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 2022 Match of the Year: Miu Watanabe vs Yuka Sakazaki

Two stories. Credit: TJPW

Coming into 2022’s Princess Cup Final, it felt like the focus was entirely on Miu Watanabe. With good reason, too. Miu going deep in the tournament, beating Shoko Nakajima and Miyu Yamashita on the way, felt like the stepping up of Tokyo Joshi’s next generation. Yes, they’ve made it to main events and battled for titles before, but no one had ever done it by going through two of the heads on TJPW’s Mount Rushmore. Miu was brute forcing her way to the top, breaking down walls for those who followed, and people were desperate for her to go the distance.

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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 Autumn Tour (3/12/22) Review

I always enjoy that spot. Credit: TJPW

With TJPW’s final Korakuen Hall of the year behind us, all attention turns to the next big one: Ittenyon. It might just be another trip to Korakuen, but that date adds to its importance, and the show reflects that. We’ve already got our big title matches, but with a month to go, the rest of the card needs fleshing out, and perhaps this show will give us an idea of what to expect. Let’s find out.

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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 City Circuit Autumn (15/11/22) Review

It’s Raku time! Credit: TJPW

TJPW were down a few faces for this show, with Miyu and Misao in the UK (wrestling for EVE, a pair of events that I was at, which is why this review is later than usual) while Nao was performing in a play. However, they were in the unique confines of KBS Hall, which is generally enough to make up for a few missing wrestlers, so let’s see what went down.

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