The 2018 (Mid-)Year-End Joshi Awards

I’ve churned out over 2,000 words today, so I’m not going in-depth with my intro. These are my joshi (mid-)year-end awards, ranging from January 1 through June 30. Nothing before or after that window is considered.

Also, the promotions I mainly watch are the ones most easily accessible without needing to buy DVDs:  STARDOM, WAVE, Marvelous, Tokyo Joshi Pro, and Sendai Girls have streaming deals. SEAdLINNNG, OZ Academy, and Ice Ribbon are in my rotation, as they make their way online, as well. I’ve also seen a little bit of Gatoh Move, Actwres Girl’Z, Diana, and PURE-J, but not nearly enough to consider any of them for promotion of the (mid-)year.

Anyhoo, if you have a problem with my picks, hit me up on Twitter.

And if you want to see my recommended matches spreadsheet, it’s here. Continue reading “The 2018 (Mid-)Year-End Joshi Awards”

Top 20 Joshi Wrestlers of 2018 (So Far)

Friday, Joe Lanza–of the Voices of Wrestling podcast/website/Twitter–gave a simple request:

And, of course, I did what I do with all things pro wrestling–I answered with joshi.

And after listening to Joe (wonderfully) break down his current wrestler of the year candidates, I decided to spread the joshi love and do the same thing, but focusing 100% on the wonderful world of Japanese women’s professional wrestling. Continue reading “Top 20 Joshi Wrestlers of 2018 (So Far)”

EXPLODING BAT MATCH

Oops I stopped writing again.

I really need to stop doing that.

But I just watched Stardom’s Exploding Bat Deathmatch (Stardom World link here) and I felt inspired to jot down some of my thoughts on the match.

The most important thought: It rules.

In fact, I’m almost tempted to fund Stardom World subs for people so they can see it. I’m not going to do that, but the desire is there. My gut reaction is that it’s the leader in the clubhouse for my joshi match of the year. Of course, that may be recency bias–the Ohata/Nakajima matches were too damn fantastic to write off–but at the very least, it’ll take quite a few spectacles to knock it out of my top ten. Continue reading “EXPLODING BAT MATCH”

On NJPW World

I’m going to start making the switch from writing about “whatever the hell I want” on this blog to writing about pro wrestling on this blog. So, in the next week or so, I’m probably going to launch a Medium blog or something, transfer posts over, and leave the wrestling here. Then, every day, I’ll either write on here or on there and make it work.

Any which way, I want to be writing, and that seems like a good way to do it.

Anyhoo, as of last night, I now subscribe to all four reasonably-accessible joshi puroresu-friendly video subscription services. Those are: Stardom World, DDT Universe (for Tokyo Joshi Pro), Marvelous (via FreshLive) and WAVE Network (who will eventually post an update because the month of a January was a complete waste). Continue reading “On NJPW World”

My recommend joshi for January 2018

Like a lot of nerds online, I’ve started keeping a spreadsheet of great wrestling I’ve watched over the course of a year. Last year, I had my EXCELLENT matches list–the matches that would qualify for the highest rating I’d give (because I hate star ratings).

This year, the year of #JoshiFirst, I decided to go a different route. Instead of overall excellent matches, I’ve limited myself to just joshi.

Before anything else, if you want to check out the list, here it is. Continue reading “My recommend joshi for January 2018”

Something something joshi, I don’t want to think of a title

I was into WWE–and almost only WWE–for so long, I feel I have decades of catching up to do when it comes to other promotions. The thing is: I’ve never been someone who has been much of a pro wrestling historian. Sure, I’ve seen my share of older WWE and WCW stuff–the WWE Network saw to that. And I’ve made an effort to have at least a basic knowledge of classic Japanese stuff, even if I’m not watching every single Mitsuharu Misawa or Shinya Hashimoto match.  Continue reading “Something something joshi, I don’t want to think of a title”

Quick thought on Stardom’s recent 5v5 elimination match

Stardom’s recent Oedo Tai vs. Queen’s Quest “Loser leaves the unit” match isn’t a legendary match that is going to go down in time as one of the great team battles in pro wrestling history. And I won’t pretend that, either. It was a match that very clearly had some issues, but it’s a match that is important for Stardom.

Because it gives them a chance to undo some things.

I don’t hide the fact that I’m not big on modern Oedo Tai. Ever since Kagetsu came back and everyone started dancing, I’ve become less interested. And while GIFfers love the team (and at times it feels like the team was made for a western audience), it’s a far cry from the same Oedo Tai we had as recently as nine months ago.

The addition of Tam Nakano to Oedo Tai was the point where the team officially stopped being vicious heels and turned into a gang of lightheared villains from a children’s anime. And while they were started to trend that way before Tam joined them, she certainly added to the new persona.

The addition of Tam was the starting point for the new Oedo Tai. An Oedo Tai who are basically babyfaces. They’re goofy. They dance. They laugh a lot. They’re great friends. And they have an adorable panda puppet for Tam to carry around. But they’d still cheat, brawl outside the ring, and interfere in each other’s matches. And it never really felt like they had a clear vision as to where the team was going.

The addition of Sumire Natsu was much welcomed, as it gave Hana Kimura and Tam Nakano a reason to show some uneasiness with the rest of the group. But Hana never felt like a serious threat to pick up and leave–her and Kagetsu are the tag champs, and it doesn’t look likely that’ll change any time soon–and Tam was out injured for a few months. The Tam/Sumire tension could have been great, but there was no payoff, as they just made up all of a sudden, and now Tam is out of the group.

Tam getting removed from Oedo Tai is great for a few reasons:

  • She was the most “cutesy” member of Oedo Tai. If there are any plans for the team to revert to being more “vicious heel”, removing Tam was the only real option.
  • Provided she joins the Stardom Army–and not Queen’s Quest–she’s going to be number two in that group, behind Mayu Iwatani (possibly number 3, depending on where Team Jungle falls in the organization). Tam is going to get pushed to the moon.
  • It also gives Tam a chance to find her footing in Stardom. It’s easy to forget she hasn’t been with the company for too long–she joined late last summer and signed even later than that. And most of that run, she’d been the pseudo-manager of Oedo Tai. The crowd loves Tam, but she’s still somewhat unknown, on a large scale.

Now, all that said, I really enjoyed the match as a whole. Certain matchups were subpar (Wolf/AZM was nothing, Sumire vs. Io Shirai wasn’t anything to write home about, and HZK vs. Hana Kimura had a weird finish where HZK intentionally eliminated herself to take out Hana and I don’t get it). That said, Kagetsu vs. Io and Kagetsu vs. Viper were both fantastic (especially the Viper match). Kagetsu is as good as anyone, between the ropes.