Tokyo Joshi Pro: Let’s Go! Go! When You Go! If You Get Lost You Just Go To Osaka!
January 7 2018
We’re in Osaka, obviously. Presumably everyone got lost. Yes, that is the actual title to this show. I have given up asking why, the answer is always “Japan”. The feed is being a bit weird at the start to I move forward to ten minutes in and two women are arguing, or making up a language, I’m not sure. We then get a five minute pop concert, which is brutal. I’m often shocked when wrestlers are really good singers but this is not one of those cases.
Hinano & Hikari vs. Miu & Raku
The wrestlers develop a weird habit of lip syncing their own entrance music and all the entrance music is fucking dreadful. Seriously, the music is utter balls. The musical issues mean that I miss almost all the introductions apart from the girl in yellow who’s called Raku. Raku’s tag partner Miu is in pink. They do very basic standing switches and it feels like a trainee match. I don’t feel bad for not catching their names. I find mild amusement in the noises they make while battling each other. Some of the transitions are bad to the point where they don’t even exist.
I'm not saying this match is bad but… pic.twitter.com/TMh8ERpmsi
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) January 8, 2018
Hinano quits to a backbreaker before I quit to watch something that doesn’t suck. This was really, really bad. Mort pointed out this was everyone’s second match, ever, and boy did it ever show.
Final Rating: DUD
Nodoka-Oneesan vs. Yuka Sakazaki
Nodoka is heavily gimmicked. Oneesan means “older sister”. Yuka is dressed like a genie and has a lot of spare energy. It’s only when she hits the ring that I realise how tiny Nodoka is. Nodoka is 4’ 9”. The opening clashes are a bit clumsy but it’s way better than the opener. It also has comedy selling with Yuka yelling about her face while in a headlock. “Argh, my face. My face!”
Then Nodoka gets wrapped up in the ringside mats. Surely you’d just go for a count out there Yuka? Nodoka tries the same thing but Yuka slips out and hides under the ring. Nodoka is clearly out of her element and gets planted with the Magical Girl Splash and more horrendous music plays in celebration of Yuka’s victory! Seriously, the music in this promotion is dire.
Final Rating: **1/2
Hyper Misao vs. Shoko Nakajima
Hyper Misao is a superhero, of sorts. Her cape looks like a piece she trimmed off a curtain but otherwise it’s a solid look. Shoko has a wild animal gimmick, not unlike Kris Wolf. There should be more tails in wrestling. There are unusual rules at play and Shoko is forced to drink when she uses a rope break. Is this Irish rules? Misao is daubed in green. I don’t know what is causing the ‘drink breaks’ but the incidental music that plays when an infringement occurs is awesome. “Duh-DUHHH”. I’m informed that whenever either girl speaks English they have to drink some apple cider vinegar. The first one was when Shoko yelled “break” for a rope break. When the referee counts “one-two” on a near fall he’s forced to drink vinegar too! The ring announcer gets nailed with a glass too for using English. They all look suitably horrified so that must be actual vinegar. The referee’s look of horror when he points out a rope break is palpable and because he’s struggling to down it Shoko misses out on a sneaky roll up. Shoko eventually takes it with a Northern Lights suplex. I enjoyed this. It was very silly.
