Coming off one of the shows of the year, Tokyo Joshi were back in Shinkiba for a somewhat more subdued affair. It’s still TJPW, though, so I can almost guarantee we’re in for a pleasant couple of hours.
Before the show, Mizuki announced that she’s committed to a full-time contract. It’s a bit of a formality, the rare trip to Gatoh Move aside she hasn’t taken advantage of her freelance status that often, but coming off Wrestle Princess it felt right. You also can’t blame Tokyo Joshi for wanting to tie people up.
Nao Kakuto and Pom Harajuku defeated Shoko Nakajima and Suzume
I only tend to watch bits and pieces of Actwres, so I can’t pretend I’m hugely aware of Nao Kakuta’s work. I’ve probably seen her before, but my memory is failing me, so this match served as a reintroduction.
Unsurprisingly, it was designed to highlight her, and she slipped into the role nicely. Her and Pom ramped up the mean, taking particular delight in bullying Suzume. There was a moment (pictured above) where Nao had her in a Camel Clutch as Pom repeatedly flicked her forehead, which is a very Pom attack.
Not everything was smooth, Noa and Suzume had a couple of awkward moments, but it was their first time in the ring together, and Suzume’s hardly a veteran. The newbies interactions with Shoko were a lot smoother. Ultimately, while it won’t enter the pantheon of great entries to a company, it won’t be slipping into the embarrassing side of that equation either. She made a good first impression, so we’ll see where she goes from here.
Verdict: Welcome, Nao
Hyper Misao defeated Moka Miyamoto
Misao grabbed the mic, bringing up Moka being a college student before stating that the real test was a singles match with Hyper Misao! Who can argue with that? Although, there was an actual test too because, you know, Hyper Misao. As usual, you can find translations for all that fun at ddtpro_eng on Twitter.
As a straight match, this was fine, but I continue to find Moka more intriguing than I do exciting. With her unique gear and unusual execution of certain moves, she stands out, even if the in-ring work isn’t going to blow you away yet. Her work isn’t lacking, just beyond those flourishes she still very much wrestles like a rookie (which is fair because that’s what she is). If she can hold onto that streak of weird while improving, I think she’ll excel, but she’s not there yet.
Anyway, it was decent, although I could have used Misao throwing a few more antics at Moka. Still, I’m sure there will be plenty of time for that in the months to come.
Rika Tatsumi defeated Maki Itoh and Mahiro Kiryu in a Three-Way
Itoh was in fine form early on, propping herself up in the corner as she declared that she’d rather watch. She was less impressed when Rika almost lost, angrily pointing out that it’s things like that which caused her to lose her title.
With Rika and Maki seemingly only interested in each other, Kiryu must have felt a bit like she was being dismissed. Of course, she would end up taking the pin, but she made sure to let everyone know she was there, taking out both opponents and reminding them that she isn’t to be trifled with.
We also got a fantastic finish, Maki leaping up for her DDT only to have Rika sneak in and grab Kiryu around the waist, blocking it. While Itoh stumbled away, caught off guard, Tatsumi was able to hit the Twist of Fate and sneak out with the win. The timing on it was perfect, as this trio proved to be a lot of fun.
Verdict: Cool Finish
Bakuretsu Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino) and Mirai Maiumi defeated Yuki Kamifuku, Hikari Noa and Marika Kobashi
Tokyo Joshi is a rather heelless company, apart from maybe the person popping up in the next match, but Hikari, Kamiyu and Marika were enjoying leaning into the evil. The three of them excel at grabbing those little advantages, whether it be Kamiyu’s eye pokes, hair being tugged in the corner or Hikari innocently standing on someone’s fingers. The fact they do it while smiling is what really makes it sting.
Outside of that, it was the two wrestlers lowest on the totem pole in their teams that impressed me. Considering Marika came back from a long time out, got injured and has only just returned for a second time, she impressed. Already she looks comfortable in the ring and has worked off the rust well. Mirai, meanwhile, keeps getting better. There has been a real natural progression to her career, as she’s grown from somewhat uncontrolled power to something more focused and brutal. If she keeps getting better, she’s going to be one of the best.
As for the other four, they’re people you can rely on, so it was obviously a good match. Kamiyu is nailing her champion’s entrance while the Bakuretsu Sisters should have had those belts long ago, but I’m just happy we figured it out eventually.
Verdict: Very Good
Sakisama defeated Sena Shiori
In my recent Marvelous review, I praised Saki Akai and ASUKA for their ability to play arrogant. Sakisama doesn’t have to play it. Arrogance oozes out of every pore as she walks down to the ring, confident in the fact that she is better than everyone else, bloody aristocracy.
Poor Sena never stood a chance. She stood up for herself, showing some nice defiance, but she ain’t ready for this. Sakisama was playing with her, pulling her shoulder up to wrap those long legs around her neck and get the submission. You’re doing the revolution no favours there, Shiori.
Afterwards, Sakisama offered to take Sena on her rocket ship, but only when she’s older, before announcing she’ll be on the next show. Interestingly, she’ll be teaming up with yet another X, as joshi is going all-in on these surprise partners. It’s likely that will be someone from the roster that she’s corrupted, but I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Verdict: She’s Back!
The Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki) and Raku defeated Miyu Yamashita, Miu Watanabe and Haruna Neko
It almost feels redundant to review this match. Look at who is in it. There is no chance in hell that these six deliver anything short of an enjoyable main event.
And they did, but there were some highlights. The Sugar Rabbits and Raku took particular delight in tormenting Neko, Mizuki at one point managing to remove her from the apron by making a scary face and screeching. It was also nice to see said Sugar Rabbits back on the same page, I loved their feud, but them loving each other is even better.
On the other side of the ring, it’s easy to take for granted how good Miu’s gotten, but she is brilliant. Then you have Miyu kicking fuck out of folk which is always a lovely old time. Honestly, it’s one of those matches that’s hard to review because it’s just good. You can rely on these people, and this wasn’t the exception that was going to prove that rule.
Verdict: Exactly What You’d Expect
Coming out of Wrestle Princess, this was a more sedate show, but that was to be expected. I’ve had a bit of a rubbish week, so in that regard, it was basically perfect. Tokyo Joshi make me happy, and this was no different.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw