PURE-J
PURE-J 3RD GANBARAY 2020
AUGUST 30, 2020
SHINKIBA 1ST RING
TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: NicoPro

PURE-J is back with a big show from Shinkiba 1st Ring which features Leon’s first defense as PURE-J Openweight Champion as well as a tag team title match and the rescheduled matches between Aimanji and the team of Yuu & Hiroyo Matsumoto.  A note on the show name GanbaRay, it is a tribute to Ray, a Joshi veteran who worked for JWP and almost every other Joshi promotion who teamed quite a lot with Leon.  Ray passed away in 2018 and this is PURE-J’s way of paying respects to her, similar to their recent Pure Plum event which is a tribute to Plum Mariko.

CREA & AKARI DEF. YURIKA OKA & NATSUHO KANEKO

Crea and AKARI represented PURE-J against the two newest debutants from Sendai Girls. With three people involved with limited experience in wrestling, this had a lot of the stuff we usually see from rookies in that it was heavy on dropkicks, forearms, and flash pins but they mixed with the drama and chaotic nature of most Joshi tag matches.  It was nice to see Crea pick up the win to end this fine matchup. ***

KAORI YONEYAMA DEF. CHIE OZORA

Yoneyama is a pro’s pro and can be trusted to have a solid match with absolutely anyone and that’s what we got here between her and Ozora.  Ozora has been very limited in what she’s allowed to do and outside of the monkey flip she only uses dropkicks, forearms, and the occasional rollup.  With such limitations in place, it’s hard to have a match that’s very notable. **

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AIMANJI (MARI MANJI & MANAMI KATSU) VS YUU & HIROYO MATSUMOTO – DRAW

This match was rescheduled after initially being called off ahead of PURE-J’s last Korakuen Hall event.  This delivered exactly the kind of match we should expect from these four with a lot of big hits.  That said there’s a better match in there between these two teams as there were some noticeably wonky spots and some whiffed strikes.  ***1/4

We get an intermission during which Command Bolshoi sings for Ray

DAILY SPORTS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
HANAKO NAKAMORI & RINA YAMASHITA (c) DEF. MOMO TANI & RYDEEN HAGANE

For the most part we had a standard tag match as the youngster Tani suffered a beat down from the tag champions but then everything broke down and the challengers gave the champions a good fight.  Tani especially looked to have the win a few times with some flash pins and she really gained a lot from this match, which is odd given she isn’t a PURE-J talent, Yamashita and Nakamori made a strong first defense as they elevated their challengers and themselves. ***1/4

PURE-J OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP:
LEON (c) DEF. KAZUKI

Leon got KAZUKI to deliver a match worthy of the main event spot.  Despite KAZUKI not having a chance of winning this was well done and she really brought the fight to Leon.  Like most PURE-J main events this was a back and forth fight with some really close near falls down the stretch that added to the drama.  While Leon wasn’t going to lose she made KAZUKI look good and thus made herself look even better for getting the win. ***1/2

FINAL THOUGHTS

One of the weaker PURE-J shows I’ve seen but still an enjoyable watch.  With both title matches being first-time defenses there wasn’t much doubt over who was winning but both still delivered.  What I especially love about these PURE-J events is the ambiance.  The crowd, and Bolshoi, have tambourines that they use to substitute for cheers and it just adds so much to the show as it stands out from the clapping you get everywhere else right now.