Fresh off my favourite show of the year so far, Tokyo Joshi were back in the Dojo for another tournament. This time the roster was split into teams based on the colour of their attire, with wins earning two points, draws one and a loss none. The team with the most points at the end of the night would win themselves a day pass to a theme park, so that’s exciting. Will it be more hotly contested than the free meal? Time to find out.
We started with the wrestlers in the ring sitting in their teams before Shota ran down the card while they pulled fighting poses. Everything about that was delightful.
Maki Itoh (Team Red: 2) defeated Sena Shiori (Team Yellow: 0)
Itoh-chan once again found herself getting emotional at the lack of response to her cutest punches, but slapped herself back into action and proved that she only needed herself to agree. She also thought she’d won after a two-count, presumably working on the assumption this show was the same as the last.
It was Sena who impressed me in this one, though, as I think this was her best match so far. She had a great run of offence towards the end, the usual series of rookie roll-ups being expertly executed. It’s weird to think she only debuted two months ago, as she has quickly settled into her role at the bottom of the card, putting on strong performances against more experienced talent.
In the end, though, Maki would pick up the expected victory, hitting a DDT for the three and earning Team Red the first points of the tournament.
Verdict: That Rookie Is Going Places!
Rika Tatsumi (Team Yellow: 2) defeated Mina Shirakawa (Team Red: 2)
If points were granted for camaraderie, then the Red Team would be running away with this. They were all sat at ringside, cheering on Mina while Rika’s pals were nowhere to be seen.
Not that it seemed to bother Tatsumi. If anything, she was inspired by the boos, dragging Mina to ringside where she put her in a submission in front of her team. When you combine it with her asking the crowd to boo her when she faced Haruna at the recent Universe Members Show, you have to wonder whether there is a bit of evil inside Rika that is desperate to get out.
It wasn’t all the Tatsumi show, (although she would pick up the win), as Mina continued her recent hot streak with a strong showing. She seems to get better every time I see her, as she’s morphing into a well-rounded wrestler who can hold their own with anyone. She’d eat the Flying Hip Attack, but fingers crossed Tokyo Joshi are taking note of her impressive performances.
Verdict: Evil Rika Comes Out To Play
Natsumi Maki (Team Yellow: 4) defeated Mahiro Kiryu (Team Blue: 0)
The following observation has nothing to do with the match, but Kiryu’s gear looks super comfortable. It’s something I’ve thought for a while, and I don’t know if it’s the colour or what, but it just looks really soft. Sadly, I don’t think it would suit me.
What wasn’t soft was Natsupoi in this match. She showed off a bit of a prickish side during the last Dojo show, but she took it to extremes here. Right from the start, she was bending the rules, and we even saw her have a gnaw on Kiryu’s arm. It was all done with a smile, but Maki seems to have come out of her recent wars against Miyu with a new edge. Well, it’s either that or she’s just decided she likes bullying those further down the totem pole than her.
In the end, her rule-breaking proved effective as a tug on Kiryu’s hair set-up the win. Natsupoi then, rather brilliantly, claimed in her post-match interview that she’d already shown she was better than Mahiro because she’d beaten her in the Baka Queen Contest. To be clear, Mahiro only came last in that contest if proving to be the smartest is indeed coming last while Maki only won if proving to be the thickest is indeed winning.
Verdict: Dirty Maki Steals The Win
Hyper Misao (Blue: 2) defeated Miyu Yamashita (Team Red: 2) and Pom Harajuku (Team Yellow: 4)
Rather than attempt to explain the rules to this match, I’m just going to link to ddtpro_eng’s explanations on Twitter. If I wrote them out myself, I’d just be copying him verbatim, so why bother?
It also became clear that those rules were going to cause chaos. The random addition in each round lead to the wrestlers not having a clue what was going on, with poor Miyu looking particularly confused. She might be a wrestling genius, but she’s never claimed to be the brightest, and every time she hit a move she was staring around wide-eyed, not sure if she was going to have another point pulled away.
Of course, with Yamashita being Yamashita and this being a tournament, she lost, Pom rolling her up for the three. However, thanks to the point system, Pom’s celebrations were cut short as Misao had two to her one and despite being somewhat indisposed after Miyu kicked her head off, she was handed the victory.
