In the world of pro wrestling, so many moves and styles are handed down and altered — for better or for worse. It’s the way any art form works. Then there are those among the very elite in this business who can be and are so creative that they create their own moves and style. It’s challenging to do but it’s what can make a pro wrestler special. As someone who watches as much wrestling as I do, I see plenty of creative wrestlers compete, but maybe none are as remarkably creative as Gatoh Move’s Mei Suruga.

There’s a beauty to Suruga’s creativity that is likely to be taken by generations ahead to become popularized and for good reason. No Mei Suruga match feels the same. Sure, like any wrestler, she’ll hit signature moves and win matches with a finisher or two, but the way she gets to those destinations always blows me away.

Not everyone can work in such an environment like the Ichigaya Chocolate Square of ChocoPro. And no one, in my opinion, from that small crew who consistently does can translate that into a normal pro wrestling match like Suruga. It’s where she finds that creativity and takes it to the next level.

Using the word “genius” can be a bit much at times, but it’s fitting for Suruga. Some will see her goofier, comedic spots and instantly write her off but she can turn it in within seconds, being one of the very few wrestlers who do that well. She’s called a “goblin” for good reason, as she can be one to make jokes before turning that into high-energy rage that makes her matches so inviting more and more as they go on.

If you want to point to a match that truly captures that jaw-dropping craftiness, then look no further than when Suruga challenged AZM to a High-Speed Championship at the 2022 Cinderella Tournament Final. I think it’s rare for any wrestler to be able to keep up with someone like AZM, who has transcended the meaning of high-speed wrestling over the last few years through her matches with Starlight Kid. And I believe the match with Suruga deserves that same respect in many ways.

While Suruga may not have the identical lighting quickness to run the ropes back and forth with AZM, she had the creativity to make the match flow seamlessly and leave fans in shock as a result. There’s this perfect moment where AZM Irish Whips Suruga into the ring post and Suruga, rather than crashing into it, uses those skills only she could learn from wrestling in the Ichigaya Chocolate Square by leaping off the ring post with a perfect Crossbody to wipe out AZM. It’s a spot that many would slip on, let alone hit it as perfectly as Suruga did. Yet, somehow, it wasn’t even her most creative moment of the match.

In many high-speed matches, you can witness countless flash pins as competitors trade back and forth to try and earn the shock victory. Suruga, who utilizes a twisting flash pin out of the Code Red position as one of her main finishes, was able to make the trading of flash pins that much more exciting. You’d believe she was winning no more than three times as the brilliant near falls captivated anyone watching — it was that great. And while Suruga ultimately lost the match to AZM, who’d go on to have a record title reign as High-Speed Champion, she made many fans with that match who may not have been watching her in Gatoh Move. It’s natural and deserving for someone as creative as her.

Another match that highlights Suruga’s innovative offense is against Yuna Mizumori in what would be Mizumori’s final match as a member of Gatoh Move. Unlike the AZM bout, this match displays Suruga’s offense against someone who may not go at the same speed but can use her creativity to make themselves look greater. It’s unquestionably the best match of Mizumori’s career and one the best from the Joshi independents in 2022. They managed to embody the silliness, competitiveness, and seriousness all within 20 minutes and 56 seconds.

The victory comes on a stunning kickout reversal into a bridge with Mizumori trapped, but how we got there tells the story. Mizumori’s powerhouse offense was and is, in many ways, a perfect offset for Suruga to work with. When she avoids getting turned inside out by one of Mizumori’s crushing lariats, she’s using a beautiful leg scissors roll-up to get a near fall. The story of this match, outside of it being Mizumori’s final bout for Gatoh Move, is Suruga destroying that right arm of Yuna to keep her from utilizing those lariats.

It’s what you’ll see any of the best technicians in wrestling do to someone who uses their arm for powerful moves, but she keeps it creative. And to give the match another level that any fan — Joshi/Gatoh Move or not — interest, they’re in there trading malicious forearms when it looks like they go nothing left. It’s a beautiful match in all the ways that make Gatoh Move what it is but also what makes pro wrestling so great, and it’s a credit to Suruga for keeping it creative, fresh, and always moving. No time is wasted, and a Gatoh Move classic is delivered.

It’d be unfair for me to overlook the work Suruga does in tag team wrestling as well. Her BestBros team with Baliyan Akki embodies that creativity to a tee as Akki is able to use Suruga as a weapon on countless occasions. They’ve worked so much as a duo that they’ve been able to amaze crowds worldwide at this point, impacting the US indies, including Beyond Wrestling and DEADLOCK Pro.

The final match worth highlighting is her most recent featured match at her 5th Anniversary show against Momoka Hanazono.

Suruga is just incredible. This match was initially scheduled to be against STARDOM’s Miyu Amasaki, which would have been an intriguing battle for many other reasons, but Amasaki had to be pulled from action. Enter Hanazono, who has by all means been a star in her own right since I first got a chance to see her in STARDOM. They have similar make-ups from the oozing, bubbly personality to bringing violence anytime necessary.

As the match was underway, it started as you’d expect them to start trading back and forth with holds before Hanazono’s bubble wand came into play. But after that, you got a mixture of comedy and serious pro wrestling that was fitting for a match between them. Hanazono would try to use the ropes as Suruga does so elegantly but would only be met with misstep after misstep that would lead to the match kicking into that second and third gear. Suruga would blitz Hanazono in every form, hitting a perfect top rope stomp onto Hanazono and doing the same later in the match with a Springboard Footstomp. The nonstop action had Shinjuku FACE locked in and within minutes, you just couldn’t help but be amazed at what was going on. The trading of crushing forearms was only the cherry on top of this match, bringing together the creativity of not only Suruga but Hanazono also.

The match closed with Suruga pinning Hanazono in the same style she pinned Mizumori, keeping her wrapped up as she held the picture-perfect bridge. It was the perfect anniversary match for Suruga because it really showed who she is and what her makeup has become over her five years in the business.

Maybe the most unbelievable part is that Mei Suruga is still only 24 years old.

She’s just getting started, and to think where this creativity can bring her should excite anyone who has witnessed her skillset. Her matches in AEW, STARDOM, and TJPW are just the start for the Gatoh Move ace. She will make continuous appearances for these brands, and whether she’s in Japan or America, her genius creativity will make her stand out above the rest. As a heel or babyface, she’s going to succeed.

No matter the role, the opponent, and any other obstacle tossed in front of her, Mei Suruga will be one of wrestling’s best.

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