Sunday, March 09, 2008

Kyoko Inoue returns to the ring

The big story at NEO's Mar. 2 Korakuen Hall show was the return to the ring of NEO owner and joshi legend Kyoko Inoue. It was a year ago that Kyoko was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Then it was discovered that she was pregnant. She had her son in October. Though she is still undergoing treatment for the cancer, I guess she was getting antsy and wanted to return. Of course her return overshadowed the two title matches on the show. And as they always seem to do on their big shows, NEO went a little overboard with comedy matches.

The opener was the first match ever between Shuu Shibutani & Kana. It appears that Kana was busted open possibly by accident. Shibutani hit a diving Senton and a missile kick and then used her Satanica submission finisher for the win at 12:12. Next was a three way match with Fuuka, Cherry & Makoto. A typical finish for a three way as Cherry wound up under the ring while Fuuka used a fisherman's suplex to beat Makoto at 6:11. Next a silly comedy match with Toshie Uematsu vs Chou-un Shiryu. He's the guy who does a Chinese gimmick. The ref was wearing a kabuki mask. Shityu accidently hits the ref and he helps Uematsu win at 7:50.

Next was Etsuko Mita & Tomoka Nakagawa vs Kyoko Kimura & Atsuko Emoto. A lot of brawling outside the ring and Emoto wins over Nakagawa with a vertical style brainbuster at 12:28. Mita didn't look very happy with Nakagawa after the match. Ktoko Inoue's return was next. She teamed with Nagisa Nozaki vs Sakura Emi & Aya Yuki. Of course the match was nothing special but Kyoko got to do a giant swing follwed by a Niagara Driver on Yuki for the win at 17:45. That brings us to Yoshiko Tamura & Misae Genki defending the NEO Tag Team Titles vs Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki. The problem with the NEO Machine Gunz is they've been doing the same comedy shtick for years and it's stale. I'm very disappointed that they are the new champs. Miyazaki won over Genki with a moonsault footstamp at 27:02.

The main event has Haruka Matsuo defending her NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Hiroyo Matsumoto. I like both wrestlers but I don't believe either belongs in a main event. Matsuo has been poorly booked as champ and Matsumoto is young and not ready yet. Matsuo retained the titles with a German suplex followed by a high kick and a dragon suplex for the win at 15:05. Afterwards, Kyoko Inoue came to the ring carrying her son and NEO GM Koda announced that Haruka Matsuo will defend her NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Kyoko Inoue at the May 5 Korakuen Hall show. That's very cheap nostalgia pop booking and another poor booking turn for Matsuo.

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