Event: OZ Academy VOYAGER
Date: April 9th, 2016
Location: Yokohama University Osanbashi Hall in Kanagawa, Japan
Announced Attendance: 449
OZ Academy is admittedly not one of my favorite wrestling promotions, but they have some wrestlers that I really like so I do watch their events from time to time. I feel bad about reviewing things out of order since I do have older OZ Academy shows I haven’t talked about yet, but those are the breaks. We do get Syuri and Shida teaming here, two of my favorite wrestlers, plus MISSION K4 in the main event. The Ozaki Army stuff seems to be only in the early part of the card so other wrestlers should get a chance to shine. Here is the full card:
As always, click on the names above to go to the wrestler’s profile here on Joshi City. Only five matches but they all get decent time, let’s see how it goes.
Kaori Yoneyama vs. Yumi Ohka
We kick things off with a veteran vs. veteran match, as OZ Academy doesn’t really have any rookies in the traditional sense of the word. Yoneyama is a floater, while Ohka is technically a WAVE wrestler even though she is in Ozuki Army in Oz. Mio Shirai is the referee, and since Ohka is in the match she will not be a fair referee. Just an advanced warning.
Ohka stomps on Yoneyama’s foot instead of locking knuckles and she throws down Yoneyama by her hair. Ohka slams Yoneyama and applies a crab hold before hitting a series of knee drops. Ohka gets her whip and whips Yoneyama repeatedly while Mio pretends to be distracted elsewhere, Yoneyama rolls out of the ring but Ohka goes out after her and keeps the whippings going. Ohka finally slides Yoneyama back into the ring and hits a big boot, Ohka chokes Yoneyama in the corner with her boot before hitting another running boot. Knees by Ohka, Yoneyama gets away and goes off the ropes but Mio trips her. Ohka boots Yoneyama a few more times, cover by Ohka but it gets two. Yoneyama throws Ohka into Mio in the corner, then drop toeholds Mio onto Ohka before hitting a running senton onto both of them. She hits another senton on Ohka, Mongolian Chops by Yoneyama and she hits a running knee into Ohka’s back.
Yoneyama gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton, cover by Yoneyama but Ohka kicks out. Ohka manages to get her whip back and whips Yoneyama, she gets on the second turnbuckle and she chokes Yoneyama over the top rope. Diving crossbody by Ohka and she applies a crossface, but Yoneyama gets to the ropes. Yoneyama snaps off a DDT and hits a running knee to the back of Ohka’s head, Northern Lights Suplex by Yoneyama but she only gets a two count. Yoneyama goes off the ropes but Ohka catches her with a big boot, but Yoneyama ducks the next one and applies a schoolboy, but Mio doe the count really slow so it only gets two. Ohka gets the whip but she hits Mio by accident, and Yoneyama suplexes Ohka. Diving senton from the top by Yoneyama, cover, but Mio is probably legitimately too hurt to count it. Ohka slides away from Yoneyama, big boot by Ohka and she gets the three count! Yumi Ohka wins the match.
For an opener this was perfectly fine. I don’t love heel referees, but I do love Mio, so I was a bit torn while watching this. But Mio was funny and Yoneyama is not a serious threat to anything so it didn’t do her any harm to lose by some slight shenanigans. Not a bad way to kick things off and it got the show off to a quick start as it felt more like a mid-card match. Mildly Recommended
Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto vs. Maya Yukihi and Mayumi Ozaki
During my last OZ Academy review, Arisa Nakajima was in Ozaki Army. Well that ended on March 20th, a show I have but just haven’t reviewed yet, where she left the group after Ozaki got pinned in their tag match. So that was a really short-lived union. So here she is battling Ozaki Army with their newest recruit, Maya Yukihi. Nakajima of course is teaming with her Best Friends partner here so the veteran tag team has a bit of an advantage as Yukihi is still a few steps behind everyone else. Mio is still the referee so this may not be called down the middle.
