PURE-J Fight Together on 4/11/21 Review

PURE-J Fight Together Poster

Event: PURE-J Fight Together
Date: April 11th, 2021
Location: Itabashi Green Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 110
Broadcast Information: Streamed on PURE-J Filmuy Channel

Excited to take a look at PURE-J for the April Streaming Service Evaluation, an often forgotten Joshi promotion. PURE-J has a pretty solid streaming service and uploads most of their shows, which is great as otherwise we wouldn’t get to watch them very often. This is actually a big event for the promotion, with a notable singles match for Hanako Nakamori and a championship title match. Here is the full card:

All matches were shown in full. To visit a wrestler’s profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above.

Chie Ozora vs. Megumi Yabushita
Chie Ozora vs. Megumi Yabushita

We start with a classic rookie vs. veteran match. Chie just debuted last August so she is still early in her career, nothing too notable from her yet but she still has time to grow. Yabushita is an almost 25 year veteran who has been around the block a few times, she is currently a Freelancer and bounces around to different promotions. She isn’t a high level veteran but clearly outranks Chie, so she is here just to show Chie some tricks before beating her.

Chie goes for a dropkick right off the start but Yabushita swats her away, stomps by Yabushita and she hits a dropkick of her own for two. Chie goes off the ropes and connects with the dropkick this time, snapmare by Chie and she applies a sleeper hold. She lets go after a moment and switches to a bodyscissors, but Yabushita gets out of it and applies a cross-leg submission. Yabushita picks up Chie and hits a snapmare before flinging Chie around by the hair. Sleeper by Yabushita but Chie gets a toe on the ropes to force the break. Yabushita picks up Chie and hits a scoop slam, double kneedrop by Yabushita and she hits a couple more scoop slams for two. Chie fights back with an elbow and the two trade shots, Yabushita gets Chie down and puts her in an armbar. Chie again gets to the ropes for a break, Yabushita grabs Chie’s arm and applies an armbar hanging over the top rope. She lets go after a moment, Chie reverses a wristlock into one of her own but Yabushita reverses it back.

Chie regains the advantage and tries to walk the ropes while holding Yabushita’s arm, but she falls off (not on purpose). Back in the ring, Chie rolls Yabushita to the mat and applies an ankle hold, but Yabushita makes it to the ropes. Small package by Chie and she applies a kneelock, but Yabushita rights out of it and puts Chie in a crab hold. She switches it to a cross armbreaker attempt, but Chie gets to the ropes for the break. Chie gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Chie but it gets a two count. Chie charges Yabushita and goes over her back for a cradle, but Yabushita kicks out again. Rolling Cradle by Chie, but that gets two as well. Chie picks up Yabushita and hits a Fisherman Suplex Hold, but Yabushita gets a shoulder up. Chie goes off the ropes but Yabushita catches her with a judo toss, armbreaker by Yabushita but Chie gets to the ropes. Yabushita picks up Chie but Chie sneaks in a few more flash pins for two. Bridging suplex by Yabushita, she quickly puts Chie in a cross armbreaker and Chie submits! Megumi Yabushita is the winner.

I’m surprised about how even this match was, which probably says more for Yabushita than it does for Chie. Yabushita is a pretty entry-level veteran so she doesn’t really lose anything by giving a rookie so much offense. Chie is still early in her career so no judgement here, but the botches always stick out and I’m just glad she wasn’t hurt when she slipped off the ropes. Otherwise she looked fine although she didn’t pop off the screen either. A decent opener in the sense that Chie got some experience and Yabushita was a good base for showing her around the ring in a competent manner.

KAZUKI vs. Misa Matsui
KAZUKI vs. Misa Matsui

The theme from the last match continues, although Misa is a bit more experienced than Chie Ozora. Misa hails from Actwres girl’Z and is reasonably popular but has not found much in-ring success yet as she is yet to win any titles. KAZUKI is a 20+ year veteran, she mostly hangs out in the midcard these days as a Gatekeeper but did hold the tag titles for much of 2019. Like the last match, the winner is not in doubt but we’ll see how young Misa can do.

They lock up to start, Misa gets KAZUKI into the ropes but she gives a clean break. Misa steps on KAZUKI’s foot but KAZUKI kicks her in the stomach, Misa gets KAZUKI to the mat and delivers a sliding kick. Misa goes for a scoop slam but KAZUKI blocks it, hitting a scoop slam of her own for a two count. Crab hold by KAZUKI but Misa inches to the ropes to force the break. KAZUKI grabs Misa by the hair but Misa lands on her feet on the hair whip attempt, snapmare by Misa and she applies a bodyscissors. She lets go after a moment, knee to the stomach by KAZUKI and she throws Misa into the corner. Irish whip by KAZUKI and she hits a running knee, another Irish whip by KAZUKI but this time Misa flips over her and hits a dropkick. More dropkicks by Misa but KAZUKI stays up, elbows by Misa but KAZUKI blocks the suplex attempt. Knee by KAZUKI but Misa hits a jumping crossbody for two. Armbar by Misa but she lets go after a moment and stomps on KAZUKI. Misa goes off the ropes but KAZUKI knees her in the stomach, another knee to the stomach by KAZUKI (that’s kinda her thing) but Misa grabs her arm and goes for an armbar. KAZUKI gets to the ropes for a break, knee by KAZUKI and she hits another one.

KAZUKI picks up Misa and hits a double underhook slam onto her knee for a two count cover. KAZUKI picks up Misa and puts her in the corner across the ropes, she then gets on the top turnbuckle but Misa slides out to the apron. She tries to slam KAZUKI into the turnbuckle but KAZUKI blocks it, Misa returns the favor however and elbows KAZUKI. Misa gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody for a two count. Fisherman suplex hold by Misa, but that gets a two as well. Misa goes up top but KAZUKI avoids her diving footstomp, Misa quickly applies an Octopus Hold but KAZUKI gets to the ropes. Misa charges KAZUKI and hits a low crossbody, she goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving footstomp for a two count. Waistlock by Misa but KAZUKI gets to the ropes, Misa charges KAZUKI but KAZUKI drops her with a Codebreaker. Running double knee by KAZUKI and she hits a reverse double kneedrop for a two count. KAZUKI picks up Misa but Misa slides away, backdrop suplex by KAZUKI and she covers Misa for two. KAZUKI picks up Misa but Misa slides off and goes for a sunset flip, but KAZUKI blocks it. Misa goes for a few more flash pins with no luck, Samoan Cutter by KAZUKI but Misa barely kicks out of the cover. KAZUKI goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving kneedrop, cover by KAZUKI but Misa bridges out of the pin. KAZUKI quickly goes all the way up to the top turnbuckle and hits another diving kneedrop, and this time she picks up the three count! KAZUKI is the winner.

I’ve mentioned before that I like when wrestlers focus on a certain aspect of offensive strategy but KAZUKI takes it a little too far. I am just imagining her waking up one day and saying “I am going to only knee people in the stomach, that’s my thing now.” In her defense, at least her finishing moves also focus on knees to the stomach, but I just wish she had more ‘set up’ moves than the common kitchen sink. It just gets a bit repetitive. Misa looked good here, hit all her spots well and has a nice variety of offense. I really enjoyed the match when Misa was on offense, and if KAZUKI would just change her offense up this would have been a sneaky good match. Its still solid though and a good showcase for Misa, she certainly has potential.  Mildly Recommended

AKARI and Mari vs. Crea and Makoto
AKARI and Mari vs. Crea and Makoto

Up next we have teams pairing a PURE-J wrestler with an outsider. AKARI comes into the match as the Princess of Princess Champion and has seen more success in PURE-J lately, she teams with Mari from Actwres girl’Z. On the other team is young PURE-J wrestler Crea, she missed some time due to injury but is back on a full schedule. She teams with veteran Freelancer Makoto, who is pretty well known but has had limited success in her career in regards to main event level matches. Either team can win here so hopefully its a fun match.

AKARI and Crea start the match, they trade wristlocks until AKARI gets Crea to the mat. Crea gets away and they reach a stalemate, they lock knuckles and go into a quick exchange which ends with a AKARI dropkick. Mari comes in but so does Makoto and she helps Crea get the advantage. AKARI is thrown into the corner and double teamed, cover by Crea but it gets a two count. Crea tags Makoto, Makoto stomps on AKARI and she hits a springboard crossbody. Double kneedrop by Makoto, and she covers AKARI for two. Irish whip by Makoto but AKARI hits a dropkick, giving her time to tag in Mari. PK by Mari but Makoto kicks her back, dropkick by Makoto and she covers Mari for two. Makoto goes off the ropes and boots Mari, she grabs Mari but Mari throws her to the mat and applies a leglock. Crea breaks it up, boots by Mari to Makoto but Makoto drop toeholds her into the second rope. Stomps by Makoto and she tags Crea, she tries to shoulderblock Mari to the mat but Mari stays on her feet. Kick to the stomach by Mari but Crea ducks the high kick and finally shoulderblocks Mari to the mat. Crea puts Mari in a Sickle Hold but Makoto holds back AKARI, but AKARI gets free and breaks up the hold.

