“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (more…)
Last November, we posted a match to hype the build-up to the (frankly excellent) three day JoshiMania event featuring Manami Toyota against Aja Kong from Big Egg Wrestling Universe back in 1994, which was given a five star rating by the Wrestling Observer. That match is one of ten five-star encounters which Toyota was part of – all of which took place between 1992 and 1995. We have another one for you today, and this one was voted the Match of the Year.
That’s right – a women’s match was deemed the greatest professional wrestling contest of 1995. Even better than Diesel v British Bulldog from WWF In Your House 4.
The match in question saw Toyota defend All Japan Women‘s WWWA Championship against Kyoko Inoue at Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall which featured moments like piledrivers on the floor, moonsaults, German suplexes off the top rope, top rope dives to the outside onto tables and more.
Sit back and enjoy this one – it’s a belter. (more…)
Legendary Bull Nakano returns on her 44th birthday to finally bid farewell to her fans, and shines a light on the current stars of joshi puroresu
1. Ayako Hamada beat Aja Kong (15:14) with an AP Cross.
2. Guillotine Drop Match: Kayoko Haruyama & Ryo Mizunami beat AKINO & Maki Narumiya (13:34) with a Diving Guillotine Drop from Mizunami on Narumiya.
3. 50s & 40s & 30s & 20s & 10s: Dump Matsumoto, Kyoko Inoue, Leon, Sawako Shimono & Tsukushi defeated Jaguar Yokota, Manami Toyota, Tomoka Nakagawa, Natsuki*Taiyo & Cherry (16:15) with a Powerbomb from Inoue on Cherry.
4. Kana beat Kagetsu (11:23) with the Kana Lock.
5. Nanae Takahashi, Meiko Satomura & Emi Sakura beat Ayumi Kurihara, Yoshiko & Tsukasa Fujimoto (21:41) with a 450 Splash from Sakura on Fujimoto.
6. Yuzuki Aikawa beat Hikaru Shida (15:11) with a Yuzupon Kick.
7. Bull Nakano Retirement Ceremony
• Ayako Hamada and Aja Kong go from headlining at JoshiMania the previous month to opening the show here. Not that these two toned anything down for an opener.
• The Guillotine Drop match was four women (each from a different promotion) who all use the legdrop, as per Bull herself. Sendai Girls’ Mizunami eventually hit a top rope version on ICE Ribbon’s Maki Narumiya for the win.
• The concept for the ten woman tag match is genius. Each team has one competitor in their 50s, one in their 40s, one in their 30s, one in their 20s and one in their teens. Cherry is a bit of a cheat on her team, as she’s portrayed as a teenager, but otherwise the gimmick works very well.
• Kana vs Kagetsu was a total change of pace – a grappling and striking clinic early, leading to suplexes and submissions later. Stuck between two multi-women tags, it’s a bit of an unsung gem.
• The six woman tag in the semi-main slot was my most anticipated match of the card, and it was the one I ended up enjoying most. Emi Sakura pinned Tsukasa Fujimoto to win, but more about this match below.
• The positioning of a match between Hikaru Shida and Yuzuki Aikawa as the main event on the show (or at least the last match before the extended Nakano retirement) showed a lot of faith in these two. Aikawa is limited in experience, while Shida has only just moved to the top of ICE Ribbon cards. That being said, they did a phenomenal job in delivering a quality main event, with Aikawa eking out the win.
Click through for observations, match of the night and overall impressions (more…)
We at Ringbelles are extremely proud to be able to bring you a rare interview with joshi legend Kyoko Inoue as she arrives in the US for a weekend which includes signings, a seminar and a wrestling appearance for CZW. One of the top stars of the joshi boom in the 90s, multi-time champion and founder of NEO, Inoue recently launched the Diana promotion in Japan.
Ringbelles: Kyoko, first of all, welcome back to the United States. You have not been in the country since 1995. Why has it been so long since you were last here?
