The resurgence of Serena Deeb continues. It has been announced today that she is to return to Japan to compete for Wrestling New Classic. It is a return to work for a promotion for TAJIRI after she made a number of trips to the Far East for the defunct SMASH outfit. Her first match back will be on July 25, where she will take on WNC Women’s Champion Lin Byron at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo.
The 26-year old’s last match in Japan was in the final of the SMASH Divas Championship tournament, with Kana finally getting a win over her rival to become the first titleholder – a match which she added to her Twitter yesterday, which in hindsight was a massive hint. A month later, Deeb suffered a massive concussion at SHIMMER‘s volume 44 taping, with the diagnosis being that she may not wrestle again. However, she made her comeback in March at TNA‘s Knockouts show – which is yet to be broadcast on PPV – and then returned to SHIMMER on the volume 53 iPPV in early April.
If the original Triple Tails members of Kana, Mio & Io Shirai were to hold a party and bring along their biggest accomplishment, Io would be last to arrive, but would be sporting the shiniest trinket. That’s because the 22-year old claimed the World Of Stardom Championship from Alpha Female at the promotion’s Ryogoku Cinderella show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan in front of a reported crowd of 5,500 paid fans (though some reports say that may have been inflated). Using a rolling cradle, Shirai put down the massive German for the pin, claiming her first singles championship, and a prestigious one at that.
While Kana held the SMASH Divas Championship on two occasions, the belt is now defunct and she never managed a successful defence in either reign, and Mio Shirai’s run with Ice Ribbon’s ICEx60 belt was more successful than Kana’s SMASH stints, it isn’t as prominent a championship as her sister’s current hardware – which is a big sign that the nightmare of last year is well behind her… (more…)
Today’s Wrestling New Classic card was already newsworthy as Kana was defeated by Nagisa Nozaki in the Women’s Championship tournament – but the real drama took place in the dressing room after the match, where the “World Famous” star announced that she was quitting the promotion and choosing to wrestle as a freelancer instead.
Speaking to Ringstars (and with the aid of a shoddy translator as well as intelligent human beings Chris Carpenter and Matt Nordstrom), the former SMASH Divas Champion explained that her decision to go was based around money. She alleges that she has not been paid by WNC for four months, and received no reply when she emailed the promotion’s President Tsutomu Takashima about it. As a result, she made the decision to walk away, insinuating that she had lost trust in the company, though was very careful to not say it outright. (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…)
Former WWE and ECW personality Dawn Marie seems to have a good heart. Setting up Wrestlers Rescue in 2008 (and the subsequent Pro Wrestlers Relief) in 2009, her goal was to make life easier for wrestlers with medical issues to help them pay their bills – a common problem for wrestlers outside of WWE who may not be able to secure the proper insurance needed to cover their ailments.
In the last week or so, her charity has received a battering from James “Kamala” Harris, who has had both of his legs amputated due to complications stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure. He claims that Wrestlers Rescue and Boston-based independent wrestling promotion the Millennium Wrestling Federation promised to help him out financially, and never did so, calling Dawn Marie “no good” and accusing her of keeping the money that was raised for him.
Wrestlers Rescue has not had the best of reputations in its short existence, but following this high-profile attack on her work, Dawn Marie decided to go public with all the details. (more…)
There had been some speculation about the future of a number of joshis following the closure of SMASH on March 14, as wrestlers like Makoto and Syuri had made it their home promotion, and others like Kana, Serena Deeb and Tomoka Nakagawa had enjoyed success there too. As it turns out, SMASH founder Tajiri moved fast to announce a replacement, which was unveiled today.
Wrestling New Classic has already announced its first two shows – the first on April 26 at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan, with the follow-up a month later on May 24 at Korukuen Hall. The first show already has a joshi match booked featuring Makoto and final SMASH Divas Champion Syuri taking on former Divas titleholder Kana and her Triple Tails S partner Mio Shirai, in a match that actually took place in SMASH in Osaka on October 26 last year – for the record, Kana and Shirai won…
This announcement is particularly good news for Syuri and Makoto, who considered SMASH their highest profile exposure. Makoto had started to keep herself busy, securing her in-ring debut for Union Pro, while Syuri seemingly did not have any more wrestling bookings on the horizon, though she could always have gone down her other avenue of interest, shootboxing and kickboxing. Kana did not have such quibbles, as she regularly works for other promotions including Dramatic Dream Team and Pro Wrestling WAVE. (more…)