TJPW The Bullet (19/6/21) Review

A rough relationship. Credit: TJPW

Only a few days removed from their latest trip to Korakuen, Tokyo Joshi were right back at it, heading to Narimasu Act Hall to deal with a bit of fallout and a touch of the future. Let’s have a ramble about what went down.

There was a pre-show contract singing for Sakisama vs Miyu, which, if you’re used to how these things tend to go in centre companies, had a shocking twist as no one went through a table. Aside from that, it was pretty straightforward apart from poor Namba managing to mess up Sakisama’s name and earn her ire. An ire that I can only imagine is terrifying.

Maki Itoh defeated Mahiro Kiryu

Maki always looks very serene mid-Kokeshi. Credit: TJPW

I’m still not used to Itoh being presented as the dominant force in matches. To be clear, that’s not me saying that I think she does it badly. In fact, while I believe that she will always shine brightest as an underdog, I do buy her as someone who can put away the likes of Kiryu relatively easy. It’s that her natural rise up the card has got her to this point so elegantly that it almost happened without me noticing.

The match itself was nothing particularly exciting or worthy of analysis, but it worked as an enjoyable wee opener. Itoh has enough personality to waltz through without trying but always works hard, and Mahiro is a solid dance partner. It’s skippable if you’re in a rush but still worth a watch.

Verdict: Dominant Itoh

Hyper Misao defeated Miu Watanabe & Pom Harajuku in a Three-Way

Torture. Credit: TJPW

On a very good weekend for Scotland, I think we should all take a minute to appreciate Tartan Pom. Watching her bound to the ring (nearly heading off in the wrong direction) before charging up to Namba, standing just that little bit too close in her enthusiasm, I can’t help smiling. Pom is unashamedly Pom, and while I can imagine that’s exhausting for those around her, I hope she never changes.

Someone else who should never change is Hyper Misao, who spent this match balancing the politics of a three-way nicely. This was somehow Miu’s first-ever one, which is almost impressive, so Misao recruited Pom to show her how it’s done. Of course, that mainly involved having Pom do the hard work, but you can’t deny its effectiveness or entertainment value. She won, and I had a nice time, so who is complaining?

As for Miu, she’s been looking great recently, and I sense a decent Princess Cup for her. I can’t see her winning it so close to her last title challenge, but she’s becoming someone Tokyo Joshi can rely on for good matches, and those power moves are only getting more impressive. While she didn’t get the win here, she’s being slotted into position for a bright future.

Verdict: Misao Is One Step Ahead

Mizuki, Marika Kobashi & Kaya Toribami defeated BeeStar (Mirai Maiumi & Suzume) & Arisu Endo

Flipping rookie. Credit: TJPW

I’m still fascinated by Kaya. She’s either the most relaxed rookie I have ever seen, who has taken to wrestling like it’s the easiest thing in the world, or there is something else going on there. There was a moment in this match where she messed up, awkwardly slipping on the ropes, and I thought we might finally see something cause her to wobble, but I was wrong. She awkwardly fell onto Suzume before getting right back to it, finding her way back into the flow of the action.

Outside of that, everyone you’d expect to be great was great. BeeStar are one of my favourite tag-teams at the moment, Mizuki always rules, and while Kaya might have somewhat stolen the spotlight, it is worth highlighting how good Endo is already. It was Marika who was given the most shine, though, bouncing back from her defeat to Hikari with a strong showing that saw her choke out Arisu for the win. That feud seems to have bumped her up a rung or two in the hierarchy, and I’m intrigued to see if it sticks.

Verdict: Wonder Rookie

NEO Biishiki-gun (Sakisama & Mei Saint-Michel) defeated Raku & Moka Miyamoto

Dream match. Credit: TJPW

Raku adding lullabies to her arsenal is the wrestling innovation of 2021 and proved that Sakisama does indeed have a weakness. Her gentle song lulling the French aristocrat to sleep, sending Mei Saint-Michel into a panic in which she accused Raku of poisoning her boss, is everything I want from this bizarre form of entertainment. It all ending with MSM running around with the ring bell, loudly banging on it to wake Sakisama up was the perfect cherry on top of this already delicious cake. Maybe if Miyu gets working on her singing, then she’ll stand a chance?

And I will take every opportunity to rave about how fantastic Mei is in this role. She has fully embraced playing this demonic goblin maid character and the way she buzzes around, making a menace of herself, is incredible. She stands in wonderful contrast to the effortless elegance of Sakisama, who acts like she’s kicking the shit out of you as a favour that you haven’t earned. Put that pairing in with Raku, who never fails to delight me, and I am a happy man.

Verdict: Delightful

Hikari Noa, Yuki Kamifuku & Yuki Aino defeated Rika Tatsumi, Nao Kakuta & Haruna Neko

I will watch Hikari dropkick people all day. Credit: TJPW

Rika Tatsumi is a brilliant wrestler. Her manic weirdo vibes in this match were off the charts as she tried to take control of her team and instead kind of freaked her partners out. Sometimes she’s just a little too intense, and the cat and her former cat pal weren’t quite sure how to deal with it.

Outside of that, this was a further reminder of how good Tokyo Joshi are at these midcard tags. I go on about it all the time, but this was a nothing match on paper. There were no storyline stakes, and everyone had been kind of thrown together, but it was still a blast. They gave us a well-worked, fun showing with some great wrestling thrown in there. Was it essential? No, probably not, but by the time it’s done, I’m nearly always happy with what I’ve seen.

Verdict: They’re Good At This

Miyu Yamashita & Yuka Sakazaki defeated Shoko Nakajima & Nodoka Tenma

Poor Nodoka’s tummy. Credit: TJPW

The four women in this match have been wrestling each other and sharing locker rooms for a long old time. If they were the types to take it easy, they could sleepwalk their way to a good match, but thankfully, that’s not really what they do.

And that bond was evident in the early messing around, Yuka and Miyu choosing to target Nodoka’s tummy. At one point, Sakazaki went full big sister, pinning poor Tenma down, slapping her stomach and blowing a raspberry on it. I would complain about such horrible bullying, but it also made me laugh, so I guess I’m complicit. It was also the moment in the match where the two halves of Tokyo Joshi’s CyberFest main event were most in sync, as Yuka’s resentment would later boil to the surface. To be fair to her, she didn’t openly attack Miyu. She just wasn’t that bothered if the attacks she did to Nodoka and Shoko also led to The Ace being hurt.

All in all, this was simple, brilliant wrestling that I can’t imagine disliking. When you’re watching Shoko and Miyu work through brilliant sequences, the two of them appearing to read each other’s mind, it’s easy to sit back and relax, letting it wash over you. You can trust them to give you the very best, and this wasn’t to be the rare occasion where they’d let you down.

Verdict: A Lovely Time

Overall Show

Lullabies and good wrestling, what else can you ask for from a show? There wasn’t anything particularly monumental about this TJPW outing, and if you’re not a completionist, it’s one that you can happily skip, but it was a whole lot of fun.

Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw

If you enjoyed this review, please consider contributing to my Ko-fi, even the smallest amount is appreciated.

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