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 TJPW’s lone name on the official list, Suzume.
TJPW breaks into the top 15 with the promotion’s resident bee, Suzume! If you’ve followed TJPW over the past few years, especially in 2022, you have learned quickly that she’s a star ready to break out. The 24-year-old has earned a big-time following from fans inside and outside of Japan, waiting for her to make that next step. She, entering 2023, is in the same spot that Miu Watanabe was in a year ago. As we’ve seen with her, that could mean huge things are in store for Suzume soon enough.
The first big sign was when Suzume managed to reach the semifinals of the Tokyo Princess Cup. It was there that she sadly fell victim to eventual winner Yuka Sakazaki, but her road to getting there featured the biggest singles win of her career against former Princess of Princess Champion, Rika Tatsumi. The win was a shock to all but one that perfectly highlighted her growth up until that point.
Her opportunity to get a singles match at Wrestle Princess III against Joshi veteran Ryo Mizunami not only kept her on the same pace as someone like Watanabe the year prior, but it really pushed forward what TJPW hopefully sees in her. What Suzume exemplified was the heart and that underdog spirit that should carry her to greatness down the road. She didn’t get the win, but it was another needed stepping stone.
Ryan Dilbert of Wrestle Inn gave a perfect look as to why 2023 should be her year:
Forget what the Chinese Zodiac says, this year may very well be the Year of the Bee.
After an impressive run in the ’22 Tokyo Princess Cup, Suzume is poised to break free from the midcard. Her radiant personality and speedy attack help her stand out, be it on a grand stage or some random six-woman tag on a low-level show. Grinning, she bounces around the ring, armed with infectious energy and a dropkick that’s so pretty it should pose for a painter. The 24-year-old rising star has a lot of the same qualities that got Miu Watanabe to be the talk of TJPW, from likeability to the ability to thrive in a slugfest.
Suzume’s got double the chance to make her mark in 2023, too. She’s shown herself to be a solid solo act in bouts against Ryo Mizunami and Mei Suruga, but she can also be a big part of the TJPW tag division as one-half of Daisy Monkey (with Arisu Endo).
The bubbly, fluid wrestler in a bee costume looks every bit like a future anchor for the promotion with the exact combo of vibes and violence that one needs there. – Ryan Dilbert (@ryandilbert)
Suzume’s tag team with Arisu Endo, as highlighted by Ryan, could be in for more success soon enough despite the quick exit in the Max Heart Tournament. The reason being is that Endo has found singles success, which should only benefit the bee in the long term. If Daisy Monkey didn’t earn themselves a title reign somewhere down the road then they’d suffer the same fate as BeeStar, which was Suzume’s team with MIRAI of STARDOM. It was that duo that also had all the potential but as we know now, it wasn’t going to continue after MIRAI made her move to STARDOM.
Let’s not have another case of that and this time, with Suzume being the lead, their time should come.
Rahi gives you the ultimate hype as to the kind of wrestler Suzume is and reiterates how important 2023 is for her.
Float like a butterfly, sting like Suzume.
Suzume is the adorable, vibrant, and charismatic vivid honey mustard of Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling as she likes to call herself. She more than makes up for her small stature with her sharp strikes and breathtaking agility as well as her knack for storytelling. Suzume has quickly risen the ranks of the junior division of TJPW and become the de facto face of the juniors division of TJPW as she’s usually relied upon to train the new wrestlers as well as becoming a ring general or being the glue that holds the chaos together.
TJPW seems to view Suzume as a solid hand however it’s clear that she’s capable of so much more and has become an incredibly versatile performer and giving the likes of Miyu Yamashita, Sakisama, and Maki Itoh a run for their money in the ring and she’s proven you can place her anywhere on the card and she’ll exceed expectations in her role both in singles and tag action and constantly itching that little bit closer and breaking through that glass ceiling and I think Suzume is well on her way to capturing a belt in TJPW this year. Let’s call it the Summer of Suzume! – Rahi (@Rahi2Cents)
Ewan also thinks 2023 could be a huge breakout year for Suzume.
Without a doubt, Suzume’s cute and cheery bee gimmick is a huge reason for her becoming such a popular up-and-comer in TJPW. But beyond her surface character, there’s a very creative wrestler, who has eagerly grasped the opportunities available to her while showcasing an innovation unlike many of her peers. Alas! BeeStar, her team with Mirai was all too short-lived, but the two rookies managed to work together smoothly, and in the process, design some inventive original moves. Daisy Monkey (no, no one knows why they are called this), her new team with Arisu Endo, have a similar charisma based on their frictionless teamwork and friendship. As a singles wrestler, Suzume may have been overshadowed by Miu’s run in this year’s Princess Cup, but let’s not forget she overcame her mentor Rika in the quarter finals, although for my money, their match earlier in the year at Inspiration was a tad better. There’s certainly a buzz about Suzume this year. – Ewan (@ewanwcx)
At the end of the day, all we can hope for is the success of Suzume because she has the talent to reach that level. That’s undeniable. But it’s known enough by now how TJPW’s booking can be hit or miss for the future over the pillars. She should be in the conversation with Miu Watanabe, Yuki Arai, and Maki Itoh in terms of those who have broken threw that “glass ceiling” that Rahi mentions. If she can do that, then TJPW themselves will benefit the most.
2023 can and should be the year of the bee!
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