Event: Sendai Girls’ Big Show In Niigata
Date: June 8th, 2019
Location: Niigata City Gymnasium in Niigata, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
Sometimes a show happens in Japan that I know I have to watch the minute it releases. This is one of those events. Sendai Girls’ tends to really go all out for their big events, and there are several matches on this show I really wanted to see. Sareee is one of my favorite wrestlers but a lot of her matches don’t ‘make TV’ so I’m excited to get to see her again, this is a huge match for her as she has a rare title vs. title match against Chihiro Hashimoto. Here is the full card:
As we are watching the Samurai TV! airing of the event, some matches may be clipped. All wrestlers have a profile on the website, you can click on their names above to go straight to it.
Manami vs. Mikoto Shindo
Sendai Girls’ Jr. Championship
The last holder of this belt was Command Bolshoi, however when she retired the title was vacated. It never made a lot of sense for her to win the title in the first place since it is for younger wrestlers, but they made an exception since she was on her retirement tour. Anyway, this is a more fitting match. Manami and Mikoto are both at or under 18 years old, representing Sendai Girls’ and Marvelous respectively. They’ve wrestled several times before so they should have decent chemistry to put on a fun opening match.
They circle to start before and lockup, they trade holds until Manami gets Mikoto to the mat. Leg submission by Manami and she rolls it into a headlock, Mikoto reverses it but Manami gets away. She goes for a dropkick by Mikoto swats her down, Mikoto goes off the ropes but Manami catches her with a dropkick. Another dropkick by Manami but Mikoto avoids the next and applies a camel clutch crossface, she lets go after a moment and elbows Manami into the corner. Irish whip by Mikoto and she hits a dropkick, four more dropkicks by Mikoto and she covers Manami for two. Crab hold by Mikoto but Manami inches to the ropes to get the break, she puts Manami right back in the crab hold but Manami gets to the ropes again. Mikoto picks up Manami but Manami blocks the slam attempt, they trade elbows until Mikoto drops Manami with a dropkick. Cover by Mikoto, but it gets a two count. Mikoto goes for another crab hold but Manami reverses it into a cradle, schoolboy by Manami but that gets a two as well. Back up they trade elbows, Mikoto knocks Manami to the mat and hits more mounted elbows. Mikoto goes off the ropes but Manami elbows her and applies an inside cradle for two. Dropkick by Manami but Mikoto hits a back bodydrop, she picks up Manami but Manami hits a sunset flip for two. She goes for a jackknife cover but Mikoto blocks it, she holds down Manami and picks up the three count! Mikoto Shindo wins and is the new champion!
Pretty basic, as expected. I will say that Mikoto Shindo is a bundle of fun, she has a bit of a mean streak to her and wrestlers like she has a chip on her shoulder, which probably wasn’t necessary since she was wrestling a child but at least it shows she cared. I wouldn’t have minded if the ending was a bit more conclusive, not that cradle wins aren’t legitimate wins but for a title match something with more substance would have been nice. For an opener with younger wrestlers, nothing wrong with it but it didn’t do much to elevate itself to title match status.
Aiger vs. Sakura Hirota
Bamboo Dumpling Scramble Match
If you don’t know what a Bamboo Dumpling Scramble Match is, fret not, I don’t either. However there is something hanging above the ring so I assume its related to that. This is likely the match that will be shown to me on repeat in hell once I die but I will attempt to go in with an open mind in case this new match stipulation adds something new to their usual shtick.
We start with Hirota feeding Aiger what I am assuming is a Bamboo Dumpling, which are strung up over the ring in a X. They both go to opposite corners to try to reach them but can’t, and while I don’t really know what is going on I don’t think with these two that it really matters. Both fail to reach it, they go into the regular Aiger zombie spots before they collide and knock each other out. Hirota is up first and tries to jump off of Aiger’s knee to reach the dumplings, but fails. Aiger tries too with the same result, suplex by Hirota but Aiger delivers a release German suplex. Both wrestlers are down on the mat, they lower the dumplings but raise them before the wrestlers can return to their feet. More comedy spots, this time running through Hirota’s bits until Aiger hits a lariat for a two count. Aiger goes up top and scares Hirota, but Hirota kisses her to even the odds. Hirota goes for a powerbomb but Aiger lands on top of her, picking up the three count! Aiger wins! After the match is over, Aiger throws the referee on top of Hirota, stands on top of them and finally gets some dumplings before leaving the ring.
