The Meiko Satomura Story Pt. VI - Generation Battle
By James Truepenny
Posted On 22-03-2016 18:57 GMT
Tags: Meiko Satomura, Joshi

In the summer of 2013 Sendai Girls started to tell a new story. The Generation Battle series was really a storytelling device that had not been used before in Joshi, at least out loud. The fact is, and the fact remains that some of the style's biggest stars are from the last century. When Kagetsu began to wind down her association with Sendai Girls and be ready to move out into the wider world of Joshi like so many before her, she needed to make waves to be heard. When she told a reporter it was her wish to "Bury the Old Soldiers", it made news. She would appear in a mutli woman tag bout on the 30th of August in Tokyo against Aja Kong, Ayako Hamada, Manami Toyota & Dynamite Kansai, she was on the receiving end of a brutal beating.

The old soldiers had taken notice. To Kagetsu's defence came the young stars from all over Joshi, her partners in the match; Saree from Diana, Yuhi from Zero One, Hikaru Shida from Wave as well as Takuma Iroha from Stardom. The gauntlet had been thrown from the younger generation to the new, a battle about the very future of the sport, with Kagetsu and Meiko Satomura cast as each generation's leader. The next Sendai card would feature Kagetsu teaming up with Stardom lead heel World Tiger Yoshiko to face her mentor, Meiko Satomura and her oldest enemy; Aja Kong. This is how serious the whole business had gotten, Meiko calling on Aja for help? Desperate times called for desperate measures.

The following week Kagetsu would face Manami Toyota and lose in 15:25 in Miyagi. Her run against the veterans going badly again, then there would be the showdown between Kagetsu & Yoshiko against Aja and Satomura in the main event of the Big Match in Niigata, coincidentally Satomura's home town. At 16:24 it was a a great bout, but again the veterans showed their dominance and willingness to put their past behind them to fight a common enemy. However it built up the youngsters who were now viable main event threats. The Generation Battle was winding up to be on of the most important feuds in Joshi's recent history. Once again Satomura dreamed up a new and imaginative approach to promotion.

The battle line would be drawn in the form of a "Winner Stays On" format match. The legends of Joshi would take on a crop of its finest young talents. With Kagetsu and Satomura holding the anchor legs. They picked their teams and we're very public in their strategy, when out of the woodwork came Chigusa Nagayo. She made a few guest appearances here and there, but overall since the demise of GAEA, she had kept out of the public eye. When she turned up at the end of a Stardom event talking to Rossy Ogawa on camera, things got interesting. When Kagetsu named her as her new trainer and mentor.

Things started to boil very, very quickly. Suddenly it wasn't mentor against student anymore, it was mentor against her mentor. Once again Sendai had managed to weave eighteen years of wrestling history into the tapestry of their storytelling to the advantage of everyone involved. Nagayo knew quite a bit about kicking down doors and making her own way. She was the ideal choice for Kagetsu's mentor, and her past history with the woman she wrestled in her retirement match added intrigue. Satomura was not impressed. On the seventeenth of October, the Sendai Revolution Card came from Korukean Hall in Tokyo and would feature only one match. Eight wrestlers from the younger generation, versus eight legends. The opener would feature Takuma Iroha against an un-named opponent. Satomura was playing cards close to her chest so she could produce some surprises of her own.

Iroha being a Stardom regular was popular in K Hall, her boundless enthusiasm matched with high quality skills made her one of the more popular wrestlers in Stardom, more technically adept than her counterparts, and less kick orientated she stood out. However, the lights dropped the music started and there was an audible groan of terror. Satomura's first round choice was the most hated heel in Joshi Pro Wrestling history; Dump Matsumoto. The scene resembled the final match in the Ice Hockey movie Slapshot, as the Charlestown Chiefs who have rough housed their way to the final listen to the opposing side's team sheet with dismay as their opponents have hired every borderline criminal player in the league's history to come back for one more grudge match performance. Dump is like that. By herself. She really, really, really doesn't care. Coming to the ring with a trash can and a Singapore cane, thirty years and forty pounds up on her weight from her heyday, the first thing she did was swing a cane at Iroha and hit her right between the eyes. She dragged her outside and threw the young mat technician around like a rag doll. Pushing the referee out of the way she delivered a stunning German Suplex to her stunned opponent and picked out a fork from her ring attire, the ref didn’t have time to check her. Iroha saw her opening and tried to roll her up. She got a fork in the forehead for her trouble.

