PURE DREAM PURE-J 3RD ANNIVERSARY & LEON 20TH ANNIVERSARY
AUGUST 10, 2020
PURE-J return to Korakuen Hall to celebrate both their third anniversary and the twentieth anniversary of Leon. The card has dealt with a number of changes with Crea pulling out due to a fever and Hiroyo Matsumoto, Yuu, AKARI, and Miyuki Takase missing due to being in close contact with WAVE’s Yuki Miyazaki who tested positive for Covid-19. Despite that, the card still has some exciting matches with Rina Yamashita and Hanako Nakamori teaming up to challenge for the tag titles and Aja Kong teaming with Leon to take on AKINO and Kaho Kobayashi.
LEON DEF. CHIE OZORA
Ozora makes her debut here against Leon in a solid match. I feel bad for Ozora as she was originally scheduled to face Crea so having to deal with a late switch ahead of her debut can’t have been easy. She looked ok from what we saw as Leon controlled the majority of the match but Ozora showed good fire in her comebacks and even pulled out a monkey flip. Joshi rookies have an incredibly high bar given the talent the scene has produced lately but based on this match Ozora isn’t going to have her name alongside some of the scene’s top youngsters. **
RYDEEN HAGANE & MOMO TANI VS MANAMI KATSU & MARI MANJI – DRAW
I was convinced Manji and Katsu would get the win in this one so it going to a draw is fairly surprising. It didn’t feel needed either as Tani could have easily taken the fall for her team while Katsu and Manji jump into the title scene. There was good work done like Katsu’s heel work building to the hot tag and some of the team moves Katsu and Manji pulled off but overall nothing special. **1/2
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KAZUKI & JAGUAR YOKOTA DEF. KAORI YONEYAMA & TSUBASA KURAGAKI
This match was incredibly cool as a classic Joshi fan. KAZUKI and Yokota have ties going back to the JD Star promotion while Yoneyama and Kuragaki go back to JWP. The match itself was good with Yokota reminding us all that shes still insanely good for someone just shy of 60 years old. KAZUKI pinned Yoneyama which made the most sense since she’s the PURE-J regular. Maybe it’s the nostalgia speaking but I really liked this match and it was cool to see ties to two promotions of old. ***1/4
LEON & AJA KONG DEF. AKINO & KAHO KOBAYASHI
I adored this match it was so entertaining, they mixed comedic elements with some genuinely good wrestling. AKINO is always fantastic and its a pity she’s mostly hidden away in OZ Academy which doesn’t run too often. Kong was the highlight of this match though, she’s definitely physically broken down due to the years of intense matches she’s put her body through but she’s such an intelligent wrestler and matches like this show why. She didn’t spend much time in the ring but whenever she got in she’d just slap the soul out of someone or she’d just kick their chest in. Leon won the match since it is her 20th-anniversary celebration and she celebrated with a really fun match. ****
DAILY SPORTS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: RINA YAMASHITA & HANAKO NAKAMORI DEF. MOEKA HARUHI & MAKOTO
Nakamori did not go without a title for long. Just two weeks after losing her PURE-J Openweight championship she has picked up tag team gold alongside Yamashita to make a very formidable team that will be tough to beat. This was a pretty good match but issues with NicoPro really took away my enjoyment, both the split audio and constant buffering took away from what was a hard-hitting, fast-paced match. Here’s hoping PURE-J upload this one to their own VOD service so we can enjoy it to the fullest. ***1/2
Anytime there are three good matches on a five-match card I will chalk that up as a success. While this show was obviously hurt by talent pulling out it still managed to deliver which speaks to PURE-J’s strength and decision-making skills. While the main event was plagued by streaming issues it was still enjoyable although Leon’s match stole the show on her 20th anniversary in wrestling, thanks to a good performance by Aja Kong and AKINO being AKINO. As a nerd that loves older Joshi the Yokota/KAZUKI vs Yoneyama/Kuragaki match was also right up my alley. PURE-J once again delivers a fun event and are quickly becoming one of my favorite promotions.