Last week’s attempt to review Tokyo Joshi turned into a more general ramble about why I love it so, making this our first look at TJPW since the fans returned. If you haven’t guessed, I am very happy to have them back, so let’s see what went down.
Before the show, we were introduced to Aona who is going to debut at the July Korakuen. It’s also a delight to see the Up Up Girls back in front of fans. Sure, Miu can’t get in their faces and terrorise them into having fun yet, but she can be pretty intimidating from a distance.
Mizuki defeated Sena Shiori
Sena’s music will never stop making me happy. I have a lovely memory of a rather baffled Korakuen trying to figure out what the hell was going on when it hit during her debut, and I don’t think that will ever fail to make me smile. The sight of this rookie making her entrance to this ridiculous extreme metal theme was brilliant.
Outside of her music, this was another solid performance. Mizuki is someone who makes others look good as she’s capable of being thrown around and twisted up. However, she’s also a brilliant devil, bringing that mean streak and putting the sympathy on the youngster.
Of course, the veteran would get the win, bringing Sena over with a Cutie Special for the three around the six minute mark. There was nothing particularly remarkable about this, but it was a solid wee match that did what it had to do.
Hikari Noa defeated Haruna Neko
Hikari Noa is excellent, something that I’m not sure I’ve emphasised enough. This wasn’t much more than a squash, Haruna getting a bit of offence, but ultimately being outclassed before being murdered with a brutal Uranage. However, even in that brief showing, you can see that Noa gets it. The crispness of her offence and the way she moves around the ring stand out. She was even kind enough to pick Neko up and carry her to back afterwards. That’s Ace material, right there.
Verdict: Noa Dominates
Hyper Misao and Shoko Nakajima defeated Miyu Yamashita and Yuna Manase
Misao, being Misao, had a plan. She was pretty certain that she could harness Miyu’s love of dance (in particular her need to boogie down to her old Gengis Khan theme) to lead her and Shoko to victory. It was, well, unsuccessful and technically she lost this match very quickly. Wily old Misao doesn’t give up easily, though, and she managed to reverse psychology Yuna and Miyu back into the ring.
While the second chance didn’t teach Misao that cheating is wrong, she did end up having a fantastic interaction with Miyu. She often falls back on playing the goof, but she is capable, and the two of them proved an entertaining pairing. Not that everyone’s favourite superhero was going to rely solely on talent. The first time she deployed the cold spray, Yuna got the better of her, but with the ref distracted Shoko handed her the can and Miyu’s eyes took a dosing and left Misao free to sneak out with the win.
I already tweeted about this, but I love that Miyu is both the biggest badass on the planet and also someone who can lose at any moment. She’s got the Achilles Heel of being outwitted, and it adds an element to her as a wrestler that I think a lot of people in similar roles miss.
Verdict: Misao’s A Step Ahead
Maki Itoh, Raku and Pom Harajuku defeated Daydream (Miu Watanabe and Rika Tatsumi) and Suzume
Is there a more joyous team than Pom, Raku and Maki? I can’t think of many. To be honest, the closest might be the three they were facing off with, who gave us the brilliant sight of Miu not having a clue what pose they were supposed to pull during their entrance.
To continue the happy moments, Pom and Raku joined in with the cutest punches, Pom hammering away at the shins while Raku, being the killer of the pair, went for the liver. We then got Pom looking scandalised when Miu kicked out of the Goodnight Express, waking her and Raku up from their nap.
Outside of things that made me smile, this featured yet more build to the big tag title showdown. For Raku, that’s her continued efforts to match Miu as she gets closer and closer to being on a level playing field with her Up Up Girl comrade. What did prove to be on a level playing field was Maki’s head and Rika’s arse, as their collision left both reeling, but took neither woman down.
While Maki’s head proved unsuccessful there, it would prove more formidable than Suzume, headbutting her out of the air. That would set the challengers up to get the last laugh, as they took Daydream out of the equation, leaving Maki free to get the win with the Itoh Special. This did a great job of setting up that title showdown while also being a strong match in its own right.
Verdict: Raku’s Coming For Her Goal
In a really sweet moment, Pom looked like she was going to head to the back, leaving Maki and Raku to celebrate. Itoh wasn’t having that, though, calling her back and making sure she got credit too. How lovely.
Natsumi Maki defeated Mahiro Kiryu
Natsupoi had written Poi on her cheek, but being Natsumi had done it in a mirror so, in reality, had written Iop. We love our Baka Queen.
It was also Maki’s first match since the Dojo shows, but that didn’t stop her continuing some of the heel tactics we’ve seen from her previously. She’s developing an arrogant streak, posing with her opponents in the ropes and showing a real viciousness in her offence.
That put Mahiro in the role of valiant underdog, desperately looking for an opening against the veteran. She had her moments, locking on the old staple of the Boston Crab, but it wouldn’t be enough as the rookie was outclassed by a fired-up Natsupoi. Now, if Maki can figure out how to write her name properly, she’ll be the full package.
Yuka Sakazuki and BAKURETSU Sisters (Yuki Aino and Nodoka Tenma) defeated Yuki Kamifuku, Mina Shirakawa and Mirai Maiumi
I would like to give my full support to this run of BAKURETSU main events.
Plus, it’s giving us Aino’s big push which I am a fan of. She had a great interaction with Mirai here, building around the youngster’s lethal Lariat. There was a moment where she had to beat it away and the energy required forced her to one knee. Then, in an attempt to neutralise that strength, she grabbed a Full Nelson, dragging the rookie to the ground. It was all brilliant, solid wrestling.
With what was to happen next, she wasn’t the only one who got some shine as Kamiyu came in hot, booting Yuka out of the air. She, like a lot of the Tokyo Joshi roster, has come on leaps and bounds recently. I’m very intrigued to see how she does in a big singles match because, as a tag wrestler, she’s become a damn good hand.
Outside of the two Yukis being showcased, this was a pretty standard Tokyo Joshi main event. A statement that is never intended as a slight. It had more energy than a bag of kitten, making it a whole lot of fun.
Verdict: Thumbs Up!
As I hinted, Aino had a challenge for Yuka after the match. She wasn’t the only one, though, Kamiyu interrupting with a Dropkick, mocking her and laying out her claim. That was enough to drag their attention away from the champ as they mouthed off with each other and established a match to decide the number one contender.
Thankfully, Yuka was in a given mood and decided she was cool with it. She even offered Tenma a shot, but Nodoka being the relatable anxious person she is, didn’t quite seem up for it. The winning trio did close out the show together, though, combining their poses (after a long discussion) to great effect.
I love having Tokyo Joshi back. It’s up with ChocoPro for things that make me smile. This was a pretty straightforward show, but there were a handful of great performances and they set-up some exciting stuff for the future, so I have no complaints.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw