It was another busy weekend for TJPW as they spent Saturday at KFC Hall before heading to Korakuen on Sunday. Perfection is the first of those two shows, and while that perhaps makes it the less important one, it still served up Raku vs Yuka and Miyu vs Pom, so I was anticipating a good time. Was I right to do so? Let’s find out.
Miyu Yamashita defeated Pom Harajuku
It warms my heart to see TJPW recognise Pom’s unique brilliance and reward her with opportunities to shine. She’s never going to be the type to hold the big belt or even challenge for it (although I’d love to see her get a shot), but that doesn’t change how extraordinarily entertaining she can be.
Which was something we saw plenty of in this match. Right from the start, when Harajuku jumped Miyu during her entrance, this was some prime Pom content. She knew she couldn’t beat the Ace in a straight fight, so she was ducking and diving, trying to use her unique style to her advantage. Miyu, meanwhile, couldn’t get a grasp of the action. Every time it looked like she was about to take it home, Pom came up with a new way to escape, testing Yamashita in a way few would have predicted.
In fact, Pom was such a menace that a little bit of killer Miyu came out at the end, as she went dead behind the eyes and ended this quickly and violently. When Pom woke up in pain the next day, she might not have felt like that was an achievement, but it was. These undercard matches usually see Yamashita working at a fraction of her capabilities, but Harajuku pested her into bringing the fire. It’s a small (and painful) victory, but that doesn’t make it any less significant, and I loved this match.
Free WiFi (Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta) defeated Rika Tatsumi & Haruna Neko
Rika and the wee cat aren’t what you’d call a traditional pairing. Tatsumi treats it more like someone’s given her a furry wee weapon to use as she pleases. While that sometimes came close to seeing them work together effectively, at other times, she was punching Neko in the stomach and slamming her on opponents. I’m sure even Haruna admits that doing the Terry Funk Airplane Spin ladder spot with someone who is roughly 4 feet tall was very funny, though.
On the other side of the ring, Free WiFi are a classic team, and it’s proven effective in recent weeks. They’ve been on a roll, picking up win after win and looking very good in the process. Noa and Nao bring the best out of each other, their double teams feeling like a natural extension of what I’d expect them to do in a singles match. It allowed them to remove Neko from her violent handler and take advantage of that to get the win.
These four were in a tough spot following that brilliant opener, and while this didn’t quite reach those heights, it kept the good times rolling. I’m also still convinced that this is all building Free WiFi to challenge the winner of Toho University vs Reiwa no AA Cannon, which is a match that I’m not only looking forward to but has me hoping they’ll win.
Verdict: A Good Time
Mizuki defeated Yuki Aino and Hyper Misao in a three-way
Oh no, Misao is packing heat. She watched one film about a hitman and was inspired to come to the ring armed with two guns, declaring that she was moving into being an assassin because it’s more lucrative. Even more terrifyingly, she then gave one of those guns to Mizuki, who does not need to be armed to be scary.
If you haven’t guessed, a match in which a pair of handguns played a significant role was not aiming for serious wrestling. The opening was beautiful nonsense, as everyone spent some time pointing a gun at someone else. It also created something of a stalemate, which thankfully didn’t end in anyone dying. Perhaps because of that, Misao eventually decided that being armed was too much power to wield and handed them over to Ref Kiso, who put them in the corner the same way he would any other weapon.
With those out of the way, this became an entertaining wee three-way. Misao and Mizuki are masters of this environment, with Mizuki interrupting Aino’s attempt to take control and shoving her out of the ring while saying ‘bye-bye’, proving almost as funny as the gun stuff. These matches encourage creativity, something they have in spades, so it was no surprise that it was a lot of fun.
Verdict: A Good Time
Yuka Sakazaki defeated Raku
Is there anything better than Raku, having lulled Yuka Sakazaki off to sleep with her magical lullaby powers, shouting at the referee for counting too loudly and waking her up? Seriously, that is my everything, and both Kiso and the crowd going silent after Raku managed to send Yuka back to the land of nod for a second time was magical.
Alongside Pom vs Miyu, this match felt like TJPW acknowledging the importance of their nonsense division. Raku and Pom have been holding down the fort in the undercard, being wonderfully entertaining, for a fair while now, and giving them these big singles encounters felt like a wee reward for their work. It’s one they deserve too, and it’s always great to see your Miyus and Yukas play in that world. Sakazaki, as someone with a history of the silly, was more than happy to go along with it all.
Unfortunately for Raku, it turns out that Yuka’s still pretty handy even when she’s sleeping. However, even in defeat, this and the opener were further proof that Raku and Pom can wrestle anyone, anywhere on the card, and it will delight and charm me. Let’s hope TJPW continue to reward their efforts by giving them matches like this as regularly as possible.
Verdict: Another Wonderful Showing
Toho University (Yuki Kamifuku & Mahiro Kiryu) defeated Maki Itoh & Moka Miyamoto
My favourite thing about Toho University as a team is that you can see Mahiro learning from her more confident partner. When Kamiyu used her as a weapon in this match, she was bold enough to return the favour later in the action. Sure, she still felt the need to apologise for having done so, but it’s a start, and anything that helps bring Kiryu out of her shell a bit is fine by me.
Outside of that, this was standard, if enjoyable, stuff. With Toho University building up to their tag title challenge, the result was never really in doubt, but Moka got to show some fire towards the end. Itoh, meanwhile, feels a tad directionless at the moment, her regular overseas trips meaning the second half of her year has been quite stop-start. That’s not a huge issue, it’s good that she’s getting abroad and doing cool things, but Maki is at her best when she got something to get her teeth into, and I hope we get to see that soon. Still, this was a decent match that kept Toho University’s momentum going.
Verdict: Standard, But Decent
Shoko Nakajima & Miu Watanabe defeated Daisy Monkey (Suzume & Arisu Endo)
One day, Miu will spin Suzume so fast that they take off. I know that’s not how physics works, but I doubt Miu understands the laws of physics, which I’m pretty sure makes her exempt from them. When they do, I imagine it will have been part of a brilliant match because those two were born to wrestle each other. Every generation should have a hoss and a wee wrestler for the hoss to throw around, two roles that Suzume and Miu fill perfectly.
I also want to throw some plaudits the way of Arisu, who is becoming a master of standing out in matches where, on paper, she’s the least important participant. Yes, she was here to perform the role of Suzume’s tag-team partner and get pinned, but she never lets herself fade in the background. There was a particular sequence with Shoko that saw Arisu avoid a 619 and roll through into a Camel Clutch, which was a brilliantly inventive wee piece of wrestling.
I could have equally chosen to rave about any of these wrestlers, though, as they’re four people you can rely on to deliver. I don’t think this was them going all out, they knew they had a Korakuen the next day, but they also didn’t need to. They are capable of delivering a good match in their sleep, so watching them go at 70% is going to be a lovely time regardless.
Verdict: Very Good
That was another sub-two-hour, enjoyable TJPW show. If you are picking and choosing, go for Raku vs Yuka and Pom vs Miyu, both of which saw the nonsense division deliver some delights. However, like most of these outings, you won’t regret watching anything.
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.wrestle-universe.com/en/videos?labels=-tjpw.