We’re only a few days removed from TJPW’s next Korakuen trip, but there was time for one more stop before we got there. What went down? Well, you could either watch it or read this to find out. Wait, do both! Yea, that’s a good idea.
Yuka Sakazaki defeated Pom Harajuku
I’m a bit worried about Yuka. Wrestlers are hardly known for their intelligence, but it took her a really long time to figure out that the person she hit with a very impressive Brainbuster at the start of this match was Ref Kiso in a Pom mask. Don’t get me wrong, it was an ingenious plan from Pom and a great way to kick off her 3rd Pomiversary, but I just feel like Sakazaki should have figured it out a bit quicker than she did.
Still, Yuka’s questionable intelligence aside, it was nice to see yet another unsuccessful Pom scheme. She’s been getting incredibly creative recently, and while it is yet to pay off, I am inclined to give higher marks for effort. Plus, when she and Yuka did do a bit of wrestling, Pom had her on the ropes for a second or two, the combination of the Pom de Justice and the Shin Kicks paying off well.
Sadly, Pom’s 3rd year would start with her being taken on a Magical-Merry-Go-Round. However, considering the giant leaps forward she’s taken in the last 12 months, I reckon she should book the rematch for next year now so that Yuka can prepare for a shin-kicking.
Verdict: Happy Pomiversary!
Shoko Nakajima defeated Raku and Arisu Endo in a three-way
I have no concerns about Raku’s intelligence. Everyone’s favourite mischievous lover of trains has got three-ways figured out. Why put yourself at risk of being beaten up when you can slip to the outside, leave the other two to it and then sneak back in at the perfect opportunity? Okay, it might occasionally annoy Shoko (who has had to deal with these genius tactics before), but that’s a small price to pay.
And unless you’re new to my reviews, you’ll know that Raku’s mischief is one of my favourite things in the world, so there was zero chance of me not enjoying this. It also helps that in Arisu and Shoko, you have two people who can put on a fun match around it. They gave us the perfect blend of Raku’s gentle comedy and some really solid action.
Sadly, in the end, Shoko would get the win, but Raku took a lot less of a beating than Pom did, so I think she can count this particular scheme as a stronger success. Shoko, meanwhile, warmed up nicely for her Korakuen showdown with Nodoka, a match that I have very high hopes for.
Verdict: Raku Makes Me Happy
Miu Watanabe & Hyper Misao defeated Toyo University (Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu)
Kamiyu has found Misao’s biggest weakness. Yup, she convinced the sound guy (who we learned is called Dokan) to turn off Misao’s mic before her pre-match shtick and blast club music instead. I’m not going to lie. I’m Team Misao on that one. Thankfully, Miu was around to go and ask him to kindly stop, leading to a particularly amusing observation from Kamiyu.
Combine that with Kamiyu using cold spray to blind Miu and trick her into doing the Giant Swing on Misao, and I feel like we were setting the tone for the Yuki vs Hyper Misao Korakuen showdown. It’s not often someone tries to out-shenanigan Tokyo Joshi’s protector of love and peace, but Kamiyu clearly feels she has the power, and that’s basically a perfect setup. Let the antics commence!
Anyway, outside of the latest of the many schemes on this show, it was a pretty fun match. Miu has been on top form recently, while the Toyo University pairing is solid, even if Mahiro does tend to become the extra wheel in these situations. Then again, if you’re surrounded by that much personality, it must be hard to stand out, and she still played her part well. So it all gets the thumbs up from me!
Verdict: Shenanigan War!
Mizuki, Hikari Noa & Marika Kobashi defeated Nodoka Tenma, Nao Kakuta & Haruna Neko
Hikari really loves abusing Nao, as their love/hate relationship is flourishing beautifully. It’s almost inspiring. Everyone should try and find something in life that they enjoy that much. Although, if you’re not a professional wrestler, you probably shouldn’t make it mocking and attacking another human being. That might just make you a dick.
Anyway, this was one of those matches where both trios clicked. Marika, Hikari and Mizuki were a great combo of menaces, summed up by them all leaping on Nao at the same time for a pin. On the other side, you got the joy of Nodoka wanting to get in on Neko’s rope walking, only to discover that she isn’t that comfortable high up. There is rarely a team in TJPW that doesn’t have some kind of chemistry, but this lot were excellent together.
And that made for a very entertaining match. It was, ultimately, another TJPW multi-person tag (and I was disappointed to find it was scheme free), but I like them, and I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you do too.
Verdict: Good Fun
121000000 (Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh) & Suzume defeated Rika Tatsumi, Yuki Aino & Moka Miyamoto
We got perhaps the most elaborate setup for a Kokeshi ever in this one. It included Suzume rolling Aino back into place twice while Miyu spun Itoh through the air to keep her from falling before she was in the right spot. I’m not saying that every Kokeshi should look like that, but maybe every Kokeshi should look like that.
Singular moves aside, it will be no shock to anyone (because their interactions always rule), but the snippet we got of Rina vs Miyu was brilliant. It wasn’t anything major, but for just a couple of minutes, the two of them clicked into a groove, and it was glorious. Then Rina went and did the same thing with Itoh. Damn, she’s good.
In fact, this was a match made up of great combinations. Whether it was the relative rookies Suzume and Moka or Aino and Miyu continuing their mini-feud from a couple of months back, it was packed with strong pairings. As someone who watches nearly all TJPW shows, you’d think I’d begin to get bored of these kinds of matches because we see them a lot, but I never do. There is always something new in there to catch my attention, a moment like Moka manages to escape an Itoh crab by powering her through into an almost Sunset Flip position, a counter I can’t think of seeing before.
Sadly, after a fun finisher exchange, Moka would eventually find herself back in a similar position, and there was to be no escape. Itoh picked up the win with the Itoh Pain to keep the momentum with 121000000 ahead of their title challenge, and see out a very entertaining main event.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Usually, these TJPW shows come in at a breezy two hours, but this one was an even breezier hour and a half. That makes it an even easier recommendation than usual, but with the normal caveat that it’s nothing essential. However, if you are a fan of a good scheme, you owe it to yourself to check out at least the first few matches where we had schemes coming out of our ears.
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