Draping Iroha over the ropes, she went to work with the fork then kicked her around the ring. Iroha stood no chance, and was taken out seemingly for good with a heavy duty Lariat. Dump went after Iroha with a trash can, which was her final mistake, as she also went after the referee who had no option but to disqualify her. The youngsters were one point up. Dump Matsumoto was an interesting choice, she was also symbolic, Chigusa Nagayo's eldest and most hated rival came to the aid of her protégé, a sign that Satomura would go to extreme lengths to win this feud. Especially when she put the maniac in the opening round. Matsumoto, from a storyline perspective is as unpredictable as she is violent.

Meiko wanted all the youngsters as scared as they could be. Dump battered the referee with a kendo stick and called out Nagayo who was sat up in the Gods, quietly observing the action. Iroha lay there bleeding and awaiting her next opponent. Suddenly a spotlight found Nagayo and she smiled a rye smile as Dump issued a challenge and Nagayo accepted, a tale to be told another day. Dump hit a cameraman on the way out, as Kyoko Inoue came down to take her place.

Inoue isn't the mover she was in her youth, now about thirty pounds heavier she employs a monstrous power offence. Iroha, the slight but skillful rookie would have an uphill struggle against the veteran even if she hadn't been split open by Dump. She put up a good fight though and the crowd rallied by the youngster as Inoue's forearms turned her inside out. Iroha's submission offence was a winner though, she was able to slow the bigger opponent with Cross Arm Locks and Forearms when she got some separation.

Trying to deliver a German Suplex was a step too far, but she got back to the ground attack. No matter where she applied a hold though, Inoue was to close to the ropes. Eventually Inoue used her strength to smother her opponent. A huge Lariat against the ropes got a three count and she would move on to face the next opponent in the series for the young stars; Wrestling New Classic's Syuri.

The dark champion of Tajiri's Sports Entertainment promotion glared down the veteran from across the ring as they shook hands. Duelling chants of Inoue and Syuri filled K Hall in the opening exchanges as they sized each other up. One of the great things about this match was unusual bouts it through up, while Japanese promotion ers towards the traditional; announce a match and build it up, this format, not knowing who would face who, brought in added surprises and it was a pleasant change. The match started properly with Syuri challenging Inoue's size with Shoulder Blocks to lull Inoue into dropping her guard. She hit thunderous kicks into Inoue's torso until she eventually sent her crashing to the floor. Syuri kicked Inoue all the way up the K Hall bleachers and back down to the ring as Inoue struggled to get an advantage and continued to absorb punishment.

Inoue's Lariat proved to be the leveller once inside the ring. Proving that one big move with power was a match for Syuri's ever present kicking ability. Inoue went for her old favourite, The Surfboard to slow down the youthful kick boxer. She stretched her opponent who defiantly refused to give. Syuri broke free and went to the Air with a Flying Head Scissors and a Wheelbarrow Ace Crusher. Then she went back to her bread and butter; big knees in the corner and more vicious kicks to gain a two count. She then went for a Cross Arm Breaker, but again as a Iroha found out, Inoue was so big and she was always near the ropes. A Bomaye Knee also garnered a two count, but Inoue powered out and the two traded forearms at centre ring. There was only going to be one winner of that contest so Syuri went to kicks and started to gain an advantage.

An Inoue Lariat stopped her, but Inoue dared Syuri on and stood there taking her best shot, like her mentor from all those years ago Bull Nakano. The pair had gone the full ten minutes so they were both eliminated. The pair left the ring as one of the key matchups in the series was announced. Command Bolshoi President and Ace of JWP versus Saree, rising star of the Diana promotion.

If the previous round had been the battle of opposites, this was a keenly even match up. Bolshoi has been around a long time, she appeared as a rookie at Dreamslam II back in 1993, and her comedy chops are some of the finest in the world, but under all that distraction is a badass shoot stylist. Saree was growing into her role as the young Ace of Diana and promised fireworks as she opened proceedings before the bell rang with a dropkick. Going on the offensive she delivered a series of dropkicks only for Bolshoi to fend them off and lock in a Cross Arm Breaker that Saree screamed her way through as she struggled to find the ropes. Saree's dropkick attack continued on the break, delivering them with pinpoint accuracy which lead to German Suplex pin attempt.

On the rebound Bolshoi took control with strikes, and tried to slow the youngster, but a couple of T Bone Taz Plexes garnered a two count. Both were clearly trying to get the job done in ten minutes and get a pin for their team. Saree shouted her disappointment but was cut off on the top rope. They tussled up there until Bolshoi delivered a Yurinagi Suicideplex and went for the cover, again only getting a two, but the damage was done, a necklock made Saree tap. Bolshoi looked on in admiration at her fallen foe and awaited her opponent.

I would be Hikaru Shida, who opened proceedings from behind with a Kendo stick. Seeing her side back at even points she intended to get them ahead, by any means necessary. She also nearly got a three out of it too. However Bolshoi was not amused and slowed the pace with some chain wrestling immobilising the youngster with a Grovit. Shida turned that into a Suplex and started to dominate with running knee strikes. Trying for a Fireman's Carry, however the ever vigilant Bolshoi applied an Octopus hold and grounded the taller opponent.

Shida broke the hold on the ropes, but Shida got her edge back with the help of the Kendo stick. Bolshoi rolled through after one strike and hooked an Ankle Lock causing Shida more problems. The pace of the match had been breakneck, and Shida caught a 619 attempt with her cane. They were both waiting for mistakes which came to Shida, as Bolshoi dropped her guard and took a Bombaye Knee to the face.

Shida smiled in victory, but the smile dropped when she heard the music of Manami Toyota, as JR would say, business was about to pick up. So Shida cut it off with a cane shot to the head before the living legend got out of her robe or too the ring. Toyota looked at the youngster with disdain but was on the defensive. Shida went to the knees, highly influenced by Shinsuke Nakamura, she applied every knee attack she could muster.

On the ring apron, in the corner and on the floor. Going to the floor was probably a mistake against the woman who has broken more K Hall furniture than anyone else in the last thirty years. Toyota dragged her by the hair all over the building so everyone got a front row seat. Throwing her down the stairs between intermittent beatings, she tried for a move from the top rope to the floor, but Shida had her number and threw her ever present cane in her face. A slap to the face soon sorted her out though and the Japanese Flying Angel set about showing the reason how she got her name. Missile Dropkicks and a Moonsault garnered a two count, Shida went back to the cane, and delivered a top rope Frankensteiner to even the score. She missed the Bomaye knee though and suffered the indignity of Toyota's famed Oklahoma Roll. As Shida was dizzy and confused Toyota went for the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, but was denied, Shida hit a Michinoku Driver and was also denied, this was now getting down to big move on top of big move.

A regular Cyclone Suplex from Toyota got a two count, as did an Axe Kick, but the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex would seal the deal. It was back to all even. Next up would be Manami Katsu of JWP, who glared at Toyota upon introduction. They shook hands and it was on.

Katsu went in for fast hard strikes, all of these matches went on like they were late for a bus, but Toyota was to tough, to big and to strong. Katsu was defiant and screaming through the bout, she kept slapping, forearming and kicking away at Toyota, scoring big with a backbreaker. Katsu hit a series of Vader Bombs, but couldn't get a three on Toyota. Toyota seemed offended by her offence and yanked Katsu off the top rope by the hair, but missed her own moonsault. Katsu scored with a Samoan drop, but her momentum was stopped quickly enough. This was much more of a see saw bout.

With two heavier wrestlers it was bound to be, but an Axe Kick and a Queen Bee Bomb brought the veterans into the lead and Katsu was sent packing. Toyota waited.

Zero 1's Yuhi came out. Yuhi was a phenomenal wrestler, arguably the best young talent to ever come out of Zero 1's Dojo. She would be retired in less than two years through burnout, but in this match she would be a superstar. Taking the fight to Toyota from the get go with a hard hitting high risk offence. Toyota would get her chance to fly though and grounded Yuhi on to the K Hall mats. Back in the ring her trusty Missile Dropkick was there to finish off Yuhi, but she would not stay down. Yuhi was smart to Toyota's attacks and delivered a perfect Asai Moonsault to the floor. A Springboard Missile Dropkick and a series of elbows brought a two count, but then in a stunning series of reversals, kicks and counters, Yuhi's leg was caught by Toyota, she pulled back and rolled her into a small package for a three count. This would be the biggest pinfall of her career at that point and she looked exultant, but her night wasn't over as Toyota swore at her bad luck the music of Takako Inoue hit and one of the baddest heels in pro wrestling made her entrance.