Crea picks up Mari but Mari kicks her in the leg, Crea elbows her back and the two trade shots. Crea hits a series of elbows but Mari returns with a series of kicks, she knocks Crea to the mat and follows with a PK for two. Mari picks up Crea and gets her on her shoulders, hitting a Samoan Drop for a close two count. Mari picks up Crea but Crea catches her kick and applies an ankle hold. Mari gets to the ropes for the break, dropkick to the back by Crea and she covers Mari for two. She tags Makoto, Makoto knees Mari in the stomach and boots her twice for a two count cover. Makoto throws Mari into the corner but Mari kicks her back and hits a facecrusher. Mari puts Makoto in a Rocking Horse, but she lets go after a moment and goes for a Gory Special. Makoto blocks that and hits a DDT, kick to the ribs by Makoto and she hits the handstand double kneedrop for two. Makoto picks up Mari but Mari blocks the double underhook, high kicks by Mari and she covers Makoto for a two count. Mari tags AKARI, AKARI throws Makoto into the corner and hits a running elbow. Makoto avoids the next one and knees AKARI, but AKARI slides out to the apron and with Mari’s help she hits a missile dropkick for a two count.

Northern Lights Suplex Hold by AKARI, but that gets a two as well. AKARI picks up Makoto but Makoto hits an armdrag, she applies an armbar but AKARI gets to the ropes for the break. Makoto picks up AKARI and hits a suplex, she goes to the corner and tags Crea. Crea goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Crea but AKARI kicks out. AKARI blocks the suplex and hits a Pump Kick, but Crea boots her back for a two count. Crea applies an armbar, but Mari breaks it up. Drop toehold by AKARI and she hits Crea with a Tiger Feint Kick, she quickly applies an armtrap crossface but Crea gets out of it and applies a crossface of her own. Mari breaks it up, Crea goes off the ropes but AKARI catches her with a cradle for two. La Magistral gets a two as well, Crea then tries her own flash pin but that also gets two. Makoto spears AKARI, Crea goes off the ropes and hits a bodyscissors takedown for a two count. Crea goes off the ropes again but this time AKARI catches her with a vertical suplex, AKARI applies Muy Bien and Crea quickly taps out! AKARI and Mari are the winners!

This match is peak PURE-J. Pretty well worked, technically sound wrestlers and a decent pace, but nothing particularly spectacular or memorable. I’ve always liked Mari, she has a good look and wrestles with a sense of urgency, she is kinda hiding in Actwres girl’Z but she’s a bundle of fun. The rest all looked fine, just a few minor hiccups but generally the match flowed well from bell to bell. I’m not as sold on Crea as I am on Mari but she didn’t do anything to stand out in a bad way, which sometimes is all you can ask for with less experienced wrestlers. A good match, no major complaints even if it never reached the next level.  Mildly Recommended

Hanako Nakamori vs. Yumi Ohka
Hanako Nakamori vs. Yumi Ohka

This match was billed as part of Hanako Nakamori’s 15th Anniversary celebration. As far as I can tell these two don’t have a noteworthy history, they’ve wrestled before just due to both having long careers but no big feuds. This is actually just the third time that Ohka has wrestled in PURE-J, as she mostly stays in her home promotion Pro Wrestling WAVE or OZ Academy, so its still a special occasion. Hanako comes in the match one half of the tag team champions in PURE-J, she is considered one of the top wrestlers in an admittedly depleted promotion. Ohka stays under the radar partially due to her WAVE affiliation but she is pretty accomplished and has had a solid 20 year career. Hopefully they can use their veteran instincts to find some chemistry and put on a memorable match.

