It’s time for the Colorful World of Marvelous to get serious. Well, a little bit. This show kicked off the AAAW Tag League, which will see the first AAAW tag champions crowned since Ran Yu-Yu and Toshie Uematsu back in 2005. Will it be Takumi Iroha and Hibiscus Mii? Or perhaps Rin Kadokura and Itsuki Aoki? No, it will be neither of them because Young Mystic Fox are going all the way. ‘Mon Oka and Ai!
Yuki Miyazaki defeated Chikayo Nagashima and Riko Kawahate in a three-way
You would assume this match was a chance for Tag League partners Yuki and Riko to team up on Nagashima. However, Chikayo appealed to the joshi veteran’s in-built desire to kick the shit out of younger wrestlers and got Yuki on her side instead. That was one of the two appeals she made in this match, as she also repeatedly demanded Miyazaki put her in the Super Shy Hold for reasons that I couldn’t quite figure out. Maybe she thinks it’s fun?
Anyway, once the silliness was out the way and everyone had fallen out, this was another standout performance from Kawahata. She is someone who has the wind beneath her sails, her confidence blooming as she gets the chance to wrestle more and more people. Whether it’s comedy or serious wrestling, Riko is a joy to watch at the moment, and I look forward to every match she’s in.
When you back that up with the experienced heads of Yuki and Chikayo, it’s no surprise this was a fun opener. Admittedly, they leaned heavily on messing around and having a laugh (quite often at poor Kawahata’s expense), but anyone who has read my reviews before will know that doesn’t bother me one bit, and I had a lovely old time.
Verdict: Lots Of Fun
Leo Isaka defeated Chicharito Shoki
Chicharito Shoki is a 2AW youngster who has been wrestling for around eleven months. Like many of Leo’s opponents, I’d never heard of him before, but he has already picked up BJW’s six-man titles, teaming with Yuki Okabayashi and Yasufumi Nakanoue, so he must be doing something right.
And he had a decent wee match with Leo. Look, I’ve dived into why these things don’t emotionally connect with me in nearly every Marvelous review I’ve done, so I’m not going to bother repeating myself, but it was good. Leo and Shoki are clearly talented young wrestlers, and if you put this on in my local indie promotion, I’d come away talking it up as one of the matches of the night. The only fault is that it happened in a company I like an awful lot more than that, so it ended up feeling like it was just filling a spot.
Yurika Oka defeated Ai Houzan
Ignoring that this was a blatant attempt to try and sow discord among the future AAAW tag team champions (we Mystic Young Fox fans know what you’re doing), this fucking ruled.
It ruled because the same things that make Ai and Oka great teammates also make them brilliant opponents. They’re two scrappy, never give up rookies who will dropkick and claw their way through each other to try and get the win. However, they also already feel so full of personality. Often it takes rookies a while to figure out who they are, but these two have got it. You only have to watch Ai chasing Oka under the ring before seemingly getting lost down there while Oka snuck out and went on the run to see that.
Yes, it occasionally got a tad messy because they’re young wrestlers who aren’t perfect yet, but that only added to my enjoyment. It felt like the two halves of Mystic Young Fox were in a fight, battling it out for rookie supremacy, and that’s one of my favourite things in the world. I want to believe that this match, no matter how unimportant it might be in the grand scheme of things, means everything to those involved, and Oka and Ai sold me on that. Now, shake hands, do a dance and go win those belts!
Verdict: Mystic Young Fox Forever!
Black Phoneix Butterfly (Tomoko Watanabe & Kaoru Ito) (1-0) defeated mf (Takumi Iroha & Hibiscus Mii) (0-1) in A Block
Hibiscus Mii appears to have reverted, coming out in full nervous rookie mode and even donning a lovely red swimsuit. Unfortunately, it then led to her spending the opening portion of this match being bullied by veterans Tomoko and Kaoru. They presumably saw the gear and assumed it was their job to start murdering.
And while Mii forgetting that she’s a twenty-year veteran is a funny bit, it also played into the structure of the action. She not only dressed like a rookie but wrestled like one too, all hopeless optimism and eventual beatings. That, in turn, left Takumi free to play the supportive and experienced partner, complete with the build to her hot tag before handing things back to Mii to die on the sword of glorious failure. It’s a classic formula and one we’ve seen a hundred times (especially if you’ve watched as many Togi Makabe and Toa Henare matches as I have), but it works, even if I didn’t expect to see it here.
As for Kaoru and Tomoko, they were their usual reliably good selves. They’re no longer as quick as they once were, but give them a ‘rookie’ to beat up, and they find a couple of extra gears. There’s no doubt that Mii’s willingness to get the shit kicked out of her was central to this match, but they dealt it out pretty damn well and picked up their first win in the process.
Verdict: Time To Dish Out A Rookie Beating
Team Blue (Rin Kadoukra & Itsuki Aoki) (1-0) defeated Sexual Violet (Makoto & Maria) (0-1)
These two teams just work. You put Rin and Aoki or Maria and Makoto together, and it instantly makes all the sense in the world. Whether it’s Makoto nourishing Maria’s bratty self-assurance or Rin and Itsuki fuelling each other’s enthusiasm for life, it feels like they were destined to find each other.
Thankfully, it also seemed to click in the ring. Since day one of the Colorful World of Marvelous, Rin and Aoki have proven themselves a fantastic unit, but Sexual Violet kept up, aided by Makoto’s general brilliance as a tag team wrestler. Makoto and Maria might not have the same fluidness to their work, but Makoto is so fucking good at tagging in, booting someone in the head and kicking off a great sequence that it didn’t matter. Her back and forth with Itsuki was a real highlight here.
And where Makoto and Maria don’t have years of experience, Maria and Rin do. The beauty of a small company like Marvelous is that the central figures know each other inside and out, so whether it was Rin taking her junior to school early in the match or Maria tagging in and kicking her in the head in revenge, they sparked off each other wonderfully.
It left us with one of those tag matches where all the pieces seemed to slot together perfectly, creating a lovely wee picture for us all to enjoy. It’s almost a shame that Mystic Young Fox will ultimately eliminate both these teams, but hey, not everyone can win.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Oka and Ai haven’t kicked off their run to the tag titles yet, but they were still one of the highlights of another enjoyable Marvelous show. Tag League got off to a solid start, giving us a great main event while the youngsters continue to impress (including that Hibiscus Mii). You will get no complaints from me.