TJPW PPV (31/5/20) review

Happy, happy! Credit: TJPW

It feels like a million years since we’ve had a Tokyo Joshi show and my God am I glad to have them back. Few things fill me with as much joy as a couple of hours spent with TJPW, so let’s stop blathering and start watching.

Before the show began, there was a chat with Yuka. There were also interviews before each match and a rotating selection of guest commentators. I won’t bother going into any of it unless something particularly exciting happens, but (as usual) you can get your translations from ddtpro_eng on Twitter.

Miyu Yamashita defeated Mirai Maiumi

Game over. Credit: TJPW

Miyu Yamashita is fucking brilliant. It doesn’t matter who she gets into the ring with she will wrestle a match that plays to both their strengths. Whether it’s Pom’s Shin Kicks catching her off-guard or here, where she tried to floor Mirai, taking her to the ground and using her superior grappling skills to negate that power.

Of course, there was that moment where Mirai got free, charging across the ring and colliding into Miyu with a Lariat. The youngster is raw power, and Miyu was happy to be thrown around as she was dropped with a Backdrop Suplex.

It led to a finish born from a smidge of desperation, a vicious Yamashita kick lashing out and doing what it does best, removing heads. Damn, I’ve missed that, and the time off hasn’t dimmed the fact that Miyu is the best.

Verdict: Lovely Stuff

BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma and Yuki Aino) defeated Yuki Kamifuku and Haruna Neko

She’s the best. Credit: TJPW

Kamiyu teaming up with Neko feels like a betrayal of Zac, no? I hope she doesn’t go home smelling of cat or he’ll be very disappointed.

While it might annoy Kamiyu’s buddy, this was one of the better Neko performances I’ve seen. She’s not someone who leaps off the page in-ring, but she looked good out there, having some enjoyable interactions with Nodoka and making me wonder how tall they’d be if they sat on each other’s shoulders.

And, of course, it was a BAKURETSU Sisters’ match, so it was good. Nodoka makes me happy purely by existing, so the wrestling almost feels like a bonus, but they’re great at that too! It’s the perfect smile-inducing package.

Verdict: Smiles For Everyone

Hyper Misao defeated Mahiro Kiryu

She’s cooler than us. Credit: TJPW

Misao was referencing a TV show that’s big in Japan, so I had no idea what she was up to in this match. It involved wearing sunglasses over her mask and a leather jacket, which is a level of cool I could never aspire to. If you want to learn more, ddtpro_eng did explain on Twitter, but I suspect it will mean as much to you as it did to me.

It did give us an epic entrance, though, as she was going take her damn time getting to the ring while Mahiro sold her fear of what was to come. Then, when she got there, we see a more aggressive version of everyone’s favourite superhero. This wasn’t a squash, but it was a dominant performance from Misao as she picked up a convincing win.

I go into every Hyper Misao match aware that there is a good chance I’m not going to understand what the hell is going on and it doesn’t bother me one bit. A world in which Misao is being Misao is a better place than one in which she isn’t.

Verdict: Misao Gonna Misao

Hikari Noa defeated Sena Shiori

Friends hurting friends. Credit: TJPW

Sena and Hikari are close friends, which gave this match an extra bit of spice.

That friendship wasn’t going to stop Noa making a statement. While she’s Sena’s friend, she’s also her senior, and this played like a rookie vs veteran match with Shiori getting her moments of fire, but ultimately being put away rather convincingly. As I’ve said a million times, it’s a template I love, and it was interesting to see Hikari slip into that role. In the grand scheme of things, she’s a young wrestler herself, but she looked good, commanding the ring and picking up the victory.

As for Sena, I continue to be a fan and not just because of that awesome theme. For someone with as little in-ring time as she has, she’s very assured, never looking like she’s floundering out there. Matches like this will only see her improve too.

Verdict: Veteran Hikari

Maki Itoh defeated Pom Harajuku and Mina Shirakawa in a Three-Way- Battle

Pom is team Itoh in the Great Kawaii War. Credit: TJPW

There was a lot of personality in this one. Christ, there was a lot in the pre-match interviews as every wrestler could almost be defined by what they did. Itoh was all nerves while Pom had the bounciness of a puppy with a bone and Mina was rapping. If you’d never seen any of them wrestle before you would instantly feel like you’d figured out who they were.

Those same personalities would make this a match bursting with energy. Pom was in a particularly mischievous mood, finding ways to align herself with both opponents at various times and proving to be an unreliable partner. We also saw some perfectly constructed three-way spots, Maki breaking up Mina’s Romero Special with a Falling Headbutt and Pom a pin with Pom De Justice.

In the end, though, it was Itoh who came out on top, spiking Pom on her head before locking her in the Itoh Special for the submission. It was the expected finish to a very enjoyable match.

Verdict: All The Personalities

Daydream (Rika Tatsumi and Miu Watanabe) defeated Yuna Manase and Raku

Yuna always has time for the camera. Credit: TJPW

Daydream were so excited that they almost charged off without doing their interview. Did someone lock the Tokyo Joshi roster up while shows weren’t running? They all seem very hyper. On the flip side, Raku admitted she spent most of the lockdown sleeping, which is the kind of energy I respect. Naps and trains are Raku’s deal.

The rest has done her good, though, as she matched up well with her Up Up Girl partner in what became the central story of the match. She was trying to take Miu down with a Sleeper, locking it on more than once as she looked to chip away at the tag champion ahead of her challenge.

Sadly, Daydream would prove to be the stronger unit, their ability to work together allowing Miu to get Raku alone and drop her down for the three. Still, everyone’s favourite train enthusiast and Itoh have that title shot in the bag, and while the build has been somewhat delayed, I can’t wait to see what they can do.

Verdict: Raku’s Still Coming For The Belts!

Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki) defeated Shoko Nakajima and Suzume

Flying Kaiju. Credit: TJPW

Suzume seems like one of the happiest people on the planet, and I appreciate that. The Magical Sugar Rabbits were also clearly delighted to be back together as they prepared for a main-event full of chaotic, joyous energy.

And, of course, the match was a shitload of fun. Look at who was involved and tell me how it wouldn’t be? These four all work at a million miles an hour, flying about the place and having a lovely old time. Did they go all out and do something incredible? No, but they didn’t have to, it was enough for them to sprinkle the ring with joy.

Yuka pinned Suzume for the win before announcing in the post-match that TJPW will be running shows in front of people in the next couple of weeks. They’ve confirmed all the details for that online, so I’m sure you can find it if it interests you. Yuka then closed out the show with ‘eat fruits, happy, happy!’ What more needs to be said?

Verdict: Smiles

Afterwards, there was a signing session, which I scrolled through but didn’t watch, followed by everyone getting cake (a treat that went down very well and gave us a wonderful picture of Nodoka sizing up which type she wanted). That might be an even better way to end the show.

Overall Show

I had a lovely time with that. It wasn’t a show of the year contender or anything that’s going to go down in Tokyo Joshi lore, but it was a whole load of fun with one of my favourite wrestling rosters. It was nice to have them back, and fingers crossed it’s a permanent thing.

Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro:

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