JAM-MIA: Jamilia Craft and Mia Yim
All photos by David Falcon in high resolution
TAPE 39: Mia Yim/Jamilia Craft v Daizee Haze/Tomoka Nakagawa
Mia Yim reverses arm hold on Daizee Haze
Among the stellar attributes of the SHIMMER concept team is the way they build a taping – like a great band arranges an album or a concert – each song experience builds on or dialogues with the preceding one. Such was the case on Sunday, March 27, at the Berwyn Eagles Club just west of
. The diminutive and deadly heel combination of Daizee Haze and Tomoka Nakagawa, an experienced team, took on young but talented East Coast team of Jamilia Craft and Mia Yim. Chicago
Mia Yim whips Daizee into the ropes
Haze and Nakagawa came out first in their green/yellow/ black gear that has a Rastafarian echo. The crowd booed lustily at their bad-to-the-bone attitude. Then the music changed and the bouncy duo of Yim and Craft arrived on the scene – Jamilia in her trademarked black pants and top with turquoise and purple fringe accents – Mia wore her turquoise top, name-emblazoned white booty shorts and white kick pads (both with turquoise accents), and her black kneepads. The crowd pops for the youngsters. After the ref checks the combatants’ gear, the bell rings to begin the match.
Mia unloads a double-missle drop kick on Haze and Nakagawa
Jamilia and Daizee square off, circling each other warily, with Mia and Tomoka outside the ropes on opposite corners. Then teacher (Haze) and student (Craft) lock up. Haze has the upper hand initially, but Craft recovers and attempts a sunset flip. Jamilia now has control of Daizee's arm. She pulls Haze into the corner and tags Mia. Yim steps through the ropes and wrenches Haze’s arm, twisting it like a corkscrew. Daizee cuts her off with a shot to the stomach that stuns Yim long enough for Haze to tag Nakagawa. Tomoka charges at Yim, but Mia sidesteps her, and Craft hits Nakagawa with a forearm in the corner. Tomoka then turns right into Yim's crisp arm drag. Mia keeps hold of the arm, pulls Nakagawa into the corner and tags Jamilia. They step into a double team move: Yim gives the Joshi heel a snapmare and stiff kick between the shoulder blades -- Craft hits the ropes into a front missle drop kick. Craft then takes command of Nakagawa, but the sly Japanese heel pokes Craft in the eyes (right through the holes of her mask) to take control.
Mia charges DaizeeNakagawa tags Haze who comes barnstorming in and starts to beat up Jamilia. Haze goes for a body slam, but Craft slips from her grip, sneaks behind, and tags Yim. Mia now charges Daizee, Haze kicks her, then hits the ropes to unleash a yakuza kick, but Yim skips back and gives Haze a roundhouse kick instead. Mia then focuses on Haze’s arm, ringing it out like a soaked beach towel. Eventually she tags Jamilia and they set up a double-team move: Yim whips Haze off the ropes, Craft gives her a drop toe hold, Mia hits ropes for elbow, but Nakagawa trips her before she can execute the move.
Nakagawa rolls Mia up for a school boy pin 1..2.. only 2!Haze and Nakagawa beat up Craft for an extended time; eventually they double whip her against the ropes, but Craft hits a double cross body block, bowling both heels over, then she reaches for Yim and makes the tag. Mia barrels in with a whip clothesline for Nakagawa and a sharp elbow for Haze; she then drop kicks Nakagawa for good measure. While Daizee checks on her partner’s status, Mia hits a neck breaker on the blonde waif, which inadvertently makes Haze give Nakagawa a DDT. Yim goes for pin on Nakagawa, but the joshi star kicks out. Haze then beats up on Yim and tries to throw her out of the ring, but Mia reverses the move and throws Haze out.
Nakagawa and Yim trade forearm smashesNakagawa goes for school boy pin on Mia but she kicks out. The two stand in the middle of the ring and trade half a dozen forearms, each on the chin of the other – screaming with each delivery like Serena Williams pounding a groundstroke – Yim finally goes for her kick-me-goodnight finisher, but Nakagawa catches her leg and turns it into a textbook fisherman's suplex for the cover, 1 . . . 2 . . . and 3! The crowd erupts out of their seats – half cheering the match, half booing the villains who were victorious over the promising young beauties from the Mid-Atlantic region.
Nakagawa exultant after her fisherman's suplex finish on Mia Yim
It was a great learning experience for Mia Yim and Jamilia Craft to tangle with deeply experienced, clever rule-breakers like the international tag-team of Daizee Haze and Tomoka Nakagawa. It was also a very big stage for Mia and Jamilia to have an eight-minute match – in prime time, as it were, with the best female wrestling fans midway through the Sunday afternoon card (Tape 39). It was the first time Mia or Jamilia had wrestled a bona fide Joshi Puroresu star – and Nakagawa is certainly that – a great talent! After the match the great Tomoka affirmed that Mia Yim was “very good” as a wrestler, giving her big smile and the thumbs-up sign! Tomoka was most impressed by how stiff Mia’s strikes were – with both kicks and punches – and she praised her movement and thinking in the ring. Jamilia looked equally strong and competent in the ring; she executed all her moves extremely well. It was a breakout match for two young wrestlers with big dreams. They got to take on two of the most experienced and respected stars and teachers in independent wrestling both here and in
, and they gave the crowd a great match. It was what a fine wrestling match should be – a paradoxical mix between a ballet and the football line of scrimmage. It was fluid and stiff, acrobatic and wild, strategic and passionate. As Joey Eastman says, “Welcome to SHIMMER!” – welcome to big-time women’s wrestling, girls! You’re a long way from the Philly Main Line and the Ring Road of D.C.; you’re in Japan where you learn to bump or you’ll be singin’ the blues. Chicago