So, here’s the Joshi edition of my thoughts on who has stood out the most in 2018, also news from DDT and other bits at the end. There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter, again, of Joshi division in New Japan or whatever, but there are plenty of companies in Japan that cater to women’s wrestling, and its history is rich. So if you are keen on discovering womens wrestling in Japan, search out Stardom, Sendai, TJPW, Ice Ribbon, Wave, Marvelous etc who are all either female only or female orientated, there’s also DDT and W1 who promote womens wrestling or intergender wrestling on male dominated cards. It is out there, stop being lazy and go watch the vast array of talent already honing their craft in established places.
Wrestler of the Year: Mayu Iwatani (STARDOM)
Rookie of the Year: Utami Hayashishita (STARDOM)
Utami took this mainly due to the fact that she is so good so quick into her career, other Joshi contenders, Ayame Sasamura, affiliated with KDOJO but wrestles for Sendai and others and Manami, a Sendai Girl’s trainee.
Match of the Year: Momo Watanabe vs Mayu Iwatani (STARDOM True Fight)
This Wonder of Stardom title match was an absolute banger. Kagetsu vs Storm also in the running, as well as Sendai vs Stardom from a few weeks back.
Moment of the Year: ASUKA winning the Regina di WAVE Championship
Tag Team of the Year: Hana Kimura & ASUKA (Wrestle-1)
Promotion of the Year: STARDOM
Sendai really failed to capitalise on the launching of their streaming platform and the inaccessibility to other promotions can be detrimental. That being said the wrestling in Ice Ribbon, WAVE etc is just as good but I still felt like in ring, STARDOM have had a better year despite losing Io Shirai.
Promotion to Watch for Future: TJPW
DDT affiliate TJPW have an undeniable talent in Miyu Yamashita, a loyal fanbase and easy to access content, TJPW is very entertaining even though some of the talent still are weak in ring. They are definitely ones to keep an eye out for, especially with strong financial footing with Abema TV.
This Week In Puro;
– DDT: Konosuke Takeshita defeated Go Shiozaki to win the D-Oh Grand Prix. Yoshimura was injured in a tag team match against Sasaki & Puma King.
– Sendai Girls: Cassandra Miyagi will be going freelance in January, rumours suggest TJPW as a likely destination.
– WAVE: Misaki Ohata had her retirement match yesterday in Korakuen Hall, defeating Ryo Mizunami for the Regina di WAVE title. I’m unsure what will happen with the belt going forward.