The excitement in the Joshi world right now revolves around the success of Stardom and where they are taking the style. That being said, there’s so much more than just Stardom out there to enjoy the style that is Joshi wrestling. Japan is packed with some of the world’s best talents, and many of them are competing in TJPW, SEAdLINNNG, Sendai Girls, and so many others. But then there are the freelancers of Joshi, who make their marks as the best in all of these promotions. Since the end of 2021, we have seen Maya Yukihi, Miyuki Takase, and two Joshi sub groups Prominence and Color’s really become the talk of the talk on the scene by working everywhere. And that’s where NOMADS’ comes in.
Led by Yukihi, Takase, Rina Yamashita, and Natsu Sumire, NOMADS’ is holding its first Freelance Summit this Friday and it has already sold out. The group is looking to bring the best of the best freelancers in all of Joshi together for these summit shows rather than in a separate promotion. It feels like a necessary move as being a freelancer on the scene isn’t as glamorous as it feels in some fans’ eyes. Yes, they have the freedom to wrestle where they want, but having to work as much as possible without a contract is never the easiest thing to do. Without the backing of a promotion, it becomes harder on these wrestlers to get the attention they deserve and the hope is that NOMADS’ can change that. Takase made it clear in the original press conference that since Actwres girl’Z shutdown, she has received far less press in articles and just less coverage overall. It’s a shame but the reality of the situation without the backing of a promotion. There’s a reason both Takase and Yamashita will be traveling to the United States at the beginning of June and it’s to continue making a name for themselves worldwide. As much as fans love seeing these top-tier wrestlers here, there, and everywhere, it’s a grind to make it work and it feels NOMADS’ has a chance to get them the credit they deserve in the long run. My hope is that it does.
The anticipation for such a venture is high (obviously with the sold-out crowd) as it feels like the jolt the Joshi independent scene has needed as well as one that can be the start of something special for freelance wrestlers in the Joshi scene. The first show has all the makings and deserves the attention of wrestling fans as so many incredible talents come together.
NOMADS’ Freelance Summit: A Card Worth Checking Out
Every solid card needs to start off well to create interest. The NOMADS’ group has put together a five-match card for their debut in a sold-out Shinjuku FACE. The card really builds to something special as it kicks off with Tae Honma facing Momoka Hanazono in the opening match. For anyone who checked out Stardom’s NEW BLOOD 2, Hanazono teamed with Waka Tsukiyama in a losing effort on the show but displayed both her quirky side and athletic side. Honma, 36, is likely to win in this one, as she is known by fans for her time in Actwres girl’Z and Ice Ribbon.
Next up will see a big-time trios match as Joshi legend Kaori Yoneyama teams with Maika Ozaki and one-half of the SEA Tag Team Champions Makoto to take on the Color’s trio of Hikari Shimizu, Rina Amikura, and Yuko Sakurai. There is a lot to like about this match as each wrestler brings a certain style to the matchup. Shimizu trying to kick the heads off of her opponents while Yoneyama uses her high-speed ability and comedic chops to make this, well, a Yoneyama match. Amikura and Makoto trading with one another is an intriguing battle as they have the power games to really shake this one up. It’s a toss-up as to who will walk out as the winners but the Color’s trio surely has the advantage in this one.
It’s the final three matches on the card that really scream the potential of where NOMADS’ can go. The first of the three will see Hiroyo Matsumoto take on the returning Kaho Kobayashi. When Kobayashi steps into the ring Friday, it will be her first match in nearly a year which makes this a must-see encounter. Matsumoto is a 17-year veteran who has done it all but still is wrestling at the top of her game all these years later. If you think she will be going easy on Kobayashi in her first match back, you’d be sadly mistaken. Depending on where Kobayashi is at the moment in her readiness, this could be the match that steals the show.
The semi-main event of the evening will see SAKI of Color’s team with Saori Anou to take on the uberly-talented team of ASUKA and Yuu. It’s easy to dream of SAKI and ASUKA just trading boots back and forth but the fact of the matter is that Yuu is going to chop her opponents into another stratosphere and we are here for it. Anou, Yuu, and ASUKA have all interacted in Sendai Girls recently, however, it was Anou and Yuu who teamed up against ASUKA in a trios match. These four are some of the best freelancers on the Joshi scene right now and if anyone doubts that, they’ll put them on notice with this match. ASUKA and Yuu are the favorites to grab the victory in this one.
NOMADS’ has created a fantastic main event for the first-ever show. Three-fourths of the core driving NOMADS’ will compete in this one as it will be Rina Yamashita teaming with Maya Yukihi to take on Miyuki Takase and Ryo Mizunami. There’s so much to love about this match starting with the hard-hitting Yamashita. Her extreme side is what gains her popularity among western fans as she will be competing in GCW’s Tournament of Survival at the beginning of June but when she’s not doing deathmatches, she’s destroying her opponents with her violent offense. Yamashita and Takase actually teamed earlier this year in a challenge for PURE-J’s tag team titles. They came up short but that alone is worth checking out. Moving on, Yukihi has the most accolades of anyone in this match. During her career with Ice Ribbon, the talented Yukihi won the ICExInfinity Championship two times and won the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship with Risa Sera on five different occasions. She has the pedigree to be a mega leading force for NOMADS’ and should show it in this match. On the other side is Takase and Mizunami. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how incredible Takase is as a professional wrestler. Not only has she been one of the best this year but she currently sits as one of the true best in the world. Her mixture of chest-rattling strikes and energized offense means she is going to put on a show here in the main event. Finally, Ryo Mizunami completes the main event. Mizunami is most recently a Beyond The Sea Champion but many fans know her for winning the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament and going on to challenge AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida at Revolution in 2021. There’s zero doubt these four have what it takes to main event such an important show and there’s even less doubt in expecting them to deliver in this one. Yamashita and Yukihi should have what it takes to win here but it’s a coinflip.
NOMADS’ Freelance Summit has a shot to be something special for Joshi and it all starts Friday, so make sure to be a part of it!
You can order the first NOMADS’ Freelance Summit here: https://nomads-fs.zaiko.io/item/348336