Posts tagged “Emi Sakura

WOW Podcast #65 with Shanna

Episode 65 with Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna
It’s taken over two years since she said “yes” to a podcast appearance to get everything aligned for this show to come together, but the delay has been all for the better because she had a big year last year with US tours taking in appearances in WSU, AIW and SHINE – and she’s on the verge of a third US visit next month to challenge Jessicka Havok for the WSU World Championship at WSU Mutiny on February 8th. We talk to Shanna about all manner of things, including her experiences on her last two US tours, the origins (and pronunciation) of her ring name, her initial years in the business, working with ABC Catch in mainland Europe, injuries, the match that Shanna describes as her “best match ever”, thoughts on TNA (where she finished second in last year’s GutCheck voting), exclusive news and teasers about upcoming US tours and possible bookings and some of her loves away from wrestling… including, yes… 80s rock music~!

Follow Shanna on twitter | Shanna on facebook | Shanna’s BigCartel Store | Shanna’s YouTube Channel

(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)

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In Video: Pollyanna v Emi Sakura

Pollyanna Ggun PaIt was a big summer for Britain’s Pollyanna. She travelled to Japan in August to train with and wrestle for Emi Sakura‘s Gatoh Move promotion, and picked up a wealth of new skills and experiences along the way. Taking on the likes of Riho, Sayaka Obihiro, Kaori Yoneyama and Hiroyo Matsumoto, the London resident readily admits that it is one of the best experiences in her three and a half year career.

In an interview with Gatoh Move, Pollyanna admits that she would love to return to the promotion in 2014 and to make it a longer stay – however, during her visit she managed to squeeze in a title challenge.

Pollyanna challenged Sakura for the AWF World Women’s Championship at Itabashi Gatoh Heat Summer on August 10 in Itabashi as part of a stacked card. The full match is after the jump, so click and have a watch. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (19 November 2013) – Mickie James talks WWE, Blossom Twins future & more

Mickie James Bayley WWEIn last week’s Roundup, we had a note about Mickie James spending a week at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, FL working with the developmental Divas. At the time, we kept it a bit muted as that was all the information that we had, and if WWE or Mickie wasn’t going to divulge any details that would be all we would know – that she was there and that was it. As it turns out, WWE.com made more of a deal about it than we thought, as they conducted a full interview with the former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion.

As well as asking about her favourite WWE moments – the usual ones were there like her match with Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22 and her matches with Beth Phoenix, though she curiously also pointed out the Piggie James angle which I thought was a particular low point in recent Diva history though she spun it to say it brought the issue of bullying to the fore – but she also discussed how she ended up at WWE’s new facility in the first place. (more…)


Pro Wrestling: EVE Queen of the Ring results – Nikki Storm retain the EVE title; Shanna becomes Queen

Pro Wrestling EVE Queen of the Ring posterIt’s had a somewhat rocky start to 2013, but Pro Wrestling: EVE looks to get back into the groove this afternoon with its Queen of the Ring tournament in Nottingham, England. With competitors from across the world – Scotland, Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada, Japan, Portugal and Greece are all represented, it really is an international affair, and features four quarter final matches which are all first-time contests for the promotion, including twins Kasey and Leah Owens squaring off in the opening round, and Shanna promising at last month’s Special Edition III show that she was going to win the tournament.

In the only non-tournament match, Rhia O’Reilly – who is the only wrestler to have been on every EVE show in the promotion’s history – will challenge for the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship, taking on reigning titleholder Nikki Storm, in a match which will see two of the three members of the former Team Storm gym square off in singles action also for the first time. Storm talked to us about the match earlier this month as part of our Fight Like A Girl interview.

We are in Nottingham to bring you results as they happen – click the jump and keep up with all the developments as they happen. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (14 May 2013) – Christy Hemme, WSU updates, news & more

Christy Hemme Austin Aries 2Anyone who watched TNA Impact Wrestling last week saw an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment for one of the roster.

Ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake on the live broadcast during the entrance for Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, incorrectly introducing them as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels’ team of Bad Influence. A silly mistake, but it’s live TV and mistakes sometimes happen. Upset, Aries got into the ring, backed Hemme into a corner and forced her to give the correct introductions, which she did, under some duress. As she was finishing off her correction, Aries climbed onto the ropes, essentially placing his crotch less than six inches from her face – something which Hemme laughed off.

However, things clearly weren’t so funny for Christy.

When asked about the incident on Twitter, Hemme replied with the solitary word of “unacceptable”, which made it clear that her reaction to Aries actions were not something that she found amusing, but had brushed it off to be a professional and get on with her job. Aries responded on his Twitter on Saturday with a load of penis and testicle puns, saying “Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.” (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (5 February 2013) – Shanna v Emi Sakura, Rachel Summerlyn and more

Emi SakuraOn Sunday, I sat among 400 people in a hall in a small city in the west of England. The only reason why I had decided to go – well, apart from it being a 15 minute walk from my front door – was that it featured a women’s match that was pretty hyped up about. Unfortunately, the billed contest between Kay Lee Ray and Shanna had to be scrapped because of KLR suffering a broken toe two days previous, then wrestling for about 40 minutes on it the previous day – though as it turns out, her metatarsal had been broken for about a month, which was compounded by the broken toe. As a result, a suitable replacement was brought in to replace Ray, and it would more than compensate.

The fans at Alternative Wrestling World in Wolverhampton had no idea who Emi Sakura was. To them, she was a Japanese woman who wears a lot of fabric, doesn’t show much skin and visually, didn’t look like much to write home about. Around me, I heard some borderline racist jokes about the “Chinese” woman in the ring and some unfunny gags about ordering Chinese cuisine in a mocking Far Asian accent. Her opponent also got the heckles, with a guy yelling “get your tits out” to Portugal’s Perfect Athlete – as if that line has EVER worked. Needless to say, we were dealing with an audience with spectacularly low expectations for the contest, and more than their fair share of xenophobia and ignorance. I’m stunned that I didn’t see anyone get up to go to the bar or toilets. They would have regretted it if they had, as little did they know, but they were going to be treated to a showcase featuring one of Europe’s best against one of the best in the world… (more…)


Pro Wrestling: EVE – No Man’s Land 2 results – now updated with thoughts, photos & Nikki Storm interview

Shanna & Rhia O'Reilly choke Kirsty LovePro Wrestling: EVE returns today for its first show since its Wrestle Fever iPPV with title controversies to be settled, and the build towards introducing a new championship.

Heading the card is Emi Sakura defending the EVE title against former champ Nikki Storm, who won and lost the belt on the iPPV last November, defeating Alpha Female before losing an impromptu defence to Sakura. The Gatoh Move founder was meant to defend the belt against Carmel Jacob yesterday, but due to a schedule change in her flight, she didn’t make it to the Preston City Wrestling card in time. Instead, Jacob – who presumably will get a title shot in the future instead – defeated Kay Lee Ray, who limped away from the match with a broken toe.

Ray was meant to face Blue Nikita, but that match was scrapped after Nikita suffered head and neck trauma in a car accident earlier this week. As a result, she has been slotted into the match between Alpha and Shanna to make it a 3-way.

Also on the card are three quarter final matches in the EVE Tag Team Championship tournament, with The Lovely Peppers (Kirsty Love & Pollyanna Peppers) facing Kasey & Leah Owens, Ama-Reilly (Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly) against She-X (Bete Noire & Viper), and the Glamour Gym (Carmel Jacob & Sara-Marie Taylor) meeting April Davids and a mystery partner. The other contest will be the promotion’s second Three Minute Warning match featuring 15 wrestlers in a mix of a Gauntlet Match and a Royal Rumble.

Lee Burton is at the show in Preston, England, and will be updating the results as they happen, so click after the jump and keep hitting refresh for updates. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (29 January 2013) – Trish Stratus, National Pro Wrestling Day, Pro Wrestling: EVE & more

Trish Stratus WWEIt was announced during last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw that Trish Stratus would be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this April as part of the WrestleMania XXIX weekend. As expected, the wave of congratulations came from wrestlers past and present like Lita, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Gail Kim and more, as well as personalities both inside and outside of the business like Jim Ross, Lilian Garcia and Snooki. Indeed, there are a lot of supporters of the Torontarian, and she was quick to react to the announcement:

I still can’t believe it. I’m just so honored to be taking my place alongside WWE’s greatest, as a wrestling fan – I’m kind of blown away! It’s simply amazing.

The 37-year old joins the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Sensational Sherri, Sunny and Wendi Richter in the Hall, and is the most modern Diva to be inducted, though this provided a sticking point for some who felt that while she was worthy of going in, it was ahead of others who they felt should go in first – Leilani Kai, Bull Nakano and Madusa were names which cropped up, as well as Lita, whom Stratus’ career ran parallel with for damn near the entirety of their runs.

Now, while I’m not the biggest Stratus fan in the world, I’m fair – and without a doubt, Trish deserves to be in that Hall of Fame, and as far as the criteria of this particular one is concerned, is more worthy than the others. If we were discussing the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame or the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY, then Stratus would get nowhere near the ballots, but for WWE’s version, all you have you do is get the green light from one Vince McMahon – and when it comes to that element, Stratus was always inevitable, as she was a model WWE employee. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (15 January 2013) – Kaitlyn, Eve Torres, Women Of Wrestling and more

Kaitlyn WWESo Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…

Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (25 December 2012) – Arisa Nakajima, Veda Scott, 100th Roundup & more

Arisa Nakajima - new JWP Openweight Champion. Photo: Youji KawauchiEmi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.

Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)


Kay Lee Ray makes Japanese debut; Emi Sakura retains Pro Wrestling: EVE title

Time certainly flies. Scotland’s Kay Lee Ray competed in her first match in Japan earlier today as part of Emi Sakura‘s Gatoh Move promotion, a little over two weeks since it was announced that she was going to be heading over there. However, when you’re flying by the seat of your pants, things tend to be more exciting, so you can only imagine how she’s feeling right now.

Her debut on the show in Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan was not a victory, as she and former Ice Ribbon starlet Riho were beaten by the Queens Revolution – namely former JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Champions Hailey Hatred and Kaori Yoneyama, marking the first time the pair have linked up in more than a year. However, the defeat did not involve Ray’s shoulders being pinned to the mat, as it was Riho who took the fall when Yoneyama rolled her up while the 20-year old gaijin was on the arena floor. (more…)


So how was Kay Lee Ray’s 2012?

Ahead of the announcement of the 2012 Ringbelles Awards – which start on Monday – we thought it would be a good idea to see what happened to the three winners in 2011. How has the last 12 months been for them? Well, let’s start with out pick for Discovery of the Year, Kay Lee Ray

We selected the high-flier from Scotland for her strong showings over the course of 2011, which included strong showings against joshi talent Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto (the latter as part of a three-way with Erin Angel) at Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon in October and her thrilling deathmatch against old enemy Carmel Jacob at Insane Championship Wrestling. She ventured outside of the UK to wrestle in Denmark, and we surmised that because of the positive opinions garnered by her work, her profile would go from strength to strength in 2012. That’s exactly what happened, and she’s capping the year off being on the other side of the world… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (4 December 2012) – Intergender wrestling, WWE’s most beautiful women & more

Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.

I can see some of you imagining it right now.

For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (13 November 2012) – EVE’s iPPV, WAWW free show, Amazing Kong & more

In a move that nobody anticipated, Emi Sakura left Pro Wrestling: EVE’s second iPPV as the promotion’s Champion, after successfully defending her JWP Openweight Title earlier in the night, then challenging new EVE titleholder Nikki Storm in an impromptu match which saw the founder of Gatoh Move hit a quick 450 splash for the pin.

Now, I get the reasoning for putting the belt on Sakura. On an immediate level, it offers a happy ending for the show, and the visual of the JWP and EVE titles together is pretty striking. Longer term, it means that the belt is now associated with the oldest active women’s title in Japan, and considering how good Sakura is at garnering publicity, there is a lot of opportunity for joshi fans to find out about Pro Wrestling: EVE because people will inevitably ask about this other belt that she’s holding. In turn, it could lead to more international recognition and possibly more DVD sales and iPPV buys from Japan in the future.

However, the circumstances in which she won the title seems to be a big sticking point among some fans who both attended the show and watched online. (more…)


Pro Wrestling: EVE – Wrestle Fever results (now updated with thoughts, photos and an interview with Angelina Love)

It has been 19 months since their previous encounter, and tonight, the pair meet again. Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Alpha Female defends the title against number one contender Nikki Storm, with Storm possessing a psychological advantage in that the only defeat on Alpha’s record in the whole of EVE history was by her hands. It’s the main event of Wrestle Fever – EVE’s second foray into iPPV, and you can watch it by ordering it here.

On what is a bumper card of action, JWP Openweight Champion Emi Sakura puts the title on the line against Kay Lee Ray in the first defence of the belt in the UK, while Sakura’s running buddy in Gatoh Move Kaori Yoneyama teams up with April Davids against Hannah and Holly Blossom, with the winners meeting the victors in another tag match involving Kasey & Leah Owens against Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly and a mystery team in a mini tag team tournament.

The other high-profile encounter sees former TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love take on the Glamour Gym’s Carmel Jacob – elsewhere, Kirsty Love faces Blue Nikita, Janey Britannico steps into the ring against Shanna, and Erin Angel competes against Scottish newcomer Fiona Fraser.

While you’re keeping up with the results, you can have a read of Nikki’s most recent blog where she discusses Wrestle Fever and our chat with her as part of a recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, and you can click the jump to see the results as they happen. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (6 November 2012) – experiencing live wrestling, Femmes Fatales and more

Allysin Kay, Santana Garrett, Ryo Mizunami, Heidi Lovelace, Thunderkitty, Su Yung, Shazza McKenzie, Angelus Layne, Sweet Cherrie, Mary Lee Rose, Deziree, Missy, Medianne, Xandra Bale, Leah Von Dutch, Jewells Malone, Serphentina, Angie Skye & Pink Flash Kira all share a common thread with me in relation to all the wrestling I’ve seen in the last few weeks – seven shows since October 26, and two more to come this weekend, where I can add Kaori Yoneyama and Angelina Love to that list. They are all wrestlers who I have seen live for the first time, and I think that’s a massively important thing to be excited about.

While at SHIMMER, the discussion took place about Lexie Fyfe’s announcement as part of the heel team for the elimination match which headlined volume 50, with the assertion that if you merely read the results, or even saw it on DVD, it would not generate the same reaction or experience as watching it live. At the Berwyn Eagles Club, RPM by Sugar Ray hit and there was a wave of excitement as the recognition sunk into fans’ heads, realising that Fyfe would be wrestling her first SHIMMER match since May 3, 2009, where she and Malia Hosaka fell to Ariel and Nikki Roxx. It was a nice throwback to a previous generation, and provided a lovely nostalgic feeling. Had you just seen the result on paper, or knowing that it was going to happen, it may not have garnered the same buzz. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (30 October 2012) – SHIMMER, Beth Phoenix, Emi Sakura & more

SHIMMER: Women Athletes was lacking some of its big names for the most recent tapings, including the injured Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, as well as Jessie McKay and Sara Del Rey – the latter of whom has since signed with WWE. While the top storyline with SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya and Cheerleader Melissa was still on, the Tag Team Championship had changed hands from Del Rey and Courtney Rush to Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews inbetween the March tapings and now, leaving Rush knocked from having one of the most popular storylines in the promotion cut off before it even got started. However, the booking for last weekend’s shows proved that creating writing and a strong willed lineup can easily fill the gaps. (more…)


Ringbelles Retro: Emi Sakura in NEO

A year since the excellent Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon weekend in Nottingham, England (results of which you can see here and here), founder and former head of the joshi promotion Emi Sakura is returning to the UK to compete in an EVE ring again – this time for the November 10 Wrestle Fever event, headlined by Alpha Female v Nikki Storm for the EVE Championship, and also featuring former TNA Knockouts titleholder Angelina Love against Carmel Jacob.

Since her last visit to the UK, Sakura has parted ways with the promotion she created, established a new one in Thailand called Gatoh Move, won the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Championship with Kaori Yoneyama, and initiated an infiltration of JWP – and you can read more of that by clicking here.

Before she makes her flying visit to England, Sakura will have another big milestone for her year when she holds Gatoh Move’s first event in a proper ring in Itabashi on November 4. Like at the start of Ice Ribbon, GM shows have taken place on mats up until now, barring a couple of exhibition matches between Sakura and Yoneyama in Muay Thai rings in Bangkok. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (18 September 2012) – Tammy Lynn Sytch, King Of Trios & Gatoh Move’s wranglings

“Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, You get choked out.”

No joke – those were the first words that Tammy Lynn Sytch decided to make public on her Facebook page after being arrested three times in three days last week on domestic violence complaints. Seeing as legal proceedings are underway, this was a colossally dumb thing to do, as it’s pretty much an admission of guilt. How about “Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, you get dumped.” As someone who works fairly closely with a domestic violence charity, this sort of flippant approach to alleged crimes like this really grinds my gears.

According to TMZ – and later picked up by the Associated Press and local TV media outlets – the 39-year old WWE Hall of Famer was first arrested by police in Branford, CT, on Tuesday night at 8:55pm for disorderly conduct involving a man living in the house she was with, which was later confirmed to be the home of boyfriend and pro wrestler Damian Darling. It apparently all began with a heated argument between the couple. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (4 September 2012) – Ice Ribbon exodus, Cameron’s woes, WSU & more

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. (more…)


A good half year for… a few others


Over the last week, we have given you our rundown on the seven wrestlers who have raised their stock in the last six months, all of whom have done so in various ways (and you can read about them all right here). However, as with all lists, there is always some discussion about whether the right choices were made. Believe us when we tell you that there was quite a bit of conversation on who should get the article treatment, as there were a number of names who were considered. With that, we bring you the ones who were on the list because of their achievements, but didn’t make the final cut… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (22 May 2012)

The last week has seen the continued downfall of two women who were among the most popular females in the wrestling in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Starting with wrestler-turned-porn star Chyna, who collapsed three times between Thursday and Saturday while in Miami Beach, FL for the 2012 Exxxotica Expo, where she was promoting her latest appearance in a skin flick, playing She Hulk in a porn parody of The Avengers. The first incident happened on Thursday when she passed out in the Catalina hotel’s pool at the Expo’s launch party and was asked to return to her hotel room to sleep it off. But all Chyna did was recover for another assault on the bar the following day.

The following morning, the former WWE Intercontinental and Women’s Champion passed out at the convention itself, right in front of the main stage. After being checked out by paramedics, the 41-year old was helped back to her hotel room for more rest and relaxation – and she needed that help, as video footage posted on TMZ showed that she was in no condition to walk unaided. One day later, she was back, and was seen slumped in the lobby. She was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after the third incident, and did not return to the event.

Now, I’m not writing this to poke fun at or mock Chyna. On the contrary, this is a plea for her to reassess her life.

Before her one-off in-ring comeback at TNA Sacrifice a year ago, word had gone around that she was planning to move to Japan and teach English as a foreign language – something that I fully supported. It would be a good career for her to be part of, would make a positive difference in people’s lives and could see her slip away from the spotlight that was eating her alive. After all, she had taken part in a very public rehabilitation on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 which she took part in after admitting that drugs had seen her life spiral out of control – she claimed she was in the middle of her drug use when her sex tape, later released as One Night In Chyna was filmed. Before Celebrity Rehab, she had undergone private rehab after a revealing interview with Howard Stern where she said she didn’t want to do drugs anymore, but if a line of cocaine was put in front of her, she would have to have it. (more…)


In Video: Gatoh Move kicks off in Thailand

Emi Sakura has certainly been busy since leaving Ice Ribbon at the start of January. For the most part, she has been teaming/battling Kaori Yoneyama, as well as travelling to Thailand to get a new promotion off the ground. As time has passed, the two elements have been drawn together to the point where they came together yesterday in Bangkok.

On April 22, Sakura and Yoneyama wrestled on a JWP card with stipulations for both women. If Yoneyama won, Sakura would have to become a full-time member of the JWP roster and abandon her plans to set up a promotion in Thailand. However, if Emi won, Kaori would be forced to join her new Thai venture. As it turned out, Sakura got the winning pinfall in 31 seconds using La Magistral to force Yoneyama to join her project. However, before flying out to Thailand, Sakura secured some new trinkets with her new colleague by winning the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Championship by beating Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Miyu for the vacant belts.

Up until now, matches filmed under the working title of BKK Pro had taken place in a number of unique settings against Masa Takanashi, including around a hotel swimming pool and on the beach… that is, until yesterday, when Sakura’s new promotion – now known as Gatoh Move – staged its first ever contest in a ring. Admittedly, it was a Muay Thai ring which is harder than your regular wrestling ring, and the ropes are more for keeping combatants inside rather than for running and jumping, but it’s progress. After all, Ice Ribbon started without a ring, and that has grown into a respectable joshi promotion over the years.

The match featured the Tag Team Champions wrestling against each other in a match that went longer than 31 seconds. Wrestled inside the MBK shopping mall in Bangkok, it was viewed by around 300 spectators who were poised for some Muay Thai action, though Sakura and Yoneyama reportedly received “please come back” chants from the crowd, who were receptive of what they had just witnessed. As starts go, that’s a pretty positive one, and couple with the added credibility that people with title belts brings, it should garner some more attention in the future. Click after the jump to watch the match for yourself.

(more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (8 May 2012)

It’s been Golden Week in Japan, which has meant a slew of wrestling across the country. However, we have a brief history lesson first…

Golden Week starts at the end of April and runs through until May 5, and incorporates a number of Japanese public holidays, including honouring the birthday of the late Emperor Hirohito, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day – which is to commune with nature – and Children’s Day, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is also the longest vacation period of the Japanese year, and many people are given paid time off as many companies completely close during that period. For that reason, Japan has a lot of spare time – many people travel, and the west coast of the US and Canada sees a slew of Japanese tourists during that time, but others stay at home, and can entertain themselves during their leisure time by watching pretty much any wrestling promotion that they choose, as most of them hold a show, while some stage supercards. Here’s a rundown of some of the things that went down during Golden Week in the world of joshi:

Kurumi’s push in Ice Ribbon continues – she and Ribbon Takanashi won the Golden Ribbon Mixed Tag Team Tournament on Saturday, defeating Hamuko Hoshi & Hoshi Tango, Hikari Minami & Dynasty and Maki Narumiya & Masamune to win the whole shebang. As well as winning tournaments to win the IW19 Championship and to earn the right to become Manami Toyota’s tag team partner to challenge for the International Ribbon Tag Team Titles at Ice Ribbon March, 12-year old Kurumi is quickly becoming the tournament queen in the promotion. Don’t bet against her in the future – you’ll lose money if you do so. (more…)