As we reported at the weekend, Riho is leaving Ice Ribbon after being with the promotion for the entire existence of the company. She’s leaving following her match against Aoi Kizuki on September 23 to focus on her high school entrance exams. Now 15 years old, Riho debuted at the age of 8 and won the ICEx60 Championship when she was 12. When she returns, she says it will not be for Ice Ribbon but for her trainer Emi Sakura in Thailand.

Riho’s departure is the latest in an expanding list of wrestlers who have left Ice Ribbon in the last 12 months or so. Chii Tomiya (now Micro), Ray, Makoto and founder Emi Sakura have all said their farewells, while Dorami Nagano has been missing since June, Sayaka Obihiro hasn’t had a match since July and Hikari Minami is also taking some time away to prepare for high school. For the most part, none of these acts have been replaced, and precious few have debuted in the last year.

Some have benefited. Kurumi has come on leaps and bounds to the point where she is one half of the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions; Aoi Kizuki returned at Christmas and has been a smiling presence since then; Maki Narumiya has improved too, and names like Hamuko Hoshi and Maeri Naito have also had more attention bestowed onto them. However, the top of the card looks a little sparse these days, with ICEx60 Champion Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto heading things up, names like 14-year old prodigy Tsukushi the next level down (and presumably will also be thinking about school soon), and Narumiya and Kizuki also around there.

It becomes very telling when you look at the amount of visiting names have been wrestling for Ice Ribbon recently. “Outsider” wrestlers like Hiroyo Matsumoto, Hailey Hatred and Kana have been accepting bookings there, and Aki Shizuku currently holds the promotion’s IW19 Title. Meanwhile, Shida and Fujimoto have been expanding their horizons by winning the REINA x World Tag straps, and both are wrestling more and more often for WAVE. Another big example is the September 23 card at Korukuen Hall – barring Riho v Kizuki, every other announced match is an interpromotional affair with stars from WAVE, JWP, DDT and more being involved. It is almost as if left to booking just their own talent, Ice Ribbon may struggle to put together an attractive card, and that’s a real shame.

When I started learning about other wrestling promotions from the ones that I tended to turn to, Ice Ribbon was the first joshi outfit that I latched onto. It was fun, smiley and got under your skin in such a positive way. You couldn’t help but enjoy what they were doing. This was enhanced at Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon last October when Fujimoto, Shida, Sakura and Minami thrilled the UK audience and were involved in some excellent contests with European talent. However, since Sakura’s departure, Ice Ribbon feels a little directionless – the mother has left and we are bearing witness to the orphans trying to do the best that they can. Granted, they are doing their best, but maybe it isn’t enough.

Worst case scenario time. Let’s say Ice Ribbon faded away – it should not be considered a failure in any way. Fujimoto and Shida are stars, Narumiya has wrestled in WAVE and JWP this year has enjoyed some success in Stardom, and despite Tsukushi only ever wrestling a handful of matches outside of Ice Ribbon, she would be a massive boost to any promotion, and has received the seal of approval from Manami Toyota, and she’s obviously seen a lot of wrestlers come down the pike.

Ice Ribbon has a legacy and has produced enough talented wrestlers to be held in a high regard, and has an attitude and presentation which is infectiously cheery. I sincerely hope that the promotion survives and flourishes, but the number of wrestlers who have exited without new names coming in cannot be ignored.

**

Brodus Clay’s backing dancer Cameron (Ariane Andrew, 24) was arrested a week last Friday on a DUI charge in Hillsborough County in Florida. She stated that her occupation was a “sales associate”, which seemed weird, but TMZ also reports that she tried to bribe the arresting officer $10,000 to let her go. She was on the road the next day, and was in Naomi’s corner when she took on Natalya on a house show, presumably without telling WWE, as they seem to have been thrown off guard by the reports.

However, since we wrote the report, there have been more developments. She was pulled from the Australia tour after appearing with Naomi alongside Clay in Brisbane as normal on the first show, and Naomi went solo for the remaining dates. Reports say she has been suspended for either 15 days or an undetermined period of time, depending on who’s saying it. It is also believed that Clay (and consequently, Naomi) will be pulled from shows while things reach a conclusion, which is a massive shame for them, as they are suffering due to someone else’s issues. While 15 days seems a little short, one commentator at PWInsider points out that Taryn “Tiffany” Terrell was originally suspended from WWE and never returned.

**

In preparation for its return and debut under the ownership of Beyond Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored has unveiled its new initiative called the Uncensored Opportunity for its Full Steam Ahead show on October 13.

Says the release posted on the promotion’s Facebook this evening, “The “UNCENSORED OPPORTUNITY” is designed to give some the best female wrestlers in the country a chance to raise their profile and gain notoriety. WSU officials will select two athletes to compete at the “Full Steam Ahead” live event with the winner earning future bookings at Women Superstars Uncensored.”

Thumbs up for the idea. With its relaunch, there will be a lot of eyes on WSU’s show, so to make it onto the card could be a massive boost for any wrestler who gets the chance. I am sure that many women will be looking to be part of the match, and the prize for whoever gets the win is certainly attractive. However, what if the loser is more impressive in defeat than the winner is in victory? Success in wrestling cannot be solely judged on wins and losses. For example, Pro Wrestling: EVE has held two “potentials” matches, with Sammy Hope beat Em Jay, but it was Em Jay who received repeat bookings after Hope quit wrestling; meanwhile, Viper beat Kirsty Love at EVE v Ice Ribbon, but both wrestled two more matches that weekend and were back the following February, and Love was part of the Special Edition shows this summer.

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Elsewhere on the site, we have a new Rush Hour podcast with Courtney Rush and Leva Bates talking about sexiness, models in wrestling and taking criticism; and a commentary on who I think will win this year’s Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50.

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Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to tell us about upcoming bookings? Are you a fan who went to a show and saw a match, and would like to tell others about it – what you liked, what you didn’t and would like to encourage others to check it out for themselves? Send us an email!

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The best of the rest

WWE
Kaitlyn’s challenge to Layla’s Divas Championship will take place at Night Of Champions on September 16. Meanwhile F4W Online reports that Kaitlyn was never meant to win the Divas battle royal which earned her a shot at the belt and it was a botch, as Eve Torres was meant to win. If that’s the case, it was a spectacular error, and explains Layla’s apparent surprise at the result… Michelle McCool gave birth last week – a girl called Kaia Faith Calaway (the surname obviously belongs to her husband Mark “The Undertaker” Calaway)… Talk about timing – in this month’s WWE Magazine, Rosa Mendes complained that she had not received a Divas Title match in her entire time in the company. She got shots during WWE’s Australian tour, losing to Layla each time. Reports from people in attendance say the matches were pretty bad, but Rosa got heat… During a Q&A on Twitter, Natalya says that out of everyone in developmental, she says she’s looking forward to working with Raquel Diaz… Eve Torres won Stars Earn Stripes, collecting a $100,000 prize for the USO in the process. Her appearance on the show has not once been mentioned by WWE as the show clashes with Raw. Speaking of which, Torres beat number one contender Kaitlyn on Raw last night while Layla bickered with guest colour commentator The Miz and they barely paid attention to the match… Also on Raw, the wheels are falling off AJ Lee’s General Manager administration. After attacking Vickie Guerrero last week, she has been banned from physically interacting with any superstar or official. While waiting for AJ to arrive, Guerrero berated an empty chair like Clint Eastwood did at the Republican National Convention last week. Vickie slapped her and AJ couldn’t do anything about it. Lee threw a tantrum afterward, so it looks like unstable AJ is back.

TNA
ODB wrestled her first TNA match in three months last Thursday, defeating Madison Rayne in 26 seconds. She was also reunited with her husband and Knockouts Tag Team Championship partner Eric Young. Incidentally, those belts haven’t been defended since Lockdown on April 15… Tara will challenge her former Knockouts Tag Team Championship partner Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts singles title at No Surrender on Sunday.

North America
Women Superstars Uncensored announced on Tuesday night that Tag Team Champions Sassy Stephie and Allysin Kay will take on Annie Social and Kimber Lee at Full Steam Ahead on October 13 in a non-title match… Veda Scott v Mia Yim has been announced for Absolute Intense Wrestling on September 23… Rain says that she will wrestle just one match on her visit to Europe next May and that Jetta will be her booker… After beating each other up for so long, Greg Excellent and Mia Yim are teaming up – they face Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee… Reby Sky beat Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok in a 3-way at Crossfire Entertainment on Saturday. Sky pinned Kay, so Havok is claiming that she is still unbeaten in the promotion. Havok also took special referee Maria Kanellis’ head off with a clothesline after the match. Havok and Kay left together… Leva Bates has been added to October’s SHIMMER tapings, as has Ryo Mizunami, who will make both her SHIMMER and nCw Femmes Fatales debuts during her visit. Mizunami will take on Courtney Rush in Montreal… Meanwhile more matches have been confirmed for the first of the two tapings which will take place at Femmes Fatales X on November 3. Mercedes Martinez will take on Pink Flash Kira, while LuFisto will wrestle Hiroyo Matsumoto… The promotion has also confirmed its next two dates for 2013 – they’re on March 30 and July 6… At OVW on Saturday, Heidi Lovelace defeated Women’s Champion Taeler Hendrix in a non-title, no-DQ match… Congratulations to Lacey Von Erich, who gave birth to her second child over the last week… Mia Yim says she has signed a contract with REINA x World, but will still be accepting US bookings as she says she is only doing 3 month stints there… Two matches have been announced for SHINE 3 later this month – Tracy Taylor & Su Yung face Gabby Gilbert & Luscious Latasha, while Santana Garrett takes on Sienna DuVall… Longtime Illinois manager Eryn was in the second row of Raw last night and appeared on camera behind the announcers’ table on a number of occasions… Scarlett Bordeaux has replaced Sara Del Rey as the presenter of CHIKARA’s weekly Throwdown Lowdown segment on YouTube… Congratulations to Jessie Belle, who married her fiancé Ryan Howe at the weekend.