Slightly clipped, but not enough. The crowd enjoys this so I’m not suggesting it shouldn’t exist, it just isn’t for me. Its literally the same three or four spots every time repeated. I enjoy Sakura Hirota when she is doing cosplay as that can be entertaining, but this is just skippable affair. Unless you are really into one of these two wrestlers (or have never seen either before), nothing worth seeing here.
Hikaru Shida, Hyan, and Mei Suruga vs. Alex Lee, Heidi Katrina, and KAORU
This is a bit random but anytime I get to see Hikaru Shida I won’t complain. The most interesting inclusion here is Mei Suruga – Mei is a young wrestler from Gatoh Move who has gotten a bit of a following with Western Joshi fans, so this is a big spot for her. No real backstory here but hopefully they get enough of an airing to put together something fun.
We join this one in progress, with Katrina beating up Mei. Vertical suplex by Katrina, and she covers Mei for two. Katrina picks up Mei, Mei goes for a crossbody but Katrina catches her and hits a fallaway slam. Giant Swing by Katrina and she hits a leg drop, but Shida breaks up her cover. Irish whip by Katrina but Mei jumps on her back, Katrina drives her back into the corner to get her off but Mei avoids her charge and hits a dropkick. Cradle by Mei, but Katrina kicks out. Mei tags in Hyan, dropkick by Katrina and she tags Lee. Lee kicks Hyan into the corner and nails a high knee, release German by Lee and she kicks Hyan in the face. Another kick by Lee but Hyan blocks the slam, springboard armdrag by Hyan and she hits a side Russian leg sweep. Northern Lights Suplex Hold by Hyan, but it only gets a two count. Hyan tags in Shida, Shida trades elbows with Lee but Mei and Hyan both run in to attack Lee in the corner. Jumping knee by Shida, she sets up Lee in the corner before grabbing KAORU and suplexing her into Lee. Shida grabs Lee but Katrina hits her from behind, KAORU runs in and boots Shida before Lee delivers a Buzzsaw Kick. Lee picks up Shida and slams her to the mat, she gets on the top turnbuckle but Shida avoids the footstomp. Dropkick by Mei, both teams run in and trade strikes with each other, ending with a Lee high kick to Shida for a two count. Lee picks up Shida and knees her, but Shida blocks the chokebomb. KAORU tries to hit Shida with a board but hits Lee by accident, Michinoku Driver by Shida to Lee but Lee kicks out. Tamashii no Three Count by Shida, and she picks up the three count pinfall! Hikaru Shida, Hyan, and Mei Suruga win!
This was clipped up, and what they showed us was hit and miss. Lee and Hyan are probably the least familiar wrestlers with each other in the match and it showed during their segment, just really clunky. I would have liked to see more of KAORU, she never got tagged in at all during what was shown, and focusing on Lee and Katrina impacted some of the match quality. Mei just randomly running in to attack people was fun and Shida was great, it was just too inconsistent to recommend hunting it down.
Meiko Satomura and Mika Iwata vs. Aja Kong and Yuu
On paper, this one could really be a stealthy banger. Meiko Satomura and Aja Kong need no introduction, they are legends that have been battling each other for literal decades. Mika Iwata is in her fourth year in wrestling, she has had tag success but is still looking to break into the top tier of Sendai Girls’. Yuu is best known for her work in Tokyo Joshi Pro, she turned Freelancer at the end of 2018. Satomura/Kong and Iwata/Yuu pair up really well in experience and style clashes, so the potential is definitely there for something special.