They quickly get into it as Ohka hits a hip toss, but Nakamori fires back with a lariat and they end up with a stalemate. They lock knuckles but break cleanly, elbow by Ohka but Nakamori kicks her when she charges in. Elbow by Ohka and she hits a big boot in the corner, another boot by Ohka and she covers Nakamori for two. Ohka picks up Nakamori and slams her face into the mat, she stands on Nakamori’s back and does a little dance. Double kneedrop by Ohka, she picks up Nakamori and hits a scoop slam. Headscissors by Ohka but Nakamori gets to the ropes, Irish whip attempt by Ohka but Nakamori blocks it and kicks her in the back. Kick to the chest by Nakamori and she hits a legdrop, she puts Ohka in the ropes and goes out to the apron so she can kick her repeatedly in the chest. Running kick to the back by Nakamori and she covers Ohka for two. Nakamori picks up Ohka but Ohka stomps on her foot, knees by Ohka and she puts Nakamori in the ropes. Repeated kicks to the face from the apron by Ohka, she get back into the ring and does the same on the other side of the ring.

Irish whip by Ohka to the corner and she delivers a running boot, she tries another Irish whip but Nakamori reverses it and kicks her in the corner. Ohka comes back with another boot but Nakamori returns with a lariat, they trade waistlocks until Nakamori drops down and kicks Ohka in the head. Nakamori drops Ohka onto the second rope and boots her from the apron, Nakamori goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Nakamori applies a modified armbar but Ohka gets to the ropes, Nakamori charges Ohka and boots her into the ropes. She charges Ohka again but Ohka drops her onto the top rope, boot by Ohka and she hits another one from the apron. Back in, running boot by Ohka and she covers Nakamori for two. Ohka picks up Nakamori but Nakamori blocks the suplex, kick combination by Nakamori and she ends with a PK. Nakamori goes up top but Ohka avoids her charge, cross-arm Backstabber by Ohka and she keeps the hold applied on the mat. She lets go after a moment, Ohka goes off the ropes and boots Nakamori in the face for a two count. Ohka goes up top but Nakamori recovers and joins her, but Ohka elbows her back to the mat. Nakamori gets back up and re-joins her, hitting a superplex but she is too hurt to make a cover.

Nakamori is up first and kicks Ohka, but Ohka kicks her back and they trade boots. Ohka wins the boots duel, she goes off the ropes but Nakamori hits an enzuigiri. Ohka quickly hits a backdrop suplex but Nakamori drops her with a fisherman buster. Ohka fires back with a brainbuster, and both wrestlers are down on the mat. They both slowly get back up, headbutt by Nakamori but Ohka boots her to the mat. Ohka picks up Nakamori but Nakamori delivers a strike combination, running kick by Nakamori and she covers Ohka for two. Nakamori goes up top and nails the Destiny Hammer, but Ohka barely kicks out of the cover. Nakamori drags up Ohka, she goes off the ropes but Ohka nails the Choke Bomb for two. Heel drop by Ohka, but Nakamori gets a leg on the ropes to break up the pin. Ohka goes off the ropes and boots Nakamori in the face, but Nakamori recovers and they trade flash pins. Buzzsaw Kick by Nakamori, but Ohka kicks out. Nakamori picks up Ohka but Ohka hits a release Dragon Suplex. Big boot by Ohka but the bell has rung as the time has expired. The match is a Draw.

Certainly an interesting match, I will give them that. They started a little slow as veterans tend to do but at a certain point one of them must have yelled ITS GO TIME as they went straight to no selling and bomb throwing like they were wrestling at Budokan. I’ll give them credit for not dogging it on a small non-televised event but if you like selling and what not this is not the match for you as no matter what move was being done to them it may as well have been a finger poke. They went back to a more reasonable speed at the end, either because they were legitimately tired or they knew time was coming and had to get to the right spot, which was actually nice as it would make sense that they wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace they had for a few minutes there. All in all I enjoyed it, the no selling was both ways so no one was being disrespected and they went out there with the goal of putting on something memorable. Which it was and will likely overshadow the main event. A very strike-heavy but entertaining match, all things considered.  Recommended

Kaori Yoneyama vs. Rydeen Hagane
(c) Kaori Yoneyama vs. Rydeen Hagane
PURE-J Openweight Championship

We end the show with a championship match. Yoneyama won the title from Leon on March 20th and has been an extremely active champion, as somehow this is already her fifth defense just a few weeks later. That must be some kind of record. None of the defenses were against high end opponents however and all four defenses were in different promotions as she went on a bit of a tour with the belt. But she is back in PURE-J now and defending against a real challenger. Rydeen has never held the Openweight Championship but is an eight year veteran and a former tag team champion in PURE-J. She has been waiting for her chance to finally win PURE-J’s biggest title, and this is her best chance yet as while Yoneyama is respected she isn’t exactly a highly ranked wrestler. I’m looking forward to watching a more serious Kaori Yoneyama, and seeing if Rydeen can step up to the challenge.

