When I looked at the card for the Bull Nakano EMPRESS retirement show, I was surprised at what I saw. Not the card itself, which looked very appealing, but the order in which the matches would take place. Unlike American shows which have a card, but barring the main event, you probably won’t know the exact order of the matches. When it comes to Japan, the match listing is usually the order in which those contests would take place. Surprisingly, the singles match featuring veterans and legends Ayako Hamada and Aja Kong would OPEN the show, while the final match on the card would be between two women with comparatively little experience – one had just three years under her belt, while the other had debuted just 15 months ago.
Having said that, the match between Ice Ribbon’s ICEx60 and International Ribbon Tag Team Champion Hikaru Shida and Wonder Of Stardom and one half of the Goddesses Of Stardom Yuzuki Aikawa put forth a hell of a contest, and proved that they were worthy of headlining the card. Even more surprisingly, 28-year old Aikawa won the match in front of 3000 fans at the Tokyo Dome City Hall – though that could be indicative of the potential influence that she could have on joshi in the future…
Despite being trained in taekwondo for ten years, Aikawa made her living before becoming a wrestler as a bikini model and a singer in a girl group, selling picture books, DVDs and CDs, mostly down to her beauty and curvy figure. However, she packed it all in just over two years ago to make the transition to becoming a professional wrestler – funny, in the western world, it usually works the other way around. A year after making the switch, she debuted on October 31, 2010 as part of her own card which she produced, taking on Nanae Takahashi. You would imagine that considering that it was her own card, it was her first match and that she is a pretty woman, she would be eased into the situation by a veteran of the business.
No such luck. Takahashi defeated her, and as part of the deal, beat the shit out of her. (more…)