Iwata and Yuu kick things off, Iwata gets Yuu into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Headlock by Iwata but Yuu Irish whips out of it and hits a hard shoulderblock. Iwata kips up and kicks Yuu in the arm, snapmare by Iwata and she kicks Yuu in the back before hitting a PK. Iwata tags in Satomura, Satomura trips Yuu and applies an armbar into a headlock but Yuu struggles back to her feet. Snapmare by Satomura and she applies a stretch hold, Yuu inches to the ropes and she makes it to force the break. Satomura tags Iwata back in who arrives and with ax handle to Yuu’s arm, elbows by Iwata but Yuu catches her with a hard chop. More chops by Yuu, she scoops up Iwata and hits a powerslam for a two count. Yuu tags Kong, chops by Kong to Iwata’s chest and she chops Iwata to the mat. Elbow drop by Kong, and she covers Iwata for two. Armtrap crossface by Kong, she lets go after a moment and kicks Iwata in the back. Kong tags Yuu in, Yuu chops Iwata into the corner with Kong and they both knock Iwata to the mat. Cover by Yuu, but Satomura breaks it up. Kong returns as the legal wrestler, piledriver by Kong but Iwata gets a shoulder up on the pin attempt.
Iwata tries to fight back but Kong slaps her in the face, Kong picks up Iwata but Iwata delivers a strike combination. She rolls to her corner and tags Satomura, Satomura knocks Yuu off the apron but Kong slaps her in the face. Heel kick by Satomura and she goes for a cartwheel kneedrop, but Kong moves out of the way. Kong tags Yuu, sidewalk slam by Yuu and she hits a running senton on Satomura for two. Yuu goes off the ropes but Satomura delivers a high kick, another head kick by Satomura and she tags Iwata. Kicks to the chest by Iwata and she hits a Codebreaker, superkick by Iwata and she covers Yuu for two. Iwata goes for a jumping knee but Yuu catches her and tosses her to the mat, front dropkick by Yuu to the corner and she hits the cannonball. Yuu applies a choke but Iwata elbows out of it, high kick by Iwata but Yuu hits a judo toss. This gives her time to tag Kong while Satomura is tagged in as well, Satomura and Kong trade elbows until Kong sends Satomura to the mat.
Irish whip by Kong but Satomura blocks it and hits an uppercut, cartwheel kneedrop by Satomura, she goes for a kick but Kong catches it and slaps Satomura. Iwata runs in and kicks Kong in the chest, Satomura joins in but Kong lariats both of them. Kong gets her paint can and hits both Iwata and Satomura in the head with it, backdrop suplex by Kong to Satomura and she covers her for two. Kong picks up Satomura but Satomura ducks he Uraken, Pele Kick by Satomura and she tries to get Kong on her shoulders, but Kong blocks it. Yuu comes in to try to help but shoulderblocks Kong by accident, Satomura grabs Kong again and this time hits the Death Valley Bomb for two. Elbow drop by Satomura, she goes up top and goes for a diving body press, but Kong gets both feet up. Scoop slam by Kong, she goes to the top turnbuckle and hits the elbow drop, but Satomura gets a shoulder up. Kong picks up Satomura but Iwata comes in and kicks her, Death Valley Bomb by Satomura but Kong hulks up and returns to her feet. Pele Kick by Satomura, she waits for Kong to get to one knee and nails the Scorpion Rising for the three count! Meiko Satomura and Mika Iwata are the winners.
