Ramblings About’s Matches of the Month for January 2023

A painful start to the year. Credit: TJPW

Maybe it’s just me, but January always feels like a fresh start for my wrestling viewing. My backlog from the previous year goes out of the window, under the assumption that if I haven’t watched it yet, I never will, and it’s a chance to jump back into promotions that I might have fallen away with it. When you throw in Ittenyon and all the excitement around that, it’s usually a good month, something this list makes clear.

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Ramblings About’s Matches of the Year 2022: The Best Of The Rest

Somehow, we’ve made it through another year, and while I think it’s safe to say all is not well in the world, the wrestling has at least been very good. 2022 was a year of change in the world of joshi, a lot of which was quite anxiety-inducing for someone who takes comfort from this nonsense, but I think we’ve come out the other end of it all with the scene in strong and (more importantly) interesting health. There have also been a lot of incredible matches, and this is my list of the ones that aren’t quite my match of the year but which, on a different day, may well be so. Enjoy!

Quick note: I sorta cheated this year and snuck an extra match in by writing about it elsewhere. The brilliant and lovely Flupke (FlupkeDiFlupke on Twitter) invited me to write about the wonderful Ice Ribbon gauntlet of gauntlets as part of his newsletter. You can find my thoughts (alongside his much better ones) on that here. Then, once you’ve read that, you should also read the rest of his end-of-year stuff, which is equally great.

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TJPW City Circuit Autumn (10/12/22) Review

Ow. Credit: TJPW

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?

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TJPW All Rise (27/11/22) Review

The rookie killer strikes again. Credit: TJPW

With Wrestle Princess III and big shows in Osaka, it feels like a long time since we’ve had a Tokyo Joshi Korakuen. With how consistently excellent these shows are, that’s never going to be a good thing, so it was lovely to be back in that familiar room. Throw in a packed card with a couple of big matches against foreign talent and a crowd that was allowed to be in full voice, and it was hard not to be excited for this one, so let’s see what went down.

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TJPW Princess Cup (23/7/22) Review

Ring-a-Pom. Credit: TJPW

Unfortunately, Mizuki got ill before this show, causing her to drop out of the Princess Cup (sending Shoko Nakajima into the next round) and Koda to do some tweaking. Thankfully, it’s not COVID, and she should be back sooner rather than later, but fingers crossed she’s feeling alright. Less importantly, it throws a spanner into my Cup predictions. As much as I have Miu down to win this thing, I assumed that Mizuki would beat Shoko, earning herself a future (probably successful) title shot. Now, who knows what’s going to go down (yes, I have decided I was right about that), but I’m looking forward to finding out.

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TJPW Winter (5/3/22) Review

Ready for Sumo Hall! Credit: TJPW

Grand Princess is getting awfully close, and this is TJPW’s final serious stop before they get there (they ran a Wrestle Universe Members show on Sunday, but those are inherently silly). We’ve got the full card, so all that’s left is to drum up that little bit of extra excitement. To be honest, I probably don’t need it, but I’m happy to get it anyway.

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