We Make Magic: On the Tag Team Excellence of Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki

Credit: TJPW

What began with The Magical Sugar Rabbits being stunned from the silly string in their eyes ended with a haymaker of an elbow that brought Hyper Misao to the mat, leaving the masked wrestler curled up like a pill bug.

Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki closed out Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling’s Additional Attack show with the Princess Tag Team Championships still in hand, another strong outing on their 2022 resume. Their win over Misao and Shoko Nakajima at Korakuen Hall marked their fifth successful title defense.

It was a bout that started heavy on the Misao-style antics, the rule-breaking superhero tried to crash into her foes on her trademark decked out green bicycle. Nakajima yanked Misao’s cape from under Mizuki’s feet in a spot that looked like something out of Looney Tunes. The tag champs looked right at home amid all this goofiness.

The bout shifted tone after the first act and soon Yuka was dishing out running lariats while Mizuki started using her long legs as weapons with dropkicks and diving stomps. The crowd clapped and stomped and buzzed through all of it.

The Additional Attack main event was a continuation of a trend – The Magical Sugar Rabbits reminding us of just how damn good these two are together.

This reign, Yuka and Mizuki’s second, has been a source of consistency for TJPW. It’s been the breeding ground for some of the company’s best matches of the year. With a semi-down year (by her standards) for Miyu Yamashita and Maki Itoh’s International Princess Championship reign underwhelming, it’s been this team of friends who have been the promotion’s MVPs.

Yuka, The Magical Girl, is more familiar to a bigger circle of fans thanks to her appearances for AEW.

She wears ring gear reminiscent of a genie from a stage musical and has a piercingly high-pitched voice a la Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls. There’s a great juxtaposition between her appearance and her wrestling style, however. Sakazaki is one of the best strikers on the TJPW roster. She absolutely coldcocks her foes with elbow shots. There’s a nastiness to her work.

Highlights of Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki

Mizuki boasts an even bigger contrast between first impressions and in-ring actions. Far from physically imposing, she’s scarecrow thin and wears frilly white gear that looks like something you’d more likely to wear to a garden party than to a fight.

In the ring, though, she’s a frantic, flying animal. Her stalling dropkick, where she often looks like she’s trying to kick a tooth loose, is mighty vicious.

These good friends are a natural pairing, one that TJPW tapped into as far back as 2018 at the Yeah! Metcha Tag Tournament. Their first Princess Tag Team Championship reign lasted a record 288 days going from the fall of ’18 to summer the next year.

This second go-round kicked off in October 2021 when Yuka and Mizuki knocked off Mei Saint-Michel and Sakisama. MagiRabi earned a measure of revenge to go with their gold that night. This was the same faction (though it was Misao teaming with Sakisama) that beat them for the belts in 2019.

It didn’t take the new champs to get cooking. The next month at the All Rise event at Korakuen Hall, Yuka and Mizuki told quite the story against Maki Itoh and Miyu Yamashita.

This was an intense, at times raw battle. MagiRabi’s team chemistry gave them a clear advantage over the dysfunctional team of stubborn warriors. The champs leaped off the top rope arm in arm. They double-teamed Itoh.

It all added up to an excellent match punctuated by the surprising result of Mizuki pinning Yamashita aka TJPW’s end boss.

Highlights of Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki vs. Miyu Yamashita and Maki Itoh

Then at Grand Princess, TJPW’s biggest show ever, Yuka and Mizuki delivered again. Much of the talk coming out of that event was about the headline bout, but the champs’ win over the Miu Watanabe and Rika Tatsumi was a thriller. It’s currently sitting at a 8.85 rating on CageMatch.net.

This match coursed with energy. It was fast paced and a good helping of memorable spots from Watanabe swinging both Yuka and Mizuki around at the same time to Sakazaki twirling her own partner around like a human flail.

In addition to the oft-electric action, it was MagiRabi’s chemistry that powered this. This is a duo that always seems to work as two connected components, two ants serving the same colony.

Next up, Daisy Monkey, the team of Arisu Endo and Suzume tried to win the tag titles from them at Still Incomplete in April.

Endo and Suzume, two of TJPW’s best rising stars, had gained enough buzz that it seemed possible this could be their coronation. Yuka and Mizuki beat back the young guns in emphatic fashion.

This is one of the more entertaining one-sided bouts you’ll see. The champs stomped on their opponents and elbowed the optimism from their souls.

The guys at Jumping Bomb Audio were among those who enjoyed the whooping:

In defense number four, The Magical Sugar Rabbits fended off Hikari Noa and Nao Kakuta (known as Free Wifi) at Yes! Wonderland. This was the weakest of their title defenses, a solid opener with welcome dashes of chaos.

This seemed a bit like Yuka was hurrying to get her work done before taking for the U.S. and AEW.

That brings us back to MagiRabi’s fifth defense, the comedy and ass-kicking combo that was their clash with Misao and Nakajima. After this one was decided, Saki Akai and Yuki Arai (of idol groups SKE48 fame) came out to challenge the champs. The two long-legged wrestlers had just beaten the team of Miyu Yamashita and Moka Miyamoto.

And with that, the tag team title match for the loaded Summer Sun Princess card in July was set.

Match graphic for Summer Sun Tag Team Championship match (Credit: TJPW)

Again, a team with some promising young talent is stepping up to the rulers of the division. Whether this is the moment TJPW decides to crown someone new or not, you can count on this being a good piece of pro wrestling. The Magical Sugar Rabbits have been putting in quality work during this long reign.

Yuka and Mizuki thrive when things get silly just as they thrive when it’s time to hit the nitro boosters and kick ass. They go from grinning sprites to stout-hearted warriors and back again with the ease of a chameleon changing colors to match its environment.

This versatility, their believable bond as friends, and their in-ring offerings, that’s what has gone into their not-so-secret recipe for beautiful dominance.