Earlier today at SMASH 21 in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, Japanese sensation Kana defeated SHIMMER star Serena Deeb in the finals of the SMASH Divas Title Tournament to establish the first champion in the division. It was quite the deal for Kana, who got the monkey off her back, having suffered two previous pinfall losses to Deeb’s spear, sealing the win with her Kana Lock (Crossface Chickenwing). The title win signals the start of a new chapter in SMASH’s female division, which has actually been the source for a number of really great womens matches in the last year or so – and with Kana now officially crowned champion, she is going to have a whole list of potential challengers to work through.

To get to the finals, Kana had to defeat longtime rival Lin “Bitch” Bairon (at SMASH 18) and Syuri (at SMASH 20), whilst Deeb had to go through Tomoka Nakagawa (at SMASH 19) and Makoto (at SMASH 20), and at yesterday’s press conference, Serena cut the very model of confidence, while Kana seemed demure and probably slightly intimidated. Deeb’s loss here represents her first loss in SMASH, following seven consecutive wins in singles and tag matches, all finishing with her dreaded spear.

Hopefully footage of this tournament final will turn up online pretty quickly, but for now, let’s take a look at Serena and Kana’s preliminary skirmishes…

Kana and Serena first met at SMASH 16 on 30th April at Osaka IMP Hall in trios action. Deeb teamed with SMASH’s Syuri and Ice Ribbon’s Makoto to take on the Kana’s “Triple Tails” faction, comprising herself and the Shirai Sisters, Io & Mio. Check out the match right here

Three days later, and back at Korakuen Hall for SMASH 17, Kana got the chance to take on Serena one-on-one. Most (including us at Ringbelles) thought that Kana would avenge her trios loss, but it was not to be, as Serena triumphed once again with a vicious spear in a must-see match. Check it out below.

Whilst today’s title match may have ended with a show of respect between Deeb & Kana, the SMASH Divas Division is stacked with competitors. On the undercard today, Ice Ribbon‘s Ray teamed with Ayumi Kurihara to defeat the SMASH team of Syuri & Makoto. Makoto marked her official transfer from Ice Ribbon to SMASH with awesome new gear… and following the title match, a number of Divas division competitors came to the ring, presumably to petition for title opportunities.

(L-R facing camera - Ray, Syuri, Makoto & Tomoka Nakagawa)

With those four, Ayumi Kurihara and presumably Ray’s unmasked alter-ego Lin “Bitch” Bairon likely to return at any given time, things are going to get really interesting around SMASH from now on – and you’d think with a 7-1 record, Serena’s got to still be in the title picture. SMASH 22 is scheduled to emanate from Korakuen Hall on October 28th, but before then, Kana and Serena will both be in Berwyn, IL on October 1st & 2nd for SHIMMER Women Athletes (get your tickets here), and Kana will then head off to Chikara‘s weekend of shows on October 7th (“Small but Mighty” in Burlington, NC – get your tickets) & 8th (“Klunk In Love” in Kingsport, TN – get your tickets) for shows that will also feature the Chikara return of Jessie McKay. These shows will represent Kana’s US debut.

(all photo credits for today’s SMASH show go to twitter user, @Chabo_Vic)

– Stew Allen