Or maybe the producers at the Alternative Press awards are the best for putting this together.
Billy Corgan and CM Punk spit some lead at the inaugural APMA’s last night in Cleveland. The former ROH World Champion presented the current Resistance Pro creative director with the Vanguard Award, in honor of Corgan’s 25 years of head-kicking, hipster-smashing, status-quo-disrupting alternative rock and roll.
Punk and Corgan are two of the best and most controversial talkers in the respective fields, so of course they avoided the usual awards show fluff and went with expletive laced insights. Punk and Corgan also directly addressed some of the criticism Billy faced throughout the years, namely that The Smashing Pumpkins were “careerists” i.e. band that tried to treated the music business as an actual business. The 90′s were a weird time.
The Smashing Pumpkins are spit-shining the last bits of their next album, a process Billy has documented in informative hilarious detail on smashingpumpkinsnexus.com. CM Punk is anxiously awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead.
Tuesday was full of sad. I’m talking Amanda Palmer solo set sad. First came the above video, a tear-jerking clip of Ayumi Kurihara saying goodbye to her SHIMMER fans before flying back to Japan, where she will retire in August.
Lots of Joshi retire, and lots retire young but most everyone seemed to think of Ayumi as a lifer. Her retirement announcement was completely shocking. Ayumi is an amazing wrestler and always a joy to watch. Joshi Pro won’t be the same without her.
Then came news from LuFisto, confirming fears that she was injured during the SHIMMER Volume 53 iPPV this past weekend. You should read her thoughts here on her Facebook page. At least this sad is mitigated by the fact that LuFisto is one of the toughest, strongest, and hardest working people in the world. She’s come back from major injury and medical issues before, each time being in better shape, each time a better wrestler than before. I have no doubt we will be able to say the same after this setback. I believe in LuFisto.
And then came news that Rachel Summerlyn is taking time off due to a lingering neck injury. Rachel is one of my favorite wrestlers and favorite people due to her love, passion, and perpetually positive attitude. I think she’ll be making dudes bleed their own blood before we know it.
In the meantime, she’s enlisted Khris “Texas Rainmaker” Wolfe to kick Gary Jay’s ass in her stead at St. Louis Anarchy’s massive Circus Maximus show (in a 10,000 Thumbtacks match). Anyone in the area should check it out.
And then, in the main event of Final Sad:CLIMAX 2013, SHIMMER announced that Allison Danger would be ending her in-ring career this weekend. The announcement hit me hard. Danger’s career has meant a lot to me and honestly, she’s largely responsible for the existence of DDS.
The first Ring of Honor show I watched was not very good. I had already stopped watching other wrestling entirely, giving ROH a chance was a last ditch effort at seeing whether or not the art was worth following anymore. I wasn’t sold, at all. However, Danger’s performance as Christopher Daniel’s disciple and her religious devotion to his “prophecy” intrigued me. I’d never seen anyone in wrestling quite like her and I wanted to see where things went, so I decided to give ROH, and wrestling in general, another shot.
There were plenty of great things going on in ROH during that time: Danielson, Joe, Punk, Low Ki, Cide, etc., but Danger’s contributions will always hold a special place for me. Sometimes they had an off night (see: my first show), but Danger was always, always on point through the multiple transformations her character underwent.
When Danger transitioned into a more regular in-ring performer for ROH that eventually led me to looking into her work in other places, which led me to her work in Japan which, of course, helped me discover my true wrestling love in Joshi Puroresu which eventually lead to this site.
Danger has meant that much to many people. She laid the groundwork for the late 00′s US women’s wrestling renaissance with those ROH matches, a renaissance which entered its Silver Age when Danger uttered the phrase “American Joshi” on the first SHIMMER tapings. A phrase Danger brought meaning to with her matches against the likes of Del Rey and Martinez and Melissa and Haze and MsChif and Knox and Rogers and Perez.
Danger was stellar outside the ring as well. She was one of the first to take an active role in social media. She blogged about her travels in Japan, engaged fans in weekly SHIMMER chats, and MySpaced when it was still a verb. She even offered epic take downs of the worst elements on wrestling message boards, in between being an outspoken advocate for women in wrestling.
Allison Danger started a charity drive at SHIMMER to help mothers in need provide necessities for their kids. Danger also once promised to fuck a fan’s mom after a show in Montreal. Danger beat Bryce Remsburgin a Lady Gaga dance-off. Danger pissed off an aged woman so badly that the old lady rose from her wheelchair in order to get at her.
Allison Danger has done great things in wrestling, far too many for me to do them justice in a small post like this. I’m saddened that I’ll never get to see another Allison Danger match live, but I feel privileged to have been at so many. I’m sure she’ll still be around wrestling in some form, and hopefully still as a performer, but her absence in the ring will leave a hole that can never be properly filled.
If you think you’re done with wrestling this weekend, we have some good (or perhaps bad) news. You still need to watch Dream Slam. This week marked the 20th Anniversary of AJW’s amazing, multi-promotional Joshi extravaganza. It is definitely, possibly the greatest wrestling show of all time and features certainly, probably the greatest match of all time with Akira Hokuto versus Shinobu Kandori wild, angry, bloody brawl.
It also has one of my favorite wrestling moments of all time, with Manami Toyota breaking down in tears post-show following her amazing main event performance. I once asked Toyota about the show and why she cried, but she said she doesn’t remember most shows, as they had so many big ones back then.
If you’ve never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while, take some time out to watch it again. You can thank us later.
Hikari Fukuoka & Plum Mariko vs. Kaoru Ito & Sakie Hasegawa
This weekend Madison Eagles returns to SHIMMER. As well as Serena Deeb. As well as Amazing Kong. All three of these amazing wrestlers (and lovely people) have been away for far too long. I wish I could be there, but thankfully there’s a live iPPV option. It’s 1AM on Sunday for me, probably a more reasonable hour on Saturday for you.
Watch the above video by our own Chris C., with a massive tune by Coheed and Cambria, to get hyped. Enjoy the bonus matches as well and get ready to stomp-clap-stomp-stomp-clap to Prelude 12/21 again.
AngeTheDude is one of dozens of dedicated Puroresu fans doing the Lord Rikidozan’s work, filling your YouTube page with clips of people kicking each other in the face. It’s a thankless job, with DMCA takedown requests as your only reward. You can have a bit of fun though, by highlighting your favorite wrestlers, showing off cool new ways to flip, or by providing a surreal yet gripping commentary on the War in Afghanistan as Ange did in his description for the above clip from NOAH. Watch the video, then read, then watch again for full effect:
KENTA and Toshiaki Kawada are siblings. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, KENTA is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, Jun Akiyama, with whom he has two young daughters, Marufuji and Atsushi Aoki. The match opens with Kawada being released from jail for armed robbery, not long before KENTA departs for Afghanistan.
Soon news comes that KENTA’s helicopter has crashed over the water, leaving him presumed dead. In reality, he and a hometown friend, Kenta Kobashi, have been taken prisoner in a mountain village. With KENTA “gone”, Kawada attempts to redeem himself in the eyes of his family by wrangling old friends to help with kitchen repairs for Akiyama and the kids. Akiyama slowly sheds her previous resentment towards her brother-in-law.
As months pass, Akiyama and Kawada bond over their mutual mourning, culminating in a passionate fireside kiss. They regret it afterward, and do not take this attraction any further, though Kawada continues to win the favor of his nieces.
Meanwhile, KENTA and Kobashi are abused and tortured by militants, forced to make videotaped dismissals of the military and their mission, though only Kobashi cracks. The captors eventually deem him useless, and force KENTA at gunpoint to beat him to death with a lead pipe. Some time later, KENTA is rescued.
He returns home, clearly traumatized by his experience. He drifts through encounters in a cold, paranoid daze, and refuses to explain to his family what happened while he was in Afghanistan, and lies to Kobashi’s widow that he does not know how Kobashi died. He also believes Kawada and Akiyama had a sexual relationship in his absence.
Recently, our good friend Thomas Holzerman sparked a debate about something that should no longer be debated. His piece on Cagesideseats.com here is worth reading in its entirety, but the short version is that PWG, as a critically acclaimed wrestling company in 2013, should have women on its shows. It currently does not. That, along with some statements made by its promoter, puts the otherwise great company in league with the ever shrinking handful of not so great companies that don’t give equal opportunities to women.
I’m sure all of our readers find it rather obvious that women are just as good, popular, and hardworking as the men of wrestling and deserve the same opportunities. However, some commentators on Holzerman’s piece were found still clinging to rather outdated notions about women in wrestling, notably the standard, and wholly counter-factual trope that wrestling fans aren’t “ready” to see the intergender matchups Holzerman proposed. Again, anyone who follows us sees that as laughable. We’ve covered numerous intergender matchups across the globe, including classic moments like Sara Del Rey becoming CHIKARA’s top good “guy” by defeating Claudio Castagnoli and Rachel Summerlyn choking out bad, bad motherfucker Scot Summers to become the face of ACW. Frankly, anyone who pays any real attention to wrestling outside of the corporate universe knows it’s entirely ridiculous to suggest wrestling fans are anything but eager to see intergender bouts that give women an opportunity to be on an equal playing field with their male peers.