As expected, this was a really fun match. Even though it was a midcard match, Satomura and Kong have no chill regardless and were really laying it into each other. Not everything landed perfectly and the ending felt a bit sudden in that Yuu kinda disappeared for the final stretch, but I’m not complaining too much as I didn’t expect Kong to be the one to take the pin so it caught me off guard in a good way. Yuu fit right in here and I hope she becomes a semi-regular in Sendai Girls’, her and Iwata had good chemistry and the match never slowed down as all of them were going 100%. The ending could have been tighter but still an enjoyable match between four quality wrestlers. Recommended
(c) Charli Evans and Millie McKenzie vs. DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto
Sendai Girls’ Tag Team Championship
Medusa Complex (Evans and McKenzie) won the tag titles from Beauty Bear (Hashimoto and Iwata) on May 27th, surprising most fans as it appeared to be a standard defense for the top tag team in Sendai Girls’. Evans and McKenzie look to show that win wasn’t a fluke as they take on two tough veterans in Chisako and Matsumoto. Chisako is a four time Sendai Girls’ tag team champion and Hiroyo Matsumoto is a former Sendai Girls’ World Champion, so if Medusa Complex can overcome them then it will show they are no pushovers and deserve the titles.
McKenzie and Chisako start the match, Chisako gets McKenzie in the ropes and she gives a mostly clean break. They lock up again and Chisako gives another clean break which just seems to annoy McKenzie, they trade elbows and flash pins before reaching a stalemate. Matsumoto and Evans tag in, they immediately run into each other and take turns attempting to shoulderblock each other over until Evans pulls down Matsumoto by the hair and hits a low crossbody. Body Avalanche by Matsumoto in the corner and she hits a hard shoulderblock for a two count cover. Matsumoto picks up Evans but Evans rakes her eyes, Chisako runs in however and they double team Evans. Matsumoto tags Chisako, Chisako kicks down Evans in the corner and hits a front dropkick. Chisako drags up Evans, Chisako drops Evans on the apron and then dropkicks her off of it to the floor. Chisako gets on the apron but Evans catches her PK attempt and slams Chisako into the apron. McKenzie then gets in the ring and dives out with a tope suicida, they toss Chisako back in and Evans covers her for two. Evans tosses down Chisako by the hair and tags McKenzie, Chisako fights back but McKenzie hits a hard elbow and slaps her on the mat. McKenzie elbows Chisako into the corner and tags Evans, chops by Evans and she snapmares Chisako before kicking her in the back.
Evans applies a stretch hold, she lets go after a moment and elbows Matsumoto on the apron. Chisako elbows Evans and hits a dropkick, she goes to make a tag but McKenzie runs in and knocks Matsumoto off the apron. Evans stomps Chisako in the back and tags McKenzie, superkick by Evans and McKenzie covers Chisako for two. McKenzie picks up Chisako and applies a headlock, but Chisako gets a foot on the ropes to get a break. Chisako snaps off a cutter and finally tags in Matsumoto, Matsumoto shoulderblocks both her opponents but McKenzie blocks the backdrop suplex attempt. Matsumoto is whipped into the corner but stacks both Evans and McKenzie in the turnbuckles before hitting a Body Avalanche. Evans and McKenzie both roll out of the ring, Chisako gets in the ring so that Matsumoto can pick her up and toss her down onto both of them. Chisako rolls McKenzie back in, Matsumoto suplexes McKenzie and covers her for two. McKenzie fights back with elbows but Matsumoto blocks the spear attempt, McKenzie blocks Matsumoto’s vertical suplex and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. She tags in Evans, kicks by Evans to Matsumoto but Matsumoto blocks the PK and elbows Evans in the face. Matsumoto knees Evans as they trade blows back and forth, superkicks by Evans but Matsumoto levels her with a lariat. Matsumoto crawls to her corner and tags Chisako while McKenzie is tagged as well, they trade elbows until Chisako delivers a dropkick. McKenzie throws Chisako in the corner but Chisako slides out to the apron and goes up top, hitting a missile dropkick. Sliding kick by Chisako and she covers McKenzie for two.
