It’s been a sad week in the world of Tokyo Joshi as both Natsupoi and Mina have announced they will be leaving the company. As of writing, we don’t know where they’re headed next, but they’ll certainly be missed in TJPW. Still, the show must go on, and at the very least, let’s hope they get a good farewell.
I don’t always write about the Up Up Girls’ performance, but it should be known that I never skip it, and it always makes me happy. My favourite dance move is when they put their arms out and kind of bounce to the side (I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about).
Yuka Sakazaki defeated Moka Miyamoto
Ooh, a rare trip to the opener for Yuka to face-off with Tokyo Joshi’s newest rookie. Miyamoto missed a few shows due to illness, so I was glad to have her back.
She looked good on her return too. There were a few moments where you could tell Yuka was leading her into the next sequence, giving her a wee tap on the shoulder to remind her where they were going and to keep the flow, but honestly, that’s still to be expected. She’s had a handful of matches, and it must be nerve-wracking opening the show against the champ.
Not that Yuka was going to give her an easy time. This was the old professional performance, as she was caught off-guard once or twice before definitively putting Moka away. Still, she was nice enough to help the kid to the back afterwards, so she’s not a total monster.
Hyper Misao defeated Miyu Yamashita and Pom Harajuku in a Three-Way Special Rules Fall Sports Day Elimination Points Match
The champ is in the opener, and the Ace is in the second match doing comedy with Misao. Miyu being involved in shenanigans is one of the few things I enjoy as much as Miyu kicking people in the head. For this one, the wrestlers had a band on each arm and one on their head. Every two count, submission and trip over the top rope meant they lost a band, and when all three were gone, they were out of there. Really, for a Hyper Misao match, it was quite straightforward.
And while Miyu adapts well to the comedy (her ultra-seriousness almost becomes goofy in this setting, and she often looks confused as to what is actually happening), she’s not very good at dealing with the stips. She’d fall victim to a Misao bundle after literally tripping over Pom who had been eliminated shortly before. It’s the kind of finish we never see in wrestling, but which really should happen more often. There tend to be a lot of bodies lying around.
Anyway, this was fun. As Misao matches go, it was rather tame, but you had three entertaining, talented wrestlers in there and I had a lovely time.
Verdict: A Good Time Was Had By All
Yuki Kamifuku and Nodoka Tenma defeated Maki Itoh and Himawari Unagi
Unagi was in a very enthusiastic mood, wasshoing away and forcing Kamiyu to point out that summer festival season was over – an insight that was not greeted warmly. Even Itoh looked a bit bemused by her partner, and she’d yelled at Nodoka so loudly in their opening exchanges that she took a bigger bump than some wrestlers take in their entire careers.
If that doesn’t give you an insight into the mood of this match, then you’re not paying attention. Other highlights included Tenma and Kamiyu doing the short leg, long leg kick spot and Tenma angrily responding to her failure by wandering over and booting Unagi to make sure she’d had her go. There was serious wrestling mixed in there, especially in the final act, but mainly it was an excuse for everyone to have a lovely time.
It is worth noting how commanding Kamiyu looked taking things home against Unagi. On the week she lost yet another pal, Yuki looked like a big deal as she comfortably saw the match out with a Fameasser. Tokyo Joshi might be losing some good wrestler, but they have plenty sticking around too.
Verdict: Badass Kamiyu
Mirai Maiumi, Suzume and Sena Shiori defeated Daydream (Miu Watanabe and Rika Tatsumi) and Haruna Neko
Haruna Neko really nails wrestling like a cat. She spent some time repeatedly scurrying through Sena’s legs, and it was some top tier catting.
It’s been apparent for a while that there were no obvious next challengers for Daydream (well, there was, but Pandemic Boo Boo are sadly no more), so Tokyo Joshi decided to create some unobvious ones. Mirai and Suzume are coming for those belts!
And while that elevation is a slight surprise, I don’t think it’s undeserved. I’m not sure when it happened, but those two have become a nifty wee team. They also have a few moves that involve Mirai throwing Suzume at people which is my favourite thing for teams to do. Add the potential for more Miu vs Mirai hoss battles (their interactions here got the thumbs up), and I’m all over this pairing.
Finally, it’s just nice to see Tokyo Joshi giving some more of their talented young roster a chance to shine. Mirai is special while Suzume is the kind of person it’s near impossible not to support, so pairing them up and sending them after the belts is a fun idea. Judging by this match, I have faith they’ll prove equal to the challenge.
Verdict: The Rookies Are Coming!
Pandemic Boo Boo (Natsumi Maki and Hikari Noa) defeated Shoko Nakajima and Mahiro Kiryu
The saddest part of Poi’s departure is that it is taking Pandemic Boo Boo away from us. The two shared some genuinely lovely Tweets, and if you want your heart to hurt a little bit, I recommend seeking them out.
They’d give everyone a wee taste of what we’ll be missing too as this was a fantastic dominating performance. Shoko and Kiryu had their moments, but it felt like a tag team showing up two singles wrestlers. They controlled the match, always in the right spot to have each other’s backs and generally looking brilliant.
Poi would also show she’s not going to be taking it easy on her home stretch, having strong showings with both opponents. I’ve been under the impression she was in line for a major push, and maybe that was the plan, but Tokyo Joshi can’t be too annoyed at her leaving as she pinned Kiryu with the Cartwheel Bomb. Thankfully, it’s also not quite the end for PandeBoo as they teamed the day after before Noa asked to face Poi on her final show.
Verdict: Going Out Strong
Mizuki and Mina Shirakawa defeated Yuki Aino and Raku
Both of these teams delight me. On the one hand, you have Raku and Aino who have a sweet, pure friendship that I love. On the other, poor Mina and Mizuki were having a rough day. Whether it was Mizuki trying to do Chansu and drawing Mina’s ire or them bumping heads as they tried to escape the Good Night Express, they weren’t on the same page.
There was also some fantastic wrestling. It almost seems daft to point out that Mizuki is fantastic because we know that, but she’s been stepping it up a level recently. With that title shot looming she seems to be going all out, putting on impressive performances against both opponents.
She and Mina even found their groove at the last second, Mizuki perfectly ducking out the way to allow Shirakawa to say the first of many goodbyes with a Spinning Backfist to Raku. It was, unsurprisingly, enough to stun everyone’s favourite train enthusiast, leaving Mizuki free to hit the Cutie Special.
A great main event, brilliant tag teams and I left happy.
Verdict: Two Teams I Love
That was one of those Tokyo Joshi shows that flies by as everyone has a lovely old time. Of the big companies that put on these more ‘house show’ style cards, Tokyo Joshi does them best as they’re always a pleasure to watch. There might not be anything you need to see, but you’re going to enjoy it all the same.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw