Maybe if we don’t watch this show, Mina and Poi won’t leave, and we’ll never have to say goodbye. What do you mean it doesn’t work like that? Shut up, you big bully.
The pre-show announcements saw Marika announce she’ll be returning on the October 3rd show. Her time away (she was preparing for college entry exams) neatly encircles the period I’ve been watching Tokyo Joshi, so I know sweet fuck all about her. Cagematch tells me she was trained by Cherry, though, so that’s got to be good.
In even bigger news, the Up Up Girls have a new song! I’ve only heard it the once, but it felt quite epic, presumably drawing on Raku’s prog influences (I may have made that bit up, but she’s never claimed not to be into prog. In my experience, train people and prog people have a decent amount of crossover. Cider people too. Do you think Raku likes cider? I could picture her drinking cider). The choreography certainly seemed a lot more complex while there was an abundance of fist-pumping going on. It’s going to take something special to replace ‘Upper Kick’ in my affections, but the chorus did seem suitably anthemic, and I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on my thoughts as I hear it more.
Pom Harajuku defeated Moka Miyamoto
We kicked things off with a simple opener, that was a nice look at how much Pom has improved. She’s got to the point where controlling a match with a rookie isn’t a stretch, and while this was nothing incredible, it didn’t fall apart either.
Some credit has to go to Miyamoto for that, as there was an awkward moment around Pom’s backward roll into the head scissors. It looked like it was maybe supposed to be reversed, but they were out of place, causing Pom to fall to the side. While the rookie did freeze for a second, she recovered and (perhaps at Pom’s instruction) grabbed a submission that helped get things back on track, so fair play to both of them for that.
It was what it was. I’m not able to start throwing flowers at it, but Pom’s hardly a veteran and Moka is still very young in her career. When you remember that, I think they did well.
Verdict: Good For What It Was
Hyper Misao defeated Raku and Himawari Unagi in a Three-Way
Unagi, Pom and Raku have been teamed up fairly regularly, but Misao announced before the match that they were disbanding. Unagi was devastated by this news, declaring she wanted one last summer festival. A summer festival being when she and Raku lift Misao to music. Thankfully, everyone’s favourite superhero agreed, less thankfully, it turned out to be a trap, Raku and Unagi dumping Misao over the top rope when the music sped up.
What followed was quite frankly a delight. There were running gags, Raku lightly chopping Unagi in the head while Misao had her in a rocking chair and silly shenanigans galore. This is a trio that clearly has a blast working together, and any match that sees Raku have that big a grin on her face is fine by me.
Misao would sneak out with the win because she’s Misao and that’s what she does, but I hope her declaration that these three were done doesn’t make this the actual last time we see them together. That would make me sad.
Yuki Kamifuku, Mina Shirakawa and Mahiro Kiryu defeated BAKURETSU Sisters (Yuki Aino and Nodoka Tenma) and Haruna Neko
Ah, we have to say goodbye to Mina. I realise that no matter where she ends up I’ll be watching her wrestle again, but it’s still sad. In happier news, Yuki and Nodoka had new gear! While it wasn’t a huge departure from their old stuff, it looked good.
Poor Nodoka then had a rough start to the match. She was sad that Kamiyu’s legs were almost as long as her and then basically got yelled at until she lay on the ground for Mina to put on the Chansu. Yuki would come and save her from that, but even her sister got a dig in, slapping her on the head for not sticking up for herself. Everyone should be nicer to Tenma.
Mina would end-up not taking centre stage on her final match, Kamiyu and Haruna having an impressive final stretch with Yuki getting the win. However, it was a fitting way for her to go out. She’s always excelled in these multi-women tags where she can show both her personality and that ever-growing in-ring ability. We got that here, and while it wasn’t perhaps a bang, it was a nice round of applause on which to say goodbye.
In the aftermath, Kamiyu and Mina cut emotional promos, both promising to make the other jealous as they struggled (and failed) to hold back the tears. Check out ddtpro_eng on Twitter for your full translations.
Verdict: We’ll Miss You, Mina
Miyu Yamashita defeated Sena Shiori
I love watching Miyu in this kind of match. You know she’s going to win. Right from the start, she’s in control, beating the rookie down and getting Sena to the point that when she threw a Dropkick, it was so weak that Miyu barely took a step back.
However, she is also the master of slipping a slither of doubt in there. We know Yamashita is beatable and she plays to her opponents’ strengths, giving them those moments where they might just pull it off. Sena got her chance, a submission that had the Ace scrambling, that brief flurry to show what she can do.
It’s almost part test, part opportunity – a chance for these less inexperienced wrestlers to get in the ring and show what they can do. They’re never going to win, but Miyu makes sure they come out better than they came in.
