The Future of Joshi series is an effort to highlight the best, young talent in Joshi pro wrestling for fans to keep an eye on in 2023 and beyond. Led by Scott Edwards, a number of Joshi podcasters, writers, and fans took part in hyping up the best young talent from the scene as 15 wrestlers will be highlighted as well as honorable mentions. The next wrestler to be highlighted in the series is the “Bubble Girl” herself, Momoka Hanazono.

Momoka Hanazono

Everyone on this list offers something special. Each checks some sort of box as to why they’re the future of their company, a key promotion member, or are simply solid additions to any roster they compete on. When it comes to Momoka Hanzono, the main thing we can say about the “Bubble Girl” is that she checks all the boxes and then some.

Some are quickly bothered by her silly ways and constant use of her handy, dandy bubble wand (that recently broke by the way), but when you get deep into the match, no one can match the heart that Hanazono exhibits every single time out there. There will be matches where you see her show her silly side and has the crowd laughing as she blows bubbles and mocks her opponent. But then there will be times (which we will get to soon), when she is just as good as an underdog as there is in wrestling right now.

Many people’s first impression of Momoka Hanazono came in her STARDOM debut when she took part in the NEW BLOOD series. She teamed up with Waka Tsukiyama at NEW BLOOD 2 in a losing effort against the God’s Eye duo of MIRAI and Ami Sourei. There were plenty of moments of her joking rather than going, but the times that she did compete, she flashed some of the potential that she’d highlight in many other matches after the fact.

The series against deathmatch badass Rina Yamashita in the Osaka-based Colega Pro Wrestling promotion is the one that opened my eyes to how good Hanazono truly is when it’s no longer about joking around and instead about her shining like a star as the ultimate underdog. Don’t get me wrong, the jokes don’t go away and she has no problem playing around by any means, but Yamashita certainly doesn’t allow her to do that the whole match. When they start trading strikes and Hanazono needs to fight back, she has what it takes to make it competitive against one of the very best. Her heart is much like the heart you’ll see out of wrestlers that perform in STARDOM’s STARS faction but also you’ll see in an underdog title challenger.

Check out this match below to get the full Hanazono experience from the second match of the series with Rina Yamashita.

The match that most people have seen that has best showcased what Hanazono is all about was her High-Speed Championship challenge against AZM at GOLD RUSH. She emphasized how good she was with her speed and threw the big strikes you can see in the Yamashita match. Keeping up with AZM is a challenge but not only did she accomplish that but Hanazono almost pulled out the win in doing so. She’s since earned the respect of the High-Speed Champion and that alone should tell everyone what kind of competitor she is.

“Bubble Girl” often sticks around the Osaka area (as you can tell by her STARDOM matches) but if she ever plans to expand, STARDOM feels like a natural destination with STARS naturally calling her name with how much her personality matches the aesthetic to perfection. But she should be getting more dates with more promotions moving forward. There’s so much talent and while she consistently works OZ Academy and Colega with STARDOM becoming the next constant, all we can hope for is that Hanazono and her talents are shining more than ever as 2023 goes on.

The 23-year-old belongs in the Future of Joshi series for what she has showcased in the chances she has received. Keep an eye out on the “Bubble Girl” as she proves again and again that there’s much more to her than a bubble wand and flower that she brings to the ring. Momoka Hanazono is ready to make a splash!

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