Chisako picks up McKenzie but McKenzie gets her back, they trade waistlocks until Matsumoto runs in and helps Chisako. Backdrop suplex/cutter combination to McKenzie, but she kicks out of the cover. Chisako goes up top but Evans grabs her from the apron, Matsumoto elbows Evans off the apron but McKenzie avoids Chisako’s diving footstomp. McKenzie dropkicks Chisako in the leg and hits a sliding uppercut, cover by McKenzie but it gets a two count. Chisako gets back up as they exchange strikes, hard elbows by Chisako but McKenzie superkicks her when she goes off the ropes. McKenzie picks up Chisako but Matsumoto runs in and elbows her, Evans goes up top and hits a diving crossbody onto Matsumoto. Spear by McKenzie to Matsumoto, she goes back to Chisako and drops her with a double underhook facebuster for a two count. McKenzie picks up Chisako but Chisako rolls her up for two, Matsumoto comes in and lariats McKenzie before she catapults Chisako at McKenzie for a dropkick. Northern Lights Suplex by Chisako followed by a Matsumoto reverse double kneedrop, Chisako goes up top but Evans joins her. Matsumoto powerbombs Evans onto McKenzie, diving footstomp by Chisako but McKenzie barely kicks out of the cover. Chisako goes up top and nails the Hormone Splash, but McKenzie reverses her cover into a cradle for the three count! Medusa Complex remain the champions.
It took a few minutes to get going, but once they did this was pretty fantastic. Chisako and Matsumoto are so so good, I can’t put enough emphasis on how they carried (I mean that in a good way) two less experienced wrestlers through a smooth and well-worked match. Chisako just is so vicious, often times for no reason, and I love her strikes. Evans was the least involved of the four but hit her spots well, and the end stretch was fire as it was just constant action. My only real critique is I didn’t love the ending – I never like it when a wrestler just blows off another wrestler doing their finisher to reverse it into a pin, even though McKenzie sold it after she did basically no-sell the Hormone Splash and all the other offense just done to her. I get they wanted a kinda fluky win since Chisako out-ranks McKenzie but I’d preferred just a traditional cradle if that was the direction they were going, or off some other type of sneaky deception. Still, a hard hitting and entertaining match, it makes me want to hunt down more of McKenzie as she really held her own against two of the best wrestlers in Joshi. Recommended
(c) Chihiro Hashimoto vs. (c) Sareee
Diana World Championship and Sendai Girls’ World Championship
What a main event. Both world titles are on the line here, as the best from Diana and Sendai Girls’ collide. This match was set up when Sareee defeated Meiko Satomura in April, giving her a valid claim to getting a shot at the promotion’s top championship. At that time, Sareee didn’t have any titles herself, but she won the Diana World Championship from Aja Kong on May 12th. This is her first defense of her title, however for Chihiro Hashimoto it is her 6th defense as she has been champion for almost a year. Sareee has been red hot in 2019 but Chihiro is on her home turf, I’ve been looking forward to this match since it was first announced as both bring it on the big stage and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.
After sizing each other up they tie-up, Chihiro pushes Sareee into the ropes but she gives a clean break. Knuckle lock by Chihiro and they go into a Test of Strength, Chihiro pushes Sareee to the mat but Sareee gets out of it and hits an armdrag. Hard lariat by Chihiro but Sareee quickly kicks out of the cover and they are back on their feet. They struggle for position, Chihiro gets Sareee down and goes for an armbreaker, but Sareee quickly gets out of it. Rolling headlock by Sareee but they end up in the ropes, Chihiro lets up Sareee as the match resets. Chihiro applies a cross-arm submission before picking up Sareee and applying a guillotine. Delayed vertical suplex by Chihiro, and she covers Sareee for a two count. Sareee elbows Chihiro but Chihiro elbows her back as they trade blows, Sareee rebounds off the ropes with an armdrag before dropkicking Chihiro. Sareee goes off the ropes but Chihiro drives her into the corner, Irish whip by Chihiro but Sareee jumps on the second turnbuckle and hits a dropkick. Chihiro puts Sareee in a Cobra Twist before tossing her to the mat, deadlift by Chihiro and she hits a scoop slam followed by a somersault senton for two.
