With the Summer Sun Princess ’23 show, TJP had one of the biggest shows of their year on Saturday. The show had 1222 fans in attendance in the Ota Ward Gymnasium that was main evented by Mizuki retaining her Princess Of Princess Championship over Maki Itoh.
The show opened with the return of Juria Nagano, who came back after five months after a finger injury and teamed up with Moka Miyamoto to face Suzume and Arisu Endo. This was the typical Daisy Monkey big show opening match with fast-paced action and good chemistry to heat up the crowd, and it always works. Suzume and Endo have become very reliable to perform on a high level and their push as a Tag Team is only a matter of time. Endo picked up the win by tapping out the returning Nagano with the Camel Clutch. Juria looked good in her return, despite tapping out, while Moka continues on her path of steady improvement and growing confidence in the ring. The next match was the match between the young Wrestlers of TJPW when Haruna Neko, HIMAWARI, Mahiro Kiryu & Shino Suzuki faced Haru Kazashiro, Kaya Toribami, Runa Okubo & Toga. This was a solid bout with everyone getting some shine, especially Toga, Shino, and HIMAWARI stood out.
In the third match, it ASUKA and Yuki Kamifuku teamed up to face Ryo Mizunami and Nao Kakuta. The entrance of VENYU here was incredible, with ASUKA and Yuki stealings the show once again. The match itself was totally fine, with especially the interactions between ASUKA and Mizunami standing out here. Both went crazy in this and proved why they are two of the best Joshi Wrestlers in the entire world. They wrestled with a quality only a handful of wrestlers can compete. The interactions between Nao Kakuta and Yuki Kamifuku also were good. Nao picks up the win by pinning Yuki Kamifuku.
The first Championship Match of the show was for the DEFY Women’s Title when Vert Vixen defends her title against TJPWs Hikari Noa. The match was totally fine. Vert wins the match and retains her Championship in nearly 10 minutes. Noa did pretty well as the much smaller underdog and had the crowd firmly behind her and cheering on for her. Her losing another match isn’t surprising, since she gets downcycled a lot since losing the International Championship.
The typical Hyper Misao comedy match also was on this show, with her and Shoko Nakajima facing Aja Kong & Raku and Max The Impaler & Pom Harajuku in a three-way match. This featured all the comedy spots imaginable from these six, with Raku and Aja Kong stealing the show. They are one of the best random pairings going in wrestling right now and made this incredibly entertaining. Shoko Nakajima picks up the win for Kyoraku Kyomei after pinning Pom with the Senton Bomb.
Nyla Rose made her long-awaited return to Japan in the next match against Miu Watanabe. Nyla was a regular for Marvelous until 2019 when she joined AEW full-time and the pandemic hit. She was scheduled here to face Yuka Sakazaki, who sadly suffered a neck injury and couldn’t compete, so instead the former AEW Women’s Champion faced Miu Watanabe, who is the biggest underdog, and she showed in this match why. She bumped fantastic for the power moves of Rose, while she used her strength perfectly to start her comebacks. The crowd was totally behind her and wanted her to win. Nyla also played her role great and beat the living crap out of Miu Watanabe and put her perfectly into the underdog role. Miu came close several times to beating Nyla, but the veteran was too much for the future Top Star of TJPW and defeated pinned her with the Beast Bomb.
Miyu Yamashita defended her EVE Championship against Sawyer Wreck in a messy but solid brawl. Perfectly solid David Vs. Goliath type match with Wreck dominating Miyu for most of the match until the Champion makes a quick comeback and defeats Wreck in a bit over 11 minutes to retain her title. She will now walk into All In Weekend as the EVE Champion and will defend her title there.
NEO Biishiki-gun made their return to TJPW, with Mei Saint-Michel & Sakisama facing Wakana Uehara & Yuki Arai. The focus here of course was on Arai and Sakisama, who delivered good interactions with each other and seemingly built up a future singles match before Sakisama retires. Wakana also performed well here, despite her inexperience and just debuting in January, and Mei Saint-Michel continues to be an absolute menace with how she performs in these kinds of matches. In the end, Sakisama pinned Uehara for the win, but this does not seem over between Sakisama and Yuki Arai with a potential match at Wrestle Princess coming.
In the semi-main event, the International Princess Championship was on the line when Yuki Aino challenged Rika Tatsumi. Aino earned this shot after defeating Arisu Endo in the Main Event of the Korakuen Hall show last month. Aino has not been standing out a lot in the last couple of years but especially after Tenma retired Aino stepped up her game and improved. Her improvement was fully seen for the first time in the Ryo Mizunami Tag Team Match, where she and Aniki delivered fantastic sequences. Since then, she has been on the run of her lifetime, and it continues here with her match against Rika Tatsumi. The White Dragon has been one of the best female Wrestlers in the world for a while now and is known to deliver in big matches, and nothing else happened here. She and Aino had fantastic chemistry and delivered an amazing IP Championship match. They built up the drama really well with several great near falls. In the end, the Champion prevailed and retained the International Princess Championship for a 4th time, which ties the defense record. Rika’s run has been fantastic, and she continues to prove that she is one of the most consistent performers in the entire world.
