So that’s it. After announcing in March that she would be retiring, embarking on a farewell tour which would start in SHIMMER in April and making final appearances in OZ Academy, WAVE, Diana, Ice Ribbon, Gatoh Move and Sendai Girls, Ayumi Kurihara has made her final appearance as an active wrestler.
Despite citing nagging injuries for her reason for bowing out of her eight year career, the 29-year old certainly didn’t hold back or take it easy on herself as she did her farewell rounds. She made the promise in her blog where she revealed her intentions to walk away that she would “continue to fight with all her strength and all her heart until August 4th”, regardless of the damage that it could do to the clavicle injury which was forcing her out. As a result she took part in more than 40 matches in 5 months, including some hard-hitting contests with the likes of Mercedes Martinez and Mayumi Ozaki – something which earned her a recognition in our Good Half Year series last month. (more…)
I’ve had a few days to knock up my thoughts on NCW: Femmes Fatales X from this past Saturday at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal. A few days that have given me a little distance from the show, both mentally and physically (I’m now sitting back in my home over 3,200 miles away). I’m working from memory that has already been through the jet-lag wringer, so apologies if I’m a little vague with anything I struggle to remember clearly.
This was the first time that the NCW crew had decided to run a SHIMMER-style double taping, and I think there were some definite positives and definite negatives to the decision. On a positive note, I enjoyed the shows and got to see over 20 matches featuring talents from around the world – but on the other hand, the show felt different to the one I attended in March, and I wonder how much of that was due to the raised ticket prices possibly turning off local casual fans. Yes, there were lots of travelling fans (a good few having been at SHIMMER the weekend before), but the atmosphere was certainly lacking during the first taping especially, and the audience seemed far harder to rouse. Had FFX ended after the first taping, I think I’d have been disappointed, but luckily the second half of the show redeemed the day, both by producing better matches and by the crowd finally loosening up and reacting. I’m pretty certain that this double taping was an experiment rather than the new status quo at FF, and I’m sure that’s something that management will be looking at going into 2013. (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…)
nCw Femmes Fatales celebrated its tenth show with a bumper double edition this evening in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As well as the main event of taping #2 – a cage match between LuFisto and Mercedes Martinez – Kalamity defended the International Championship against Kellie Skater in a 2 out of 3 falls match, with the first fall being decided by pinfall; the second by submission, and the third to be a no-DQ, falls count anywhere affair. Meanwhile, whoever walked out of that match as Champion would have to face the winner of a four-way between Cheerleader Melissa, Athena, X-Cute Sweet and Angie Skye in the semi-main of the final taping.
The Ringbelles team was on hand to collate the results, so click the jump and see them all… (more…)
Even in defeat, a wrestler can still emerge looking stronger than when they went in.
That’s certainly the case when it comes to Ryo Mizunami, who rolled out of SHIMMER last weekend with a 1-3 record (you can read the results here and here), having defeated Courtney Rush on volume 49, but then falling in a four way on 50, then to LuFisto and Yumi Ohka the following day. However, because of her strong fighting spirit, great power and hard-hitting ability, she garnered a lot of new fans – a number of which will be present in Montreal, Quebec, Canada today for the double DVD taping of nCw Femmes Fatales X.
Later today, the 24-year old, 8-year pro will take on Ontarians Leah Von Dutch and Xandra Bale in a triple threat match in the first taping, and meets Rush in a return match from last weekend in the following taping. The Ringbelles team will be at the show, and will bring you results, photos and thoughts after the event.
For today’s video, we have one of Mizunami’s matches from earlier this year, with her facing the now-retired Toshie Uematsu in singles action in Pro Wrestling WAVE. (more…)
After a bumper day 1 yesterday which saw a number of storyline developments in both title pictures and one of the best matches in the promotion’s history, SHIMMER: Women Athletes returns for the second day of its weekend of DVD tapings.
Yesterday, Ayako Hamada and Kana competed in an epic encounter which saw the veteran gain the victory, though both women came out looking stronger than ever. In the 5-on-5 main event of volume 50, ReGeneration X and the Tag Team Champions Canadian Ninjas had hands in eliminating each other – with Allison Danger ousting Nicole Matthews before being pinned by Portia Perez – while Cheerleader Melissa pinned singles titleholder Sweet Saraya to end the match, which could see them cross paths again at some point today.
