Event: JUST TAP OUT “Queen of JTO Tournament”
Date: December 6th, 2020
Location: Isami Wrestling Arena in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
So you are wondering, perhaps, why I am giving so much attention to JTO recently when they not only aren’t a Joshi promotion but aren’t a major indie either. I don’t really have an explanation, it may just be because I like masked wrestlers and JTO has a handful of masked wrestlers. Maybe I just want to watch something different. Who knows. But this is a fun show from JTO as it is a complete Joshi event, as the entire card is the Queen of JTO Tournament! Not only is it a tournament but it is being used to find the official rankings of their female roster to end the year. We get to see a number of new wrestlers on the show so that should be fun, here is the full (and unspoiled) card:
I recently updated the JTO Roster page, so all the wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City. You can click on their name above to go straight to it. Since this aired on NicoPro, all matches will be shown in full. Let’s hop to it.
Aki Shizuku vs. Sumikaba Yanagawa
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Quarterfinal. We open with a major mismatch, at least on paper. Shizuku is a pretty low level wrestler but is a 13 year veteran, while Sumikaba just debuted last month. Aki hasn’t done much since REINA had their first shutdown several years ago and stays so under the radar most fans probably don’t even know who she is. Sumikaba is 29 years old so she is getting a late start for a wrestler, so we’ll see here if they are giving her a faster route to the top or she will lose in quick order to a wrestler with far more experience.
They tie-up to start and Aki easily throws Sumikaba to the mat, Sumikaba gets back up and hits a few elbows, but Aki elbows her hard in the chest to send her back down. Returning to her feet, kicks by Sumikaba but Aki boots her to the mat. Sumikaba goes for a snapmare but Aki blocks it and hits a series of snapmares of her own, Sumikaba continues trying to fight back but Aki kicks her back down. Elbows by Sumikaba and she goes for a snapmare but Aki blocks it and hits a scoop slam. Aki goes for a scoop slam but Sumikaba slides away and kicks her in the head, Sumikaba finally delivers the snapmare she wanted so badly but Aki swats away her dropkick. Argentine Backbreaker by Aki, and Sumikaba quickly taps out! Aki Shizuku is the winner and advances in the tournament.
They definitely went hard down the “veteran vs. rookie” path. A very one-sided match, which isn’t a surprise but for a lower level promotion it wouldn’t have hurt them any to give Sumikaba a little bit of a chance to show more. Nothing really to it, a skippable opener.
Black R vs. rhythm
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Quarterfinal. This one is a more even match, as far as we know anyway since the identity of Black R is a mystery. But I am assuming she is a new wrestler and not a veteran under a mask. rhythm debuted in 2019, took a break, and then had a “re-debut” in 2020. They seem to be going pretty slowly with her, maybe because she is only 18 years old but she still ranks towards the bottom of the Joshi wrestlers in the promotion. Black R is part of the Black Army, the evil heel group and sometimes uses weapons and other shenanigans to win. Hopefully this is at least a real match.
They circle each other to start before locking up, they trade wristlocks until rhythm puts Black R in a headlock. Black R Irish whips out of it, rhythm goes for shoulderblocks but Black R stays up and hits a hard shoulderblock of her own. rhythm gets back up and knocks Black R over, scoop slam by rhythm and she hits a running elbow in the corner. Another elbow by rhythm and she hits a third, she goes off the ropes and hits an elbow drop. rhythm picks up Black R but Black R blocks the slam attempt, hitting her own scoop slam. Footstomp by Black R and she puts rhythm in a modified chinlock, she switches it to a stretch hold before releasing her. Black R avoids rhythm’s charge in the corner and snaps her head on the top rope, running kick by Black R and she throws rhythm into the ropes before kneeing her in the back. Crab hold by Black R but rhythm gets to the ropes for the break. rhythm spins away from Black R and hits a series of elbows, bulldog by rhythm and she covers Black R for two. rhythm applies a choke but Black R gets to the ropes, rhythm picks up Black R and hits a few elbows, Black R ducks one and goes for a slam but rhythm lands on top of her. Backdrop suplex by Black R, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a body press to rhythm’s back. Black R gets rhythm onto her shoulders into the R Special (Canadian Backbreaker), and rhythm submits! Black R wins and continues on in the tournament.
The main takeaway from this match is that these two don’t have very good chemistry yet. They are both rookies, or rookiesque so its not the end of the world, but I wouldn’t say this was a quality encounter. rhythm’s moves lack impact and while Black R looked better, they weren’t really able to put on a cohesive match with any flow to it. Both still have a little ways to go, some base talent is there but improvements need to be made if they want to progress.
