With TJPW’s next Korakuen on the horizon, we’ve got a streak of live shows in the build-up to it and, with them, the potential for a whole lot of fun. The first one was headlined by a massive ten-person tag, previewing all the big showdowns on that card, so I think we should stop blabbing and get into it.
Yuki Aino defeated Moka Miyamoto
Early in this match, there was a moment where Yuki and Moka got in a bit of a kerfuffle. It wasn’t a horrible botch or anything dangerous, but a simple moment of miscommunication where Aino hit the ropes and obviously wasn’t expecting the elbow Moka delivered. Yuki still sold it, and while it looked a bit ugly, even the most miserable bastard would struggle to say it hurt the match. In fact, I kind of think it made it.
Because after that moment, it felt like these two clicked. Perhaps I’m creating narratives that don’t exist, but you could almost see Moka take confidence from breezing past a mistake while Aino chose to go the other way and get mean. She always worked a physical style, but here she had the scowl to match it as she tried to take this young rookie to school.
It all made for a strong opener as Moka’s ever-improving basics blended nicely with Aino’s powerhouse approach. They also gave the rookie a lot, letting her battle past the first couple of moments where I assumed the end was nigh. Recently, TJPW has been quietly powering Miyamoto up in defeat, and performances like this are why.
Verdict: Really Solid
Marika Kobashi defeated Pom Harajuku and Mahiro Kiryu in a three-way
Pom has been trying her hand at some mischief recently, and it’s not quite going to plan. Her attempt to lure Marika and Mahiro in by taking Instagram-ready Pomtraits would generate one of my favourite ddtpro_eng translations of the year, as she had to kindly ask that Marika wait a second before kicking the shit out of her because her camera is really expensive. To Kobashi’s credit, she agreed, gently putting it down before getting down to the aforementioned shit-kicking.
It’s all played into what I think has been a rapid improvement from Pom in 2021. She was the highlight of this match, not only with her camera antics but also in her rather unique wrestling style. Very few people go out there and work over the shins, but Pom has made that her thing, and it works. Well, it kinda works. Unfortunately, Marika would end up pinning her, so we probably can’t call it a complete success.
It all made for a fun, if inessential, watch. If you are charmed by Pom and her antics, you’re going to enjoy it. If you’re not, well, there will be no Pomtraits for you.
Verdict: The Pomtraits Can’t Be Stopped
Hyper Misao defeated Arisu Endo
Misao pointed out before the match that some of you have been spreading malicious gossip about her. So let’s make something very clear. As a hero, she doesn’t do bad things. She reacts to other people doing bad things. It’s not her fault that TJPW is a world so full of villains that we need her to protect it. If anything, Misao is too generous to this lot. She gave Arisu the benefit of the doubt! Assuming she was too pure to engage in the dark arts. How wrong she would be, as it would be mere minutes into the match before our favourite hero was forced to resort to her cold spray, presumably reacting to some evil from Arisu that only her hero eyes could see. It’s sad. She gives them chances, but they’re incapable of getting better.
Still, to give Arisu some credit, she is a good wee wrestler, and this was a fun match. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about it, but much like Moka vs Aino, they did an excellent job of establishing where Endo is in her career. She’s getting closer and closer to picking up a big win, at one point delivering a version of her knee to the back of the head on the apron. In a world where Misao wasn’t smart enough to roll to the outside and stumble around the ring before collapsing, that could have been the end.
Thankfully, our hero is always a step ahead, and she would eventually get the win, but not before Arisu dared to hit her with that cold spray can and fire off a load of it into her eyes. These kids truly can’t be trusted, and it’s a very good thing we have Hyper Misao around to keep them under control.
Verdict: Thank God For Our Hero
Yuki Kamifuku & Raku defeated Suzume & Haruna Neko
Raku is a beautiful human being who would never do anything wrong, but Kamiyu does bring a little something evil out of everyone’s favourite train nerd. They took pleasure in tormenting Neko, dragging her around the ring by her tail and hair. Why does everyone bully that poor cat?
As loath as I am to talk about someone that isn’t Raku, this was Suzume’s match. TJPW don’t often work to the hot tag, but Suzume’s bursts into the ring do have a touch of that to them, and she’s so much fun to watch when they do. She’s constantly on the move, buzzing around the place as she puts her excellent moveset to good use. It also appears to be expanding, as she’s introduced a Step-Up Facebuster thing that looked awesome.
In the end, it came down to the cat vs Kamiyu, and there was only one way that was going. Still, Haruna went down fighting, proving that while you can bully her, you’ll never stop her from trying. That’s a good message to take home, isn’t it?
Verdict: Buzzing Suzume
Miyu Yamashita, Maki Itoh, Nodoka Tenma, Miu Watanabe & Yuki Arai defeated Yuka Sakazaki, Mizuki, Hikari Noa, Rika Tatsumi & Shoko Nakajima
Talking of bullies, someone really needs to control that Yuka Sakazaki. She’s always so mean to Nodoka! Whether it’s blowing raspberries on her stomach or punching her in the face, it’s horrible and unacceptable. Clearly, she knows what she’s doing is wrong since she was unwilling to treat Arai the same way when Tenma escaped her evil clutches. She must be stopped!
Outside of the meanness, this was a big old chaotic main event. From the second the bell rang, they all took off, flying through a match that didn’t give you a second to breathe. Nor did it need to, really. In some places, that style can be exhausting, but TJPW is good at keeping things flowing and mixing it up. They’ll seamlessly move from wild multi-person sections to Rika and Arai grappling for the upper hand in a preview of their upcoming match.
And ultimately, Tenma would get the last laugh, sneaking out with a win over Shoko despite that big bully on the other side. As you’d expect with who was involved, this was a shitload of fun and barrelled by despite going over twenty minutes. If you’re going to preview your big show with a bit of chaos, that’s how to do it.
Verdict: So Much Fun
Another breezy, sub-two-hour show from TJPW. They do an outstanding job of making these smaller shows a lot of fun but never making them essential, so those who don’t get a chance to watch aren’t going to fall behind. They’re house shows, but entertaining ones, that give us Nodoka Tenma winning main events. How could anyone complain about that?
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.wrestle-universe.com/en/videos?labels=-tjpw