It has been a long time since I did a Joshi Match Medley review, but here we are! It is not uncommon for non-Joshi wrestling promotions to occasionally have a Joshi match as there are male-dominated promotions that also have women on their roster. Normally there isn’t a lot of coverage of those wrestlers on Joshi City since I tend to focus on Joshi promotions, but I don’t want to neglect Joshi wrestlers in other situations. So I have reviewed five Joshi matches from five promotions that don’t get a lot of focus on the website, here are the matches I will be reviewing:
All the wrestlers have profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their names above to go straight to it.
Hamuko Hoshi vs. Pork Tamako
April 29th, 2019 in Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling
We kick off this review with some RDPW action! RDPW is a small indie promotion based out of Okinawa, Japan. They have two Joshi wrestlers on their roster – Pork Tamako and Hibiscus Mii. Tamako debuted in mid-2017 and is 31 years old, so she got into the wrestling game a bit late. For this match, the promotion is visited by Hamuko Hoshi from Ice Ribbon, to give Tamako someone a bit different to work against.
They start with a tie-up and some posing by Hamuko, she gets Tamako to pose too but Tamako is ashamed by her actions and Hamuko attacks her from behind. Hamuko throws Tamako into the corner and rubs her belly in her face, Hamuko bites on Tamako’s arm and then bites the referee too when he tries to get Hamuko off. Hamuko throws Tamako in the corner but Tamako kicks her and hits a diving crossbody off he second turnbuckle for two. Tamako goes for a scoop slam but Hamuko blocks it, Hamuko throws Tamako into the corner and hits a body avalanche. Butt bumps by Hamuko and she hits a bulldog for a two count. Crab hold by Hamuko but Tamako gets her pom poms and uses the extra motivation to get to the ropes. Back up, they trade elbows until Tamako gets Hamuko in the ropes and pulls back on her nose.
Hamuko returns the favor with the same move, Tamako fights back with an elbow and they exchange shots until Tamako applies an Octopus Hold. Hamuko gets to the ropes for the break, Tamako goes off the ropes and slams Hamuko’s face into the mat for a two count. Oil Check by Tamako, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody for two. Tamako goes for a suplex but Hamuko blocks it and hits a few belly bumps. Shining Onaka by Hamuko, she gets Tamako on her shoulders but Tamako slides off and cradles Hamuko for a two count. A few more flash pins gets the same result, Tamako finally scoop slams Hamuko and covers her, but Hamuko gets a shoulder up. Tamako goes off the ropes but Hamuko catches her with a lariat, Hamuko gets Tamako on her shoulders and hits a Samoan Drop, bu Tamako kicks out. Hamuko goes up top and nails a diving body press, and she picks up the three count! Hamuko Hoshi wins!
I wouldn’t say I am a huge fan of Hamuko Hoshi as she is somewhat of a comedy/non-comedy tweener which can be annoying. This was a day off for her and she wrestled it as such, as they did the bare minimum to get by in this ten minute match. From what I could see of Tamako, she appears fundamentally sound but doesn’t show any special traits, which isn’t ideal two years into her career. But she hit her spots well and the pom pom spot was cute, so it wasn’t all bad. Fine to watch if you are just curious about a Joshi wrestler you may not have seen before but nothing beyond that to recommend.
Kyoko Inoue vs. Reika Saiki
May 3rd, 2019 in WRESTLE-1
Next we swing over to WRESTLE-1, to watch their only Joshi wrestler in action. Reika Saiki formally signed with WRESTLE-1 in February, which was odd timing as their only other Joshi wrestler at the time, Hana Kimura, has since left. So Reika Saiki has limited options on who to wrestle. So WRESTLE-1 brings in wrestlers for her to battle, and this week it is the legend Kyoko Inoue. Inoue is still pretty active on the scene but since she wrestles in Diana, not many of her matches actually make tape. So this is a rare recent singles match to make it out into the wild as she takes on the young powerhouse that is Reika Saiki.
They lock-up to start, Saiki pushes Inoue into the ropes and elbows her instead of giving a clean break. Saiki goes off the ropes but Inoue shoulderblocks her down, she tries again but gets the same result. Saiki gets Inoue’s back and schoolboys her for two, Inoue retorts with a hard lariat but Saiki continues to fight back. Lariat by Saiki but Inoue doesn’t go down, elbows by Saiki and she finally knocks Inoue off her feet. Saiki picks up Inoue and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Inoue blocks it, she goes off the ropes but Saiki hits a dropkick followed by a successful backdrop suplex. Inoue rolls out of the ring but Saiki quickly goes out after her and throws her into the chairs at ringside. She does it again on a different side of the crowd before getting on the apron, Inoue rolls back in the ring but Saiki goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick for two. Saiki tries to get Inoue on her shoulders but can’t get her up, she tries again but again collapses before she can finish. Saiki quickly goes up top but Inoue recovers and joins her before hitting a superplex for a two count. Inoue picks up Saiki but Saiki slides away, she goes off the ropes but Inoue catches her and hits a short-range lariat for two. Inoue waits for Saiki to get up and hits another lariat, but Saiki barely gets a shoulder up. Sit-down powerbomb by Inoue, and finally she gets the three count. Kyoko Inoue is your winner.
I really enjoyed the structure of the match, my only complaint is I wish Saiki got one last hope spot in at the end. I loved Saiki wrestling with such urgency, normally she is the power wrestler but here she had to use her speed and relentlessness and I thought she conveyed that very well. It felt like a real struggle just to get Inoue over, which she accomplished a few times but it felt like a big moment each time it happened. I wouldn’t have minded if Saiki did finally get Inoue on her shoulders as they were building to that, and I doubt we’ll see a follow-up match anytime soon to further that story, but I appreciate them putting effort into this match instead of coasting through it. Reika Saiki is really good at everything she does, and if she stays focused on wrestling she could be a major player down the road. Recommended
Maika vs. Mima Shimoda
May 7th, 2019 in JUST TAP OUT
Technically, the name JUST TAP OUT wasn’t being used for TAKA Michinoku’s new promotion at the time of the event, but it is now so we are running with it for this show as well. Mima Shimoda is a legend in her own way as she was part of the legendary LCO tag team, however for the last decade she has mostly been under the radar as she wrestles in Mexico and smaller Japanese promotions. On the other side is Maika, in her wrestling debut. Not a lot is known about her as the promotion has no website yet but she has a background in Judo. An interesting debut match scenario, let’s see how this goes.
Maika immediately whips Shimoda to the mat and applies a cross armbreaker, but Shimoda gets to the ropes for the break and rolls out of the ring to re-group. She returns after a moment but is immediately stomped by Maika, Maika works a side headlock but Shimoda Irish whips out of it and boots Maika in the face. Another boot by Shimoda and she tosses down Maika by the hair. Cross-legged crab hold but Maika quickly gets to the ropes, Shimoda bounces Maika off the ropes before putting her in a Camel Clutch. Shimoda lets go and stomps on Maika’s feet, Shimoda applies another crab hold but Maika gets to the ropes again. Neckbreaker by Shimoda and she puts Maika in a singe leg crab hold, but once again Maika forces the break. Shimoda stomps at Maika and hits a scoop slam, Camel Clutch by Shimoda, she picks up Maika and applies an armbar, but Maika gets a toe on the ropes. Slaps by Shimoda in the corner and she headbutts Maika, Maika tries to lariat Shimoda but Shimoda boots her arm and hits a release German. Maika gets back up and elbows Shimoda repeatedly, armdrag by Maika and she hits a monkey flip followed by a judo toss. Another toss by Maika and she overs Shimoda for two. Maika picks up Shimoda but Shimoda takes Maika to the mat and applies a stretch hold. Maika gets out of the hold however and puts Shimoda in a cross armbreaker, and Shimoda quickly submits! Maika wins in her debut match!
I like the idea of what they were trying to do but sadly this match was just very boring. JUST TAP OUT needs to have credible wrestlers and winning a debut is so rare its something fans may notice, but I am not sure if Shimoda was the right choice (unless no one else would do it). Her offense here wasn’t creative or interesting, I figured it would be basic due to Maika’s experience but it was beyond basic and I have seen veterans have far more interesting matches with rookies. The end result may still come in handy if they try to push Maika but I have to see more of her to determine if the gamble will pay off, either way this was too dull to recommend.
Ayame Sasamura vs. Rina Shingaki
May 26th, 2019 in K-DOJO
And now we are off to K-DOJO for their final event before re-branding after TAKA Michinoku’s departure. Both Ayame and Rina are relatively new wrestlers, with Ayame debuting in October of 2017 and Rina debuting in April of 2018. Ayame has had some success in other promotions, particularly in SEAdLINNNG, while Rina has traveled around some but hasn’t had any titles or big wins. Still, Rina is seven years the senior of Ayame which is taken into account in Joshi so either could win in this match-up.
They begin slow as they trade headlocks, but neither gets a clear advantage before Rina gets Ayame to the mat with a leg submission. Ayame spins out of it as they jockey for position, but they reach a stalemate and return to their feet. Ayame works a headlock, Rina Irish whips out of it and delivers a dropkick. Ayame quickly gets back up and hits a scoop slam, but Rina blocks her attempted second one and slams Ayame’s head into the mat. Ayame throws Rina in the corner but Rina avoids her charge and dropkicks Ayame in the back. Rina kicks Ayame’s arm in the ropes and applies an arm submission, she picks up Ayame and snaps her arm over her shoulder. Rina kicks at Ayame’s arm and knocks her down in the corner before choking her with her boot. Ayame punches Rina in the stomach but Rina applies a Fujiwara Armbar, Ayame quickly wiggles to the ropes to force a break. Irish whip by Rina but Ayame boots her back and hits a hard shoulderblock. Ayame throws Rina into the ropes and jumps down on her back, dropkick by Ayame and she hits a jumping elbow in the corner for a two count. Scoop slam by Ayame and she dropkicks Rina in the head, picking up another two. Rina whips down Ayame by the arm and applies the Fujiwara Armbar, Ayame tries to roll out of it but Rina keeps it on. Ayame eventually gets a foot on the ropes, Rina goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving crossbody for two. Rina picks up Ayame but Ayame gets away, slap by Rina but Ayame catches her with a Cutie Special for two. Rina rolls Ayame to the mat and applies the SBT Lock, and Ayame has no choice but to submit! Rina Shingaki wins!
I’m a sucker for a good submission game so Rina Shingaki is my type of wrestler. She was focused on the arm throughout and then won with an arm submission, its such a basic story but it works. The only complaint there is that Ayame didn’t really do anything to show her arm was hurting, but that wasn’t Rina’s fault. Ayame never felt like she had a chance here so Rina must be getting a bigger push due to her background, this was clearly her match to win. Simple but well done by Rina, perfectly fine match for the midcard. Mildly Recommended
Mina Shirakawa vs. Saki Akai
June 2nd, 2019 in DDT
Finally, we end with DDT. This is cheating a bit as Tokyo Joshi Pro is under the DDT umbrella, but I don’t watch DDT so as part of a review medley is my only chance to review a Saki Akai match. Saki of course also wrestles in TJP but she wrestles there as “Sakisama” which is a more heel-ish version of herself. Here we see the true Saki Akai, who is also a bit heel-ish. She battles Tokyo Joshi Pro wrestler and gravure model Mina Shirakawa, who debuted in August of 2018.
Saki gets a headlock applied off the start, Mina gets out of it but Saki quickly re-applies it. Mina takes down Saki but Saki escapes and the wrestlers return to their feet. Irish whip by Saki but Mina dropkicks her, Mina goes for the Mexican Surfboard but Saki quickly gets to the ropes. A dropkick by Mina sends Saki out of the ring, Mina goes to the apron but Saki kicks her in the stomach as she jumps off. Saki then gets on the apron and hits a PK while Mina is on the floor, Saki rolls Mina into the ring and covers her for two. Saki stomps Mina in the corner and chokes her with her boot, snapmare by Saki and she kicks Mina in the back before covering her for two. Mina fights back with elbows but Saki returns the favor and kicks Mina in the chest. Irish whip by Saki but Mina boots her, she goes off the ropes but Saki kicks her in the chest. Saki knocks Mina over before picking her back up, Irish whip by Saki but Mina hits a jumping elbow smash.
More elbows by Mina and she hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, running elbow by Mina and she sits down on Saki in the corner. Mina drags Saki out and puts her in the Mexican Surfboard, she lets go after a moment and applies a double leg submission, but Saki makes it into the ropes for the break. Mina picks up Saki but Saki ducks her lariat and applies a sleeper. Mina snapmares out of it but Saki kicks her in the chest, cover by Saki but Mina kicks out. Saki charges Mina but Mina boots her back, she does it again but Saki blocks the third attempt and hits an elbow. Running boot by Saki, she gets on the top turnbuckle but Mina avoids the diving crossbody. Dropkick to the head by Mina and she hits a spinning backfist, she goes for a DDT but Saki blocks it and hits a vertical suplex. Mina recovers and goes for a few flash pins, but each one only gets a two. Mina goes off the ropes but Saki catches her with a high kick, but Mina barely gets a shoulder up. Saki picks up Mina and delivers the Quetzalcoatl for the three count pinfall! Saki Akai is the winner!
While I hoped this gravure model vs. photo model match would be full of great wrestling, sadly it was not. Saki is a great personality but a limited wrestler, and Mina is early enough in her career I am not writing her off yet but nothing here gave me a lot of hope that wrestling will be a long term job for her. Some real clunky parts, no real cohesive story, it felt like just a house show midcard match with no effort to make it special. Which is ok but if you are going to go basic, at least make the basic action smooth and this was not. Very skippable.
That’s all I have for now, in a few months I’ll check back in with more random Joshi matches to review!