But some people don’t pay attention, unfortunately, and oppose gender equality in wrestling, rather ferociously. What makes many of those against equality in wrestling so intractable is the same flawed thinking that makes those against equality in other spheres of life so mentally stagnant: they attempt to turn their objective bias against women or ignorance about wrestling into objective statements of fact. We never hear “I don’t like intergender matches,” and rarely “I don’t like women’s wrestling,” just like we won’t hear, “I don’t like gay people.” Instead we hear bizarre proclamations, like statements women’s wrestling/intergender wrestling is the domain of “fetish” promotions. We hear that “society” is not “ready” to see men and women fight. Of course, we hear that “women don’t draw.” Likewise, it’s usually, “‘Studies’ suggest kids do worse in gay households.” None of these things are true, of course. They’re merely attempts to paint personal ignorance or bias as detached analysis. As long as it is presented as such, people can continue to criticize equality as serious people who are just Telling It Like It Is and and disparage those seeking equality as being “out of touch” zealots or “militant” crusaders.
Well, no more. At least when it comes to gender equality in wrestling. Below are several dozen intergender matches from around the wrestling world. From Tokyo to Toronto to Tijuana. Some of the matches new, some old. Some good, some bad, some great, some amazing. Some epic confrontations, some comical interludes. Ultraviolence, neo-Lucha Libre, shootstyle, puroresu, and so much more. All wrestling, and wrestling that was embraced by the promoters, the wrestlers, and the audience. These matches represent only a fraction of what is readily available on Youtube (for example, none of ROH’s many intergender matches seem to be online). I could have posted three times as much by either highlighting the multiple great intergender matches that companies like Beyond and ECCW have produced, or by posting some of the many matches featuring wrestlers and promotions that even I had never heard of.
There’s no way to look through the matches below and make any of those “traditional” arguments against intergender wrestling. To attempt to do so is to place yourself outside of reasonable discourse on Pro Wrestling. It’s to say that not only are you ignorant of the topic you are discussing, but you are willfully so. It’s to say you should not be taken seriously, because you have chosen to not take the facts seriously.
Below, DDS proudly presents the end of the “intergender” debate. We won’t miss it.
Today Resistance Pro announced its National Pro Wrestling Day match. It is, of course, an intergender match.
We also think we’re at a point in the US where “all women’s” promotions like SHIMMER featuring male talent on their main shows would be great as well (this is already very commonplace in some promotions like ICE Ribbon, and SHIMMER has tons of guys on the pre-shows). To name names, Robert Evans, as the best intergender wrestler in the world, has certainly earned a shot at Saraya. Continue reading →
Pumi here. As you know besides being a DDS columnist and I’m also a member of Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, the Thailand-based wrestling promotion founded earlier this year by Emi Sakura.
It has been an eventful few months since Gatoh Move started. In Thailand, wrestling is very new to Thai people. AJW used to be very popular here, but that was about 20 years ago. Now Thais are more familiar with the mainstream American “sports entertainment” style than they are with Japanese Puroresu. We have had to do our best to promote – on TV, on talk shows, and with public matches in parks, beaches, and malls. We now have about 10 trainees. Some of them debuted last month on the first GM event at Sakura Dojo, which brought Japanese wrestlers Masa Takanashi, Madoka, and Hoshitango to Bangkok.
We also had Kaori Yoneyama join our promotion after losing a match to Emi in JWP. They went on to become JWP tag champions, and have even convinced young JWP stars Morii and Hanako Nakamori to join their faction.
However the most shocking moment in Gatoh move’s young history came earlier this month when one of Ice Ribbon’s most beloved wrestlers, Riho, announced, that she would leave the company and rejoin with Emi Sakura in Gatoh Move. She wrestled her final Ice Ribbon match at Korakuen Hall on September 23rd, in a losing effort against Aoi Kizuki.
On the same day, Gatoh Move held a show in Ichigaya at the venue formally known as the “Ice Box” (for it’s too-small-for-a-ring size and Ice Ribbon blue mats). There are usually 40-45 fans at Ichigaya shows, but Gatoh Move drew a record attendance of 70 at this event, which featured Hiroyo Matsumoto.
None of those fans would have expected to see Riho make an appearance so quickly after a show across town at Korakuen. But after Emi announced a surprise guest appearance and the first notes of “Odoru Ponpokorin” began to play, Riho made her way out in a Gatoh Move T-Shirt. She officially joined GM! Pending having free time from school, of course.
Below are photos and a video of the event, courtesy Mr. and Mrs. Aoukougei. Riho’s speech translates as follows:
“When Sakura-san left Ice Ribbon, I wanted to follow her. But it was not possible because, I would lose a ring and place to train. And I thought I would probably not be able to perform at a big event in Shin-Kiba or Korakuen Hall. Sakura-san, starting from this small Ichigaya-hall again, we will aim at a large hall together.”
As you can see, it was all quite emotional and brought Emi to tears. I am not sure when Riho will make her in-ring debut for Gatoh Move, but I promise to keep you all updated. Thanks!
First off, can I just say: You have excellent taste in professional wrestling organizations. You’ve made the right call. It’s not often that promotions like this come along. It’s Okay to be smitten.
I was once like you: The new fan in SHIMMER’s life. I’d grown tired of sports entertainment and was looking for wrestling to come in and steal my affections. Our relationship had grown stale, repetitive to the point of being able to finish each other’s sentences. I almost didn’t notice us growing apart until I picked up Volumes 31 and 32 of SHIMMER on a whim for the 2010 ROH Black Friday sale.
Now, a year and a half on, I’ve never been happier. I look forward to many happy years with SHIMMER in my life, and you can too! Here are some basics for how to make this St. Patrick’s Day weekend one you’ll remember for more than just the green beer.
Scope out the merchandise early.
If you’ve already got a few favourites (and considering this is SHIMMER, you will), check their Twitter and Facebook accounts to see if there are mentions of merchandise on sale. A lot will post either preview pictures and some will even allow you to pre-order so it’s as simple as presenting your money and getting the item of your choice. Additionally, don’t be afraid to bring your own reusable bag(s) to pack your purchases into at the Eagles Club. They’re not just for your groceries anymore!
It’s good to have a gameplan because there’s lots of tables, a minimum amount of time, and negative space to maneuver in. Much like you were visiting the soup Nazi or having a match with Brian Cage-Taylor, you want to get your stuff then get out, so that the people behind you have time do the same. Save the chit-chatting for later.
Don’t be afraid of talking to the other people in line outside the venue.
Waiting for the doors to open is a rite of passage. All SHIMMER fans have waited patiently for the doors to open on time and they never do, so it’s the perfect time to get to know the people you’re going to be spending at least the next eight hours with. Fantasy matches, streamer distribution, experiences from shows past and speculation on who — if any — will show up unannounced is all fair game.
If you’re looking for yours truly, I’ll be in the same style CANADA hoodie that Nicole Matthews often wears. Feel free to say, “Hi,” eh?
Don’t be afraid 1 of talking to the competitors at the afterparty.
Not surprisingly, I often get my thoughts out more clearly if I write them down. It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable talking to wrestlers and expressing my gratitude but even if it’s just a ‘Thank you’ ‘Good match!’ or a simple smile, kindness goes a long way. Many of the ladies have travelled a long way to get there and after 10 plus hour flights or a lengthy stretch behind a wheel, I know I’d love to see a smiling face. Or perhaps a refill of my favourite beverage.
But, this is important, allow people to finish eating before asking for an autograph and such. Total party foul, which you don’t want to commit around seasoned wrestling/party referees like Bryce Remsburg and Brian Gorie.
Come prepared for hunkering down for the entire day. Seriously.
The city of Berwyn does NOT allow you to leave and come back in without purchasing another ticket. Since Dave Prazak announced there’s the strong possibility of a sell out, leaving for a smoke or food break may not even be an option in that instance. Some food, notably pizza, is available in the venue, as well as beer!
This one seems pretty simple and with all of the wonderful folks that are involved in the promotion and in the audience, you’re bound to have a good time. After all, love should be celebrated!
You absolutely should be afraid of talking to Portia Perez. You probably shouldn’t even come within her line of sight. – Ed. ↩
Sara Del Rey returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area for Big Time Wrestling, in Newark , CA, as she teamed with BTW’s Davina Rose to take on the ArenaChicks duo of Amber O’Neal and Sassy Stephie. O’Neal and Stephie came out to Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again,” and were the villains in this match. The ‘Queen of Wrestling’ did her Royal Hand Wave as she entered. O’Neal and Stephie controlled most of the match double teaming Davina, but when Sara got in she cleaned house, and with all four women in the ring and Sara delivered the Royal Butterfly to O’Neal for the win.
Also, while 1-2-3 Kid may have gone away, X-Pac was in full force, teaming with Kevin Nash.
We here at DDS love Serena Deeb (who had stellar performances at this past SHIMMER Tapings). We love SMASH. We love Triple Tails. We love Syuri. We love Makoto! And all of them are going to be coming together in a month in Japan!
On April 30th at IMP it will be Serena, Syuri, and Makoto taking on Triple Tails: Kana, Mio Shirai, and Io Shirai. This will be Serena’s second trip to Japan, after she had successful bouts against both of her partners. Serena promised to teach Syuri and Makoto what the “Diva Style” was all about but here’s hoping they also learned what the SHIMMER style was, as they’ll need to channel their inner Woman Athletes to survive.