For only the second time, the other one being earlier this year, TJPW took a trip to Hamamatsu, continuing the build to Ittenyon by hitting the road. They were short an Itoh and a Kamiyu on this show, as they were over in Malaysia, but a Rhio came in to fill the gap, and they’re treating the fans to an EVE Title match in the main event. You can’t say fairer than that, right?
Suzume defeated Kaya Toribami
I almost started to write that I’ve run out of things to say about these Kaya openers, but that’s not true. I actually ran out of things to say a while ago and have been waffling ever since. There are only so many ways you can explain that the action isn’t bad, it’s just a bit repetitive, and Kaya probably needs something more substantial to get her to the next level. I ran dry a long time ago.
Still, Suzume is always good, and it was a fine wee showing. Toribami is just at the stage of her career where she needs a catalyst, and this match wasn’t that.
Verdict: The Usual
Hyper Misao defeated Mahiro Kiryu
Before the match, Misao introduced herself to new fans as a polite and kind superhero, and who are we to say she isn’t telling the truth? Unfortunately, despite her pure heart, when she went to shake Mahiro’s hand, a spark of static electricity shocked her, kicking off a chain of apologies and apologies for apologies that continued throughout the match.
And while I’m occasionally critical of Mahiro for being a wrestler that I’ve struggled to get emotionally attached to, this is where she excels. She’s TJPW’s straight person, playing it straight down the line despite the fact she’s wrestling a violent superhero who is pretending to be nice today. The slowly escalating apologies, which even saw Misao crouch down on Kiryu’s back and deliver one of her own, was a lovely running bit, and the Hamamatsu crowd seemed genuinely impressed when Mahiro pulled out her avalanche version. It might not be the most violent move in the world, but it got a reaction.
Of course, she would go on to lose, but this was ideal undercard fodder. It was a fun, short match with a creative hook to keep you engaged. No one will declare it an essential watch, but I had a good time with it.
Verdict: A Nice Time
Hikari Noa defeated Haruna Neko
Haruna Neko sneaky banger alert. As I always say, if you allow that wee cat to show what she can do, she’ll never let you down. (I may not have phrased it exactly like that before, but I’ll start saying it now.)
And Noa might be an ideal opponent for Neko. Haruna excels when she’s in there with someone a bit mean, which draws out the feisty undercat part of her persona. Noa tying her hair in the ropes with a grin on her face is perfect, and that the wee cat responded by simply shoving her over was such a great retaliation. Sometimes you’ve got to go back to the basics.
Credit also to Noa for giving Neko the space to deliver that performance. She handed over a chunk of this match, letting Haruna run rings around her for a bit as she displayed her cat-like offence. Of course, Hikari would eventually turn it around, delivering a thrust kick (well, two, the first didn’t quite connect) followed by the Blizzard Suplex, but she made sure Neko got her moment, and this was another fun wee showing.
Verdict: Trust In The Cat
The Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki & Mizuki) defeated Pom Harajuku & Raku
If the last match was Hikari giving Neko the space to show what she could do, then this was MagiRabbi coming out to play with Pom and Raku. We got magic and sorcery, some over-the-top dodging of the shin kicks, and an absolute blast of a match.
Unfortunately for Raku and Pom, Yuka and Mizuki are those kids who never learnt to play nice. One second everyone is having a lovely time, taking a wee nap and listening to Raku’s song. The next, Yuka started aggressively slapping Pom across the chest before dragging her across the ground. It’s not that they’re bad kids. They don’t understand that they’re hurting people. Oh, wait, no, I checked. They definitely understand. They’re just violent.
Anyway, this is pure Ramblings About bait. Raku and Pom, MagiRabbi being violent, all the good stuff, and if you don’t enjoy it, you’re probably coming to the wrong place for opinions.
Verdict: It Ticked All My Boxes
Daydream (Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe) & Moka Miyamoto defeated Shoko Nakajima, Yuki Aino & Arisu Endo
Unlike MagiRabbi, Rika did learn to play nice but decided that wasn’t for her. She’s a violent soul, so when the opportunity to grab someone round the throat and throttle them comes up, she can’t say no. Thankfully, while most walks of life would frown on such a thing, you can get away with it in wrestling, so she’s found her calling.
And you don’t need me to tell you this match was good, have a look at who was in it, and you’ll figure it out. If you can throw out exciting youngster battles like Arisu vs Moka, Aino vs Miu going all hoss on each other and the brilliance of Shoko vs Rika, you will have a decent bout on your hands. Even if everyone works at 50%, there are enough excellent elements to elevate the whole thing to the level of at least good, and if they are in the mood, it could hit great.
I’d have this example down as coming close to doing so too. It wasn’t just the expected pairings that sparked here, but a couple of random ones too, chief of which was Miu vs Arisu, who had a great back-and-forth in the final act. The only thing that stopped it from being another example of Arisu ‘The Main Event Stealer’ Endo is that it wasn’t the main event, but this was still a very strong match, and one you won’t regret checking out.
Verdict: Reliably Good
Miyu Yamashita defeated Rhio to retain the EVE Title
It’s not often that someone can come in and bully Miyu Yamashita, but with her size and power, Rhio could do exactly that. By getting in close and roughing Yamashita up, she negated those vicious kicks and even lifted Miyu to the top rope before throwing her down to the floor below. The Mega Ace rarely looks vulnerable, but Rhio found a way.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t maintain it. As the match went on, Rhio made the mistake of standing and trading strikes with Miyu one too many times, and when you do that, you give her an opening. To give Rhio credit, she lasted longer than most, at one point delivering a vicious kick of her own, but when Miyu reversed a Package Piledriver and booted her across the face, you knew this was done. You can only take so many of those before your head ends up in the back row, and if Rhio were a normal person and not hard as fuck, the first one would have probably been enough.
Still, Rhio came out of this looking really good. She got the chance to have a hard-hitting, big-time main event against one of the best in the world and more than held her own. That’s a good day’s work, and the fans chanting her name afterwards suggests that this won’t be the last time we see her in Japan.
Verdict: Great Stuff
I say it every time, but TJPW has nailed the formula for these shows. They always come in at under two hours, keep the pace up, and when you throw in a big main event, they’re basically perfect. Miyu vs Rhio is the only must-watch thing here, as there wasn’t much build for Ittenyon in the undercard, but the rest ranged from fine to very good. Plus, it had Pom and Raku vs MagiRabbi, and who doesn’t want to watch that?
Watch Tokyo Joshi Pro: https://www.wrestle-universe.com/en/videos?labels=-tjpw.