Event: Hikaru Shida Produce “10th Anniversary ~ REvenge”
Date: October 9th, 2018
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 550
From time to time I review something that is special and difficult to find, and this is one of those times. Last fall, Hikaru Shida produced her own event which took place at the famed Korakuen Hall. The event was released (obviously, since I am reviewing it), but only on DVD and was only sold by Hikaru Shida at live events. I’ve kept my eye out online for the last six months hoping to find it with no luck, however a friend recently went to Japan and he picked up the DVD for me. So I finally get to watch it! As with most wrestler produce events, it has a very unique line-up with unusual pairings. Here is the full card:
All the Joshi wrestlers have profiles on the website, you can click on their names above to go straight to it. As this was released on DVD, all matches will be shown in full.
Kaori Yoneyama and Koharu Hinata vs. Mio Momono and Rina Yamashita
Normally I do some type of intros before matches to explain how the wrestlers go together, but that won’t really be happening on this event. Hikaru Shida’s version of wrestling is like most produced shows – random ass teams for our amusement. This fits under that bill. All four of these wrestlers are from different promotions – Kaori Yoneyama is from YMZ, Koharu Hinata is a Freelancer, Mio Momono is from Marvelous, and Rina Yamashita is from Pro Wrestling WAVE. None of these wrestlers are bad so as long as they gel, this should be a fun opener.
Mio and Kaori start the match, kick by Mio as they go into a fast exchange as they trade armdrags and trips before reaching a stalemate. Koharu and Rina are tagged in, Koharu asks for a knucklelock but then can’t reach Rina’s hands. Kaori comes in and puts Koharu on her shoulders, so Mio comes in also and gets on Rina’s shoulders as well to make things even. Koharu slides off Kaori’s back and they attack Rina, double Irish whip to Rina and they hit a double dropkick. Rina is put into the ropes and slapped in the chest by both of them, Koharu returns to the ring with Rina and grabs her wrist so she can walk the ropes. She walks over halfway around the ring before hitting an armdrag, tilt-a-whirl headscissors by Koharu and she goes for a slam, but Rina blocks it and hits a scoop slam of her own. Rina gives Koharu the Giant Swing, Mio comes in and ‘jumps rope’ with Koharu’s body as she swings around until she finally trips on her. Rina snapmares Koharu and puts her in a chinlock, Mio comes in and pulls on Rina’s hair to give her more torque, which Rina didn’t overly appreciate. Mio goes off the ropes before dropkicking Koharu, Rina tags in Mio and Mio throws Koharu into the corner.
Mio throws down Koharu by the hair and dropkicks her, she does it again before Rina comes over and helps her step down on Koharu’s face. Rina gets in the ring, she kicks Mio and throws her at Koharu but Koharu moves out of the way. Mio and Rina keep messing with each other as they hurt the other with Koharu taking the brunt of whatever they are doing, Mio picks up Koharu but Koharu dropkicks her and tags in Kaori. Kaori goes for a senton but Mio moves, Rina comes in but Kaori avoids their charges and throws Mio into Rina before hitting a senton/dropkick combination. Kaori drop toeholds Rina onto Koharu, running senton by Kaori and she picks up Mio so she can chop her. Mio rolls away and hits a spinning headscissors followed by a dropkick, she goes up top but Koharu runs over and grabs her from the apron. Rina comes in too and gets rid of Koharu, she helps Mio go for a senton but Kaori moves out of the way. Mio cradles Kaori and hits a footstomp, she elbows Rina to tag her in and Rina lariats Kaori in the corner. Cover by Rina, but it gets a two count.
Rina picks up Kaori but Kaori lands on her feet on the backdrop suplex attempt, Kaori goes for a crossbody but Rina catches her. Koharu dropkicks them over, Northern Lights Suplex by Kaori but it gets a two count. Kaori tags Koharu, dropkick by Koharu and she applies a hanging armbar over the top rope. She lets go after a moment and hits a diving bodypress, Kaori then hits a diving senton before Koharu goes up top and delivers a diving footstomp but Mio breaks up the cover. Koharu dropkicks Rina into the corner but Mio dropkicks her, vertical suplex by Rina to Koharu but Koharu kicks out of the cover. She goes for another one but Koharu blocks it, backslide by Koharu but Mio breaks it up. Double Irish whip to Mio but she hits a headscissors/side headlock takedown combination, double lariat by Rina and she kicks Koharu in the face. Rina goes off the ropes and nails Koharu with a lariat, and she picks up the three count! Rina Yamashita and Mio Momono win!
