TJPW Winter Lovers (20/2/21) Review

They’re the best. Credit: TJPW

After smashing it out the park with their latest Korakuen, Tokyo Joshi is moving into tag team territory, putting together a tournament that shows off how quietly brilliant their division is. Usually these things lean on thrown together teams, loose alliances coming together for a short time, and while there is a few of those, it’s also packed with recognised pairings. It’s a change that makes several of these match-ups all the more exciting, and it promises to be an enjoyable ride.

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Ice Ribbon RE:BORN (20/2/21) Review

Challenge defeated. Credit: Ice Ribbon

It is time for Ice Ribbon to be RE:BORN! This time last year, it was RE:BORN that kicked off Suzu Suzuki’s run to the title as she retired chirin chirin and went off to live in the woods for a bit. A year on and Suzu is reinventing herself again, as having lost the belt to Tsukka she is off to the deathmatches. The more things change, the more they kinda stay the same.

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Stardom Throwback: New Year Stars (7/1/12) Review

I recognise her. Credit: Stardom

It’s time to move into 2012 in our run through Stardom’s history, and while the shows on Stardom World are a bit sparse for around this time, I’m determined to try and get my hands on as many of them as possible. Thankfully, the first few shows are already there, so that’s a future Stuart problem, and we can look at how Stardom kicked off their year.

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Marvelous (12/2/21) Review

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Credit: Marvelous

It’s Mio wrestling birthday which, knowing Mio, may well be more important to her than her actual birthday. This is the lass who has previously claimed she has no other hobbies because she feels it would be unfaithful to wrestling. Then again, other hobbies don’t tend to put you in the way of an angry Chihiro Hashimoto, so she might want to reconsider that.

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TJPW Positive Chain (11/2/21) Review

Rika took tips from Raku. Credit: TJPW

Tokyo Joshi moving to more regular Korakuens was one of those things that both excited and worried me. On the upside, I love big TJPW shows. They always feel special, and I can’t remember the last one that failed to deliver. The downside is that doing them more regularly might water down that special feeling. Thankfully, the card for their February trip to that legendary venue showed no sign of that being the case, as they had loaded this thing up with intriguing match-ups. Now reality simply had to live up to what was on paper.

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Baliyan Akki vs Konosuke Takeshita

The seal of approval. Credit: DDT

One of my favourite happy/sad feelings is being stood in a music venue, watching a band I’ve seen play to ten people in a pub, ingratiate themselves to an audience a hundred times that size. Even as someone who has played little to no part in their success, it’s a moment that fills you with pride, as you watch something you’ve been a part of break out of its bubble. However, there is also a small, selfish part of yourself, that feels sad. Sad that the thing you love is about to become bigger and more successful than ever before and you’ll never again see them in those tiny venues, feet from the stage as they play directly to you. It’s a feeling similar to the one I got watching Baliyan Akki take on Konosuke Takeshita.

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Emi Sakura vs Sayaka Obihiro: Winning Isn’t Everything

Emi is not impressed.

Emi Sakura and Sayaka Obihiro had one of my favourite matches of 2020, and while it would be unfair to compare their showdown on ChocoPro 87 to the main event of Sakura’s anniversary, I enjoyed it for the exact same reasons. The bouts between these two mean very different things to those involved. Obi may now be ten years into her career, a decorated wrestler and a veteran in her own right, but when she faces off with Emi, she reverts. She becomes, once more, a young trainee desperate to impress her sensei and prove she’s worthy of stepping onto the mat with her. It doesn’t matter if it’s the main event of Emi’s 25th anniversary, or second on the card, she throws her heart and soul into the action, fighting until she’s exhausted, stumbling around the ring and barely able to stand.

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Stardom Throwback: Year End Stars (23/12/11) Review

Yuzopon’s legs aren’t quite long enough. Credit: Stardom

It’s been a fair while since I did one of these, so let’s head back to 2011 and the end of Stardom’s first full year as a company. We’re unfortunately in a period where Stardom World is missing quite a few shows, but I’ll fill you in on the big stuff that we’ve missed. First up, there was a couple of title challenges, Io Shirai falling short against Yuzopon for the Wonder of Stardom belt and Taiyo failing to beat Nanae for the World of Stardom title. Stardom also ran their first ever tag league with Yuzopon and Yuko Bito beating Taiyo and Yoshiko in the final, making them the first ever Goddesses champions. Finally, they held a Rookie of The Year tournament, which saw Yoshiko beat Arisa to take that particular crown. So, all in all, it was a busy period for Stardom and hopefully those shows turn up someday so we can fill in the gaps. Now, though, it’s time to ramble about Stardom’s penultimate show of 2011, enjoy!

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches of January 2021

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Everything about this picture is gold. Credit: ChocoPro

The calendar has ticked over, and we are into 2021, bringing with it, em, well, much of the same so far, but fingers crossed it gets better! It does mean we’re into a fresh year of wrestling, though, with a whole new set of opportunities for people new and old to impress. With it comes, of course, my monthly round-ups of my favourite matches, where I bring you a taste of all the stuff I’ve been enjoying. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dig in.

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Farewell, Mitsuru

Mitsuru finding great pleasure in her bleeding hand after slapping Mei across the face.

When Gatoh Move announced that Mitsuru Konno was retiring, it was both a blow and somehow entirely unsurprising. The storyline that defined Mitsuru’s 2020 and pushed her to the MVP award in ChocoPro’s second season was built around her bizarre relationship with wrestling. On more than one occasion, she’d expressed that it wasn’t fun for her, and that what kept her going was the need to figure out what exactly it was that made the likes of Mei Suruga fall wildly in love with it.

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