I am always excited for Marvelous shows, but after the beautiful chaos that was the main event of the last one, I was doubly so for this. Marvelous are leaning into the Colour Wars, which have seen them divide their roster based on the colour of their gear (I may have come up with the name myself). It’s a beautifully simple way to put together wrestling matches, and my god, is it working.
Chig was wearing a yellow baseball cap at ringside, perhaps giving us all an indication of where her allegiances lie?
Riko Kawahata (Red) defeated Maria (Purple) and AnCham (Yellow) in a three-way
We kicked things off with an opportunity for three talented young wrestlers to get in the ring together and show what they could do. Three-ways are a complex match type to construct, and while there was a period where Riko went missing on the outside for a tad too long, I ultimately thought they did a good job. They gave us a nice mix of having everyone involved and some good one-on-one action.
It left me feeling like these three are on the cusp of breakout years. Admittedly, I haven’t seen as much of AnCham as I have the other two, but you can tell she’s been putting in the work, particularly with her submission game. Riko and Maria, meanwhile, have been accelerating wildly in their development. Every time I see them, they’ve improved, and they both appear comfortable in who they are as wrestlers. If they get the right opportunities, 2022 could be a massive year for all of them.
That meant that while this was a good match, it left me even more excited for what we might see in the future. These three had good chemistry, and whether it was Maria gleefully betraying Kawahata when they momentarily teamed up or AnCham snatching everyone into submissions, I want to see more of it. This was a good taster, but the eventual main course will be even better.
Verdit: Exciting Futures
Leo Isaka defeated Takato Nakano
As far as I know, Leo has not yet been recruited into the Colours Wars, but his gear is red, so we all know where his allegiances lie. Nakano, meanwhile, is a Basara guy who I don’t think I’ve seen before. He has a sword, though. Swords are cool.
Sadly, sword aside, the match was kinda just there. Takato worked over Leo’s arm and looked like a decent wrestler, but he didn’t have the personality to pull me into the action. While Leo is always good and does a solid job of getting the Marvelous crowd behind him, the whole thing felt like every other alright match of his that I’ve seen.
I always feel like I’m being harsh on these and have an urge to point out that I don’t think Leo or his opponents are crap. The problem is purely a lack of emotional investment. As much as I like Leo, this felt like two people who I’m not that bothered about having a random match, something that it will always be hard to get excited about.
Team Black (Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe) defeated Team Red (Takumi Iroha & Miyako Matsumoto)
Team Red has stuck with ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ as their theme, and even though Riko wasn’t in this match, she still got into the ring and danced while they made their entrance. That alone meant it was perfect.
A big part of why I am enamoured with the Colours Wars is that everyone seems to have been told to go out and be very silly. Pairing Miyacoco and Takumi up was already an inspired move, but putting them up against this veteran pairing pushed it into genius. Few things in life are more enjoyable than watching Miyacoco try very hard at something and fail, and her repeatedly bouncing off Ito was one of those gags that got funnier every time they did it.
Then, when they weren’t being silly, Iroha mixing it up with the veterans was well done. I love that, at this stage in their careers, it’s made clear that Ito and Tomoko are at Takumi’s level. They were forced to play a bit dirty to get to her, attacking that previously injured knee. It put them over as smart old-timers, allowed them to get some offence on Iroha (including a vicious Ito Powerbomb), and, at the same time, protected the Ace.
Plus, Miyacoco was there to take the finish, a massive Double Stomp from Ito doing the job and then some. If you haven’t already guessed, I enjoyed this a lot. It didn’t touch the chaos of the previous show’s main event, but it shared some DNA with it, and that was always going to make me happy.
Team Blue (Rin Kadokura, Yuu & Itsuki Aoki) defeated Team Yellow (Chikayo Nagashima, Yurika Oka & Ai Houzan)
The blue team must have been licking their lips when they realised they could recruit Yuu. I’m not saying you need a tank, but it certainly doesn’t hurt, does it? Plus, it meant we got some brilliant rookie bouncing off her action. My personal favourite was Ai trying to headbutt her way through the hoss, leaving Chigusa chuckling away on commentary at her rookie’s foolishness.
And even putting all the silliness aside, this match pointed to why the colour based stuff is working. It’s giving us combinations that we wouldn’t have got otherwise. Nagashima taking these two young wrestlers under her wing is a cool idea, and giving them the main event against a bit of an all-star team is a massive opportunity for them. Sure, you could have just thrown it together at random, but that slither of competition makes it mean something. Plus, it gives us Team Yellow’s entrance choreography and giant flag.
It meant that while I thought everyone came out of this looking great, it was the two rookies who stole the show. Yurika and Ai have been given a lot of opportunities recently, and they’ve grabbed every single one, even if it was Houzan who ultimately ended up taking the fall. On paper, this is a silly little feud that Marvelous threw together to end the year and make up for their depleted roster, but they’re making gold with it, and ultimately, I suspect those two will benefit from it more than most.
Verdict: So Much Fun
I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out that I was a fan of this one. Marvelous was already my favourite wrestling promotion, but this end of year embracing of the nonsense has pushed them over the edge. I want to watch them all be very silly while having good wrestling matches forever.