No matches have been announced for volumes 51 and 52, though if yesterday was anything to go by, fans at the Berwyn Eagles Club are in for another treat. As with yesterday, the Ringbelles team is on hand to provide results, as well as photos and thoughts later on. Click the jump to keep up with what’s going on…
It’s rolled around again. More than 30 female wrestlers have gathered at the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for the latest round of DVD tapings for SHIMMER: Women Athletes, which includes the milestone volume 50 later today. A number of matches have been announced, but before we get to that, results from last night…
At yesterday’s AAW show, Athena defeated Nicole Matthews, Kellie Skater & Christina Von Eerie in a four way match where Matthews and Skater spent much of the contest playing a game of one-up by doing moves on Athena, but after it descended into a four way brawl, Athena nailed Nicole with the O-Face for the pinfall. Later on, Sweet Saraya retained the SHIMMER Championship by pinning MsChif following a wild, building-wide brawl which left both women with very visible battle scars. The end came when Truth Martini interfered to spit green mist into the challenger’s eyes.
Today, some matches have been announced. For volume 49, Saraya defends her title against Athena, while the Canadian Ninjas put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championships on the line against LuFisto and Kana. Elsewhere, SHIMMER Originals Mercedes Martinez and MsChif square off in a rematch from volume 20, where MsChif retained the SHIMMER Title in one of the best title defences up to that point. Also on the card, Leva Bates tangles with Kellie Skater, while nCw Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity faces Ayako Hamada.
Meanwhile, for volume 50, the SHIMMER Originals of Martinez, MsChif, Allison Danger and Cheerleader Melissa are involved in a 10-woman elimination match – which we are dubbing SHIM-vivor Series II, where teams of five strive to survive – and a “first time in SHIMMER singles bout” will take place, though you can let your minds run riot as to what it will be.
We will be updating results intermittently throughout the day, so keep hitting refresh for results – and after the show, we’ll upload thoughts and maybe some pictures…
SHIMMER fans will be familiar with former Tag Team Champion Hiroyo Matsumoto, but may be less so with new arrival Ryo Mizunami, who makes her debut in Berwyn, IL in a week and a half. This week’s Retro features a match between the pair from the summer of 2008 in a contest to see which one of them would be the top junior joshi. Having said that, neither have exactly done badly for themselves since this match too place…
This was the final of the Jaja Uma Tournament on June 28 held by the Sendai Girls promotion – with Mizunami representing the home team and hoping to keep the honour amongst the company – whereas Matsumoto was considered the outsider. Mizunami advanced to the final by defeating Ayako Sato with a diving guillotine drop, while Matsumoto won through to the last two by beating Tyrannosaurus Okuda with a backdrop driver.
So who would win? Well, click the jump and find out… (more…)
Joshi4Hope ran their fourth standalone show today at the Tokyo Kinema Club, headlined by the return of MsChif to Japan, where she challenged Hailey Hatred for her Remix Pro Women’s Championship.
1. Yuhi pinned Veda Scott (6:10) after a Firebird Splash.
2. Tomoka Nakagawa & She Nay Nay bt Maki Narumiya & Yumi Ohka (16:28) when Nakagawa made Narumiya submit to the CRB.
3. Ayumi Kurihara & Mika Iida bt Leon & Manami Katsu (15:32) when Kurihara pinned Katsu with a uranage
4. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami bt Arisa Nakajima & Aya Yuki (15:37) when Matsumoto pinned Aya Yuki after a backdrop suplex.
5. Remix Pro Women’s Championship: Hailey Hatred (c) pinned MsChif (17:12) with a running Ligerbomb
For ringside photography, and a pretty amazing bit of what can only be described as stop-motion animation of Yuhi’s Firebird Splash finisher on Veda Scott, visit Lady Go!. Hiroyo Matsumoto, Tomoka Nakagawa, Yumi Ohka and Ryo Mizunami are all scheduled to travel to the US this month to join MsChif & Veda Scott for SHIMMER Vols 49-52 in Berwyn, IL (Oct 26 & 27), while Matsumoto & Mizunami will stay in North America for NCW: Femmes Fatales X in Montreal, QC (Nov 3).
A new joshi athlete will appear at both SHIMMER on October 27 and 28, as well as at nCw Femmes Fatales the following Saturday on November 3. Former JWP Jr Champion and POP Champion Ryo Mizunami, who is currently affiliated with Pro Wrestling WAVE, will make her US debut alongside SHIMMER regular and Femmes Fatales debutante Hiroyo Matsumoto. Mizunami’s Femmes Fatales appearance will also take place on the 8th anniversary of her her debut.
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…)