Posts tagged “Kaori Yoneyama

In Video: Stardom’s 100th show

Io Shirai Nanae Takahashi StardomStardom held a bumper card for its 100th show earlier on this month, with three championship matches, headlined by World Of Stardom Champion Io Shirai defending the belt against former titleholder and 5STAR GP winner Nanae Takahashi.

Presented to 1,020 fans at Tokyo, Japan’s Korakuen Hall on November 4, the show was recently broadcast and has been uploaded to YouTube – so watch it quickly before it goes away. We have the results here, but if you want to watch spoiler-free you can click the jump. (more…)


Two title changes mark Stardom’s 100th show

Act Yasukawa StardomOn January 23, 2011, World Wonder Ring Stardom hosted its debut show in front of 466 fans at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan. Kicking off with Iris & Nanae Takahashi beating Natsuki Taiyo & Yuzuki Aikawa and culminating with Yoko Bito defeating Yoshiko, the promotion quickly became a player, crowning its first singles champions in the middle of that year, followed by tag team champions in November, and six-woman titles were introduced in January of this year.

Stardom held its biggest show in its history in April with Ryogoku Cinderella at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. With Dark Angel winning the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship, while Io Shirai claimed the World Of Stardom belt and Yuzuki Aikawa retiring from the ring, it was the end of one era and the dawn of another. Seven months on, Stardom has hit another milestone with its 100th card, held at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall in front of 1,020 fans, and saw two titles change hands. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (4 June 2013) – Beauty in wrestling, the latest on Taeler & Heidi, plus more

Miss AdivaAn aspiring wrestler was on MTV in the US last weekend.

Dana Adiva – who models and has wrestled a couple of shows for Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling as well s some smaller promotions in the Midwest – was one of two subjects featured on an episode of True Life entitled “I’m Too Beautiful”. In it, her sister complained about how attractive her sibling was and how it was affecting their relationship. Adiva also talked about how she had to drop out of school because she was bullied about her looks, finds it hard to get a boyfriend (though her Facebook says she is currently attached) and boasts that “I get anything I want and I get treated like a princess… I don’t have to be smart, because I have my looks.”

However, she also complains that “At the same time it sucks being pretty, it would nice being taken seriously once in a while,” though also discusses the possibility of getting a breast enhancement, claiming “I feel I will be more beautiful with bigger boobs. Instead of a 10 I’ll be a 200.”

MTV followed Adiva around for eight months filming this and she was one of two stories which were compressed into an hour long show, which means about 40 minutes of programme when you take out the commercials. The producers could have weaved any story they liked out of it – however, she said these things, regardless of whether she was coerced or cajoled into doing it. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (12 March 2013) – Former Knockouts decline return, Mae Young turns 90, and more

Awesome Kong RoxxiOn Sunday, TNA records an all-female version of the One Night Only pay-per-views which it is using to run in the months when it’s not presenting one of its big PPVs like Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary or Bound For Glory. Entitled Knockout Knockdown, it is advertised as a show to determine the true Queen of TNA. It is possible that the show will be a tournament if it is going to determine an overall winner, and to make it an occasion, TNA invited former members of the Knockouts roster to be part of it.

It probably didn’t go as well as they had hoped.

When asked on Twitter, Angelina Love, Nikki Roxx (Roxxi), Traci Brooks & Amazing Kong (Awesome Kong) all revealed that they were not going to be part of the proceedings and Dark Angel (Sarita) is also unavailable as she is in Japan. Considering the impression that each of them made to the division and the contributions that they made, for them to decline or not be in the country speaks volumes about what they may feel about TNA these days. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (19 February 2013) – WSU/BLOW clash, Fierce Females and more

BLOW WSUEarlier this month, there was a clash of shows, with no more than 70 minutes drive between the two. In Voorhees, NJ, you had a double-header featuring Women Superstars Uncensored in the afternoon followed by a Combat Zone Wrestling card. Meanwhile, 65 miles away in Metuchen, NJ, there was a Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling event followed by a show from its parent company Pro Wrestling Syndicate. Critically, the WSU show was better than the (frankly poor) BLOW event, though the latter boasted the larger audience number. For all that anybody knows, it could have been more, but there were hundreds of fans down the I-95 watching another couple of promotions running at approximately the same time. It meant that fans had to choose which show they wanted to see, and was a clash which felt unfortunate. It was very unlikely to happen again.

Or was it…? (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…)


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…)


Kaori Yoneyama to make UK debut at Pro Wrestling: EVE on November 10

Kaori Yoneyama, who in the past has been JWP Openweight and Tag Team Champion, All Japan Women singles and doubles champ, will make her United Kingdom debut in just over a month’s time as part of Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s Wrestle Fever show on November 10. She will make the trip alongside tag team championship partner Emi Sakura, who was announced to appear on the show earlier this week. Yoneyama – who celebrates her 13th anniversary in the biz next month – has had one hell of a year, especially considering she was seconds away from retiring last December…

The 31-year old announced her intentions to leave wrestling behind before embarking on a huge farewell tour, which saw her win tag straps with her friend Hailey Hatred, and also saw her make her US debut in December as part of JoshiMania, just weeks before she was scheduled to hang up the boots – though she has since returned to CHIKARA, taking part in September’s King Of Trios as part of Team JWP. On December 23, she was defeated by Kayoko Haruyama before standing in the ring to receive the ten tolls of the bell which would signify the end of her career. However, she interrupted it to say that she had changed her mind and anted to continue on – something that had never happened before. Controversial to say the least, nobody seemed to know this was going to happen – and if it was a work, it’s one which very few knew about. Ironically, it was Sakura who was most upset, attacking Yoneyama for what she did – though the pair are now the backbone of Emi’s Gatoh Move promotion. (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 (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.

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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…)


Ringbelles Roundup (24 April 2012)

Nikki Bella won the WWE Divas Championship on Raw last night. There are a couple of issues that stem from this, so let’s deal with the Bella situation first.

First off, this title change has been on the cards for weeks, so it wasn’t a kneejerk reaction to the “twist” in the match. However, according to previous reports, the Bella Twins’ contract expires on Monday, and unless they have signed a contract extension – which we don’t believe has happened – they are set to go. Putting the Divas strap on Nikki is a curious choice, as it has to be a short reign – don’t be fooled, she won’t be taking the belt away with her like CM Punk did with the WWE Championship last June after winning it at Money in the Bank – so there are only three shows where she could conceivably drop it – SmackDown, Extreme Rules on Sunday, or the Raw the following day. Realistically, option 2 is the most likely, meaning a six day reign, and there is a prime candidate for winning the title, probably in some sort of open challenge…

I really hope that in one year, when I come back, you two will still be here.

That’s the parting words Kharma gave to the Bella Twins last May before taking a sabbatical following the announcement of her pregnancy. As has been reported, things tragically didn’t work out with that, but it seems that she is ready to get back onto the scene after being interviewed for a TV news piece about GLOW while she was at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in Las Vegas last week (more on GLOW later). Besides, if she wants to make good on her threat to destroy the Bellas, she has a window of a mere few days to get the job done, and the cherry on top would be taking the Divas Championship in the process. (more…)


DVD review: JoshiMania

I sit here, having watched 21 matches as part of the three JoshiMania events which took place at the start of December 2011. As I watched the three DVDs, I jotted down notes of the big moments and key incidents in the matches. I now have EIGHT pages of bullet points to go through, and one thing because blatantly obvious: doing a match-by-match review of JoshiMania would be incredibly laborious, repetitive and dull for you, the good reader.

So instead of going through JoshiMania chronologically, what this review will be about is the best matches, the standout stars and moments, and which shows were the best if you absolutely, positively can only by just the one DVD…

The shows had a bumpy road leading up to the first event in Philadelphia on December 2. Meiko Satomura, Madison Eagles and Command Bolshoi all had to pull out due to injury, leading to replacements such as Ayako Hamada, Kaori Yoneyama, GAMI and Portia Perez and a fair bit of rewriting to the matches, as the trio who didn’t make it would likely have been part of the matches at the higher end of the card. Hamada was the biggest beneficiary, as she ended up in two of the three main events (against Aja Kong on night 2, and taking on Sara Del Rey on the final show).

However, nothing can take away from the huge amount of organisation that took place to bring JoshiMania to fruition. As Mike Quackenbush revealed to us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast the week before the shows, the introduction of Manami Toyota to CHIKARA came about thanks to retired Jumping Bomb Angel Itsuki Yamazaki. From there, it was thanks in part to Toyota’s reputation and contacts that facilitated stars from across Japan to come together for the shows, effectively closing down the joshi scene while tars from promotions like JWP, WAVE, OZ Academy, Union Pro and more came together for a series of interpromotional contests. Indeed, a lot of potential issues were circumnavigated and resolved to come to the point that these shows even took place. So how were they? Well, let’s see… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (27 December 2011)

Madison Eagles was flooded with messages from both fans and peers on Twitter after revealing on the Women of Wrestling Podcast on Christmas Eve that the knee injury that she is currently sidelined with could be career ending if it doesn’t heal of its own accord. Should it require surgery, she will be unable to wrestle again.

The 27-year old Australian, who spent close to two years as SHIMMER Champion before dropping the belt to Cheerleader Melissa back in October, suffered the injury two days after those DVD tapings while preparing for her match against Kana at CHIKARA the following weekend. She hyperextended her knee while executing a double stomp, causing her to collapse in pain. After having to wait 6 weeks for an MRI, she was put in a brace for the next month and a half, and only had it removed in the last couple of weeks, though the healing process is still agonisingly slow. She told us that the injury could heal naturally, but there is no time frame for a recovery, meaning that the winner of 2011′s PWI Female 50 could spend the bulk of 2012 on the sidelines, unable to capitalise from the extra buzz surrounding her following the win.

Eagles’ character’s descent into madness during her SHIMMER title reign was a joy to watch. She became more and more self-obsessed and paranoid as each show went on, but – uncharacteristically for a heel – won all of her title defences clean, rarely cheated and gave the fans no tangible reason to boo her. As it turns out, despite not being cheered, she received the overwhelming support of the audience at October’s tapings when she was presented with the Female 50 plaque. From there, Eagles received a mixed reaction from the crowd, as it was hard to hate someone who had given and given to wrestling, beating every Diva and Knockout to the top spot and doing so with comparatively little mainstream coverage.

We at Ringbelles hope she enjoys a full recovery so she can return to the ring, but also urge her to take her time, as rushing back could do more harm than good. Normally, we wouldn’t need to say that, but this is a woman who thought she could wrestle through a fractured elbow and wrist last year… (more…)


Hatred loses JWP title; Yoneyama doesn’t retire

It was a dramatic night of JWP action, that’s for sure…

Earlier today in Tokyo’s wrestling mecca, Korakuen Hall, Hailey Hatred lost her JWP Openweight Championship to Tsubasa Kuragaki, ending Hatred’s six month run as the top female wrestler in the country, signified by her being in possession of Japan’s oldest active women’s championship. It was also the first time that a non-Japanese wrestler had ever held that title. Hatred fell to a Falcon Arrow after earlier kicking out of a Liger Bomb.

This is Kuragaki’s second run with the Openweight crown, having previously held the title between September 2005 and May 2006, and is one of only a select few to have held all of JWP’s championships – Openweight, Tag and Jr belts. The result is also a turnaround from their contest in April, where Hatred got the pinfall on Kuragaki en route to earning an Openweight title shot.

Speaking afterwards on her Facebook, Hailey said:

Lost the JWP Championship. My best friend decided not to retire. Taking the good with the bad. I can’t feel disappointed because of all the possibilities the future holds. I look forward to the new year, new challenges, and the inevitable new successes.

Ah yes, her best friend… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (6 December 2011)

JoshiMania is in the history books, and is already available to buy. Click here to take a look.

In the week leading up to the three nights of action, there had been a lot of buzz concerning the event. With joshi talent from a number of different promotions in Japan, female wrestling there had largely stopped (Ice Ribbon carried on as normal, and WAVE also held a card), as many of the top stars had crossed the Pacific and international datelines to wrestling in Philadelphia, PA, Everett, MA and Manhattan, NY for the CHIKARA promoted cards.

The shows main focus – other than showing off some of the great Japanese female talent – seemed to be to provide a platform for CHIKARA talent Sara Del Rey, who won both of her main events against her idol Aja Kong on night one – in a match that she reportedly dominated – and against Ayako Hamada on night 3 in a match which was said to be equal to (or greater than) their SHIMMER volume 28 outing two years ago. Considering Hamada was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, she made a strong impression, and also showed TNA what they missed out on by having this woman on its roster, not using her, mismanaging her and letting her go. (more…)


JoshiMania Night 3, Manhattan, NY live results

Tonight (or this afternoon, to be more accurate, considering it’s a 4pm EST start) is the final JoshiMania card, emanating from Manhattan, NY. You can check out the results from night one and night two to see how things have gone down so far. In the final main event, Sara Del Rey - who so far has defeated Aja Kong and Tsubasa Kuragaki – will take on SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Ayako Hamada – who is 1-1 after teaming with Cherry to beat Mayumi Ozaki & Mio Shirai on night one, and was defeated by Kong last night.

Click after the jump for the matches that will be taking place, and keep hitting refresh to see the latest results… (more…)


JoshiMania Night 1, Philadelphia, PA live results

Good evening everybody, it’s Night 1 of Chikara‘s JoshiMania this evening at The Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, PA. Belltime is 7:30pm, and we’re hoping to bring you live results of the show as well as any news coming out of the shows. Click through to after the jump and keep refreshing the page for results as they come in. (more…)


Show Review: Ice Ribbon “Ice’s Adventures In Wonderland 2011″ (21 August 2011)

It’s fair to say that we at Ringbelles have become quite the fans of Ice Ribbon – on the back of their weekly, free to air 19pro Ustream show, the easily accessible English information about the product (on twitter, tumblr and facebook) and the fact that their wrestlers are just really fun to watch – so when I got the chance to watch Ice Ribbon’s most recent Korakuen Hall show a mere two weeks after it happened, I jumped on it. Ice Ribbon usually run shows at their small Warabi Dojo in the Saitama area, but every so often they run Korakuen Hall in Tokyo (one of seemingly hundreds of promotions that run there regularly), and this most recent edition, entitled “Ice’s Adventures in Wonderland” promised the most enticing IR lineup at Korakuen this year.

The ethereal intro video introduces the main stories running into the show – Manami Toyota mentoring and encouraging Tsukushi, Sayaka Obihiro returning to face the challenge of JWP’s Kaori Yoneyama, Makoto’s final appearances (for now) with the company before heading off to SMASH, the feisty Riho challenging SMASH’s head man TAJIRI and the ICEx60 Title defense of Tsukasa Fujimoto against the dynamic Hikari Minami.
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In Video: Hailey Hatred vs Kaori Yoneyama Triple Title Match from JWP Pure Slam

Things are coming up roses for Hailey Hatred of late. When she joined us last month for an edition of the Women of Wrestling Podcast, she had recently become the first gaijin (foreigner) to win the JWP Openweight Title, and talked with some excitement about her first title defense on August 7th at Korakuen Hall against her friend and rival Kaori Yoneyama. We brought you a first-hand account of the show last week, and now we’ve got video of the match, so with Hatred about to make her debut in SHIMMER Women Athletes this October, here’s a great chance to see what is probably the biggest match of Hailey’s career. Enjoy.


First hand account of JWP PURE-SLAM 2011

Last Sunday, Hailey Hatred made her first defence of the JWP Openweight Championship against Kaori Yoneyama, who is on the retirement trail, which is due to end in December when she hangs up her boots for good. The 4’11″, 30 year old veteran of ten years was looking to regain the title which she won on July 18 last year, and dropped it to Leon on March 4. Current champion Hatred won the belt on June 26, and had to face her outgoing friend with three of her four championships up for grabs.

Steve was one of the 957 in attendance at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, and has given his permission for us to repost his review of the show here for you. Enjoy.

**

Sunday lunchtime my host and I went to JWP Pure Slam at Korakuen Hall, through tickets my host had been left at the door by JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred. Having a chat with Hailey before finding our seats was surreal, but there was plenty more surreal to come later. Korakuen Hall itself was smaller than I imagined; the seats were clearly not designed with the idea that a “Western” pelvis might want to occupy them – and why would they have? – but I got it. Squeeze it was, but never truly uncomfortable. I should add at this point going up the steps to our seats and looking at all the wrestlers’ (and fans) signatures/writing/doodles on the famed walls was akin to a religious experience for me. I’m taking a marker pen on Saturday to immortalize my visit, but I’m not sure what to write… (more…)


WOW Podcast #25 with Hailey Hatred


Episode 25 with Hailey Hatred

We’re celebrating our twenty-fifth show with a really special guest who has a lot to celebrate – the newly crowned JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred. This Ohio girl relocated to Japan several years ago where she’s become a major name on the joshi scene, becoming the first gaijin (foreigner) to hold the JWP Openweight Title (the oldest active joshi title in the country). Hailey’s had quite the 2011 so far, so we talk about her title win, the upcoming retirement of her friend Kaori Yoneyama and living through the Earthquake/Tsunami. We talk the big names to watch out for in joshi going forward, as well as further evidence of Manami Toyota‘s awesomeness. From there we discuss a simply incredible story of being suspended in Mexico after losing her mask, powerbombing rookie Mickie Knuckles on an open chair in her first match, doing intergender matches for Beyond Wrestling and talk about her desire to have an MMA bout. Oh, and want to know how many times she can throw a punch in a minute? You actually won’t believe it. Only on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, ladies and gentlemen!

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DVD Review: Joshi 4 Hope (30 November 2010)

Amongst the offerings for sale at the S-Ovation table at the most recent SHIMMER tapings was a DVD entitled “Joshi 4 Hope”, and featured matches from the self-produced show this past November at Shin-Kiba First Ring. As well as the four young joshi talents who regularly impress at SHIMMER and who symbolise the “Joshi 4 Hope” concept (Ayumi Kurihara, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Misaki Ohata & Tomoka Nakagawa), the show featured the Japanese debut of SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles along with an international cast which featured Canadian (Cherry Bomb), American (Hailey Hatred) and Mexican (Sexi Star) talent along with a number of other joshi names such as then NEO Champion Yoshiko Tamura. In fact, it was the first-time meeting between Eagles and Tamura along with an Ayumi Kurihara vs Tomoka Nakagawa rematch that persuaded me to be parted with the cash for the disc. Let’s see what sort of investment I made… (more…)