Profile and Dream Matches! Introducing: Miyu Yamashita
Yamashita was trained by MIKAMI, and made her debut in August 2013, as one of the first members of DDT’s all-female Tokyo Joshi Pro sister promotion. Yamashita was pushed as the top star of Tokyo Joshi Pro and became the first-ever Tokyo Princess of Princess Champion on January 4, 2016. She is currently recognized as the promotion’s ace.
Yamashita trained in Kyokushin and mixed martial arts from a young age and originally had hopes of being an idol, and took part in many auditions for idol groups, though struggled to get anywhere. She was eventually introduced to professional wrestler Kyohei Mikami, who asked if she would be interested in training to join Dramatic Dream Team’s new sister promotion, Tokyo Joshi Pro. Yamashita accepted the offer and moved to Tokyo at age 17 to begin training under Mikami shortly after. In TJP’s early years, it was a small promotion that mainly ran shows alongside live music and other live performances. Despite being a small promotion, Yamashita was still being pushed as the future top star of the promotion, and when TJP finally started to run their full shows, Yamashita took her position at the top of the card. She became known for her strong kicks and karate based offence, earning the nickname “Pink Striker”.
On January 4, 2016, at TJP’s biggest show to date, Yamashita defeated longtime rival Shoko Nakajima to become the first-ever Tokyo Princess of Princess Champion. She held the title until September when she was defeated by Yuu. In August 2017, she received her first singles match against Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling’s Meiko Satomura but was defeated. On January 4, 2018, Yamashita got one more chance to win back the Tokyo Princess of Princess Championship and defeated Reika Saiki to win the championship for a second time. Yamashita retained the title throughout 2018, defeating the likes of Yuna Manase, Veda Scott, Priscilla Kelly, Yuu, Maho Kurone and Rika Tatsumi. On January 4, 2019, she defeated Maki Itoh to mark 1 year as champion, the longest in the history of the title. At WWN Mercury Rising 2019, Yamashita defeated Allysin Kay in a title vs title match to win the Shine Championship. On May 4, 2021, Yamashita defeated Rika Tatsumi to win the Tokyo Princess of Princess Championship for the third time. Recently, Miyu has been teaming with friend/rival Maki Itoh and made an unsuccessful attempt to win the TJPW Tag Team titles.
Thanks or reading up to now. It’s time for what you, most likely, are here for and that is the dream matches portion. As usual, I’ll be picking five women from around the world who I would love to see in a match with Miyu Yamashita.
Honorable Mentions: Mayu Iwatani and Io Shirai
Let’s face it folks. Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani are the two best women’s wrestlers on the planet today and it’s not even close. So it’s a give-in that you’d want to see Miyu Yamashita, who is the Ace of TJPW, step into the ring with them just to see how she stacks up with them. Io Shirai has done it all in her career and is currently idling in NXT until WWE decides what to do with her. That is a damned shame because she is better than 99% of WWE’s roster, Charlotte Flair included. Then you have Mayu Iwatani, the Icon of Stardom, the one woman who saved Stardom from the brink when they lost Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai to WWE. Face it, you want to see those two faces, Miyu Yamashita.
5. Xia Li – WWE
Xia Li may just be the best striker in WWE. Yes.. they changed her from the unflinching badass of NXT to the “Protector” of Smackdown, but that doesn’t change just how good of a striker she is. She’s almost as lethal with her strikes as Miyu is, so it’s only natural that I would salivate wishing to see that two-step in the ring together. Yes, she’s not the best striker on this list, but she’s up there and seeing her step in the ring with Miyu would warrant something more akin to MMA rules. At least, that’s what I believe. Xia Li has a lot to prove now that she’s on the main roster. She’s legit knocked out some of her opponents in NXT (Does anyone remember Mercedes Martinez?), so I think the former member of Tian Sha needs to be in the ring with someone who can match her strike for strike. Miyu Yamashita is a much more lethal striker than Xia is, in my opinion, but I still want to see them kick each other’s heads off.
4. Sarray – NXT
The Strong Style badass of NXT is up next folks. Sarray has recently taken a hiatus to return to Japan and get her head right, but she is on her way back to the US and it’s a damn shame. I would love to have seen Sarray stay in Japan and work with TJPW or Stardom, especially if she got to go toe to toe with Miyu Yamashita. Sarray can stand toe to toe with Miyu. While not on Miyu’s level for striking ability, Sarray has a lot of other tools in her bag that would make her more than a match for the Ace of TJPW. Both women are young and have a lot of miles left in them before either should be calling it a career, so I can hold hope that this match comes to fruition someday, somewhere.
3. Syuri – Stardom
If there is anyone in Stardom that could match Miyu Yamashita for their Martial Arts abilities, it’s Syuri. The current SWA Champion and the #1 contender for the World of Stardom Championship, Syuri is a former member of the UFC roster and is a legit badass. Her match recently with Konami stood out to me as it showed just how good Syuri is with her striking and grappling game. If you put her in the ring with Miyu, then I think the match would end with one, or both, knocked out. Like, legit knocked out. These two women would kick the ever-living shit out of each other and it would be fun as hell to watch. I cannot stress that enough.
2. Dakota Kai – NXT
Dakota Kai is not on Miyu’s level when it comes to strikes. I’m sorry, she’s just not. But you cannot deny that the Captain of Team Kick is an intriguing matchup for Miyu. Dakota Kai can hang with anyone in the world. She’s been in the ring with some of the greatest to lace up their boots and she’s had matches with the two best women’s wrestlers in the world, Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani. It only makes sense to me that Dakota Kai should be someone to push Miyu to her limit. She’d get a better match out of Miyu than Maki Itoh did, and that was a match of the year contender. I love Maki, don’t get me wrong, but Dakota Kai is a lot better in the ring than she is and I just feel that Captain Kota would be one of the best matches for someone like Miyu. She took Io Shirai to the absolute limit. While she came up short in her challenges, she still made Io work harder than a lot of women in NXT made her. That alone makes Dakota someone that Miyu has to face before either retires.
1. Tam Nakano – Stardom
The Kung Fu Master of Stardom, the Stardom Dream herself, Tam Nakano tops my list today. Tam’s not as prolific a striker as Syuri may be, but she is lethal with her kicks. That alone makes her the best match for Miyu that Stardom can offer. Both women can kick each others lights out, plus they have the skills to work anywhere else the match would take them. Tam’s recent matches with Mayu Iwatani, Unagi Sayaka and Mina Shirakawa let her showcase just how good she is in the ring and how well she can carry a match. She can be the ring general that younger talent needs. So when you put together two women of that same calibre in the ring together, you get nothing but a match of the year contender, if not the total MOTY winner. I want to see Tam and Miyu face-off someday…