SEAdLINNNG Close To You on 7/13/20 Review

SEAdLINNNG Close To You Poster

Event: SEAdLINNNG Heart is Near ~ Close To You
Date: July 13th, 2020
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 401

In my quest to find a recent Joshi event to review that isn’t Stardom, this show caught my eye. The lead-up to the main looks a bit pedestrian, but the main event has potential to be pretty damn great. Here is the full card:

This aired on Samurai TV! so its a two hour show, but SEAdLINNNG is pretty good about not clipping more than necessary so I suspect most matches will be shown in full (or close to it). All wrestlers on the show have profiles on Joshi City, including the debuting Riko Kaiju, you can click on their names above to go straight to it.

Riko Kaiju vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto
Riko Kaiju vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto

We start off with the debut of Riko Kaiju! Riko is 18 years old and is SEAdLINNNG’s second wrestler to come up through their training program, with the first being Honori Hana. She is up against one of the most respected veteran Joshi wrestlers on the current scene – Ice Ribbon’s Tsukasa Fujimoto. Clearly we know who is winning, but hopefully Riko shows a little spunk in her first professional wrestling match.

Riko dropkicks Tsukasa as soon as the match starts and goes for a quick cover, but it only gets a two count. Side headlock by Tsukasa and she hits an armdrag, she gets Riko to the mat but Riko escapes and they reach a stalemate. They lock knuckles and trade wristlocks , snapmare by Tsukasa and she kicks Riko in the back. Camel clutch by Tsukasa, she lets go after a moment and knocks Riko against the ropes. Tsukasa throws down Riko by the hair and applies a crab hold, but Riko gets to the ropes for the break. Tsukasa chops Riko in the corner, Irish whip by Tsukasa but Riko jumps on the second turnbuckle and hits a crossbody for two. Riko dropkicks Tsukasa but Tsukasa blocks the scoop slam and puts Tsukasa in an Octopus Hold. Riko gets into the ropes for the break, Tsukasa wraps up Riko in the ropes and delivers a dropkick. Cover by Tsukasa, but it gets two. Tsukasa gets on the second turnbuckle but Riko avoids her dropkick and cradles Tsukasa for two. Riko tries a few more flash pins with no luck, elbow by Riko but Tsukasa elbows her back and they trade shots. Riko goes off the ropes and dropkicks Tsukasa, but Tsukasa rebounds off the ropes and dropkicks Riko to the mat. Tsukasa throws Riko into the corner and hits another dropkick, Riko lands in a seated position and Tsukasa dropkicks Riko full in the chest. Bodyslam by Tsukasa and she puts Riko in an armtrap crossface, but Riko gets to the ropes for the break. Kick by Riko and she applies a sunset flip, but it gets two. Riko goes off the ropes and hits a dropkick, she hits two more but Tsukasa stays on her feet. Finally on the fifth dropkick she gets Tsukasa to one knee, she hits three more kicks but Tsukasa doesn’t go all the way to the mat. Finally Riko knocks her over, cover by Riko but it gets a two count. Kick to the stomach by Tsukasa and she kicks Riko repeatedly in the back, PK by Tsukasa and she covers Riko for two. Elbows by Tsukasa and she dropkicks Riko for two. Tsukasa goes up top and nails a missile dropkick, cover by Tsukasa and she gets the three count! Tsukasa Fujimoto is the winner!

Considering the dynamics, I am surprised that this match lasted as long as it did. Its hard to know in advance how much the veteran wrestler will give a wrestler debuting, but Tsukasa was rather generous here, perhaps almost too much so. It was far from a 50/50 match but Riko was in control for a few parts here and there for longer than just a hope spot, and she had several (flash pin) nearfalls. Tsukasa was pretty gentle with the rookie, aside from a dropkick in the corner that looked particularly hurt-y, and won with a move other than a submission hold which is a little unusual in a debuting match. A fun watch as the young Riko seems to show some early promise, just not the structure that I was really expecting.

Ayame Sasamura vs. Kaho Kobayashi vs. Tsukushi
Ayame Sasamura vs. Kaho Kobayashi vs. Tsukushi

This is a High Speed Match, so Natsuki Taiyo is the referee. The setup of high speed matches in SEAdLINNNG are unique, and they really have some die-hard fans out there. Its best not to overthink these matches but its a fun trio of wrestlers anyway as we have the evil Tsukushi, the still-learning Ayame, and the seasoned globetrotter Kaho. So, I am sure they will put together something entertaining.

Tsukushi is double teamed off the bat but she avoids both opponents as they get into a high speed exchange, but they end up in a stalemate. They both go after Tsukushi again, dropkick by Kaho and Ayame hits a running elbow. Double Irish whip to Tsukushi as the double teaming continues and they put Tsukushi in a double armbar. They put Tsukushi in the ropes so they can both pose around her while pulling on her nose, dropkick to the back by Kaho and Ayame hits a dropkick as well. Kaho and Ayame sit on Tsukushi with submission holds, but Taiyo has seen enough with his boring action and kicks both of them. Kaho dropkicks Taiyo, she throws Tsukushi and Taiyo into the corner but Taiyo rebounds out with a crossbody. Catapult dropkick by Tsukushi to Ayame, but Ayame and Kaho avoids their next attack as Ayame schoolboys Kaho for two. She apologizes to Kaho which gives Tsukushi time to dropkick Kaho, Ayame flies out of the ring while Kaho recovers and trades elbows with Tsukushi. Dropkick by Kaho, she picks up Tsukushi but Tsukushi blocks the fisherman suplex. Cradle by Tsukushi, but Ayame quickly breaks it up. Ayame picks up Tsukushi and hits a delayed vertical suplex, she goes off the ropes twice and covers Tsukushi for two. Kaho goes up top and hits a missile dropkick on Tsukushi, she goes up top again but Ayame quickly schoolboys Tsukushi for two. Kaho fusses at Ayame, Tsukushi goes for a crossbody on both of them and Taiyo pushes them over when Tsukushi is initially caught. All three trade flash pins with no luck, Kaho chops both Tsukushi and Ayame (and Taiyo) before dropkicking both opponents. She goes off the ropes but eats a triple dropkick, Ayame goes for cradles on Tsukushi but only gets two counts. La Magistral by Tsukushi on Ayame, and she gets the three count! Tsukushi wins!

The best part of these matches is just seeing Natsuki Taiyo getting involved, she’s the best. The formula for this one was a little bit different from usual as the goal was to double team Tsukushi, partially because her and Taiyo are somewhat in cahoots so its already lopsided against her opponents. Some good exchanges but overall it was pretty simple even for a High Speed Match, they really didn’t do anything in-ring different or memorable. A decent enough watch but not enough to really differentiate itself from what you’d expect and Tsukushi wasn’t as evil in the match as I was hoping she’d be.

ASUKA and Makoto vs. Honori Hana and Yumiko Hotta
ASUKA and Makoto vs. Honori Hana and Yumiko Hotta

I guess if you are going to find Honori Hana a random teammate, you can do a lot worse than Yumiko Hotta. ASUKA and Makoto have been teaming together off and on since last year as Las Fresa de Egoistas, they haven’t had any major success yet but seem to be having fun and are a regular fixture in SEAdLINNNG. Hotta recently resigned from her position in Actwres girl’Z so we may be seeing more of her in promotions like SEAdLINNNG, however its too early to tell. Honori is the clear weak link here, so we’ll see how long Hotta can protect her before it becomes too much and she takes the pinfall.