Kaori applies a waistlock but Rydeen shakes her off, she tries again but Rydeen shoulderblocks her down. Rydeen goes for a body press but Kaori moves and hits a running senton. Kaori goes off the ropes but Rydeen catches her with a hip toss, lariat by Rydeen in the corner and she hits a second more. Short-range lariats by Rydeen and she applies a crab hold, but Kaori gets to the ropes for the break. Rydeen sits down on Kaori’s back before picking her up and clubbing Kaori in the back. Rydeen gets Kaori on her back but Kaori slides away and applies a waistlock, Rydeen drives Kaori into the corner to get her off but Kaori avoids her lariat attempt. Kaori twists Rydeen’s leg in the second rope and dropkicks it, elbow drops to the leg by Kaori and she twists on Rydeen’s knee. She lets go after a moment and hits a senton on Rydeen’s leg, but Rydeen elbows her and hits a sidewalk slam for two. Rydeen picks up Kaori but Kaori cradles her to the mat and applies a kneelock. Rydeen crawls to the ropes and forces the break, running knee to the back by Kaori and she hits a satellite DDT for two. Kaori picks up Rydeen and applies a waistlock, Rydeen gets out of it and drops Kaori with a Samoan Drop. Lariat by Rydeen and she hits a second one, cover by Rydeen but it gets two.

Rydeen goes for a powerbomb but Kaori gets out of it, superkick by Rydeen and she delivers a heel kick. Rydeen positions Kaori and goes to the second turnbuckle, hitting a reverse splash senton for a two count cover. Rydeen goes all the way up the next time but Kaori avoids the moonsault, Kaori rolls Rydeen to the mat and applies a cross kneelock. Rydeen barely gets a boot on the ropes to force a break, knee to the back of the head by Kaori and she hits one from the front. More running knees by Kaori and she covers Rydeen for a two count. Kaori picks up Rydeen but Rydeen reverses the sunset flip powerbomb. Rydeen goes back up top but Kaori recovers and grabs her leg from behind. Kaori manages to toss Rydeen back down to the mat, she goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving senton but Rydeen barely gets her shoulder up. Kaori returns to the top turnbuckle but Rydeen joins her, Kaori gets Rydeen’s back but Rydeen blocks the sunset flip powerbomb attempt by sitting down on Kaori. Rydeen picks up Kaori and tosses her with a backdrop suplex, lariat by Rydeen but Kaori applies a crucifix cover for two. Rydeen stomps Kaori’s run with a lariat, Samoan Driver by Rydeen but Kaori kicks out. Rydeen picks up Kaori and nails the Shouten Kai, cover by Rydeen and she gets the three count! Rydeen Hagane is the new champion!

A lot of little things to look at here. First, its interesting that this was the 4th longest match on a five match card, not that any of the matches on the show were long but clearly they thought a shorter and more compact match was the way to go here. Yoneyama did everything she could to help get Rydeen over which she was in the perfect place to do, her losing does nothing to her legacy and by beating an outsider it gives Rydeen a handful of fresh challenges so she can prove she’s the best in PURE-J. Rydeen hit all her power spots well, and it helped that Yoneyama is small so the moves looked more impressive. Yoneyama’s leg work was good but Rydeen did nothing to sell it when a move wasn’t being applied, it was a logical story to tell so I’m not faulting it but I wouldn’t have minded if Rydeen struggled a bit doing… anything in the latter half of the match due to the knee work. Overall a perfectly fine match, Rydeen got to show off her power moves and won decisively which is all one can hope for. Hopefully she can have a meaningful run after waiting so long to win the title and prove it wasn’t just a fluke win over a veteran outsider.  Recommended

Final Thoughts:


This show was far better than I was expecting it to be. Usually, PURE-J events are just fundamentally good but not special in any way, almost feeling like a live training session than a show from an established promotion. While this event wasn’t long, there was no wasted time in any of the matches and generally speaking the work was solid. The young wrestlers looked good (aside from Chie’s one botch) and the veterans really went all-out in the last two matches, treating this show as a bigger deal than it probably should have been. The opener can probably be skipped but everything else is worth a casual watch, with the main event hopefully being the first step in making Rydeen Hagane a more serious force in the promotion which they desperately need. An entertaining event from one of the smaller Joshi promotions.