While the joshi scene in Japan isn’t what it once was, there are still quite a number of promotions out there pumping out quite a lot of good stuff – each struggling to develop its own identity in the sea of puroresu indy feds. One such promotion is the fairly new REINA promotion. Officially debuting several months ago (May 2011) following a few pre-launch “Fiesta” shows, REINA has (at publication date) ran over a dozen events in front of small but enthusiastic crowds, and tried to forge its own personality by incorporating a lucha style and having a strong bond with the oldest lucha libre promotion in the world, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). As a result, a number of CMLL luchadoras have made their way across to Japan for extended tours – CMLL World Women’s Champion Amapola, Marcela, Silueta, La Commandante and Zeuxis (the latter three of whom have appeared as regulars), as have various other gaijin, such as Mia Yim, Kellie Skater and Luscious Latasha. It makes for a unique blend of wrestlers and styles.
While REINA recognises CMLL’s World Women’s Title (and in fact will be hosting another defense of the belt in a few hours at REINA.13 as Amapola defends against Ayumi Kurihara, it has taken the opportunity to develop a brand new co-recognised champion with CMLL. The belt, debuted in July and named the CMLL-REINA Campeonato Internacional (International Champion), is intended to be fought over by wrestlers with under ten years of experience. A tournament was held, with CMLL’s Zeuxis and Ice Ribbon’s Ray as the two finalists – with the two squaring off as the headline attraction of REINA.12 at Edogawa-ku Tobu Friend Hall on October 9th.
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