When I started watching wrestling again in 2019 (thanks to AEW), I was drawn in by stories and characters that were more engaging than what I had grown up watching. While AEW has underserved its women wrestlers significantly, their roster has phenomenal talents. The few appearances of Maki Itoh have been some of my favourite matches, owing to her abnormal character and great sense of comedy in wrestling.
In a 2 part interview in Sportiva, Maki Itoh’s story is outlined.
- Part 1: “Why am I like this?!” Her despair continued into her idol era. How Maki Itoh discovered her wrestling way of life.
- Part 2: Pro wrestler Maki Itoh wasn’t strong and lost her “way of life”. But she declares why she “doesn’t need that any more.”
“I’d want to do both at the same time. Overseas, I’d just be doing the third match every show or something like that. It would be the same situation as we were just talking about, if I was always doing that one thing, I’d find that boring too, so I don’t want to do that either. What I want to do is keep progressing. In Japan I can keep challenging myself in more and more difficult situations, and overseas is where I can have my fill of just having fun, it’s like every once in a while I get to switch it up and say ‘oh I can do this sort of thing too.’ If the fans can fall in love with me doing that and then I can bring that attention back to Japan, that’s what I think would be the best.”Part 2: Pro wrestler Maki Itoh wasn’t strong and lost her “way of life”. But she declares why she “doesn’t need that any more.”
There aren’t many matches featuring Maki Itoh that are easily accessible and in good quality online, but this match from 2021 with Maki Itoh teaming with Britt Baker against Riho and Thunder Rosa is a showcase of some of the best performers in AEW. The comedy and hard hitting action are both on display.
A follow up the next year with Britt Baker and Maki Itoh facing each other again showcased Itoh’s great balance of comedy and striking.