The wrestling community worldwide was shocked today as joshi superstar Ayumi Kurihara announced her forthcoming retirement at a press conference. Kurihara, 28, plans to retire at Korakuen Hall on August 4th. The reason for the retirement was given as a number of nagging injuries accumulated over a hard-hitting eight year career. Notably, she missed around a year and a half of action in 2007/8 with a broken clavicle suffered in a match in NEO (she still finished the match), and earlier this year suffered an orbital bone fracture in a match in WAVE. Kurihara said in her announcement today that she would not be happy competing at a level below her best, and that this has played a large part in her decision to retire.
However, some good news for fans of Kurihara – she will be competing in the USA one final time in just over one week’s time as part of SHIMMER Vol 53 at WrestleCon in Secaucus, NJ. Ayumi, a former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion, missed the October tapings last year, so this will be the first time she will compete under the SHIMMER banner in a year. The Vol 53 appearance will be a one-off, as she will not be at the Vol 54-57 taping block in Berwyn, IL the following weekend. Her opponent for Vol 53 has also been announced, and she will be taking on SHIMMER original Mercedes Martinez. The announcement of Ayumi completes the joshi lineup for the April SHIMMER tapings, with Ayako Hamada, Kana, Tomoka Nakagawa & the debuting Yuu Yamagata all already announced. (more…)
One is a smiley, dance-based wrestler who lies more in the entertainment portion of wrestling; another is tough, power-oriented grappler who has earned the nickname of “Lady Destroyer”; while the third is a wild and crazy brawler who has caused nightmares across four different decades. However, despite their obvious differences, Miyako, Hiroyo and Dump all share the same surname – Matsumoto (no relation).
Of course, it was logical that the trio would eventually end up in the same place at the same time, and that moment arrived at NEO‘s The Women’s Pro-Wrestling Carnival on New Year’s Eve 2009 at Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall. Who would emerge victorious in the Matsumoto Number 1 Decision Match? Click after the jump and find out… (more…)
It’s been announced that joshi freelancer Kana has been booked to wrestle for SHIMMER: Women Athletes as part of the promotion’s DVD tapings for volumes 41-44 in Berwyn, Illinois on October 1 and 2. As part of her visit, she will also wrestle for CHIKARA the following weekend.
Kana will follow in the footsteps of fellow joshi talent Ayako Hamada, Ayumi Kurihara, former tag champions Hiroyo Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata, as well as current tag team titleholder Tomoka Nakagawa in wrestling for SHIMMER – and will follow Manami Toyota, Tsukasa Fujimoto and Makoto as it pertains to CHIKARA – and is likely to be a hit, considering the buzz surrounding her, and the demand for her to wrestle for the promotion over the last 18 months or so.
The 29-year old Osaka University graduate debuted on June 16, 2004 for the AtoZ promotion, splitting her time between there and ARSION before going freelance in 2007. She won her first championship on October 10, 2009 when she and Nanae Takahashi won the NEO Tag Team titles from Kyoko Inoue & Hiroyo Matsumoto, successfully defending the titles once before dropping the belts to Yoshiko Tamura & Ayumi Kurihara on New Year’s Eve 2009.
In April 2010, she produced her own wrestling event – another took place in January this year, and a third is scheduled for next month – and has become a regular in SMASH, currently part of the Divas Title Tournament, and will face Syuri in the semi-finals on August 11. On top of her singles work, Kana is also a part of the group known as Triple Tails (along with Mio and Io Shirai), which has shown up in a number of different joshi promotions. However, it looks as if the trio will become a duo soon, as Io has made it known that she wishes to work as a singles competitor after the Triple Tails show on September 18. (more…)
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…)
Last week’s fun sprint of a match between Madison Rayne and ODB certainly entertained me, and having read the spoilers from TNA’s Fayetteville tapings, I was rather looking forward to this week’s edition of Impact too – but it seems like the next stop on Madison’s “brush with greatness” tour won’t be until next week (the second half of the Fayetteville tapings), so instead, Impact gives us the payoff to the Velvet Sky vs Sarita feud that has been simmering for… well, it seems like months.
Welcome to our Television Digest of the week, where you can catch up with all of the goings on from TV during the last week. In this edition, we tick a lot of boxes… singles, tags, six women matches, mixed tag matches and even include couple of title matches. Excited? Well, it’s alright…
TNA narrowly grab “TV match of the week” honours this week with a six woman elimination match that was given some time. Sarita teams with Tara and the Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne to take on Mickie James and The Beautiful People.