With Tokyo Joshi joining DDT in having shows cancelled by the coronavirus scare, they decided to give us a wee treat in its place. A one-day tournament that aired live from the Dojo with the winner receiving dinner coupons for Genghis Khan Kirishima, hence the convoluted name. It was taking place under what I shall refer to as snappy rules which were as follows:
- Two count falls for the first three rounds with five minute time limits and janken tie-breakers.
- Three count falls for the semi-finals with five minute time limits and one count fall tie-breakers.
- Three count fall for the final with a ten minute time limit and a one count fall tie-breaker.
Thanks, as always, to ddtpro_eng on Twitter for all the translations.
The wrestlers were all introduced at the start of the show and, OH MY GOD, KAMIYU BROUGHT ZAC! It’s already the show of the year. What was I going to say? Fuck knows, there was a dog in the building and that was much more important.
Maki Itoh defeated Suzume in the First Round
Poor Maki went for the Cutest Punches only to have no-one there to tell her that she is, indeed, the cutest wrestler in the world. As she hopelessly yelled into the void, receiving no love back, she had no choice but to break down into tears, leaving Suzume a bit baffled as to what to do next. She eventually decided that hitting Itoh was her best bet, which seemed fair, there is a free meal on the line after all.
That was the cherry on top of a fun little opener. The two-count rule brought a sense of danger to the match as Suzume went for pin after pin, attempting to steal away with the win. Under normal rules, you wouldn’t buy those as potential finishes, but with the tournament set-up the way it is, any move could be the end.
The actual finish came from an Itoh DDT, as she she survived the horror of not receiving instant gratification and trundled onward.
Rika Tatsumi defeated Pom Harajuku in the First Round
Itoh had a quick chat with Shota and Koda (who are on commentary) post-match, and by the time she was done Pom and Rika were already in the ring, so this show is going to nip along at a fair old pace.
It was a pace that these two kept up, Rika attacking Pom’s legs and receiving a few shin kicks in return. Again, the two-count rule played a key part, with Tatsumi feeling like the dominant force, but Pom always having the ability to roll her up and escape with the win. By the way, if you haven’t seen Pom’s match with Miyu from a couple of shows back, go out of your way to do so, it’s great.
In the end, the favourite would be victorious once more, Rika hitting a Twist of Fate to get the win. That was another match that slots nicely into the whole load of fun category, and this show is already proving to be an incredibly easy watch.
Verdict: Survive The Roll-Ups
Hyper Misao defeated Miari Maiumi in the First Round
PaMi recently had her fifth wrestling anniversary, making this match a chance to celebrate. It was a chance that she grasped with both hands.
Although, things didn’t start great for Misao, as Mirai’s strength looked like it might be too big a mountain to climb. Thankfully, being a hero, she had the kind of plan that only the great and good could come up with. Mainly, blinding Mirai and the ref with something from a spray can, introducing a doll in a cape to the ring, convincing a blinded Mirai that the doll was Misao and then when Mirai thought she’d beaten it, rolling her up for the two. Couldn’t be easier.
You can say many a thing about PaMi, but you can never doubt her ability to come up with a genius scheme. That’s what makes her a hero!
Verdict: She’s A Hero!
Miu Watanabe defeated Haruna Neko in the First Round
Miu catching Haruna in mid-air and dropping her down into a Giant Swing which she counted herself to make up for the lack of fans was brilliant wee hoss energy. Her going to commentary and not understanding the question Shota asked was brilliant Miu energy.
Outside of that, this was a pretty straightforward few minutes that was enjoyable but didn’t do anything particularly exciting. Miu is always brilliant, though, so watch it for that alone. Plus, it was like two minutes long, why the fuck would you skip anything on this show?
Verdict: Hoss Energy!
Nodoka Tenma defeated Mizuki in the First Round
What a match! They almost split this into two parts, the first being a frantic sprint where Nodoka’s strength clashed with Mizuki’s speed. The two of them bounced around the ring, working at a remarkable pace as Tenma’s power won out when Mizuki couldn’t get her up for a slam and ate one herself.
It was a move that forced Mizuki to change tact, as she slipped out of the ring and began showing her devilish side by mocking Tenma for putting on weight. That led to Nodoka giving chase, Mizuki scampering under and around the ring which (thanks to its close proximity to the wall) ended up with poor Tenma getting stuck.
Thankfully, she eventually freed herself, sneaking up on a gloating Mizuki and kicking off a final sequence off flash pins in which she came out on top. In under five minutes, these two put together a perfect little story with Mizuki bullying Tenma and ending up eating her words. Then, post-match Nodoka got to make it clear that Mizuki didn’t bother her, proclaiming she didn’t care about the tournament, only the food vouchers. That’s the kind of motivation I can get behind.
Verdict: Brilliant Stuff!
Natsumi Maki defeated Sena Shiori
Natsumi seemed to relish having a rookie to beat-up, wrestling with a massive smile on her face as she made quick work of the youngster and played to the camera throughout. At one point, she even forced poor Sena to answer a question while Natsupoi’s foot was in her face, which felt a bit cruel.
It was a fun squash, but light on content as Natsumi got a straightforward victory. In the post-match, she revealed that she loves Genghis Khan (I assume the restaurant rather than the Mongol leader), so she’s got an added motivation to win this thing.
Verdict: Squash For All!
Yuna Manase defeated Raku by janken in the First Round
Holy shit, this was amazing. Raku started the match by deciding to have a nap, a move which baffled Manase. The Up Up Girl was merely showing off her new streetwise skills, though, as it was really an attempt to lure Yuna in and roll her up.
Manase would survive that, getting revenge by stealing the Goodnight Express. That turned out to be a bad idea as Raku turned around and did it back, making sure to keep running those ropes and over Yuna’s body for as long as possible and, according to ddtpro_eng, setting a record for the longest one yet.
That was the turning point in the match, as Yuna decided she’d had enough of this. From there on, she was more aggressive, tossing Raku across the ring by her hair and grinding her hand into the top rope. It was a bullying performance, as she looked to dish out some lessons.
However, we’ve seen a new Raku recently, and that was once again on display. She’s become all heart, and she took her beating, refusing to die before flying back into the action. As the five-minute time limit ran out, she was turning the tide in her favour, and it was only a cruel twist of fate that saw Yuna’s rock crush her scissors (janken is Rock, Paper, Scissors for those unaware) and put her out of the tournament.
Again, this was a brilliant piece of storytelling condensed into a five-minute match. They got some comedy in there, a bullying performance from Manase and it continued the story of Raku finding the heart she needs to pick up victories. If you believe that wrestling matches need to go long to be good, then I beg you to watch this because it gave you everything in no time at all.
Verdict: Raku For Wrestler Of The Year
Miyu Yamashita defeated Mahiro Kiryu in the First Round
On paper, this would look to be a slam dunk for Yamashita, but Kiryu beat her in a two-count match just a couple of weeks ago. On top of that, Miyu is famously awful in tournaments.
That knowledge must have been ringing in her ears as she came flying out of the gates, trying to connect with one of those vicious kicks straight away. It left Kiryu scrambling for a second, but she managed to recover, locking on a Crab by forcing Miyu’s shoulders to the mat and using the momentum of her kicking out to twist her over.
Yamashita was in a mood where she would not be denied, though. One kick to the back and a second to the front was all it needed. She’d got her revenge, made it through the first round of a tournament and had a wee dance to celebrate as they played her old theme, the fittingly named ‘Genghis Khan’.
Verdict: Miyu Is On The Warpath!
Shoko Nakajima defeated Maki Itoh in the Second Round
In a clear sign that Maki is growing as a person, she answered her own question in this match, even going as far as putting on a surprisingly deep voice before punching Shoko repeatedly.
We also got plenty of the always brilliant (and slightly ludicrous) conceit that Itoh-chan has a really hard head. Nakajima’s 619 proved to be completely ineffective and actually hurt her more than it did the recipient. It kind of goes to show that if you’re going to have anything in wrestling, a solid noggin is probably the thing to choose. A lot of moves revolve around either hitting it or dropping you on it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to sway this match in Itoh’s direction, as Shoko still had a trick or two up her sleeve. As Itoh twisted her legs into position for a submission, Nakajima did some twisting of her own and bundled the cutest wrestler in the world into a roll-up, claiming the victory for her own. That was another delightful match, and I can’t get over how fun this tournament has been so far.
Verdict: Show Of The Year!
Hyper Misao defeated Yuki Kamifuku (and Zac) in the Second Round
I used the last match to proclaim this the show of the year, but Zac and Kamiyu are in the ring now, and it has somehow got even better. Suzume drew the lucky straw, as she was placed on Zac duty and looked after him at ringside while Mum took on everyone’s favourite superhero.
Zac would end up playing a pivotal role in the match, providing emotional support to Kamiyu and even showing that he’s picked up her eye-poking skills. I mean, if you haven’t read that and already rushed to watch this show I’m not sure I can help you. There was a dog, involved in the wrestling match and not in a Kennel Of Hell way either. To make it even better, he seemed entirely nonplussed about the entire experience, as apparently taking part in wrestling matches is just a normal part of his day to day life.
