Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling
Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Finals
August 14, 2022
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: Wrestle Universe

We have finally arrived at the final of the TJPW Princess Cup 2022!

Nao Kakuta def. Moka Miyamoto

Today’s card is a bit less hype than yesterday’s, but it’s still a good opportunity to assess where people are in the card and their potential. Nao came into TJPW somewhat laterally from AWG, and certainly hasn’t had to go through an arduous rookie year of jobbing to everyone. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to see where her ceiling is. A tag title run seems inevitable at some point in the medium-term future, but I’d like to see her tested more with a few high-profile singles matches. Moka is still a work in progress; she’s the sort of wrestler who you could very well see having a Watanabe-style run in the cup in 2024, but she needs to keep learning and evolving to reach that point from here, otherwise, she’s going to get overtaken by people with less experience such as Arisu. This was very much your average inoffensive TJPW singles match.

Mahiro Kiryu & Yuki Kamifuku def. Hyper Misao & Kaya Toribami

Two pins in a row, we have to be at peak Mahirocoin now, right? Ok, no one believes that Toyo U have a chance against the current tag champs, but the build-up has been booked well enough to at least get Mahiro’s spinebuster over as a finisher. I also liked that she’s developing her smart-but-ditzy character a bit more, and no doubt working with Kamiyu has been a key factor in this.

Haruna Neko, Miyu Yamashita & Suzume def. Mizuki, Pom Harajuku & Raku

Back in January, Yamashita and Mizuki had what in my mind is still the best TJPW match of the year and so it was a treat to see these two go at it again and remind us how good their chemistry is. Poor Pom seemed to take the brunt of the attack from the winning team. No stakes, but a decent match for the middle of the card.

Saki Akai & Yuki Arai def. Arisu Endo & Hikari Noa

Surprisingly enough, Arisu and Hikari had pretty good chemistry as a tag team. Arisu also stood out here and her exchanges with Saki Akai were excellent. Give us a singles match Koda. Endo’s been scouted for a guest appearance alongside Suzume at an upcoming Gatoh Move show, her potential is already being recognized. If you don’t count beating Yuka Sakazaki in a cook-off (as Cagematch does, but they still won’t make Ganbare a separate promotion!), then Arisu is still winless in singles competition in a year and a half since her debut. Given the right booking, this could be one of the flagship TJPW angles for the rest of the year.

Rika Tatsumi & Shoko Nakajima def. Max The Impaler & Yuki Aino

This was a really fun affair. The exchanges between Rika and Max and Shoko and Max perfectly walked the line of putting over The Impaler as a boss-level beast while also letting us know that if anyone can take them down, it’s wrestlers of the caliber of Rika and Shoko.

We got a taste of what a high-level Max singles match in TJPW might look like, and it looked pretty darn tasty. Mizuki being on commentary seems like it could be a tease for what would be a fantastic match for a future show.

TJPW Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Final
Yuka Sakazaki def. Miu Watanabe

Given this match’s amount of discourse, let’s get this out the way. I’m normally the first person to complain about TJPW’s conservative booking style, but Yuka winning this is fine and makes sense in the long run. Miu’s unlocked achievements from this cup include wins over the current POP champ AND the longest reigning POP champ of all time. Not only that but it’s been established that she can rock n roll at the highest level. Not winning the cup or beating Yuka here, means that we haven’t used up all the stories at once.

This didn’t quite reach the heights of the semi-final match with Yamashita, but was still great and we finally got to see the return of big match Yuka (rather than big league Yuka), who brought some of the intensity we’ve seen over the years, most notably in her matches with Shoko Nakajima at Ultimate Party 2019 and Mizuki at WrestlePrincess. As with the day before, Miu was just perfect in her role as the underdog babyface and the passion and emotion was tangible as she fought valiantly but vainly. It’s been a star-making run for her, and there’s still plenty of glitter left to fight for. ****

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