Japan
Makoto returned to action at Wrestling New Classic’s show last Thursday. She’s suffered a broken hand. On the same card, Kana and Syuri faced each other in a six person Barbed Wire Board Deathmatch, and repeated the match around their three day tour… Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami v Arisa Nakajima & Aya Yuki has been announced for October’s Joshi4Hope show… Four teams will take part in a tag team tournament in WAVE between September 25 and November 16 featuring Shu Shibutani & Syuri, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Misaki Ohata, Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida and reigning champions GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa. If any team other than the champions win the tournament, they will earn a shot at the belts.

Europe
April Davids has been told to rest until October after injuring her shoulder participating in judo. There is no broken bones, just muscle damage. Davids is continuing her judo though… Shanna made her full-time return to wrestling on Saturday, defeating Laura Wellings to win the Swiss Championship Wrestling Women’s Championship… The Blossom Twins are part of a new TNA TV show in the UK. Called British Boot Camp, it will start in December, with the winner being offered a TNA contract… Alpha Female was part of the Spin Cycle at the TNA Fan Party in London at the weekend… Taylor Wilde has been announced as attending Pro Wrestling: EVE’s Wrestle-Fever show on November 10. She has been living in England after getting married to a Brit. Nikki Storm described her as one of her influences… The main event of ICW: Fierce Females on September 30 has been announced – old rivals Carmel Jacob and Kay Lee Ray will face each other in a Last Woman Standing match. The pair faced each other in a deathmatch on an ICW show last year. Meanwhile, Jenny Sjodin has had to pull out of the show due to injury – she was meant to team with April Davids against the Owens Twins. Instead, Davids will team with Lisa Fury… Alpha Female will debut for Southside Wrestling at their 2nd anniversary show on October 28 in St Neots.

Mexico
Goya Kong replaced Dark Angel at CMLL’s show last Tuesday as she is still competing in Japan… Questions abound concerning Dark Angel’s status in CMLL too, with her still being advertised for shows in Mexico despite being in Japan for Stardom… Lluvia could be out for 9 months to a year after having surgery to her knee. She’s been working with a knee brace… AAA is leaning towards a programme between Sexi Star & Lolita.

Australia & New Zealand
Krackerjak cost Kellie Skater the IndyGurlz Australia Championship on Friday, though Skater got some revenge the following night when she teamed with Colt Cabana & Concrete Davidson to beat Krackerjak, Sway and Jonah Rock… Shazza McKenzie’s been toughing out with a shoulder injury recently… IPW’s Commissioner Dion McCracken says Megan-Kate “deserved” her title shot that she received at the Women’s Championship when she was added to the main event between Evie and Britenay. Still no explanation as to why she deserved it though.

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Results

August 25: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Perth, Scotland) – Nikki Storm b Sammii Jayne

August 27: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Estrellita, Goya Kong & Marcela b Amapola, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit

August 28: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Goya Kong, Marcela & Tiffany b Amapola, La Comandante & Princesa Blanca

August 28: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Lady Afrodita & Luna Mágica b La Seductora, Princesa Sugheit & Zeuxis

August 29: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi & Kurumi b Maki Narumiya & Meari Naito; Mio Shirai b Hamuko Hoshi; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Misaki Ohata b Hailey Hatred & Miyako Matsumoto; Hikaru Shida b Neko Nitta

August 30: WWE (Brisbane, Australia) – Layla b Rosa Mendes

August 30: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Nagisa Nozaki b Makoto; AKIRA, Syuri & Starbuck b TAJIRI, Kana & Mikey Whipwreck

August 30: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – ODB b Madison Rayne

August 30: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Maki Narumiya b Kurumi

