Ice Ribbon – Furusato Matsuri

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On August 17, Ice Ribbon held a free event in Toda park’s Boat Racing Stadium, during the Furusato Matsuri (Hometown festival). The event Began at 1700, but at 1600 there was a special training seminar for kids. Hikaru Shida, Kurumi, and Hamuko Hoshi taught the kids how to roll and tumble around the ring. Shida even picked up each kid in a belly to back suplex position, and the kids were taught to tuck and roll, and roll Shida into a pinning combination. The first kid was lucky a pinned her, but Shida managed to kick out after that. Fun.

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There were three matches, the first of which was an exhibition match between 30-year-old trainee Koyuki and Tsukushi. It was a good 5 minute exhibition that went to the time limit. Continue reading

JWP: Pure Slam 2013 – Pure Kana

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Photos by Leslie and Sonny

The JWP logo promises fans “Pure Heart, Pure Wrestling.” It lied on August 18th. 1200 passionate JWP fans came to pay tribute Plum Mariko, see their homegrown stars blossom into main-eventers, and watch Arisa Nakajima prove she was on the same level as multi-promotional iconoclast Kana. Only two of those things happened, and JWP could have used a new motto by the end of the show.

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Total Joshi: Episode 4 Recap

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これは、米国プロレスとリアリティーテレビ番組カバレッジのパロディです。女子プロレスのパロディではない。

In case you missed Sunday night’s episode of Total Joshi or you just want to relive it, we’ve got the best moments from the show in a full recap!

The episode starts off with Mio Shirai and Hiroyo Matsumoto noticing a lingerie shop while out shopping. Mio decides to head inside to get something sexy to wear for her New Japan superstar boyfriend, Hiroshi Tanahashi.

While they’re in there Mio suggests Hiroyo get something for her New Japan superstar fiance, Shinsuke Nakamura. She asks how they’re doing and Hiroyo completely opens up.

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Ayumi Kurihara: Thank You For Everything

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Sonny was on hand for Ayumi Kurihara’s retirement show earlier this month. Ayumi’s final act as a pro wrestler may have been her most heroic; she defeated Aja Kong. As Sonny reports:

The main event was Ayumi, Mika Iida and Akino versus Tomoka Nakagawa, GAMI and Aja Kong. It was a great match, lots of fun moments. The best parts were everyone on both teams ganging up on Aja and posing with her, and everyone ganging up on Ayumi. They whipped her into the corner, and the enter roster proceeded to do an attack on her, even Stardom’s Nanae Takahashi, Io Shirai, Natsuki Taiyo and Fuuka joined in.

Ayumi seemed to have a lot of fun and let it all out in this match. At one point she gave Aja 8 missile dropkicks in a row (it took 6 to get Kong off of her feet). The match was a fitting way to send off Ayumi and the torch was definitely passed to Mika Iida, who was super impressive here and in her singles match against Ayumi that opened the show.

And on the closing ten bell salute:

Her closest wrestling friends each rang the bell once, and some of the gongs were a little weak, which caused fans, and Ayumi herself to laugh. I can’t recall the order they were in, but you can tell when it’s GAMI’s turn because she deliberately pauses.

You can read the full results here, and see our photos below of the last of Ayumi Kurihara. Thanks for everything.

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Lest We Forget: The Last Time Shibata and Tanahashi Met

Hiroshi Tanahashi has been talking real reckless about Katsuyori Shibata in the lead up to their 7-years-in-the-making rematch on August 11th. As Enuhito reported, Tanahashi praised Shibata’s recent matches with Hiroki Goto, but chastised Shibata for not caring about the fans more.

In light of that, let’s take a moment to appreciate the thorough ass-kicking Shibata gave Tanahashi the last time they met, at a dome show no less. They were initially supposed to have a rematch that year at Sumo Hall, but Shibata had a falling out with New Japan and the match never materialized.