Inoue: Since I used to work for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling and then NEO, I wasn’t able to travel without the company’s permission. Now I’m the president of a company, so I decided to visit the US.
Ringbelles: The last time you were in the US, you were working with the WWF. Tell us about your experiences working for them. What was your role and how were you treated by the company?
Inoue: I was impressed by the way they handle the dress code when the wrestlers come to the arena and also physical checkup before the match. I was so happy when the audience went along with “Kyoko, clap-clap-clap!!” in a country that I visited for the first time. I wanted to show my best performance in the United States and WWF.
Ringbelles: In the 1990s you were involved with many great matches and competed with a lot of great wrestlers. Many people consider your series of matches with Manami Toyota to be some of the greatest matches of all time. What are your feelings on those matches, and of Toyota as a competitor?
Inoue: Since Toyota-san was a senpai whose career was a year longer than mine, she was one of those I wanted to beat as soon as possible. I think my passion to beat her led to some of our best matches.
Ringbelles: You have been part of many firsts, including being the first woman in Japan to hold a men’s championship when you were one half of the WEW Tag Team Champions in 2000. What message do you think this sends to women? (more…)
The future of women’s wrestling in Britain was looking bright. In May 2010, Pro Wrestling: EVE debuted with a lot of fanfare, announcing a working relationship with World Association of Wrestling, meaning Sweet Saraya and her daughter Britani Knight would be part of the proceedings, along with other WAW talent Destiny and Amazon (and later, Liberty and Melodi). The partnership seemed to be working well, with training seminars being held with WAW, and EVE making Britani its first Champion two months ago.
Fast forward 13 months, and things are looking much muddier.
Last Saturday, less than two hours before Britani would defend the EVE title against Jenny Sjodin at an XWA Wrestling show in Morecambe, Saraya took to her Facebook to say that the relationship with WAW and EVE was being permanently severed, and would not be healed. In addition, it also said that WAW talent would no longer be on EVE shows.
While our Twitter exploded with requests for information, both from fans and wrestlers themselves, I was sat in the crowd at Morecambe unaware, much like EVE promoter Dann Read and the participants in the match. As it turned out, not even Saraya’s daughter knew that this decision was going to be made, nor that it had been made public and was being discussed.
There was no massive incident that caused the split, but more of a lot of little niggles that eventually became too much. Britani travelled to Morecambe against the wishes of family members as she was ill, with swollen legs and voice gone, presumably still suffering the after-effects of the glandular fever that she wrestled with on the EVE Championship weekend. According to Saraya, she did so because of promises made by Dann Read that he wanted to get her booked all around the country and get a number of successful defences under her belt – thereby increasing EVE’s national exposure. It seems that when Saraya learned that Britani would be dropping the title that night, it went against what they were told would be happening with Britani, and saw it as a betrayal of trust. We must point out that it isn’t down to Britani being upset with the booking decision and refusing to drop the title – it apparently is down to promises being made then then reneged on.
Saraya also went on to say that she would be reviving World Association of Women’s Wrestling – a promotion which promoted a number of cards between 2006 and 2009. (more…)
Joshi legend, multi time champion and Diana promoter Kyoko Inoue is making a whistlestop tour of the US in the middle of this month, wrestling for Combat Zone Wrestling, taking part in a training session and doing some signing appearances.
The 41-year old debuted in 1988, and in that time, has won countless titles in AJW, WWWA and NEO, as well as winning mens’ championships in DDT and WEW – additionally, she was the first woman to hold a male belt in Japan. Having wrestled for more than 22 years and wrestling four matches which were give five stars by the Wrestling Observer, Inoue also won Match of the Year in 1995 for her contest against Manami Toyota on May 7.
1995 was a pretty big year for Inoue, as she also gained some exposure to an American (and possibly worldwide) audience by working briefly for the WWF, competing in an 8-woman elimination match at the Survivor Series and also competing on Monday Night Raw in December (click the links to see the matches). Unfortunately, the division crumbled the following month when Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze‘s contract expired and she jumped to WCW. (more…)