Wednesday evening Tokyo Joshi! Well, it was Wednesday morning in the UK, but still, that’s not a treat we get very often. Wrestle Princess is even closer than the last time I said it was getting close, so I’m pretty sure we’re going to get at least one match announcement, right? I guess it’s time to find out.
Yuka Sakazaki, Suzume & Haruna Neko defeated Nodoka Tenma, Yuki Kamifuku & Arisu Endo
She may act all happy with her ayayays, but Yuka Sakazaki can be very mean when she wants to be. The opening of this match saw her being gleefully cruel to first Nodoka and then Arisu, forcing them both to flee from the ring after whipping them into the ropes and standing with her first outstretched, essentially forcing them to punch themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it was funny, but that doesn’t make it right.
Once Yuka’s bullying was out of the way, Kamiyu vs Suzume was the highlight of our opener. Suzume standing out is becoming a common theme, as her constant movement really shines in these fast-paced tags. I’m not sure if we can count having Kamiyu boot her head into the back row as strictly being a part of her skillset, but that was also quite impressive. Mainly because I’m not sure how she managed to get up again afterwards.
In the end, Yuka would get serious and see Arisu off with authority, closing out an enjoyable tag. You know what you’re going to get with this kind of match, and while I guess that doesn’t make them particularly exciting, it doesn’t stop me from having a nice time.
Verdict: Good Opener
Hyper Misao defeated Kaya Toribami
I think that Torippi is getting a bit big for her boots. How could she ever believe that Misao would make her the 2nd generation protector of love and peace and pass on any of her superhero responsibilities to her? She’s just a rookie! It’s her own fault that Misao was forced to attack her from behind as she showed off her superhero pose.
Okay, so if I am honest, Misao might have been up to some antics. However, I do think it’s essential that these rookies are taught about these kinds of things. How else is she to learn never to trust suspicious, masked individuals or that while a cape is a nifty fashion accessory, it can also be used to choke you? Plus, she still got to show off some of her fancy pants offence.
Your enjoyment of this will directly correlate with your enjoyment of Misao, but it would be kind of weird to seek my view out on something if you didn’t love Misao. If you’re not a fan and do still, for some weird reason, decide to read what I say, then you can probably give this a miss because it was heavy on the superhero antics. For the rest of us, it’s an inessential but entertaining time.
Verdict: Misao Gonna Misao
Yuki Aino & Raku defeated Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta
TJPW have an amazing talent for doing the obvious thing and making it surprising. Aino coming out of her mini-storyline with Miyu and challenging Hikari for the International Title makes all the sense in the world (Hikari made her own challenge off the back of a defeat to Miyu), and yet at no point in my raving about the booking of that story did I see it coming. I’m willing to accept that might be my failing, but it still made the result of this match a delightful surprise.
Delight is a decent word for summing up the whole thing. We had two very different pairings here, the lovey-dovey team of Aino and Raku vs the bickering Hikari and Nao. There were points where they were as interested in hitting each other as their opponents, although they did show some strong chemistry around that. As a sucker for the old Tam and Arisa storyline, I enjoyed it a lot. Plus, anything Raku is involved in is delightful.
The most important thing, though, was how Aino and Noa looked together, and I had no worries there either. In fact, Yuki looked good against both of her opponents, bringing the combative side out of them. I think she’ll be a particularly good fit for Hikari, as they both have a scrappiness to their wrestling that should work together brilliantly. Gosh, I’m getting excited already.
Verdict: A Delight
NEO Biishiki-gun (Sakisama & Mei Saint-Michel) defeated Mizuki & Pom Harajuku
Mei Saint-Michel is an extraordinary goblin. She’s vicious and cruel, more likely to go for a stamp on the toes than a shake of the hand, but Mizuki is the goblin. While Mei Saint-Michel was wandering in the French woods, unaware of the future ahead of her, Mizuki was honing her craft, becoming one of the very best. So for every act of malice that MSM pulled off in this match, Mizuki was right there, ready to meet her and raise the bar. It made for one hell of a goblin-off.
It wasn’t all about them, though, and I have to give some more love to Pom. August was probably the best month of her career so far, and she kept up her good form while battling Sakisama. The moment where she first escaped the aristocrat’s clutches with a boot to the shin drew a reaction from the clap only crowd that I’m sure would have equalled a monster pop in normal circumstances. She’s still the underdog who spent most of this being beaten up, but she is consistently improving, and that warms my heart.
The other moment that perhaps would have got a big reaction in less stressful times was the staredown between Sakisama and Yuka on the outside. It was a hint of what was to come, as while Sakisama would cling on to her choke on Pom, ignoring Mizuki stamping on her until Mei could see her off with a smack of her plate, our Wrestle Princess match is set. We’re doing Bii-gun vs MagiRabbit, and while this was a good match, that has the potential to be incredible.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Miyu Yamashita, Miu Watanabe & Yuki Arai fought Maki Itoh, Shoko Nakajima & Moka Miyamoto to a time-limit draw
For the first time since Itoh won the Princess Cup and made her match with Yamashita at Wrestle Princess official, Miyu and Maki were on opposite sides of the ring. Any worry that their recent teaming up has taken the edge off their feud went out the window quickly, tensions simmering as they started the match together. However, they were smart enough not to give too much away, keeping their interactions to a minimum. We already know those two are an exciting pairing, so we only need hints to keep the anticipation up.
Before we get back to them, though, let’s focus on Arai and Moka for a second. They are making a habit of being a stand out pairing, bringing real rookie fire to their meetings. On paper, they were the least interesting thing about this match, nothing more than a pin eater in each team to keep the result something of a secret, but they gave everything they had to their interactions. It’s what you want a rookie rivalry to be, as you get the feeling that they are pushing each other, getting better so as not to be left behind.
Heading back to the main eventers, while Miyu and Maki’s interactions were kept to a minimum, there was plenty of other stuff to get your teeth into. Miyu vs Shoko is never going to be a bad thing, while Miu and Maki also had some good moments. Then, when Yamashita and Itoh did face-off, they went hard and fast, bringing the heat, but with neither quite managing to land a killer blow. Itoh would get closest with an Itoh Deluxe, but the time ran out as she cranked it.
It all made for one hell of a main event. Not only did it add some more fire to our Wrestle Princess main event, but it gave two rookies the chance to shine and kept Miu and Shoko ticking over nicely. You can’t ask for more than that, can you?
Well, I got what I asked for. We’ve now got all our title matches for Wrestle Princess, and damn, that’s a hell of a card already, isn’t it? As for this show, the important stuff is from the third bout onwards, but it’s all very watchable. You could argue Tokyo Joshi don’t have to try too hard to get me excited, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe/videos?teamId=tjpw