Event: OZ Academy “Mayumi Ozaki 30th Anniversary Homecoming”
Date: June 26th, 2016
Location: Kawaguchi SKIP City Multi Purpose Hall in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: 289
It has been awhile since we visited Oz Academy, so lets see what they have been up to. This is a special card to celebrate Ozaki’s 30th Anniversary Homecoming, however she doesn’t take too big of a role here as she faces a popular younger Freelancer, Aoi Kizuki. We also gets lots of MISSION K4, spread over two matches, and a special match between Kansai and Shida! Here is the full card:
Click on the names above to go to the wrestler’s profile on Joshi City. Let’s get to the review.
Kaori Yoneyama vs. Manami Toyota
If there was a Mount Rushmore of Joshi, the four wrestlers I would put on it would be Chigusa Nagayo, Lioness Asuka, Dump Matsumoto, and Manami Toyota. To say she is a legend wouldn’t be giving her justice, one of the most exciting and innovative wrestlers of the last 30 years and still to this day wrestles with the same amount of passion. Her opponent here is another well respected veteran, she is best known these days for working in Stardom but Yoneyama has held a dozen titles in her career and is great wrestler in her own right. Toyota has naturally slowed down from her heyday in the mid-90s, but she can still bring it, a fun way to kick off this show.
Yoneyama goes to MIO (one of my favorite referees) for comfort, but she tells Yoneyama to fight so she stomps on Toyota’s foot. Crossbody by Yoneyama and she puts Toyota in the Muta Lock before putting her in a headlock. Yoneyama tries to throw down Toyota by her hair but she blocks it and puts Yoneyama in a camel clutch while stretching her nose. Not to be shown up, Toyota puts Yoneyama in a Muta Lock, showing great flexibility in her 28th year of wrestling. Back up, Yoneyama goes for a suplex but Toyota blocks it, inside cradle by Yoneyama but it gets two. Yoneyama applies a body scissors but Toyota gets out of it and stretches both of Yoneyama’s legs. Figure four by Toyota but Yoneyama reverses it, they roll to the ropes and both wrestlers get the break. Boot by Toyota in the corner, she goes up top and she delivers a missile dropkick for a two count. Double arm suplex by Toyota but Yoneyama bridges out of the pin attempt and dropkicks her in the head. Chops by Yoneyama and she knees Toyota in the back, running senton by Yoneyama and she gets on the second turnbuckle, but Toyota recovers and dumps her out of the ring. Toyota goes up top but Yoneyama rolls back in and joins her. Yoneyama gets Toyota up and hits a superplex, cover by Yoneyama but Toyota bridges out of the pin. Yoneyama goes up top but Toyota gets her feet up on the diving senton attempt, German suplex hold by Toyota but it gets two. Toyota goes to the top turnbuckle but once again Yoneyama pulls her off, but Toyota puts her in the rolling cradle for a two count. Toyota gets Yoneyama on her shoulders but Yoneyama reverses it into a roll-up. Heel drop by Toyota to Yoneyama’s back and she drills her with the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb, picking up the three count! Toyota is the winner!
This was simple, but very logical. I loved the way that Yoneyama was always blocking/reversing Toyota’s bigger moves, not that you’d need to scout Toyota but she knew what moves were coming and smartly found a way out of them. Which just led to her getting spiked with the Queen Bee Bomb but what can ya do. Yoneyama tried a bunch of quick pins as that was her mostly likely path to victory, but Toyota never seemed to be in real danger here. A slower paced match to begin things but well worked and its always a pleasure to see Toyota.
AKINO and Sonoko Kato vs. Syuri and Tsubasa Kuragaki
MISSION K4’s first match of the evening, as they take on the random team of Syuri and Kuragaki. Syuri and Kuragaki are two of the top Freelancers in Joshi, however they have never teamed before and don’t have any real connection. Kuragaki is a 21 year veteran and has held titles in Stardom, OZ Academy, JWP, and AJW, while Syuri is a legitimate MMA fighter and former Ace of REINA. AKINO and Kato are both former OZ Academy Openweight Champions and are the two most accomplished wrestlers in MISSION K4.