Verdict: Miyu Is So Cool
MiraClians (Yuka Sakazaki and Shoko Nakajima) fought Mizuki and Maki Itoh to a time-limit draw
Itoh Respect Army reunion! Although if you thought all was well in the old camp, you would be sorely mistaken. The hints that this wasn’t going to be a united front came when they not only made separate entrances, but Mizuki came out after Shoko.
That chaos would continue into the match as Yuka and Mizuki appeared to forget they weren’t on the same team (or they were just embracing their goblin nature) and teamed up on poor Shoko. It was up to Itoh to charge in and treat everyone to a headbutt which, naturally, restored order.
Not that the Sugar Rabbits were all hugs and kisses. When they did face-off, they had no qualms about going hard. They kept things slower than you might expect from these two, but there were enough stiff strikes in there (particularly in a late elbow exchange) to give us a taste of what we might expect in their title showdown.
Unsurprisingly, everything about this was good. It’s four talented wrestlers, doing their thing. Whether they were being silly or punching each other in the face, it entertained, and we got sprinkles of both their old teams sparking into gear again. With it being a time limit draw and a tag building to a bigger match, they weren’t going all out, but they didn’t need to. These four will deliver something enjoyable even when holding back.
Verdict: Good Wrestlers Do Good Wrestling
Natsumi Maki defeated Hikari Noa
Our second goodbye and the bricks were laid for this one to get even more emotional. PanDeBoo coming to an end by facing off, farewell in the form of violence.
Maki wasn’t about to dish out an easy ride to her young partner either. Right from the start, she was on Noa, driving her boot into her face and treating her rough. Poi was setting the bar high and challenging Noa to climb up to it.
It was a challenge Hikari seemed up for. She was fucking great here, at one point firing up after a German, still grasping the back of her head and selling the move but letting out a roar of frustration before booting away Poi’s next attack. She was fighting for it, foregoing the effortless leap to the feet we so often see to show us the battle, someone giving their all to keep going.
And she forced Poi to take out the big guns; a beautiful Bridging German required to put her friend away. In the aftermath, she wrapped Noa in a hug, sharing words that were meant for just those two. It was a beautiful moment and an interesting match. This didn’t feel like a big farewell, but a step in a story, one that made Noa look good, but showed she wasn’t quite there yet.
Talking of which, putting a wrestler who has already signed a contract with a rival over one of your young stars doesn’t seem like the brightest move. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Poi has also already announced an indie date, so I’m hopeful she’s avoided the temptation to tie herself down. With that in mind, there is every chance PanDeBoo will ride again.
Verdict: Don’t Go Too Far, Poi
Daydream (Rika Tatsumi and Miu Watanabe) defeated BeeStar (Mirai Maiumi and Suzume) to retain the Princess Tag Titles
Much like Sena facing off with Miyu, BeeStar’s chances of winning this match were minimal to non-existent. They’re a rookie team, a good one, but not a pairing you can expect to see the tag titles on any time soon. Instead, this match was an opportunity for them. An opportunity to prove that going forward, they deserve to be treated as more than a pair of rookies.
In that sense, it was a triumph. Yes, Daydream were given the bulk of the offence, controlling large portions of the match and Miu even slamming both opponents at the same time, but BeeStar make it work. They took that offence well, building the sympathy and timing those comebacks to play into the idea of a shock.
A big part of that is the dynamic between the two. They’re a classic big lass, little lass pairing, Suzume the heroic babyface taking the bulk of the heat and Mirai as the destroyer coming in and cleaning house. Then, when they did get their two-counts, you wanted to believe, you wanted the improbable to come to pass.
Of course, it didn’t. Miu eventually out-hossed Mirai, taking her out of the action and while Suzume grabbed a quick two off Rika, the writing was on the wall. That Diamond Ass came flying in, and BeeStar’s first title shot came to an end. Still, they can look back on this one with pride, the kids did good.
Verdict: Well Done, BeeStar
As Daydream celebrated, Mahiro made her way out, expressing her frustration at less experienced wrestlers stepping in-front of her. She made her challenge, naming Kamiyu as her partner. Before Daydream could accept, though, the BAKURETSU Sisters also made their entrance, staking their claim. Rika told them to figure it out between themselves, leading to a rather amusing stare down between the two teams.
Tokyo Joshi delivering entertaining shows is no surprise, but this one had some extra magic sprinkled in there. Between farewells and youngsters stepping up, it felt like a more important show than it might have appeared on the surface. I’ve been saying the future is bright in TJPW for a while and those kids keep proving me right.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw