Itoh had been white-hot since returning from her stint in All Elite Wrestling and had fans completely split on the outcome of the match.
Tatsumi, who won the title in January from Yuka Sakazaki, had just a sole title defence to her name going into the bout and had appeared frustrated by Itoh’s challenge in the weeks leading up to the match.
In a hard-fought contest that went just shy of twenty minutes, Rika was eventually able to triumph over Itoh, using the Missile Hip to secure the victory.
After the match, ‘The White Dragon’ had kind words for ‘The Fired Idol‘, describing a newfound respect for her opponent and thanking her for the contest.
However, Rika’s night was not yet finished, as she set her sights on Itoh’s tag team partner and widely considered company ‘ace’, Miyu Yamashita.
Miyu, who had been at ringside in support of Itoh, was called back by the champion who laid down her challenge:
Sorry to interrupt while you were leaving. I’ve never beaten you. 3 years ago you were the Champ and I was the challenger; I lost that time too. But now things are different. I am the TJPW Champ and I want to keep getting better.
I want to become the absolute champ, and in order to do so I must beat you. I need a title match with you. So if you absolutely insist, I don’t mind letting you challenge. Are you up for that task?
‘The Pink Striker’ was happy to accept, with the bout being set for TJPW’s May 4th show, ‘Yes! Wonderland’ which will also feature new tag team champions NEO Biishiki-Gun defending against Mirai Maiumi and Suzume.
Yes! Wonderland will air live on TJPW’s subscription streaming service, Wrestle Universe.