Miyako Matsumoto vs Chikara: Wrestling Can Be Anything

Everyone had a lovely time! Credit: Gake

I have long been a supporter of the idea that wrestling can be whatever you want it to be. Whether it’s the Marvel-esque crash and bang of New Japan main events, the art-house genius of Gatoh Move or whatever the fuck it is WWE is up to, wrestling’s beauty comes from its ability to be twisted into any form.

And yet, even within this world of infinite possibilities where people have done so much, I’m not sure there has ever been a company and a performer like Gake No Fuchi and Miyako Matsumoto. Having already attempted (and failed) to murder Chris Brookes on January 4th, she returned to the ring on March 11th to face off with Chikara/find him a wife. Christ, where do we start with this?

It’s an almost impossible question. For, to be honest, there were large portions of this show where I only loosely understood what was going on. At one point, MAO (not the DDT wrestler) and Ichiko Shirohata were having a competition to see who could thread a needle first. Why? Presumably in an attempt to win Chikara’s affections, but I’m not quite sure how that works. The truth is that it was for the same reasons that we were treated to a rap battle, a lightsaber fight and so many more utterly bizarre moments. In the world of Miyacoco, anything goes, and while my lack of Japanese obviously didn’t help proceedings, I got the impression that it would be random no matter what language you spoke.

Intense focus. Credit: Gake

What makes it work is Miyacoco herself. There is something genius about the persona (I assume it’s a persona) she’s crafted. She stands in the middle of this insanity, breaking up moments by charging the ring with a baseball bat (backed-up by Keigo Nakamura firing party poppers as she whacked people with it) and holding onto malevolent control even as chaos reigns around her. I might not understand what’s happening, but she does, and that kind of makes it all okay.

She also seems to be brilliant at picking the exact right people to get involved in her shows. Everyone there had bought into her vision, leaning into the weirdness and embracing it as their own. Even Munenori Sawa, handed control of the company because Takagi couldn’t be arsed dealing with it, seemed to be having the time of his life. The real find, however, was MAO, an idol and one of Chikara’s potential brides who had enough personality to carry a show all by herself.

I haven’t talked about the part where Miyacoco and Chikara had their match. Unsurprisingly, it was no less chaotic with Matsumoto having to beat Chikara into taking her seriously after he proved reticent about hitting her. It was a job she seemed to relish, delivering some stiff old strikes as she tried to wake him up.

So many questions. Credit: Gake

We also got more MAO (who was great, eventually getting fed up with everyone and delivering a series of headbutts followed by a Crossbody), ‘ASUKA’ (not the DDT/countless other companies one) and Lingerie Muto, all of whom played their parts to perfection. Sawa and Chikara even had a pretty vicious strike exchange, really going for it while Miyacoco had a chill in the corner.

And, of course, Matsumoto would end up losing. She’d end up losing because that’s the whole point of this stuff. Miyacoco is at the centre of it because she’s nuts, and being nuts doesn’t always win you wrestling matches. What she would get was the final laugh as, after a long chat where it turned out Chikara had cheated by contacting Shirhata before the show, she decided the best thing to do was beat him up and have an energetic sing-song led by MAO. Amazingly, I haven’t even mentioned the lass who wandered out a couple of times in a wedding dress. Who was she? I have no idea.

Here’s the thing. I’m sure you could find a stadium full of wrestlers and wrestling fans who would agree with my premise that this weird pseudo-sport can be anything. However, when someone attempts to change it, they react in horror. Christ, look at some of the bollocks people say about Gatoh Move because they dare not to have a ring. Miyacoco doesn’t give a shit about that, though. She is going to push and prod, morphing wrestling into what she wants to see. Even if I thought these shows were shit (and I don’t), that’s something that should always be encouraged, and I would love her for that alone.

Watch Gake No Fuchi Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos/7939

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