- ARSION today had a fairly big show at Teicen Hall, Saporro with both the Queen and Twin Star titles defended. Mima Shimoda and Michiko Ohmukai retained the Twin Star of ARSION for the first time, defeating Ayako and Xochitl Hamada in 17:59 when Ohmukai scored a rare pinfall in a match with Shimoda involved, pinning Xochitl. The Hamada's getting a tag title shot just about makes sense because they have teamed regularly in recent weeks, and won most of their matches.
The other title match had Aja Kong defeating GAMI in 16:31 to keep the Queen of ARSION. This match would have been so much more meaningful if GAMI had either won ARS, or defeated Aja in their match rather than jobbing to her in three minutes, or if she had scored a singles pinfall of note at the ARSION Korakuen show earlier in the week.
- Jd' wrestler Sumie Sakai who has been out of action with a broken leg for several months is to return on June 24 in Saitama.
- ARSION have a trios league coming up. Teams are VIP (Yumi Fukawa, Michiko Ohmukai and Bionic J), ARSION (Aja Kong, Mariko Yoshida and Candy Okutsu), ReDrug (GAMI, Rie Tamada and Rena Takase), CAZAI (Ayako Hamada, AKINO and Ai Fujita), and Mexico (Mari Apache, Linda Starr and Xochitl Hamada). The league begins on June 11 and finishes at the end of the month.
- ARSION on June 18 has a tag match with Mima Shimoda and Michiko Ohmukai vs. Aja Kong and Mariko Yoshida. Ohmukai or Yoshida will do the job here.
- New ARSION wrestler Yuko Yamagada starts doing exhibition matches from June 22.
- Jd' 'CEO' Lioness Asuka has supposedly booked the companies visit to Korakuen Hall on June 13. If so, Lioness should definately remain CEO for a long time because the card is a lot more interesting than most of the recent Jd' shows at the same building.
- In a Vale Tudo rules match, Megumi Yabushita battles Momoe Nakanishi. About a year ago Momoe and Yabushita did a similar match that went to a 60:00 draw. Not sure if that one was legit or not -- it's unlikely that Momoe would have been able to last that long against Yabushita, but it's also doubtful that Jd' would have booked the match to last that long. This one is going to be fought over three ten minute rounds.
- The Bloody vs. Fang Suzuki in a "Bunkhouse Anywhere Death Match". This match has a pretty good storyling coming in with Fang wanting to beat up Bloody because she went back to Lioness Asuka, and began teaming with Toshie Uematsu, in the process breaking up the group Bloody and Fang had with Saya Endo. I think Bloody will win this, but if she's going to spend more time working with GAEA in the future, they may put over Fang. Bloody's ability will be really tested here against a limited opponent.
- The only other match announced is Yuko Kosugi vs. Azumi Hyuga. Both women need to win this match. Kosugi is the top face in Jd' that lacks credibility because she never gets any big wins, and Hyuga is the former JWP champion that wasn't taken particularly seriously for all the same reasons.
- LLPW at Korakuen Hall today had Manami Toyota and Tomoko Watanabe going to a double knock-out finish with LLPW's Rumi Kazama and Eagle Sawai in 18:29. It hasn't been made clear which members of the teams were KO'ed. Obviously the point of this match was to further the issue between Toyota and Eagle in preparation for their forthcoming WWWA title match that I expect will happen on July 15 or 16 when AJW are running Fuji TV studios at Tokyo three nights in a row.
- Complete schedule for the AJW Grand Prix is Momoe vs. Wakizawa; Takahashi vs. Noumi and Fuji vs. Haruyama on June 11. Wakizawa vs. Haruyama and Takahashi vs. Fuji on June 17 with the All Japan Singles title also on the line. Haruyama vs. Takahashi on June 18. Noumi vs. Fuji on June 25. Momoe vs. Fuji on June 26. Takahashi vs. Momoe on June 27. Momoe vs. Noumi on July 2. Noumi vs. Wakizawa on July 16. Momoe vs. Haruyama and Takahashi vs. Wakizawa on July 20.
