Been a bit busy lately, but I’m back with some updates/questions!
First of all, here’s a fun TJPW match:
This is Raku and Pom Harajuku vs Sakisama and Mei Saint-Michel from TJPW’s Korakuen show on February 11, 2022. I’m delighted to say that it has the entrances for both teams, as well as Japanese commentary! This was one of my favorite matches on this show.
This match is much lighter fare than a lot of what I’ve shared. Sakisama is one of the most powerful wrestlers in TJPW, and as the story goes, she met Mei in the woods while playing a flute, and Sakisama then decided to take Mei under her wing and train her to be a maid. They’re both members of NEO Biishiki-gun (NEO美威獅鬼軍), which is TJPW’s sole heel faction. They held the tag titles for a good chunk of last year, but lost them back in October. This match was their return to TJPW after a few months away.
Raku and Pom are, well, two of the weakest wrestlers on the TJPW roster, haha! Their matches tend to be more enjoyable for character moments/comedy than really athletic workrate performances, and neither of them have racked up many significant wins. Raku is an idol (she’s a member of the Up Up Girls, who sing at the beginning of every TJPW show), and she’s obsessed with trains. Her moveset includes sorcery, haha, which she uses to put her opponents literally to sleep by singing to them. Pom is very crafty and frequently silly.
In this match, the underdogs Pom and Raku essentially try their best to outwit and counter the beautiful and evil NEO Biishiki-gun. There are a lot of shenanigans! It’s a good example of the comedy side of TJPW, which is a major part of the company.
There have been quite a few TJPW shows in the past couple weeks! More than usual, which has been keeping me very busy. If you have a Wrestle Universe subscription, I highly recommend watching their pool show, which has a similar tone (and happened at the same pool) as the one DDT did in 2019 (also highly recommend this one). I doubt they’ll put this match on youtube, but it’s essentially like 45 minutes of people doing a bunch of very stupid but very entertaining things at a pool.
The first show I actually tried translating was their February 19 show (here’s the recap), which was just a normal house show. This one unfortunately taught me a bunch of covid-related vocabulary, because a large chunk of their roster had to miss the show either because they were sick, or had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive.
Mizuki closed out the show, and a few of her lines were a little confusing to me, haha! Here is what she said: “今日は欠場の人がいっぱいで不安だなって。こんなときこそ応援してくれるみんなも一致団結して。できることはきっちりやって。いつでも休んで、いつでも戻ってこれるくらいの世界にして。ずっと温かい、瑞希の好きな空間であってほしいから、みんなも一緒にいてください”.
The line that confused me the most was: “いつでも休んで、いつでも戻ってこれるくらいの世界にして。” I translated this as “We’re making the kind of world where you can rest whenever you want and come back whenever you want”. But I wasn’t exactly sure if that was correct?
My other question from this show was more of a translation flavor question. One line from Shoko Nakajima’s comment (or at least, the caption on twitter) was: “全力でやることが送り出すことだと思うし、こんなに強い相手と私は両国のタイトルマッチ前にシングルでしっかりやれたことが自分の糧にもなってると思うので”. I translated this as: “I think giving it all you got is a good way to see someone off, and having a tough singles match with a strong opponent before my title match in Ryogoku has also been good nourishment for me.” Yomichan tells me that 糧 means food or nourishment, and my Japanese dictionary said that it originally referred to food carried on trips. Because Shoko is a kaiju, I thought the food metaphor was fun, but if this adds connotations to her line that aren’t supposed to be there, then I want to change it, haha.
I also finished translating the February 23 show (recap here), which was a lot more exciting, and a lot less depressing! This show set up several new feuds for TJPW’s upcoming big Ryogoku show.
Something I found interesting was that Rika Tatsumi, who has had an unrequited crush on Mizuki for years, declared that she thought she might snatch away Mizuki along with Mizuki and Yuka’s tag titles, but she has learned that Mizuki and Yuka’s bond is inseparable, so she’s given up on that. We’ll see how long this lasts, haha!
