Monday, September 8, 2014

All Japan Women's ATHENA TV #37 Japan Grand Prix '01 taped 8/17/2001

All Japan Women's ATHENA TV #37 Japan Grand Prix '01 taped 8/17/2001

I did a podcast on this show here:

We had a performance from Kiss No Sekai to start the show:

Japan Grand Prix - Kumiko Maekawa vs Miyuki Fuji

Kumiko Maekawa

Miyuki Fuji

Kumiko Maekawa beat Miyuki Fuji at 10:31 reversing a pin attempt. This wasn't good and it was due to Maekawa. She basically treated Fuji like a joke for 3/4 of the match. She didn't sell and outright was laughing as Fuji attacked. Then when Fuji hit some serious stuff, it was way too late for me to buy into it. The worst part? Fuji wasn't even that bad. She at least seemed like she wanted to be there and didn't screw up anything but Maekawa was here to fart around. Fuji also managed to smack her head off the mat on every bump and Maekawa kicked her a few times solid right in the head. Maekawa also slapped the ref around a few times here.

Japan Grand Prix - Tomoko Watanabe vs Nanae Takahashi

Nanae Takahashi
Tomoko Watanabe

Nanae Takahashi beat Tomoko Watanabe when she reversed the move above and got the pin. It didn't click too much at first but they got it going in the second half and turned it into a good match. They both took some hard shots to the head and I'm willing to bet someone got concussed here. Loved the counter on Nanae's backsplash but I know it had to hurt and I enjoyed Tomoko's lariats like I usually do. Nanae was fine here but maybe could have been better and showered more fire, because they gave her the keys to the car here. Rating:***1/4

Tomoko teased shaking Nanae's hand after the match but dropped her hand instead. Then she had Nanae hold the ropes for her and they walked out together. Don't ask me.

Japan Grand Prix - Momoe Nakanishi vs Mima Shimoda

Mima Shimoda

Momoe Nakanishi

The finish

Momoe Nakanishi beat Mima Shimoda at 10:27 with a great german suplex. This was good at times but it was 10:27 that felt 20:27. I couldn't really buy Momoe winning this with all the beating she took and I thought they should have had Momoe use a bigger move to pin Mima. The big highlights here were Mima's dropkick straight to Momoe's face, Momoe taking a top rope tiger suplex and Momoe's cool moonsault reversal off the stage. There wasn't anything wrong with this match at all and it was good, just it could have been better. They played up Momoe's bleeding well and I did like the brawling here. Rating:***1/2

Japan Grand Prix - Etsuko Mita vs Yumiko Hotta
Etsuko Mita

The finish

Yumiko Hotta beat Etsuko Mita with two Pyramid drivers to get the win. Mita was good here, Hotta wasn't. Hotta clearly didn't care or want to be there and showed very little fire, while Mita sold hard and took a ton of damage. Early on Hotta worked the knee on Mita hard, then gave up and just started armbarring her and blasting her with straight jacket suplexes and pyramid drivers to get the win. The crowd wasn't super into it either and like a lot of things on this show, it did drag.

Hotta slapped Shimoda and Mita after the match and stared them down.

Japan Grand Prix - Manami Toyota vs Kaoru Ito

Manami Toyota
Kaoru Ito

Manami Toyota beat Kaoru Ito with the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb. Really good start, lousy middle half and a good finish here. I missed about 3 minutes of this due to disk errors, but I don't think I missed much. Manami attacked Ito's arm early which was cool, but they never followed up on it. Ito then attacked Manami's knee which was cool, but they also never followed up on it. They did some more submissions and fought a bit in the crowd and in the stands but it wasn't very interesting. Then they came back for the home stretch with the big moves and it became fun again. Ito was very good here but unfortunately, Toyota wasn't. Ito sold and the crowd was very much behind her, but she can't attack herself or work her own injured body parts. She needed Toyota for that and it didn't happen. There were some cool moves here that made the match, but the rest of it mostly destroyed it. Rating:***1/2

The last match of the night, Momoe Nakanishi vs Kumiko Maekawa was reviewed here:

We had some locker room interviews to close the show along with Kiss no Sekai shilling stuff:

Overall thoughts: The show was good wrestling wise but most of the matches minus the main event seemed to follow the same theme - work on an injured body part, forget all about it, then do big moves for the home stretch while making sure to go longer than needed. I think most people might like this show more than me, but the issues it had really brought it down for me. The crowd was also not as hot as it should have been and really didn't come alive until the finishing stretches of each matches, which hurt things too. I guess I would recommend this show but it really should have been even better with the names on this card.

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