April 12, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling has several interesting, new initiatives starting to expand the type of content they offer. A couple weeks ago they premiered Inspiration, shorter than usual shows (three matches, around an hour) that run every few months and can include things outside of TJPW’s normal purview.
This was the first episode of That’s J-PW, airing single matches specials with English commentary semiweekly.
Show opened with DDT’s Chris Brookes and ChocoPro’s Baliyan Akki, who will be the commentary team, introducing the concept and bringing out the participating teams for comments.
Sena & Hikari were all smiles and managed to introduce themselves then get out a couple of words about their opponents’ power. Neither can speak much English but the effort alone was the point here, and it’s a cute introduction to the duo for those that might not know them.
Miu & Mirai’s were next and also talked about their power, but then said their opponents have speed and are good friends. Mirai did the best of the four with English all around, introducing herself with an excellent summary of her style in catchphrase form:
“Strong style lives with me. No stereotypes. Open up a new world.”
Sayuri Namba on announcing duties as usual for TJPW, but again in English. Like Chris Brookes’ recent produce shows (as well as the AEW Japan bracket), this took place at Warabi Wrestle Arena (the Ice Ribbon dojo).
Miu Watanabe & Mirai Maiumi vs HikaShoi (Hikari Noa & Sena Shiori)
Miu and Hikari were also a part of Inspiration, with Hikari in the main event in TJPW’s first ever hardcore match.
Hikari & Sena are a regular team, but Miu is a former tag team champion and Mirai perhaps TJPW’s top rookie so this looked pretty even going in.
This was a solid tag match wrestled at a good clip built around the foreshadowed conflict of power versus speed. HikaShoi used quick strikes and teamwork to try to sustain an advantage while Miu & Mirai often countered using their strength. Highlights included a beautiful straightjacket pin by Sena, a particularly vicious series of dropkicks by Hikari, and Miu & Mirai throwing their opponents about and grabbing them out of the air into holds.
Akki and Chris made a natural team on commentary, and did a really good job emphasizing the action and adding context and depth to what was going on.
Eventually it came done to Miu against Sena and Miu wiped her out with the Teardop (over-the-shoulder faceplant) for the win.
Shame to see the regular team (and Hikari in particular) lose, but Sena was the most likely of the four to take the pin from the start and they still looked quite good in defeat. The match was fun and a good way to kick off this new program.
Quick post show plug has Kamiyu talking about TJPW’s big 4/17 event (in English as with everything else this show) to close things out.
This was a nice little 15 minute show, and I think these will help do exactly what they’re intended to do: further expand and engage TJPW’s international fanbase in a thoroughly enjoyable way.