Kuragaki and Kato are the first two in, Kuragaki gets the early advantage but Kato armdrags her to the mat and they both return to their feet. Syuri and AKINO tag in, AKINO throws Syuri to the mat but Syuri snaps off a spinning headscissors. Dropkick by AKINO and she starts working on Syuri’s leg. Kato tags in and picks up where her partner left off on Syuri’s leg, she then hits a rolling fireman’s carry slam for a two count cover. AKINO returns and taunts Kuragaki before dropkicking Syuri, Kato comes in the ring and Syuri is double teamed in the corner. Syuri finally knocks down Kato with a jumping knee, giving her time to tag in Kuragaki, who quickly lariats both Kato and AKINO. Kato kicks Kuragaki in the leg and AKINO comes off the top with a missile dropkick, Kato now goes up top and she hits a cannonball for two. Kuragaki has had enough and floors Kato with a hard lariat, she tags Syuri back in and Syuri kicks Kato repeatedly. Jumping knee by Syuri and she hits a single arm suplex for a two count cover. Syuri goes for a PK but Kato catches her leg and hits a dragon screw, she charges Syuri in the corner but Syuri moves out of the way. Kuragaki comes in the ring, she picks up Syuri in a press slam and throws her out of the ring onto Kato and AKINO. Back in the ring, PK but Syuri and she covers Kato for two. Syuri charges Kato but Kato catches her with a German suplex, kick to the chest by Kato and she covers Syuri for two.
Kato tags AKINO, missile dropkick by the veteran and she kicks Kuragaki off the apron. Kicks by AKINO but Syuri kicks her back, she goes for a jumping knee but AKINO catches her and slams Syuri to the mat. Back up they trade elbows, Backstabber by Syuri and she goes up top, but AKINO quickly joins her. Kuragaki runs in but so does Kato, Kuragaki puts Kato on the second rope with AKINO and gets them both on her back for an Argentine Backbreaker. After a moment she drops them, Syuri goes for a buzzsaw kick on AKINO but AKINO catches it. Syuri goes for a cross kneelock but AKINO blocks that too, she also blocks the cross armbreaker but Syuri levels her with a running knee. German suplex hold by Syuri, but Kato breaks up the cover. Syuri tags Kuragaki, jawbreaker by Kuragaki but AKINO lands on her feet on the backdrop suplex attempt. Kato comes in but Kuragaki lariats both of them and hits a double backdrop suplex. Kuragaki goes up top but AKINO gets her feet up on the moonsault attempt. Backdrop suplex by AKINO but Kuragaki gets up and hits one of her own. Another by AKINO but Kuragaki hits a superkick. High kick by AKINO but Kuragaki fires back with a lariat and both wrestlers are down. Kuragaki is up first, lariats by Kuragaki but AKINO reverses the Metal Wing with a hurricanrana for two. Kato comes in and they take turns high kicking Kuragaki, cover by Kato but Syuri breaks it up. Syuri runs over and knees AKINO, Metal Wing by Kuragaki but Kato breaks up the pin. Kuragaki goes for a brainbuster but AKINO gets out of it, Kato high kicks AKINO but accident but then Syuri high kicks Kuragaki by accident. AKINO quickly hits a Frankensteiner on Kuragaki, and she picks up the three count! AKINO and Sonoko Kato are the winners!
Not always a pretty match but definitely entertaining. Kuragaki is just a beast, one of the strongest wrestlers on the Joshi scene and she has no issues with showing it off. Syuri did less here than I was hoping as she was mostly the Face in Peril, but she managed to sneak in a few quality strikes so she wasn’t without purpose. AKINO and Kato you can tell are a regular tag team as they work really well together, and the time just flew by. It didn’t have much of a structure in the traditional sense of the word, the last few minutes in particular were just random carnage, but there was always something going on. A bit sloppy at times but overall a solid match. Mildly Recommended
Dynamite Kansai vs. Hikaru Shida
A really unique match here, if it has a backstory then I am not aware of it. It is however their first ever singles match that I could find, as the long term veteran OZ Academy wrestler in Kansai takes on one of the top Freelancers in Shida. Shida is on a bit of a cold streak when it comes to titles as she hasn’t had one since last summer, so beating the established Kansai would do a lot to raise her status in OZ Academy. Kansai is not an easy pin however, as she has not lost a singles match since July of 2014.