Humor in wrestling is pretty hard to hit with me, but Mio Momono is one of the few that does it right. Her interactions with Rina were amusing throughout, but she can also back it up with the wrestling as well which is more important. The match alternated between being funny and serious but the bulk of the humor was between teammates, not between teams so it never brought down the premise that both teams were trying to win at all times. A good way to kick off the event, its sure to be a quirky show but Mio does “quirky” right and is a pleasure to watch. Mildly Recommended
Buffalo, Hiroyo Matsumoto, and Misaki Ohata vs. Gabai Ji-chan, Toru Owashi, and Fujigasaki
More wacky randomness! The men in this match are lower level indie guys, although I do adore Buffalo from his Osaka Pro days so I hope he is still good. For the Joshi wrestlers, Hiroyo Matsumoto is one of the top Freelancers on the scene and Misaki Ohata is on her retirement tour as she is retiring from wrestling in December. Yako Fujigasaki is a young wrestler from PURE-J, she is probably the weak link but with Gabai Ji-chan in the match, who knows what is going to happen.
They talk on the microphone for awhile to start, whatever they said must have pissed off Ohata as she mounts Yako and elbows the hell out of her. Yako returns the favor as they go back and forth, Toru separates them however and they end up doing a six wrestler chain. Gabai Ji-chan grabs Hiroyo’s butt which makes her mad so she suplexes him, curb stomp by Misaki to Yako as she is still mad about whatever she said before. Things settle down with Buffalo staying in the ring with Yako as the legal wrestlers, elbow by Buffalo and he applies a chinlock while ripping at Yako’s face. Buffalo stomps Yako and puts her in the ropes so he can stretch her some more, Irish whip by Buffalo and he hits a back elbow before covering her for two. Buffalo tags in Hiroyo, he stays in the ring and they hold Yako so that Misaki can run in and pull on her nose. Yako fights Hiroyo off with elbows but Misaki hits her from the apron, she comes in and Hiroyo picks up Misaki to assist her in kicking Yako. Buffalo jumps on Hiroyo’s back, then Misaki jumps on too before Hiroyo hits a double kneedrop onto Hiroyo. Hiroyo picks up Yako and clubs her, she goes for a powerbomb but Yako blocks it and hits a back bodydrop. Hip attack by Yako, and she makes the hot tag to Toru. Toru fights off everyone by himself, he chops Hiroyo but Hiroyo chops her back. They trade chops back and forth and then take turns trying to shoulderblock the other over until Hiroyo sends Toru to the mat.
Hiroyo tags in Buffalo while Gabai Ji-chan is also tagged in, Gabai Ji-chan hits Buffalo with his cane but Buffalo hits a vertical suplex. Cover by Buffalo, but it gets two. Misaki and Hiroyo come in and hit running strikes on Gabai Ji-chan in the corner, Buffalo goes to do one but Gabai Ji-chan collapses before he can hit a move. Toru and Yako come in and double team Buffalo, Gabai Ji-chan goes for a powerbomb but is too weak to pick up Buffalo. Buffalo tags Misaki, Misaki goes up top and hits a missile dropkick onto Gabai Ji-chan. She goes for a suplex but Gabai Ji-chan grabs the ropes with his cane to prevent himself from going over. Gabai Ji-chan trips Misaki and hits her in the butt with the cane, Toru jumps in with Yako but Buffalo and Misaki also come in. Yako hits a super oil check (with a mini drill of some sort) on both of them, Misaki drops Yako with a Stunner and gets the oil drill but Toru puts on a mask of Makoto Oishi (Misaki’s husband) and jumps in the way of Gabai Ji-chan. Misaki gives him an oil check anyway, she does the same to Gabai Ji-chan but Gabai Ji-chan drops his cane in the process and runs off the ropes, hitting a dropkick. He grabs the hand drill and gives Misaki an oil check, but Misaki blocks it and hits a standing crucifix bomb for the three count! Buffalo, Hiroyo Matsumoto, and Misaki Ohata win.
While the last match was the type of comedy I can handle, this one landed with me far less. It was 75% comedy and some of it got a chuckle out of me, but most of it just seemed overly silly and I’d have rather seen Hiroyo Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata do something more serious. Maybe a few laughs if this is your type of thing, but pretty skippable fare for me.
Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Maika Ozaki
A first time match-up! This is a non-title match, but Chihiro Hashimoto came into the match the Sendai Girls’ Champion and one of the top stars of the promotion. Maika Ozaki wrestles in Ice Ribbon and is in her third year, she has never won a title and is generally a midcarder as she continues trying to work her way up the card. Chihiro goes in as the clear favorite, hopefully they can find some chemistry which can be hard with two wrestlers from different promotions that have never locked up before.
They lockup to start but break cleanly, takedown by Chihiro and she applies an ankle lock. She switches to a side headlock, Maika Irish whips out of it and the two collide with neither going down. They take turns trying to shoulderblock each other over until Chihiro succeeds, she picks up Maika and puts her in a Fujiwara Armbar. She changes the hold to an armbreaker but Maika inches to the ropes and makes it to force the break. Chihiro applies an armlock and tosses Maika to the mat, cover by Chihiro but it gets a two count. Wristlock by Chihiro and she goes back to the armbar but Maika reaches the ropes. Chihiro throws Maika to the corner and hits a body avalanche, scoop slam by Chihiro and she hits a somersault senton. Another senton by Chihiro, and she covers Maika for two. Maika tries to get Chihiro on her shoulders but Chihiro blocks it and applies a Cobra Twist, but Maika gets out of it and hits a fireman’s carry slam.
Elbow drops by Maika and she hits a senton, picking up a two count. Maika picks up Chihiro and both wrestlers go for lariats, but both stay on their feet. They trade lariat attempts until Chihiro knocks down Maika, she goes off the ropes but Maika fires up with a lariat of her own for a two count. Maika gets Chihiro on her shoulders and applies an Argentine Backbreaker, she spins Chihiro to the mat and covers her for two. Maika goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton, but Chihiro kicks out of the pin. Maika goes all the way up but Chihiro avoids the diving senton, spear by Chihiro and she covers Maika for a two count. Chihiro picks up Maika and they trade elbows, big release German by Chihiro and she positions Maika in front of the corner. Diving somersault senton by Chihiro, but Maika barely kicks out of the pin. Chihiro picks up Maika and hits the waterwheel drop, cover by Chihiro and she gets the three count! Chihiro Hashimoto wins!
A basic but fundamentally sound match. This was an odd one for this show, as neither have a real connection with Hikaru Shida or each other so I am not sure how it came about. Even though Chihiro was clearly winning, she did give Maika a few spots before putting her away. The German suplex was beautiful and painful, easily the highlight of the match. There was nothing wrong with this at all, they worked together well and everything was smooth, it just felt a bit like an exhibition for the bulk of it before business picked up in the last two minutes. Perfectly watchable but nothing memorable.
Aja Kong and TARU vs. Hagane Shinnou and Risa Sera
This is a Hardcore Match! To say that these teams are random would be an understatement. The legendary Aja Kong and the shit bag TARU have never teamed, in fact they have been on opposite teams in ZERO1 so they aren’t exactly friends going in. The other team is equally random but Risa Sera’s inclusion in a hardcore match is logical, as the Ice Ribbon wrestler is the leading hardcore queen in Joshi wrestling. Hagane Shinnou may be better known to some fans as Madoka, which was his name in K-DOJO before he became a Freelancer. This is their first time teaming together, so this may feel more like two singles matches going on at the same time than having tag team cohesion on either side.
Things immediately break down with Hagane and Risa in control, they have a ladder and they hit TARU with it. Risa puts the ladder on TARU and hits a running kneedrop, Risa grabs TARU’s leg and puts him in the ropes while Hagane gets a giant sword, but TARU avoids the sword strike. Hagane drops the sword and gets in the ring, but Kong trips him the floor and throws Hagane into chairs at ringside. TARU goes outside the ring with Risa and stabs her in the head with I think some scissors, while Kong hits Hagane with a chair. Risa is naturally bleeding as TARU stabs her with what I have now decided is a carving fork, meanwhile Kong takes Hagane into the crowd and slams him into a wall. TARU and Risa have returned to the ring as TARU beats her with a stick before choking her with it. They exit the ring again and battle up into the crowd, Hagane finally gets the better of Kong and hits her with a chair. TARU and Risa are up by the balcony now as Mio Momono tries to shield the crowd from a rumbling TARU, as we go back to ringside where Kong is beating up Hagane. Risa and TARU return to the ring, he gets a kendo stick with barbed wire wrapped around it and pushes it into Risa’s head, Risa gets back to her feet and elbows TARU but TARU snapmares her and digs at her wounds.
Hagane come in the ring but so does Kong and she hits him with a paint can. She hits Risa with it too for good measure, Kong and TARU start to argue on who should beat up Risa with TARU finally picking her up. Risa fires up and elbows both of them but she eats a double vertical suplex for her trouble, Kong grabs Risa and bites her on the forehead. Kong hits Risa with the paint can again, cover by Kong but Risa kicks out. Risa elbows Kong but Kong absorbs the blows and smacks Risa back to the mat. Hagane comes in the ring but Kong rakes him in the eyes, she tags in TARU (guess we are doing tags now) and TARU strikes Risa in the corner. TARU chokes Risa with some wrist tape while Kong knocks Hagane off the apron for no reason, TARU goes for a suplex but Risa lands on her feet and schoolboys TARU for two. She gets the barbed wire kendo stick and hits TARU with it before tagging in Hagane, Hagane cleans house and hits a swandive dropkick onto TARU. He gets the giant sword and uses it to drive TARU into the corner. He launches off the sword and kicks TARU in the head, Hagane puts TARU on the mat and stacks a few chairs on top of him. He put the giant sword in the corner so he can stand on it up top, but Kong grabs him from the apron before he can jump off. TARU joins Hagane and hits a superplex onto the chairs, he picks up Hagane and hits a chokebomb for a two count. TARU tags in Kong, Kong picks up Hagane and drops him with a backdrop suplex for a two count.
She picks up Hagane again and hits a brainbuster, but Hagane gets a shoulder up. Kong calls for the Uraken but Hagane ducks it and hits a lariat, Kong doesn’t go down as they trade lariat attempts until Hagane finally sends Kong to the mat. This gives him time to tag in Risa, Risa throws Kong into the corner and hits a running elbow strike. She chucks a chair at Kong and then hits a running double knee into it, Risa puts a chair on Kong’s chest and hits a reverse kneedrop for two. She gets the ladder and props it in the corner, she gets a surfboard out and gets on the ladder with it, riding the surfboard down the ladder and hitting a splash of sorts. Risa picks up Kong but Kong slaps her, Kong grabs the surfboard and cracks Risa in the head with it. TARU returns and lariats Risa in the corner, Kong follows with her own lariat and gets her paint can, but Risa ducks and she accidentally hits TARU. Risa puts a few chairs on the mat while Hagane sets up a table at ringside, Risa suplexes Kong onto the chairs and covers her for two. TARU is put on the table while Risa sets up the ladder in the ring, Hagane gets on the top turnbuckle and dives out of the ring with a splash through the table to TARU while Risa jumps off the ladder with a double kneedrop to Kong. Cover by Risa, but Kong kicks out. Risa grabs Kong but Kong snaps off a brainbuster, but before she can cover Risa the bell rings as time expires. The match is a Draw.
This was an experience. First of all, I don’t love the Draw here. Its useful and necessary sometimes but this was a non-televised produce show, no real reason that someone couldn’t have been pinned as no one needed protecting. Anyway, this was one of those chaotic hardcore matches where you aren’t sure if they really had a plan going into it as the violence was prevalent but random. Neither team really worked together much, as predicted, and the match mostly focused on Aja Kong and TARU beating people up. Some of the spots worked and some didn’t, but I will say it was rather captivating and Risa Sera is great. Certainly not a traditional match, but worth a watch as long as you go in with the right expectations. Mildly Recommended
Hikaru Shida vs. Naomichi Marufuji
We have reached the final match of the evening. There is actually a bit of a backstory. At a previous Hikaru Shida produce event, back in April of 2017, Shida booked the same main event as we see here as she faced off against Naomichi Marufuji. That match ended in embarrassment for Shida, as she was knocked out in under two minutes. Over a year has passed and Shida finally gets a chance to show the result of that match was a fluke, and she can do better against one of the top wrestlers in Pro Wrestling NOAH and the three time GHC Heavyweight Champion. Marufuji is still the favorite of course, but Shida looks to prove that she can go toe to toe with anybody as she tries to get her revenge.
