August 25, 2019
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: DDT Universe

Yuki Aino def. Hikari

Yuki wins with a reverse DDT. This was okay.  **

Himawari Unagi & Pom Harajuku def. YUMI & Mahiro Kiryu 

I can’t see Pom winning the POP title anytime soon, but she’s quite charismatic in her own pixie like way. **

Yuna Manase, Yuki Kamifuku & Mina Shirakawa def. Rika Tatsumi, Nodoka Tenma & Raku

Mina treats us all to some rapping as her team makes their entrance. Rika laughs at her. The story of the latter part of this match was the power of Yuna’s boobs versus the Raku’s strong chopping hand. In the end it was Yuna who picked up the victory for her team, and the trio will go on to wrestle at the DDT campsite event on September 8th. **3/4

Yuka Sakazaki vs Su Yung – Double Knockout

Utterly different from your usual TJPW matches, Sakazaki and Yung bumped all over the hall. Su Yung did a flip off the stage, then they climbed the steps and Sakazaki introduced Su Yung to the new extreme sport of table sledding. Then, for the first time since Misao and Kasai last year, we got a Korakuen balcony spot. Unlike Takeshita/Brookes, the table actually broke this time. Back in the ring, things took a comedic turn with Su Yung brandishing her Mr Socko style glove ready for the mandible claw, the quick thinking Yuka grabbed TJPW bookers Koda’s show and removed his stinky sock to even the scores. They did a bit earlier in the match where she wafted it around the front row who all obligingly sold it. Eventually both managed to apply the hold to each other simultaneously and collapsed to the floor for a double knockout. This was a fun match, (and no, that isn’t code for anything) It really was pure popcorn ***1/2

Mizuki def. Maki Ito

Sorry but Ito’s new theme tune kinda sucks. This is a rematch from their feud last year, which ended in a draw. Ito whips Mizuki into the corner and tries to ask the crowd who’s the cutest, but gets foiled, so they brawl outside and psycho mode Ito wraps a microphone cable around Mizuki’s neck, and the ringpost and then gets on the mic to ask the crowd to chant her name again. This is what you would expect from an Ito-Mizuki match. Mizuki is bouncing around the ring hitting dropkicks and footstomps and Ito is trying to land her big ol’ head based offence. Itoh applies the highest angle boston crab I think I’ve ever seen in wrestling, but Mizuki escapes. There’s a nice submission reversal grappling bit and then a brilliant spot with Itoh headbutting Mizuki out of mid air. It all ends with Mizuki hitting the Cutie special on a defiant Itoh for the three. Good match.  ***1/2

Shoko Nakajima and Riho def. Suzume and Mirai Maiume

Intuitively it feels weird to have your current champ and the big name outside draw being paired up in a tag match against two rookies on a major card. On the other hand, it’s a baptism of fire and a great lesson for both Mirai and Suzume. Have we ever had a wrestler with a bee gimmick before? For a debut performance, Suzume looked really good here, so much so that a nearfall near the climax looked threateningly believable. But, of course, in the end it was Shoko that picked up the win for the Twin Cam Monsters with a northern lights suplex. Good match and Riho and Shoko made the two rookies look great. ***

International Princess Title
Natsumi Maki def. Gisele Shaw

Shiny new belt time! And it’s been a long time coming, as the roster is too talented right now not to have something for the upper midcard to feud over, although the international name suggests that this will be used for excursions and visiting gaijins too. Shaw’s gear, with its red and white maple leaf design, looks like she could have been a part of Lance Storm’s Team Canada in WCW, which is apt because she was trained at his Academy. Are Canadians particularly nationalistic or do they just  want to make sure no one confuses them with Americans? Shaw has a decent arsenal of moves and hit a beautiful springboard armdrag and towards the climax of the match a top rope Spanish fly. Natsumi showed some good spirit here and she played underdog to Shaw, fighting from behind to finally overcome and win with a bridging german suplex. A fine match. ***1/2

Princess Tag Team Titles
Sakisama & Misao (c) def. Miyu Yamashita & Miu Watanabe 

The team name for Miyu and Miu is Momoiro Sparkling. I don’t know what it means but it sounds like a soft drink. I know a lot of people like the old Hyper Misao, but new Misao is just so cool. A lot of time in wrestling, the difference between heel and face is a matter of maybe changing your smile to a scowl or cutting a few cheap promos, but Misao’s transformation isn’t so shallow; her gait and her moveset is entirely new and she delivers it with a crisp and disdainful panache. Neo Biishiki Gun work over Miu for the start of the match and on her second tag in Miu starts fighting back with a giant swing and then a double bodyslam which, sadly was a bit sloppy. Sakisama and Miyu had some great exchanges in this match, would love to see a proper singles feud between them. Neo Biishiki Gun hit a 3D on Miyu! Did they ask permission from Bully Ray? It all ends with a Vanitas (sitout pedigree) from Misao for the win. Another good match. After the match Martha and Yukio Saint Laurent are out for some Neo Biishiki Gun group celebrations.  ***¼

Final Thoughts

As you can see from the ratings, this was a good show, although nothing really managed to graduate into great, must see, territory. Like with most TJPW cards all the action was on the later half of the card. Suzume’s debut was impressive, but with the highly conservative way that the company books, you have to wonder if it’s all meaningless tag matches on the undercard for her considerable future. Yuki vs Hikari is emblematic of the problem. There was plenty of chances in the weeks leading up to build a story or some stakes here, but in the end it was just a match that was thrown together and will probably have no relevance to anything going forward. Some continuity and stories on the undercard would be much appreciated. The top half of the card was good and Yuka and Su Yung stole the show, though Shaw and Natsumi were also very impressive. Mizuki vs Maki Itoh was also a nice match and might be Maki Itoh’s best singles match in the company so far.