Wrestler Mixtape: Minoru Fujita

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Mino Pencil is a gentle soul… Credit: ChocoPro

If you’d asked me a bit over a year ago whether there was a chance that Minoru Fujita would become one of my favourites, I’d, well, honestly have been so confused I wouldn’t have known how to answer. I was aware of his existence, didn’t hold anything against the guy, but wouldn’t have expected him to wander onto my radar. Then, he turned up in ChocoPro, and everything changed. Because it turned out that as well as being a wrestler with a wildly varied career that has taken in everything from Battlearts to the NJPW junior division to his current deathmatches, he’s also a big old softie. Someone who has embraced ChocoPro as a second home, donning the Pencil Army dungarees and stabbing people with weapons from his cat bag. Throw in some fantastic matches with Yunamon, Emi and Akki, and Fujita has become a wrestler I find it very easy to sing the praises of. However, there is still that wild career that I have barely looked at, so for this Wrestler Mixtape, I figured it was time to dip my toe in the water.

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DDT Max Bump (4/5/21) Review

Tall people kicking each other in the head. Credit: DDT

You’ve got to feel a bit sorry for DDT, as having to follow that Tokyo Joshi show into Korakuen was a hell of an ask. I know they’re all on the same side, but they were going to have to go all out not to be blown away by their sister promotion.

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TJPW Yes! Wonderland (4/5/21) Review

Can the Diamond Ass prevail? Credit: TJPW

Korakuen may have been empty, but Tokyo Joshi were in town, and as I’ve been saying a lot recently, I can’t remember the last time they came to this building and put on anything less than an incredible show. Normally, the lack of a crowd would have me worried that their streak was about to come to an end, but look at this card! I think we’re in safe hands.

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Ramblings About’s Matches of the Month for April 2021

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Flying Goblin Apple. Credit: ChocoPro

Okay, so removing the ten-match limit for these lists has maybe caused me to go a bit overboard. In my defence, April was a hell of a month for wrestling, despite the event I was looking forward to most, GAEAISM, being postponed because of Japan’s COVID issues. Thankfully, plenty of other stuff was there to pick up the slack, and, well, scroll down to see how much I had to talk about.

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Ice Ribbon Spring Is Short, So You Maidens Should Fight! (24/4/21) Review

All the fighting maidens. Credit: Ice Ribbon

How about that for a show name? Joshi has an abundance of incredible show titles, but Ice Ribbon has outdone them all there. It was a fitting moniker for what will probably be the last show we see from a Korakuen with fans in it for a while, as Tokyo heads back into lockdown. I’ve no doubt Ice Ribbon will see it out in style, though. Go forth maidens and fight!

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Marvelous (22/4/21) Review

The best. Credit: Marvelous

As I edit this, several areas of Japan, including Tokyo, have declared another state of emergency. That puts the status of GAEAISM up in the air, which, if you discount all the actually important things, is one of the worst consequences of this pandemic so far. Sadly, I can’t do much about that, and before we got to what will hopefully still be the big one, Marvelous had one last show to give us. Appreciate it now because you ain’t going to be seeing much Japanese wrestling in front of fans over the next month.

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TJPW Still Incomplete (17/4/21) Review

Itoh goes for the big one. Credit: TJPW

Tokyo Joshi is a company with a plan. The way they book their titles suggests it’s all been laid out in advance, each piece of the puzzle slotted in to open up a spot for the next. The question is, what happens when things change? Not the unavoidable bad change, injury or retirement, but the good one, where a wrestler takes off in a way that you maybe didn’t expect. I suspect the plan was always for Maki Itoh to challenge Rika Tatsumi on this show but had Tokyo Joshi expected her to be coming in after making international headlines? Will the temptation to grab a few more of those cause those plans to be launched out the window? Well, it’s time to find out.

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Stardom Cinderella Tournament Round 1 (10/4/21) Review

Credit: Stardom

I love the Cinderella Tournament. The over the top rope nature of its rules makes it such a wonderfully unpredictable event, and while I’m a little disappointed that Stardom has chosen to split it over two days this year, it’s still a highlight of the calendar. I’ve been dipping in and out of the company over the last few months, watching big shows and stuff that sounds interesting, but this was one I was never going to skip.

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