The Colourful World of Marvelous is (according to the opening video package) cute, lovely, sexy, precious, energy and courage, a list that I can find no fault in. If anything, I reckon they could add a few more. Chaotic? Genius? Nonsensical? The best? They all work!
Yuki Miyazaki defeated Ai Houzan
First Takumi ran scared of Ai, then Hirota! When are these veterans going to pluck up the courage to face the force that is Ai Houzan? (In reality, Takumi got COVID while Hirota was a close contact, so I hope they’re both okay and recover as quickly as possible.) Hirota was at least brave enough to turn up digitally, cutting a promo via video call and then being placed at the side of the ring with a handy microphone so that she could provide a running stream of critiques.
And watching this match, it’s so clear that Ai Houzan is a wrestler who has learnt at the feet of Mio Momono. Whether it’s calling Yuki granny, yelling down the phone at Hirota or the way she ties her flurries of moves together, there is so much Mio in her. It’s not only that brilliantly chaotic goblin energy, either. She’s also picked up Momono’s bloody-minded determination, literally biting her way out of submissions in her quest to get an upset win over another veteran.
It made for a hell of an opener that had me grinning from ear to ear as Ai battled to take down Miyazaki. Sadly, she couldn’t manage it, but she gave us another fantastic performance, and that’s more than enough for me.
Verdict: Brilliant Opener
Team Yellow (Chikayo Nagashima & Yurika Oka) fought Makoto & Maria to a time limit draw
I’ve always enjoyed Maria and ASUKA as a pairing, so it’s good to see her teaming up with the other strawberry. Maria drips attitude, and Makoto and ASUKA are the perfect people to help her hone that, turning it into yet another weapon in her arsenal.
They also proved a suitable pairing for this match, as each team was made up of a veteran and their younger pal. It’s a dynamic that I usually enjoy, and this was no different, as I felt Makoto and Nagashima did a solid job of steering the action while also giving Maria and Oka the space to shine. We know they’re talented young wrestlers, so they don’t need a lot of direction, but a little helping hand here and there does a lot of good.
As the time limit ran out, it was the youngsters who were battling it out, neither able to get the win despite Maria having spent most of the match with her nose busted open and blood streaked across her face (she looked totally badass). If Ai and Oka are going to continue teaming, then I’d be quite happy for Maria to settle into the role of Yurika’s permanent rival. They’ve always looked strong together, and matches like this suggest they’ve got even more to give.
Verdict: Good Stuff
Takumi Sakurai defeated Leo Isaka
Takumi Sakurai usually wrestles for Pro-Wrestling A-Team, a company I’ve never even heard of. He has a cool look, though. Very colourful.
Sadly, the match was kinda just there. I feel a bit bad because this might have been a ‘me thing’, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t click with it at all, and my mind wandered throughout. There was nothing specifically wrong with it, and the Moonsault Sakurai used to get the win was pretty, but it all felt a bit flat. It was a solid time filler, but, at least for this viewer, it never managed to be anything more than that.
Team Red (Hibiscus Mii & Riko Kawahata) defeated Team Black (Tomoko Watanabe & Kaoru Ito) and Team Blue (Rin Kadokura & Itsuki Aoki) in a three-way tag
Every time you think Marvelous have put together the most chaotic main event possible, they go ahead and top it. There was a moment where this broke down into Tomoko and Mii doing karaoke, as they fully embraced their drunk aunts at a hen party status. I’m not saying that made it my match of the year so far, but I’m also not not saying that.
And it would be so easy for this nonsense to fly off the rails and become unwatchable, but it never does. Marvelous are great at stringing it together, sprinkling the good wrestling throughout and keeping it semi-coherent. It’s where the likes of Rin and Itsuki become invaluable, Team Blue playing the straight women to the madness that surrounds them. You could easily downplay them as the boring ones lost among the chaos, but I think they’re integral to making sure it all works. You need someone to ground Mii and cos eccentric impulses.
It would end in bickering, Kaoru getting frustrated with Watanabe and once again leaving her open to a roll-up, but at least it was Hibiscus Mii rather than a rookie who took advantage this time. I, meanwhile, was having the time of my life. Marvelous was already my favourite promotion, but this embracing of chaos has only caused them to go up in my estimations. I hope it never ends, and as I think I picked up talk of a tag tournament (for the AAAW Tag Titles, no less) in the aftermath, I suspect I’ve at least got a bit longer before it does.
Verdict: Beautiful Nonsense
The opener and the main event were the easy highlights of this show, but it was all enjoyable. I have no idea how long Marvelous can keep up these colour battles, but I hope it’s a long old time because they are producing some gloriously unhinged wrestling.