Chihiro slams Sareee in front of the corner, she gets on the second turnbuckle but Sareee avoids the senton and kicks her repeatedly in the back. She goes for a PK but Chihiro catches it, crab hold by Chihiro but she lets go as Sareee gets close to the ropes. Chihiro stretches Sareee before stomping her in the back, she goes off the ropes but Sareee rolls her to the mat before hitting a footstomp. Footstomp from the second turnbuckle by Sareee, she then goes all the way up and hits a second diving footstomp, picking up a two count cover. Elbows by Sareee, she goes off the ropes but Chihiro hits a lariat. Sareee charges Chihiro but Chihiro hits a spear, waterwheel drop by Chihiro but Sareee kicks out of the cover. Chihiro goes off the ropes but Sareee hits her with a dropkick, a second dropkick sends Chihiro out of the ring and Sareee goes up top to dive out onto Chihiro. She then gets on the apron and hits a diving footstomp to the floor, she goes to return to the ring but Chihiro grabs her and powerbombs her onto the floor. Chihiro returns to the ring while Sareee tries to recover, she eventually gets back in and Chihiro covers her for two. Chihiro picks up Sareee and hits a series of hard lariats, she gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a somersault senton for a two count. Chihiro goes up top but Sareee recovers and joins her, Chihiro knocks her back down but Sareee snaps back up and headbutts Chihiro.
Another headbutt by Sareee and she drops Chihiro with a release German, Chihiro gets back up but Sareee hits another German suplex for a two count. Chihiro gets Sareee’s back and hits a German suplex of her own, and both wrestlers are down on the mat. They both slowly get up and trade elbows, they then trade slaps until Chihiro floors Sareee with a lariat. Chihiro picks up Sareee but Sareee reverses the powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana for two. Tilt-a-whirl schoolboy by Sareee, but that gets a two as well. She goes off the ropes but Chihiro catches her and hits a release German, lariat by Chihiro and she gets a two count cover. Chihiro picks up Sareee and hits a belly to belly suplex, she drags her back up and drops her with a powerbomb. Chihiro gets Sareee around the waist but Sareee elbows away, Chihiro goes off the ropes but Chihiro nails a uranage. Sareee picks up Chihiro and hits a second uranage, cover by Sareee but Chihiro barely gets a shoulder up. Sareee goes for a third but Chihiro grabs the ropes to block it, she rolls up Chihiro but it gets a two count. Chihiro rams Sareee down and hits a series of short-range lariats, but Sareee nails another uranage for two. Sareee picks up Chihiro and kicks her in the jaw, hammerlock uranage by Sareee and she picks up the three count! Sareee is now a double champion!
My gut reaction after watching this match was that this is my favorite match of 2019, period. To say I loved it would be an understatement, and it went beyond just Sareee being great as Chihiro Hashimoto matched her step for step. Chihiro isn’t flashy but she does so many little things right – just for two examples, I loved that she let go of a submission before Sareee could get a break to pull her out so she could apply another submission, and her cutting off the “trading running strikes” spot with a spear was a nice change of pace from the norm. She is an incredibly smart worker and her strength is impressive, she just isn’t like most other Joshi wrestlers. Sareee delivered too of course, her strikes are so on point and I love her uranages. It says a lot that this wasn’t a short match but it left me wanting more, they could have gone another ten minutes and I wouldn’t have complained, but sometimes less is more which is a lesson I think more wrestlers could learn. It felt like a real struggle with tangible urgency and it kept me captivated, they were just throwing bombs and I was loving every minute of it. I know “must see” is thrown around a lot but this is legitimately a must-see match, even for wrestling fans that aren’t normally into Joshi. Its that damn good. I’d give this ***** without blinking an eye, I don’t see how any match will top this in my end-of-year ranking, an instant classic. Highly Recommended
As is usually the case, Sendai Girls’ delivered. The first half of the card was hit and miss, but once it got ramped up with the Yuu/Kong vs. Satomura/Iwata tag match everything was excellent. The tag title match’s only flaw to me was the literal ending but everything else was nearly flawless, and the main event at this moment is my favorite match of the year in any promotion or continent. A must see event for the last match alone, but the two tag matches before it are worth your time as well. Looking forward to seeing where the reign of Sareee goes, she has earned it.