With the Princess Cup done and dusted, TJPW don’t have to wait long before their next visit to Korakuen Hall. They’ll be back in that famous old venue on the 28th of August, hosting a women-only event where everyone gets in for free. Before they get there, though, they’re nipping to KFC Hall, where they’ve booked a battle between two of the stars of the final days of the Cup, Miu Watanabe and Pom Harajuku. Now, that’s exciting!
The pre-show announcements included the news that Noa is taking a trip to EVE to face Alex Windsor for the International Princess Title. Annoyingly, it’s on a show that I won’t be able to go to, but it’s still cool to see an Up Up Girl hit the road. Now, which promotion will be brave enough to bring across all three?
Rika Tatsumi defeated Kaya Toribami
Rika must have woken up on the generous side of the bed the morning of this show, as she gave Kaya an awful lot. That’s not to suggest she usually chews up and spits out rookies (according to Twitter, that’s Yuka’s job), but we’re used to seeing her gleefully (and violently) work them over, so it was a surprise to see Kaya on top for a decent chunk of the action.
When given that opportunity, the bird took it well. From day one, Toribami has had an exciting and eye-catching moveset, but it’s perhaps the more basic stuff which needed a polish. Her strikes lack weight, so Rika standing back and inviting Kaya to hit her was a chance for her to put everything she had into them, and while they’re still far from perfect, you are seeing her start to get more comfortable with that area of her game.
It all made for an enjoyable opener that didn’t quite hit sneaky banger status but was fun while it was on. If you’re in a rush, you can probably skip it, but bird enthusiasts should definitely give it their time.
Verdict: A Generous White Dragon
Hyper Misao defeated Moka Miyamoto
Misao’s latest attempt to mend her ways saw her take inspiration from a respectable member of society, Moka Miyamoto, and work this match cleanly. Well, some of it. She handed over two spray cans before actually using one! That’s progress.
Misao working clean did give us something that we don’t often see in TJPW undercard matches, namely a limb match. Everyone’s favourite superhero methodically went after Moka’s arm, doing a solid job of working it over. Sadly, you could tell that Miyamoto wasn’t used to having to sell in that way, as she either forgot it or went too big, but none of it was atrocious. It’s just something for her to work on in the future.
Plus, that wee issue aside, Moka had a good showing here. She’s got some things to learn about trusting Misao, but you can rely on her to deliver a strong ten-minute outing with anyone on the roster, which is exactly what we got here.
Verdict: Clean Wrestler Misao
Free WiFi (Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta) defeated Suzume & Haruna Neko
Bullying the cat is a bit of a TJPW tradition at this point, and Free WiFi are more than happy to keep it going. At one point, they were biting poor Neko’s hair, which is not something you should do to your feline friends.
When they weren’t bullying Haruna, Hikari and Nao were being troubled by bees. Unsurprisingly, those two facing off with Suzume was a real highlight. Suzume’s buzzing, all-action style combined nicely with Free WiFi’s delinquent ways, leaving me wanting to see more. If TJPW fancy booking Daisy Monkey or MeiBee Surprise against those ruffians, I’d be more than happy to watch it (sorry, Neko, you’re great too).
In the here and now, this was designed to make Free WiFi look good, and they achieved that goal. They’re on a bit of a roll at the moment, and if that’s building to them challenging (and perhaps even winning) for the tag titles, then there will be no complaints from me.
Verdict: Free WiFi Win Again!
121000000 (Miyu Yamashita & Maki Itoh) defeated Yuki Aino & Raku
Raku being in the ring with 121000000 is always a blast. Itoh is now seemingly terrified of her lullaby powers, desperately covering her ears and screaming when she realises they’re about to be unleashed. They also happen to have fantastic in-ring chemistry, with both Itoh and Miyu having proven multiple times that they bring the best out of Raku.
However, the standout pairing was when Aino and Miyu took centre stage for a bit. There was a moment where Yamashita was battling to take Aino down with a headlock takeover that ruled, as Aino did everything in her power to block it, providing a perfect example of how to make a simple piece of wrestling enthralling. As I’ve said in the past, Yuki is someone who understands that this shit should look hard, and I always enjoy watching her get to mix it up with your Miyu types.
In the end, Miyu put Raku away with the AA, and this was probably my favourite match so far. Not that anyone will be surprised by that, as these four were always likely to deliver a good time.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Miu Watanabe defeated Pom Harajuku
I was already excited for a showdown between the stars of TJPW’s recent Korakuen doubleheader, but when Pom came out with a fishing rod, I knew I was in for an extra special treat. Fresh off Max destroying her, Harajuku had decided to engage all the spooky tactics to work her way into the easily scared Miu’s head, including turning off the lights and donning a wig that was rather Ringu-like in appearance.
And this match played wonderfully to both of their strengths. Miu isn’t only a brilliant wrestler, but she has that wonderfully expressive face, which made Pom terrorising her a delight. Meanwhile, Pom’s antics are some of my favourite things, and we also got to see her utilise her talent at being beaten up as Miu flipped over the Giant Swing to have her take it while facing the floor. These two have been receiving all the plaudits lately, and they deserve every single one of them, so it was no surprise that they’d keep the good times going together.
It was also a lovely piece of booking as it kept the attention on both of them without dulling eithers’ light. Pom doesn’t need victories, so Miu could eventually pick up a dominant win, but only after Pom had finished delighting everyone in attendance. TJPW has shown themselves to have an outstanding grasp of what their wrestlers are good at, and this was a perfect use of two of them.
Verdict: They Did It Again
Shoko Nakajima, Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu defeated Yuka Sakazaki, Mizuki & Arisu Endo
With the tag champs not on this show, Kamiyu and Mahiro had to warm up for their title shot by facing off against MagiRabbi, which is always a tough day at the office.
And this felt a lot like a house show main event, making it all a bit inconsequential. There was plenty to enjoy, but the stuff that stood out tended to be funny little moments like Yuka poking Mahiro in the eyes mid-apology, or the noises MajiRabbi made while hitting their piggy-back double splash (they went very Mario). It was a match designed to be a pleasant time but perhaps not a thrilling one.
That might sound like damning with faint praise, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. You had six entertaining wrestlers in that ring, and they entertained me. Do I have a lot to say about it? No. Will it be one that I remember much past this week? Nope, probably not. However, none of that stopped me from enjoying it while it was on, and sometimes that’s all you need.
That was a breezy, easy watch that wasn’t particularly newsworthy but was a nice way to spend a bit under two hours. The highlight was Miu vs Pom, but 121000000 vs Raku and Aino is also well worth a match, and if you’re not in a rush, you won’t regret giving any of it your time.
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