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Thread: Toyota Tuesdays: A Journey Through the Career of Manami Toyota

  1. #81
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Toyota Tuesdays: A Journey Through the Career of Manami Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Very odd match type but I guess it's just a bit of fun for Christmas. Reminds me a little bit of the slobberknocker match stipulation that used to be on old Smackdown PS2 games. I didn't find it too engaging across 30 minutes, I think my favourite part was seeing Toyota get pins on the lower rung girls with things like a dropkick.
    I think this idea is awesome for a company with established hierarchy. Even the rookies hitting a single move led to huge crowd reactions and Toyota looked like a beast killing 7 people in a row in a completely believable way while still not prostituting even a bigger move, then I loved the step up to the people who aren't main threats but good enough to force a draw, then the main players at the end. The problem is the rookies saw this as the biggest match of their careers and had the crowd with them heavy for every single thing but after the first 10 matches everyone else besides like 2, maybe 3 put in a poor effort and it made the middle portion extremely uninteresting. Kong in particular couldn't give a single shit about this and it showed with what could have been an epic segment of her destroying her enemy who wrestled 25 minutes. I also think I would have just kept this to 20 or added outsiders to fill out the last 10 slots. The last few who came in picked up the excitement.

    Imagine this format in NJPW with like an Okada running through the roster and how they handled it would be infinitely more interesting to me than literally him vs. any wrestler in the world in a singles match. This format is notably used for Toyota and her retirement match but it's one I think has value if everyone's on the same page and it's done right, which this one was only halfway there for.

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    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Toyota Tuesdays: A Journey Through the Career of Manami Toyota

    So now we wrap up pretty much the end of Toyota's prime, but I thought it only fitting to document Toyota's major Red Belt run after her first one kind of sucked. That did have an excellent match losing it back to Kong however and this one started off with another great match vs. Dynamite Kansai winning the belt and essentially ending the interpromotional boom period of Joshi with AJW firmly on top. Now we head into 1996, with the main event being the first title defense which also just so happened to be the very last show both Akira Hokuto and Bull Nakano would wrestle for the company. (Hokuto losing the tag titles she held as apart of LCO and Bull Nakano putting over Sakie Hasegawa (whoops!)) Her opponent, like all 4 through 1996 was a familiar foe, and essentially a dollar store version of the woman Toyota beat for the title. If you saw the last match, it was built to at the end with Hotta brawling after Toyota wrestled 30 straight matches. A somewhat clever way to build to a title match that was a rematch of the JGP final.

    The Match: WWWA Title: Yumiko Hotta vs. Manami Toyota (c) - AJW Champion Legend - January 22nd, 1996

    Watch: https://youtu.be/OqVwApRNV8s

    The match is in front of the Ota Ward crowd, and a sold out one at that. In my opinion Hotta was a weak challenger to start off with after Toyota beat her 4 months ago but AJW's herky jerky booking of the title may have made a title switch more believable.

