I love me a Marvelous show, and we had an intriguing one here. At first glance, this card didn’t leap off the page outside of the semi-main event, but, well, I’ll let you read on and see what happened in the main. Needless to say, it was notable.
Tomoko Watanabe defeated Kaoru Ito and Yuki Miyazaki in a three-way
Yuki was the baby in this match with a mere twenty-six years of experience next to Kaoru and Tomoko’s thirty-two. To add to her disadvantage, Ito and Watanabe debuted on the same day and are long-term tag-team partners, something they seemed pretty happy to lean into.
And honestly, beyond that, I don’t know what was going on here. There was a couple of long discussions, which Chig certainly found funny, and when it all broke down, it was every woman for themselves. At that point, Ito started dropping people with some lovely violent suplexes only to eventually be bundled up by her old pal for the win. Elsewhere, Yuki didn’t seem too bothered. She was too busy trying to romance Takumi outside the ring.
This is one of those matches that is hurt by me not knowing Japanese. That’s obviously not the fault of the wrestlers, and people in the room seemed to be enjoying it. However, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on when you can’t understand it, and those Ito suplexes aside, the action was about what you’d expect from these three in 2021. If your Japanese is better than mine, you might get something more out of it. Otherwise, it’s not something you need to seek out.
Verdict: It’s Hard To Say, But The Action Was Fine
Kengo defeated Leo Isaka
Kengo is a freelancer who has been doing a lot of work for Freedoms recently and has a history in Michinoku Pro and ZERO1. He has one of those Cagematch pages where I recognise most of the logos, but there are definitely a few I have to hover over to rejig my memory, and as a twelve-year veteran, he’s been around the block.
And he wrestled this match like a vet. While Leo wanted to speed things up and come off his feet, Kengo was dishing out lessons with some stiff strikes. It’s a pretty straightforward formula, but for the most part, it worked. Kengo was a nice physical challenge for Leo to attempt to overcome, and the fans got behind Isaka, clapping him on.
However, I can’t pretend it had me too emotionally invested. It was fine, but this was very much on the forget about it in a week side of the Leo spectrum. As I always say, while Isaka is a talented young wrestler, it’s hard to get invested in a straightforward match that you know will never go anywhere. Still, it didn’t suck, and if you’re more into Leo’s battles against the Japanese indie scene than I am, I imagine you’ll enjoy it.
Mio came out before the break, announcing that, sadly, she’ll be having surgery. Fingers crossed that all goes well and the best wrestler in the world is back sooner rather than later.
Rin Kadokura & Itsuki Aoki defeated ASUKA & Maria
ASUKA came out to Maria’s music which was an interesting touch. They are a favourite pairing of mine, as ASUKA is the perfect person to nourish Maria’s brilliantly spiky attitude (I say that as if there is a massive gap between them, Maria is only two years younger). As they lounged in the corner disdainfully watching Itsuki and Rin offer up a handshake, even a complete newbie could have figured out what was going down with these teams.
It also allowed Maria to continue her recent trend of being awesome. That’s not to suggest she wasn’t beforehand, but she seems to have returned from injury with the bit between her teeth, stepping up in response to Marvelous’s depleted roster. That aforementioned attitude, combined with her technical talent, makes her the perfect foil for the pure heart of someone like Rin, and the final stretch between the two of them ruled. It was perfectly judged to give Rin a win over Maria after putting her over a lot recently, but also make it clear that none of Maria’s successes had been a fluke, cementing them as my current favourite Marvelous mini-feud.
As for ASUKA and Itsuki, you don’t need me to tell you they were good. Like Maria, ASUKA has great chemistry with Rin, while Aoki is always fun. You also have to give them credit for being willing to stand back and leave Rin and Maria to it. ASUKA, in particular, is talented enough to dominate any match but is also intelligent enough to realise it doesn’t have to be the case. They were great backing dancers in what was a delightful outing.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Chikayo Nagashima, An Cham, Yurika Oka & Ai Houzan defeated Takumi Iroha, Hibiscus Mii, Riko Kawahata & Miyako Matsumoto
Okay, so I have no idea what was happening in this match. It seems to have been the culmination of a feud that played out over the shows that Marvelous didn’t air overseas, and the entrances alone were one of the most chaotic things I’ve ever seen. Everyone was dancing, Hibiscus Mii had one shoe on, and then Miyacoco turned up, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t help things. I fucking loved it.
And I realise I already reviewed one match on this show by complaining that my lack of understanding affected it negatively, but this was a whole different kettle of fish. Because where that match was confusing in a way that made me feel like I was missing the joke, this was just pure chaos. I’m sure there were plenty of things flying over my head, however, it didn’t matter. Why was Hibiscus Mii wearingly significantly more revealing gear than usual and only one boot? No idea, but her discomfort at it and Nagashima stamping on her toes was still funny. It was fitting that Miyacoco was there because this inspired a similar response to most of the Gake matches. Yea, I don’t know what the fuck is happening, but I’m more than willing to go along for the ride.
It also helped that in-between the nonsense, it had some of my favourite wrestlers. We got Takumi having awesome interactions with An Cham, Yurika and Ai, Riko continuing what has been a sneaky standout year and Ai being the brilliant pest rookie that she always is. Meanwhile, Miyacoco and Hibiscus Mii, two of the world’s finest purveyors of nonsense, ran around, causing chaos and entertainingly getting in the way. It was brilliant wrestling wrapped up in a bow of utter insanity, and there was no chance in hell I was ever going to dislike it. After watching the entrances, I joked on Twitter that it was my match of the year. Having seen the whole thing, it at least makes the longlist.
The finish was Miyacoco’s entire team ‘accidentally’ hitting her with moves (I’m not sure about Takumi), and there was no better way to end this match. If your taste lies anywhere close to mine, you need to see it.
After the first two matches, I was worried I would have to give a Marvelous show a lukewarm review. Thankfully, this came roaring back with a second-half that was out of this world good. Marvelous is the fucking best, and if you’re not already supporting them, you should start now. This kind of madness needs to be rewarded.