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Tokyo Joshi Pro results for ‘Ready, Set… Merry Christmas!’

Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, the all-female wing of DDT and home of some of joshi’s rising stars, had their holiday special “Ready, set… Merry Christmas!” at 12 p.m. on Dec. 22, in Itabashi. The card included two tag team matches and six special singles matches chosen via drawing at a fan event, one of which had interesting consequences for the Tokyo Princess Tag Team Championship match approaching on Jan. 4.

This show was featured on DDT Universe and had English translations of promos from DDT English Update on Twitter. With sources out of the way, let’s recap some TJP!

The show started with a performance by the Up Up Girls, all of whom wrestled later in the show. About half of them had better matches than song and dance performances this time.

Our opening special singles match (with a ten-minute time limit, like the rest of these random pairings) was between Yumi, the roster’s newest competitor, and Yuki Aino. Aino displayed her believable power advantage and dominated most of this match. Yumi definitely still looks very green, and most of her selling and strikes weren’t very convincing, which didn’t make for a compelling match.

Veda Scott returned to Tokyo Joshi Pro in the show’s much stronger second match to tag with Raku of the Up Up Girls, against Yuki Kamifuku and Hinano. Kamifuku and Hinano haven’t been getting along well and Scott’s a guest in this promotion, so it was anyone’s guess if either team would have a teamwork advantage.

Kamifuku distracted Scott with trash talk (in English and Japanese, while pretending she didn’t speak the first, which drove Scott crazy) during their painful-looking opening wristlock exchange and at pivotal moments during this comedic match.

The more experienced Kamifuku and Scott looked clearly like stronger wrestlers than their UUG partners, but both Hinano and Raku showed charming personality in comedy spots. Despite Hinano getting a missile dropkick jump on Scott after tricking her with crocodile tears, Scott pinned Kamifuku to win this match for her team.

Mina Shirakawa vs. Yuna Manase told a solid story of Shirakawa hanging in there against a more experienced opponent. Both wrestlers showed a lot of heart. But also, a lot of this match between the promotion’s two gravure model characters was about the showing of cleavage.

Hyper Misao vs. Miu was the show’s most straight-up comedy match, with Misao entering dressed as a Christmas tree. Soon it was revealed this wasn’t so much an overflow of holiday spirit and craftsmanship, as it was a display of Misao’s craftiness. She told Miu she better not attack or she wouldn’t get presents from Santa, but Miu’s a little too old to fall for that and kicked her anyway.

Reika Saki defeated Nodoka Tenma in the first really strong match of the afternoon. It was a power vs. power pairing (Muscle Idol vs. the former No-Sell Nodoka Oneesan), a dynamic extra exciting in women’s matches because of how relatively rare you tend to see it. Both wrestlers showed off strong submission game, and Nodoka a savvy escape of the Torture Rack. After kicking out of several pin attempts, Saiki picked up a strong win with a Shining Wizard followed by a vertical suplex. With a match against Meiko Satomura coming up on Jan. 4, she needs all the momentum she can get.

Maki Itoh’s star seems to shine more brightly every time she gets in the ring. She and Mizuki (the Itoh Respect Army) defeated Pom Harajuku and the most recent cat girl (We think? There are a lot of cat girls) addition to the world of women’s wrestling, Haruna Neko, after the show started up again following intermission.

Neko looked a little lost at the beginning, but showed hints at ring savvy and got very close to a rollup win on Itoh. However, the violent idols had the experience as individuals and as a tag team to give them the edge throughout this match. Itoh, strongly supported by the audience, picked up the win for her namesake Army after tapping Neko out with a Boston Crab.

The queen (well, Princess of Princess Champion) whose crown (okay, title belt) Itoh will challenge for on Jan. 4 looked incredibly dominant in her random singles match. Miyu Yamashita was all business against Hikari, and, like the true ace she is, led to Hiraki having by far the best performance of the Up Up Girls on this show.

Hikari scored some early offense, but once Yamashita started kicking and striking her back and midsection the match turned into a fight for survival. Given how much I love the Pink Striker even at her most intense (and she was very intense here), it was a surprise how much we ended up rooting for Hikari, here. But a picture-perfect spinning kick from Yamashita took her down, and an Attitude Adjustment put her way to end an entertaining match.

In the show’s main event, Shoko Nakajima and Yuka Sakazaki wrestled to a ten-minute draw. The technical wrestling clinic was also the one match on the show that felt like it had clear consequences. In Jan. of this year, Mizuko and Riho challenged for the Tokyo Princess Tag Team Championships against Sakazaki and Nakajima. On Jan. 4 of next year, Sakazaki and Mizuki will defend these titles against Nakajima and Riho. The last time the kaiju and the magical girl went one on one before this Dec. 22 show, they also drew to end a quality match. So basically, when these two get in the ring in opposite corners, it’s anyone’s game, but you know it’s going to be a good one.

In Tokyo Joshi Pro/holiday fashion, the tension between these two partners and rivals was broken by arguing between Sakazaki and Nakajima about who would make the speech to send the audience home, as the ring filled with people in festive costumes. Rika Tatsumi solved their problem for the time being and sent everyone home happy.

Overall, the show, with its entertaining mix of mostly solid matches and goofiness, left fans wanting to see the main eventers in the ring together again soon, while looking forward to what TJPW will have in store after the holidays.

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