A Friday night Tokyo Joshi show? How strange, I can’t imagine too much of interest will happen there, can you?
The Bakuretsu Sisters (Nodoka Tenma and Yuki Aino) defeated Raku, Haruna Neko and Moka Miyamoto
Our tag champs are so powerful that they’re stacking the deck against them. In fact, it nearly became even more one-sided as Aino’s adoration of Raku almost pulled her into the Good Night Express. Luckily for Nodoka, Raku decided it would be funnier to bop her pal on the head with a chop.
Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t the cleanest match. I am fans of all them, but Raku, Neko and Moka aren’t super workers, and their timing was off on occasion. However, Nodoka and Aino did a decent job of keeping things on track, pulling them back into position when things went wrong.
It all made for a match that delivered almost exactly what you’d expect it to. You had a lot of inexperienced talent in that ring, and they put together something fun, I ain’t asking for anything more.
Verdict: I Smiled
Yuki Kamifuku, Hikari Noa, Mahiro Kiryu and Pom Harajuku defeated Mizuki, Miu Watanabe, Nao Kakuta and Mirai Maiumi
I said it in my last review, but Kamiyu is rocking that title belt during her entrance. The dropping of the jacket to reveal it behind her back? That’s some good shit. She’d go onto give Nao a nice welcome too, faking that she’d hurt her finger again before poking her in the eyes. It caused her teammates such delight that you do suspect she’s beginning to rub off on them.
This was one of those annoying matches where it was very enjoyable, but I don’t have a whole lot to say. You had a bunch of good wrestlers, but they weren’t given an abundance of time, so they were working on fast-forward, blasting through an enjoyable slab of wrestling. It did mean Nao, on only her second appearance, probably didn’t get as much of the spotlight as she should have, but it’s nothing to worry about.
The finish also didn’t quite go to plan, Mirai ending up twisted around on Hikari’s Figure Four Leg Roll so it became more like a, well, Figure Four. To give her credit, Mirai sold it well by grimacing in pain as if that was what was preventing her from escaping, so it wasn’t a big deal. Plus, it’s Mirai and Hikari, their interactions rule, so they’re allowed the occasional mistake.
Verdict: Good Match
NEO Biishiki-gun (Sakisama and Mei St-Michel) defeated Suzume and Sena Shiori
Sakisama’s new minion is Mei Saint-Michel, who apparently followed her one day when she out playing the flute in the woods (fucking aristocrats). If I had to guess, I reckon Mei was picking apples, but that’s pure conjecture. Either way, her introduction included her declaring their opponent’s awful, much to Sakisama’s delight.
She also appeared suitably devoted during the match, adoringly hanging off Sakisama’s every move while looking very good herself. I didn’t know maid training included wrestling as a norm, but I guess Sakisama requires it. She’s certainly got some top serving plate skills, putting it in the exact right spot for Suzume to slip on it.
It did somewhat leave Suzume and Sena feeling like afterthoughts, but they played their role well and Suzume has got real good. This was a showcase for Sakisama and her latest attendant, though, and judging by what we saw, it’s a pairing that’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
Verdict: Welcome, Mei St-Michel
Rika Tatsumi defeated Shoko Nakajima, Yuka Sakazaki, Miyu Yamashita and Maki Itoh in an Elimination Five-Way
Five-ways always have the potential to be a mess as you have a lot of people in that ring vying for attention. However, to say these five know each other well is a bit of an understatement. Most of them have spent their entire careers wrestling each other, so if anyone could pull it off, it’s them.
And it was a hell of a lot of fun. They were smart enough to start light, Maki managing to piss everyone off when she attempted to leave them to it, so she could later pick up the scraps. It led to some great moments, including a four-person DDT from Itoh, but she eventually crashed and burned, all of her opponents piling on for the pin.
What followed was some fantastic action. They didn’t stretch it out too long, using the over the top rope eliminations well, but they also made every fall feel earned. We even got a Shoko and Yuka reunion, the two of them coming together to put Miyu away with MarumeComians. It added up to some brilliantly worked, smart wrestling, the kind you can relax into.
The final two were Shoko and Rika who had an unsurprisingly great back and forth before that diamond arse did its job. Rika had come out on top against four of the biggest stars in the company which ain’t a bad days work.
Verdict: Wrestled Brilliantly
It didn’t take a genius to figure out what the winner of this match would be looking for, but Rika delivered her challenge with some particularly strong words. She demanded her shot for surviving against ‘these monsters’ (ddtpro_eng for your translation needs), and Yuka was only too happy to accept. They went onto decide it would take place on January 4th, as we’ve got our big main event! That one will rule.
Hyper Misao took us all on a roller-coaster of emotions
If you’re a Tokyo Joshi fan, then there is no way you don’t know what happened in the second half of this show. It started with Misao retiring and ended with her going back on said retirement and getting engaged. Oh, and there was a whole bit put together by Dango that was absolutely not based on the Bachelorette. It’s almost easy to forget that Rika and Misao had a decent wee match in the middle of it. There isn’t a chance in hell that I’m going to sit here and review this normally, though. If you want to see what happened, watch it with ddtpro_eng’s fantastic thread by your side.
I do want to talk about why I adored every second of it. There is a split in wrestling fans. On one side, you have those who want wrestling to be purely wrestling. They want two burly men or women to come out, stare at each other angrily and have a fight. Unsurprisingly, I’m not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I like that stuff, who doesn’t? But I want wrestling to be everything it wants to be.
And if I had to pick someone to represent what I want, it would be Hyper Misao. Here is a lass who caught a glimpse of a DDT match and was inspired to the extent that she was able to escape a lifestyle where she was rotting away. Since then, she’s eaten cream puffs with Jun Kasai, turned evil, lost her name and engaged in enough acts of nonsense to sate even me. She pushes and prods at the thing I love, seeing how far she can stretch it.
This, though, this took what Misao does to a whole new level. For around an hour, she played with our emotions, working everyone and holding them in the palm of her hand. When you strip everything away, all of this stuff is designed to get a reaction, and Misao certainly did that. I went into it spoilt, and I still happy cried my way through nearly every second, so I can’t imagine what it was like to watch live. It wasn’t just the fans either. I’d be fascinated to know how much the roster knew coming in because their reactions to a lot of what happened felt very real.
The funny thing is that it was a perfect retirement. Everything about it would have made for the ideal ending as Misao rode off into the sunset to a new life. Christ, she better start planning her actual retirement now because she is going to have to go all out to top this. Then again, if anyone can do that, it’s her. Although fingers crossed the next one won’t see her getting engaged for a second time, he looked like a nice chap, so I’m sure it will stick.
It certainly led to the best ending of any wrestling show I’ve ever seen. Misao being lifted up by her friends and peers, thrown in the air as her new husband somewhat sheepishly left the ring. Tokyo Joshi has always felt like a dysfunctional family, and that moment felt real. I don’t care what you want from your wrestling, if you watch that and feel anything except for pure joy, then you’re the problem.
Wow, we’re what, two weeks removed from Wrestle Princess? And Tokyo Joshi have someone pulled off a show that might be even more memorable. The second half of that will stay with me forever, for all the right reasons, and the first was great too! All the best to Hyper Misao and her future husband, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw