Every now and then, there are Joshi matches on non-Joshi shows that sometimes fly under the radar. Promotions such as DDT, K-DOJO, Mr. Gannosuke, FMW, and FREEDOMS all either have Joshi wrestlers on their roster or frequently bring in Joshi wrestlers for special matches. Once a few Joshi matches have taken place in various non-Joshi promotions, I will review them to help get some exposure for some of the lesser-known wrestlers that don’t make TV as often. Plus you never know, there may be a hidden gem that is just waiting to be uncovered.
I am a bit behind in doing this, so I have a lot of recent matches to review today! I will be reviewing:
- June 21st, 2016 – Dump Matsumoto vs. Miss Mongol on FMW “June Blood”
- July 13th, 2016 – Ayako Hamada and Ryo Mizunami vs. GENTARO and The Winger on FREEDOMS “Tokyo Death Match Carnival 2016”
- July 19th, 2016 – Manami Kanda vs. Micro on GUTS World “Vol. 98: Bukotsu War 2016”
- July 19th, 2016 – Drake Morimatsu vs. Konaka = Pehlwan on GUTS World “Vol. 98: Bukotsu War 2016”
- July 21st, 2016 – Emi Sakura and Hibiscus Mii vs. Riho, Kotori, and Sayaka Obihiro on HEAT-UP “Dream-Up 2016”
- July 26th, 2016 – Koharu Hinata vs. Micro on Mr. Gannosuke Produce “Kishindo Returns 20”
- July 29th, 2016 – Hana Kimura vs. Reika Saiki on WRESTLE-1 “Symbol Tour”
- July 31st, 2016 – Alex Lee and Tiran Shisa vs. Ayumu Honda and Bambi on K-DOJO “Super In TKO Garden City Chiba”
- August 28th, 2016 – Akane Miura, Miyu Yamashita, and Yuka Sakazaki vs. Hyper Misao, Syoko Nakajima, and Yuu on DDT “Ryogoku Peter Pan 2016”
Lots of wrestling! Sleaze! Hardcore! Intergender! Babies! Everything you could ask for.
Dump Matsumoto vs. Miss Mongol
FMW “June Blood” on June 21st, 2016
This is a No Robes Barbed Wire Death Match. Let’s jump right into it with some FMW action! I tracked down this match on FMW’s online service, which I don’t recommend as they condense the events to about 30 minutes so it is heavily clipped. I mean I got it because I am crazy, but don’t be crazy like me. Miss Mongol is a classic FMW wrestler from their heyday, while Dump Matsumoto is still one of the most evil Joshi wrestlers in Japan even though she is 55 years old.
Mongol attacks Matsumoto outside the ring before the match starts, which quickly backfires as Matsumoto hits Mongol with a kendo stick and stabs her repeatedly in the head with a spike. We clip ahead to them being in the ring and Mongol hitting Matsumoto with a metal pin, cover by Mongol but it gets two. We jump to Matsumoto trying to throw Mongol into the barbed wire, but Mongol slides down to stop her momentum. Matsumoto does care and rakes her into the barbed wire anyway before Irish whipping her into the barbed wire ropes on the other side. Koharu Hinata runs in to try to help Mongol but she elbows Mongol by accident, leading to Mongol kicking Hinata out of the ring while Matsumoto watches. Lariat by Matsumoto and she hits a body press, but Hinata breaks up the cover. Matsumoto gets mad and approaches Hinata, but Mongol sneaks up from behind and pushes her into the barbed wire ropes. Inside Cradle by Mongol, and she picks up the three count! Miss Mongol wins!
This was a six minute match clipped down to two minutes, so obviously not enough was shown to get excited about. It is always fun to see Matsumoto though, she moves slower than she used to but she still has that violent streak that we know and love. A few fun spots and both took a ride into the barbed wire so the pain felt evenly distributed. I enjoyed it for what it was.
Ayako Hamada and Ryo Mizunami vs. GENTARO and The Winger
FREEDOMS “Tokyo Death Match Carnival 2016” on July 13th, 2016
This match is a Hardcore Match. Ready for some Intergender Hardcore action? I know you are. Hamada and Mizunami are two of the top wrestlers in Pro Wrestling WAVE, the promotion run by GAMI. GENTARO and The Winger are regulars in FREEDOMS.
