Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you today perhaps the only woman on the Joshi scene that can rival Maki Itoh to the moniker of “Cutest Professional Wrestler in the World” and that is the one and only Tam Nakano.
Yuria Tauchi (田内 友里愛 Tauchi Yuria,) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to World Wonder Ring Stardom, under the ring name Tam Nakano (中野 たむ Nakano Tamu). Tauchi is trained in kung fu and pays tribute to this with her ring attire and fighting style. Nakano began her career in the Actwres Girl’z promotion as an idol dancer in 2015 before training under Yuna Manase and making her debut as a professional wrestler in July 2016. Nakano left the promotion in 2017, and began to compete in Cho Sento Puroresu FMW (FMW) and World Wonder Ring Stardom as a freelancer before officially signing with Stardom in November 2017.
Tauchi began dancing at the age of 3 and eventually became a dance instructor in 2012. She joined the underground idol group known as Katamomi Joshi, and was active with them until April of 2015. In interviews since she has stated that she struggled a lot in the group, and would argue with management and go home crying most days. She then joined the group Infom@te, who performed before and during professional wrestling shows for the Actwres girl’Z promotion. Gaining some popularity as an idol and using her existing martial arts knowledge, in 2016 Tauchi began training to wrestle for the promotion under Yuna Manase, and made her professional debut as Tam Nakano (中野 たむ Nakano Tamu) in July 2016, losing to Saori Anou. Nakano continued to regularly compete in Actwres girl’Z until June 2017, when she announced she would be leaving the promotion to become a freelancer. Nakano’s first match as a freelancer took place 2 days later, when she and Manami Katsu defeated Miss Koharu and Miss Mongol.
Nakano appeared at the World Wonder Ring Stardom show in Korakuen Hall on July 16, 2017, and announced her intentions to compete in the 2017 5★Star GP. On August 13, Nakano qualified for the tournament after defeating Natsuko Tora. Nakano finished the tournament with 1 win and two points, unable to advance to the finals. On September 9, Nakano turned heel for the first time in her career, joining the villainous Oedo Tai unit. In October, Nakano suffered an injury and was unable to compete, but continued to appear with Oedo Tai as a manager, and introduced her mascot, a stuffed panda known as Producer P. On November 1, Nakano officially signed with the promotion. On January 21, 2018, as a result of being the last person eliminated in a special Queen’s Quest vs Oedo Tai gauntlet match, Nakano was kicked out of Oedo Tai. She subsequently turned face and began teaming with Mayu Iwatani. On February 18, the duo unsuccessfully challenged Tam’s former stablemates Hana Kimura and Kagetsu for the Goddess of Stardom Championship. On April 1 at Stardom Dream Slam 2018 in Nagoya, Nakano teamed with Stardom ace Io Shirai to defeat Oedo Tai (Kagetsu and Sumire Natsu) in a blast exploding bat deathmatch. On September 30, Nakano, along with Iwatani and Saki Kashima, defeated J.A.N. (Jungle Kyona, Natsuko Tora and Kaori Yoneyama) to win the Artist of Stardom Championship, Nakano’s firt title in professional wrestling.
As of the 2019 Stardom Draft, Nakano has been an active member of Iwatani’s stable STARS. In the 2019 Cinderella Tournament, Nakano faced her old stablemate Kagetsu in the first round, with the two fighting to a time limit draw, thus both were eliminated. On May 16, Iwatani, Kashima and Nakano lost the Artist of Stardom Championship to Tokyo Cyber Squad (Kimura, Konami and Kyona), ending their reign at 228 days. On June 16, Nakano challenged Arisa Hoshiki for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, but was unsuccessful. Nakano, along with Iwatani and Kashima, won back the title on June 23, however, lost it in the next month on July 20. On November 15, Nakano, along with Hoshiki, won the annual Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, when they defeated Bea Priestley and Jamie Hayter in the finals. After winning the Tag League, Hoshiki and Nakano challenged Konami and Kyona on November 24 for the Goddesses of Stardom Championship, but were unsuccessful.
On July 26, 2020 Nakano challenged Giulia for the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship, but was unsuccessful as Giulia became the new champion. On October 3, Nakano challenged Giulia again for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, however, was unsuccessful in the second time. On October 29, 2020 Nakano would leave STARS after turning on Iwatani and was joined by Mina Shirakawa and announced that a new member would join them. On November 14, 2020, Nakano revealed that Unagi Sayaka would join them in their new unit with Shirakawa and revealed that name of their unit would be called Cosmic Angels. On December 16, 2020 Nakano, Shirakawa and Sayaka defeated Oedo Tai (Bea Priestley, Natsuko Tora and Saki Kashima) to win the Artist Of Stardom Championship. On March 3, 2021 at All Star Dream Cinderella Nakano defeated Giulia to win Wonder of Stardom Championship as result Giulia had to shave her hair. On October 3, Nakano, Shirawaka and Sakaya lost the the Artist of Stardom Championship to the team of Donna Del Mondo composed by Himeka, Maika and Natsupoi. On October 9, after Nakano went to a time limit draw against Mayu Iwatani for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, her stablemate Unagi Sakaya challenged her to a title match.
You can rest assured that anything Tam Nakano does for Stardom, it will be a lot of fun to watch. Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite part.. the dream matches!
5. Asuka (fka Kana) – WWE
We’re kicking it off with one of the best women to ever lace up a pair of boots, and someone that Tam has never faced off with. Asuka, formerly known as Kana in Japan, is a lethal striker in her own right and she has a submission game that is no joke. Her style would blend well with Tam’s in the ring and it’s a match that any fan of Nakano’s should dream of seeing for her. There isn’t much that Asuka has not accomplished in her illustrious career to date and the 40 year old, 17 year veteran could realistically end her career back home in Japan. She could even sign with Stardom, just for some dream matches, and she can go out knowing that she helped the newest generation of Joshi talents reach new heights. There are a ton of dream matches for Asuka in Stardom for me, but near the top of that list is Tam Nakano.
4. Sarray – NXT
Having faced Tam Nakano one time, in a tag match for the now defunct Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project, my number four today is Sarray. Joshi fans know her better as Sareee. Sarray is younger than Nakano, 8 years to be exact, but she has a five year advantage as far as career length goes. Sarray is a strong style striker whose style matches Nakano’s own which would make for an extremely intriguing match.
Sarray is currently on the NXT brand of WWE, but I can hope that some day she can go back home to Japan and maybe work with Stardom for a few years. But would she make it in time to face Nakano? That’s the biggest question in this dream match of mine.
3. Miyu Yamashita – Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling (TJPW)
One of the most lethal strikers to grace the roster of TJPW, hell maybe the most feared striker in Joshi wrestling today comes in at number three today and that is Miyu Yamashita. I could have ranked her much higher than this, but frankly my top two are just too dreamy for me. Miyu is the ACE of TJPW, she is their Mayu Iwatani, and dammit she is without a doubt one of the best women’s wrestlers in the entire world. She is a better striker than the vast majority of every roster on the planet, men’s or women’s divisions, and she has a killer instinct about her that just adds to how lethal she is in the ring. Just ask Maki Itoh, who has the hardest head in the world, how strong Miyu’s strikes are. She knocked Itoh-chan out one time. Her kicks are lethal weapons and this is a striking match that I would die to see. Let’s see Miyu and Tamu kicking each others heads off, someone please make it happen.
2. Kairi Hojo (Kairi Sane) – Inactive, last with WWE
Whether it be the Pirate Princess or the Kabuki Warrior, I would be remiss not to add Kairi Sane to my list of dream matches for Tam Nakano. I cannot find any record of Kairi and Tam stepping into the ring together and frankly, that is freaking criminal. There was a time when Kairi was in the top 3 women’s wrestlers in the world, with people unable to decide between her, Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani. She may not have wrestled in a year or more now, but Kairi has kept herself in incredible shape, as evidence by her Twitter account, and I am absolutely sure that she could step back into a Stardom ring and be welcomed with open arms.
She has charisma, she has speed and she has the talent to be a success anywhere in the world. I just want to see her and Tam Nakano face off one time. That’s all I want. Please, someone, make it happen. I could die a happy man if this match ever happened.
Who did I pick as the number one dream match for Tam Nakano, the cutest professional wrestler in the cosmos? Well, it can only be one person folks, and I gave you a huge hint.
1. Maki Itoh – Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling (TJPW)
Fuck you Simps. The dream match of dream matches for Tam Nakano is none other than the Queen of the Simps, the Cutest in the World, the incomparable Maki Itoh! Maki Itoh skyrocketed to popularity world wide thanks to her over the top personality, her vulgar social media posts and a charisma that 99% of wrestlers world wide wish they could have. Frankly, I think she has more charisma in her middle finger than the entirety of the WWE roster. A match between the Cutest in the World and the Cutest in the Cosmo’s is a match made in the stars, or hell depending on who you back, and it is one that absolutely -must- happen before either woman calls it a career. Maki Itoh plays the underdog extremely well but she has a style that could frustrate the striker in Nakano. Give me this match wrestling gods. Or wait.. maybe I just need to pray to Itoh-chan.