Tagged: Kaori Yoneyama

Hailey Hatred Produce: Queen Bee 1st


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.


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.

qb-024 Continue reading

STARDOM: Golden Age 2013 Gallery

As you can see from the above video, STARDOM’s June 2nd show was the best. Aside from Hailey Hatred dropping disgusting lariats on idols, there were three stellar singles titles match (Natsuki*Taiyo versus Kaori Yoneyama only narrowly better than Yuhi versus Dark Angel), a great performance from super rookie Takumi Iroha against Nanae Takahashi, Su Yung becoming the first person to twerk in Korakuen Hall, and the Kimura Monster Army causing a near riot.

One fan had to be dragged to the back after a shouting match with Kyoko. I couldn’t hear the words exchanged (and they were cut from the TV broadcast), but I’m just going to assume he was mad that she and Christina Von Eerie cut up Rossy Ogawa’s suit. This was STARDOM’s first big show without Yuzupon on the roster, but she still showed up at the end to greet fans and sell off her still massive stack of merch.

Photos below, results here. More STARDOM pics from earlier this year coming soon.

star-62-022 Continue reading

CHIKARA: King of Trios 2012 Gallery

DDS ace photographer Gregory Davis was on hand for this year’s edition of CHIKARA‘s annual, massive, King of Trios weekend. 2012’s KOT was all about the Queens though, as seven Joshi came to CHIKARA and demolished preconceptions, gender barriers and, most enjoyably, Matt Classic. Tsubasa Kuragaki told me she’s looking forward to returning to America again soon. Until then you can enjoy Greg’s shots of three days of wrestling excellence. You can also order the shows via SmartMarkVideo.com.

Continue reading

JoshiMania: Night Three – Joshi Forever

Each night of CHIKARA‘s JoshiMania raised the bar. As good as Philly was, Boston was that much better and as good as that was, New York easily ranks among the best wrestling shows in the US in the past several years. The wrestling, the crowd, the atmosphere all contributed to an unforgettable night in Manhattan.

The build for JoshiMania began with a promo by Aja Kong claiming that CHIKARA made a grave error in presenting Manami Toyota as the representative of Japanese women’s wrestling. Last Sunday the good friends and bitter rivals were given a chance to settle the issue in Manhattan. Likewise Sara Del Rey and Ayako Hamada were scheduled to face each other in a rematch of what many consider the greatest SHIMMER match of all time. Take that, then consider this was the last chance for all the visiting women to astonish US crowds and it’s no wonder JoshiMania ended with a standing ovation.

CHIKARA JoshiMania Night Three

December 4th, 2011
Highline Ballroom – New York City, NY

  1. Los Ice Creams defeated Dasher Hatfield & Saturyne
  2. GAMI defeated Portia Perez with a Fisherman Buster
  3. Brodie Lee defeated Ultramantis Black with a Lyger Bomb
  4. Toshie Uematsu & The Batiri [Obaryon, Kodama, Kobold] defeated Cherry & The Colony [Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Green Ant] with a Top Rope Splash from Uematsu to Cherry
  5. Mayumi Ozaki defeated Kaori Yoneyama with an Running Enzuigiri in 10:22
  6. Aja Kong, Tsubasa Kuragaki, & Mio Shirai defeated Manami Toyota, Sawako Shimono & Hanako Nakamori with the Metal Wing by Tsubasa on Nakamori
  7. Sara Del Rey defeated Ayako Hamada with a Piledriver

The card was filled with legends and established stars, but began with the debut of someone brand new to Pro Wrestling. Saturyne. She took the took the place of the absent Sugar Dunkerton and teamed with Dasher Hatfield against Los Ice Creams in her CHIKARA debut. The rookie flipped circles around the soft serve goons with a level of athleticism rarely seen. Given more experience the US could have a masked high-flyer of the same caliber as Japan’s Ray. She was very, very impressive in the losing effort.

GAMI found a way to go 3-0 this weekend. Even without her noisemaker she bested Portia Perez with a Fisherman’s Buster. Portia was likely still reeling from the previous night’s match with Toyota (Portia told us it was the hardest she’s ever been hit in her life). Advantage GAMI!

Brodie Lee delivered what was, I’m sure, the hardest Powerbomb in the history of the CHIKARA ring (it sunk at least a foot on impact), when he soundly defeated Ultramantis Black. After the match Brodie signaled that he wanted a shot at the CHIKARA Grand Championship. Current Champ Eddie Kingston will need to continue to channel the spirit of Aja Kong if he wants to hold on to that belt. Lee looked unstoppable.

