AAAW 1-Day Tournament
December 4, 2022
Marvelous returns to Korakuen Hall with what may be their biggest show of 2022 as the promotion looks to crown a new AAAW Champion after Takumi Iroha was forced to relinquish the championship due to injury. A special AAAW 1-Day Tournament will be held as 10 participants compete to try and walk out as the new champion. The bracket has three different blocks with the C Block having to do the most work, needing to win four matches to walk out as champion. A Block will be facing whoever makes it out of C Block while the B Block will follow the traditional bracket style with the winner of the block heading to the finals.
Here’s the bracket below:
Unagi Sayaka vs. Tomoko Watanabe
Unagi Sayaka has walked into Marvelous with the goal to wreak havoc on the roster and there’s no better way to do that than winning the AAAW Championship. She had originally laid down a challenge to Takumi Iroha for the AAAW Championship and was going to go through Ai Houzan, Chikayo Nagashima, and Maria to earn the spot in separate singles matches. That won’t be the case anymore but her entry into the tournament gives her a chance to still get what she wants. She will face Tomoko Watanabe in the first round and would move to the semifinals with a victory, giving her as good a chance as anyone to reach the final.
Watanabe is one of the main veterans on the Marvelous roster so it’ll be up to her to try and stop Sayaka from winning the tournament by not allowing her to make it out of the first round. As a two-time AJW Champion, she has any good of accolades as anyone competing. This is a real toss-up but the outsider has the unpredictability factor in this one. Prediction: Unagi Sayaka
Mio Momono vs. Ai Houzan
If there’s anyone in Marvelous who has a destiny of winning the AAAW Championship, it’s Mio Momono. But will that chance come in the AAAW 1-Day Tournament? She will kick it off with fellow Marvelous competitor, Ai Houzan, who has been finding her feet over the last couple of months as she grows from her rookie status. Momono has worked her way back from a number of injuries, including the back injury that held her out for nearly a year. The heart and determination that Momono has shown can easily lead her to the final and championship as the 10-minute time limits up until the final favor her high-speed, hard-hitting style. Houzan will try but Momono should win this one. Prediction: Mio Momono
Queen Aminata vs. Maria
Queen Aminata makes her return to Marvelous for the first time in almost three years as she enters the AAAW 1-Day Tournament with a major opportunity. She was last in the promotion on Jan. 19, 2020, but hasn’t been back with the pandemic more to blame than anything else. At West Coast Pro’s Ride The Lightning event in October, Aminata faced Mio Momono in singles action but was unable to get the win. That match could be what began to turn the wheels on her return to the promotion but she does have a tough matchup out the gate against Maria, who has spent 2022 improving in every part of her game.
As I’ve written previously, Maria has done nothing but show why she is the future of Joshi and Marvelous through her work this year. She’s stood up to some of the very best like Chihiro Hashimoto and has not only shown she can hang but is getting to the level where she can beat them. During Aminata’s last tour in Japan, these two teamed together in a winning effort so they have enough familiarity with one another to make this as 50-50 as it gets. Prediction: Queen Aminata
Rin Kadokura vs. Riko Kawahata
One of the more exciting matchups of the first round comes in the B Block as Rin Kadokura takes on Riko Kawahata. Kadokura is one of the staples of Marvelous’ roster and has found great success in and out of the promotion over the years, especially as a tag team wrestler. She has held tag team gold four different times as she’s a two-time WAVE Tag Team Champion, a one-time Sendai Girls Tag Team Champion, and most recently a one-time AAAW Tag Team Champion alongside Itsuki Aoki. Singles success is her next mountain to climb so her entry into this tournament is certainly one to watch.
Her challenge comes in the form of Kawahata, who has had an incredible year in terms of overall improvement inside the squared circle. If Kawahata can use her newly developed offense of strikes that have left her opponents down and out, then she could pull off the upset over Kadokura in this one. That said, Kadokura should be a favorite in this tournament. Prediction: Rin Kadokura
Chikayo Nagashima vs. Yuna Manase
The final first-round tournament match comes down to Chikayo Nagashima and Yuna Manase. On one side of this, you have Nagashima, who is one-half of the AAAW Tag Team Champions with the injured Takumi Iroha. On the other is Manase, who ventured from her home in GanBare to compete in the tournament. The match heavily favors Nagashima as the veteran is a former AAAW Champion after all and will look to take care of Marvelous as its top champion while Iroha recovers from her injury. Manase should put up a fight but Nagashima not only feels like a favorite for this match but the tournament itself. Prediction: Chikayo Nagashima
Chigusa Nagayo & Riko Kawahata vs. Yumiko Hotta & Maria
Magenta will split in half to team up with Joshi legends as Riko Kawahata teams up with Chigusa Nagayo and Maria teams up with Yumiko Hotta. This match was originally set for August but COVID-19 forced the match to be postponed. It’s not every day you get to see two Joshi legends go head to head and it’s not every day that Nagayo gets back in the ring to compete. It’ll be over a year since the last time she stepped in the ring and while she’s not the same wrestler she was in her heyday, the 57-year-old still has everything she needs to make an impact. Not only should this be fun with the legends but Kawahata and Maria can renew their rivalry from earlier this year that brought them together to form Magenta. It should be one worth checking out. Prediction: Yumiko Hotta & Maria
Remaining AAAW 1-Day Tournament Thoughts
It’s a great, welcome feeling to be heading into a tournament with it feeling so wide open. After picking the first-round matches, the favorites to win this remain Chikayo Nagashima, Mio Momono, and Unagi Sayaka. Momono and Sayaka will need to make it through one another to find themselves in the final meanwhile Nagashima should be facing Kadokura in the semifinals. Marvelous has a chance to see a new future and crowing a new, first-ever AAAW Champion could be in their best interest.
Momono seems to be the fan favorite, Sayaka is the wild card, and Nagashima will be the odds-on favorite heading into the show. No matter who walks out the winner, Marvelous is in for an exciting future.
The AAAW 1-Day Tournament will be a special event for Marvelous and very well may be their most important show of the year. Make sure to check it out on December 4 as it is available on PPV. Note: the PPV will be uploaded after the show is finished.
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