We join this one in progress as Makoto attacks Honori in the corner, she grabs Honori by the hair and tosses her to the mat. Boot by Makoto and she sits on Honori for a two count. Makoto applies a kneelock, Honori tries to get out of it but Makoto bites her. Makoto tags ASUKA, punches by ASUKA but Honori elbows her back. ASUKA knocks Honori to the mat and stomps on her head, Irish whip by ASUKA but Honori reverses it and hits a dropkick. Honori tags Hotta, Hotta throws ASUKA into the corner and Honori returns as both hit running strikes on ASUKA in the corner. Another dropkick by Honori and a third while Hotta encourages her, she finally leaves the ring and Hotta picks up ASUKA, but ASUKA rakes her in the eyes. Springboard moonsault by ASUKA and she stomps on Hotta, Makoto comes in to stomp on Hotta too, ASUKA goes for a boot but Hotta catches it. Honori tries to help but Hotta elbows her by mistake, Makoto is still around but Hotta hits a face crusher on both of them. Hotta and Honori put an opponent in a camel clutch and pose, they let go after a moment and Hotta tags Honori. Honori dropkicks ASUKA a few times but ASUKA stays up and dropkicks Honori in return. ASUKA tags Makoto, scoop slam by Makoto and she covers Honori for two. Makoto picks up Honori but Hotta lariats her, cover by Honori to Makoto but it gets a two count. Makoto chops Honori in the chest and delivers a boot, handstand double kneedrop by Makoto and she covers Honori for a two count. Makoto waits for Honori to get up and nails the Blazing Kick, and she picks up the three count! ASUKA and Makoto are the winners!

This was clipped in half but what they showed was fine. I liked Hotta basically being Honori’s cheerleader, since she was the head trainer in Actwres girl’Z it makes sense that she’d be comfortable in the mentoring role. Of course, Honori had to lose, but she showed some fire even though her dropkicks still need work. Not enough made TV to get a real feel of the match, but an effective midcard tag match.

Hiroyo Matsumoto, Rina Yamashita, and Yuu vs. Itsuki Aoki, Miyuki Takase, and Ryo Mizunami
Hiroyo Matsumoto, Yamashita, and Yuu vs. Aoki, Takase, and Mizunami

As MAX VOLTAGE, the team of Itsuki, Miyuki, and Ryo have been having a lot of fun together and putting on entertaining matches in the process. Even though none are SEAdLINNNG contracted wrestlers, they have wrestled in the promotion together since last year. No title wins yet, but they are a quality group that can’t be overlooked. They are against a killer Freelancer tag team, as the super veteran Hiroyo Matsumoto teams up with Rina and Yuu. Nothing is on the line here, but its a big match with a lot of heavy hitter so it should be a fun one.

We start this one slightly in progress, with Yuu in the ring with Ryo. Ryo chops Yuu into the corner with some theatrics, lariat by Ryo and she covers Yuu for two. Ryo goes for a scoop slam but Yuu blocks it, hitting a slam of her own. Body press by Yuu, and she covers Ryo for two. Yuu tags Hiroyo, Rina comes in also and they both elbow Ryo to the mat. Rina jumps on Hiroyo’s back while Hiroyo hits a double knee drop, Yuu then comes in to have a turn so she hops on Hiroyo’s back for a second double kneedrop. Cover by Hiroyo, but it gets two. She tags in Rina, Rina clubs on Ryo and lariats her in the corner. Knee to the back by Rina but Ryo recovers and elbows Rina as the two trade strikes. Bodyslam by Ryo and she tags in Aoki, stomps by Aoki to Rina  and she hits a pair of running elbows in the corner. Face crusher by Aoki and she hits a falling body press for two. Aoki picks up Rina and slams her in front of the corner, she goes for a footstomp but Rina moves out of the way and delivers a sliding kick. Rina goes off the ropes but Aoki catches her with a Samoan Drop, picking up two.

She makes the tag to Miyuki but Hiroyo and Yuu run in and all three attack Miyuki in the corner. Miyuki’s teammates help her swing the match back in her favor, chop by Miyuki but Rina kicks her in the head. Rina tags Hiroyo, Hiroyo gets Miyuki on her shoulders and throws her out of the ring onto everyone else. Hiroyo brings Miyuki back in with a delayed vertical suplex, she gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers the reverse double kneedrop for a two count. Hiroyo picks up Miyuki but Miyuki elbows her, Hiroyo elbows her back and goes for a powerbomb, but Miyuki blocks it and plants her with a DDT. Miyuki picks up Hiroyo but Hiroyo goes off the ropes, Miyuki does as well and hits a satellite DDT. Missile dropkick off the second but Miyuki and she makes the hot tag to Ryo, lariat by Ryo but Hiroyo ducks the kick attempt. Lariat by Ryo, and she covers Hiroyo for two. Ryo applies the rolling Anaconda Vice, but it gets broken up. Ryo goes up top but Hiroyo recovers and joins her, superplex by Hiroyo and she makes the tag to Yuu. Yuu chops Ryo repeatedly and hits a swinging sidewalk slam, running senton by Yuu and she covers Ryo for two.