Tie-up to start, Marufuji pushes Shida into the ropes and gives a clean break, but Shida chops him in the chest. Marufuji gets Shida in the corner and chops her hard in the chest, Shida gets back up and fires off a few elbows while avoiding Marufuji as he goes for knee strikes. Headlock by Marufuji, Shida eventually gets out of it but Marufuji shoulderblocks her down. Kip-up by Shida and she hits a hurricanrana followed by a knee while Marufuji is against the ropes. Shida drags Marufuji’s head over the apron, she goes out to the floor and delivers a kneelift. Shida throws Marufuji into the ring post, she set up a chair at ringside and jumps off of it to hit a jumping knee to Marufuji. Shida slides Marufuji back in, she goes for a vertical suplex but Marufuji blocks it and chops her in the chest. More chops by Marufuji, he kicks Shida in the head before covering her for two. Marufuji dumps Shida out of the ring and goes out after her, hard chops by Marufuji around the ring and he goes back in to wait for Shida. Shida rolls in too, Irish whip by Marufuji but Shida hits a step-up enzuigiri.
She goes off the ropes but Marufuji boots her in the face, chinlock by Marufuji but Shida gets a foot on the ropes. Shida fights back with elbows but Marufuji knocks her down with a lariat, he puts Shida in the corner and chops her in the chest some more. Jumping elbow by Marufuji but Shida blocks the suplex attempt and hits a vertical suplex of her own. Shida charges Marufuji but Marufuji moves, Shida tosses Marufuji out to the apron and hits a kneelift. Marufuji falls out of the ring, Shida goes to the top turnbuckle and dives out with a crossbody. Shida rolls Marufuji back in, she goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. She goes up again and hits another missile dropkick before hitting a third, she climbs the turnbuckles one last time and hits a final missile dropkick for a two count cover. Shida goes for the Falcon Arrow but Marufuji blocks it, chop by Marufuji but Shida slaps him and hits a high knee. Falcon Arrow by Shida, but Marufuji kicks out of the pin. Shida goes off the ropes but Marufuji blocks the knee, strike combination by Marufuji and Shida falls hard to the mat.
The referee starts a count but Shida returns to her feet, knee by Marufuji and he goes up top but Shida recovers and joins him. Marufuji headbutts Shida back down but Shida joins him again, superplex by Shida and she covers Marufuji for two. Marufuji chops Shida but Shida fires back with elbows as they trade blows, Marufuji goes off the ropes but Shida nails him with a jumping knee for two. Three Count by Shida, but again Marufuji kicks out. Shida picks up Marufuji and hits more knees, she goes off the ropes and hits the Tamashii no Three Count but Marufuji barely gets a shoulder up. Shida goes up top and his a Diving Somato, but the pin gets another two. She goes off the ropes but Marufuji kicks her back, jumping knee by Marufuji and he covers Shida for a two count. Another knee by Marufuji, he gets Shida to her knees and knees her in the back of the head. Marufuji waits for Shida to get up and plants her with the Ko-oh, cover by Marufuji and he gets the three count! Naomichi Marufuji is the winner.
Matches like this are going to get a wide range of reactions. Due to Marufuji’s status in wrestling (he has had competitive matches against the likes of Misawa, Kobashi, Akiyama, Okada, Tanahashi, etc.), he was going to be the dominating wrestler in the match one way or the other. So a fair chunk of the match was Marufuji in control, turning Shida’s chest into hamburger and shrugging off Shida’s attempts to fight back. Its not a different dynamic than we saw earlier with Risa Sera and Aja Kong, but since they are different genders it will make some people squirm anyway. But that doesn’t mean it was just an extended squash as it clearly was not, Shida got in a fair amount of offense and several nearfalls, it was just a constant battle for her to get one over on Marufuji. Shida played a very sympathetic wrestler here, trying to win against someone who humiliated her a year ago at her own produced show, and the crowd was behind her attempts to right that wrong. A hard hitting affair but nothing that crossed the line to feeling inappropriate or excessive, overall an entertaining match even if the end result was never in question. Recommended
Wrestler produced shows are always difficult to review by traditional means as they are not traditional shows. The action ranged from comedic to hardcore, and hit a lot of different levels between. The first couple matches ranged from funny to weird, which is to be expected, while Chihiro vs. Maika was a solid midcard match. The hardcore match was chaotic randomness with some things working and some things not really working, but it was entertaining in its own special way. The Shida vs. Marufuji match I really enjoyed, it had a different feel than most main event matches with the various dynamics going on but I thought both did their parts really well and it was captivating from bell to bell. It took me awhile to finally get this DVD but I am glad that I did, a unique show for sure and overall an enjoyable experience.