Okay, even by DDT/TJPW standards, that name is unusual. I’m assuming it’s something that doesn’t translate properly? It’s quite the mouthful either way.
Our pre-match announcements included a new match for January 4th, Thunder Rosa vs Mizuki, and the news that TJPW’s YouTube channel is being reopened. Click here to subscribe and then click here if you want to get your translations from DDT English on Twitter.
Hikari Noa defeated Suzume
These two went out and worked a very technical match-up, battling between holds for the majority of it. It wasn’t perfect, there were a couple of moments where they lost track of each other for a second or two, but I couldn’t help respecting it. That’s a hard style to make interesting and they, for the most part, succeeded. Considering how inexperienced they are, that deserves a round of applause.
And I think that’s where a lot of the pleasure in this match came from. It was two young wrestlers trying shit out and pushing each other. That ambition makes it a lot easier to forgive its flaws.
Verdict: Three Stars
Maki Itoh defeated Haruna Neko
By the way, the ‘gimmick’ on this show is that everyone challenging for a singles title on January 4th has a match. You could have probably figured that out yourself, but I like to be kind.
Itoh was in a bullying mood, tripping Neko as she ran the ropes before very rudely biting her tail. Unfortunately, she was also required to dominate, and I’m not sure that’s her strength. There were moments where she didn’t seem entirely sure what to do next, wandering around the ring before hitting another slam. You can away with a lot thanks to charisma (and Itoh certainly has that), but she’s a lot better fighting from underneath.
Still, Neko looked alright in the short spurts she got, and it wasn’t like it was a shite match, just a bit disjointed and dull.
Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars
Mina Shirawaka and Yuki Kamifuku defeated Mizuki and Pom Harajuku
Pom was ridiculously excited to kick things off which caused Kamiyu to try and temper said excitement by slagging off Harajuku. Unfortunately, she ended up offending Mina more than Pom.
It was an opening which set the tone as this went heavy on the comedy. That’s a style that Tokyo Joshi does brilliantly, leaning on character over action and always proving a delight to watch. People like Pom aren’t the best wrestlers, but the enthusiasm they bring to the ring is hard to hate.
Plus, the action isn’t horrible. When these four moved towards serious wrestling, they put together a fun little back and forth that more than held my attention. From start to finish I had a smile on my face, and what more can you ask for than that?
Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars
Miyu Yamashita defeated Mahiro Kiryu
Poor Kiryu was sent out to die for our sins in singles action against the Ace. All she could hope was that her death would be swift and painless. Nah, only kidding, it was never going to be painless.
This was all about making Yamashita look like a badass (which isn’t particularly hard), but Kiryu looked good taking her beating. She sold her ass off for Miyu’s elbows, wavering back before collapsing under the weight of them. More importantly, though, she kept getting back up. Now, that did mean she got hit some more, but you’ve still got to respect it.
There wasn’t much to this squash, but Yamashita’s awesome, so I’m always happy to watch her beat people up.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Yuka Sakazaki defeated Raku
Yuka made the mistake of refusing Raku’s handshake which unleashed the Up Up Girl’s wrath. A chop to the head sent her on the offensive and had the champ running around the arena, desperate to escape her brutal assault.
After that, they built this match around Sakazaki trying to figure out Raku’s unique attack. She had a rough time attempting to take control, only managing when she turned the screw and got mean. Even then, Raku refused to go down easily. Right till the end she valiantly fought on, clinging to Sakazaki’s leg in an attempt to stop her going for the Magical Girl Splash. It was in vain, but this was another good performance from the rookie.
Verdict: Three Stars
Having had her first gift rejected by Sakazaki (she bought crunchy bean paste rather than smooth), Yamashita was back for attempt number two. Today, she had cookies for Yuka, but not any cookies, crumbly cookies. Apparently, those are Sakazaki’s favourites and this time she was forced to accept the gift which, apparently, makes the title match official. Is that a Tokyo Joshi thing I’ve missed? Or is this purely a Miyu and Yuka thing?
Sakisama defeated Misao
If you want to read more about Misao’s backstory and what led us here, check out DDT English’s Twitter thread.
Misao came to the ring as Misao and bowed down before Sakisama pre-match. Then, Sakisama proceeded to dominate her. Those brutal kicks came flying in, and Misao was pushed onto the defensive.
Until she turned back time. As the match went on, she began to dig back into the Hyper Misao play book, screaming her way through a brace of kicks before flying from the top with a shout of ‘I am a hero’.
Unfortunately, it was a moment that left her conflicted, and Sakisama had no problem taking advantage of her hesitation. An Academy Award removed Misao’s head, and was as definitive an end to the action as you’ll see.
While I don’t think you could call this a great match, it was built on great characters. I’m loving this ever-evolving story and that’s as someone who has parachuted in halfway through.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Post-match, Sakisama declared that she no longer cared about Misao, returning her mask to her. Misao replied by cutting an emotional promo, declaring that she wanted to be like Sakisama, but learnt that her strength comes from her being herself. She will be going it alone going forward, leaving Sakisama with a kick to the gut and the message that she’s the one who protects love and peace in Tokyo Joshi.
BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma and Yuki Aino) and Yuna Manase defeated Rika Tatsumi, Miu Watanabe and Mirai Maiumi
Our main event was all about building to the tag title match on January 4th as the challengers come out on top. Judging by this, we could be in for a great performance as there was chemistry all over the place.
And it’s one of those matches that pop up now and then which I find difficult to review. It was good, no bells, no whistles, just six wrestlers who went out and entertained. The problem is that it’s much harder to wax lyrical about something you enjoyed than something you disliked. I guess you’ll have to watch it and see if you can find the words to describe it.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
The Sisters post-match promo included Nodoka comparing going after titles to trying to hold in a pee, much to the dismay of Yuki. They also, in a rather lovely move, insisted Manase get back into the ring after she’d tried to leave them to it. I love shit like that. Wrestlers acting like real friends is great. Anyway, I got the impression it was a very rambling promo, but they seemed to deliver it with their own unique flair, so you’ve got to love them for that.
I’ve said this about the last couple of Tokyo Joshi shows, but they are a delight to watch. It’s a perfect example of how broken the Meltzerisation of wrestling reviews is. I know I use star ratings, but it’s a system that prioritises certain aspects over others, and Tokyo Joshi delights me in ways that it traditionally doesn’t reward. Anyway, down that path rambling lies. It was a very enjoyable show, so watch it.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw