Nobody in Wrestling has had the rise in 2022 that Miu Watanabe has. The Saitama born Wrestler was able to capture her first-ever singles Belt in her career after defeating Alex Windsor at Wrestle Princess 3 a couple of weeks ago. Miu has came a long, emotional way to reach this point in her career.
Miu Watanabe joined TJPW after taking part in a casting to join the subunit of the Idol Group “Up Up Girls”. The casting happened in collaboration with DDT. Miu then made her wrestling debut in 2018 in a Tag Team Match together with her Up Up Girls Partner Hinano against the other two Up Up Girls Hikaru Noa and Raku. Her first big success in her wrestling career happened 18 months later at the annual DDT Ultimate Party show in 2019. Miu and her Tag Team Partner Rika Tatsumi were able to capture the Princess Tag Team Titles from Sakisama & Misao. The Tag Team known under the name “Hakuchumu” or the translated name “Daydream” held the belts for 370 days, which is still the longest run in the history of the Championship.
Only three months later, Miu got her first big singles title opportunity against the back then newly crowned Princess Of Princess Champion and her own Tag Team Partner Rika Tatsumi. The “White Dragon” is one of the four pillars of TJPW and just won the belt by defeating another pillar, Yuka Sakazaki. The Match between the two Tag Partners showed Miu’s potential but she had still a far way to go to get to the top of the Promotion. While Miu lost the match, it was the first time fans saw in Miu what everyone sees right now in her – A future Ace Of the Promotion
A Battle Full With Energy: Miu Watanabe’s Match vs Ryo Mizunami
At the Summer Sun Princess ’22 Show Miu Watanabe was scheduled to face “The Babe With The Power” Willow Nightingale who is currently breaking out on her own in AEW but due to visa issues, Willow couldn’t come to Japan so TJPW need a replacement to face Miu and they found the perfect replacement – Ryo Mizunami. The 14-year vet stepped in a TJPW for the first time to face Watanabe in a special singles match. Both came out showing a lot of energy in front of a hot cheering crowd. Miu has unreal babyface energy that makes you want to cheer her. She’s one of the most likable Wrestlers in the world, easy to root for and this match perfectly shows why. Aniki beat down the less experienced Miu for the whole match with stiff lariats and strikes, but Miu comes back every time and tries to conquer the veteran with her power. The focal point of this match was Miu’s famous Giant Swing. She tried it multiple times, but wasn’t able to pull it off at first. The crowd got invested and cheered louder and louder for Miu to pull the unthinkable off. The frustration and doubts on her face were clearly seen, but she never gave up, tried it again and swung Mizunami around to an outstanding crowd reaction. In the end, Miu wasn’t able to overcome Ryo’s experience, but she put on an unforgivable and emotional fight. She couldn’t hold the tears back on the way out. Miu might have lost the match, but she walked out with more momentum than before and looked like a million bucks. The perfect example of how a Wrestler can gain something from a loss.
A Star Making Tokyo Princess Cup
Only a week after her Match against Aniki the annual Princess Cup started. Coming into this tournament, Miu was seen as a dark horse to win the Cup, but she proved everyone wrong quickly. After defeating Arisu Endo in the first round, Miu faced the back then-current Princess Of Princess Champion Shoko Nakajima in the quarter-final of the tournament. It was a rematch from the 2021 Princess Cup Semi Final, which Shoko was able to win. Just like a year ago, the two-time POP Champion came as the heavy favorite into this match against the underdog Watanabe, but Miu put on a great performance and shined against the far more experienced Shoko and was able to beat the Big Kaiju after the Teardrop.
Defeating one pillar in this tournament wasn’t enough for Miu and she aimed to defeat another one with the Ace of TJPW Miyu Yamashita. The Pink Striker tried to win her first Tokyo Princess Cup, but for what that she needed to beat Miu. Yamashita gave everything in that match, she looked unbeatable on this day and dominated Miu. The Underdog always came back and showed how much she wanted to win more than anything else. She gave everything for the sake of victory and with her performance got the crowd and the viewers in front of their TV behind her. Everyone wanted her to win this match and conquer the Ace of TJPW. When Miu ducked the Skull Kick to hit the Tear Drop for the three count, the crowd exploded in happiness. Miu’s heart overcame another Pillar and made it possible that she advances to the final of the Princess Cup.
But in the Final, another pillar waited for her. After Shoko and Miyu now the Magical Girl Yuka Sakazaki waits for Miu with the winner challenging Shoko Nakajima in the Main Event of Wrestle Princess 3. Yuka looked stronger than ever in this tournament after steam rolling two of the future Stars of TJPW in Hikari Noa & Suzume without any bigger problems to advance to the final. Here, Yuka didn’t have such an easy match. She needed to fight for every offense and when she did, she needed to expect that Miu stands up again and fights back. Miu kicks out at everything Yuka threw at her. It was her moment to win the tournament, but not with this Yuka who hit the Miracle Merry-Go-Round to end the match and the cinderella story of Miu who laid on her back crying with a broken heart while Yuka was celebrating her Cup win. Not only the heart of Miu was broken on that day, but also the heart of many Fans out there. Everyone was behind her, rooting for her and believed in her winning, but this wasn’t her time. She was able to prove here that she can hang in with some of the best TJPW can offer and even can beat them while being the youngest Wrestler on the TJPW Roster. She looked like a main eventer throughout the entire tournament, delivering the best matches, the best moments and got everyone hooked in her journey to the top of the Promotion.
Crowning Moment at Wrestle Princess 3
After not being able to win the Princess Cup Miu Watanabe had her eye on the International Princess Title. She beat Suzume in a number 1 Contender match to get a chance against Alex Windsor at Wrestle Princess 3 which is the biggest show of the year. Everyone hoped that this is Miu’s moment but she was the clear underdog in this match against one of the best UK Women’s wrestlers on the planet in Alex Windsor. It’s rare that Miu is physically inferior to her opponent. She was practically overwhelmed in every phase of the match, but she showed heart and fought hard to get her impressive power offense in against Windsor. The crowd wanted her to win and cheered her on in the tough battle against Windsor. Just like they did in the TPC final but unlike the final this time she was able to pull it off. She hits the tear drop after 10 minutes crowns herself the new International Princess Champion. Miu instantly cried out happy tears and celebrating her title win. She proved every fan who put stocks in her correct on that day.
The story of Miu is a beautfiul & emotional rolercoaster that you only see rarely in wrestling. A big emotional loss that made everyone sad leading in the Princess Cup lead to a big win at Wrestle Princess with everyone celebrating. An incredible underdog that is destined for bigger things in Wrestling and this is just the start. She feels like a future Ace that can carry the Promotion on her back in the next 10 years.