TJPW Winter ~ Lovers (16/1/20) Review

Rika’s definitely not the third-wheel in this situation. Credit: TJPW

Saturday morning Tokyo Joshi is one of life’s great pleasures. Waking up on the weekend to watch some good wrestling feels right, and Tokyo Joshi usually provides it. Did this show continue the trend? Well, I guess you should read my review and find out.

Maki Itoh defeated Arisu Endo

Itoh was having fun. Credit: TJPW

Itoh has spent so much of her career punching upwards, that it’s still satisfying to watch her dominate a match. She wrestled this with a smile on her face, enjoying getting to be a bit condescending towards this wee rookie and dish out a few pats on the head.

As for Endo, her third match (much like her first and second) showed her to be a solid wrestler. She’s still got a bit of that rookie stiffness, where you can tell there are moments where she’s thinking about what comes next, but that’s to be expected. So far, she looks like a strong prospect and is navigating these early water without appearing in danger of sinking.

In the aftermath, Itoh would demand a match with Sakisama and Mei Saint-Michel in typical blustery Itoh fashion. At that point, she hadn’t specified a partner, but we learnt later in the day that she interrupted Miyu eating some gummies to bring her on-board. That will be very good. The match, not the gummies. Although, with how upset Miyu appeared, I assume they were fantastic too.

Verdict: Impressive From Both

Shin Ultra Shoko and Hyper Misao defeated Miyu Yamashita and Moka Miyamoto

Space karate proved ineffective. Credit: TJPW

It probably won’t surprise anyone who has read my writing before to hear that I am a fan of Shin Ultra Shoko. From her overly long cape that continually gets in the way, to the fact she and Misao claimed to have learnt space karate, this is the kind of gimmick I can get behind. She’s already my second favourite superhero (Misao will always be first).

SUS was undeniably the highlight of this match too, with her interactions with Miyu standing out in particular. Yamashita seemed to be taking great delight in using said overly long cape to her advantage, wrapping her opponent up in it. The Ace was also happy to slip into a bit of Moka’s karate, showing, once again, that while she’s the coolest person on the planet, she’s also happy to get silly with it.

It all added up to a very enjoyable match. Give me two somewhat bumbling superheroes, and I’m probably going to be happy.

Verdict: Misao and Shoko To The Rescue!

Yuki Kamifuku and Pom Harajuku defeated Mirai Maiumi and Sena Shiori

I suspect Kamiyu’s in no rush to give that title up. Credit: TJPW

We’re building to Mirai vs Kamiyu and damn am I excited about that match. Everyone has known for a while that Mirai is going places, but she’s been getting better and better. That combination of power and technique seems like a perfect blend to come up again Kamiyu.

Talking of whom, it has to be said that Tokyo Joshi’s decision to put the title on her over Noa is looking smarter every day. Noa’s time will come, like Mirai everyone knows she’s great, but Kamiyu has clearly relished being the champ. It seems to have given her renewed confidence, as everything from the way she carries herself to her ring-work has taken that extra step-up. She’s great at the little stuff, dangling the title in-front of Mirai after getting the win, teasing her before walking away.

Elsewhere, Pom and Sena were their usual reliable selves, two people you can drop into any tag and know they will do their job. It made for a decent match-up, that did what it wanted to do by teasing what will come next.

Verdict: Good Stuff

The Bakuretsu Sisters (Yuki Aino & Nodoka Tenma) and Haruna Neko defeated Suzume, Nao Kakuta and Marika Kobashi

Don’t throw your cat. Credit: TJPW

In a sign of how far Suzume has come, she stood out in this match not only for her in-ring work but because she felt like the star of her team. She and Aino were given a long stretch to work together in the last act, both shining brightly and looking like a formidable pairing. Judging by that, I’d be more than happy if Suzume grabbed a partner (preferably Mirai again) and got another stab at taking those tag titles.

It’s also worth saying that while Nao hasn’t had a big storyline or match yet, she’s been very solid since coming into Tokyo Joshi. She already feels like an established member of the roster, someone they can rely on to bring it when asked, and when she does get a bigger opportunity, I’m sure she’ll step up to it.

Outside of those observations, this was your standard, strong Tokyo Joshi mid-card tag match. The most exciting part was actually afterwards, as Misao and Shin Ultra Shoko came out to make their challenge. Unsurprisingly, the sisters would accept, and that’s yet another awesome match for next month’s Korakuen. That show has the potential to be something special.

Verdict: The Big Matches Keep Coming!

Rika Tatsumi and The Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki) defeated The Up Up Girls (Miu Watanabe, Hikari Noa & Raku)

Young love. Credit: TJPW

Our main event had a whole lot of good stuff packed into it. Firstly, we’re building to Rika vs Miu. Secondly, we’ve got Rika and her, let’s say crush, on Mizuki causing all sorts of problem and finally, the Up Up Girls were together as a trio, which always makes for a good day.

It did all leave Mizuki in a bit of a tough spot. You’d have thought Yuka and Rika would be at each other’s throats due to the recent title match, but really they were fighting over their third partner’s affections. At one point, she dropped down to the floor, yelling at them both to stop arguing and refusing to tag in till they did. Not that it made a difference, Rika went right back into doing some excellent third-wheeling, attempting to join onto the Sugar Rabbit’s double Snapmare, which would have meant she was giving the move to Sakazaki.

On the more serious side of the match, Rika vs Miu is going to rule. Miu has decided to focus on Tatsumi’s inner ear canal (as you do), by which she means she is planning on spinning her around really fast, something she went for in this match but was unable to pull off. Even outside of that, though, they looked to have as good chemistry as foes as they do as partners. Then you have Hikari, who was as great as ever, but would end up taking the pin instead of Raku, which was a bit of a weird call. I ain’t complaining, though, Raku deserves all the little victories and she’s got to get ready for that match with Aja Kong.

Verdict: Go For The Inner Ear Canal!

Overall Show

With the shorter gap between big shows, this was a jam-packed showing from Tokyo Joshi. Nearly every match set-up another and it meant the the whole thing flew by in under a couple of hours. If you’re a new fan looking where to head next after the January 4th show, this is the place for you, as it gives you everything you need to know ahead of Korakuen.

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