JWP 12/27/15 Live Thoughts

December 27, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan

My second (and final) JWP show of the trip was their annual year end show Climax. It was at Korakuen Hall (still surreal to me to actually be there) and seemed to draw a crowd similar in size to the Stardom event. The big lures of the card were Kayoko Haruyama’s retirement and a huge tag title match between the Jumonji Sisters (c) and Best Friends.

 

Ray came out at the beginning to announce she would not be competing on the show due to injury. Shame. She’s a great wrestler, and I hope she recovers soon. The show opened with a pair of decent matches in KAZUKI, Leon and Megumi Yabushita vs Rabbit Miyu, Raideen Hagane and Yako Fujigasaki and Hanako Nakamori vs Kyoko Kimura.

The matches relating to Kayoko Haruyama‘s retirement began as she and Tsubasa Kuragaki faced Command Bolshoi and Kaori Yoneyama. This was an intense, competitive tag match and a suitable penultimate appearance for Haruyama. I was extremely lucky to catch the last four matches of her career during my trip.

The Haruyama Battle Royal was a perfect balance of tribute, competetion, and comedy. All the competitors were dressed as Haruyama, and she’s had enough different looks over time that there was a lot of variety in the costumes. My favorite was worn by someone who is also one of my favorite wrestlers, Aoi Kizuki.

Everyone was clearly having a lot of fun and there were numerous clever spots that took advantage of both the format and the wrestler they were paying tribute to. Several dogpile pins and Misaki Ohata taking out a towel to make a soft landing for her attempt at Haruyama’s trademark legdrop were among the highlights. Rabbit Miu won with a fantastic counter or an attempted slingshot into the ring from the apron by Leon where Rabbit simply shoved Leon mid-move to send her flying to the floor. This was tremendously fun.

The most anticipated match of  my trip was next, and the tag title match between the Jumonji Sisters (DASH Chisako and Sendai Sachiko) (c) and Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto) did not disappoint.

I’d only seen the Jumonjis and Arisa once before, but that was enough to know how good they are and what they’re capable of. As I’ve mentioned several times in recent blogs, Tsukasa Fujimoto is one of the most consistently incredible wrestlers on the planet. Put the four of them together and you get magic.

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They threw everything they could at each other for fifteen action packed minutes, including a variety of innovative and impressive double teams. This was exactly the fantastically worked, logical, and wowing spectacle I wanted, ending in a huge title change to boot. Easily one of the top five matches I saw, if not the best.

Earlier partners faced off in the main event of Kayoko Haruyama vs Tsubasa Kuragaki. Hard hitting contest that was a suitable send off for Haruyama and a great way to end the show.

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JWP Climax 2015 was one of the best shows of my trip, with a great undercard that made made good use of the Haruyama tribute matches and a pair of fantastic matches on top.

 

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