In those 7-years since Tanahashi has won multiple IWGP Heavyweight titles and become the guy in Puroresu, while Shibata left Pro Wrestling to find little success in MMA. But Shibata is now back where he belongs and Tanahashi is coming off high-profile losses to Okada and Prince Devitt; Hiroshi would be best served talking less and practicing his kick defense more.

BEGIN Japanology – Puroresu Documentary

Above is a very informative, very cool program on Japanese Pro Wrestling. Produced by NHK, Japan’s equivalent of the BBC or PBS, BEGIN Japanology explores different aspects of Japanese culture. I’d highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning about Puroresu, as it’s well made and very sincere.

Long time Puroresu fans can learn a lot too as the show has English interviews with Japanese wrestlers and writers. There’s also some great documentary-style shots of venues like Shin-Kiba and Korakuen Hall; you’ll feel like you’ve been there, without the 12-hour flight.

Thanks to @iqwrestler for the heads up.

JWP: Tsubasa vs. Hailey III

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More Hailey Hatred! This time from JWP’s January 27th show at Shinjuku FACE. She continued her long time feud with Tsubasa Kuragaki. Kuragaki was the first person to pin Hailey in Japan, and the woman Hailey lost the JWP Open-Weight Championship to. Things went better for H2 this time, as she successfully defend her Remix Pro title with a Power Bomb.

Unfortunately my camera failed near the beginning of the semi-final match, a six-woman tag where Kana teamed with Arisa Nakajima. This was, of course, before their relationship deteriorated into headbutts and palm-strikes.

In the main event Kayoko Haruyama celebrated her 15th anniversary in wrestling by having a beautiful match against Meiko Satomura. I don’t have any pictures of that, but you can see the match here.

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That Time Mia Yim and Gail Kim Met

Lots of terrible people make terrible jokes about Mia Yim and Gail Kim being the same person (they aren’t) because their names sound similar (they don’t) and they allegedly look alike (ugh). Nevertheless, here’s the two of them in the same place at the same time. They didn’t get along.

AIW exclusively sent us this clip today, as part of their push to share unique moments from their history on their Youtube Channel. Everyone in wrestling is still figuring out what works best for promoting on social media. We’ve been inundated with promos, full matches, and even full shows, but are smaller clips like this the way to capture the attention of the modern wrestling fan? Continue reading

Hailey Hatred Produce: Queen Bee 1st

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Hailey Hatred may have left social media, but she’s still very active in the world of Joshi Puroresu, German Suplexing dudes and choking out idols, as usual. These photos are from back on May 5th when she teamed with friend/rival Aki Shizuka to put on a revival of Queen Bee Itabashi Hall.

Originally, Queen Bee was the Joshi spin-off of the now defunct shootstyle promotion BattlArts. While the QB revival didn’t quite stick to the strike-submission-suplex formula of the original, it was still quite a good show.

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The opener saw the always genki Sayaka Obihiro and the equally energetic Kaori Yoneyama run around and scream at each other for eight fantastic minutes.  Su Yung started off her Japan tour properly by dominating 13-year-old Kurumi, forcing her to tap.

BattlArts founder Yuki Ishikawa appeared on this show, teaming with Hailey against Aki and Hikaru Sato. This match was the one that stuck the most to QB’s strike-suplex-submission style, and for that it was the strongest bout on the show.

The main event had Hailey and Aki wrestle again, this as a team against JWP’s Command Bolshoi and Rabbit Miyu for the TLW Tag Team Titles. The titles had been vacant since Hailey and Yoneyama were stripped of them after Yoneyama’s non-retirement. Hailey used a Plum Stretch to put Rabbit Miyu to sleep and win back the titles.

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Hype: New Japan – Kizuna Road in Akita

Above, BabaluJack‘s excellent hype video for New Japan’s upcoming PPV. It should be more than enough to get you excited to see Prince Devitt’s impending IWGP Heavyweight title win. Also keep in mind we’ll see Kazushi Sakuraba‘s return from a brutal injury as well as a second, show stealing encounter between Katsuyori Shibata and Hiroki Goto . The PPV is Saturday in Japan, possibly Friday where you live, and available here on Ustream for $25. Continue reading