TJPW Winter (23/2/22) Review

The big match has been made. Credit: TJPW

Mid-week TJPW is always a treat, and while Itoh and Miyu are still on the bench thanks to COVID, everyone else is back. With Wrestle Grand Princess creeping ever closer, let’s hope we can keep it that way.

The Up Up Girls return! After missing several shows due to their various COVID situations, we have a full roster of UUGs today, and it was as delightful as ever. Fingers crossed that it’s a long time till we have to do without again.

Toyo University (Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu) defeated Hikari Noa & Kaya Toribami

Mahiro attempts to restore order. Credit: TJPW

Having been mildly critical of Mahiro Kiryu in my last review, I should point out that I think Kamiyu brings the best out of her. Kiryu playing the well-behaved, rule lover to Kamiyu’s eye-poking shenanigans is a fun dynamic that always makes me laugh. You get the impression that Mahiro relaxes around Yuki, at one point chasing her and Hikari out of the ring when they dared to get into it while not the legal participants.

And they were getting into it because Hikari and Kamiyu continue to shine whenever they face off. Tokyo Joshi is fantastic at keeping these mini-feuds bubbling under the surface, giving us pairings that are never fully at war but will always go hard when they end up in the ring together. We only got snippets of it here, but that was all we needed, a wee reminder that the animosity hasn’t gone away.

It all made for a fun opener, which ended with a solid closing stretch between Kamiyu and Kaya. It’s nothing you desperately need to go out of your way to see, but you won’t regret watching it either.

Verdict: Entertaining

Suzume defeated Moka Miyamoto and Haruna Neko in a three-way

You’d think, after watching as much TJPW as I have, that small things like Neko being a cat who regularly scratches opponents would have stopped delighting me, but no. I will still giggle every time she rakes her ‘claws’ down someone’s face, and they sell it as if those big fluffy gloves are real. Is it very silly? Yes. Do I care? You can probably guess the answer to that one.

When I wasn’t laughing at someone pretending to be a cat, this match was all about Suzume. She’s been positioned in the ‘make other people look good’ role recently, so it was great to see her get to dominate the action against two junior wrestlers. The buzzy bee played it well, too, often outsmarting and outwrestling them but never hogging the spotlight. It ensured that while she looked strong, both Moka and Neko got a chance to shine.

All of which made for a delightful outing. These three mastered the lighthearted undercard match long ago, getting that mix of silliness and wrestling perfect, so that shouldn’t be surprising. Again, I don’t think you can call it essential, but I also can’t imagine taking against it.

Verdict: Good Clean Fun

Hyper Misao defeated Marika Kobashi

Probably not what Misao had planned for that placard. Credit: TJPW

Comrade Misao has thrown her weight behind a new cause, carrying a placard to the ring demanding that we stop Marika from graduating. Sadly, Kobashi wasn’t quite as enthused, sticking her fingers in her ears to drown out Misao’s chants (aided by Kamiyu and Kiryu) before deciding to stop them with a good old-fashioned cheap shot.

And watching all the TJPW veterans wrestle Marika recently, you can’t help remembering that they’ve watched her grow up. They’ve all known that lass since she was a tiny wee thing, and while Misao was being Misao, you get the impression there was a lot of love behind her protest. You can see it in the way that people like her, Shoko and Miyu have worked their arses off in their final matches with Marika, making sure she goes out on as high a high as possible.

It also makes it physically impossible for me to do anything except love these outings. I’m a sucker for emotion and have literally teared up a little bit while writing this review, so this kinda thing is always going to hit me in the heart, whether that’s the intention or not. Misao worked hard to make her friend look good one last time, and there was a lot of love in the hug they shared afterwards.

Verdict: All The Love!

Afterwards, a slightly teary Misao cut a promo that brought out the big boss man. No, not that one, Sanshiro Takagi. He was there to set up Takagi vs Misao for Sumo Hall, which is a top tier nonsense match.

The Bakuretsu Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino) & Shoko Nakajima defeated Raku, Yuki Arai & Pom Harajuku

The perfect photo does exist. Credit: TJPW

Yea, Yuki Arai has impressed Aja Kong and Miyu Yamashita, but this match, right here, was the biggest test of her young career so far. When paired up with the masters of antics, Raku and Pom, how did she do? I’m pleased to report she fit right in.

Throw a couple of Bakuretsu Sisters, Shoko, Raku and Pom, into the same match, and you’re going to get a good review from me. It was sealed the second Raku soothed Nodoka off to sleep while Yuki was perched on her shoulders and Shoko was perched on Yuki’s, leading to it all coming tumbling down. How can you not love that? If you don’t, I’m forced to assume you’re dead inside.

If, for some silly reason, you are only interested in serious wrestling, then we got a bit of that too. After being taken to shenanigan university by Pom and Raku, Arai had great interactions with all three of her opponents. Meanwhile, the aforementioned masters of nonsense put in a decent shift themselves, working particularly well with their best pal Yuki. It was one of those matches where everyone involved seemed to be having a good time, and I, for one, was more than happy to have it with them.

Verdict: A Lovely Time Was Had By All

Afterwards, we learnt what Nodoka’s final big match will be, as her wee sis is set to do the honours. Of course, I desperately wanted her to challenge for the tag titles at Sumo Hall, but if we can’t have that, this is an incredible replacement, and I already know I’ll weep my way through it.

Daydream (Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe) & Nao Kakuta defeated The Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki) & Arisu Endo

Another cracking picture. Credit: TJPW

If there are any doubts that Daydream vs Magical Sugar Rabbits will be a great match, this should have put them to bed. There is a streak of chaotic genius running through both those teams, and watching them off face-off here suggested that the individual chemistry we’ve seen from most of them will shine just as brightly in a tag team setting.

It was also further proof that TJPW has got these big, sneak-peek tag matches down to a tee. Everything about this was great, whether it was Mizuki getting upset because Nao dared to smack her on the head (for Mizuki is a pure soul who would never do something so cruel) or Arisu getting the go home slot alongside Rika. It’s the kind of match that flashes by in a blink of an eye because it’s a pleasure to watch a load of talented wrestlers show off that talent. Who can complain about that?

Verdict: Lovely Stuff

Overall Show

That’s what we want from mid-week TJPW. This was a fast, breezy show that gave us a couple of big announcements and built up as it went along. If they can avoid the dreaded Rona, Tokyo Joshi is on course to put on an all-timer at Sumo Hall, and I can’t wait to watch it.

Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.wrestle-universe.com/en/videos?labels=-tjpw.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider contributing to my Ko-fi. Even the smallest amount is appreciated.

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