.
Chikayo quickly gets Makie to the mat and stomps her, Makie comes back with kicks and hits a back bodydrop for two. They return to their feet, kick by Makie and she kicks Chikayo in the chest. Snapmare by Makie and a kick to the back, scoop slam by Makie and she covers Chikayo for two. Makie whips around Chikayo by the hair before applying a headlock, she lets her go after a moment and Chikayo knocks her down with a pair of dropkicks. Scoop slam by Chikayo, and she covers Makie for two. Chikayo stomps on Makie’s leg and puts her in a crab hold, but Makie crawls to the ropes and forces the break. Scoop slam by Chikayo and she throws down Makie by the hair, scoop slam by Chikayo and she covers Makie for two. Irish whip by Chikayo but Makie reverses it and kicks Chikayo in the chest. Bodyscissors by Makie but Chikayo gets a foot on the ropes, snapmare by Makie and she kicks Chikayo in the back. Scoop slam by Makie, she picks up Chikayo but Chikayo throws her into the corner and hits a monkey flip. Chikayo charges Makie but Makie moves and kicks Chikayo out of the ring, Makie goes out after her and throws Chikayo into the guard rail. Chikayo returns the favor and tosses Makie into the opposite railing before returning to the ring, Makie follows her but Chikayo dropkicks her into the corner.
Snapmare by Chikayo and she applies a chinlock, camel clutch by Chikayo and she switches it into a bodyscissors. Makie gets into the ropes for the break, Chikayo picks up Makie but Makie sneaks in a cradle for two. Kicks to the chest by Makie, cover by Makie but it gets a two count. Snapmare by Makie and she applies a wristlock, armdrags by Makie but Chikayo hits a quick crossbody. Irish whip by Chikayo and she hits a series of front rolls into headbutts, high kick by Chikayo but Makie blocks the next one and kicks Chikayo in the back. Cover by Makie, but Chikayo gets a foot in the ropes. Irish whip by Makie but Chikayo reverses it and hits a cutter, she gets on the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick. Chikayo goes off the ropes but Makie puts her in a dragon sleeper, but Chikayo quickly gets in the ropes. Kick to the chest by Makie and she goes for the sleeper again, but Chikayo gets in the ropes Makie goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, but Chikayo barely kicks out. Irish whip by Makie but Chikayo rolls her up for a two count, kick by Makie but Chikayo catches the next one. Irish whip by Chikayo but Makie knees her in the stomach, more kicks by Makie and she covers Chikayo for two. Makie goes up top but Chikayo catches her with an armbar when she jumps off. Makie gets a foot in the ropes, Chikayo charges her and hits the Corbata for the three count! Chikayo Nagashima wins and gets one point in the tournament.
This was a step up from the last match but still a bit clunky. The issue here is that they both have very different styles, which is fine for veterans but rookies have more issues meshing with someone doing something totally different than they are. So the transitions were rough between spots and they used a lot of the same moves to switch who was on offense. Still, Makie has a nice dragon sleeper and Chikayo looked the best of the four rookies we saw today as she is smooth with her offense. Not a great match but a watchable one between two rookies.
Chigusa Nagayo, Satomura, and Kato vs. Combat Toyoda, Nakayama, and Ishikura
Time for the main event! We end this one with a GAEA Japan vs. FMW battle. All three members of the FMW team have been in GAEA Japan before, as the promotions have been sharing talent since the summer of 1995. Both teams feature one of the top wrestlers in their respective promotions (Chigusa Nagayo and Combat Toyoda) teaming with younger and less experiences wrestlers, so the teams are pretty fair. As this was the final match of the show, they got plenty of time so this should be good.