Yukihi and Ozaki attack before the bell rings, and the battle immediately spills out of the ring. Police helps as well as he chokes Nakajima with a chain, they return to the ring and Fujimoto is beaten by everyone. Ozaki throws down Fujimoto by her hair and she is attacked by all the members of Ozuki Army on the apron. Yukihi comes in as the legal wrestler but Fujimoto slaps her and tags in Nakajima. Nakajima elbows Yukihi and throws her down by the hair, they trade elbows until Nakajima knees Yukihi in the corner. Fujimoto runs in as Ozaki does and Best Friends work together to take are of both their opponents, missile dropkicks to Yukihi and she is covered for a two count. Nakajima elbows Yukihi but Yukihi snaps off a leg lariat and kicks Nakajima in the chest for two. Ozaki is tagged in and she hits Nakajima with a chain, Yukihi gets back in the ring and they both choke Nakajima. Fujimoto comes in and dropkicks both of them, Nakajima suplexes Yukihi but Ozaki hits her with a chain. Ozaki goes off the ropes but Nakajima catches her with a bridging suplex hold for two.
Police comes in and lariats Nakajima, powerbomb by Ozaki but Fujimoto breaks up the cover. Ozaki chops Nakajima but she lands near her corner and makes the tag to Fujimoto. Yukihi is tagged in also, lariat by Yukihi and she hits a jumping knee in the corner. Yukihi goes for a chokeslam but Fujimoto reverses it into a roll-up. Yukihi rolls up Fujimoto for a two of her own, boot to the face by Yukihi but Nakajima breaks up the cover. Yukihi goes up top but Fujimoto throws her off and kicks Yukihi repeatedly in the back. PK by Fujimoto, but Ozaki breaks up the count. Fujimoto goes up top and hits a jumping neckbreaker, but again Ozaki stops the cover. Police runs in but Fujimoto kicks him low, side slam by Yukihi to Fujimoto but it only gets two. Fujimoto snaps of a hurricanrana, Nakajima comes in and suplexes Yukihi and Fujimoto hits the Venus Shoot. Cover by Fujimoto, and Yukihi is so out of it that even Mio’s slow count gets to three! Best Friends are your winners.
A step down from the last match as the constant interference was a bit much. It wasn’t surprising considering the participants but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I am not sure if Yukihi really fits in yet, feels like an odd pick to have as a new member in a major heel faction as she isn’t accomplished and is still working on her wrestling skills. A pretty average match at best, even though I do love Best Friends.
Aja Kong and Aoi Kizuki vs. Hikaru Shida and Syuri
This is an interesting match, with four quality wrestlers in seemingly random teams. Shida and Syuri have teamed a few times recently and are two of the top Freelancers in all of Joshi. Kong is an OZ Academy wrestler but Kizuki is a Freelancer as well so they aren’t a regular team. But at least we are free of Ozaki Army weirdness as this should be a pretty straight match, as straight as any Aja Kong match is anyway.
Syuri has a new outfit that looks great, since some readers are into wrestling fashion I figured it was worth a mention. Shida and Kizuki start off, Kizuki blocks an early hip attack attempt and they jockey for position on the mat. Kizuki hits a crossbody but Shida comes back with a hip attack, Kizuki tags in Kong and Syuri comes in to help her partner. Kong doesn’t care and lariats both of them, Kong puts Shida in the corner and chops her in the chest. Lariat by Kong, Shida fights back but Kong hits a double chop to send Shida to the mat. Backdrop suplex by Kong, but Syuri breaks up the cover. Kong tags Kizuki back in, Kizuki chops Shida while she is in the ropes but Shida hits a big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker which gives her time to tag Syuri. Syuri kicks Kizuki, she goes for an armbreaker but instead applies a leg submission. Kizuki pushes Syuri back and tags Kong, scoop slam by Kong and she hits an elbow drop for two. Syuri fights back with kicks and hits a jumping knee, she slides away from Kong and blocks a punch and applies a cross armbreaker, but Kong gets into the ropes. Lariat by Kong and she tags Kizuki, sentons by Kizuki but Shida hits her from the apron and Syuri hits a suplex for two.
Kicks by Syuri and she hits a knee, but Kizuki hits a Stunner followed by a diving senton off the second turnbuckle. Backstabber by Syuri and she hits a PK, but Kizuki kicks out of the cover. Syuri tags in Shida, beast suplex by Shida but Kizuki ducks the knee and applies a crossface. Double Wrist Armsault by Kizuki, she goes up top and nails the Swivel Body Press but Syuri breaks up the cover. Shida gets away from Kizuki and calls for her kendo stick but Kong catches it and hits Shida with it. German suplex hold by Kizuki to Shida, but it gets a two count. Kizuki goes up top again but Syuri runs over and knocks her on the apron, Shida gets on the second turnbuckle and suplexes Kizuki back into the ring. Kizuki and Shida trade elbows, enzuigiri by Shida and she hits a jumping knee when Kizuki goes for a lariat. Three Count by Shida, but Kizuki gets a shoulder up. Falcon Arrow by Shida, but Kong breaks up the cover. Syuri grabs Kong while Shida gets her kendo stick, Kong gets her painting can but she hits Kizuki by accident. Syuri and Shida both kick Kizuki, Three Count by Shida and this time she gets the three count pinfall! Syuri and Shida win the match.
