After talking about doing so for forever, I have finally subscribed to DDT Universe. That means you can probably expect reviews of Tokyo Joshi Pro and DDT going forward, plus anything else that catches my eye. I’m going into these promotions with little to fuck all knowledge of how things stand, so don’t expect anything detailed to begin with, but we’ll get there eventually. If you’re a hardcore fan maybe leave it a few reviews because I’ll most likely annoy you at the beginning.
We got a song and dance routine before the show started which I’m always cool even if the music isn’t exactly to my taste.
Mirai Maiumi defeated Suzume
Maiumi and Suzume had a solid little opener especially as I presume (due to their position on the card and lack of Cagematch profiles) that they are both rookies. There was some nice technical wrestling before Maiumi hit a big Lariat for the three. It went for roughly five minutes, and there wasn’t anything there that will blow your mind as both wrestlers are blatantly green, but it was a nice way to kick off the card.
Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars
Himawari Unagi and YUMI defeated Pom Harajuku and Mahiro Kiryu
According to Cagematch, everyone in this match made their debut within the last year and, as this is Joshi, at least some of them will be teenagers (that’s not a criticism, I think kids doing wrestling is awesome as long as it’s done properly). Rookie or not, Unagi got a shitload of streamers which made more sense when @ddtpro_eng (which is where I’ll be getting any translations I need for this show) pointed out that she was the hometown girl.
Like the first match, everyone involved in this was green, but they were also a step or two further along in their development. Pom and Unagi, in particular, worked some nice sequences and showed a lot of personality as the match was built around them.
The home stretch saw Pom try and steal away the victory with a series of flash pins only to end up tapping to an Unagi Gory Special. This was another enjoyable match that more than made up for its occasional clunkiness by having some likeable wrestlers do some fun spots.
Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars
Miyu Yamashita and Miu Watanabe defeated Gisele Shaw and Yuki Kamifuki
As far as I can tell, Kamifuku and Shaw have never teamed together before, but they were nailing the mean girl heel thing pre-match. There was some natural chemistry there, that’s for certain.
These four started well as Shaw and Yamashita had a strong interaction before we got the amusing sight of Kamifuku being so flexible she was able to prevent Watanabe from grabbing both her legs by bending her one of them out of the way. However, that would prove to merely be the appetiser for what was to come.
For as this match went on these four women just got stiffer and stiffer. It started with Shaw chopping and kicking the fuck out of Watanabe and grew from there. Every kick suddenly sounded like a firecracker going off or, even better/worse depending on your taste, the dull thud of someone being smacked for real. There was also a fucking awesome looking German from Shaw who looked brilliant throughout.
Yamashita would eventually end up alone with Kamifuku and take the kicking fuck out of people thing to the next level, seemingly trying to remove her head before hitting an Attitude Adjustment for the win. This was a hell of a lot better than I expected for a match this low on the card and is well-worth going out of your way to see.
Verdict: Four Stars
Yuna Manase and BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma and Yuki Aino) defeated Natsumi Maki and Up Up Girls (Hikari Noa and Raku)
There was a moment in this match where Raku (I think) got her gear unintentionally stuck in the turnbuckle. I have never seen that before and, for a second, it caught everyone off-guard as they tried to figure out how to get her free. To be honest, it wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things, but it was unique.
And it was one of the more interesting moments from the first act. It took a while for this to get going, and it was only when Natsumi Maki and Yuna Manase got in the ring together that things stepped up. From there, everything seemed that little bit quicker, smoother and stiffer which climaxed in Manase getting the win over Maki via a crushing Lariat.
After the match, Manase would use her victory to challenge Maki for the International Princess Title which, judging by the minuscule sample size I have witnessed, could be a great match. As for this one, it picked up towards the end but was ultimately something pretty unremarkable.
Verdict: Three Stars
Su Yung defeated Maki Itoh
I know who these people are! That makes my life a lot easier when it comes to following along with the match because I’m shite with names and have spent most of the tags trying to remember who everyone was (and failing).
Poor Maki Itoh was terrified of Su Yung and, to be honest, I don’t blame her. I’ve been critical of her ability as a wrestler in the past, but you can’t fault her character work, and she is terrifying. Itoh’s attempts to essentially power through were worthy of the laughs they got.
It’s also possible Yung’s either improved or I haven’t seen her at her best because this was a decent match. They nailed a nice blend of comedy (both women did their fair bit of screaming much to the annoyance of the ref who momentarily had them team up to scream at him) and brawling action. There was a Spinning Sideslam on the apron from Yung that looked sore as hell and, when they weren’t making you laugh, the whole thing felt like a fight as they worked hard rather than fancy.
The finish came after Yung had misted Itoh and, while Maki slipped out of the first attempt into a choke, Su was able to hit a Spinning Samoan Driver for the three. Neither of these women are going to go down as super workers, but they nailed exactly what they were going for here and this was entertaining.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
NEO Biishiki-gun (Misao, Sakisama and Martha) defeated Yuka Sakazaki, Rika Tatsumi and Antonio Honda
Martha is dressed as a maid for reasons I am unsure of and started the match by performing arm wringer spots, with a mop, to Sakazaki, so we are in full-blown comedy mode here.
And comedy is the style of wrestling I struggle to review the most because the temptation is to give away the jokes and that’s no fun. Needless to say, it was funny. We got plenty of mop and rose-based antics, a thwarted Gon the Fox story and a sword fight among other things. It was a load of laughs, and that’s the barometer on which comedy should be rated.
Importantly, though, the wrestling around it was also good. In particular, Rika and Misao had a fantastic section, completely ditching the comedy for a while to beat the shit out of each other instead. It was only stopped by Honda’s second attempt to introduce us to Gon except according to DDT English it wasn’t Gon (let’s not pretend I had a clue what was going on at this point), it was Hamtaro instead. Whatever that reference was, it went over my head.
My wish to watch stuff like this is what has tempted me into subscribing to DDT Universe. It’s ludicrous and silly, but I love that shit, and while I suspect it will take me a bit to click into all the jokes, I still enjoyed this a lot.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Shoko Nakajima defeated Mizuki to retain the Princess of Princess Title
Nakajima kicked this match off by going after the neck of Mizuki, working holds to try and put some strain on it. In that section, there was some beautiful smooth wrestling as these two transitioned from one move to another brilliantly, never missing a beat.
Eventually, Mizuki went high risk to get back into the action, hitting a Crossbody through the ropes to knock Nakajima off the apron before following up with a leap from the top to the floor. She’d found her way back in, and from there, this became a fantastic back and forth contest, both women giving their all in an attempt to get the win.
In the end, it was Nakajima who came out on top, the neck she worked on early in the match coming back into play as she went back to twisting and hanging off it at every chance. Mizuki fought her hardest, powering Shoko over for a Suplex and hitting a Canadian Destroyer that was both fancy as hell and vicious-looking, but it wasn’t enough. A Double-Arm DDT spiked her on that hurt neck, and the Top Rope Senton was enough for the three.
That was a damn good main event. These two had great chemistry, working together brilliantly and crafting some beautiful sequences. If that’s the standard at the top of the card, I can’t wait to see more.
Verdict: Four Stars
In the midst of Nakajima’s post-match promo, Misao came down and set herself up as the next challenger which got Shoko all-heated, especially when Misao refused to shake her hand.
That was a damn fine introduction to Tokyo Joshi Pro. Going into a new promotion for the first time is always a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re stupid enough to review it at the same time. You spend a lot of time scrambling around trying to figure out who is who and get a grasp of long-running jokes or find out the names of moves. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up, especially when you don’t have English language commentators to see you through. However, I never once felt like doing that during this show. It was a breeze to watch packed with good wrestling and funny comedy. I shall be back.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw