Event: JUST TAP OUT “TAKATaichiMania 3”
Date: January 10th, 2022
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 783
Broadcast: New Japan World
I rarely miss an opportunity to review a JUST TAP OUT event. This is their biggest show in awhile, as they celebrate TAKATaichiMania! Since Taichi is on the event, this show actually was broadcast on New Japan World, which is a big deal for the small promotion run by TAKA Michinoku. There are two Joshi matches on the show, so I’ll be reviewing both of them. Here they are:
All wrestlers have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go to it. Let’s hop to the matches.
Misa Kagura, rhythm, and Yanagawa vs. Ishikawa, Kaicho, and YAKO
The first Joshi match is a unique combination of JUST TAP OUT wrestlers and some random wrestlers from various other places. The JUST TAP OUT wrestlers are the lower ranking wrestlers in the promotion, as the big dogs are wrestling in the next match. None have had a lot of success yet in their young careers, but they get a chance to impress here against some new wrestlers. Nao Ishikawa is relatively inexperienced wrestler from Ice Ribbon as she has under 100 matches under her belt, she teams with Ram Kaicho of TripleSix (she also is frequently in Ice Ribbon) and the wrestler formally known as Yako Fujigasaki. Ram Kaicho is the clear star of this match, interested to see how this match is structured as I am sure they want the home talent to look good even if they don’t win.
Ram and rhythm start the match, rhythm charges at Ram but Ram moves out of the way and flips her off. She does it again, trip by Ram and she hits a back elbow. Eye rake by Ram and she applies a headlock, rhythm elbows out of it and applies a headlock of her own. Takedown by rhythm but Ram quickly gets out of it and give rhythm the double bird. YAKO and Kagura are tagged in, YAKO goes for a shoulderblock but Kagura stays on her feet. Lariat by Kagura and a second one sends YAKO to the mat, cover by Kagura but it gets two. Kagura goes for a slam but YAKO blocks it and hits one of her own, elbow drop by YAKO and she tags in Nao. Nao throws down Kagura by the hair a couple times, Irish whip by Nao and she hits a lariat in the corner. Cover by Nao, but it gets a two count. Nao tags Ram back in, mounted elbows by Ram to Kagura and she chokes her. Kagura drives Ram back but Ram is able to tag YAKO, hip attack by YAKO in the corner and she puts Kagura in a crab hold while her partners protect her.
Kagura makes it to the ropes for the break, knees by YAKO but Kagura elbows her off and hits a dropkick. This gives her time to tag Sumika while Nao is also tagged in, scoop slam by Nao and she slams rhythm as well. rhythm and Sumika grab Nao but Nao hits a crossbody on both of them, Nao picks up Sumika and slams her to the mat for a two count. Nao goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but the pin attempt is broken up. Headbutt by Sumika but Nao applies a headscissors into a cradle for two. Another cradle by Nao with a bridge, but Kagura breaks it up. All the other wrestlers run in as chaos ensues, Ram takes care of rhythm with a 619 and nails the Rainmaker on her before rolling rhythm out of the ring. Sumika and Nao are left alone, Sumika drives Nao’s face into the mat and puts her in a Sickle Hold. That gets broken up pretty quickly but her teammates come to her defense and she is able to get the move re-applied. With no one to help her, Nao has no choice but to submit! rhythm, Sumika Yanagawa, and Misa Kagura are the winners.
This was actually better than I was expecting, which admittedly doesn’t say much as I went in with really low expectations. That’s not to say it was great, it wasn’t, but it was certainly not “bad” anyway. They let Ram Kaicho be the star that she is which helped a lot, even though she didn’t dominate the match she got your eyeballs whenever she was in the ring and was entertaining as always. The less talented wrestlers in the match weren’t asked to do much, so they never dragged the match down. I’m not going to overhype it and say there is anything amazing here, but for a lower card six woman tag that got under eight minutes, they did a pretty good job to put together something interesting.
Aoi and Tomoka Inaba vs. Maya Yukihi and Yuu Yamagata
Now this match looks like it has potential. Aoi has gotten some attention recently for good reason – she is still a rookie but has shown a lot of personality and also happens to be a good dancer. She still has more to show in the ring but is less than a year into her career and is still young, plenty of time to improve. She teams with the Joshi Ace of JTO, as Tomoka Inaba has led the promotion since Maika left for Stardom. The other side has two well known veterans – Maya Yukihi who is best known for her work in Ice Ribbon and OZ Academy and Yuu Yamagata. Yuu has been wrestling for over 20 years, she never got much of a chance to lead a promotion in her years but is very respected on the scene. JUST TAP OUT is throwing the best they have at two established stars on their biggest event of the year, lets see if it pays off.
Aoi and Maya start the match, they trade holds until Aoi hits an armdrag. Maya gets out of the hold but Aoi ducks her kick and the two return to their feet. Yuu and Inaba tag in, Inaba trips Yuu and goes off the ropes but Yuu catches her with a dropkick. Drop toehold by Inaba and she kicks Yuu in the chest, another kick by Inaba and she applies a headlock while tagging Aoi. Aoi jumps in with an axe handle to Yuu’s arm, wristlock by Aoi and she hits an armdrag. Aoi goes for an armbar but Maya breaks it up, elbows by Aoi to Maya but Maya kicks her in the chest. Yuu tags Maya, kneedrop by Maya and she knees Aoi repeatedly in the head. Maya sets up Aoi in the ropes so that Yuu can help her, Maya tags Yuu and Yuu works over Aoi on the mat. Yuu picks up Aoi and throws her into Maya’s boot, Yuu tags Maya and Maya elbows Aoi in the corner. Maya clubs Aoi in the back, she rolls her to the mat and puts Aoi in a submission hold. Aoi gets to the ropes for the break, Maya kicks at Aoi while Aoi feebly fights back. Aoi starts doing better as she chops Maya in the chest, jumping chop by Aoi and she tags in Inaba. Yuu comes in too but Inaba fights them both off, she boots Yuu out of the ring before turning her attention to Maya.
Snapmare by Maya and she kicks Inaba in the back, but Inaba returns to her feet and returns the favor. Ankle hold by Maya, Inaba gets out of it and she punches Maya in the midsection. Inaba goes off the ropes but Maya kicks her in the head, capture suplex by Maya and she delivers a sliding kick for a two count. Maya tags Yuu, Yuu picks up Inaba and the two trade strikes. Yuu goes off the ropes but Inaba gets her back and applies a sleeper. Inaba lets go but Yuu blocks the PK, Inaba goes off the ropes but Yuu hits a flapjack followed by a sliding kick. Yuu picks up Inaba but Inaba gets away from her, kick to the head by Yuu but Inaba delivers a dropkick. Inaba makes the hot tag to Aoi, Aoi throws Yuu into the corner and delivers a big boot. She goes for the Sling Blade but Yuu pushes her off and hits a Backstabber. Armtrap choke by Yuu and she switches it to an armbar, but Inaba breaks it up. Maya comes in and takes care of Inaba, Yuu waits for Aoi to get to her knees and nails a Buzzsaw Kick. Facebuster by Yuu, but Aoi kicks out of the cover. Yuu picks up Aoi but Aoi wiggles away and hits a head kick. Sling Blade by Aoi, Inaba comes in and hits Yuu with a PK. AOI by Aoi to Yuu, and she covers her for the three count! Aoi and Tomoka Inaba are the winners!
Aoi winning here is a pretty big deal, as less than a year into her career she pinned a very respected veteran. This was fun, Maya Yukihi is always a pleasure to watch and Tomoka Inaba is one of the better wrestlers that no one knows about. Her strikes are on point and her timing is good, honestly she is probably ready to move on to a larger promotion. They didn’t do anything to steal the show as the bulk of it was basic offense, but they kept it interesting and entertaining which is all one can ask for from a mid-card match. Aoi did not look out of place which is a compliment considering who else was in the ring, looking forward to seeing where Aoi and Inaba’s careers go from here. Mildly Recommended
Naturally, it is not really fair to evaluate a full event based on just two matches. That being said, both the Joshi matches on this show no doubt added to the overall entertainment of it instead of detracting. The six woman tag wasn’t great, but as the second match of the show its primary purpose was to move the show along and not be dull, which I think it accomplished. Plus Ram Kaicho is legendary. The tag match with Aoi was pretty solid, all four got their spots in and Aoi picked up a big pinfall early in her career. I wouldn’t say either match is worth tracking down TAKATaichiMania for, but if you were interested in the event anyway, the Joshi matches I am sure add well to the overall presentation.