Black Changita vs. Misa Kagura
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Quarterfinal. We have a couple more rookies here, however Black Changita certainly has the experience edge as Misa just debuted in November. Black Changita, as her name implies, is part of the Black Army but if the last match is any indication they aren’t being overly cheat-y tonight. We’ll see if that trend continues. Black Changita has the clear advantage here but hopefully Misa can show something impressive if she goes down in defeat.
Misa charges Black Changita as the bell rings and elbows her repeatedly in the chest, but Black Changita kicks Misa to the mat and puts her in a crab hold. Misa gets to the ropes for the break, stomps by Black Changita and she elbows Misa in the head. Black Changita chokes Misa with her own pigtails before applying a cross-arm choke, she lets go after a moment and chokes Misa in the corner. Snapmare by Black Changita and she elbows Misa in the top of the head again, chinlock by Black Changita and she kicks Misa in the back. Kick to the chest by Black Changita and she knees Misa into the corner, Black Changita charges Misa but Misa knocks her back and hits a dropkick. Misa clubs Black Changita into the corner and goes for a move but never can get it locked in. She tries again but Black Changita walks her out of the corner, cradle by Misa but Black Changita kicks out of the hold. Kick to the head by Black Changita and she puts Misa in the Changi Hold. Misa struggles for a moment but has to tap out! Black Changita wins the match and continues on in the tournament.
Misa is still of course early in her career but she didn’t show a lot here. Black Changita looked better but mostly by comparison. This first round is rough as these wrestlers are so inexperienced, and the matches are so short that any type of mistake feels amplified. Another match in this tournament with limited need for viewing.
Tomoka Inaba vs. YuuRI
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Quarterfinal. The trend of the show continues as a more established wrestler takes on a newbie that debuted less than a month ago. Tomoka Inaba is the “Ace” of the JTO women’s division, as she defeated Maika when she left the promotion to cement her place. But winning this tournament would definitely boost her right to claim that distinction. She is against YuuRI, who debuted on November 11th. I’m not expecting too much more out of this than the matches that came before it, but Tomoka is pretty good so hopefully they can pull something fun out of their hat.
YuuRI attacks Tomoka before the bell rings and elbows her to the mat, mounted elbows by YuuRI and she snapmares Tomoka a few times. Drop toehold by Tomoka, she finally gets her judogi off before YuuRI goes for a takedown, which Tomoka blocks. They trade waistlocks until Tomoka gets the better position and snaps on YuuRI’s ankle. Tomoka stays on YuuRI’s ankle as she works it over with submissions and kicks, YuuRI fights back with an elbow and the two trade shots. Tomoka goes off the ropes but YuuRI applies a sleeper, Tomoka elbows her off but YuuRI gets it re-applied. YuuRI keeps the hold applied while she sits on the top turnbuckle but the referee gets her to break the hold, however YuuRI immediately jumps back on Tomoka’s back and puts the hold back in. She lets go after a moment and kicks Tomoka in the back, she goes for a Tiger Feint Kick but misses it (Tomoka was going to block it anyway). Ankle hold by Tomoka but YuuRI stands up and hits an enzuigiri to get out of it, she goes off the ropes but Tomoka does as well and applies a sleeper. YuuRI kicks out of the hold but Tomoka puts her in an ankle hold, Tomoka locks it in and YuuRI has no choice but to submit! Tomoka Inaba wins and advances in the tournament.
This was definitely the best match of the first round, although that was a pretty low bar to clear. Its hard to tell what Tomoka’s future will be as JTO is too small of a promotion for her to really get much attention or quality opponents, but she looks pretty good concerning her experience/opponent level. YuuRI is still raw and not everything she did was smooth, but at least she was aggressive and didn’t look as out of place as the other November debuting wrestlers. I still wouldn’t say this was a great match but it told a logical story and kept things moving, so it ended up decent anyway.
Aki Shizuku vs. Black R
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Semifinal. This has a strong ‘veteran vs. rookie’ vibe that we saw in Aki’s first match, however Black R is more experienced than Yanagawa was and since she is in the heel stable of the promotion I assume she will put up a bigger fight. Aki is still the favorite due to her knowledge, but it should be more competitive overall than what we saw from Aki last time.
They jockey for position to start as Aki gets Black R to the mat, Black R gets out of her grasp however and hits a hard shoulderblock. Black R applies a leg submission hold but lets go after a moment, snapmare by Black R and she puts Aki in a stretch hold. Black R picks up Aki and clubs her in the back, Irish whip by Black R but Aki avoids her charge. Lariat by Black R and she hits a Stunner followed by a boot before putting Aki in a Fujiwara Armbar. Aki rolls out of it but Black R gets the hold re-applied, she switches the hold to the Cattle Mutilation but Aki gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Black R stays on Aki’s arm but Aki hits a sidewalk slam, elbow drop by Aki and she hits a body press. Aki applies a keylock but Black R wiggles to the ropes for the break, wristlock by Aki and she clubs Black R into the corner. Lariat by Aki, she flings Black R to the mat and puts her in the Fujiwara Armbar. Black R gets back to her feet and gets out of the hold with a backdrop suplex, German suplex by Black R and she puts Aki in a single leg crab hold. Aki gets to the ropes for the break, Black R picks up Aki but Aki rolls her to the mat and applies an ankle hold. Black R gets out of it but Aki blocks the R Special attempt and applies an armbar. Black R gets Aki’s back and hits another German suplex, but Aki returns to her feet and delivers a lariat. Another lariat by Aki, she picks up Black R and hits a death valley bomb. Argentine Backbreaker by Aki, and Black R submits! Aki Shizuku advances to the Finals of the tournament.