Shida kicks Kansai as they are shaking hands and hits a quick hurricanrana, but Kansai shrugs off the hip attacks. Kicks by Kansai but Shida connects with jumping kick before dropkicking Kansai out of the ring. Shida goes up top as Kansai gets on the apron, Kansai pushes Shida onto the mat and kicks her hard in the chest. Kansai lariats Shida out of the ring, she goes out after her and goes for a vertical suplex but Shida reverses it. Back in the ring, vertical suplex by Shida and she covers Kansai for two. Shida goes off the ropes but Kansai puts her in the Claw, she goes for a kick but Shida catches her leg and hits a dragon screw. Shida gets her kendo stick and hits Kansai with it, Three Count by Shida but Kansai kicks out of the cover. Cross kneelock by Shida, but Kansai rolls into the ropes to force a break. Back up they trade elbows until Kansai kicks Shida to the mat, but Shida gets her kendo stick and hits Kansai in the head with it. Falcon Arrow by Shida, but the cover only gets two. Shida goes off the ropes but Kansai catches her with a backdrop suplex for a two count. Sleeper by Kansai, but Shida rolls into the ropes for the break. Kansai picks up Shida and hits a hard lariat, she goes up top but Shida hits her with the kendo stick a few times before she can jump off. Shida joins Kansai and delivers the Avalanche Falcon Arrow, cover by Shida but Kansai barely gets a shoulder up. Shida hits Kansai some more with the kendo stick, but Kansai kicks her in the head in return. Kansai picks up Shida and nails the Green Fall, and she gets the three count! Dynamite Kansai is the winner.
I wouldn’t say that I loved this match but it wasn’t bad either. Kansai is a bit limited these days (she is 46 years old and in her 29th year) and the match was oddly structured, as Shida did most of the damage but went down pretty easily in the end. Shida isn’t a scrub, so I would have liked for her to have been a bit harder to pin. Shida got a few chances to show off her strength, but in a way it felt like very little happened in the match even though it was almost ten minutes long. Pretty average all the way around with a few bright spots.
Aoi Kizuki vs. Mayumi Ozaki
It is ok to feel sorry for Kizuki here. Ozaki is not only celebrating her anniversary, but as the leader of Ozaki Army her posse is at ringside (most notably Police) and faction member MIO is the referee. So she has her work cut out for her. It has been a rough year for Kizuki, as she did not do great in Catch the WAVE and hasn’t won any titles, a win against Ozaki would certainly get her back on track.
Ozaki attacks Kizuki before the bell rings, because why wouldn’t she, Kizuki is tossed from the ring and attacked by Ozaki Army on the floor. Back in the ring, Kizuki is choked with a chain by Police and Ozaki while MIO watches, Kizuki finally fights back against all three of them until MIO trips her. Police comes in with a chair and hits Kizuki in the head with it, Kizuki is then choked with the chain again, Kizuki matches to lariat Ozuki before stacking all of Ozaki Army on top of each other and posing on them (she has problems getting her wings on, making the ridiculous situation even more ridiculous). Senton by Kizuki on Ozaki, but MIO doesn’t count. Hard elbow by Kizuki, she picks up Ozaki and hits rolling double wrist clutch suplexes, but Police breaks up the cover. Ozaki hits Kizuki in the head with the chain, lariat by Police but he then hits Ozaki in the head with the chair by accident. Kizuki elbows Police, AKINO appears with a swandive missile dropkick to Ozaki, but MIO counts the pinfall slowly. A few quick pin attempts by Kizuki have no luck, she gets on the second turnbuckle but MIO stops her from jumping off. Ozaki then joins Kizuki and hits a superplex, Shining Wizard by Police and Ozaki hits a double backfist, but Shida has had enough and comes in the ring to hit everyone with a kendo stick. Yoneyama and AKINO come in too and triple team Ozaki in the corner, Kizuki nudges all of Ozaki Army out of the ring and dives out onto them with a plancha suicida. Cover by Kizuki back in the ring, but MIO is still out after being hit with a kendo stick earlier. Kizuki goes up top and delivers the swivel body press, MIO makes the count after being threatened but Ozaki kicks out at two. Kizuki goes off the ropes but Ozaki spits red mist in her face before hitting a double backfist. Shida comes in the ring and tries to hit Ozaki with a kendo stick, but she hits Kizuki by accident. Ozakick by Ozaki, and she gets the three count! The winner is Mayumi Ozaki.
As anyone that knows me is aware of, I don’t love these types of matches. The ‘good guy’ having to battle their opponent, an entourage, and the referee is just too much, its a match style in wrestling that I am just tired of. I liked Shida and AKINO finally coming in to even the score but it was a bit too late to save the match. Certainly some good moments but it doesn’t really do anything for Kizuki and since every Oz Academy card has a match like this, it just has gotten stale. I always love seeing Mio Shirai getting involved but not a match I can recommend.
