Suzume vs. Arisu Endo - 5.5/10
This is Arisu Endo's debut for the promotion, she is someone that people have been hyped about, a promising young woman. Theyr're both in their early 20's, but Suzume has a year extra in experience on Endo. The wrestling was solid and basic, typical of a young rookies match, but given that Endo is debuting, this was great for her. Suzume won at the end.
Haruna Neko & Pom Harajuku vs. Moka Miyamoto & Yuna Manase - 5.5/10
In this match, we have the second most rookie (now that Endo has debuted) Miyamoto teaming with Manase, the bigger and most experienced of the match, Manase.
This was ok with hints of good. Harajuku's moves show much, but her execution of them sometimes lack intensity, speed, or just confidence in putting more weight in them.
Red & White Rope Rename In The Capsule Match
Shoko Nakajima vs. Hyper Misao - 6/10
This being Hyper Misao, bring out the stipulations! The only way to win the match is to open two of the 6 winner gachapon capsules hanging from the ropes, there are over 100 gachapon capsules hanging. The loser of the match will have to change her name for one month. In addition, Misao and Nakajima will be tied together by a rope. This is a stipulation that Misao lost last year, but under a different stipulation.
Not really a good match, but it was fun, had some cool ideas done with the rope that was so long that you could tie people around. At the same time, the rope was also a problem for them to properly execute a lot of spots, it kept getting in the way. The stuff with the gachapon capsules really made it feel like a shoot at times, they were just going for them and with so many, you have to imagine a lot of them were done somewhat randomly, but they still managed to go 1-1 and into sudden death for the final one, that it would be Misao that found it after tying up Nakajima's feet with the rope.
Aja Kong, Mizuki & Raku vs. Mirai Maiumi, Miu Watanabe & Nao Kakuta - 6.5/10
The visual of the badass Kong teaming with Mizuki and Raku is something else, mostly because the latter two are dressed as princesses and kawai maids respectively.
The early stuff was mostly comedy, but once Mizuki and Kakuta got going, the match got good, they had a good pair up. Watanabe worked with Kong for a bit, which Watanabe obviously lost, but she still looked good in terms of heart. She did manage to slam her once. At the end we got Maiumi lariating Kong down, only to take a top rope splash to the floor from Mizuki, leaving Watanabe alone with Raku to pin her with the Tear Drop.
I really wanna see a Mizuki vs Miaumi or Mizuki vs Watanabe match soon.
Hikari Noa & Sena Shiori vs. NEO Biishiki-gun (Mei Saint-Michel & Sakisama) - 8/10
This was soo good, Mei is just great, tons of energy, great acting, and just straight up great wrestling, she had great pair ups with both Noa and Shiori. In addition, she and Sakisama complement each other nicely, Saki being taller, tends to be slower and more striking based, while Mei being considerably short, it's all speed, all running around, all jumps and grapple moves.
The match saw Biishiki-gun work over Shiori first, leading to the Mei and Noa going at it, later on Shori would return and that was when Mei won via submission after Sakisama had Noa held on the outside. There was some good play with Mei's silver plate too, I personally love when she trips people down with it, but it was used a lot as a distraction mechanism and even for Mei to get her comeuppance.
Post-match - Mei and Sakisama hinted going after bigger teams. Wouldn't be surprised if they dethrone the BAKURETSU Sisters down the line.
Miyu Yamashita vs. Maki Itoh - 8/10
Great match, it was brutal. Itoh went all out with her submissions, she focused on Yamashita's legs as a means to take away her kicks, but in addition, she kept dropping Yamashita with DDTs from all sides. Yamashita, as usual, was a kicking machine, one of the best kickers in the business today, and Itoh got it left and right. The story told in the match, right from the start, kinda made it show like Yamashita was just better than Itoh, and it never really made it seem like Itoh was dominant, but that she was defiant against someone that was just stronger than her. Finish saw Yamashita hit a huge kick that knocked out Itoh, and while Yamashita was getting ready to finish her, Itoh was already out and couldn't answer the 10 count. Itoh was conscious though, he body just wouldn't move.