Toshie Uematsu, in her final US appearance, wore the face paint of The Dark Army. In her full her Demonic Empress form, she lead her minions to victory over The Colony and Cherry (who definitely should have been given a Pink Ant mask).

Mayumi Ozaki, founder of Oz Academy, took on former JWP Open-Weight Champion Kaori Yoneyama in a rather significant cross-promotion singles match. It meant all the more knowing that, like Uematsu, this would be Yoneyama’s final match in the United States before her retirement. Kaori looked as fantastic as she had at every JoshiMania night. America was fortunate to have her even for this short time. Ozaki won without using her signature chain. Ozaki really showed she still had more good years left in her illustrious career and didn’t have to relly on the usual entourage and weapons she has in Japan.

Then, Tsubasa Kuragaki destroyed New York.

The six woman tag match seemed like it would be about Toyota and Kong going at it one more time. Instead, it was about all six

putting on a 30 minute epic. Far too mucfaceh went on to capture accurately in detail. Everyone in the match gave their all. The young Hanoko Nakamori and younger Sawako Shimono had their best JoshiMania performances. There were no other options as Kong and Toyota battled like it was 1995, stage diving, piledriving, and avalanching each other as if they were back in the Tokyo Dome. Mio Shirai was as “Dangerous, Cheeky, and Foxy,” as her T-Shirt advertised. Again, a total star.

At the end, though, it was Tsubasa Kuragaki who stood alone on top the pile of broken bodies and smoldering ashes that used to be the Highline Ballroom. The crowd gave her a standing ovation and begged her to return to CHIKARA once again. If Tsubasa wasn’t an elite level Joshi when she came to America, she is now1. The woman is totally amazing, and it’s probably safe to expect her back in the US at some point.

The 6 Woman Tag was not the main event though. Any normal wrestlers would have had an impossible task in following it. No worries for Ayako Hamada and Sara Del Rey, with their combined 23 years of experience, most of which they’ve spent as the go to main-eventer in their respective countries. The two had another glorious and vicious fight that kept the crowd high on adrenaline. Each used nearly everything in their arsenal: Hama-chan cutters, Del Reyzors, Axe Kicks, AP Crosses, Royal Butterflies and more had to be deployed before this could end. Sara narrowly gained her second win over Hamada with a cringing Piledriver, propelling herself to 3-0 on JoshiMania weekend. The Queen Reigned Supreme.

After the match, fans rose and thanked Hamada for her efforts. She invited all the other women at ringside and in the back to join her as fans chanted, “Joshi! Joshi!,” and “Arigatou!” to the women who made this amazing event possible. That included former Jumping Bomb Angel Itsuki Yamazaki, whom Mike Quackenbush has credited for being the brains behind the JoshiMania. A tremendous moment to end a tremendous weekend for Professional Wrestling.

JoshiMania exceeded all expectations. It delivered shows that impressed neophytes and veteran followers of Japanese women’s wrestling alike. The New York audience especially had several audience members who weren’t regular wrestling fans at all, but came because they knew of the cultural importance of an event featuring the likes of Manami Toyota and Aja Kong.

That’s something special. Joshi Puroresu is something special. We talk about it a lot here on DDS because the athletes deserve it, for giving us decades of  fantastic, innovative, entertaining, and relevant wrestling to enjoy. Joshi is filled with some of the nicest, kindest, and most interesting people in the sport and we are happy to do our small part to support them.. We love Joshi Puroresu and couldn’t be happier that more and more people are starting to feel the same way. We give our thanks to the entire crew at CHIKARA, as well as Itsuki Yamazaki and our friends Shiori and Yama from M-Drop.com for helping to make this special event happen.

Now, all we need is JoshiMania II. Until next time order your JoshiMania DVDs. Peace!
Continue reading

  1.  We’ll be in Korakuen Hall on December 23rd when she challenges Hailey Hatred for the JWP Open-Class Title. Hailey’s had a fantastic 2011, but it looks like 2012 will be Tsubasa’s year.

JoshiMania: Night One – Death Queen Battle

CHIKARA’s three-day dream slam of Japanese Women’s Wrestling, JoshiMania, had its first show last Friday at the historic ECW Arena. The event delivered an authentic Joshi Puroresu experience to American fans, with the added bonus of bringing stars from several different Joshi promotions. CHIKARA advertised this event as being a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity for fans to see this sort of action without having to fly to Japan first. CHIKARA didn’t lie. Here’s how the weekend started:

JoshiMania Night One

December 2nd, 2011
ECW Arena – Philadelphia, PA

  1. Kaori Yoneyama, Hanako Nakamori, and Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Archibald Peck and Los Ice Creams via submission as Kuragaki putting both Peck and El Hijo del Ice Cream in a Torture
  2. GAMI defeated Sawako Shimono with Top Rope Elbow
  3. Tim Donst defeated Green Ant with From Dusk ’til Donst
  4. Ayako Hamada and Cherry defeated Mayumi Ozaki and Mio Shirai via AP Cross from Hamada on Mio
  5. Manami Toyota defeated Toshie Uematsu via Japanese Cyclone Suplex
  6. Campeonatos de Parejas Title MatchFIST (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) (c) defeated The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) 2 falls to 1
  7. Sara Del Rey defeated Aja Kong

The first thing, and perhaps only thing, you need to know about JoshiMania Night One is this: Tsubasa Kuragaki put Archibald Peck and one of the Ice Creams in a torture rack at the same time. The same time. Having the laws of physics challenged by one of the lesser known Joshi stars in the opening match set the bar fairly high for the rest of the evening. Japanese female wrestlers are known for their pride and competitive nature. The JWP women made it known from the outset they hoped to dominate this weekend (too bad the brilliant team of Peck and the Ice Creams were in the middle of that).

Of course, as everyone who has read our articles on her over at Diva Dirt knows 1, Manami Toyota is not satisfied unless she has put on the very best match on the show. That probably went double this Friday as Toyota was presented with the Diva Dirt Legacy award before her match with Toshie Uematsu. Toyota showed not only that she deserved the award for her past achievements, but also for her continuing performance and growth as a wrestler. Toyota has said that she felt invigorated by her trips to CHIKARA over the past year, and the new maneuvers she flaunted during JoshiMania were an example. Toshie, on her final tour of the US before her retirement early next year, was amazing as well. She showed once again that her larger than life character never overshadows her pure wrestling ability. It was an excellent match, perhaps the best either had had in the US.

Hoping not to be outdone by their guests, CHIKARA’s FIST and The Colony put on an exciting title bout. The ants showed off some JB Angels-esque fire while FIST resorted to L.C.O.-esque dickery. Dick won out, FIST retained, and Stargano remains a top champion in two of the United States’ finest wrestling promotions.

And then there was the much anticipated battle between Aja Kong and Sara Del Rey. As the most terrifying forces on their respective continents, the two death queens had been on a collision course for years. Somehow, Philadelphia managed to survive the inevitable crash.

Kong showed a lack of respect for Sara early on, refusing to shake hands. Sara returned the favor by barreling head first at her idol when the bell rang. The match was dark and unyielding. Sara kicked Kong as hard as she’s kicked anyone. Kong delighted in leaving handprints on the Death Rey’s chest, her thudding chops shaking the Queen to the core. After several minutes, but before either pulled out their MDK-level moves, Sara was able to dodge a Uraken and score a surprise pin on Kong to take the huge victory. A hard-fought battle for both, but each faced even tougher ones as JoshiMania went on.

It was the tag team contest between the team of Ayako Hamada and Cherry against the team of Mio Shirai and Mayumi Ozaki that proved to be the best of the night. While all women were familiar with one another,they don’t share any extensive history2. Still The beautiful and devious team of Mio and Ozaki worked very, very well together. The veteran Ozaki brought out her top shelf stuff this weekend, not that Ayako Hamada gave her a choice in the matter. Ayako was excited, and a bit nervous, about her CHIKARA debut. Of course, she performed to her usual standard of excellence.

The match also contained a revelation: Mio Shirai is a fucking star. Her mix of personality, style, humor, and sadistic violence won over the crowd. She helped make this semi-random tag flow gracefully. Mio showed she could keep up with two all-time greats in Oz and Hamada, and here’s hoping her success in the US pays dividends for her when she returns to Japan.

And that was Night One. A fantastic night of wrestling, no doubt, but JoshiMania was just getting started. You can already purchase the DVDs for all three nights at Smart Mark Video. While you wait on those to ship, enjoy the rest of the photos below the cut.