    Thankfully we get Hotta's theme in full here with "Assault Machine" rocking things 90s style and I must say is pretty badass. The crowd seems pretty rowdy as well right away and gives a healthy response to the ass kicker challenger. To counter her song, we have the regal and whimsical Mystic Eyes bringing out the unquestionable Ace of Zenjo in Toyota. Both ladies receive flowers and look focused, staring at each other for much of the pre-match. Hotta gets A TON of streamers, significantly more than Toyota. Watching through AJW stuff Hotta is a similar, although less awesome performer as Hirooki Goto in NJPW, constantly always being a step short of "the big one". Things start off with her giving Toyota the oldest trick in the book on a fake handshake, but Toyota counters into a dropkick attempt and then Hotta counters by kicking the living crap out of Toyota. I really liked that start as it established both characters without making either look stupid, and also putting Hotta's kicks over strong. After a reset we see a test of strength which I hardly ever remember. Then Toyota suddenly challenges Hotta to her own game kicking Hotta's thighs and does a good job, loud strikes, then the two suddenly have a battle of headbutts, apparently it's bizarro night for the Flying Angel who is wanting to apply to BattlArts in a few months? I wonder if they legit had heat during this go round of Zenjo, I remember even in the 1990 match Toyota was throwing shoot punches. But regardless, I like the idea here and especially to make it a bit different to their earlier matches. Anyway after a Boomerang Toyota cusses Hotta and then beats the shit out if Hotta some with punches and slaps from an early mount. But Hotta counters into a lift into a headbutt! Toyota's big mouth continues though as she hits dropkick city on Hotta followed by the Octopus but Hotta broke away and suddenly headbutted the corner to fire herself up and get a rreaction.Which after some kicks Toyota does the same! That...was pretty awesome I have to admit. Another test of strength leads to a shoot knee and more kicks from Hotta, snapping off and the crowd rallying behind her! They go outside and Hotta leaves Toyota in a heap outside and it feels like the match slows to a halt as Toyota gets her breath. She milks the count and then rushed the ring kicking Hotta in the face for a shoot and busting her wide open, but it only fired up Hotta more and then they have a stare down, with Toyota firing up with hitting multiple knee strikes to the head that the ref acts like the champ is out of control! After laying Hotta on the table I feared a dive but instead Toyota walks over and grabs the fucking trophy and attacks Hotta with it! Shoving it in her bloody face! Even Ed has to give this spot props as the Champ shows a vicious side to the crowd favorite. Also noteworthy that between the two you would think Hotta would be the one to draw blood on a kick but instead it's Toyota. Finally Hotta fired back up and the crowd is into this, the bloody underdog getting on track and hitting a sloppy powerbomb counter to the Manami Roll and then a sickening kick to the face that Toyota sells like she had lost an eye. We see some pretty effective back and forth that ends with Hotta hitting back to back Tiger Drivers. The crowd again rallies behind Hotta, but Toyota turns the tables and hits the missile dropkick to the outside and then the Moonsault inside. But Hotta isn't done yet, as she hits the insane Caribbean Splash from the top for a near fall before arguing with the ref, which allowed Toyota to get up and rush for a German for a big near fall. In fighting spirit fashion she was too worn out to take advantage and Hotta fires up again, but Toyota counters into the Japanese Ocean Suplex for near fall. She looks for the JOCS and Hotta responds with a kick to the head, the crowd goes completely insane as she hits the Pyramid Driver for a near fall. This is yet another instance of Hotta being super over for some reason, but in the end they repeat the finish of their last match but this time actually done right with Hotta already on top for a great near fall! Another callback to Hotta sitting on Toyota's head to counter the JOCS! Hottas hands slip on an attempt at the big one and things start to go off the rails once again as they blow the move twice. Considering the strong possibility that one or both are concussed it's understandable but it still looks bad. Then a missed kick by Hotta looks REALLY bad and they blow things again until awkwardly Toyota lifts her up for a new move, which closely resembles Desperado's Guitarra de Angel.

    A real shame to see a match with another bad finish and this one was particularly egregious after the stiff and heated affair that took place leading up to it. Tough to recommend as a whole, but the violence of the first 85% of it shouldn't go underappreciated. Hotta got more chants after the match and Toyota got the trophy back she had used as a Weapon earlier. This was not super dissimilar from that 1990 match I mentioned earlier which was Dynamite at first but then fell off bad by the end. Just a strange lack of chemistry between Hotta and Toyota. Overall, a miss in my book, but not without merit.

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    Re: Toyota Tuesdays: A Journey Through the Career of Manami Toyota

    I enjoyed this match a lot more than the September 95 match, especially as an overall package. I was really into it up until the 20 minute mark on the youtube video, and then everything went very sloppy and uncoordinated and brought it down a peg or two. The highlight for me had to be when they went out of the ring and I was expecting the standard Toyota table spot, and then she proceeds to start ramming the trophy in Hotta's face. That was an awesome swerve and something you don't see every match.
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    Re: Toyota Tuesdays: A Journey Through the Career of Manami Toyota

    The next challenger for Toyota is another in her line of greatest hits tour that is this title reign, as it is someone who one year prior she had the match of the year with in the Observer and was her one successful title defense. Here they have another go at it in a logical Red Belt title match, in a sold out Yokohama Crowd. This show, like the last featuring Toyota vs. Hotta is notable for yet another departure as it was the last match for Sakie Hasegawa, their one younger star they had really built up to be a credible contender.

    The Match: WWWA World Title: Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota (c) - March 31st, 1996 - AJW Wrestling Queendom

    A blast from the past to the days where vids were posted in parts on YT! Bless you, ringstarfield, a legend of Joshi vids on YT.