I refer to Black R as a rookie but there is no way of knowing if she really is. JTO claims her as such but her identity isn’t known, they could just be messing with us. She doesn’t really wrestle like one, using a wide variety of moves that we simply don’t see from the other JTO rookies and at times controlled the action against the veteran Aki Shizuku. Also the longest match on the show so far, the match went by quickly as they kept things interesting, with Black R seeming to be just a R Special away from picking up the upset. An even back-and-forth match, my only complaint is Black R never got payback on Aki for her no-sell spot but otherwise a solid match. Mildly Recommended
Black Changita vs. Tomoka Inaba
This match is part of the Queen of JTO Semifinal. We get what feels like the highest ranking Joshi wrestler in Black Army versus the highest ranking JTO ‘home army’ wrestler, making it interesting they decided to make this the Semifinal instead of the Final. This is the third match singles match between these two, and they have split those contests so this is the rubber match for 2020. Either could win this, but it still feels like Inaba has the advantage due to the promotion seeming to get behind her as the female leader of the promotion.
Kick by Black Changita to start and she goes for Tomoka’s arm, wristlock by Black Changita and she wraps Tomoka’s arm in the top rope so she can twist on it. Irish whip by Black Changita and she puts Tomoka in an armbar, Tomoka rolls out of it so Black Changita switches to a cross armbreaker attempt. She gives up and kicks Tomoka in the arm before going back to the hold, Tomoka rolls away again but Black Changita goes for a double armbar. Tomoka gets into the ropes for the break, kicks to the arm by Black Changita and she applies the cross armbreaker. Tomoka quickly inches to the ropes to get the break, stomps by Black Changita and she hits a series of vertical suplexes. Black Changita goes for a submission but Tomoka quickly slips away and puts Black Changita in the ankle hold. Black Changita gets to the ropes for the break, Black Changita goes for a kick but Tomoka ducks it. Black Changita goes for Tomoka’s arm but Tomoka gets away and delivers a PK. Ankle hold by Tomoka and she switches it to the T Lock (modified Figure Four Leglock), getting a quick tap out from Black Changita! Tomoka Inaba wins and advances to the Finals.
The match had some clear structural issues, with Tomoka doing very little limb work to weaken the leg as Black Changita controlled the submission game for much of the match, but I did come away impressed with Black Changita. In previous matches I saw with her, she was mostly a lackey but once she got to show her skill on her own she seems to really know what she is doing. Like with Black R, I don’t know for 100% certain that she is actually a rookie, but if she is, she is pretty smooth. The match was too short and poorly laid out to recommend, but both wrestlers themselves looked pretty good.
Misa Kagura vs. rhythm vs. Sumikaba Yanagawa vs. YuuRI
This is a four-way Elimination Match. I mentioned briefly at the top that this tournament is designed to determine the official ranking for the Joshi Division in JUST TAP OUT. Well to get the ranking, you have to figure out the order from #5 to #8, which is what this elimination match will help with. rhythm has the most experience of the wrestlers in this match, but even that is only slightly so it is anyone’s game.
Everyone goes after rhythm to start the match, rhythm fights them off at first but eventually is stomped down in the corner. All three hit running strikes on rhythm in the corner, Misa then knocks over both YuuRI and Sumikaba before kicking rhythm. Armdrags by Misa to rhythm and she dropkicks rhythm, lariat by Misa and she gets on her back to apply a submission hold. Cradle by Misa and she puts rhythm in a crab hold, but Sumikaba breaks it up for unknown reasons. YuuRI kicks Sumikaba and the two trade elbows, Misa tries to interrupt but she gets knocked to the mat. YuuRI and Sumikaba keep going at it until Misa has seen enough and puts them both in a crab hold. rhythm breaks it up as now I hate the match, but Misa lariats rhythm. rhythm elbows Misa in the corner and connects with a running back elbow, but Sumikaba boots rhythm. Sumikaba kicks over YuuRI as well before putting Misa in the Sickle Hold. Misa submits, so Misa Kagura is eliminated from the match. YuuRI quickly puts Sumikaba in a sleeper but rhythm breaks it up, so she puts rhythm in the sleeper instead. rhythm gets out of it, YuuRI puts the sleeper back on Sumikaba before letting go and kicking her in the back. Tiger Feint Kick by YuuRI but rhythm grabs YuuRI and hits a bulldog. rhythm puts YuuRI in a cross arm submission, and YuuRI submits! YuuRI is eliminated from the match. rhythm picks up Sumikaba but Sumikaba hits a heel kick, she applies the Sickle Hold but rhythm quickly gets out of it and puts Sumikaba in the rhythm Lock. Sumikaba struggles for a second but has to tap out! rhythm wins the match.
There are fewer bigger sins in professional wrestling than wrestlers breaking up pins/submissions in elimination matches. Unless they are BFFs going into the match, there is no reason for it, it breaks all logic and is an inexcusable wrestling trope. So that alone annoyed me, and nothing they did action-wise overcame that annoyance. Course, a six minute four wrestler elimination match was a tough sell anyway. None of the wrestlers looked particularly bad here but still a skippable match.
Aki Shizuku vs. Tomoka Inaba
This match is the Finals of the Queen of JTO Tournament. Even though I would have liked to have seen a member of Black Army in this spot, it is still a fitting main event. Tomoka Inaba is the home-grown Joshi Ace, but she is still a new wrestler and has a lot of room for growth. Aki Shizuku is a regular in JUST TAP OUT but is a Freelancer, she does have a vast amount of experience but is not a highly ranked wrestler so its not outside the realm of possibility that she’d lose. This will either set up Tomoka as the wrestler to beat, or give her another mountain to climb down the road if she is unable to beat her senior.
They trade holds on the mat to start the match, side headlock takedown by Aki but Tomoka reverses it into a headscissors before both return to their feet. Aki slams Tomoka and goes for a cross armbreaker, but Tomoka quickly rolls to the ropes for the break. Scoop slam by Aki and she hits another one, a third scoop slam by Aki but this one Tomoka blocks and applies an ankle hold. She lets go to slam Aki’s knee repeatedly into the mat, kneelock by Tomoka but Aki gets out of the hold. Kick to the chest by Tomoka and she twists on Aki’s leg before applying the ankle hold. Aki gets to the bottom rope for the break, stomps by Tomoka and she elbows Aki repeatedly in the chest. Pump Kick by Tomoka but Aki fires back with a lariat, Aki picks up Tomoka and gets her on her shoulders to throw her into the corner. Lariat by Aki and she puts Tomoka in a Fujiwara Armbar, she switches to a keylock but Tomoka gets to the ropes. Aki picks up Tomoka and yanks on her arm, she gets Tomoka on her shoulders but Tomoka slides away and hits a Pump Kick.
Tomoka jumps on Aki’s back and applies a sleeper hold, but she lets go to kick Aki repeatedly. PK by Tomoka and she snaps on Aki’s leg before applying a submission hold. Aki gets to the ropes for the break, Tomoka goes off the ropes but Aki blocks the kick. Lariat by Aki but Tomoka kicks her in the head and both wrestlers end up on the mat. Tomoka applies a kneelock but Aki gets out of it and twists on Tomoka’s arm before clubbing her in the back. Aki grabs Tomoka but Tomoka knees her in the head, lariat by Aki and she gets Tomoka up in the Argentine Backbreaker. Tomoka squeezes on Aki’s head to get out of it and puts her in a sleeper hold, but Aki gets away and hits a sliding lariat. Aki picks up Tomoka and hits a lariat, death valley bomb by Aki and she gets Tomoka up in the Argentine Backbreaker. Tomoka is too weak to get out of the hold and has to tap out! Aki Shizuku wins the match and the tournament.
As a side note, I just realized on this entire event there was maybe one or two pin attempts. I know the name of the promotion is JUST TAP OUT but they really seem to embrace that method of winning matches. Anyway, this was fine. Aki is never going to have matches that go beyond a certain level, she is a competent but not an overly exciting wrestler. Tomoka looked ok but I wish she did more to weaken her opponent’s leg as her first leg move was the ankle hold which is also one of her finishing holds. Slam the leg into the ring post, jump on it, do something different to set everything up. The ending stretch was entertaining as I like matches that have a definitive ending, which this one certainly did. A good enough way to end the tournament, but it won’t set the world on fire. Mildly Recommended
I won’t sit here and pretend that this was a high end event, as it was not. This is my first look at some of these wrestlers and none of the new rookies were particularly impressive, I struggle to think of any one of them that I expect to rise up in the world of Joshi. Inaba is good and YuuRI showed some fire, but the rest ranged from bad to average. Aki Shizuku winning the tournament is understandable but boring, if you run a small promotion no one has heard of you may as well shake things up a bit and go outside the box. Nothing here is really in the “go out and watch this now” range, so unless you like watching really inexperienced wrestlers you can probably skip this show.