Final Rating: ***
Mizuki, Maho Kurone & Rika Tatsumi vs. Nonoko, Yuna Manase & Yuki Kamifuki
I have bad news. There has been a zombie outbreak in Osaka. pic.twitter.com/OadQdGtpZq
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) January 8, 2018
Maho Kurone is the zombie. She has a thirst for cameraman brains. Everyone else on her team is all wholesome and sweet. Kurone uses her evil zombie powers to freak out the other team and then Mizuki and Tatsumi sneak in there with wholesome double teams. It’s really quite sweet that the popular girls have befriended the undead. Kamifuki is all “don’t touch my hair” so Kurone bites her. If Kamifuki turns into a zombie on the next show that’s legitimate storyline dedication. The match is fine but I become obsessed with the possibility of zombie assaults because Kurone is so invested in her character. A lot of her moves are to put her in a better position to nosh on brains. I’m almost disappointed when she does some actual wrestling, and attempts to win and shit. Nonoko and Manase do some tremendously goofy stuff in this, intent in looking fabulous while claiming victory. However Rika has other plans and kills Kamifuki. I do like Maho Kurone a lot. She’s playing a zombie who’s trying to pretend to be human. It’s really well done. She has a clear attachment to Tatsumi. The whole thing worked for me.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Video Control takes a break, a weird part of DDT’s streaming service where they leave the intermission in and it’s literally just a title card. How hard would it be to edit that out? The girls from the opening match come back out here to dance and sing. They’re better at this than wrestling. Does TJP have a record label too? It’s an all-in-one deal. All singing, all dancing, all wrestling. I guess it all helps coordination and confidence in front of a crowd. The act occasionally breaks down into a fight. It makes me enjoy all four of them far more than the match they had earlier.
Marika Kobashi & Yuu vs. Azusa Christie & Saki-sama
Azusa Christie and Saki-sama are dressed as a sexy witch and her nun…who is also sexy. Saki-sama is Saki Akai. She’s the witch. Christie’s gimmick is borderline blasphemous. It’s like something out of a Madonna concert from the 90s. I haven’t seen Saki wrestle in about 6 months and she has improved a lot. Her timing is better and she’s doing stuff at a much higher speed. Plus she’s working heel here and she’s a total bitch. Marika Kobashi has a lot to live up to with that surname but instead she works cutesy but with an ever-so-slight tip of the hat via colour schemes. Saki Akai gives her the full sub-dom treatment, slapping her around with leather gloves and everything. When Yuu tries to make the big save/comeback she takes a pasting too. Who knew Saki Akai could be so fucking good? Her kicks are devastating. She still can’t take a back bump without holding both her arms down by her side but apart from that it’s a huge improvement over what I’m used to. Marika is only 16 years old. I knew she was young but this is a revelation. For 16 years old, she’s incredible. Azusa boots poor little Marika in the head until she stops moving and Saki Akai is a dick about it. I need to see more evil Saki. I was wowed here.
Final Rating: ***1/2
TOKYO Princess of Princess Championship
Miyu Yamashita (c) vs. Veda Scott
Miyu only won this title a few days ago at Korakuen Hall, the same day as Wrestle Kingdom.
I was not entirely focused on DDT Universe at that point in time and it’s only because of their timely content that I’m back on their VOD service. Literally nowhere else has 2018 content and they’ve got fucking loads a week into the year. Yamashita is the first two-time POP champion. I can’t tell if she’s got painted feet or is wrestling in socks. She doesn’t have a lot of protection for her feet so Veda opts to work the leg. The opening five minutes is pretty much all leg work. It irks me somewhat when wrestlers put so much focus on a body part and then don’t follow through on it. They kinda do here but Yamashita goes and hits a backbreaker. Sure, she sells afterwards but why would you hit a backbreaker when you’ve had your leg worked all match? Then she’s doing a bunch of holds that require her to squat on that bad leg. So yeah, the first half of the match is pointless. Veda tries to re-establish that body part psychology but Miyu is having none of it. They have some ok sequences but the match structure overall is very disappointing. Yamashita even wins with a fucking knee strike.
I may start to get quite grump about this sort of thing in 2018. Ignore the psychology of half the match in the second half and feel my wrath. Or lack of stars. One or the other. There was good stuff in this but it wasn’t a good match.
Final Rating: **
It may not be reflected in the snowflakes but I had a good time watching this show. Variety is the spice of life and I’m aiming to spice up my 2018 with shows from all manner of different promotions. Hell, we’re only a week into 2018 and I’ve already seen shows from two promotions I’ve never seen before. Good start!