    1: https://youtu.be/zXbpvYIkVzs

    2: https://youtu.be/Rz6HD5tB-Yc

    3: https://youtu.be/HCeqFBjiCjI

    4: https://youtu.be/mnoxQSMAgL4

    Kyoko still doing her thing with her cheesy but charming 90's power and paint aesthetic. Toyota with a white-silver robe on her entrance and she rushes out. The crowd isn't exactly blowing the roof off so we'll see if they get them. The crowd again rallies behind the challenger a bit to start, who dodges Toyota's dropkick and immediately hits the Giant Swing! Then Toyota hits the Rolling Cradle back to back, cursing Kyoko as she does it! I really like that opening, a back and forth of their similar gimmick moves, and it leads to the Toyota fans taking charge as they stand off and Toyota big times Kyoko on a test of strength! Ok. Kyoko hits a springboard elbow and fires the first high flying shot before licking in an inverted cloverleaf surfboard to perhaps the LOUDEST Toyota scream we've ever heard. She hits a really cool Torture Rack dropped into a back breaker and targets the back of Toyota repeatedly in the half crab. Toyota fires back into a Lucha Armdrag but Kyoko gets right back on her with a body scissors. Kyoko doing a bit of everything, we've seen high flying, submission work and power, using a Lucha base for this match is a good stylistically choice. Toyota hits hard kicks and she's definitely improved that aspect of her game, but then we see my favorite! The oldie but a goodie for longtime Toyota Tuesday readers as she locks in the Indian Deathlock/Cattle Mutilation combo which already makes this match a win in my book. Kyoko escapes and retreats, as the match shows down to a halt, until Kyoko hits a DDT from the corner. But is Kyoko prepared to be taken to Dropkick City? No, as it turns out, she is not. But she is prepared to run up the ropes with Toyota on top, and hit a Suplex, maybe a DDT almost! Toyota fires back and it's time for a Spaceman Tope Con Hiro which painfully misses as Kyoko runs away and she splats to the floor. After some brawling they fight on the top rope and it leads to another dropkick! Then the Moonsault but no pin. She has to hit 2. Kyoko gets her with a wild German Suplex and looks for the end but she counters a Manami Roll attempt into a Powerbomb, only for Toyota to hit it immediately after. She looks for another dropkick but Kyoko springboards into the Astro Scissors and then hits her own dropkick to the back of Toyota! But then THE BRIDGE appears to save the Champ. They have a long sequence with a Chin Lock that Toyota survives and then kicks her over which led to yet another back bump for Toyota on the outside from the top as she makes a sickening thud on one of the dumbest moves ever in the missile dropkick. Is it time for the table? No! She runs all the way up the long ass ramp to hit a running Lariat, a fine callback to the Kong Dome match. Kyoko counters the second attempt however into a fall away slam and then hits her own ramp Lariat! Fun. Toyota hits a Japanese Ocean Suplex, then the JOCS, both only scoring 2. She walks around perplexed and looks to go up top for another JOCS but it's countered and Kyoko hits a crazy German with Toyota standing on the middle rope. She threw her halfway across the ring! Kyoko hits a few Lariats with Toyota across the rope and the 3rd Toyota ducks but then gets flipped inside out on a great Toyota bump, then Kyoko hit the Niagara Driver for a huge nearfall! The crowd is in now. She then hits another JOCS for a near fall and Dylan is not pleased with this spam of one of the best finishes in wrestling. But she lifts her up and hits another of her many finishes, the Japanese Ocean Bomb! It definitely looked better than that inverted JOCS she tried to hit on Ozaki that time. Wild followup to the 60 minute match with it being short in comparison. But definitely preferable to that match falling apart for like the last 10 minutes. A fine match and continuation of their rivalry.

    Toyota shows respect afterwards and offers a handshake. I'm pretty sure she jokes she can't shake Toyota's hand because her arm hurts too much after Lariating her, but she gets up and they show respect and hug before Kyoko leaves and Toyota gets a trophy and the Red Belt and all that. The entire 4th video is post match. Thank you ringstarfield for being very thorough! The credits roll in the show and it's cool to see all the companies involved.

    Well, since her next defense isn't until October since AJW is about ready to implode we see a return to Tag Team Toyota next week as we talk about her storyline through the Summer and her rather unexpected new tag team she forms in '96.

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