Word coming out of Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall today confirms that the show which was initially billed as REINA‘s first anniversary show has ended up being their final show. Ice Ribbon’s Ray took to twitter following the show tweeting “I was surprised at the dissolution of REINA, but it gave me the opportunity to fight lots of overseas stars and go to Mexico. I will be forever grateful. Happiness to everyone” (translated from original Japanese).
REINA (or to give the promotion its full name – Universal Women’s Pro Wrestling REINA) was formed a year ago by reina CEO Riki Tamashiro and produced by Tamashiro along with veteran figurehead Yumiko Hotta & Aki Kanbayashi. REINA was unique amongst the joshi scene as it had a specific talent agreement with CMLL in Mexico to bring over their luchadoras, often for extended tours, to give the REINA promotion a very lucha flavour. In the last year, CMLL regulars Zeuxis, Silueta & La Commandante have been amongst the most common luchadoras (although pretty much all the CMLL luchadoras have made at least one visit to Japan), and the promotion has hosted title matches for both the CMLL World Women’s Title and the CMLL National Women’s Title. REINA even created their own World Champion (Yumiko Hotta), a set of tag team belts (currently in possession of Mima Shimoda & Zeuxis), and joined with CMLL to create the co-promoted CMLL-REINA International Junior Title (currently with Silueta). REINA didn’t only look to Mexico for inspiration, and used a lot of other international talents, such as Sara Del Rey, Courtney Rush, Kellie Skater, Roxie Cotton, Simply Luscious, Luscious Latasha, Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews on shows. In fact, CZW’s Kimber Lee debuted for REINA on this final show.
It remains to be seen what the fallout is from the dissolution, which one would imagine may well be financially driven given the amount of money that was clearly being spent putting on these internationally flavoured shows. As Ray suggested in her tweet, the decision to wrap up the promotion appears to have been a sudden one, as the promotion actually had a number of shows booked and announced up to and including Christmas Eve 2012. We will endeavour to update the story with news as it develops on what happened and what happens next for the REINA regulars. It is worth noting that in pro-wrestling these days, promotions rarely “die”, and if the issues are purely financial, it is conceivable that the basic structure of REINA could well be revived under a different name if a backer can be found. It does, at the very least, present a unique product – and it would be sad to see it go away.
In results from REINA’s final show at Korakuen Hall:
1. Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto bt Basara & Saya (13:23). Shida pinned Saya
2. Aki Kanbayashi bt Kimber Lee via submission (08:40)
3. Mima Shimoda, Ray & Tomoka Nakagawa bt Goya Kong, Zeuxis & Dalys La Caribeña (17:48). Shimoda pinned Zeuxis with a German Suplex.
4. Mexican National Women’s Title: Princesa Blanca (c) bt Lady Apache 2-1 to retain her title.
5. Kyoko Inoue & Sareee bt Aoi Ishibashi & Mia Yim via pinfall. Inoue pinned Ishibashi with a powerbomb pin (17:49)
6. Hair vs. Hair Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight: Yumiko Hotta bt La Commandante via submission (20:36). La Commandante loses her hair.
Photos: Youji Kawauchi