Hamada and Mizunami charge their opponents to start but the idea quickly backfires as they are both attacked with chairs. They set up chairs in the corners but Hamada and Mizunami throw them into the chairs, Hamada grabs Winger and tries walking the ropes, but she is knocked out of the ring. Mizunami is thrown out of the ring too but Hamada takes the chair from GENTARO and throws him into the ring post. Winger avenges GENTARO by doing the same to Hamada and then chokes her with a chair, while GENTARO gets another chair and hits Mizunami in the head with it. Hamada boots GENTARO and goes to check on Mizunami, while the men return to the ring to wait. Hamada gets in too and takes the chair from GENTARO, but she gets double teamed before GENTARO covers her for two. Mizunami gets in the ring, bleeding from the head, which GENTARO makes worse by biting her. Winger picks up Mizunami and he bites Mizunami in the head too, DDT by Winger onto a chair and he covers her for two. GENTARO returns and hits a splash on Mizunami, but he gets a two count as well. GENTARO goes for a piledriver but Mizunami blocks it with a back bodydrop. Mizunami hits GENTARO with a chair but Winger runs in and attacks her from behind.
GENTARO picks up Mizunami and goes for a chair shot, but Mizunami ducks it and spears him. Lariat by Mizunami in the corner, Hamada comes in with a chair while GENTARO is put in the Tree of Woe. Hamada throws the chair at Winger before hitting a baseball slide on GENTARO. They then use the chairs to hit Winger low before doing the same to GENTARO, Mizunami picks up GENTARO and slams him to the mat before going up top and deliver the diving leg drop for a two count. Lariat by Mizunami to Winger, they set up chairs in the ring and sit both GENTARO and Winger onto them, but when they charge them they are drop toeholed onto the chairs. GENTARO throws Mizunami out of the ring and picks up Hamada, hitting a brainbuster onto the chair for a two count. Double flapjack to Hamada onto a chair, cover by GENTARO but Mizunami breaks it up. Mizunami is thrown out of the ring while Winger breaks a lighttube into the ring, but Hamada takes it from him and hits Winger in the head. Hamada grabs a chair before going up top, and she nails a moonsault onto Winger with the chair. Cover by Hamada, but Winger gets a shoulder up. Hamada picks up Winger and she delivers the AP Cross on the chair, picking up the three count pinfall! Hamada and Mizunami are the winners.
That was definitely a crazy match. It was a little over ten minutes long but never slowed down for a second, there was constantly someone being hit with a chair or having some other act of violence done against them. Mizunami and Hamada are about the same size as GENTARO and Winger so it never felt like an uneven match, Hamada is more than capable of holding her own which she showed by easily putting away Winger. The amount of chairs used was due to it being GENTARO’s primary weapon of choice but it just made it all the more meaningful the one time a lighttube was used as it felt like something fresh. A chaotic and fun bloody brawl. Recommended
Manami Kanda vs. Micro
GUTS World “Vol. 98: Bukotsu War 2016” on July 19th, 2016
This will be a more normal match. Kanda and Micro are both smaller Freelancer wrestlers (both in status and size), spending most of their wrestling in smaller indie promotions. Neither have had a lot of success in their careers up to this point, but there is always time and putting on a good show on a televised event is never a bad place to start.
They tie-up to start, Kanda kicks Micro and she bounces the little one off the ropes. Kanda throws down Micro by her hair and slams her head into the mat before applying a Camel Clutch. Irish whip by Kanda but Micro hits a trio of crossbodies for a quick two count. Micro throws Kanda into the corner and hits a dropkick, but Kanda comes back with a lariat and hits a scoop slam. Crab hold by Kanda but Micro gets into the ropes, scoop slam by Kanda but Micro rolls her up for a two count. Micro picks up Kanda but Kanda hits a scoop slam, she goes off the ropes and hits a bodypress for two. Kanda throws Micro into the corner and hits an elbow followed by a face crusher, Kanda gets on the second turnbuckle but Micro shakes the ropes to send her back to the mat. Now Micro goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Micro but Kanda gets a shoulder up. Kanda and Micro trade elbows, shoulderblock by Kanda and she covers Micro for two. Kanda picks up Micro but Micro applies an inside cradle for two. Micro tries a few more quick pins with no luck, hard shoulderblock by Kanda but Micro applies a crucifix pin for two. Micro tries more quick pins but can’t hold Kanda down, running footstomp by Kanda and she knocks down Micro with a lariat. Sliding lariat by Kanda, and she gets the three count! Manami Kanda wins!
