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 featured wrestler is SEAdLINNNG’s prized prospect, Riko Kaiju.
When it comes to the Future of Joshi, none may fit that moniker more than “The Beast Kid” herself, Riko Kaiju. A tremendous mixture of hard-hitting power and high-speed-like ability makes Kaiju not only one to watch out for, but one that everyone should be watching right now. She’s had breakout performances over the past year in both singles and tag team action (which we will get to later). She even managed to win her first piece of gold outside of SEAdLINNNG, which only proves all the more that her potential is limitless.
It was on December 18 that Kaiju shocked many by defeating PURE-J’s top prospect Crea to win the Princess of Pro Wrestling Championship. It’s not a shock because Kaiju didn’t have what it takes but instead it was a shock because of where Crea was at in her reign to that point. Only at 129 days, it was “Beast Kid” who was able to end the run and get her first title. She’s been confident as champion so far in 2023, already successfully defending it against Chie Ozora and preparing to defend it against Misa Kagura in the future.
But if coming into the new year as a champion isn’t enough to impress you, then the best two matches of her career to this point should do the trick. As the youngest member of the SEAdLINNNG roster, she is not only the future for them but also the present which became apparent in her first Beyond The Sea Championship challenge against one of the very best Joshi wrestlers of the past two decades, Arisa Nakajima. The date was May 13 when Kaiju stepped up to Nakajima, SEAdLINNNG’s Ace. There was zero question as to whether or not Riko Kaiju was the underdog. The question was instead how long could she last against one of the very best? She showed not only that it’d be a long time, but she had all the ability to almost steal the win and the Beyond The Sea Championship.
Nakajima connected with countless brutal forearms and more devastating offense, which meant Kaiju needed to dig down deep to show she could survive. This breakout performance was about survival, fighting back, and showing that at the age of 21 years old, she’s well on her way to holding that title above her head sooner rather than later.
Xavi gives some insight as to why not only this match showcased her abilities, but also the Beyond The Sea Tag Team Championship alongside partner Ayame Sasamura.
SEAdLINNNG’s resident ‘Beast Kid’ had herself an incredible 2022. Almost every great match to come out of SEAd in 2022 involved Riko Kaiju, and often she was the shining star. Making her first Beyond The Sea Singles Championship challenge, as well as a gutsy underdog showing in a recent tag title challenge alongside Ayame Sasamura. She stepped up in a big way, and now as the undisputed future ace of SEAd her stock will grow in 2023. Kaiju has also recently been training closely with Ikuto Hidaka, who has worked with a number of great wrestlers such as Natsuki Taiyo, Yuhi, and helped Fujita Jr Hayato train for his in-ring return. Gifting Kaiju his Higuchi Bomb which she has been making a finishing move. Her desire to grow and the fact this might be the year she beats Arisa Nakajima for SEAd’s top prize is why you should watch out for Riko Kaiju. – Xavi (@ADumbMillenial)
The tag match that was mentioned saw Kaiju and Sasamura give the ultimate underdog performance against the tag team champions, ASUKA and Makoto. If you’ve seen how ASUKA and Makoto work, you can only further appreciate the way these underdogs remainder in the fight. They were brutalized, blood was pouring, but they fought to the end of the match with every ounce of heart that they had. It’s the type of match, like the one that Kaiju had against Nakajima, that people will remember years down the road when she does eventually become champion in SEAdLINNNG.
Her success in 2022 makes Riko Kaiju may be the most exciting prospect to follow on this list. You don’t have to admit she’s the cream of the crop among these 15, but you do have to admit that having the breakout year that she already had set her up for an undeniable future. More and more dates outside of SEAdLINNNG should allow her to learn, grow, and become one of the best. SEAdLINNNG can rise to glory on the back of Riko Kaiju and they will as long as she continues her meteoric rise.
The 21-year-old known as “Beast Kid” is the real deal and worth everyone’s attention from here on out.
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