I thoroughly enjoyed this match, all that was missing was a bit more time and a reason for them to be fighting (title, grudge, etc.). All four of these wrestlers are solid or better, its unusual for Kizuki to be the weakest wrestler in a tag match as she is very good herself but here she almost didn’t fit in. Kong is still an top wrestler in her style, sure she has lost a step or two but she is still game and works well in tag settings. Syuri is one of the best in the world, everything she does is so on point, and I continue to marvel at how strong Shida is. There were a few team miscommunications which I thought was perfect, since neither of these teams are overly familar with each other. Overall just a hard hitting and entertaining match bell to bell, lived up to my expectations. Recommended
AKINO vs. Dynamite Kansai
On paper this may seem a bit random, but these two have been facing off in tag matches for awhile as AKINO is in MISSION K4 while Dynamite Kansai teams with Kong, Yamashita, and other OZ Academy wrestlers to square off against MISSION K4. Kansai isn’t an evil heel, as Ozaki Army has that well covered, but she isn’t a ‘good guy’ either as MISSION K4 are the popular group in the promotion. So she is used as filler, but high end filler as she is a legend. AKINO is a veteran as well and held the main OZ Academy title in 2015, so she is no push-over either. This should be a fun match against two very experienced wrestlers.
They start the match slowly, AKINO gets the first advantage as she works on Kansai’s leg on the mat before hitting a dropkick. AKINO bootscrapes Kansai in the corner but Kansai kicks her back and knees AKINO into the ropes. AKINO gets Kansai to the mat and hits a leg drop, jawbreaker by AKINO and she applies a cross armbreaker takedown. Kansai gets out of it, AKINO goes up top and she delivers a missile dropkick. She goes up again and hits another one before hitting a third, she pushes Kansai back down and puts her in a seated armbar. She reverts it into a double armbar but Kansai gets a foot on the ropes to force the break. Sleeper by Kansai but AKINO gets out of it with a jawbreaker, AKINO goes for a lariat but Kansai ducks it and re-applies the sleeper on the mat. AKINO gets a foot on the ropes to get out of it, AKINO whips off a backdrop suplex but Kansai gets up and hits one of her own. AKINO comes back with another one and then kicks Kansai, leaving both wrestlers on the mat. AKINO goes off the ropes but Kansai catches her with a clawhold slam, kicks by Kansai and she hits a big backdrop suplex. Kansai picks up AKINO and hits the Splash Mountain, but AKINO cuts it back for a two count cover. Lariat by Kansai against the ropes, AKINO grabs her but Kansai pushes AKINO back into the ring. High kick by AKINO but Kansai returns the favor and they trade shots. AKINO gets the better of it and puts Kansai in La Magistral, but it only gets a two count. Kansai grabs AKINO and nails Splash Mountain, but AKINO barely gets a shoulder up. Kansai drags AKINO to her feet and drops her with the Green Fall, cover by Kansai and she gets the three count! Kansai is the winner.
A more methodical and deliberately paced match than we have seen up to this point, but I still liked it. It started pretty slow but this was the old school style of having a feeling our process and slowly building up to big strikes and head dropping suplexes until someone hits the bigger move and gets the win. Since both wrestlers are over 40 they weren’t going to have a sprint so they did what they know, and they did it well. This wouldn’t have worked as well in the main event spot but was fine here, a different but good match. Mildly Recommended
Hiroyo Matsumoto, Manami Toyota, and Kuragaki vs. Kagetsu, Kobayashi, and Kato
I mentioned above that when MISSION K4 isn’t fighting against Ozaki Army, they take on any other comers in OZ Academy which is what is happening here. Matsumoto and company do team sometimes but usually only in group wars such as this one, it seems like an unusual main event as a lot of the main players in OZ Academy aren’t present but it shows how much MISSION K4 has risen up the card in the last few months. I usually just call their opponents “Team Veteran” as it is just pieced together Freelancer and OZ Academy wrestlers they are facing, but they are a high end team nonetheless. Nothing is really at stake here, but with the main event slot hopefully they put in a good show.
Matsumoto and Kato start off, and they right into it as Kato hits a high kick but Matsumoto retorts by planting Kato with a sit-down powerbomb! No wasted time here. Everyone runs into the ring, Matsumoto singles out Kobayashi and throws her out of the ring, but in the process she takes out her own teammates by accident. Kagetsu rolls in and kicks Matsumoto, Kobayashi returns and they double team Matsumoto in the corner. Kato has recovered and comes back too, and they all pose over Matsumoto. Kato tags Kobayashi but Matsumoto hits a hard shoulderblock and tags Kuragaki, Kuragaki picks up Kobayashi in a press slam and throws her to the mat for a two count cover. Body avalanches by Kuragaki in the corner and she tags in Toyota, Toyota goes up top and comes in the ring with a missile dropkick. Toyota goes up top and hits another one, she puts Kobayashi in the ropes and dropkicks her in the back. Kobayashi sneaks in an inside cradle with no luck, she goes off the ropes and with Kagetsu they both dropkick Toyota.
Kobayashi makes the hot tag to Kagetsu, Kato comes in too and they both kick Toyota back and forth. Kagetsu gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, another missile dropkick by Kagetsu and she hits a pair of jumping elbows in the corner followed by a spear for a two count cover. Heel drop by Toyota and she rolls Kagetsu around the ring before tagging in Matsumoto. Matsumoto hits a body avalanche against the ropes followed by a wheelbarrow into a backdrop suplex for a two count. Matsumoto picks up Kagetsu and gets her on her shoulders, gutbuster by Matsumoto but Kato breaks up the cover. Kato and Matsumoto trade elbows, Kagetsu comes back and she dropkicks Matsumoto in the head. High kick by Kato and Kagetsu suplexes Matsumoto for two. Kagetsu tags Kato, suplex by Kato and she kicks Matsumoto in the head for a two count. Matsumoto and Kato trade strikes, Kobayashi runs in and dropkicks Matsumoto, another kick by Kato but Matsumoto barely kicks out of the cover. Dragon suplex hold by Kato, but Kuragaki breaks up the pin.
Kuragaki takes care of Kagetsu, all three of the Veteran Team go up to different turnbuckles and hit diving attacks on all three members of MISSION K4. Matsumoto goes for a backdrop suplex on Kato, Kato blocks it but Matsumoto levels her with a lariat. Backdrop suplex by Matsumoto, but Kobayashi barely breaks up the cover. Kicks by Kato, Kagetsu hits a missile dropkick on Matsumoto but it gives her a chance to tag in Kuragaki. Kuragaki suplexes everyone, Kato gets away from her but Toyota joins Kuragaki to help. Kagetsu hits a swandive dropkick on both of them, kicks but MISSION K4 to Kuragaki and they drop her with an assisted DDT. Kato goes up top and nails the diving guillotine legdrop, but Kuragaki barely kicks out. Kato gets Kuragaki up and delivers the Kowloon’s Gate, but Matsumoto breaks up the pin. Kato goes up top but Kuragaki joins her, then Matsumoto comes behind and powerbombs Kuragaki which in turn suplexes Kato. Backdrop suplex by Matsumoto to Kato but Kato catches her with the Kowloon’s Gate. Toyota goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, lariat by Kuragaki but it gets two. Kuragaki picks up Kato, she quickly hits the Jikiden Falcon Arrow, cover by Kuragaki and she gets the three count! Kuragaki, Toyota, and Matsumoto win!
I loved this match probably too much, but I am only human. It had all the elements of a match I enjoy jammed into a fast paced 15 minute match, ranging from Kobayashi being perfect at getting destroyed to Matsumoto throwing people around like they were children. Then toss in some Kagetsu dropkicks and Kuragaki being at her best, and there was really nothing here I didn’t enjoy. Toyota has lost a step which is only natural, but works really well in six woman tags and is still able to go. Just about the perfect action packed multi-wrestler tag match, I still prefer a high level singles match but this was about as entertaining as these matches can be. Highly Recommended
From top to bottom, this show really surprised me. It helped a lot that the Ozaki Army participation was limited to the first two matches, which allowed the rest of the card to breath without all the unnecessary interference. When Best Friends are in the worst mach on the card you know you have something good, and nothing on the card was below average. Syuri and Shida are a fun tag team to watch, and the main event was about as good as I could have ever hoped for (and admittedly had some of my favorite wrestlers which helped). Definitely a show worth going outside of your normal comfort zone for, the last three matches in particular are recommended to watch.