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. Our latest entry in the Future of Joshi series is the future of WAVE, Kohaku!
The speed demon known as Kohaku burst back onto the Joshi scene at the start of 2022 after her time with Marvelous came to a rather mysterious end. It was Marvelous who revealed that Kohaku, formerly Mikoto Shindo, as well as two other wrestlers were seemingly dismissed from the promotion. The two others haven’t competed since but it was Kohaku who returned to wrestling in April 2022 with a new name, look, and promotion to call home.
Pro Wrestling WAVE took a chance on Kohaku as she’s quickly become a key member for the future of their promotion. At just 21 years of age, it’s evident that she’s got all the talent to shine for WAVE and beyond.
There should be no surprise as to why Kohaku is so good. The training she received in Marvelous, despite it not ultimately working out for her in the promotion, set her up to be noteworthy. Learning under Chigusa Nagayo and Takumi Iroha, we’ve seen the likes of Maria and Mio Momono come onto the scene as well which is why Kohaku’s abilities shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed Marvelous. Not only do you learn the essentials, but there’s an effort to create some of the most talented young talents in Joshi today.
What is most exciting about Kohaku’s skillset is her unique mixture of power and speed. With her small stature, you’d expect her to give up some of the power but she’s shown she can hang with many of the opponents that she takes on. And her speed? It’s only matchable by the best of the best in high-speed wrestling like AZM of STARDOM and Mei Suruga of Gatoh Move. The reason I call her the speed demon of WAVE is for the reason alone.
The return to pro wrestling for Kohaku was against a fellow young star, Suzu Suzuki, on April 1. That match was stellar and may still be her best since returning to the ring. Not to say she hasn’t had great matches since then, but she put her name on the map instantly and made people quickly forget about Shindo and instead know who Kohaku truly is and will become in the future.
The Joshi Pod made a point that before switching over to WAVE, she already showed the signs in-ring.
EVERYONE that comes out of the Marvelous system is a really good wrestler. Kohaku was arguably the best rookie in 2019. Look up Mikoto Shindo and see how many great matches she had so early in her career. She took some time away and went through a name change. Now that she is with WAVE, she has so many terrific veteran wrestlers to learn from and put the finishing touches on her repertoire. She is not the biggest tree in the forest, but she can hang with the best in the world. Though a Regina Di WAVE championship may not be in her immediate future, awesome matches in WAVE, Diana, and Sendai Girls are. – The Joshi Pod (@TheJoshiPod)
Kohaku continued her in just her second match as part of WAVE as she challenged Regina Di Wave Champion Nagisa Nozaki to a title match. It’s not all that shocking that she came up short in the challenge but it’s the fact she showed the right that she did to have a shot in the end.
Her true breakout came in the form of the Catch The WAVE Tournament as she competed as part of the Future Block and was one of the true standouts alongside Suzu Suzuki. They really carried that block and while she was unable to qualify for the second part of the tournament, she showed enough to prove she could be a potential favorite heading into the 2023 version of the tournament.
Kohaku closed out the year nearly earning a Regina Di Wave Championship match as she made it to the finals before falling to Risa Sera, who of course has many more years on her, experience-wise.
As 2023 gets underway, Kohaku is going to be at the head of WAVE with countless major matches coming her way. She’s also been competing in OZ Academy, Diana, and Sendai Girls — giving her opportunities to grow on the outside of WAVE as well.
We’re confident of Kohaku’s future and there’s a reason she took a chance on herself — because she is too. WAVE is in good hands with Kohaku working more and more to go from prospect to leader in due time.
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