With the launch of the new look Wrestle Universe, we’re getting a whole month of live TJPW shows, which is one lovely spooky season treat. Not that any of them are designed to make you jump, at least not yet. I’ve watched enough horror films to know that something scary could pop up at any moment, so I’m never going to rule it out. Anyway, I’ll stop blabbering nonsense and get on with the rambles.
Yuki Kamifuku defeated Arisu Endo
Arisu Endo is an easy wrestler to watch. She’s likeable and confident, while her in-ring work feels solid and well-rounded, even if she still has a rookie sized moveset. I already find myself relaxing into her matches, safe in the knowledge that she’s going to put on a good show, which is impressive for someone so young in her career.
And this opener didn’t break the trend. Kamiyu has had a fantastic 2021, and she’s clearly taken a lot of confidence from that. She now looks at home in a wrestling ring, comfortable going out there and playing the veteran. It’s not that long ago that you’d have worried for her in that position, but now it excites me to watch her boot young rookies in the face.
The combination of the two made for a short and sweet opener that was an enjoyable watch. There was nothing particularly blow away or spectacular about it, but everyone did what they needed to do and looked good while doing so.
Verdict: Fun Opener
Kyoraku Kyomei (Hyper Misao & Shoko Nakajima) defeated Yuki Aino & Haruna Neko
I loved the finish of this match as Shoko tricked Neko into thinking that she’d got the three and then used said confusion to sneak away with the win. It was one of a couple of lovely moments involving the referee, as there was also a great sequence where Nakajima ended up leaping off Kiso’s back with a dropkick. Of course, Shoko being silky smooth and getting the best out of her opponents is nothing new, but now she’s getting the ref’s involved.
And I promise I’m not about to adopt another TJPW undercarder as one of my favourites (at this point, we’re damn close to the whole roster qualifying as such), but I think Neko’s improved a lot recently. She’s settled into her position on the card, using the fact she’s a tiny lass who is easy to root for to her advantage. I can’t ever see her ascending any higher, but she’s becoming a good undercat babyface, working well from underneath. Plus, I have to remind you that she’s a cat, which is always entertaining.
Anyway, this was another fun outing that gave us a couple of brilliant Shoko moments and Misao shouting at Aino for letting Neko get fleas. Thumbs up from me!
Verdict: Neko’s Got Good
Hikari Noa defeated Pom Harajuku
Pom has been learning from God Raku and picked up some mischief of her own. She took her camera down to ringside, stole a bib from a photographer and then used her disguise to launch a sneak attack. It left poor Hikari so frustrated that she ended up pulling said photographer into the ring and getting her involved in the action. Fair play to the lass. She never once stopped taking photos, even as Noa lined her up to be dropkicked in the corner (don’t worry, she escaped before the damage was done).
It was the start of an impressive performance from Pom. Yes, the opening gambit was silly, but the meat was her going after Hikari hard, even draping her across the bottom rope to hit a Pom de Justice. It was one of a couple of moments where I thought we were about to see Harajuku become our next International Princess challenger, which, even as a fan, would have caught me off-guard. However, I also think it would have been a fitting way to cap off her brilliant few months. Pom feels like she’s found her groove, and as she aggressively went after Hikari’s shins, I was more than ready to accept her as a challenger.
Sadly, we will have to wait for that moment as Hikari did eventually regroup, putting Pom away quickly with a Blizzard Suplex. It was another match that established her as a vulnerable champion while keeping alive the idea that she is capable of beating people in the blink of an eye. And while I’m a bit sad that we aren’t getting a Pom title challenge, this was another excellent performance from my favourite clown, who continues to rise in my estimations.
Verdict: Photographer Pom Nearly Did It!
Daydream (Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe) defeated Nao Kakuta & Mahiro Kiryu
Rika’s always been quite violent, but her time off seems to have only added to it. She spent the opening of this match repeatedly trying to grab Mahiro around the throat and choke her, apparently unbothered by things like rules. It made for quite a scary sight as a crazed White Dragon’s grasping hands chased after poor Kiryu’s neck.
Tatsumi was also given a load of time to work with Nao, the two of them looking great together. It was the latest example of Kakuta going out and being one of the best things about a match that wasn’t about her. Having settled into TJPW, she’s become an expert at stealing shows away from people, which will never be a bad thing and will eventually ensure more of them do put her centre stage.
This match was about giving Daydream a win, though, and reminding people that they are still a team. When they got the three, I assumed they were challenging MagiRabbi after the main event, which I would turn out to be wrong about (more on that later), but I’d still expect them to go that way eventually. And when they do, I’d put money on it being brilliant.
Verdict: Violent Rika And Brilliant Nao
NEO Biishiki-gun (Sakisama & Mei Saint-Michel) defeated Nodoka Tenma & Raku
Sakisama’s biggest weakness being Raku’s magic and sorcery, is a running bit that will never fail to delight me. If anything, God’s sleepy powers were too strong this time, poor Nodoka being caught in the crossfire as she helped rock Mei to sleep. When you have such powerful abilities, sometimes they can be hard to control.
There was a zero per cent chance of me not loving this match. It was packed full of my favourites, all of whom have been shown to work together wonderfully. Little things like the sight of tiny Nodoka barging Sakisama off her feet are just great, and I could watch them do their thing all day, every day.
Sadly, it will be a while before I am granted the pleasure again, as after winning, Bii-gun announced they would be returning to France for a bit. I’ll miss the sound of MSM frantically calling Sakisama’s name, but at least that suggests they’ll be back, and we’ll get to see this version of NEO Biishiki-gun again. Plus, they went out on a high, putting on a brilliantly enjoyable performance. Come back soon!
121000000 (Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh) & Moka Miyamoto defeated Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki) & Suzume
Suzume really does fit perfectly into the Sugar Rabbits. She hasn’t quite reached their levels of goblin terror yet, but if she spends enough time under their wing, you could see it happening. Mizuki and Yuka are the right people to pass on the dark arts to that innocent wee bumblebee.
And, honestly, I don’t actually have a whole lot to say about this one. It was a TJPW main event where you can get comfy, sit back and leave them to it. There is no world in which these six don’t put on something entertaining, so whether it’s Mizuki climbing onto Yuka’s back and waving her fists around to remove people from the apron or Moka and Miyu making sure Maki’s Kokeshi is perfectly aligned, it’s not worth overthinking. Grab yourself a snack, crack open a nice refreshing beverage and enjoy some talented wrestlers do their thing.
In the aftermath, it wouldn’t be Daydream challenging for the titles, but 121000000, giving us one hell of a main event for the next Korakuen (although Yuka did try and reject their claim, leaving Miyu somewhat flustered). There isn’t a world in which that doesn’t rule, right?
Verdict: Reliably Brilliant
That was another enjoyable TJPW show that was slightly more eventful than the last one, thanks to Bii-gun heading home and 121000000 challenging for the belts. My highlight was Pom vs Hikari, but the main and semi-main were great too, and the whole thing flew by in under two hours. You certainly can’t complain about that!
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.wrestle-universe.com/en/videos?labels=-tjpw