Combative Joshi Diary (8/10/22) | KAORU retires, NOMADS’ Vol. 2, 5 STAR GP, and more
The second Fightful Joshi Journal entry takes a look at the final game of KAORU’s career as she wraps it up after the Marvelous’ Korakuen Hall show last weekend, while taking time to appreciate NOMADS’ efforts. ‘ in their second Independent Summit. Plus, updated 5-STAR Grand Prix rankings after the tournament’s second weekend of action.
A career dating back to 1986, KAORU officially retired from professional wrestling after his last match at Korakuen Hall with Marvelous. KAORU’s retirement has been a long time coming as she was originally scheduled for 2021, but an injury before her last game forced her to step back so she could have her last game. The show itself went through a lot of changes, given that KAORU’s retirement wasn’t as originally planned either. Chigusa Nagayo, Rin Kadokura and Ai Houzan all had to be removed from the show due to COVID-19, forcing three of the five matches to be changed. But don’t panic because Marvelous has done everything they can to make this arguably their best show of the year.
Starting with the main event, the emotions were (mostly) saved for the post-game rather than during. The game from start to finish was so much fun. KAORU teamed up with their W-FIX faction with Chikayo Nagashima, Megumi Yabushita, and DASH Chisako to take on the marvelous team of Takumi Iroha, Mio Momono, Maria, Leo Isaka, and Tomoko Watanabe. Each wrestler had her moment with KAORU before Iroha ended her career with the Running Three, and that’s when the emotion poured out for Iroha. Wiping away her tears, she achieved her goal and became the last person to pin KAORU. Almost instantly, she embraced the legend of Joshi at the end of the game, sharing words that will surely be special to them both for the rest of their lives. Luckily for the fans, KAORU actually managed to hit her signature Moonsault before wrapping it up and almost left as the winner. After the match, they celebrated KAORU’s retirement with a magnificent ceremony. The love and care all the wrestlers had for KAORU spoke volumes about how important a match and a night out was to everyone involved.
And while the main event was fun and emotional, the impromptu AAAW Championship match was everything a World Title match should be. Takumi Iroha was supposed to team up with Chikayo Nagashima to challenge Itsuki Aoki and Rin Kadokura for the AAAW Tag Team Championship. As noted, Kadokura was forced to miss the match and with Nagashima already ready for the main event, it was easy to go one-on-one between Iroha and Aoki. The marvelous ace would put his title on the line and go on to fight Aoki in one of the best matches Iroha has had since returning from his knee injury last year. His previous vicious shard was back and was matched time and time again by Aoki. The match had the drama to take any match from good to great, win over the fans in attendance and watch the world watch maybe, just maybe Aoki could become a double champion.
But as Iroha often does, she takes it up a notch in wrestling, not to mention Joshi. Devastation was the name of the game as Iroha never stopped beating Aoki, even when Aoki showed this life. And credit to the challenger – she tied Iroha for most of the match. It was a valiant effort from Aoki as she had what could be considered the best performance of her career, but it wasn’t enough as she fell victim to Iroha and the Running Three. Great fight from start to finish. Potentially the best Joshi match of the weekend.
Riko Kawahata and Maria were also on the card, continuing the year-long rivalry they’ve had with the Joshi Legends no longer in their corners. Kawahata was to team up with Nagayo while Maria would team up with Yumiko Hotta. Nagayo having to miss the show, the tag turned into a singles match much like the world title match, allowing them to show up once more. If you’re looking for a wrestler in Joshi’s independent circuit who has seen his stock rise in 2022, it’s Maria. Her consistency and energy in every match she takes part in is worth noting and is a big part of why Marvelous has such a strong core despite less buzz than a year ago.
The feud between Kawahata and Maria boiled over in this match as they attempted to slap each other with nothing but a win in mind. Maria eventually won with a wicked Michinoku Driver II, being the first of these two to win one of their singles matches. Keep an eye out for these two advancing women, but especially Maria who impresses every time she has a match. She’s been awesome all year.
Independent NOMADS Summit Vol. 2 has come and gone, proving to be another hit for the indie promotion led by Natsu Sumire, Miyuki Takase, Rina Yamashita, and Maya Yukihi. Sumire had her rematch, teaming with Takase in a losing effort to SAKI and Hikari Shimizu.
The match worth talking about was the main event in two shows, the main event has proven to be a must-do affair every time so far. The match saw Nanae Takahashi and Hiroyo Matsumoto show off their old-school style against the modern team of Rina Yamashita and Yuu. From the opening bell, this match was physical. All four competitors bring something slightly different despite their powerful style and it created a top-notch tag team clash. It was Takahashi and Matsumoto who emerged victorious as Takahashi pinned Yamashita, but perhaps the biggest story of it all was when Jungle Kyona arrived and made it clear that she would be in NOMADS when she returned from her American excursion in the coming weeks. The match delivered and the upset was just as good, if not better.
The full results of the show are below.
Independent NOMADS Summit Vol. 2 (05/08/22)
- Maya Yukihi won. Yuko Sakurai
- Saori Anou, Tae Honma and Maika Ozaki won. Kaho Kobayashi, Makoto and Moeka Haruhi
- Ryo Mizunami defeats. Rina Amikura
- galaxy punch! (Hikari Shimizu & SAKI) won. Miyuki Takase and Natsu Sumire
- Nanae Takahashi and Hiroyo Matsumoto won. Rina Yamashita & Yuu
Here is the updated STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix standings after their second weekend of action.
RED STAR BLOCK
4 – Risa Sera
4 – Utami Hayashishita
2 – Syuri
2 – SAKI
2 – Mai Sakurai
2 – Tam Nakano
2 – AZM
0 – Maika
0 – Unagi Sayaka
0 – Momo Kogo
0 – Saki Kashima
BLUE STAR BLOCK
4 – MIRAI
4 – Hazuki
4 – Mina Shirakawa
4 – Saya Kamitani
4 – Natsupoi
2 – Friend Sourey
2 – Starlight Kid
2 – Mayu Iwatani
0 – Julia
0 – Saya Iida
0 – Suzu Suzuki
0 – Momo Watanabe
0 – Hanan
Matches to discover (8/10/22)
- Independent NOMADS Summit Vol. 2
- Rina Yamashita and Yuu vs Nanae Takahashi and Hiroyo Matsumoto
- Riko Kawahata vs. Maria
- Takumi Iroha vs. Itsuki Aoki
- Leo Isaka, Maria, Mio Momono, Takumi Iroha and Tomoko Watanabe against W-FIX (Chikayo Nagashima, DASH Chisako, KAORU and Megumi Yabushita)
- Mayu Iwatani vs. Hanan
- Syuri & Ami Sourei vs. Utami Hayashishita & AZM.
- Hazuki vs. Starlight Kid
- Saya Kamitani vs. Momo Watanabe
Other notable Joshi results from the weekend:
TJPW Yuki Kamifuku Local Return – Kewlest Town In Shonandai! (07/08/22)
- Hikari Noa won. Haruka Neko
- Hyper Misao won. Mahiro Kiryu and Pom Harajuku
- Yuna Manase defeats. Mocha Miyamoto
- Yuka Sakazaki and Raku won. Kaya Toribami and Suzume
- Hakuchumu (Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi) defeated. Arisu Endo and Shoko Nakajima
- Maki Itoh and Yuki Kamifuku won. Miyu Yamashita and Nao Kakuta
You can check out the latest episode of the Joshi Dream Cast here.