January 4th in Tokyo is New Japan Tokyo Dome Show Day. It’s when skunk-haired pretty boys retrieve title belts from grizzled outside challengers, for an audience way too small for the venue. It’s a tradition, but one which GAMI’s WAVE promotion has no respect for. Why? Because January 4th is GAMI’s birthday, dammit. And she must put on a show, main event it, and get her face shoved in a cake. This has also become a tradition, this being the 3rd straight year I skipped the dome and went for Joshi:
WAVE: Happy Birthday Wave 2011 (Results via Puroresu Representin’)
2010/01/04 – Shinjuku FACE
1. Sawako Shimotsuke 10 Match Series 1: Hiroyo Matsumoto beat Sawako Shimotsuke – 8:30
2. Six Women Lucha Libre Tag Match: Ayako Hamada, Tomoka Nakagawa & Sakura Hirota vs. Kana, Mio & Io Shirai went to a 20 minute time limit draw
3. TAKA Michinoku beat Toshie Uematsu – 11:35
4. Yumi Ohka, Bambi, Misaki Ohata & Hiren beat Moeka Haruhi, Cherry, Ayumi Kurihara & Ryo Mizunami – 15:30 – Ohata pinned Haruhi
5. Meiko Satomura beat GAMI – 23:00
Anyone who thinks Hiroyo smiles all the time should probably avoid her match here to keep up the illusion. She was pretty tough on the rookie and didn’t seem the slightest bit amused for the matches’ 8 minutes. I couldn’t stop smiling through the next match as Triple Tails, Hamada, Nakagawa, and Sakura Hiroto (as Mil Mascaras), spent 20 minutes smacking each other around. It was billed as a Lucha Libre match since the Shirai’s had just returned from a 3 month stint in Mexico, but it was Hamada and Hirota who took the lead in that aspect. Kana, of course, took the lead in kicking the crap out of anyone within range and ended up in a lengthy, epic, exchange with Ayako that went to the time limit. It was great seeing a rising star stand toe-to-toe with a legend. Hopefully they have many, many more matches in the future.
TAKA vs Uematsu was a ‘Technical Challenge Match’ so they kept it pretty serious and the two jokesters didn’t ham it up too much. WAVE needs more of that.
Next was the debut of Misaki Ohata’s new heel faction, Black Wave. Yes, the cherubic girl with the ruffles from SHIMMER went dark side, and it rocked. Seeing her, Bambi, Hiren, and Yumi with their black pleather and mean mugs was quite the sight, and the match was very good. Most of the heel violence was inflicted on Haruhi, and really, she was asking for it with that pink baby doll dress. Cherry continued to be old unknown age reliable and Ayumi somehow managed to wrestle a mere 4 days after trying to put her forehead through Yoshiko Tamura’s. Her bruises even looked like they were healing up, so Bambi decided to put a few new ones on her via whip. Awesome.
Back in the ARSION glory days GAMI used to be known as Michiko Futagami. She was a very serious, hard hitting, joint snapping, Dynamite Kansai jocking wrestler (video example here). At some point she turned into GAMI, a comedy wrestler of zany gimmicks and contested comedic value. When I saw she was facing Meiko Satomura, a very serious, hard hitting, joint snapping, Aja Kong beating legendary wrestler, I had hoped we’d see more of the old Futagami and less of her hitting people with noise makers. That happened for a good, and I mean good, 5 minutes at the beginning of the match. The match went on for another 18. Thankfully, Meiko won and even better, used her Scorpion Rising and Death Valley Bomb finishers, which she had put on the shelf after back surgery in 2009.
After the main event, GAMI and Misaki (who’s birthday is January 5th), came out and got their desert. Hiroyo was back in a good mood and actually ran off the ropes and smashed Misaki into hers. It was a nice ending for a good show that was the last puroresu I’d see on the trip. WAVE is pretty steady in putting out DVDs now, so you should eventually be able to track this down for the glory that is heel Misaki and Kana vs Ayako.
Post-show I got to see the S-Ovation crew. Surprisingly, Tomoka recognized me from SHIMMER and Hiroyo from always tweeting about her destroying things. I got to say my goodbyes to Matt, until next time, and get some udon with Markus, an awesome Joshi fan who was visiting from Austria. By the way, I also got a super awesome video message from 2/3rds of Triple Tails! Kana is pretty much the complete opposite of her persona, and one of the nicest Joshi I’ve met. You don’t need to speak Japanese to know how funny Mio is. Anyway, they just introduced themselves to fans in the states and said they want to come here and fight. Enjoy it and the photos!