Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling
Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 – Semi-Finals
August 13, 2022
Watch: Wrestle Universe
Shoko Nakajima def. Kaya Toribami
Any other combination of POP Champion and rookie would have produced an adequate encounter, but this match had two things going for it. Firstly, with Nakajima being Toribami’s mentor and presumed trainer in the promotion, these two have well-practiced chemistry and there were lots of crisp sequences here that really brought out Toribami’s best. Secondly, Shoko is just that damn good and is arguably TJPW’s best in-ring wrestler right now.
We all knew Shoko was winning this, but the beauty of this match was seeing just how much Toribami could endure and to what extent she could fight back. Worth watching. ***1/2
Free WiFi (Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta) def. Raku & Yuki Aino
So after getting dumped out the Princess cup last week in singles matches, with Hikari, in particular, being the victim of Yuka Sakazaki’s big leaguing, Free-Wifi have decided to muck about during the first few minutes of this match. Hey, it worked for Magirabbits. This includes giggling to each other before the bell rings and a Laurel and Hardy routine with a stretcher. Match had zero stakes and even with Free Wifi winning, can you really see them winning the tag belts anytime soon? *3/4
Mei Suruga def. Arisu Endo
So there’s a storyline here (yes, really), with Mei having come between Arisu and Suzume in recent months. Suruga, although a year younger than Endo, has a lot more in-ring experience and comes into TJPW laterally as opposed to our Alice, who has been working her way up from the bottom. As such, it made sense here that Mei played impish overdog to Arisu’s frustration. It was a testament to quality that I truly bought that Mei might tap to Endo’s camel clutch. Mei took the win, but Arisu refused to shake hands. Hopefully this storyline isn’t over, because this is the perfect rivalry to elevate Arisu Endo in this promotion. ***1/2
Rika Tatsumi def. Hyper Misao and Mizuki
For those who are new to TJPW, one of the long-running character stories is Rika’s unrequited love for Mizuki. So, it felt like a pretty big deal when the Sugar Rabbit agreed to team up with the White Dragon at the onset. Alas, it was not meant to be and The Miz quickly turned on her new partner. This was a perfectly fine match for where it was in the card, everyone got a chance to shine and the interactions between all three worked. We were also teased yet again with the prospect of TJPW’s biggest dream match, Mizuki vs Rika. There’s always next year eh? ***1/4
Max The Impaler def. Pom Harajuku
This was a great debut for Max, in establishing themselves as a new monster (or orc, maybe?) heel for TJPW and there’s a great visual contrast between them and pretty much everyone on the roster. In fact, it really feels like Max rounds out the roster nicely, even though they’re only here on tour.
As for the match, I have to say I was disappointed this wasn’t more of a contest. Pom Harajuku’s been having a sneakily good year and trying hard to establish herself as more than someone who makes up the numbers in undercard tag matches. I think I had expected that this would be something along the lines of a Misao or Inspiration type match. In the end the squash served its purpose, but I would have liked to have seen more creativity and story here. **
Haruna Neko, Mahiro Kiryu & Yuki Kamifuku def. Moka Miyamoto, Saki Akai & Yuki Arai
Mahirocoin is mooning! Yes, Kiryu pinned the teacher’s pet of TJPW, Yuki Arai, 1 2 3 in the middle of the ring. This set up a tag team title match between Akai and Arai and Kamiyu and Kiryu, and I advise you to sell Mahirocoin before that match, because there’s no way that Toyo University is winning.
I enjoyed the interactions between TJPW’s two thin giants Saki Akai and Kamiyu here and am looking forward to the tag title match for more bitchy shenanigans. **
Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Semi-Final Match
Yuka Sakazaki defeats Suzume
I have to say, I saw other people praising this match, but I thought it was good but not great. I enjoyed the various pin attempt sequences, but I felt this missed a final gear change near the end. For me Suzume’s best singles match so far was her bout with mentor Rika Tatsumi at the Inspiration show earlier this year. Yuka was working a slow methodological style, while Suzume tried to speed things up, which made sense for the story they were telling. The highlight of this was Suzume going for the world record of smallest person ever to do a slingshot plancha. TPC 2022 has been a nice little run for Suzume, and given that Daisy Monkey are working Choco Pro in the near future, it would be nice if she could build on the momentum here with a…singles victory over Mei Suruga at Wrestle Princess perhaps? ***1/2
Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Semi-Final Match
Miu Watanabe defeats Miyu Yamashita
Well, this was awesome, and Miu has now beaten two of TJPW’s pillars in consecutive matches. Here’s the great thing about Main Event Miu: she lets you know she’s in a fucking war. From her pained expressions to her yelps, moans and staggers, Watanabe sells you on the occasion and brings you along with her, till by the end of the match you’ve found yourself at her side, willing her on. This was easily at the level of her quarter final match with Shoko, if not a step better, and Yamashita looked as good as she has all year too. There was an absolutely disgusting german suplex midway through the match that dumped Miu right on her head. Please no I don’t want to see King’s Road revivals on my friendly girls wrestling thank you. This is the promotion that gets cheers for a bodyslam ok. The result? Perhaps in hindsight it’s easy to say that it made all the sense in the world to put Miu over, but sense and TJPW booking don’t always go hand in hand, and the idea of having twin aces Yuka and Miyu in the final of a tournament was surely a tempting outcome for TK. However, we’re long past time on TJPW elevating someone new to the main event scene and even if Miu loses the final match, this has been a run that will undoubtedly earn her a title shot if not by the end of the year, then early next. ****¼
Overall, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Semi-Finals was a fairly middling card, with a fantastic main that is well worth watching. Onto the finals!
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