I've seen people rate this as Itoh's best match ever. I personally liked her stuff with Mizuki a bit more, but I also wouldn't disagree with anyone, this was close to being one of her best stuff.
Post-match - After Itoh was done raging for losing, Yamashita and Itoh fist bumped at the end, showing the mutual respect between each other, a contrast with the slap that Itoh delivered
Princess Tag Team Title Match
BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino) (c) vs. Mahiro Kiryu & Yuki Kamifuku - 8/10
Match layout was kinda weird here. No doubt the BAKURETSU Sisters are the babyfaces, but they still gave Kiryu a babyface in peril run, that bleed into a Yuki Aino babyface in peril run when Kamiyu got the "hot tag." Beyond this, the match worked like you would normally expect it to go. Tenma pinned Kiryu for the win.
The match was great though, as it is usual with BAKURETSU matches, they start slow and have you thinking that this may be their weakest ever, but once they get going, they're soo good. Coming in, there was no chance that Kamiyu and Kiryu would be taking the titles, and at no point I thought that was changing, but they still had a match that was exciting to watch.
Sakazaki vs Tatsumi Video package - Good. It talked about their real life relationship and how they've come up in TJPW together. It was Sakazaki herself that convinced Tatsumi, many years ago, to train along with her to become wrestlers.
Princess Of Princess Title Match
"Magical Girl" Yuka Sakazaki (c) vs. "White Dragon" Rika Tatsumi - 9/10
Early on in the match, I felt like Tatsumi was just not performing well, some stuff felt forced and out of time, which Sakazaki is usually good at hiding by acting like there is a struggle going on, but you could still feel something was off. As the match went on and things got heated, Tatsumi did looked a lot better, she started going all intense and vicious and that help with the drama of the match.
Story was basic, Tatsumi, who has taken all inspiration from Tatsumi Fujinami, has an arsendal based on the Dragon, and so she went after Sakazaki's legs with Dragon Screws, over and over, inside and outside the ring, her attacks were great, they'd make you believe that she was trying to destroy Sakazaki's ability to walk. On the other hand, Sakazaki worked over Tatsumi's back, prepping her for the Magical Girl Splash. They went back and forward, but as the match went on, Tatsumi got more vicious and vicious, while Sakazaki kept losing her ability to walk or jump, so that at the end, after spamming Dragon Screws, Tatsumi locked in the Figure 4 Leg Lock and after a long battle, the referee stopped the match, knowing that Tatsumi would break the legs if necessary, and knowing that no matter what, Sakazaki would not give up.
This was only Sakazaki's 5th defense of her year long reign. I felt that she could have still gone forward, since she had been showing growth, but at the same time, she had already defeated two former champions, her best friend, and realistically, unless they brought in Saree or ASUKA, there were not many credible challengers for her left. Itoh, Sakisama, or Watanabe, while they could potentially be built for it, wouldn't be at the level of Yamashita or Mizuki. It had also been 400+ days, and you also don't want to create reign records that later on become impossible to break.
I think Rika Tatsumi is a perfect choice for the new champion. She is really good, she is loved by the Japanese fans, I personally find her appealing because she reminds me a lot of the old school AJW era of Joshi Wrestling. She's a new champion, which is something that I felt TJPW was missing a bit, to give Yamashita, Nakajima, and Sakazaki the break from the title, have the grow away from it so their names don't become synonymous with the title, making their characters feel empty without them (see Okada's 2020). The one thing here is that TJPW grew a lot with Sakazaki as the champion, and now Tatsumi has to follow that and she better show up to the test.
Post-match - Sakazaki and Tatsumi, both in tears, embraced before Mizuki helped Sakazaki to the back. In the ring, Tatsumi cut a promo talking about finally winning the title that she had chased for years. Miu Watanabe, Tatsumi's tag team partner, got in the ring and congratulated her, put her over, and asked for Tatsumi's first challenge. Tatsumi accepted, saying there wasn't any other she'd rather wrestle than her tag partner. Date set for February 11. Tatsumi then closed the show and send the fans out happy.
Through and through, it was a good show. Some of the early matches were nothing special, but still offered things to look into or forward to, whereas the latter matches were great performances and culminations of storylines.