If you’re a regular DDT or Tokyo Joshi watcher, then I can’t imagine a world where you don’t enjoy this. It was the kind of nonsense that they do so brilliantly, and I had a riot of a time.
Verdict: All The Confusion
Hikari Noa and Yuna Manase (Team Blue: 4) defeated Nodoka Tenma and Suzume (Team Yellow: 4)
Suzume and Nodoka had a bunch of bananas to keep their Team Yellow flag flying high, and Tenma was quite happily chomping away on one pre-match. Thankfully, she seemed to be a fan as not long into the match (having slipped on a literal banana skin) Noa was force-feeding her another one while Manase held her down.
That was just the start of the nonsense in this match as Tenma might be the first person to ever got drunk on bananas. At one point, she grabbed Suzume round the waist and starting spinning her around, deploying her as a weapon in a way I’m not sure the young wrestler was comfortable with. Despite the unfortunate banana habit, she also had a fantastic back and forth with Manase, as the two of them really went for it.
That kicked off a period which perfectly balanced the silliness with some brilliant wrestling. The final sequence saw Noa and Suzume having a great exchange while Tenma and Manase were stuck between the ring and the wall, unable to escape and return to the action. It was a lovely juxtaposition of utter lunacy and great wrestling, which is basically everything I want in life.
Verdict: Isn’t Wrestling Brilliant?
Shoko Nakajima and Miu Watanabe (Team Red: 4) defeated Yuki Kamifuku and Mirai Maiumi (Team Blue: 4)
Kamiyu had obviously got her hands on Mirai pre-match as she was sporting a new look and a t-shirt saying ‘Six Pack Coming Soon’. Shoko apparently wasn’t impressed, as she grabbed the first opportunity to rub the make-up off her face.
Make-up would end up playing quite an important part in this match, with Kamiyu smearing some on Shoko and Miu’s faces. Their response would turn out to be a lot more effective, though, as they wiped Kamiyu’s off. It was a move that effectively took her out of the action as she refused to appear on camera without it on, leaving Mirai to finish the match alone.
Unsurprisingly, this was another ridiculously fun match. You can tell that everyone involved is having a lovely old time and are taking advantage of the chance to cut loose and come up with some different ideas. It’s great.
Verdict: No Make-Up, No Win
Yuka Sakazaki and Raku (Team Yellow: 6) defeated Mizuki and Yuki Aino (Team Red: 4)
With no Team Blue representation in the final match, they were eliminated. That made things nice and simple, as the winners of this were going to the theme park.
The potential winners might have been simple, but what proved more complicated was the Magical Sugar Rabbits figuring out whose team they were supposed to be on as they needed to be reminded not to work together. We also saw everyone in the match attempt to set-up for the Goodnight Express, until Raku took control of that situation and showed them all how it’s done.
It probably shouldn’t be surprising, but when they figured out they were supposed to be fighting each other, Mizuki and Yuka proved to have great chemistry. It’s one of wrestling’s best quirks that those closest to each other are those happiest to beat each other up and there was a definitely a touch of that to their interactions. They threw each other around, taking bumps that they didn’t need to on a show with no fans. Then again, there were theme park tickets on the line.
It all culminated in a chaotic final few minutes which saw Aino and Yuka also put together some stunning sequences (Raku was good too, don’t want to leave her out). In the end, though, it was Yuka who got the win, taking flight with the Magical Girl Splash for the three and earning Team Yellow the win.
That was a damn good main event. They kicked things off with some comedy and then once they got going they flew through the gears, putting together a frantic and fun match. I’ve been praising how well DDT has done with these Dojo shows, but Tokyo Joshi might be outclassing even them. It’s wonderful.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff!
With the last tournament ending in the Tokyo Joshi roster having a dance, you might have hoped this one went out similarly. Unfortunately, Rika decided that really the tickets should belong to her and rather than going to the theme park with anyone on her team, she’d quite like to go with Mizuki. Unsurprisingly, no-one else agreed, and suddenly a mass brawl broke out in the ring. It meant that rather than the show ending with Miyu leading everyone in having a boogie, we got the much less wholesome sight of Kamiyu beating her with a sign. Never change, Tokyo Joshi, never change.
Do you need me to tell you that I loved this? We’re getting to the point where this company can do no wrong in my eyes. They’ve been nailing it recently, and while this didn’t quite match the standards of last week’s Dojo show, it was still a delight.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw