Pro Wrestling WAVE “Catch The Wave Final” on 7/1/21 Review

Pro Wrestling WAVE Catch the WAVE Poster

Event: Pro Wrestling WAVE “Catch The Wave Final”
Date: July 1st, 2021
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 180
Broadcast: Streamed on Confetti Web

After a long break, I have finally grabbed a Pro Wrestling WAVE event to review! There are a few reasons I don’t watch WAVE often. A big one is as WAVE has no TV deal or regular streaming service, not as many of their shows are readily available. WAVE has been streaming off and on this year on a service called Confetti Web, but its expensive, ranging from $20 to $35 a show. Which I consider expensive due to the other reason I don’t watch much WAVE, which is that their base roster is lackluster so they depend on having quality wrestlers from other places to prop up their shows. Plus, some of their matches tend to be a bit too goofy for my personal taste. Luckily, for Catch the WAVE they did bring in quality outsiders, and this is a full event with six matches. So it could be fun. Here is the full card:

All wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. As this match streamed via an online service, all matches will be shown in full.

Tomoko Watanabe vs. Shizuku Tsukata
Tomoko Watanabe vs. Shizuku Tsukata

We kick off the show with a very traditional veteran vs. rookie match. Tomoko Watanabe is on the Legend tier of veterans, as she has had over a dozen title reigns in a 30 year career. She comes in from Marvelous to take on WAVE’s newest wrestler, as Shizuku just debuted in April. She isn’t a kid, which will help her not get completely squashed, but this will likely still be a one-sided affair. But hopefully the rookie will learn a thing or two in defeat.

Shizuku offers a handshake to start but instead throws Watanabe into the corner, dropkick by Shizuku but Watanabe dropkicks her back. Scoop slam by Watanabe and she hits an elbow drop off the side ropes for a two count. Shizuku gets back up and elbows Watanabe to the ropes, dropkick by Watanabe but Watanabe stays up. Shizuku goes for a scoop slam but Watanabe blocks it, camel clutch by Watanabe but she lets go after a moment so she can apply a single leg crab hold. Shizuku crawls to the ropes to force the break, Watanabe picks up Shizuku and hits a vertical suplex. Watanabe puts the crab hold back on but Watanabe gets a foot on the ropes, Watanabe drags Shizuku back to the middle of the ring and puts her in a stretch hold. She switches to a bodyscissors but Shizuku rolls out of it and hits a series of mounted elbows. Shizuku picks up Watanabe but still can’t slam her, scoop slam by Watanabe and she knees Shizuku in the midsection. Watanabe picks up Shizuku, Shizuku fights back with elbows but again Watanabe slams her.

Shizuku returns to her feet quickly and hits more elbows, but gets slammed for her trouble. Shizuku slowly gets up and hits a few elbows, Watanabe goes for a slam but Shizuku lands on top of her. Dropkicks by Shizuku but Watanabe swats one away and puts her in a single leg crab hold. Shizuku gets to the ropes for the break, Watanabe pulls her back but Shizuku cradles her for two. Shizuku goes off the ropes and hits a dropkick, but Watanabe boots her to the mat for a two count. Irish whip by Watanabe to the corner but Shizuku dropkicks her, cover by Shizuku but it gets two. Shizuku hops up to the second turnbuckle but Watanabe catches her crossbody attempt and slams her to the mat. Watanabe goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a bodypress, cover by Watanabe but it only gets two. Watanabe picks up Shizuku but Shizuku sneaks in a backslide for two, lariat by Watanabe and she puts Shizuku in a Sharpshooter. Shizuku doesn’t struggle for long before tapping out! Tomoko Watanabe is the winner.

This was a very “by the numbers” veteran vs. rookie match. Which isn’t necessarily bad, this has been the trusted formula since the beginning of wrestling to help bring along new wrestlers. Watanabe dominated, Shizuku got in some hope spots, but ultimately Watanabe was too much for the young wrestler and put her away. A simple but logical story. Too soon to tell what Shizuku’s future in wrestling will be, but not a bad way to start the event.

Catch The WAVE 2021
Nagisa Nozaki vs. Miyuki Takase
Catch The WAVE 2021 Semi Final

The next two matches will determine who will wrestle in the tournament finals later tonight. Even though Miyuki Takase is affiliated with Actwres girl’Z, she has always been connected with WAVE too as she has wrestled a lot in WAVE since her debut in 2017. In fact she has wrestled in WAVE more than Actwres girl’Z in her career and did some training there as well, so WAVE is her home away from home. She is against Nagisa Nozaki, who is one of the top wrestlers in this “new” version of WAVE and she held their top title for almost the entirety of 2020. Both Nagisa and Miyuki are talented and would fit in well in the Finals of the tournament.

They charge each other to start as they get right into it, Nagisa boots back Miyuki repeatedly but Miyuki catches one and dropkicks Nagisa in the knee. Miyuki charges Nagisa but Nagisa moves, and she dumps Miyuki out onto the apron. Nagisa goes for a big boot but Miyuki moves, with Nagisa’s leg getting caught over the top rope. Miyuki takes advantage of this and starts working on Nagisa’s leg, Nagisa falls out of the ring after a moment and Miyuki goes after her. Kick by Nagisa and she boots Miyuki in the head, she waits for Miyuki to get up and charges her but Miyuki delivers a powerslam. Miyuki slams Nagisa’s knee into the floor before sliding her back into the ring, Miyuki drags Nagisa’s leg to the ring post and slams her knee repeatedly into it. Back in, Miyuki keeps up the leg work, cover by Miyuki but it gets two. Miyuki picks up Nagisa but Nagisa boots her away, elbow by Miyuki but Nagisa slaps on the sleeper. Miyuki drives Nagisa into the corner to break up the hold, dropkick by Miyuki off the second turnbuckle and she hits a lariat in the corner. Second turnbuckle elbow strike by Miyuki, and she covers Nagisa for two. Miyuki goes to the top turnbuckle but Nagisa elbows her and joins her, hitting a superplex down to the mat. Somato by Nagisa, but it gets a two count. A sliding kick by Nagisa follows, but that gets a two as well so Nagisa slaps on a sleeper hold. Miyuki struggles back up but Nagisa hits a STO before re-applying the hold. Miyuki is too close to the ropes however and makes it there for the break, kick to the ribs by Nagisa and she goes to the top turnbuckle.

Miyuki grabs her before she can jump off and climbs up as well, headbutt by Miyuki and she powerslams Nagisa back to the mat for a two count. Miyuki puts Nagisa in a submission but Nagisa is by the ropes and grabs the bottom one for the break. Miyuki charges Nagisa and hits a lariat, another lariat by Miyuki and she covers Nagisa for two. Miyuki picks up Nagisa and hits the Kamikaze, diving guillotine leg drop by Miyuki off the second turnbuckle but Nagisa barely kicks out. Vertical suplex by Miyuki, she drags up Nagisa but Nagisa fights her off. Miyuki charges Nagisa but Nagisa boots her in the face, Ripcord Boot by Nagisa and she hits another, but Miyuki blocks the third attempt and delivers a lariat. Both wrestlers are down on the mat and slowly get up at the same time, trading elbows in the process. Miyuki charges Nagisa but Nagisa blocks the lariat and rolls Miyuki to the mat, applying the sleeper. Miyuki almost goes out but gets a foot on the ropes right before doing so, Nagisa picks up Miyuki and nails a series of sliding kicks. Nagisa drags up Miyuki and hits a final sliding kick, but Miyuki barely kicks out. Nagisa waits for Miyuki to get up but Miyuki catches her with a Samoan Driver, lariat by Miyuki and she covers Nagisa for two. Miyuki drags Nagisa near the corner, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a guillotine legdrop, but Nagisa kicks out. Miyuki goes off the ropes but Nagisa boots her in the head, getting a two count of her own. Nagisa goes off the ropes but eats a lariat, Nagisa strikes back with another jumping kick but Miyuki returns fire with a lariat. Twister vertical suplex by Miyuki, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the guillotine legdrop, picking up the three count! Miyuki Takase wins and advances to the Catch The WAVE 2021 Finale!

This match wasn’t without its issues but it was still entertaining. They went heavy into the move spam overkill, which is a little excessive for the second match on the card. I don’t mind overkill in the right situations but the repetitive moves and nearfalls is better suited for the main event. I also wish Nagisa had done a bit more to sell the leg with Miyuki’s work on it, but she didn’t seem phased a bit. That being said, this was a really fast paced and counter-full match and they have good chemistry together, so the action was smooth. Nagisa got a lot of very convincing nearfalls (and her sleeper is a legitimate finisher), so it felt like a very even match throughout that either wrestler could win. I think these two could do better, but still a solid match overall and a fitting Semi Final match for the tournament.  Mildly Recommended

Catch The WAVE 2021
Kaori Yoneyama vs. Rin Kadokura
Catch The WAVE 2021 Semi Final

Now the second match of the Catch the WAVE Semi Finals. These two are in very different phases of their careers. Kaori Yoneyama, better known to some fans as Fukigen Death in Stardom, is a respected veteran but has settled more into the “trainer” role that some vets opt for as she seems more interested in helping the next wave of wrestlers than going around and winning big matches. Which certainly is her choice to make, as she has been wrestling for over 20 years. Rin Kadokura is a young and far less experienced wrestler from Marvelous – she has had some injury issues in her career but has shown a lot of promise. Rin winning would make more sense, but its hard to count out someone with Yoneyama’s credentials.

Yoneyama quickly goes for a few flash pins as the bell rings, Irish whip by Yoneyama but Rin blocks it and hits an elbow. Jumping lariat by Rin and she charges Yoneyama, but Yoneyama holds down the top rope and Rin tumbles down to the floor. Yoneyama goes out to the apron and attacks Rin with a jumping knee, she slides Rin back in and knees her in the back of the head. Yoneyama goes to the second turnbuckle and delivers a diving senton, but it gets a two count. She then goes all the way up but Rin recovers and joins her, Yoneyama knocks her back but Rin charges in again and this time hits the Frankensteiner. Rin goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving footstomp, but it gets a two count. Rin picks up Yoneyama but Yoneyama blocks the suplex, superkick by Rin but Yoneyama connects with a jumping back kick for two. Rin shrugs off Yoneyama, schoolboy by Rin and the two trade cradle attempts until Rin holds down Yoneyama for the three count! Rin Kadokura wins and advances to the Catch The WAVE Finale!

Too short to get excited about, I wouldn’t have minded if they went a bit longer even if they were going to go the flash pin route. As its a fluky win, it doesn’t really do much to boost Rin, and Yoneyama isn’t generally a wrestler that cares too much about being protected. “Surprise” type wins are normal in tournaments but usually more so in the points round. Nothing wrong with it, but if you were looking for a long exciting match between these two, they opted not to go in that direction and basically gave Rin a free pass to the finals.

SAKI, Yappy & Yumi Ohka vs. Itsuki Aoki, YAKO & Yuu
Itsuki Aoki, YAKO, and Yuu vs. SAKI, Yappy, and Ohka

WAVE is giving Miyuki Takase and Rin Kadokura a break before they have to wrestle again, so we are going to have two tag matches now as filler. Only Yumi Ohka here is affiliated with Pro Wrestling WAVE, as everyone else is a Freelancer or part of another promotion. This is really just a collection of wrestlers in the Catch The WAVE Tournament that didn’t reach the Semi Finals that they decided to throw together in a tag match. Which is a perfectly fine way to fill out a card, but I’m not expecting top level chemistry with teams that were randomly assigned using wrestlers from various places.

Ohka runs over and boots Itsuki before the match even starts, running boot by Ohka to Itsuki and she leaves the ring so Yappy can take over. Yappy attacks Itsuki in the corner before sitting on her for a two count cover. Yappy gets Itsuki on her shoulders but Itsuki gets away and hits a running elbow followed by a face crusher. Body press by Itsuki and she tags in Yuu. Yuu picks up Yappy and chops her repeatedly, but Yappy ducks one and hits an elbow as the two trade shots. Yuu throws Yappy into the corner but Yappy butts her in the face when she charges in, hip attacks by Yappy and she hits a running one of the corner. Seated senton by Yappy and she covers Yuu for a two count. Yappy tags in SAKI, SAKI hits a series of boots to the head but Yuu catches one and hits a chop. Yuu goes for a senton but SAKI moves, Itsuki and YAKO come in however and all three take turns attacking SAKI. YAKO is tagged in once she returns to the apron, hip attack by YAKO but SAKI avoids her charge in the corner and hits a series of knees. Vertical suplex by SAKI but YAKO blocks her kick attempt and hits a DDT. Hip attack by YAKO but SAKI avoids the next one and with Ohka they take turns booting YAKO in the head. SAKI picks up YAKO, double Irish whip but YAKO hits a hip attack on both of them.

YAKO talks a bit but Itsuki and Yuu don’t like whatever she is saying and both attack her. YAKO is thrown into the corner, and all five of the other wrestlers in the match hit running strikes. SAKI ends it with a big boot on YAKO, she tags in Ohka who boots YAKO again for a two count cover. Ohka goes for a brainbuster but YAKO blocks it and hits a Stunner, she charges Ohka but Ohka drops her with the Snake Eyes. Running boot by Ohka and Yappy follows with a seated senton, backdrop suplex by Ohka and she covers YAKO for two. Ohka picks up YAKO but YAKO blocks the suplex, DDT by Ohka and she hits a heel drop. Big boot by Ohka, she covers YAKO but YAKO barely kicks out. Chokebomb by Ohka, but Yuu breaks up the cover with a low crossbody. Itsuki takes care of Yappy before turning to Ohka, running strike by Itsuki and Yuu follows with a cannonball. Diving body press by Itsuki to Ohka and she throws YAKO on top of Ohka for the cover. Yappy tries to break it up but YAKO moves, and she ends up hitting a body press on Ohka by mistake. SAKI tries to help but has the same issue, Yuu goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving body press onto Ohka. YAKO then goes all the way up and nails the swivel body press, and she gets the three count! Itsuki Aoki, YAKO, and Yuu are the winners.

This is one of those WAVE matches that just does little for me. Its a weird blend of goofy and serious, and admittedly since I don’t know Japanese I don’t know what caused the random YAKO attack in the middle but the whole situation is just too odd. YAKO took way too much offense while her teammates just watched, but then suddenly they wanted to win so they helped YAKO until she got the three count. These teams were random so they weren’t friends going in, but without a storyline I’d prefer just a solid six wrestler tag than one with sporadic shenanigans. The action was generally ok and a few of these wrestlers are quite good, but it was just meandering and didn’t really click as a cohesive match. Just midcard filler.

Hibiscus Mii, Sakura Hirota & Yuki Miyazaki vs. Ami Miura, Mio Momono & Momo Kohgo
Ami Miura, Mio Momono, and Kohgo vs. Hibiscus Mii, Sakura Hirota, and Miyazaki

I am not really sure how we got this combination of wrestlers. While the last match had a small amount of shenanigans and silliness, I am assuming this one will have even more. Miyazaki is a long time vet that can wrestle serious, but tends to sprinkle in more playful moments. Hibiscus Mii is the same way, and everyone knows Sakura Hirota’s manner of business. The other team has more “traditional” wrestlers, with two wrestlers from Actwres girl’Z and the delightful Mio Momono. I wish this match was clipped, but its not, so lets see what they put together.

Mii apparently wrestles in regular clothing with a bag over her shoulder, so not a great start to my dream of this match not being completely goofy. Mii and Ami start the match and naturally Mii is in a chatty mood so it takes time to get to any action. They eventually get to it as Ami hits a shoulderblock, scoop slam by Ami and Mii’s bag finally falls off as Ami hits a second one. A third slam by Ami and Mii rolls out of the ring to re-group. Hirota takes her place, chops by Ami to Hirota but Hirota blocks the Irish whip and hits a face crusher. Ami and Hirota trade lariats and Oil Checks, dropkick by Ami but Hirota gets her deep with her fingers and the two rolls out of the ring together. Mii has her bag back on as she comes in with Miyazaki to double team Momo, Hirota eventually returns and she grabs Momo’s wrist to do the rope walk. Momo pushes her off before Hirota can even get her to the corner, kick by Momo and she is the one that gets Hirota by the wrist to do the rope walk. She gets to the middle of the ropes and goes for Hirota’s second rope bounce trick, but struggles to execute it. Hirota gets her back in the ring and tells her she did a good try (I assume), Hirota lays down and lets Momo do the Hirota Hop over her.

Momo goes for a second one but Hirota jumps up and kicks her, and they talk some more. Put me out of my misery please. Momo challenges Hirota to put her fingers up her butt but Ami cuts her off with a dropkick, Ami then drives Hirota’s face into Momo’s butt repeatedly. Ami stays in and they both dropkick Hirota, Ami picks up Hirota but Hirota does some goofy stuff as she runs around and slips on all the ropes. Hirota takes herself out of the match so Mii comes in, but she talks a bit when Ami tries to engage her. Ami finally hits a body avalanche in the corner, shoulderblock by Ami and she covers Mii for two. Ami tags in Mio, diving crossbody by Mio and she dropkicks Mii. Another dropkick by Mio and she elbows Mii repeatedly before putting her in a stretch hold. The seconds around the ring all beat on the mat, with the vibration eventually knocking over Mio, giving Mii a chance to tag in Miyazaki. Miyazaki is triple teamed in the corner, missile dropkick by Mio and she covers Miyazaki for two. Mio ducks under Miyazaki’s lariat and hits a spinning headscissors, dropkick by Mio and she knocks Hirota off the apron. Miyazaki kicks Mio and applies multiple cradles, but each on gets a two count.

Mio goes up top but Mii grabs her from the apron, Momo and Ami both run in to help but Miyazaki lariats both of them. She then joins Mio up top but Mio hits a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Mio goes off the ropes but Miyazaki shrugs her off, elbows by Mio but Miyazaki goes for the Shy Hold. Mio blocks it and gets away, but Miyazaki threatens to put the hold on Ami or Momo so Mio ends up letting her put the hold on to protect them. Ami and Momo try to break it up but are held back, Mii gets a microphone and starts singing until Ami and Momo finally break it up. Miyazaki positions Mio and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Mio avoids the moonsault attempt. She goes for the JK Bomb but Miyazaki prevents her from fulling hitting the move, Mii and Hirota both try to help Miyazaki but botch their way into the ring. This gives Mio a chance to hit the JK Bomb on Miyazaki, and she gets the three count! Ami Miura, Mio Momono and Momo Kohgo are the winners!

I had to read a guide online just to get some of the comedy spots, which is way too much trouble for a comedy match. I don’t mind some comedy in my wrestling viewing but 17 minutes was just too much of it, and at the end of the day I’d rather see the Mio team in a more serious match as all three are fun to watch. I realize this is more catered to WAVE’s dedicated fanbase, which I can respect, but its not really my cup of tea. A few funny spots but too much “wrestling comedy” for me.

Catch The WAVE 2021
Rin Kadokura vs. Miyuki Takase
Catch The WAVE 2021 Final

Time for the tournament final! As I mentioned above, even though Miyuki is technically an outsider, she wrestles in WAVE as much as she does AgZ so to fans she is seen as one of their regulars. Rin is a true outsider, but equally skilled as Miyuki and ready for a big win. I like how even they made the Final as even though Miyuki does have an edge, Rin is equally qualified which should lead to a close and entertaining match.

They shake hands before the match but Rin charges Miyuki before the bell can ring and knocks her down in the corner. Cannonball by Rin, she quickly goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Suplex by Rin and she hits a footstomp, but Miyuki levels her with a lariat. Rin gets back up and they trade elbows, chops by Miyuki but Rin hits a jumping strike followed by the Murder Dropkick. Cover by Rin, but it gets two. Rin goes up top but Miyuki recovers and joins her, hitting a superplex back to the mat. Miyuki waits for Rin to get up but Rin catches her lariat attempt and goes for an armbreaker. Miyuki slams her way out of the hold, elbows and chops by Miyuki followed by two lariats for a quick cover. Miyuki gets Rin on her shoulders but Rin slides away, sliding kick by Rin but Miyuki catches her with a powerslam. Miyuki goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, Rin lands in the opposite corner and Miyuki connects with a lariat. Diving elbow strike by Miyuki, and she covers Rin for two. Miyuki picks up Rin and hits the Kamikaze, she then gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers the diving guillotine legdrop for two.

Miyuki picks up Rin but Rin hits a Northern Lights Suplex Hold for two. Rin goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, she quickly goes to the second turnbuckle and nails a diving footstomp for another two count. DDT by Rin, she picks up Miyuki and hits a vertical suplex, but Miyuki hulks up and hits a suplex of her own. Rin comes back with another suplex and both wrestlers are down on the mat, Miyuki is up first and hits a fourth vertical suplex of this suplex battle. Rin is naturally up first and returns with a suplex but Miyuki hits another one too, Rin tries to return with a suplex but Miyuki reverses it into her own suplex, seemingly ending the vertical suplex exchange. Jumping DDT by Rin, she picks up Miyuki and hits a vertical suplex (I was wrong) for a close two count cover. Rin tries to get to the turnbuckle but Miyuki keeps grabbing her leg, she finally makes it but Miyuki recovers and joins her. Rin pushes Miyuki back to the mat but Miyuki elbows her and climbs back up, hitting a powerslam down to the mat for a two count.

Miyuki and Rin both slowly get up, they charge into each other and Miyuki hits a hard elbow. Another elbow by Miyuki and she hits a lariat for a two count. Rin gets up quickly but eats a double chop, tornado vertical suplex but Miyuki but Rin kicks out. Miyuki goes off the ropes but Rin catches her with a superkick, another superkick by Rin and she covers Miyuki for barely two. Rin gets Miyuki’s back and hits a crucifix slam, but Miyuki kicks out of the pin. Rin drags up Miyuki and gets on her back again, but Miyuki spins her off and hits a lariat. Rin fires back with a lariat but Miyuki delivers a Samoan Driver for two. Miyuki picks up Rin and hits a vertical suplex, she goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving guillotine legdrop for the three count! Miyuki Takase wins the match and the Catch The WAVE 2021 Tournament!

A very good match, but didn’t quite reach the level I was hoping for. Rin and Miyuki are both very talented wrestlers and when they were just trading strikes or bombs, the match was really entertaining. Their cardio is not an issue so they kept the pace up, and it was an even match from start to finish. The part I didn’t like was the trading vertical suplexes in the middle. I am generally a fan of the ‘trading moves’ spot but the vertical suplex is just a slower move to set up and deliver, and it just killed the pace of the match for a couple minutes. Nothing before or after really lined up to it so it felt disjointed and without a real purpose, except to hurt the match flow. If I took out those few minutes, everything else delivered. Overall an entertaining match that could have been even better with just a few small changes.  Recommended

Final Thoughts:


Admittedly, I am not the biggest Pro Wrestling WAVE fan but I was hoping the focus on Catch The WAVE would make this event worth buying. Unfortunately it didn’t really deliver, as one of the tournament matches was two minutes long and the other two matches were good to very good but not near MOTYC level. The midcard tag matches didn’t do much for me as WAVE’s brand of comedy is hit and miss with me (mostly miss). Since the tournament matches didn’t elevate the card as I was hoping, this isn’t an event I can recommend to most Joshi fans, even though the main event was a quality match.