August 31: Wrestling New Classic (Osaka, Japan) – VENENO, Backpacker Joe & YO-HEY b El Hijo del Pantera, Koji Doi & Lin Byron; Nagisa Nozaki b Makoto; AKIRA, Syuri & Starbuck b TAJIRI, Kana & Mikey Whipwreck

August 31: WWE SmackDown (Green Bay, WI) – Kaitlyn b Natalya

August 31: IWA Midwest (Bellevue, IL) – Randi West b Thunderkitty

August 31: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Savannah Summers b KC Cassidy

August 31: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Fremantle, Australia) – Eliza Sway b Kellie Skater to win the IndyGurlz Australia Championship

August 31: Lucha Libra Feminil (Monterrey, Mexico) – Reyna de Corazones b La Heroina; Flor de Loto b Bombom; Angelica & Diana La Cazadora b Lady Maravilla & La Gladiadora; Sadica b Dark Fantasy & La Justiciera in a 3-way

September 1: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (Blacksmiths, Australia) – Harley Wonderland b Rachel Rose

September 1: Wrestling New Classic (Toyohashi, Japan) – Backpacker Joe, Yusuke Kodama & Lin Byron b El Hijo del Pantera, YO-HEY & Shinose Sanjushichi; Nagisa Nozaki b Makoto; TAJIRI, Kana & Mikey Whipwheck b AKIRA, Shuri & Starbuck

September 1: TNA (Bowie, MD) – Mickie James b Gail Kim

September 1: WWE (Des Moines, IA) – Alicia Fox b Natalya

September 1: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – JD Amazing & Santana Garrett b Goril Hanley & Josh Hess

September 1: GBG Wrestling (Gothenburg, Sweden) – Jenny Sjodin b The Doppelgangster

September 1: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hailey Hatred & Kurumi b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Meari Naito; Shuu Shibutani b Miyako Matsumoto; Cherry & Maki Narumiya b Hikaru Shida & Tsukushi; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Riho

September 1: LMV (Tlalnepantla, Mexico) – Estrellita & Sahori b Esther Moreno & Rossy Moreno

September 1: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Morley, Australia) – Colt Cabana, Concrete Davidson & Kellie Skater b Krackerjak, Jonah Rock & Eliza Sway

September 1: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Bern, Switzerland) – Shanna b Laura Wellings to win the SCW Women’s Championship

September 1: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Clydebank, Scotland) – Kirsty Love b Nikki Storm

September 1: Crossfire Entertainment (McMinnville, TN) – Reby Sky b Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok in a 3-way

September 1: Interpromotional Championship Wrestling (Taylor, TX) – Barbi Hayden b Miss Maulie

September 1: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Heidi Lovelace b Taeler Hendrix

September 2: Stardom (Nagoya, Japan) – Hiroyo Matusmoto & Eri Susa b Mayu Iwtani, Natsumi Showzuki & Yuuri Haruka; 
Saki Kashima b Kairi Hojo; Miho Wakizawa b Dark Angel; Kyoko Kimura b Natsuki*Taiyo; 
Io Shirai b Act Yasukawa; Nanae Takahashi b Yuusaku; 
Yuzuki Aikawa v Yoshiko went to a time limit draw

September 2: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Estrellita b Lady Apache

September 2: WWE (Madison, WI) – Alicia Fox b Natalya

September 2: CMLL (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) – Amapola & Princesa Blanca b Dalis la Caribeña & Marcela

September 3: WWE Raw (Chicago, IL) – Eve Torres b Kaitlyn

September 3: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana b Mika Iida; GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa b Ryo Mizunami & Moeka Haruhi; Ayako Hamada b Mio Shirai; Shuu Shibutani & Syuri b Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida; 
Tsukasa Fujimoto & Misaki Ohata b Maki Narumiya & Yuu Yamagata; 
Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida b Aya Yuki & Sawako Shimono

**

Upcoming

September 8: EVOLVE 17 (Voorhies, NJ) – Christina Von Eerie v Marti Belle

September 8: Ring Wars Carolina (Raeford, NC) – Mia Svensson v Kacee Carlisle

September 8: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhies, NJ) – Greg Excellent & Mia Yim b Drew Gulak & Kimber Lee

September 8: NWA: Top Rope Promotions (Lebanon, TN) – Tasha Simone v Pandora

September 8: Maximum Pro Wrestling (Angus, ONT, Canada) – Xandra Bale v Courtney Rush

September 9: TNA No Surrender (Orlando, FL) – Miss Tessmacher v Tara

September 14: Squared Circle Wrestling (Auburn, NY) – Veda Scott v Cherry Bomb

September 14: Melbourne City Wrestling (Sunshine, Australia) – Savannah Summers v KC Cassidy

