Fightful Joshi Journal (9/21/22): Gatoh Move's Mei Suruga & Yuna Mizumori Rise To The Occasion

This week's Fightful Joshi Journal keeps you up-to-date on all things Joshi while focusing on the incredible main event match between Mei Suruga and Yuna Mizumori from Gatoh Move's "Phoenix Rises" 10th Anniversary show. Plus we provide an update on the 5STAR Grand Prix standings and feature the matches worth checking out from this week in Joshi!


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Emi Sakura's Gatoh Move promotion celebrated its 10th Anniversary this past week with their "Phoenix Rises" event. The show highlighted the love of pro wrestling and what Gatoh Move has become for so many by showcasing the impressive roster put together while also highlighting some of the best wrestlers in the world. The show featured Joshi legends like Sakura of course along with Kaori Yoneyama. Super Asia Champion Baliyan Akki teamed with COLOR'S SAKI and AEW star and Emi Sakura trainee Riho which was a trio that gelled very well together. TJPW's Daisy Monkey -- Suzume and Arisu Endo -- traveled to the show to take on Gatoh Move's Sayaka and Chie Koishikawa in an incredibly fun tag team match. There was even a title match as DDT's Chris Brookes and Masahiro Takanashi successfully defended the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship against Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto. But the main reason to talk about this show was the main event.

Mei Suruga and Yuna Mizumori had the honor to main event such a special show in Gatoh Move history and made sure to put on what could be considered the best match in both of their careers. There was a lot to love about this match to the action itself, the respect they had for one another at the start and finish, the callbacks for the ChocoPro fans who have followed Gatoh Move through the pandemic, and the closing minutes which are up there with any match I’ve seen this year.

If you have never had the opportunity to watch Suruga wrestle then you are in for a treat. You’ve possibly seen her work in TJPW or STARDOM, two places she has shown her talents, but any time she is in Gatoh Move, she fully embraces who she is. There’s no one like Suruga. She is not only great at the whole wrestling thing but has more character and charisma than maybe even she can handle. Mei Suruga has the ability to be a wrestler that is remembered forever and she’s only just getting started. She is a special, special talent.

On the other side of the ring was Mizumori, who has all the makings to be special in her own right. She can often be seen being silly and funny but she’s so much more than that. The powerhouse of Gatoh Move embraces a lot of what works in the world of ChocoPro but when she has a chance to showcase what she’s made of, she doesn’t miss. This was the best match of her career and should open up many other chances for her to do it for Gatoh Move and elsewhere.

As I was saying prior, this match was a perfect way to cap off the 10th Anniversary celebration. You could tell throughout the match that main eventing this show was an honor. After all, Sakura has a long list of trainees who could have done the same or even herself, but she put to spotlight on these two to go out and show the world why they are worth paying attention to. They fly the flag for Gatoh Move now wherever they go. And you felt that in this match.

When the match was over and Suruga had gotten the win after those closing minutes of magic, they both cried in the ring before embracing. That is going to fill anyone up with joy. There’s a reason we use the word special because this was it. Mei and Yuna -- take a bow, you made fans around the world proud to be fans of Gatoh Move.

There are not enough good things to say about this match and the efforts these two women put on but it is a good reminder as to why professional wrestling is so special. Those tears. That importance. It all sits with you as a viewer and is a great realization as to why professional wrestling is the best. And, to give credit to Mei and Yuna, it’s why they’re so good at this. Making someone feel emotion because of a wrestling match is a class of wrestler that so few reach. Once again, bravo.

Anyone and everyone can and should check out this show, “Phoenix Rises,” on Gatoh Move’s YouTube channel here. It captures all of what Gatoh Move is and always has been in one show. A must-watch.


Here are the updated standings for the 5STAR Grand Prix following Day 17 of action this past Monday as the tournament heads into its final weekend before the finals.

RED STARS BLOCK

14 - AZM
14 - Maika
14 - Tam Nakano
13 - Risa Sera
12 - Himeka
12 - Utami Hayashishita
12 - Syuri
10 - Koguma
9 - Mai Sakurai
8 - Saki Kashima
8 - SAKI
2 - Unagi Sayaka
2 - Momo Kohgo

BLUE STARS BLOCK

14 - Hazuki
13 - Saya Kamitani
13 - MIRAI
13 - Giulia
11 - Mayu Iwatani
10 - Ami Sourei
10 - Natsupoi
10 - Starlight Kid
8 - Suzu Suzuki
6 - Momo Watanabe
6 - Mina Shirakawa
4 - Saya Iida
0 - Hanan

Matches Worth Checking Out (9/21/22)

  • STARDOM
    • Natsupoi vs. Starlight Kid
    • Saya Kamitani vs. MIRAI
    • Tam Nakano vs. Risa Sera
    • Momo Watanabe vs. Suzu Suzuki
  • Gatoh Move
    • Mei Suruga vs. Yuna Mizumori
  • Marvelous
    • Mio Momono & Ayame Sasamura vs. Maria & Riko Kawahata
    • Rin Kadokura & Itsuki Aoki vs. Takumi Iroha & Chikayo Nagashima

Other notable Joshi results from the weekend:

Marvelous Shinkiba

  • Momo Tani def. Ai Houzan
  • Bryan Ishizaka & Hibiscus Mii def. Leo Isaka & Tomoko Watanabe
  • Mio Momono & Ayame Sasamura vs. Maria & Riko Kawahata ends in a 20-minute draw
  • AAAW Tag Team Championship: Takumi Iroha & Chikayo Nagashima def. Rina Kadokura & Itsuki Aoki (c) to crown new champions

Check out our latest Joshi interviews with Maki Itoh, Miyu Yamashita, and Tam Nakano.

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