Subscribe

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Miu Watanabe: The Strength To Dream

10 months ago

Miu Watanabe: The Strength To Dream

By: Jeff Brown

Miu Watanabe had a turbulent year.

She and Rika Tatsumi, aka Daydream, came up short in a title challenge against the Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki) after winning the 2022 Max Heart tag tournament. Her over-the-top entrance on the sedan at Grand Princess 22 with her teammate Rika epitomized the journey that all of Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling had taken, and the elation on their faces spoke for the entire roster. August was supposed to be her breakthrough month, but she suffered a heart-breaking loss in the Princess Cup finals against Yuka Sakazaki. When Miu lost, the fighter bravely sat in the ring, embracing defeat, with pain flowing down her cheeks, unafraid to feel the anguish as she unraveled in front of a worldwide audience that was witness to her shivering failure.

Things were looking bleak for the Up Up Girl; a pair of failed title quests had shaken her confidence. However, when Alex Windsor defeated Maki Itoh for the International Princess title, she took it home with her to Eve. After fellow Up Up Girl Hikari Noa’s failed trip to the UK to reclaim the belt for TJPW, it was the powerhouse of TJPW that stepped up after earning the number one contendership at Autumn Tour 22.

On October 9th, at Wrestle Princess 3, the stage was set for Miu to recapture the gold for her promotion and get the proverbial monkey off her back. After two devastating denials, Watanabe gathered the strength to dream — the type of dream that self-doubt insists a newly mended competitor is unworthy of imagining: to hold singles gold and obtain the moniker of champion. Miu had grown aggressive over the summer, grabbing opponents and yelling as she muscled them around the ring. Watanabe, with more fire and determination than ever, dethroned Windsor in an emotional 10-minute outing and, in doing so, captured her first singles belt. With such a victory, the glory was overwhelming as she again shed tears, but now it was joy on full display as her past shortcomings were washed away and she was made whole again.

With the doubt erased and the critics silenced, the book was closed on Miu’s singles title quest; however, a new book of title defense opened up as 2022 wound down. The aptly titled “Mountain Top 2022” was the site of defense number one for the new International Princess. Moka Miyamoto, a karate-trained newcomer with only a few checks in her win column, proved she was a threat by pinning Watanabe in a tag match. Despite only being on the ascent herself, Watanabe did not take Moka lightly as she entered the ring with the gold on the line. Moka’s 16-minute war and career-high performance were a significant feather in the Up Up Girls’ cap for her first successful defense.

On the annual January 4th card, she saw her next challenge come from the Afro-Punk Trish Adora, who is a standout in the US independent scene. The former rugby player had quite the size advantage, but once she was caught in Miu’s signature Giant Swing, Trish was dazed and prone for the Teardrop facebuster to cement defense number two.
On February 18th, she faced her most dangerous opponent yet in Janai Kai, a shoot-style striker who unleashed a brutal series of kicks that overwhelmed Miu and nearly knocked her out.

However, at ringside was her longtime teammate and friend, Rika, banging the mat in support and encouraging the crowd.

After a triumphant comeback, Miu stood in the ring and faced the inevitable. Her next challenge was not from the locker room, but from her side. At Grand Princess 23, one year after entering the ring together with a sea of fans inside the Ariake Coliseum, in an emotional flood, Miu will stand alone on the stage, looking at her friend in the ring, and they both will know that, in the words of the legendary Peter Gabriel, it’s time to drink up, dreamers; you’re running dry.

This article first appeared in Issue #11 of Monthly Puroresu.

Written by:

I mainly focus on making music, while writing on the side. After graduating high school, I studied guitar in the Seattle area. Music reviews really got me started with blogging and journalism. Meantime, I watched ‘90s AJW and Gaea throughout the 2000s & parachuted in for Ice Ribbon, Stardom, Actwres Girl’Z. I live in Edgewood, WA and am a proud member of the Duwamish tribe.