Aja Kong and Ayako Hamada vs. Kagetsu and Kaho Kobayashi
We have reached the main event, and what a main event it is. Kagetsu and Kobayashi are the younger members of MISSION K4, full of fire but without the successes of their faction mates. Kong and Hamada do not regularly team and are a bit thrown together, but have vastly more accomplishments than their opponents. This will be a big fight for the scrappy underdogs, they may not win but they certainly won’t go down easy.
Kagetsu and Kobayashi attack just as the match starts, kicking Kong and Hamada out of the ring. They go to do dives but Kong and Hamada stop them and veteran team beat their opponents around the floor. After several minutes Hamada and Kagetsu return to the ring, Hamada kicks Kagetsu but Kagetsu hits a springboard armdrag. Kagetsu tags Kobayashi and they both dropkick Hamada, but Hamada kicks Kobayashi in the chest and tags in Kong. Kong chops Kobayashi hard against the ropes, scoop slam by Kobayashi and she hits an elbow drop for two. Kong works a side headlock until Kobayashi reaches the ropes, Kong picks up Kobayashi and hits a delayed piledriver, but Kagetsu breaks up the cover. Kong tags Hamada back in and Hamada applies a seated armbar, Mexican Surfboard by Hamada and she tags in Kong. Double shoulderblock to Kobayashi and Kong clubs her hard in the chest, Kong picks up Kobayashi but Kobayashi avoids her charge in the corner and kicks her in the head. Kobayashi tags Kagetsu, elbow by Kagetsu and she hits a jumping elbow in the corner. Kagetsu tries to pick up Kong but can’t, Irish whip by Kagetsu and she knocks over Kong with a spear.
Kong knees Kagetsu off and drops her with a backdrop suplex, giving her time to tag in Hamada. Backdrop suplex by Hamada to Kagetsu and she hits a lariat for a two count. High kick by Kagetsu but Hamada delivers a jumping heel kick, Kagetsu comes back with a few more head kicks and she covers Hamada for a two count. Ebisu Drop by Kagetsu, but Hamada gets a shoulder up. Hamada returns the favor as she hits the same move, she gets on the top turnbuckle and hits the moonsault, but Kagetsu quickly applies a seated armbar. Kong breaks it up by throwing Kobayashi into Kagetsu, Kagetsu gets on the top turnbuckle but Hamada dropkicks her as she jumps off. Kobayashi and Kong are both tagged in, Kobayashi goes for a few quick pins but Kong kicks out each time. Kobayashi goes for a hurricanrana but Kong catches her and powerbombs her into the turnbuckle. Kagetsu comes into the ring with a swandive missile dropkick, and she drops Kong with a Samoan Drop. Catapult senton by Kobayashi, she covers Kong but it is broken up. Kobayashi goes up top but Hamada smacks her, this gives Kong time to recovers and she joins Kobayashi, but Kagetsu powerbombs Kong from behind. Assisted diving senton by Kobayashi, but again Hamada breaks up the cover. Kong gets her paint can and hits Kobayashi in the head with it, Kobayashi gets away from Kong and goes for the schoolboy, but Kong blocks it. Kong picks up Kobayashi and drills her with a brainbuster, and Kong picks up the three count! Kong and Hamada are the winners.
If the point of the match was to put over Kong, then they did a good job of it. Not that I mind Kong looking strong since she is a legend that can still go and has value, I just wish that MISSION K4 had a bit more luck. Kobayashi is just so incredible at being destroyed, it sounds awful but its a lot of fun watching her take offense and keep coming back for more. Kagetsu and Kobayashi’s comebacks were brief and not effective, but still exciting, and the match was very crisp. I would have liked it to be a bit less one-sided, but overall I still enjoyed it a lot just for the Kong and Kobayashi segments if nothing else. Recommended
For better or for worse, this is OZ Academy in a nutshell. They have Ozaki Army, which I don’t love, and they like having older veterans not only wrestle but look great in the process. Four wrestlers 45 years old or older got the pin on this event, with Sonoko Kato being the youngest wrestler with a win (she is 40). At least the veterans they use can still go, and I do enjoy seeing the likes of Kong, Toyota, and Kansai…. just not necessarily all on the same card in three separate matches. Hopefully soon they will start focusing more on MISSION K4 as Kagetsu and Kaho are where the future is, but there wasn’t a bad match on the card and it is worth watching as long as you know what you are getting into.