Is Just Tap Out Good?
Just Tap Out is a mixed gender promotion created in 2019 by wrestler Taka Michinoku. Still relatively new on the wrestling scene, they seem to be making a bit of a splash. Enough to catch the attention of fans already in the know of other Japanese wrestling promotions.
Maika, from the joshi promotion Stardom, started in this promotion. In the beginning, they had very few women wrestlers, which didn’t catch my attention. Since my channel is joshi related, focusing on non joshi related wrestling seems like a waste of time.
Recently though, JTO has added many different women to their roster, now having a more evenly split roster between men and women. With it being more joshi related, I think it’s time to have a look at it.
There is only one question that needs to be answered. Is Just Tap Out good?
Let’s take a look at the roster first, before really going into the show overall. I’m going to go over quickly the Men in the promotion as they aren’t as important in this article as the women.
For the people that look like they are signed we have Taka Michinoku himself. Tamura Hayato, ARATA, Musashi Tatsuya, Kanon, Eagle Mask, and Ren Ayabe.
As far as I can tell, they are all signed, and not in any faction or group. I’ve only seen 3 shows, so any kind of alliances might have been lost on me. There are a number of other men who also participate in the promotion, but don’t seem like they are signed, or apart of the main roster.
We have Superhuman Hero G Valion and EX Valion as part of the good guys who arent signed. Then they have a heel group called JKO Squad, which stands for Just Knock Out. I am uncertain if they are signed, or just regulars, but they participate in every show I've seen so far.
In Just Knock Out we have BM, Black Eagle, Black The Dragon, and Black Chango. They also have two female wrestlers in their group but I’ll cover them when we get to the women.
That seems to be all of the signed and regulars that participate in Just Tap Out that are men. There is some seriously talented wrestlers here, and if you get the chance to just check out one of their shows, I recommend it because it’s definitely worth it.
Some of the bigger standouts I noticed were ARATA and Eagle Mask for their highspeed style. Very entertaining. The other big standout is Ren Ayabe, as he is a giant, standing at 6 foot 6.7 inches or 200cm. He is considerably taller then every other wrestler there and it’s a lot like watching Lady C from Stardom wrestler other people.
Let’s move on to the women of JTO. They currently have 8 signed and regular women wrestlers. 5 of them being signed for sure, the rest is unclear.
For the signed women of JTO we have, Tomoka Inaba, Rhythm, Sumika Yanagawa, Yuuri. And Misa Kagura.
Aki Shizuku also participates in Just Tap Out shows, and she is their designated veteran joshi wrestler, having wrestled over 13 years.
Then we have the 2 JKO women and they are Black Changita, and Black R. These two are the bad guys of the joshi division. Clearly not playing nice with the rest of the promotion. JTO’s joshi division is a lot like pre 2017 Stardom, with there only being one real faction, the heels JKO, and the rest being either faces or tweener like wrestlers with no allegiance outside a tag team here or there.
Let’s talk about the shows, because you could have the most talented people on the planet working for you and still put on stinker shows. Does JTO put on good shows? Yes and No.
They Definitely have their pros and cons. As an overall show, they put on a good experience. Some decent to great wrestling goes on. The storylines and stuff I can’t judge fairly as I just jumped in, but since the majority of the roster just debuted within the last month or two, I feel like not much is being missed. I did find that not many of the matches really serves a purpose other then showing the progression of the new signees. There didn’t seem to be too many feuds or rivalries going on. Which is fine with how new more then half their roster is.
The matches themselves range anywhere from bad to great depending on who is wrestling and who is taking the spotlight. The newest women Yuuri and Yanagawa are both extremely green. They do not put on a good match what so ever, but there is a certain charm to their matches. While the match itself is usually bad, they make you want to keep watching.
I feel JTO has entered a new era, with all these new wrestlers, so they are still trying to find the place for everyone. I think they will succeed. It seems like this promotion is in good hands with Michinoku.
I feel that all the joshi wrestlers are worth keeping an eye on. None of them are the natural athletes like Stardom’s rookies tend to be. I would put their ACE Tomoka at around low midcard level in Stardom. She only debuted about a year and a half ago, and is only 18, so it makes sense.
There were two wrestlers that really caught my eye as I was checking out JTO and they are Rhythm and Sumika Yanagawa. Rhythm has a really great look and she seems like she has a lot of potential. I believe she is going for more of a lucha style, and I’m excited to see that develop.
Sumika Yanagawa, is not a good wrestler. At all. I would put her in mid low card in stardom, but she is my favorite wrestler in JTO. The reason is she captured me with her entrance dance. She studied contemporary dance for a long time before ever becoming a wrestler, and it shows. Her entrance dance is mesmerizing, and I couldn’t look away. It’s honestly beautiful. I look forward to supporting her as she gets better, since she only debuted in November.
I started this video with a simple question, is Just Tap Out good? I feel like that answer is never really easy to find, as what makes something good. Is it the objective numbers you can attribute to certain elements of the show, like average match time, average star ratings of matches and so forth. Or, is it the personal feeling you get when watching that you just sometimes can’t explain.
If you go by the first route, I think you couldn’t say Yes to the question. Their matches aren’t that great on average, and most of their wrestlers are so new that they are still trying to find their path.
If you go the second route, the answer is a definite Yes, and that’s the way I judge if something is good. When watching this promotion, I enjoy myself. I have fun. I like the wrestlers, I like watching them progress. To me. Just Tap Out is good.