From a match quality standpoint, the best final would be Haruyama vs. Momoe. However I don't think that's the final we will see. With any round robin tournament, the best way to work it is so that as many workers as possible still have a chance of making the finals right up until the very end. I'm guessing that on June 11 Momoe (1) and Wakizawa (1) will draw, Takahashi (0) will lose to Noumi (2) so as to keep Nanae's points down, and give Noumi a token win, and Haruyama (2) will beat Fuji (0). Then on June 17, Wakizawa (3) wins over Haruyama (2) and Takahashi (2) beats Fuji (0), follow that up on June 18 with Takahashi (2) losing to Haruyama (4). Noumi (4) beats Fuji (0) on June 25 and Fuji also loses to Momoe (3) on June 26. Takahashi (4) will beat Momoe (3) on June 27, and Momoe will move up to 5 points on July 2 with a pin over Noumi. Haruyama (6) should then beat Noumi (4) on July 9 at the JWP show, which essentially knocks Noumi out of contention, but isn't a problem at such a late stage. Noumi (4) loses to Wakizawa (5) on July 16.
Coming into the last day of the round robin on July 20, Wakizawa and Takahashi are on 5 and 4 respectively going into their final match - against each other. Momoe on 5 has Haruyama (6) in her final match.
This leaves four wrestlers on the final day with a chance of making the finals on August 20. AJW wrestlers Momoe, Wakizawa and Takahashi needing a win to make the finals, and Haruyama only needing a draw vs. Nakanishi. I think Wakizawa will beat Takahashi to make the final with seven points, because a Momoe vs. Wakizawa final would make more sense than Momoe vs. Takahashi as they are partners. Momoe will defeat JWP's Haruyama because AJW never put wrestlers from other promotions into the GP final, giving her seven points and a place in the final vs. Wakizawa. Wakizawa vs. Momoe could go either way, and both women could use the credibility boost. Momoe should win the finals, proving that she is a star for the future, and go on to challenge for the WWWA title at the September Korakuen show. Wakizawa, who hasn't been pushed since she won the Junior GP in 1998 will have shown some upward mobility to make her look like she can be a player in the future.
- AJW are running "Odaiba W Explosion 2000" at the Fuji TV studio's on July 14. The top match is a four team tournament with the winners getting the WWWA tag team titles currently held by Tomoko Watanabe and Kumiko Maekawa. Teams entered are Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi; Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita; Watanabe and Maekawa and Kayo Noumi and Miho Wakizawa.
- NEO are at Itabashi San-bun Hall, Tokyo on June 16. The lineup is:
- Kyoko Inoue and Takako Inoue vs. Misae Genki and Yuka Nakamura. This is a poor main event with an extremely predictable finish as Nakamura does the job.
A Neo vs. JWP series with
- Ran YuYu vs. Saya Endo
- Yuki Miyazaki vs. Azumi Hyuga
- and Yoshiko Tamura vs. Kayoko Haruyama. JWP will win this with Ran going over Endo and Hyuga beating Miyazaki.
- Opener has Tanny Mouse vs. Sachiko Kadota
- Big Japan on July 2 has Misae Genki vs. Kyoko Ichiko with the winner becoming the first Big Japan Women's champion.
- LLPW are at Korakuen Hall on July 11, and the new Differ Ariake on July 2.
- Yuka Nakamura will be working some Battlarts shows vs. Hiromi Yagi in early July.
All Japan Women's begin the Japan Grand Prix 2000 at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo on June 11. This years tournament is going to be a juniors only event with Momoe Nakanishi, Miho Wakizawa, Nanae Takahashi, Kayo Noumi, Miyuki Fuji and Kayoko Haruyama. This doesn't make for great matches because very few of these wrestlers are any good. The only match that might be halfway good is Nakanishi vs. Haruyama. As usual, wrestlers get two points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. The league portion finishes on July 20 with the final on August 20.
Only using junior level workers in the Grand Prix is an idea that potentially has some value, but it can only work if it's done properly, and doing things properly has never been AJW's strong point.
During the months the tournament takes place, the focal point of the promotion will be these young wrestlers, and theoretically it should give them a chance to gain more exposure. Winning this event should help the wrestler in question move up the card, but what are they really going to gain through defeating only junior level competition that they face all the time anyway?
The only real way to move up young wrestlers is by giving them pins over established names. The best way to elevate one of the juniors would be for the winner of this tournament to then be booked in a match against Toyota or Hotta in the semi main event at a major show soon after the JGP, underneath a strong main event that will draw a large crowd. If the junior then defeats the big name they will gain credibility because they will not only have won a tournament that the likes of Toyota, Hokuto, Kong and many more have won in the past, but they will also have gone on to prove themselves worthy by defeating one of the stars in a convincing fashion.
Of course, this can only work if the wrestlers push remains consistent. You can't expect to gain anything by having Wakizawa win the JGP, defeat Hotta and then go back to jobbing in tag team main events every night.
Lineup for June 11 is:
- ZAP I and ZAP T vs. a JWP team for the JWP tag team titles.
- Momoe Nakanishi vs. Miho Wakizawa; Nanae Takahashi vs. Kayo Noumi; and Kayoko Haruyama vs. Miyuki Fuji in JGP matches.
- Manami Toyota vs. Takako Inoue. This should be a decent match. I expect Toyota will win as they are building up Eagle Sawai as a title contender.
- Yumiko Hotta vs. Kumiko Maekawa in a shoot style match. The match can end via KO, pinfall or submission. Allowing pinfalls in a match of this style is pretty stupid because it's a near giveaway that the match is a work.
- Little Frankie vs. Tomezo Tsunokake in a match to commemorate the twenty fifth anniversary of Frankie' debut.
- JWP at JWP Hall, Ueno on June 6 has Ran YuYu vs. Kayoko Haruyama; Commando Bolshoi vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki; Yoshiko Tamura vs. Yuka Nakamura; Azumi Hyuga vs. Kana Misaki and a men's match between Sato and Hashimoto, two wrestlers from Yoshiaki Fujiwara's JPWA promotion.
- GAEA are back at Korakuen Hall on June 11, lineup is set to be:
- Lioness Asuka and Sugar Sato vs. Dynamite Kansai and Mayumi Ozaki. GAEA are getting like AJW for booking main events. The only person here that's going to do a job is Sugar.
- Chigusa Nagayo, Meiko Satomura and Chikayo Nagashima vs. Akira Hokuto, KAORU and Mayumi Ozaki. This is going to be another example of predictable GAEA booking. Match will last ten minutes at the most and either team could win. Almost every show has a match similar to this.
- The Bloody and Toshie Uematsu vs. Devil Masami and Toshiyo Yamada. Devil and Yamada will take the win here.
- Sakura Hirota vs. Saika Takeuchi. The usual Hirota rubbish.
- Candy Okutsu is injured and will be out for a couple of weeks.
- GAEA are running "Double Destiny" at the Yokohama Bunka Gym on September 15. The Crush Gals might well team up again at this show. If this is the case, look for the heels to attempt to gain some revenge for their loss at the Ariake Coliseum.
- Weekly Puroresu published a listing entitled "21 for the 21st", a listing of who they expect to be stars in the new millenium. The only women in the list were Meiko Satomura, Ayako Hamada and Momoe Nakanishi.
- A bit dated now, but it may have some effect on future storylines. Following Lioness Asuka's TWF title win over The Bloody on April 29, Lioness helped Bloody up and the two went together in a car to the GAEA show in Osaka to announce that Bloody would be teaming with Uematsu on May 14.
- On April 23 Sakura Hirota came out dressed as Aja Kong for her match against Mayumi Ozaki, complete with fake AAAW title belt. Ozaki obviously won the match, and took Hirota's fake belt afterwards.
- KAORU and Mayumi Ozaki brawled at the press conference prior to the May 14 GAEA Ariake show.
- Big Japan today had Tanny Mouse and Kyoko Ichiki over Marcella and Misae Genki in 16:27 when Ichiki pinned Marcella. FMW also used the ladies today as in the main event Kaori Nakayama and Kyoko Inoue teamed with GOEMON and Kodo Fuyuki to defeat Emi Motokawa, Azuso Kudo, Hisakatsu Oya and Tetsuhiro Kudoda when GOEMON pinned Motokawa in 22:13