Sadly, he’d also end up being his Mum’s downfall as she went for a hug at the wrong moment and Misao rolled her up for the three. Still, there was a dog there, and everyone got to give him cuddles, so I think they all won.
Mina Shirakawa defeated Nodoka Tenma in the Second Round
The camera zoomed in on Tenma looking fired up and whispering ‘Genghis Khan’ during her introduction as she continues to be the absolute best.
Unfortunately, that heel Shirakawa was here to ruin Nodoka’s dream of a free meal. Tenma was clearly struggling after chasing Mizuki around the building and collapsed when Mina made her run the ropes early on.
It was a moment which set-up the idea that Nodoka was a step behind the whole way, crashing onto Mina’s knees with a Splash and never quite managing to get control. In the end, Shirakawa would bundle her up in a pin, ripping away the thing she wanted most in the world. How could you, Mina? How could you?
Hikari Noa defeated Yuna Manase in the Second Round
Having already had fun bullying one Up Up Girl, Manase was only too happy to add a second to her list. The early going of this match saw her out-power Hikari, bulldozing through her with multiple shoulder blocks and looking like she was going to breeze to victory.
Like Raku, though, Noa was out there to prove that she’s made of sterner stuff than most. She took her beating, and when the opportunity arose, she struck, taking Manase off her feet with a Lariat. From there, she tangled Yuna’s legs up, rolled her into a pin and stole away with the win.
This almost worked as the second part of the Raku match. Raku went the distance with Yuna wearing her down and opening her up to Noa sneaking away with the win (something that Hikari drew attention to in her post-match interview). It was a lovely piece of match to match storytelling and worked to perfection.
Verdict: Up Up Girls Win!
Yuki Aino defeated Miyu Yamashita in the Second Round
What were we saying about Miyu being shite in tournaments?
Although, it feels harsh to say Miyu fucked up here because that wasn’t the case. Instead, Aino pulled a blinder. She went out and matched Miyu, never letting her control the action whether that be on the mat or on their feet. She would go hold for hold with her, take the one kick she managed to get away and hit a Gutwrench Suplex to get the win.
In a lot of ways, this match showed the genius of the two-count stipulation. Someone like Miyu can go out and lose to Aino, taking a fall and not being any worse off for it. However, that doesn’t stop it being a wee boost for Aino. Two-count or not, she’s got a pinfall over the Mega Champ, and that’s something you can hang your hat on.
Verdict: Miyu Crashed Out… Again
Shoko Nakajima defeated Rika Tatsumi in the Quarter Finals
Damn, these two fucking went for it. With the five-minute time limit, every match could realistically be called a sprint, but this was a proper sprint, with Rika and Shoko throwing everything they had at each other. We even got our first dive of the evening, Shoko flying to the outside.
There was almost too much action to keep up with, but Rika went after Shoko’s leg, trying to get the win that way. Nakajima was able to power through, though, slapping the limb back into commission. It was a genuinely fantastic performance from both wrestlers and a joy to watch.
Unfortunately, it came down to the lottery of a pen, wait no, janken shoot-out. You could cut the tension with a knife, but Rika went stone and Shoko paper, so this was over (even if Tatsumi did cheekily try and change her throw to scissors at the last second). This show is so fucking good!
Miu Watanabe defeated Hyper Misao in the Quarter Finals
Hyper Misao has used a dog and a doll to hero her way to victory before this match, but could she find a way to overcome the wee hoss? No, no, she could not.
In fact, poor Misao got swung around so fast that her mask flew off, proving that Watanabe is the greatest hoss in the world. Has Cesaro ever done that? I don’t think so.
Misao would almost use the mask catastrophe to get the win, rolling up a distracted Watanabe, but it was one ploy too far. She was hoisted up into the air and dropped straight back down to send her home.
Verdict: It’s Spinning Time!
Mina Shirakawa defeated Natsumi Maki in the Quarter Final
Natsupoi was such a prick in the early stages of this match. As they grappled, she was playing to the camera, showing off to those watching at home. She looked like someone who presumed she had this in the bag.
It was a presumption that Mina would disprove quite dramatically. Shirakawa didn’t survive in this match. She matched Maki, proving once again (having done the same against Miyu) to be more than capable of holding her ground on the mat and on her feet, ramping this up and turning it into a fight.
It did look like Natsumi was moving towards victory at the end, hitting a Running Neckbreaker and pulling Mina up for something more. However, the time ran out and, despite claiming she’d never won a game before, Shirakawa pulled out the janken triumph. Lovely stuff.
Verdict: That’s What You Get For Being Cocky
Yuki Aino defeated Hikari Noa in the Quarter Finals
I’m running out of ways to tell you how enjoyable this show is. For the second time, Hikari faced someone more powerful than her and had to try and find a way to technique her way around the obstacle. Once again, she looked to do so with the help of a flash pin, this time trying to disorientate Aino with a Rolling Cradle.
Sadly, Aino hadn’t had Raku out there chopping her down (she had the much easier Miyu to get through) and what worked against Yuka, fell short here. When Noa tried to transition from an Abdominal Stretch to a Lariat, Aino slipped underneath her arm and dropped her with a Reverse DDT.
That was probably one of the less memorable matches of the tournament, but it was still fun. Plus, even when these aren’t hitting, they’re so short that it doesn’t make a difference.
Verdict: Solid Stuff
I love that Shota and Koda have a bracket on a piece of cardboard that they’re filling in with a marker between the matches.
Shoko Nakajima defeated Miu Watanabe in the Semi-Finals
Shoko has brought, for lack of a better word, the work rate element to this tournament. I’m not sure she ever stood still during her matches, with the only moments where she wasn’t moving being the ones where she was bumping.
Miu was right there with her, playing that wee hoss role to perfection. Against someone like Shoko, who she can pick up and spin around, she comes across as a total badass, but she’s also quick enough to keep up with her, working the same pace.
They weren’t able to get the job done in normal time, so we went to overtime which is now contested under one-second fall rules. That somehow led to things getting even more frantic, as they both flew into pins at every opportunity, but it was Nakajima that got the three, slipping away with the win before going off to have a well-earned rest before the final.
Verdict: Kaiju Sprint!
Yuki Aino defeated Mina Shirakawa in the Semi Finals
Mina has been great recently. I’m not sure if she’s always been this good and I didn’t notice or if there has been some rapid improvement, but it’s lovely to see. She’s got personality, so when she’s putting it together in the ring, she’s a lot of fun.
Shirakawa clearly had a plan coming into this match too, going after Aino’s arm and repeatedly attempting that Cross Armbreaker. Time after time it would look like she was going to cinch it on, only for Yuki to drag herself to the ropes or power out defiantly.
And, in the end, that determination to stick to the plan backfired on her. Three times she went for the Spinning Backfist, and three times Aino avoided it. The third was the killer, as Aino saw it coming and struck in retaliation, setting herself up for the Reverse DDT and booking herself a spot in the final.
Verdict: The Plan Works Until It Doesn’t
We got some backstage comments from everyone who lost, which featured more Zac, so I was happy. You know where you can find all the translations by now, although Miyu did attempt to speak in English blessing us with the beautiful phrase: ‘thank you, world guy’. Still better than my Japanese.
Shoko Nakajima defeated Yuki Aino in the Final
I know the matches have been short, but these two had worked a lot by this point, and the peaks and troughs in adrenaline must have been tough to deal with. Taking that into account, it would have been impressive for them to put on a decent match, so the fact we got a good one was remarkable.
Shoko kept up the pace she’d been working all tournament, looking to overwhelm Aino with her offence. As had been the case all day, though, Aino seemed to find the big moves at the right moments. She reversed the 619 into a Gutwrench Suplex and hit the Bulldog that she uses to set up the Reverse DDT.
However, Nakajima had other plans, as her desire for that sweet free meal pushing her on. She slipped out of the DDT, hitting a Northern Light Suplex, but proving unable to bridge. Still, while that didn’t get the win, the big Senton that followed did, and Shoko’s going to dinner.
Verdict: Victory For The Kaiju!
In the post-match, Shoko pointed out that Yuki worked really hard, convincing Koda to go into his own pocket and pay for her to get a meal too. Of course, that annoyed everyone else, leading to a near riot.
Thankfully, locker room leader Miyu was on-hand to calm things down, pointing out that if they all had a dance Koda would obviously buy them dinner. I’m not quite sure where the logic is in that theory, but Miyu’s never claimed to be smart, and there was no better way for this show to finish than with the roster having a boogie in the ring. Perfection.
Well, that’s my show of the year, and I’ll be shocked if something beats it. Have there been better matches? Of course (although a few of these made the old notebook), but nothing was as unrelentingly joyous as the two and a half hours that this covered. I’ve spoken before about how much I love watching Tokyo Joshi do their thing, and there is a real misfit family vibe that it’s remarkably easy to fall in love with. More of this please, I adored every second.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw
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