Wasting no time, she delivered a knee to the head, while Yuhi had a face that said "why me?". Inoue threw her young opponent around, Hair Mares and Yakuza kicks being the order of the day. Yuhi fought back valiantly, but she got trapped in a STF and Inoue dragged her long nails up her legs for added insult. Inoue doubled down on the attacks hitting a DDT before Yuhi showed any signs of life. Eventually though Yuhi managed to get something going, her kicks hitting the mark. Inoue just smiled at her and kept up her onslaught.

At a loss, Yuhi threw everything she could at the veteran, who kept on coming. A Back Drop Driver gained a two, but a top rope attack was missed and the momentum went back to Yuhi, who missed her own Moonsault. After another series of reversals, Yuhi managed to get Inoue into a O'Connor Roll and got a three count out of nowhere. She had just pinned Joshi's greatest wrestler, and one of its greatest heels in less than ten minutes. She probably thought she'd earned a breather, as anyone would, but then the music hit and it was back to work, and in perhaps Yuhi's nightmare scenario it was Dynamite Kansai. Who was big, mean and pissed.

One of the hardest kickers to ever lace boots had just seen her contemporaries beaten. The women who had put this sport on the map. The veterans were behind, she needed to come up big. The upstart would pay. Starting as she meant to go on, she struck a glance of disgust at Inoue for losing to a rookie, shrugged off her ring jacket, walked straight across the ring and began kicking the recovering Yuhi as hard as she could in the chest and Dynamite Kansai can kick very hard indeed. Yuhi was just after survival at this point, the story of the match became about how much she could sustain. A Back Drop Driver after a series of vicious kicks got the first two count, and the Tokyo fans were baying for Yuhi's blood. Kansai applied a Claw Hold, trying to drain Yuhi's will. She turned that into a Chokeslam. Everyone of Yuhi's attacks would end up in futility. She was grounded again with a Choke Hold.

When Yuhi got free she tried to get separation with aerial strikes, but Kansai just turned her inside out with a Lariat. It was over, one Big Splash Mountain, Kansai's Sit Out version of The Razor's Edge, was all that was needed, but Yuhi slipped out, caught a kick and rolled up Kansai for a three count. She looked liked she couldn't  believe it, she had just pinned her third legend in twenty minutes. Then the doom laden slow riff started, the guitar turning across an octave in minor thirds at full volume of gain. If Dynamite had been Yuhi's worst nightmare, this would be her Hell on Earth. Aja Kong had entered combat.

God made the Devil just for fun, so said her Jungle Theme, when he wanted the real thing he built Aja Kong. A waste basket in each hand, her oldest friends and rivals banished by a 21 year old, she was not going to take things lightly or well. Yuhi dead on her feet had punched the canvas in frustration when she heard the music now she cleared her head and waited to pick her spots on a woman twice her age, twice her size and with more experience than anyone in the building.

Yuhi got one shot in, she landed a German Suplex on the monster, a feat in itself, but a Brainbuster later and she was done. After towering performance like that though, she was a made woman. No shame in losing, and besides, Kong didn't want her, she wanted Kagetsu and ran down the aisle to get her as her music hit.  

She made the point of dragging her up the stairs to where Chigusa Nagayo, her new mentor was sat and stared her down as she beat Kagetsu to a pulp keeping her eye on the former Crush Gal and going about her job in a workmanlike fashion as if she had been beating girls up on the Korukean mats for twenty years. Which of course, she had.

Railings, chairs, anything that wasn't tied down was hurled at the young Sendai Girl until she was carried back to the ring and Back Drop Drivered with stunning velocity that brought a gasp from the crowd. If she was to be Meiko Satomura's hit woman it was a job she would relish. She didn't even wait to use her trash cans, Kagetsu was smashed in the head with one straight away, which was the usual set up for a Brainbuster on the flattened can. It was illegal of course but Aja didn't care. She came her to destroy, not to defeat. To teach Kagetsu, Yoshiko and all the rookies their place in the pecking order. Kagetsu was on the defensive for sure and pulled out a surprise German Suplex. But she would eat a Brainbuster and a Top Rope Back Elbow setting up Kagetsu for the Backfist.

She held Kagetsu and shouted at her face, Kagetsu spat at her, Kong looked angrier than I had seen her in a very long while, and began her rotation, but Kagetsu caught her arm, pulled out a small package and pinned the former WWWA an GAEA Champion in a stunning upset. Kagetsu refused to let go of the hold and didn't until Satomura ran down to ringside and kicked her protégé off of Kong. Her eyes filled with despair and disappointment she looked even angrier than Kong who she told to clear the ring. The veterans were one down now, and she had to get on with the match. Aja looked apologetic, but rolled out of the way. Satomura went to work.

Laying in stiff kicks, she overpowered Kagetsu, and looking to finish her quickly went for the frog splash, but missed, she was relentless though. Kagetsu managed to shift momentum and hit a Death Valley Bomb, but the fresh Satomura just got straight up and kicked her in the face. The kicks kept on coming, Kagetsu regained control with a Superplex and a Michinoku Driver variation and started to drive in strikes. A Death Valley Bomb only got her a two count though. The pair exchanged waist locks, then signature strikes from Satomura, a Pele Kick and a Forearm Lifter to bring her back on top.

A Mule Kick and another Lifter was followed up with a Death Valley Bomb, but that only brought forth a two count. Time for old faithful, a Sleeper. Kagetsu got to the ropes. It was a means to an end, pointing up at Nagayo she hooked in the DVB one more time and looking directly at her former mentor she got her three Kagetsu had been banished, but coming down the aisle was the final wrestler of this epic match. World Tiger Yoshiko.

They ran at each other, hitting hard strikes, this was as high stakes as Joshi got. Yoshiko pushed Satomura into the floor and the corner and got a Face Wash in on the Stardom monster. Satomura turned the tables and went to work with Yakuza Kicks, eschewing her usual grace for firepower. She then hit a DDT that was all impact. Yoshiko hit back with a Tilt A Whirl Backbreaker and her Senton series and slowed down the veteran with a Abdominal stretch. Satomura held on to get to the ropes, and applied an Abdominal Stretch of her own, on the top rope before suplexing Yoshiko back into the ring. A Forearm Uppercut lead to the Backflip Double Knees and then she hooked in an Arm Bar staring Nagayo down who was up in the rafters.

Yoshiko would comeback with battering forearms and a Lawn Blower, but would lose out to a determined Meiko. Yoshiko looked breathless and climbed the ropes for a finish, but missed the Senton. Incensed Satomura hit two Death Valley Bombs clean in a row, trying to finish the job, but came undone on number three. Yoshiko hit a heavy Lariat to gain momentum. Another got a two count, then a top rope Senton would give the win to the rookies. Takako Inoue and Commander Bolshoi came to commiserate with Meiko, as the rookies took their due, celebrating together a rare class photo of then young grapplers of Joshi. Then Yoshiko took the house mic, talking directly to Meiko and challenging her to a singles match.

Kagetsu, took her microphone, pointing out that while they were on the same page today, they were natural rivals. They got in each other's faces, but Yoshiko cleared out. Satomura went up the aisle to face her mentor. With Japan's daily newspapers present, Nagayo stood up took off her glasses and stared down Satomura. Kagetsu stood in the way before Satomura could do anything. Chigusa observed the situation and beckoned her new charge to leave. It was a story that would set up storylines not only in Sendai Girls, but also Stardom and Chigusa Nagayo's new company Marvellous.

The Sendai Girls Flash Tournament was a piece of breathtaking booking. It combined six offices, numerous freelancers and created dream match ups. More importantly it made wrestlers, it gave them a chance to be equals with the legends of the genre. For that reason alone it stands out of one of Meiko Satomura's greatest creations and set narrative of Sendai Girls for years to come. We shall look at those matches and the rise of her power in World Wonder Ring Stardom in the next episode of this series; The Meiko Satomura Story Pt. VII - Rock The Night Away.

Tags: Meiko Satomura, Joshi

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