Yuu picks up Ryo but Ryo blocks the powerbomb, Aoki runs in and elbows Yuu but Yuu drops her with a lariat. Miyuki comes in but Yuu knocks her down as well, she goes back to Ryo but Ryo gets her back. Miyuki and Aoki go for a double shoulderblock but floor Ryo by accident, Hiroyo lariats both of them while Yuu goes to the second turnbuckle. Rina and Yuu lift Yuu and help her hit a diving body press, but Ryo kicks out of the cover. Yuu picks up Ryo and goes for the powerbomb, but Ryo reverses it with a back bodydrop. Lariat by Ryo, but her cover gets two. Ryo picks up Yuu but Yuu elbows her and dropkicks Ryo into the corner. Cannonball by Yuu but Ryo barely gets a shoulder up. Yuu goes to the second turnbuckle but Ryo avoids her diving senton, lariat to the back by Ryo but Yuu blocks the Uranage attempt. Chops by Yuu but Ryo chops her back and plans her with the Uranage for two. Ryo waits for Yuu to get up and hits the spear, cover by Ryo but Yuu kicks out. Ryo goes up top and nails the Diving Guillotine Leg Drop, and she picks up the three count! MAX VOLTAGE are the winners!

All six of these wrestlers are good, but matches like this are always conflicting for me. Six wrestlers is too many for a ~15 minute match for everyone to shine, in this case Aoki was the odd woman out as she didn’t do a whole lot in the match. There wasn’t really a story behind the match, which isn’t a deal breaker but it makes it harder to really get invested. It was also a little odd that the last several minutes were really just Ryo and Yuu one on one, you expect some Joshi Chaos in the home stretch but it wasn’t there. That all being said, the action itself was solid from bell to bell and it stayed moving, so it never felt like it was dragging. A good match with six quality wrestlers, but nothing memorable which is a shame since in a slightly different circumstance this combination of wrestlers could put on a banger.  Mildly Recommended

Arisa Nakajima vs. Yoshiko
(c) Arisa Nakajima vs. Yoshiko
SEAdLINNNG Beyond The Sea Championship

Arisa Nakajima won the SEAdLINNNG Beyond The Sea Championship from Takumi Iroha in September of 2019, and this is her 5th defense of the title. She last defeated ASUKA, but this is a real test for her as she faces off against the formidable Yoshiko. Yoshiko used her pandemic time off well as she became popular on the app TikTok, but her first love is wrestling and after a long wait she finally gets her chance at Nakajima to win the championship for the first time. This belt always felt like it would be Yoshiko’s to win, and this may be her best chance to do so as the stars have aligned for her to take her spot as the top wrestler in SEAdLINNNG.

They start slow as they trade holds, Yoshiko pushes Arisa into the ropes and chops her hard in the chest. Arisa doesn’t like that and slaps her, the two trade strikes until Yoshiko shoulderblocks Arisa to the mat. Kicks by Yoshiko and she pushes Arisa into the ropes, snapmare by Yoshiko and she applies a chinlock. Arisa gets into the ropes for the break, Yoshiko throws down Arisa by the hair and hits a few facewashes, but Arisa avoids the running boot and knees Yoshiko repeatedly in the head. Yoshiko tosses Arisa to the mat but Arisa hits an armdrag, another armdrag by Arisa and Yoshiko falls out of the ring. Arisa goes up top but Yoshiko quickly gets back in the ring and knocks Arisa onto the apron. Elbows by Arisa and she gets back into the ring with a cradle into a footstomp, running boot by Arisa and Yoshiko falls out of the ring again. Arisa goes to the apron and hits a missile dropkick down to the floor, she then gets on the top turnbuckle and dives down onto Yoshiko with a plancha. Arisa throws Yoshiko back in and throws her down by the hair, double underhook by Arisa but Yoshiko blocks her move attempt and hits a back bodydrop. Arisa reverses it into a sunset flip and applies a submission hold, she lets go after a moment and starts working on Yoshiko’s arm. Yoshiko eventually fights back with elbows but Arisa slaps her, she goes off the ropes and goes for a cradle, but Yoshiko reverses it.

