Wednesday 7/22: Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling Brand New Wrestling 4
(Streams live at 10:30PM EDT on Wrestle Universe.)
The theme in my picks this week seems to be Korakuen Hall, as all three shows occur at the renowned Tokyo venue. This Tokyo Joshi Pro show shares the venue with its sibling promotion DDT, providing the first set in a full day of big matches.
Princess of Princess Champion Yuka Sakazaki main events the show in her 3rd title defense, against Bakuretsu Sister Yuki Aino. The Princess Tag Championships are also being defended by current tag champs Daydream (Rika Tatsumi & Miu Watanabe) in what’s also their 3rd defense. Shoko Nakajima & Hyper Misao challenge for those titles.
This show also marks Yuna Manase’s last match as a regular in TJPW. She tags with Nodoka Tenma & Maki Ito against the formidable team of Natsumi Maki, Mizuki & Miyu Yamashita in her farewell match. Manase announced that’s she’s returning to full-time freelancing at a recent press conference, and as she mentioned STARDOM and Actwres girl’Z at that event her current plans are yet to be revealed.— Nigel Spudes
Thursday 7/23: DDT Summer Vacation 2020
(Streams live at 5AM EDT on Wrestle Universe.)
This show holds an odd place in DDT chronology, as it’s the first major show since their flagship Peter Pan show in June. However, circumstances prevented fans from being allowed at that event, making this the first big show with fans since Judgment in March.
That’s a fair amount of pressure, which KO-D Openweight Champion Tetsuya Endo and challenger Yuki Ueno seem more than equipped to meet in the main event. Endo and Ueno have similarly athletic, aerial styles, as well as a willingness to push themselves harder than may be strictly advisable, which make this a dark horse match of the year contender to watch.
Other notable matches include the trio of Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi, Yukio Sakaguchi & Saki Akai) defending their KO-D Six Man Tag Championships against the new trio of HARASHIMA, Antonio Honda and former AEW Women’s World Champion Riho. Chris Brookes also tags with his friend, Big Japan’s Drew Parker, against DAMNATION’s Daisuke Sasaki and Nobuhiro Shimatani, and Jun Akiyama leads his team of Makoto Oishi, Mizuki Watase & Hideki Okatani against Konosuke Takeshita, Akito, Shunma Katsumata & Yuki Iino.— Nigel Spudes
Saturday 7/25: New Japan Pro Wrestling Sengoku Lord in Nagoya
(Streams live at 5 AM EDT on New Japan World.)
It’s a whole new era for New Japan Pro Wrestling, specifically the EVIL DICK Era. It’s also the era of no wrestlers from outside of Japan (or New Zealand) because there is a global pandemic. It’s also the era of Master Wato, who I will not hear a single word against if you know what’s good for you.
Sengoku Lord in Nagoya has EVIL’s first defense since turning heel, winning the New Japan Cup, joining Bullet Club, winning both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships, and aligning with Dick Togo. The defense is against none other than his former Young Lion BFF and LIJ comrade, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and best guy around Hiromu Takahashi. It’s also got Shingo Takagi defending the NEVER title against El Desperado! And for some reason Kazuchika Okada is feuding with Yujiro Takahashi. It’s great. Jay White is coming back probably, Bullet Club has never been this cool.— LB Hunktears
Saturday 7/25: All Japan Pro Wrestling 2020 Summer Action Series Final Round
(Streams live at 5:30AM EDT on AJPW TV.)
All Japan’s Korakuen Hall show is pulling no punches. It sees current champ Suwama defending his Triple Crown title against his Violent Giants tag partner Shuji Ishikawa in what will be an extremely physical (and crowd-pleasing) main event. While it’s a major match on its own, it may also have ramifications elsewhere in All Japan, as Violent Giants are still the current World Tag Team champions and their friendship may be tested by the outcome of this match.
Dragon Gate veteran Susumu Yokosuka has been an excellent AJPW Junior Heavyweight champion since winning the title in January. Yokosuka makes his 6th defense of the title here against Sweeper faction member Koji Iwamoto. Contendership for the All Asia Tag Team Championships will also be decided on this show, and the teams of Zeus & Izanagi, Yoshitatsu & Seigo Tachibana and TAJIRI & KAI compete in a 3-way tag match for the right to challenge title holders Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto.— Nigel Spudes