But just one more thing! Dig, if you will, this picture of The Beautiful One, Veronica, as she lays into a fan that she felt was a bit too bold. Maybe she’s just too demanding? She’s never satisfied with those in attendance. I took the photo as I wondered, “Why do they scream at each other?”

Continue reading

  1. Take a look at Manami Toyota’s Historic Career here as well as her Greatest Matches here on Diva Dirt.
  2. See a previous team-up of Ayako and Cherry as they take on Ayumi Kurihara and Michiko Ohmukai here.

Hailey Hatred: The Dirty Dirty Sheets Interview

Hailey Hatred is one of the most important women in wrestling. She appeared in some of the earliest Chick Fight events and the formative bouts of the influential IWA-Mid South women’s division. She was also in the first women’s match for AIW, a rising promotion with a strong women’s roster. She even helped put Beyond Wrestling on the map with her barrier-shattering inter-gender matches against the promotions top talent. She’s won titles in both the US and in Japan, her current place of residence where she is again opening doors for women. She’s one of the most talented diverse wrestlers in the world. Hailey has done it all from lucha libre to kickboxing to hardcore to Joshi Puroresu.

All this, and yet Hailey Hatred does not even have a US Wikipedia page. With this interview we hope that more people get to know and appreciate Hailey’s truly ground-breaking career. We caught up with her a few days before her biggest match yet, as on June 26th she will face Leon for the JWP Open Weight Championship, the most prestigious women’s title in Japan, if not the world. If she wins, Hailey would be making history yet again as she’d be American to hold the title. Hailey’s TLW and IMW titles will also be on the line, and the match will also decide the winner of the J-1 Grand Prix Tournament. Matches don’t get bigger than this. Wrestlers don’t bigger than Hailey Hatred. Enjoy.

Photos courtesy JWP and Aoikougei. Sonny contributed to this article.

You always said it was your goal to wrestle in Japan, and you accomplished that years ago. Now you’re not just on a tour but, as you put it, you own furniture there. Did you ever think that you’d become one of the few foreigners given a regular spot in a major promotion?

I’m always confident in my abilities, but it really all comes down to opportunity. When I first started coming to Japan, I was wrestling for various independent groups. Then I started wrestling for JWP in tag-match capacity. It wasn’t until Yoneyama and I had our Triple Title match that I feel I really got noticed there. If I wasn’t holding two championships [at the time] myself, I may have never gotten that chance.

An influx of foreign wrestlers have come to the Joshi scene recently, especially for REINA, which you are a part of. What can you tell us about REINA and some it’s foreign talent?

REINA is still finding its niche. It has all the means to be a cool, unique company, but everyone is still learning, from the wrestlers to the staff. I am hoping it succeeds and can continue to invite an interesting group of wrestlers to Japan from various countries. Its been a long time since Japanese fans have had the opportunity to see foreign women wrestling live!

Before paving the way for a resurgence of foreign female wrestlers in Japan, you similarly were there at the beginnings of the current women’s wrestling renaissance in the United States. You were even in the first match that IWA-MS female ace Mickie Knuckles ever had. You two also participated in AIW’s first women’s match ever. Tell us about your rivalry with her.

I really enjoy getting the chance to wrestle Mickie. She’s very versatile, she knows her way around the mat, with striking, and of course with hardcore matches. One of the toughest girls out there. The last time I wrestled her, I stabbed her in the head with a dart, then yakuza kicked it in deeper. If that puts our rivalry into perspective =)

Also in AIW, you had a series of matches with John Thorne. It began with a no ropes barbed wire match, an intergender first, and ended with an “I Quit” dog collar match. You got slashed with scissors, driven into barbed wire, pounded by chains until your face was covered in blood. The matches were very brutal and very emotional. What did they mean to you?

That’s the perfect description: brutal and emotional. It’s always up in the air how things will go the first time you have a match with someone, let alone the first match being such an extreme stipulation, no ropes barbed wire. I’d never done anything like that before. I couldn’t even think about how it would feel to get cut up by the barbed wire, all I could focus on was the match itself.

Things escalated to the “I Quit” dog collar match, which was actually more brutal than NRBW. I got beat up pretty bad that match, I was sore for weeks afterwards. I didn’t really take into consideration how heavy the chain would be or how much punishment it would provide. I lost a lot of blood, by far the most I’ve lost in my life. That match is really one of my favorites of my career though, the perfect end to a feud. It was very intimate, not in a creepy weird way, but to be that close to your loathed rival, and the only way to make it end is to say that you quit.

Continue reading