ShuPro 2021 Wrestlers to Watch: Mio Momono

The child prodigy who moves at the speed of sound is finally coming into her own

She is on the way to a “grown up” Mio, awakened by the inter-promotional battle with Sendai Girls’

“Goodbye kawaii”; image taken from Weekly Pro-Wrestling #2104

“Honestly, I love pro wrestling so much. I thought it would be disrespectful to pro wrestling if I found another hobby, so I don’t have any other hobbies or passions. Suddenly losing that, it’s really tough.”

Injuries to her knee and elbow kept Mio Momono out of the ring for about a year and a half at a time when she was growing as a wrestler and cast a dark shadow in her mind – she started brooding over thoughts like, “why did it have to happen to me, and I wonder if I will come to dislike wrestling,” it was a time when she was struggling mentally as well as physically.

However, Mio made her return to the ring along with her fellow Marvelous original Rin Kadokura. Despite her small size she is never willing to settle for being ‘second best’. She continues to struggle to surpass the ace of Marvelous, Takumi Iroha, and won her first long-awaited victory at the inaugural Assemble show in October last year. The crowd was delighted and excited.

After overcoming one big obstacle an even bigger one loomed for Mio. Iroha was sidelined for a long time due to an accident in a match, and Mio was suddenly thrust into the position of carrying Marvelous on her back.

“Since Takumi-san is absent that position is free, but now that she’s not there it’s scary. I’ve been saying ‘I want to surpass her, I want to surpass her!’ but now that she’s gone even I was thinking ‘what do we do…'”

However, Marvelous is a promotion that raises the most unique individuals. “We didn’t want anyone to say, ‘Marvelous is nothing without Takumi.’ No one can replace Takumi-san, but I hope to rise to the top by being myself,” she indicated her change of thinking and has shown herself capable of ensuring that Iroha’s absence isn’t felt too badly.

In the midst of Mio trying to open up a new side of her career is an inter-promotional battle against Sendai Girls’, which is the first step towards GAEISM. The show was originally scheduled to take place during her injury absence but due to COVID-19 it was postponed, allowing her to take part in what could be called a lucky hit.

In the 7-vs-7 inter-promotional match at Shinjuku [Face] on January 10th she appeared as the tip of the spear for Marvelous with the attitude that, “I really wanted to take them all out.” With her incredible stamina and energy she surged through four opponents and set Marvelous on the path to victory. However, the tears of frustration that she cried when she was eliminated by the fifth opponent Yurika Oka symbolise the exceptional nature of Mio Momono.

“Before I experienced being injured all I thought was, ‘wrestling is fun!’, but during the inter-promotional battle I was reminded that ‘I really hate to lose.’ I couldn’t forget [DASH] Chisako-san’s words that, ‘there’s Takumi Iroha, but below her I don’t get who’s meant to be a rookie and who’s meant to be a senior,’ and I really didn’t want to be underestimated.”

This was the Mio Momono that wrote, “Goodbye kawaii” as her ambition for 2021.

“In the middle of a tense inter-promotional battle I got kind of annoyed with my entrance music and the soap bubbles at my entrance… and the frilliness of my costume seemed a bit out of place. I think that’s because I’ve taken a step up.”

After all, she is still a 22-year old woman in the prime of her life. In her private life she wants to be cute, but in the ring she is about to enter adulthood.

“This year it will be 5 years since my debut. I’m not getting any taller, but I’d like you to watch me keep growing!”

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