September 14: CHIKARA King Of Trios (Easton, PA) – Green Ant, Fire Ant & AssailANT v DASH Chisako, Sendai Sachiko & Meiko Satomura; CombatANT, DeviANT & Soldier Ant v Manami Toyota, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw; Commando Bolshoi, Kaori Yoneyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki v Mr Touchdown, Dasher Hatfield & Matt Classic

September 15: IndyGurlz (Boonton, NJ) – Leva Bates v Kimber Lee; LuFisto v Mia Yim

September 15: Maximum Pro Wrestling (Meaford, ONT, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Xandra Bale

September 15: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Kay Lee Ray

September 15: Solent Wrestling Federation (Waterlooville, England) – Erin Angel v Amazon Ayesha Ray

September 16: WWE Night Of Champions (Bostom, MA) – Layla v Kaitlyn

September 16: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Carmel Jacob

September 16: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)

September 21: SHINE 3 (Ybor City, FL) – Su Yung & Tracy Taylor v Gabby Gilbert & Luscious Latasha; Santana Garrett v Sienna Duvall

September 21: Top of the World Wrestling (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto v Tara

September 22: Northeast Wrestling (Fishkill, NY) – Rosita & Madison Rayne v Angel Williams & Velvet Sky

September 23: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Crazy Mary Dobson; Veda Scott v Mia Yim

September 23: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Riho v Aoi Kizuki; Neko Nitta v Hailey Hatred v Shuu Shibutani; Tsukushi & Kurumi v Cherry & Meari Naito; GAMI, Yumi Ohka & Ryo Mizunami v Hamuko Hoshi, Maki Narumiya & TBA; Hikaru Shida v Mio Shirai

September 23: Alternative Wrestling World (Wolverhampton, England) – Amazon Ayesha Ray v Holly Rocamora

September 28: Xcite Wrestling (Binghamton, NY) – Kimber Lee v Annie Social

September 28: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Kay Lee Ray v April Davids

September 29: Pro-Wrestling Euskadi (Bilbao, Spain) – Pollyanna v Dragoi Neska

September 30: 304 Wrestling (Huntington, WV) – Jessie Belle v Aleida Ortiz

September 30: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Lisa Fury & April Davids v Kasey & Leah Owens; Holly Rocamora v Rhia O’Reilly

September 30: Beyond Wrestling (East Greenwich, RI) – Portia Perez v Lexxus; Veda Scott v RD Evans

September 30: Squared Circle Wrestling (Vaughan, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb v Gabriella Vanderpool

October 5: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Maria Kanellis & Winter v Angel Williams & Velvet Sky

October 6: Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia)

October 6: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Thunderkitty v Allysin Kay

October 6: Riot City Wrestling (Adelaide, Australia) – Harley Wonderland v Eliza Sway

October 6: UK Women’s Wrestling/World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Wakefield, England)

October 6: REINA World Joshi Puroresu (Baltimore, MD)

October 7: Joshi4Hope (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami v Arisa Nakajima & Aya Yuki

October 11: Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling (Rahway, NJ) – Jewells Malone v Silvie Silver

October 13: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Jessicka Havok v Alicia v Lexxus; Tina San Antonio v Brittney Savage; Marti Belle v Nikki Addams; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Annie Social & Kimber Lee

October 26: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – MsChif v Sweet Saraya

October 27: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Lady Lory v Erin Angel

October 27-28: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)

October 31: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob

November 3: nCw Femmes Fatales X (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto v Mercedes Martinez; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; LuFisto v Hiroyo Matsumoto; Mercedes Martinez v Pink Flash Kira; Ryo Mizunami v Courtney Rush

November 9: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Angel Williams v Kay Lee Ray

November 10: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Alpha Female v Nikki Storm

March 30: nCw Femmes Fatales XI (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

April 6: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Secaucus, NJ)

April 13-14: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)

July 6: nCw Femmes Fatales XII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

- Lee Burton

© Ringbelles

Shonshu says:

Not really a surprise about Ice Ribbon. They did well in trying to bring up their own talent but when Emi Sakura left the writing was on the wall. The Japanese Joshi’s are famous for the bitchiness and keeping down the younger girls. It’s more of a hobby activity now than in the A.J.W. days when there were big audiences and more money around. It doesn’t really make much sense when all the companies run shows with the same talents. It’s likely people can’t even remember the names of the various Joshi companies as they change so often. Japan itself has been in a directionless economic paralasis since the 1990′s perhaps this is a symptom of a wider malaise.