In the Main Event, Maki Itoh challenged Mizuki for the Princess Of Princess Championship. These two go long back, with both being Tag Team Partners for a long time and then being rivals. The match had a massive match feel to it and elevated the match from the first moment. This match was just fantastic, with both wrestlers doing a great job throughout the match of selling their history and the importance of winning this match to them. It was very hard-hitting and kept up a great pace considering the length of this match was over 25 minutes. The crowd’s investment in Itoh made the whole thing feel bigger, too. They were rooting for her, but at the end of the day, Mizuki was too good and defeated her with the Cutie Special clean. Itoh once again fails to claim the big one and will continue to never give up until she has the belt in her hand. On the other side, Mizuki continues her run on the top with her 3rd defense and will head into Wrestle Princess as POP Champion.
This match was a reminder of how truly great Maki Itoh can be. The build to this match was lackluster, due to Itoh not being in the country, but they were able to play off their history and put together what is easily TJPW’s match of the year so far. A match that every Joshi fan should seek out, whether you like TJPW or not.
TJPW also announced the brackets of the 10th Princess Cup. The winner will challenge Mizuki for the Princess Of Princess Championship at Wrestle Princess in the fall of the year.
The first-round Matches of the Princess Cup:
Miyu Yamashita vs. Mizuki
Hyper Misao vs. Moka Miyamoto
Rika Tatsumi vs. Raku
Suzume vs. Shoko Nakajima
Yuki Kamifuku vs. Nao Kakuta
Yuki Aino vs. Miu Watanabe
Arisu Endo vs. Mahiro Kiryu
Hikari Noa vs. Yuki Arai
The second match of the generation struggle happened on the Korakuen Hall show. The team of Syuri, Giulia, Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano clashed with Suzu Suzuki, MIRAI, Saya Kamitani, and Maika in an Elimination Match. The match went over 28 minutes and ended with Giulia eliminating Maika with a roll-up to win the match for her team. It was the first time in 232 days that Maika got pinned in the ring. The last time was on the NJPW/Stardom Historic X-over show on November 22nd, 2022 when Utami pinned her. Maika was one of two STARDOM Wrestlers that have not been pinned in 2023 together with the IWGP Women’s Champion Mayu Iwatani. They set up that the September 9th Korakuen Hall 5STAR Show is the third part of the Generation Struggle. On this show Suzu Suzuki faces Tam Nakano, Syuri faces Saya Kamitani and Giulia faces her Donna del Mondo partner Maika.
Also on the Korakuen Hall show, Koguma challenged Saki Kashima for the High-Speed Championship and Saori Anou & Natsupoi will challenge Gold Rose for the Goddesses Of Stardom Championship. Both matches will happen on the August 13th Osaka Edion #1 Show.
STARDOM Wrestlers also were in action outside of STARDOM, with one of them even claiming some gold. Giulia challenged Willow Nightingale for the STRONG Women’s Championship on the second night of the NJPW STRONG Independence Day Show in Korakuen Hall. In the beginning, they had some communication problems, but it picked up once they figured it out after 1-2 minutes. From then on they had a fantastic match with the crowd being on their feet loving both wrestlers. Giulia hit the Kamigoye and the Northern Lights Bomb to defeat Willow and win the STRONG Women’s Championship. This is her 6th Championship since joining STARDOM and now opens the door to the entire world. Giulia is fantastic and obviously deserves this title, and it’s a shame that Willow was only a transitional champion, but it makes sense with what they are heading to.
Also, Utami Hayashishita started her tour in the United States with two matches in GCW and JCW. Her first match was against the young talent Billie Starkz on July 8th on GCW’s “Clean Up Man” Show. Utami came out looking like the Star she is and had the crowd chanting her name before she even made her entrance. The Red Queen of Stardom delivered what you can expect from her – greatness. She looked great out there and instantly connected with the crowd. The got the American Indy match build up in her and delivered it well. Billie looked great as well. She showed good fire and aggression here. Overall, they had a good bout that Utami won with the Torture Rack Bomb. The second match was on the 9th in JCW against Janai Kai and this is really cool for Kai. She often mentioned how much she loves Kagetsu and Utami is together with Saya Iida a trainee of his. So her facing off against the student of one of her idols is amazing, and she did great. Janai dominated the match and Utami bumped for Kai and made her shine, which was fantastic to see. Utami defeated Kai with the German Suplex. Her last scheduled match on the tour is against LuFirsto on July 14th.