Arisa rolls out of the ring and Yoshiko goes out after her, hitting a running senton on the floor. Yoshiko throws Arisa into the guardrail a couple times before returning to the ring, Arisa slowly follows and Yoshiko kicks her in the back. Kicks by Yoshiko and she puts Arisa in a sleeper, but Arisa gets a foot in the ropes. More kicks by Yoshiko but Arisa snaps off a hurricanrana for two. She puts Yoshiko in an ankle hold, but Yoshiko wiggles to the ropes to force the break. Waistlock by Arisa but Yoshiko gets out of it, the two trade strikes until Arisa hits the Sling Blade. Arisa goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, she goes up top again and she hits a second one for a two count. Arisa positions Yoshiko and goes up top again, but Yoshiko recovers and joins her as the two trade elbows. Arisa pushes Yoshiko into the Tree of Woe and hits a quick footstomp, Arisa returns to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving footstomp for a two count. Arisa goes up again and considers the moonsault, but Yoshiko elbows her from behind before she can jump off. Yoshiko goes up too and grabs Arisa around the waist, hitting a German suplex down to the mat. Yoshiko gets Arisa on her shoulders and slams her to the mat, cover by Yoshiko but it gets two. Senton by Yoshiko, she hits a Reverse Splash followed quickly by a senton off the second turnbuckle for a two count. Yoshiko goes to the second turnbuckle again and hits a senton, but once again it gets two.

Yoshiko goes all the way up next time but Arisa rolls out of the way of the diving senton, Arisa goes up top but Yoshiko gets her feet up on the moonsault attempt. Both wrestlers slowly get up and trade elbows, release dragon suplex by Arisa and she boots Yoshiko in the face. Another dragon suplex by Arisa and she kicks Yoshiko in the head again, La Magistral by Arisa but it gets a two count. She goes for another flash pin with no luck, she picks up Yoshiko but Yoshiko blocks the suplex attempt. Arisa hits a trapped German suplex hold anyway, but it gets two. Arisa picks up Yoshiko and delivers the dragon suplex hold, but Yoshiko gets a shoulder up. Arisa quickly goes up top and nails the moonsault, but again Yoshiko kicks out. Arisa drags up Yoshiko and hits a series of elbows, Yoshiko elbows her back and levels Arisa with a lariat. Yoshiko goes up top and nails the diving senton, cover by Yoshiko but Arisa bridges out of the pin. Yoshiko goes off the ropes and hits another hard lariat, a third lariat by Yoshiko but Arisa returns to her feet. Release German by Yoshiko but Arisa fires back with a half and half suplex, but she is slow to the cover and Yoshiko kicks out. Arisa picks up Yoshiko but Yoshiko blocks the next suplex attempt, Arisa goes for a hurricanrana but Yoshiko catches her with a powerbomb for two. Sliding lariat by Yoshiko, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton. Yoshiko then goes all the way up top and hits a diving senton, cover by Yoshiko and she picks up the three count! Yoshiko is the new champion!

This was a pretty amazing match. I loved the whole dynamic, where Yoshiko started off with her usual bully act but Arisa is a bully too and gave it right back to her, leading to an entertaining opening stretch with both trying to get in control. The submission holds were sold in the moment but not long term, which was fine since that wasn’t really their focus point of the match, and once they got into the home stretch they were just throwing bombs. The German suplex off the ropes by Yoshiko looked great, and both just had that “I’m not backing down” aura that made it feel like a real clash. No real obvious flaws, just a hard hitting and intense match from bell to bell with very little downtime. A must see match, one of my favorites so far in 2020.  Highly Recommended

Final Thoughts:


This was really a one match card, but what a match it was. The first four matches were all fine, no stinkers there, but for various reasons none really will leave a lasting impression. They were just a slight amusement leading up to the main event. Yoshiko vs. Nakajima was a great match though, and really showed both of their strengths on the way to being one of the best Joshi matches of the year. For cherry pickers, definitely go straight to the main event, but fans of SEAdLINNNG will likely enjoy the whole show at least as easy background noise.