GAMI swats at Sawako
GAMI has been a comic heel ever since she shortened her name, Mekiko Futagami, to simply GAMI. In the early days of ARSION she was one of the most feared wrestlers in the promotion. Later she seemed to lose her athletic edge or just wanted to explore the comic possibilities in wrestling. Unlike Shirota, GAMI does not wear many costumes or impersonate her opponents, but she does have exquisite comic timing and strong emotional intelligence. With her now stock props like the collapsable mimi-megaphone (used to smack opponents' heads), or her rope walking routine where she falls on her womanhood. All along she is conscious of the crowd's responses and anticipates the shocking or self-depricating moment and executes it with perfect timing.
One of the joys of Joshimania was seeing the iconic veteran work a 10:00+ minute match with a fresh young star. The quality of these matches has much to say about the Joshi Sorority and the professionalism of dedicated wrestlers, young and veteran, who understand the same style, appreciate the abilities each brings to the ring, and regularly plans and paces out these remarkable longer matches. The matches on night one were strong whether the women knew each other well (Uematsu v Toyota) or were working together less frequently, like GAMI and Shimono (though Shimono has trained under GAMI recently). The CHIKARA bookings were thoughtful and very successful -- it pays to listen carefully to your consultants and the guest wrestlers themselves.
All Photos by David Falcon
Rising star Sawako Shimono with two belts: JWP Jr. and POP
Match-of-the-Day: December 5
Competitors: GAMI v Sawako Shimono
Card: 2nd match, Night #1
Finisher: Diving Elbow Drop
Highlight: GAMI's comic playing to the crowd as well as Shimono's power and quickness.
Pitched battle in center of ring
. . . but it did not end well for GAMI
Shimono puts the choke on GAMI
GAMI drops the elbow
This looks painful!
GAMI's favorite weapon -- her elbow
Sawako with a mega seat drop!
GAMI's gonna lose her lunch . . .
Sawako is strong as a bull
Now an arm submission by Sawako
GAMI has a plan . . .
but it backfires!
The finishing elbow drop
"Your winner is . . . GAMI!"