One of the new developments in this show was they announced Hyper Misao vs DDT’s president Sanshiro Takagi for TJPW’s Ryogoku show on March 19. Takagi actually came out after Misao’s match and entered the ring, and she talked about how if he had been the Sanshiro Takagi of eight years ago, she would’ve been excited to face him, because seeing him in DDT in 2014 was one of the things that made her want to become a wrestler, but now he is just an ordinary manager who only cares about numbers. Misao then said, “3・19両国で、あなたにあこがれてプロレスラーになった女があなたに引導を渡すんですよ”.
引導を渡す was a little tricky to translate! According to Yomichan, it means to perform the last rights over the deceased, or to give someone final notice, or to give someone the final word. I went with the first definition, here: “On March 19 in Ryogoku, the woman who admired you so much that she became a pro wrestler will be the one to perform your last rights.”
I thought Takagi’s response to this was pretty funny, though they didn’t include my favorite part in the recap. It was in the caption to his comment on twitter, though. They asked him about his shoulders (he’d gotten injured recently), and he said: “左肩は上がらないけど右肩は上がる。五十肩です。”五十“も数字だけど関係ない”. He commented that he has stiff shoulders, 五十肩, which also happens to contain 五十, which is, of course, 50! This was after Misao accused him of only caring about numbers, and he proceeded to talk about viewer numbers on Wrestle Universe, and then ”五十“肩, which is also a number. I laughed, anyway, haha!
There were a few words I tried to get a little more clarification on by googling, but couldn’t quite get a good handle on. One of them was メチャメチャ, which appeared in Takagi’s line here: “お互いにメチャメチャな試合をしようじゃないか”.
The other word was でたらめ, which appeared in Misao’s response: “一番でたらめなのはハイパーミサヲだ！” I could get a rough sense of it, but that was it, and the Japanese definition wasn’t too terribly helpful.
The other major note from this show was that Nodoka Tenma challenged her sister Yuki Aino to a singles match at Ryogoku. It’ll be their first and last time facing each other in a singles match, because Nodoka is retiring from wrestling shortly after (she’s retiring so that she can devote her energy to her farm).
In their post match comments (on twitter here), Shoko had one line that I couldn’t figure out. She said: “一つ心残りがあるとすれば、もうちょっとで合体がうまくいったのに”. I’m pretty sure she’s referring to a tag move she and Yuki and Nodoka have, where they get on each other’s shoulders (they didn’t quite manage to pull off the move in the match, since Raku’s sorcery put Nodoka to sleep before they could finish executing it).
They’re all tokusatsu fans, if you couldn’t tell from their name for their team, which is 東女特撮部, haha, so I’m pretty sure this is tokusatsu lingo, but I’m not overly familiar with the genre, so it was hard to translate. I went with: “If there’s one thing I regret, it’s that we came so close to being able to combine.” Nodoka also had a line that I didn’t quite get: “今日メチャクチャいける気がした”. The word メチャクチャ was tricky! At first I misread it as Misao’s メチャメチャ!
And that’s all that I have to say about TJPW, at least for now!
In other news, a new Japanese pro wrestling group just formed, NOMADS, which consists entirely of freelance joshi wrestlers (including Maya Yukihi, who I’ve talked about here before, Rina Yamashita, who might have also come up here, as well as Sumire Natsu, known mostly for her work in Stardom, and many others, like Asuka, who I have also talked about here before)! I really love to support women-run wrestling things, so I’m very excited for their future!
Something super exciting about NOMADS is that they managed to land none other than Mr. Haku as their translator! I’m thrilled that they got the best translator in the business, and that Mr. Haku is still staying in the industry (he actually just did commentary for Ganbare Pro’s first show with English commentary, which was a joy to watch). As he put it on twitter, he’s a good fit for NOMADS because he’s also freelance with no home.
The official twitter account for NOMADS is here. Their first event is on May 22. I’ll add them to the list of promotions at the beginning of this thread once we have more information about them!