~Arsion Open Max Tournament – 8/12/01
This show was a day/night doubleheader tournament and was the highly anticipated debut show for Noki-A (Akino doing a semi-lucha, semi submission based masked character). I’ll cover all the matches that you want to see, but as a whole this is another great Arsion show on the heels of their 7/29/01 show which I thought was their best show top to bottom in quite some time:
Round 1 (all matches joined in progress):
Noki-A vs. Fabi Apache – Fabi looks great and even busts out an Angel’s Wings on Noki-A. The pace is quick with counters, and Noki-A goes over catching Fabi in a lucha backbreaker for the submission win. Really solid opener, and in a recent development side note, Noki-A paid Fabi back this week losing the finals of the Arsion Sky High League to Fabi, who won not only the tourney, but was also crowned the new Sky High of Arsion Champion.
Emi Motokawa vs. GAMI – Emi has really impressed me with her work in Arsion pulling out all sorts of hot moves and this match is another strong one following up on her great match against Ayako Hamada in July. The match is joined with Emi bringing the big offense with wicked neck crunching suplexes, hitting the firebird splash for a 2 count and even taking a page out of Gedo’s playbook hitting her version of the complete shot. GAMI takes a pounding though, only to turn the tide and give one right back to Emi winning with a gutwrench into a GAMInator. GAMI’s matches have been really great lately as she found a better balance of mixing her comedy into her wrestling, while pulling out some big time moves as well.
Round 2 (still matches are joined in progress):
Noki-A vs. Michiko Ohmukai - The match really kicks in as Noki-A counters out of Michiko’s triangle choke (her focus for the match) with a great looking half crab/lucha stretch variation that looked even better/hurtier because of Michiko’s long legs (and her loud as hell selling). Michiko takes back to the offense hitting the B-3 Bomb for a near fall and going for a second B-3 out of frustration only to be countered by Noki-A with a rana. Noki-A gets the fall catching Michiko is a wicked looking tie-up powerbomb.
Mariko Yoshida vs. GAMI – The match is joined with both women taking it to mat with submission work. They transition up as GAMI hits a BIG TIME capo kick crushing Yoshida’s head for a 2 count only to have Yoshida pop up bringing a kick back directly to GAMI’s face in return for a 2 count. There is a strike exchange with GAMI Kawada selling a punch to side of the head. Yoshida hooks her Air Raid Crash, but GAMI escapes at a 2 count. Yoshida kicks out of GAMI’s awesome dragon suplex hold, but Yoshida can’t escape the Adios Amiga (cross legged brain buster) and GAMI takes the win. This match was great with a strong showing from Arsion’s two strongest leaders.
Semi-finals (finally the matches are complete):
Noki-A vs. Ayako Hamada – Long time tag partners hook it for this semi-final match with Ayako dominating early. She hits a big quebrada to floor and once back in the ring ties up Noki-A with an inverted figure four variation. Ayako breaks out a nice series of suplexes and hits a second rope Ayakoclasm. Ayako goes for the kill with her spin kicks (which beat Akino in January) only to be countered by a rolling/jumping cross armbreaker by Noki-A. They build the match on strong counter series only to have Noki-A hit a wicked DDT to take control of the match and finish Ayako with a nasty running/rolling savate kick.
GAMI vs. Lioness Asuka – GAMI is wearing a really great blue and white outfit for the match and is in control early with a good bit of comedy in the mix. The comedy ends quickly as Asuka hits a full force double stomp onto her table crushing GAMI. GAMI brings out strong stretch counters to Asuka’s offense and catches Asuka with a nasty brainbuster for a two count. GAMI gets some major pop catching Asuka with a GAMI lariat for a near fall but gets caught shortly there after with the LSD as Asuka takes the fall to advance to finals. Post match GAMI cuts a comedy promo that even has the Lioness cracking up. A great match while it lasted only wish it would have gone longer.
Finals (complete – the birth of Arsion Executive’s third member)
Noki-A vs. Lioness Asuka – Noki-A carried much of the offense early with a lot of springboard and hit and run styled attacks before settling into working on Asuka’s arm. Asuka takes control of the match with her power and strike game. The most unique counter sequence of the match was when Noki-A countered a whip into the corner, where Lioness’ table was propped, with a tiger run up the table into a rana attempt which was countered by Asuka powerbombing Noki-A through the table in the corner with some very painful looking impact. Noki-A showed her fighting spirit coming closet to scoring victory with her Noki-A Special which is a rana transitioned out of into a cross armbreaker. The crowd was very strongly and vocally pulling for Noki-A, but Lioness hooked up and finished Noki-A off with the LSD for the win. Post match, as Mariko Yoshida joins them in the ring, Lioness offers her hand to Noki-A in a show of respect and offers her a slot as a member of Arsion Executive.
~More Reviews To Come~