Wanna Be the Strongest in the World TV report

By Jonny Clare

Episode 7: "The World Champion Comes to Japan!"

After Sakura Hagiwara's first big victory, it was time for her to drop into the background and let another former singing sensation take center stage, namely, her trainer, Misaki Toyoda. At the airport, bathed in the twinkle of photographer's camera flashes, including Kanae's, Misaki welcomes her future opponent, the "Shangri-La World Champion", Jackal Tojo. Misaki's usual stoic expression gives way to a bashful smile in Jackal's presence. This isn't their first meeting.

Turns out Jackal used to be Misaki's mentor. Their relationship is just like Misaki and Sakura's and we find out in flashbacks just how similar. Misaki had been on a forty-nine match losing streak after quitting pop stardom for pro-wrestling and Jackal stretched her out like Misaki did with Sakura. Jackal even gave her the "essence of pro-wrestling" speech. This trip down memory lane plays out in Jackal's hotel room with Misaki and Kanae. We learn that the three of them used to be a clique called the "Golden Age Girls" and whilst they're all thanking each other for being a friend, Jackal asks Kanae if her back is better. Kanae replies that it is.

Although, whilst Kanae is injury free, Misaki will soon not be. The accident occurs in a match with a "visual kei" wrestler called Excavator Sakuya. Misaki climbs to the top rope and is about to jump to ringside, but she slips on the ringpost and tumbles to the floor, fracturing her ankle. The big match with Jackal is in jeopardy. They've sold 35,000 tickets for the show and if they have to give refunds, the Berserk Gym will be bankrupt. A replacement must be found. So Jackal Tojo takes it upon herself to handpick her opponent and there's no better place to scout than at the first big event of the year, the "Rookie All-Star Match", where all the wrestling teams send their most talented upstarts to compete. 

At the event, as well as meeting some familiar faces, we see some new competitors, like The Fourth Tiger and "pro wrestling's coolest beauty", Fujino Subaru. Also there, performing and commentating, are Sweet Diva. When asked how she feels about Sakura's decision to continue wrestling, Elena's answer is diplomatic. Her glower tells a different story. This was an excellent example of character, because what a character says is arbitrary, it's their actions that truly matter. She just hasn't acted yet, but when she does she'll explode like a powder keg. Her love has turned to sadness, now it's turning to anger, the only thing left to turn is herself. I sure hope it's soon, as this is one criticism I have of the program, everyone's too nice to one another. Without conflict, there's no drama, and if there's no drama, there's no show. 

Then, just as I was thinking that, a masked wrestler appears at the top of the aisle. She's an assassin sent by the Miyabi team and has a highly original name, Blue Panther (Mexican lawyers start your engines). Who is this new superstar on the scene? My guess would be Kanae. Either way, as Jackal Tojo puts it, "some quality entertainment is about to begin!"

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