TJPW: Reviewing Maki Itoh’s Journey to Tokyo Princess Cup Victory!

Dreams come true! Maki Itoh wins the 8th annual TJPW Tokyo Princess Cup! As every fan of Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling knows, they just concluded their 8th Princess Cup tournament and the winner this year was the shockingly popular Maki Itoh. It was a hard-earned and toughly fought tournament for Maki-chan and she more than deserves the big win here, as she was getting to be known as the girl who could never win the big one. With this tournament win, her fortunes seem to be reversing for the better.

When you looked at the bracket when the tournament was announced, you figured that Maki Itoh would have an easy time getting to the finals, given how she had a bye straight into the second round of the tournament. However, as the tournament played out, it was shown that there would be no easy route for Itoh-chan into the finals this year.

Princess Cup: 2nd Round; Raku Vs. Maki Itoh

First up, she had to face off against Raku and had to wear earplugs through most of the match to prevent Raku from using her lullabies. Raku is a tough out for anyone in TJPW but Maki found a way to win the match, with the Itoh Special, and move on to the quarter-finals.

Princess Cup: Quaterfinals 2021: Suzume Vs. Maki Itoh

In the Quarterfinals, Maki would find herself going up against the tough Suzume. Suzume managed to leave a nice sized cut under Itoh-chan’s eye and fracturing her cheekbone, requiring her to wear a mask and sunglasses while the wound healed. It was a barn burner of a match and Suzume gave Maki all that she could handle, however in the end it was Maki Itoh, once again with the Itoh Special, picking up the submission win and moving on to the Semi-finals and to her toughest match of the tournament thus far.

TPC Semi-Finals 2021: Mizuki Vs. Maki Itoh

In the semi-finals, Maki Itoh would find herself against the winner of the previous two consecutive Princess Cup Tournaments in Mizuki. It would also prove to be Itoh-chan’s longest match of the tournament to date, going nearly twenty minutes. Mizuki was looking to three-peat the tournament but somehow, someway, Maki Itoh summoned the strength and determination to finally vanquish Mizuki and guarantee herself a place in the finals against Shoko Nakajima. Let’s be fully honest here, what Maki Itoh has faced thus far in the tournament is perhaps the toughest opponents she could have had to face against, and Shoko Nakajima should be no different.

In a somewhat rare move by Itoh-chan, she showed incredible respect for Mizuki after their match which I did not expect, but I completely understood. Mizuki was a mountain that Itoh had yet to successfully climb and this was a big moment against a true rival for Maki. Each lady gave everything they had and more for the chance to head to the finals and the respect shown between the two was a truly nice touch to the ending of a fantastic match.

You can say what you want about Maki Itoh, but she is improving every time she is in the ring and she is quickly becoming one of the better Joshi Puroresu in Japan. She has a massive worldwide following and her fans absolutely adore her, lovingly calling her The Simp Queen among other nicknames. Her vulgar persona, her idol background, everything she is is incorporated into her in-ring character and she excels at what she does. I’m excited to see where she goes in the future. Now, let’s look at the finals between Maki Itoh and Shoko Nakajima.

Of course, Itoh-chan comes out singing her theme song “Brooklyn the Hole” and the crowd claps along, it never gets old seeing Itoh-chan come out singing like this. Then, by contrast, Shoko Nakajima comes out to a total video-game sounding theme that is actually pretty cool. We get a handshake before the bell and we’re underway.

Princess Cup Finals 2021: Shoko Nakajima Vs. Maki Itoh

Collar and elbow tie up and each woman trades headlocks with Maki dragging Shoko to the mat. Reversal into a bulldog choke and then another reversal into a stalemate. Test of strength sees Itoh gain control and forces Shoko to flip off the crowd. Shoko really working the headlock here and showing off her speed as she takes control with a beautiful arm drag and then a dropkick. Maki stops the momentum and catches her on the ropes, dropping her with a hangman’s DDT onto the ring apron. Bodyslam to the floor sees Maki keep control. Itoh-chan making this more of a street fight than a wrestling match and this is what she will need to do to win the match. She took too long and Shoko recovers, hitting a dive (tope suicida) to the outside and driving Itoh into the railing. Reverse 619 from Shoko to the back of Maki gets her a two count.

Nakajima is fully in control here with a turnbuckle dropkick followed by a neckbreaker for two. She’s been using her speed to keep Itoh grounded and working different body parts, the back of the neck and leg at the moment. Pin attempt gets another two but Shoko keeps the leg locked, forced to break due to the ropes. Snaps Maki twice into the bottom rope and gets another two. Knees to the back and neck before attacking the injured cheek, Shoko really not giving Maki any space. Sweeping neckbreaker for another two for Shoko before hooking in a double underhook butterfly hold which Itoh breaks out of and tries to fight back. DDT takes Shoko down and gives Maki a chance to catch her breath.

The crowd is firmly behind Maki Itoh here even though Shoko takes control again and the ten-minute mark is announced. Shoko hits a Tarantula like a hold in the ropes but lets it go before heading to the ropes. Dropkick attempt but Maki catches it and locks on a Boston crab, sitting deep on it. Shoko does manage to drag her way to the ropes to break the hold. Elbows into the corner followed by a bulldog and Itoh has some life. Swinging DDT by Maki gets a two count, she’s finally putting in some offence here. She was going for the cloverleaf but Shoko counters and slams Maki’s face into the corner and takes control again. Near fall following a dropkick and then another butterfly hold by Shoko. She locks in a unique, octopus-like submission hold but Maki Itoh summons the strength and makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Face driver by Shoko and before a tornado DDT counter by Maki Itoh to regain some momentum. Once again Maki locks in the Boston Crab submission hold, centre of the ring. Nakajima manages to drag herself towards the ropes causing Itoh to release, Frankensteiner for two followed by northern lights suplex, again for two.

To the top with Shoko, Senton misses! Spike DDT from Maki Itoh, drags Shoko to the middle and heads to the top for the flying headbutt. Shoko meets her on the ropes and hits a Frankenstein from the top! Both women were down and winded. On their knees and Shoko hits a huge elbow, dropping Itoh. Back up, Itoh returns the favour. We see the two warriors trading elbow shots to each others chest and chin, with Maki eventually getting a brief advantage. Itoh counters another elbow with that hard head of hers, hits a headbutt and then another DDT! Maki is in control as she rolls Shoko over and heads to the top again, diving headbutt misses as 20 minutes is announced. Double arm DDT by Shoko then Northern Lights Suplex, Maki kicks out! Shoko cannot believe it! Maki flips Shoko off and gets an elbow to the face, counters the northern lights into another Boston Crab. Shoko makes it to the ropes, way too close. 619 caught and dropped into the centre of the ring, Itoh Special locked in! It’s in deep and Shoko Nakajima taps out! The crowd goes absolutely nuts as Maki Itoh is announced as the winner of the 2021 TPC Tournament. Incredible show of respect from both women as Maki thanks Shoko for the match.

Maki is extremely emotional at the end and is thanking her fans and supporters, telling them how much it means to earn herself a Happy Ending and how she believed in herself today. She calls in the Princess of Princesses champion, Miu Yamashita and she gets a championship match! That will be one hell of match folks and I will surely be covering it when the time comes. Congratulations to Maki Itoh, you deserve it, Queen. Until next time folks, take care!

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