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TJPW Wrestle Princess IV Review and Results — 10.9.23

9 months ago Photo c/o Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling

Photo c/o Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling

TJPW Wrestle Princess IV Review and Results — 10.9.23

TJPW Wrestle Princess IV Results and Review 10.9.23

By: Jeff Brown

As TJPW enters a new era with some long-time names such as Yuka Sakazaki, Maki Itoh, Sakisama, and Miyu Yamashita either graduating or going on an extended excursion, the promotion is holding Wrestle Princess IV. Inside Tokyo Tama Mirai Messe, Mizuki will be defending the Princess of Princess title against Yamashita, while Rika Tatsumi has a double title bout against Max the Impaler, and the vacant Princess Tag Team titles will be decided between Toyo Meito, consisting of Yuki Kamifuku and Mahiro Kiryu, and the duo Hikari Noa and Nao Kakuta, better known as Free WiFi. Maki Itoh has a special bout as she faces AEW’s Nyla Rose. Ganbare Pro’s Ganjo group will be in six-woman tag action; Aja Kong returns; perhaps the final appearance of NEO-Biishiki-gun; and the young roster members like HIMAWARI, Shino, Wakana, Arisa Endo, Suzume, etc. will all shine and continue to shape the future of TJPW.

The show starts as usual with the Up Up Girls with a performance of “Baby Face.”

Haru Kazashiro vs. Runa Okubo

Runa and Haru are both very new but already show potential. Runa has been extremely aggressive, in a way that stands out from the majority of the roster. The two being the same age and starting at the same time could become career rivals; it’s too early to say where their paths lie. Haru has strong submissions with a technical moveset, while Runa is all about hard strikes and has very vocal outbursts and a level of confidence not often seen in a wrestler six months into their career. Runa fires up and cinches in a half-crab for the win.

Arisu Endo, Kaya Toribami and HIMAWARI vs HARUKAZE, Riara and Yoshiko Hasegawa

Ganjo returns to TJPW with veteran HARUKAZE, rookie Riara, and Yoshiko Hasegawa, aka Yoppy, to take on some of the younger TJPW roster members in Endo, Toribami, and HIMAWARI. Endo, as always, is sporting new hair with blue, yellow, and purple hues. Ganjo is definitely benefiting from this spotlight on a bigger stage, so all 3 are presenting their best versions. Riara in particular feels right at home, with even more of a star presence than her GANJO appearances. HIMAWARI, while unpolished, is developing some power moves to go with her more mischievous hair attacks and log rolling. HARUKAZE knows how to get the crowd into a match and how to pace a match, making her a very strong addition to any roster. Toribami has a unique moveset, with a combination of high-speed moves and kicks. Having the mask also helps her stand out on this colorful roster with strong personalities. Endo is really on her way to becoming a key player for this roster; she is very good at everything, and it’s not an if, but when for her ascension up the card. Yoppy is a very good underdog that everyone seems to root for, and that has been a theme her whole career. She shows a lot of heart and has a mean stretch muffler. Endo gets the camel clutch on Yoppy for the tapout.

Moka Miyamoto vs. Juria Nagano

This is a battle of the younger karate-based Joshi of TJPW. Nagano has had a hand injury that has kept her out of action a bit this year. Miyamoto has made strides, especially in the Princess Cup Tournament, with a return of the fire she had when challenging Miu Watanabe for the International Princess Title. Nagano is the more flashy wrestler, which fits with her TikTok and acting background; Miyamoto has a more stoic and orthodox approach. Even with similar martial arts backgrounds, Nagano attacks with a flurry of kicks and strikes, while Miyamoto is more deliberate, making each blow and chop sink in. Nagano really feels like she is in a fight and not doing an exhibition now, but Miyamoto puts her down with her twisting brainbuster with another strong showing.

Aja Kong, Raku and Shino Suzuki vs Hyper Misao, Wakana Uehara and Toga

Hyper Misao is heading up a team of future hopefuls Wakana and Toga, a bit of an odd couple team as they are more serious compared to Misao. Though Misao is a creative genius who definitely can bring it when called upon, she really has become a symbol of everything TJPW offers in artistic experimental comedy and has strong in-ring fundamentals. Aja Kong is a living legend, teaming with two UUGs, crowd favorite Raku and the newer Shino. Wakana has a main event look with some memorable moves while being a deceptive powerhouse, while Toga is a giant on this roster with a wicked forearm. There are lots of shenanigans with the cold spray and pre-match speech from Misao; Aja Kong always has fun teaming with Raku; and Shino is really good at getting beat up. Shino is a crowd favorite, so with experience, the sky could be the limit for her. Wakana has history with Kong from the TJPW Dream on the Ring YouTube show that she won; this is a good opportunity for Wakana and Toga to learn from a legend like Kong. It ends with Kong hitting a wicked backdrop on Wakana; post-match, an upset Wakana slaps Kong.

Ryo Mizunami and Yuki Aino vs. Miu Watanabe and Yuki Arai

The high-energy entrance of Miu Watanabe is followed up by the party atmosphere that comes with every Ryo Mizunami match. UUG and SKE48 idol team with Watanabe and Arai, with the strong power fighters Aino and Mizunami. The appearances from Mizunami are usually treated like a trial match, and that’s the feeling as she tests Arai, getting a lot of aggression from the SKE48 member. Watanabe continues to woe with incredible feats of strength, effortlessly picking up her opponents at will. It is worth noting that Watanabe has not been utilizing her signature giant swing as of late. Aino stands out when hitting her shoulder blocks and being a bit of a bully in the ring. There were lots of vicious chops and forearms, with all 4 putting a severe assault on one another, a style that TJPW should lean into more often. Araiblasts Aino with the Finally Kick for the win and a highly recommended bout.

NEO Biishiki-gun (Sakisama, Mei Saint-Michel, Martha and Yukio Saint Laurent) vs. Shoko Nakajima, Suzume, Pom Harajuku and Antonio Honda

8-person tag that is all about the final NEO Bushiki-Gun match and, of course, one last over-the-top entrance. There is lots of comedy and frivolity, which is one of the calling cards of TJPW, and that includes Pom having her shoe kicked into the front row. Yukio attempted to attack with his scalpel but was met with repeated Pom shin kicks. Suzume and Mei have really great sequences for a shift from lighthearted fun into a brief, high-speed showcase. Sakisama tags in and once more shows that rare combination of glamor and brutal strikes. Honda gets in and the crowd is electric. He gets quadruple-teamed, getting attacked by Martha’s broom, but hulks up after Yukio stabs him with a syringe. He then stops the match to tell a story on the microphone as the match inevitably goes off the rails. Sakisama puts Pom away, and NEO Biishiki-gun has a bittersweet moment as they celebrate one last time. There will likely never be another Sakisama or faction quite like NEO Bushiki-gun in wrestling.

Maki Itoh vs. Nyla Rose

A bit of a clash of styles with AEW’s Nyla and the ever-popular Itoh, who has been on quite an excursion throughout this year. Being such a strong presence and a larger wrestler, Nyla is perfect for TJPW and can play the unstoppable monster. After lots of stalling and playing to the crowd to start things off, Nyla counters quite a bit of what Itoh throws at her. With her time away from the promotion, these Itoh appearances feel special, and she radiates a star power that can’t be taught or bought. The story here was Itoh hitting Nyla with everything in her repertoire, only for the Native Beast to answer with a powerbomb out of nowhere for the win.

Toyo Mates (Yuki Kamifuku, Mahiro Kiryu) vs. Free WiFi (Hikari Noa, Nao Kakuta)

The vacant Princess Tag Titles are on the line, with Mahiro and Kakuta both never having a belt in their careers. Even though the title situation was put on hold after Yuka Sakazaki got injured, something special comes from it with a first-time champion getting crowned. Mahiro has had a banner year with a transformative run that includes a breakout performance in Hype! that she has carried towards this match. Kakuta has gone almost a decade without a title run, but her reputation for hard kicks and a series of fantastic matches has quietly made her an MVP. Hikari is revitalized as of late and swarms Mahiro with offense, which she has made her calling card. Kamifuku is a smart worker who also likes to kick people in the face and does it with effortless coolness. Her and Kakuta have a history of mean and brutal matches, adding to that rivalry tonight. Mahiro has a determination and extra physicality that turned up at Grand Princess in March. In the end, Kakuta lands the backpack Stunner on Mahiro for her first championship, and Free WiFi is the top team in TJPW.

International Princess & NWA World Women’s TV Double Title: Rika Tatsumi (IPC Champion) vs. Max the Impaler (NWA World Women’s TV)

Much like the Itoh match, Tatsumi is giving up a lot of size and strength against Max. An absolute highlight of any show is Max terrorizing the much smaller TJPW roster; they are a force of nature that tosses their opponents all over the ring. Tatsumi is a versatile talent who can be unpredictable with strangling out of the blue but also does deliberate body part work in an almost throwback style. Every one of her big matches is a hard-fought battle that often sees her struggling to figure out the key to victory. Rika tries to strangle Max, and they just shut it down by slamming her down. So many of Tatsumi’s attacks are ineffective, as Max just swats her away. Tatsumi eventually starts getting some damage, but Max is too powerful and blasts the White Dragon with a nasty lariat to win the International Princess Title.

Princess of Princess Championship: Mizuki (c) vs Miyu Yamashita

Mizuki is celebrating ten years in wrestling, and in March she beat her longtime friend and Magical Sugar Rabbit tag team partner Yuka Sakazaki to win the Princess of Princess Championship. Miyu Yamashita has done almost everything possible as the ace of TJPW and has been on excursions for a lot of 2023. Yamashita won the Princess Cup and pinned Mizuki in the opening round to help set up this challenge. Mizuki is such a smooth wrestler that also has a gas tank for long main events. Yamashita’s variety of strikes and submissions make her not only an important wrestler in TJPW but in all of modern Joshi. These two exemplify the serious side of the company and could walk into any ring in the world and headline. Mizuki unloads a series of high-flying moves, including outside-the-ring attacks; she hits a crucifix driver and transitions into a crossface. Yamashita gets the advantage, holds the Sugar Rabbit on her shoulders, and cracks her in the head with repeated knees. Mizuki lands a double footstomp on Yamashita from the top rope to the floor. Yamashita gets back into the ring and cuts off Mizuki with a head kick before getting a footstomp to the back of her head. Both fired off their complete arsenals, and this epic ends with The Pink Striker pinning Mizuki.

It was a really big show for TJPW, and this was everything this promotion is capable of, from the bizarre and outrageous comedy to great storytelling and dramatic main events. The new era got to shine; outside guests strengthened the card and tested the regular roster. Yamashita said in her post-match speech to not put limits on yourself, and that really sums up TJPW in 2023. With a group of young Joshi that are growing with every show, each one is finding their own style and ways to build this promotion, while the established talents are simultaneously guiding and cementing their legacies.