Toyoda and Nagayo start the match, they lock knuckles and get into a shoulderblock battle until Nagayo takes Toyoda to the mat. Sonoko and Meiko both come in and dropkick Nagayo, Nagayo tags in Sonoko while Meiko stays in the ring too but Toyoda rams their heads together. Scoop slam by Toyoda and she hits a bodyblock, lariat by Toyoda in the corner on Sonoko and she tosses Sonoko over her head. Cover by Toyoda, but Meiko breaks it up. She tags in Yukari, dropkick by Yukari but Sonoko reverses a back bodydrop attempt into a sunset flip and tags in Meiko. Running elbow by Meiko to Yukari and she hits a second one, cover by Meiko but it gets two. Meiko charges Yukari but Yukari tackles her, stomps by Yukari and she tags in Kaori. Kaori snapmares Meiko around the ring and slams her head into the mat a few times, but Meiko gets away and tags in Nagayo. Kicks by Nagayo and she hits a vertical suplex, but Yukari breaks up the cover. Nagayo picks up Kaori and hits a uranage, she tags in Sonoko and Sonoko dropkicks Kaori in the corner. Another dropkick by Sonoko and she hits a scoop slam, but Kaori fights back and tags in Toyoda. Irish whip by Toyoda and she floors Sonoko back a back elbow, backbreaker by Toyoda and she gives Sonoko and airplane spin before tossing her to the mat. Toyoda charges Sonoko in the corner but Sonoko moves out of the way and kicks her, she tosses Toyoda into the corner and tags in Nagayo.
High kick by Nagayo but Toyoda ducks the heel kick and tags in Yukari. Yukari goes for a missile dropkick but hits Toyoda by accident, Nagayo lariats Toyoda but Kaori runs in and with Yukari they double team Nagayo. Space Rolling Elbow by Kaori in the corner but Nagayo kicks Yukari back and throws her into the corner. Toyoda tags in, she clubs Nagayo but Nagayo kicks her and hits a powerbomb. Piledriver by Nagayo and she covers Toyoda for a two count. Nagayo kicks Toyoda but Toyoda blocks one and applies a sleeper, but Meiko breaks it up. Both Nagayo and Toyoda’s teammates run in and hit dropkicks, Meiko and Kaori are both tagged in and Meiko dropkicks Kaori. Kaori comes back with a cutter, diving crossbody by Yukari and she slams mm in front of the corner so that Kaori can hit a moonsault. Kaori picks up Meiko but Meiko applies a seated armbar, Kaori quickly gets to the ropes but Meiko applies an armbreaker in the middle of the ring. Toyoda breaks it up, Yukari and Sonoko are both tagged in and Sonoko hits a Lou Thesz Press. Bulldog by Sonoko but Yukari delivers a diving crossbody, double underhook suplexes by Yukari but Meiko breaks up the cover. Toyoda comes in and lariats both Meiko and Sonoko, she then drops Sonoko with a backdrop suplex. Toyoda picks up Sonoko while Yukari goes up top, and together they hit a powerbomb/diving crossbody combination for a two count when Nagayo breaks it up. Nagayo suplexes Toyoda and then hits a sidewalk slam on Yukari, Kaori dropkicks Meiko but Sonoko scoops up Yukari and nails the Kamikaze Bomb for the three count! Chigusa Nagayo, Meiko Satomura, and Sonoko Kato win!
While the match had some hot moments, generally it just felt really disorganized and not in the good way. There wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to what they were doing, the tags didn’t have any heat and at times the transitions were non-existent. On the plus side, anytime Toyota and Nagayo squared off it felt like a big deal, and also whenever the rookies got one better on their veteran counterparts. On the low end of the GAEA Japan multi-woman main events they have had since they opened shop, it wasn’t bad but didn’t feel particularly fresh or captivating.
I can say with some confidence that this is the worst GAEA Japan presentation we have had yet. I don’t know if because they weren’t at Korakuen Hall they felt they didn’t have to put in a maximum effort, but nothing here popped out. It just felt like what we have been seeing a lot of from GAEA Japan but not at a higher level, and without the JWP wrestlers the action suffered. A skippable event for sure. This formula is starting to wear a bit thin but things will be looking up for GAEA Japan soon as their rookies get more experience, they introduce titles, and they have more new wrestlers debut.