The hustle, loyalty and respect is there though.
With Sakura out of Sweet Diva for a while, Elina vows to step up to make up for their loss.
Sakura goes back to Berserk and meets her trainer, Ryo.
The Berserk regulars are surprised when they find the newbie Sakura doing the same training regimen they do.
Ryo brings Sakura to the ring and puts her through a German Suplex and several submission hold.
Sakura brings herself to stand up after all that which earns Ryo’s respect.
Sakura becomes the talk of the gym with even Misaki taking notice.
Berserk’s manager brings Sakura to the ring where ten wrestlers including Rio are waiting.
The manager tells her that as an initiation to pro wrestling, she’ll have to take 100 slams from the others.
Sakura decides to go for it and endures all the torture.
Rio is her last opponent and she’s the most ruthless towards Sakura.
Sakura survives the 100 slams with the last being a…side headlock takedown…For those not too familiar with wrestling, the side headlock takedown is basic wrestling move typically used to put the opponent lying on their backs rather than really hurt them.
The other girls cheer Sakura to get back up by pounding on the mat.
Sure enough, Sakura has the resilience to get back on her feet.
Rio admits to Ryo that she made the last slam intentionally easy just so she can fight Sakura as a pro.
After 4 months of training, Sakura finally gets to have her debut match with another young wrestler who’s been wrestling for two years.
Sakura gets the early lead with some kicks, a big clothesline and a German Suplex for a close pinfall.
As the match continues, Sakura’s opponent makes a comeback and locks her in the
Walls of Jericho Boston Crab.
Stuck in the center of the ring with no hope of getting to the ropes to save herself, Sakura gives up.
She does come out with the respect of everyone from the fans even to her opponent.
The journalist whose name I still don’t remember talks to Misaki about the match. Misaki thinks Sakura still has a long way to go before she gets her first victory, but she’s getting there well enough.
This was surprisingly good in a cheesy Hollywood sports movie sort of way. You know, the kind of movies that put the main character through all the sports related crap they could possibly go through and have them successfully get through all that with their will and determination and come out a stronger and overall better athlete. That’s pretty much what happened here. A lot of girls in the gym doubted Sakura and even her own trainer gave her a rough time which, going by all the backstage stories about the WWE, is pretty true to real life wrestling. Go Google any story about JBL, Bill DeMott, or Hardcore Holly’s hazing antics. It’s pretty much tradition in any sport for the vets to give the newbies a rough time, but just like any sport, when the newbie proves themselves, they earn the respect of the vets and its a sweet victory for them, which is what happened in this episode. I like how they even broke Kayfabe (the fictional aspect of wrestling) with Rio being there like it’s no big deal. Sure, she wasn’t the nicest person in the world with Sakura but the thing is, she’s actually not opposed to Sakura going into wrestling and she actually wants to see her reach a level where they can fight on equal terms. That’s something a heel usually wouldn’t do. It’s pretty honorable in fact and yet, Rio is still technically a heel. I also like the progression of the story, from Sakura earning the respect of her trainer, to earning the respect of the whole roster, to earning the respect of an entire arena and even her opponent. This is a clear sign of Sakura’s character growing. What’s more, her growth is also symbolized by her lengthening hair. If you notice by the end of the episode, Sakura’s hair has grown significantly and its at shoulder length by then. Well this kind of symbolism sure was a surprise. Last few notes, I like how the hundred throws became an excuse for the makers of this show to show off their knowledge of pro wrestling moves. There was even a Double Underhook Suplex, a move that is rarely used in the WWE, mixed in with more common moves like suplexes and powerbombs. Sure, most of the moves wren’t actually animated and were just flashy still frames but it’s still cool to see these moves. My only gripe was the music that was playing during the hundred slams trial. That was a really inspirational scene that highlighted Sakura’s strength and perseverance and they played the most slice-of-lifey song ever like the makers really didn’t care about just how important that scene was. If that scene had some uplifting orchestral track, it would have been a real tearjerker. The ending did get an invisible tear out of me though. ‘Twas a good ending.
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