All I can say is that this was an actively average and bland match. It was just not engaging or interesting in any way, there is probably a reason that they have stayed on smaller indies. Neither were bad, there weren’t any mistakes, but there was nothing really positive about it either. Thoroughly skippable.
Drake Morimatsu vs. Konaka = Pehlwan
GUTS World “Vol. 98: Bukotsu War 2016” on July 19th, 2016
Now we are back to indie sleaze shit. Konaka has a unique gimmick where he always is relaxed and does calm things, he can be interesting but doesn’t really put on five star matches. I’m not really sure what he is. Drake is a veteran that used to wrestle in FMW and Jd’, she came out of retirement and joined GUTS World in 2014. She also occasionally wrestles in Big Japan Wrestling but generally stays under the radar.
The match starts really slow as they are in no rush to get started, Drake finally stops messing around and hits Konaka with a baseball bat. Chops by Drake and she chokes Konaka against the ropes before throwing him down into the corner. Drake starts on Konaka’s arm as I regret watching this match, chinlock by Drake but Konaka gets into the ropes. Now it is Konaka that works on Drake’s arm but Drake snapmares him and hits a leg drop. Konaka kicks Drake back and applies a necklock over the top rope, swandive chop to the head by Konaka and he does a quick post before going for the cross armbreaker. Drake gets into the ropes but Konaka quickly applies an armbar, Drake again inches to the ropes and she forces another break. Stomps by Konaka but Drake fires back with a lariat, Konaka rolls out of the ring but Drake goes out after him. Konaka attacks Drake from behind but Drake chops him and they battle into the stands. They return to the ring and Drake hits Konaka with a chair but Konaka takes it from her, Drake takes it back and tosses the chair out of the ring before hitting a lariat. Another lariat by Drake and she covers Konaka, but picks him up before the three count. Samoan Driver by Drake, she picks up Konaka and hits a Michinoku Driver, but Konaka grabs her arm when she goes for a cover and applies an armbar. Drake struggles for a moment before she taps out! Konaka = Pehlwan wins the match.
No lie, this match kinda bored me to tears. Konaka doesn’t show a lot of emotion and Drake is obviously limited so for a ten minute match not a whole hell of a lot happened. I am not sure who the target audience for this match is but it wasn’t me, just a flat mid-card match.
Emi Sakura and Hibiscus Mii vs. Riho, Kotori, and Sayaka Obihiro
HEAT-UP “Dream-Up 2016” on July 21st, 2016
Time to move on to a new promotion. This was originally a 4 vs. 1 match with Mii from Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling taking on all four wrestlers from Gatoh Move. But before the match there was some talking and suddenly Sakura joined Mii to make it only 3 vs. 2 instead. Sakura and Mii are the two veterans, while the other side are a bunch of less experienced wrestlers so its a pretty fair match-up.
Sakura is jumped before the match starts and is triple teamed, Mii comes in the ring to help but Kotori requests her to leave so she does. I bet being able to understand the pre-match talking would have helped. Sakura comes back and hits a crossbody on all three before tagging in Mii, Kotori stays in to face her and immediately puts Mii in the cross armbreaker. Mii gets into the ropes but Sakura runs up the corner and hits an armdrag before tagging in Obihiro. Obihiro floors Mii but Mii bridges out of the cover, elbow by Obihiro but Mii bridges out again. They go through this a few times until Mii collapses, Mii manages to hit a Stunner and she dropkicks Obihiro in the head. Sakura isn’t around for her to tag while Riho is also tagged in, Kotori comes in too and they all roll over Mii. Mii gets away and manages to tag Sakura this time, and they double team Riho. Riho dropkicks Mii out of the ring and tags in Kotori, Obihiro also comes in but Sakura rams them into each other and hits a crossbody in the corner on them both. Double underhook slam attempt by Sakura but Kotori slides down her back and applies a sleeper. Mii runs in but Riho grabs her, Obihiro comes in but Sakura kicks her away. Riho and Kotori get on the second turnbuckle and hit dual footstomps onto Sakura, cover by Kotori but it gets two. Kotori goes off the ropes but Sakura catches her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, giving her time to tags in Mii. Riho is also tagged in and slaps Mii, dropkick by Riho and she hits a jumping knee in the corner. Eye poke by Mii but Kotori hits a diving crossbody as does Riho for a two count. Northern Lights Suplex by Riho, but Mii kicks out again, Riho throws Mii in the corner but Mii slides out to the apron and hits a missile dropkick. Mii tags Sakura, she picks up Riho and hits the double underhook backbreaker. Sakura goes up top but Riho moves when she goes for a senton, tilt-a-whirl roll-up by Riho but Sakura kicks out. Kotori comes in and hits a judo throw on Sakura, Somato by Riho and she covers Sakura for the three count! Riho, Kotori, and Obihiro win!
This was a cute short little mid-card match. Kotori and Riho are a lot of fun to watch, I always enjoy it when I get a chance to watch them. Two young wrestlers with a lot of potential. Sakura and Mii are great too, and the match was really fluid for a crazy match with tons of interference and quick offense. Not a ton of substance but enjoyable. Mildly Recommended
Koharu Hinata vs. Micro
Mr. Gannosuke Produce “Kishindo Returns 20” on July 26th, 2016
Little Micro gets a second change to impress. I like Micro but I like small wrestlers in general, they bump around so well and are good underdogs. Hinata we saw briefly in the FMW match, she wrestles in a variety of smaller indies around Japan. This is about as big a match as these two will likely get as this is their current peak, but I like them both for different reasons, both can put on a good show.
Unlike the last match, this one starts slowly as they feel each other out with Micro hitting the first move of the match with a bodyslam. She picks up Hinata and throws her down by her hair, but Hinata returns the favor and stomps down Micro in the corner. Scoop slam by Micro and she puts Hinata in a crab hold, but Hinata crawls to the ropes and forces the break. Micro at one point trapped Hinata’s arms too so she couldn’t grab the ropes, which is a smarter tactic than I am used to seeing in my pro wres. Hinata comes back with a kick, Micro scoops her up but Hinata falls on top of Micro for a two count. Now it is Hinata that puts Micro in the crab hold, she then lets it go only to put Micro in a Surfboard. Back up they trade elbows, Micro goes off the ropes but Hinata catches her with a dropkick. Another dropkick by Hinata, she picks up Micro and hits a few slaps before kicking her again. Scoop slam by Hinata and she covers Micro for a two. Knees by Hinata and she kicks Micro out of the corner, diving crossbody by Hinata but that gets a two as well. Bodyscissors into a roll-up by Hinata and she also tries an inside cradle as well as a backslide, but Micro kicks out each time. Micro charges Hinata and grabs her by the leg, she hits a unique leg sweep roll-up and she gets the three count! Micro wins!
I enjoyed this a bit more than I probably should have, it wasn’t anything special and wasn’t overly exciting, but Micro does so many little things that I had a good time watching it. Trapping the arms when putting on a crab hold is so smart but rarely done, and I loved the leg sweep pin which I have never seen before. Hinata was solid too, both wrestlers are itty bitty so they are limited in what they can do, but overall it was still a pretty solid match. Mildly Recommended
Hana Kimura vs. Reika Saiki
WRESTLE-1 “Symbol Tour” on July 29th, 2016
We jump promotions again, now going to Keiji Mutoh’s WRESTLE-1. Hana and Reika both debuted for WRESTLE-1 this year after successfully going through their training school. They wrestle each other quite a bit since they are the only two women wrestlers in the promotion, but they are able to take outside bookings as well. Hana we are more familiar with, she is the daughter of Kyoko Kimura and already has had several opportunities against bigger wrestlers. But she is still just a rookie, and sometimes rookies have to face off against each other to establish a pecking order.
