Ayako Hamada & AKINO def. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda
December 11, 1999
Carnival ARSION 1999

Reviewed by Jack Beckmann (VOW Author Page / @packerman120 on X, the website formerly known as Twitter)

Gifted by Gerard Di Trolio (VOW Author Page / The Emerald FlowShow

I want to preface my review by stating that I have not seen any of these women wrestle before, so I am going in completely blind. I have no clue who is who, the promotion, or anything else surrounding this – a prospect that is honestly quite exciting. In Secret Santa’s of years past, I’ve had to review the true depths of wrestling, so it’s nice to realize that I made VOW Santa’s nice list this year.

In life, there are things that transcend language. Hatred is one of those things, and this match had an abundance of it from the very beginning. Despite not understanding any of the history between these two, or the insults they were hurling back and forth at each other, the hatred these two teams had for each other was off the charts. This match was worked at a breakneck pace for near thirty minutes, with very few lulls in action. I was intrigued in this match immediately from the opening bell, and then Hamada got busted open and spent the last 20 minutes of this gushing blood and I knew I was sold.

This match did pretty much everything I love about pro wrestling. It featured two teams who despised each other. It had a shit ton of cool moves. It had one or more wrestlers bleeding a bunch. Most importantly, it felt real. I’ve written multiple times over the past year talking about the increasing influence in sports entertainment in modern wrestling, and why that’s a bad thing. There was no sports entertainment on display here. There was no reluctance to hit each other because of being friends. These girls went out here and had a violent, intense, bloody brawl, a type of match that perfectly exemplifies what I love in pro wrestling. I am very thankful that I got gifted this match for Secret Santa this year, as I don’t think this is a match I’ll soon forget. ****¾

As for who gifted me this, I have an additional context clue to help me guess. I was originally gifted a mid-00s NOAH tag match for this, but it got removed from YouTube before I could watch it. As a replacement gift, my Santa gave me this. Using what I know about who on the staff likes what, I am going to guess that Gerard Di Trolio gave me my gift, as I know he enjoys both NOAH & 90s joshi. Regardless, thank you to whoever gave me this, and Merry Christmas to all!