We’ve another match from the “big pile of shows we’ve watched but not reviewed”, as we take a look at a match to crown a new 3CW Women’s champion.

Sammii Jayne had won the title in May 2018, but dropped the title as she wasn’t able to make any defences due to injury… so we have this match to crown a new champion, between a rookie and a veteran!

We’re from the Billingham Synthonia in Billingham, County Durham – with Tom Campbell and Jay Melrose (Primate) on commentary.

3CW Women’s Championship: Emi Sakura vs. Kanji
Since this match, Kanji’s gone on to become Defiant’s Womens champion, but this was only Kanji’s second match in 3CW, having lost to Little Miss Roxxy in her debut in July.

It’s one of those outings where the crowd in Billingham were unfamiliar with both wrestlers, so we’ve an uphill battle from the off. From the opening tie-up, Sakura took Kanji into the ropes and playfully slapped her… only to get a receipt moments later. Kanji tries for shoulder tackles next, but she can’t budge Sakura, so they squared off as Emi busted out some Mongolian chops before she flung Kanji across the ring by her pigtails.

Sakura’s acting like a naughty child with the referee, releasing then grabbing the pigtails before she blasted Kanji with a dropkick. Chops follow by the ropes, but Kanji manages to trip Emi and follow up with a step-up legdrop for a near-fall. Sakura responds with another big chop before a crossbody into the corner sent Kanji to the mat ahead of a Romero special.

Sakura increases the pressure as she bent Kanji on herself while upside down before, as Tom Campbell eloquently put it on commentary “hoyed her into the air”. That sparked a bit of a fightback as Kanji threw forearms, then a roundhouse kick as she caught Sakura unawares, following up with a nice tornado DDT for another near-fall. Out of nowhere, Sakura catches Kanji with a Cross Rhodes, before she unceremoniously dumped Kanji to the apron… but the rookie fights back with a slingshot spear through the ropes for a near-fall! A springboard forearm’s next from Kanji, before Sakura ducked an uppercut and turned it into a clumsy backslide, then a butterfly backbreaker as the tide turned in her favour once more.

A second, delayed butterfly backbreaker followed, but Kanji’s just about able to kick out, only for Sakura to hold her in a modified cobra clutch – a la a delayed Sister Abigail. Kanji eventually elbows free, before she’s met with that Sister Abigail-like swinging STO, as a Boston crab came next… then another crossbody into the corner, as Kanji was left prone. Some more chops take Kanji down after Sakura’d pulled her up, which prompts another fight back from the newcomer, who throws some forearms and body blows before she pulled Sakura into the turnbuckles with some headscissors. A flying double stomp catches Emi, as does a running boot into the corner, before Sakura headed up top for a moonsault.

Except Kanji crashes and burned, allowing Sakura to hit a Tiger Bomb for a near-fall. EH?! Undeterred though, Sakura heads up top and hits a 450 splash?! What the actual hell?! That’s enough for Sakura to get the win, after a match that blew away all expectations I had for it. Not a “match of the year” contender or anything like that, but this was easily the best match in Kanji’s young career. Any chance of a rematch?? ***¼

Since this match, Sakura’s gone on to defend the belt twice in Japan – of course, successfully – for the Gatoh Move promotion, which should give the belt a little more prestige ahead of it’s eventual return to the UK for her first defence in 3CW later this year.