They begin with a knuckle lock and a Test of Strength which Hana gets the better of. Hana applies a headlock on the mat before applying a leg submission, Hana then gets in the mount position and goes for an armbreaker but Reika gets to the ropes. Scoop slam by Hana and she applies a crab hold, but again Reika gets to the ropes to force a break. Back up they trade elbows, dropkick by Reika and she dropkicks Hana into the corner. Kicks to the chest by Reika and she hits a scoop slam, kicks by Reika to Hana’s leg and she hits another slam for a two count cover. Reika goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, but Hana bridges out of the pin. Hana applies a stretch hold before tossing Reika off and slams her into the corner. Double knee to the back by Hana and she dropkicks Reika for a two count cover. Hana picks up Reika but Reika sneaks in an inside cradle, kicks by Reika and she nails an enzuigiri for a two. Head kick by Reika, and she picks up the three count pinfall! The winner of the match is Reika Saiki.
This was a very rookiesque match. A little rough around the edges, pretty basic, and nothing incredibly exciting. Some moves were executed really well, Reika has nice kicks and Hana’s ground game is solid, but other moves looked a bit weaker and they seemed to get a bit lost at least once. A necessary match for their growth but not something I could recommend.
Alex Lee and Tiran Shisa vs. Ayumu Honda and Bambi
K-DOJO “Super In TKO Garden City Chiba” on July 31st, 2016
I made a joke about Alex Lee being on every event I watch but it isn’t really a joke, she literally wrestles in every promotion in Japan that has Joshi matches. Here she teams with a young masked K-DOJO wrestler, and they are against K-DOJO’s only contracted Joshi wrestler Bambi who is teaming with four year K-DOJO veteran Honda. No real storyline here, just a fun opening-style match on a small K-DOJO show.
Shisa starts with Honda, they bounce off the ropes until Shisa hits an armdrag followed by a dropkick. Lee and Bambi are tagged in and trade wristlocks, they both go for shoulderblocks until Lee knocks Bambi to the mat. Lee tags in Shisa, he goes for a scoop slam but Bambi lands on top of him. Honda comes in the ring and they both boot Shisa, Bambi puts Shisa into the ropes and both she and Honda kick Shisa in the chest. Bambi tags in Honda, Honda dropkicks Shisa and hits an armbreaker followed by a body press onto Shisa’s arm. He tags Bambi back in, kicks by Bambi and she covers Shisa for a two count. Bambi gets her whip and chokes Shisa with it, she lets go just to whip him and makes the tag to Honda. Honda dropkicks Shisa in the corner, another dropkick by Honda and he tags Bambi. Shisa kicks Bambi when she charges her and delivers a dropkick, giving him time to tag in Lee. Lee knees Bambi but Honda hits her from the apron, he comes in the ring but Lee kicks them before hitting a double face crusher. Kick to the face by Lee, and she covers Bambi for two. Lee and Bambi trade elbows, Lee goes off the ropes but Bambi catches her with a boot. Another boot by Bambi, and she gets a two count cover. Bambi applies a double reverse armbar, but Lee gets a foot on the bottom rope. Bambi tags in Honda, armbreaker by Honda and he hits a hammerlock Backstabber. Lee kicks Honda in the chest and hits a high kick, she tags in Shisa and Shisa hits a jumping elbow in the corner. Running seated senton by Shisa in the corner and he hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Shisa goes off the ropes but Honda catches him with a kick, Northern Lights Suplex by Shisa but Honda kicks out. Shisa goes for a corkscrew quebrada but Honda avoids he, he knocks Lee off the apron as Bambi comes in the ring, and they double team Shisa. Bambi hits a running knee on Shisa, Honda gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick, but Lee breaks up the cover. Shisa sneaks in a schoolboy on Honda for a two count, he also tries a backslide and La Magistral but those get a two count as well. Shisa charges Honda but Honda hits a cross armbreaker takedown, and Shisa submits! Ayumu Honda and Bambi win the match!
As everyone that knows me is aware I have a natural liking of wrestlers in wrestling masks, so I naturally thought that Shisa was by far the most impressive wrestler in this match. Bambi and Lee are both pretty stiff/awkward, they are competent wrestlers but don’t really do anything to set themselves apart. Honda wasn’t impressing me until the cross armbreaker takedown, which I will admit looked really nice, but otherwise this was just a match on a small show that felt like it went a bit too long. Some solid moments but overall lackluster.
Akane Miura, Miyu Yamashita, and Yuka Sakazaki vs. Hyper Misao, Syoko Nakajima, and Yuu
DDT “Ryogoku Peter Pan 2016” on August 28th, 2016
We have finally reached the final match of the review! What a journey this has been. This match is basically an “Offer” match from Tokyo Joshi Pro for the big DDT Sumo Hall event. DDT runs Tokyo Joshi Pro, and while they don’t usually mingle the promotions together they tend to have them on their biggest events to show them off. This was technically a Dark Match so we shouldn’t have too high of expectations, it is more of an exhibition than anything else.
Nakajima and Yamashita are the first two in, Nakajima takes Yamashita to the mat but Yamashita applies a headscissors. Nakajima bridges out of it, knee by Yamashita and she tags in Akane. Yuu tags in too, Yuu and Akane try to shoulderblock each other over which Yuu gets the better of. She tags in Misao but Akane catches her crossbody attempt and slams her to the mat. Akane tags in Sakazaki, spinning headscissors by Sakazaki but Misao chokes her with a handkerchief. Snapmare by Misao and she puts Sakazaki in the Rocking Horse, cover by Misao but it gets a two count. She tags in Yuu, Yuu chops Sakazaki and she hits a spinning side slam. She tags in Nakajima, flipping neckbreaker by Nakajima but Sakazaki elbows her away. Nakajima stops her from tagging out though, Sakazaki tries to shoot a streamer gun at Nakajima but Nakajima reverses it. Dropkick by Sakazaki and she makes the hot tag to Akane, Akane shoulderblocks everyone and hits a double lariat on Nakajima and Misao. Nakajima comes back with a springboard armdrag, Nakajima puts Akane in a few quick pins but Akane kicks out each time. Nakajima goes for a double underhook but Akane back bodydrops out of it, hurricanrana by Nakajima and she tags in Yuu. Yamashita tags in too, chops by Yuu and she hits the Oklahoma Stampede for a two count. High kick by Yamashita but Yuu catches her with a Judo Throw and tags in Misao. Jumping crossbody by Misao and she hits a few weak uppercuts, another crossbody by Misao and she slams Yamashita onto her knee for a two count. Misao gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but Yamashita rolls through it and hits a Buzzsaw Kick for two. Misao tags in Nakajima, Akane comes in and she blocks Nakajima’s Tiger Feint Kick. Akane holds Nakajima so that Yamashita can hit her Magical Girl Kick, jumping lariat by Yamashita to Misao and she nails the Attitude Adjustment for the three count! Akane Miura, Miyu Yamashita, and Yuka Sakazaki are the winners!
I really love the Tokyo Joshi Pro wrestlers, they all have unique characters and show a strong ability on the mat to go with their flashy moves to wow the crowd. Misao was the clear weak link of the teams as she got lost once and has weak strikes, but everyone else looked solid. Yamashita is someone that more Joshi fans would be talking about if she “made TV” more often, hopefully DDT will allow/encourage them to take bookings other places at some point so she can get out in the wild a bit more. A fun exhibition match with memorable spots and some quality wrestlers. Mildly Recommended
Since these nine matches are from eight different events I can't really give an overall recommendation, even though I can say that there were some solid matches here. Joshi matches on non-Joshi shows often are not noticed, as the people that review the shows may not know enough about the Joshi wrestlers to feel comfortable recommending the matches. Most of these matches were midcard or lower so they weren't going all out, but almost all of them had some positive moments. Ayako Hamada and Ryo Mizunami vs. GENTARO and The Winger from FREEDOMS was the clear best match of this set, if nothing else I'd recommend that one as long as you don't mind some blood in your wrasslin'. Hopefully from this medley review you will see that Joshi wrestlers branch out to a lot of different promotions and may even steal the show if given the chance.