Yuzuki Aikawa, fashion model turned Pro Wrestling idol, retired in style on April 29th at Sumo Hall. 5,500 plus fans saw Yuzupon fall in defeat to her arch rival Yoshiko before donning a Cinderella dress and walking away from Pro Wrestling. Aikawa’s brief career as STARDOM’s ace was always fun to watch, and by the end she had developed into quite a solid wrestler.
Elsewhere on the card: Io Shirai took the World of STARDOM title from The Alpha Female after putting the giantess out with a few thousand head kicks. Rookie Takumi Iroha1 had a fantastic debut match against Meiko Satomura, aside from being brutally choked out. Hailey Hatred and Kyoko Kimura came out in Ribera jackets and Zubaz pants, just because, and lost their belts. Dark Angel won the vacant Wonder of STARDOM title by defeating pirated-turned-samurai Act Yasukawa.
Full gallery below the cut. More STARDOM pics to come soon, including the time Portia Perez competed for an invisible title belt. Enjoy.
At SHIMMER last month, we saw Evie and Kimber Lee earn their roster spots and Jessicka Havok take her spot, whether we liked it or not. We saw Serena Deeb and Madison Eagles make their first trip back to Berwyn after long absences due to injury, and they did not miss a beat. We saw Allysin Kay TwitPic mid-match. We saw Mercedes Martinez and Ayako Hamada try their absolute best to destroy each other. We saw one of the most wild, goofy, amazing spectacles of a four-way match that wrestling has seen. We saw Nicole Matthews and Portia Perez cheat and cheat and cheat and cheat and cheat and be dicks. We saw Cheerleader Melissa take a very dark turn as she began her second reign as champion. We saw that the Global Green Gangsters, Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa, truly “Got this.” We saw the end of an era as Allison Danger, one of the founders of the company and a pioneer in the world of “American joshi” wrestling, compete in the final match of her career.
This is the first of our four part gallery for the SHIMMER weekend, enjoy.
ACW, AAW, SLA, ROH, DGUSA, CHIKARA, Resistance Pro
Thomas: This man busted out of Austin in a big way this year. Dragon Gate USA only had the bright idea to book him at the end of the year. Ring of Honor had the chance to blow the doors off the arena in Chicago, but instead he was a sacrificial lamb for Kyle O’Reilly. I certainly didn’t love the treatment he got from promoters who apparently “know” wrestling, but this isn’t a gripe-fest. It’s a love-fest. What ACH was able to do this year was nothing short of revolutionize what wrestling was all about.
Whether as the standard bearer in ACW, a man who helped make Cleveland a destination for wrestling in AIW, or the forever-frustrated rival of Mark Angelosetti in Chikara, he did things only thought possible by dreamers who wrote matches for e-feds. Four-fifty splash from the second rope? Easy. Texas Cloverleaf big swing? Pfft, don’t trifle me with your doubts, son. He went 30 minutes with AR Fox, warred with Johnny Gargano, clashed with Willie Mack, and even helped put eyes on Kansas City through an excellent series with Jeremy Wyatt.
If ACH isn’t on your radar, you don’t watch enough wrestling, and if you watch enough wrestling and aren’t impressed by ACH, then good lord, man, you’re made of stone.
Ciara: I can’t think of anyone else in Ring of Honor that has stood out for me in 2012 besides Adam Cole. Earlier last year, Future Shock disbanded with Kyle O’Reilly joining Davey Richards and Adam Cole aligning with Eddie Edwards. At ROH’s 10th Anniversary Show in March, Adam Cole scored an upset as he pinned then ROH World Champion Davey Richards with a Crossbody during a tag team match. Cole would go onto to defeat Kyle O’Reilly in a Hybrid Rules Match and defeat Roderick Strong for the ROH Television Championship in June. Cole has successfully retained his championship against Eddie Edwards and Mike Mondo and defeated Matt Hardy in a non-title match.
Adam continued his success over in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as he won the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament to earn a shot at Kevin Steen’s PWG World Championship. In November, Cole defeated Caleb Konley for the Premiere Wrestling Xperience Heavyweight Championship. Adam has since won the PWG World Championship from Kevin Steen and formed the Dojo Brothers with Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong. I was already aware of Adam Cole’s work in Combat Zone Wrestling, but this past year he has really stepped it up and became one of my favorites.
TJ Hawke: AR Fox is the surest bet in wrestling for getting an entertaining match right now. I’ve watched him in a variety of promotions, on tape and in person, and he always kills himself to put on the best match possible. Putting AR Fox on a card automatically makes me interested in said show.
In DGUSA and Evolve, Fox stepped up and delivered some of the best matches of the year with some of the best wrestlers in the world. In CZW, he became one of their best pushed talents, having a series of great matches with a variety of opponents. In Absolute Intense Wrestling, Fox had two thirty minute Iron Man matches with ACH. Both matches received rave reviews for their excitement and innovation.
In 2012, Fox became one of the most exciting wrestlers in all of wrestling. Over the next five years, I expect him to grow so much that people start referring to him as one of the best wrestlers in the world.
Leslie:Ayako Hamada is Wrestler of the Year, Every Year. It’s redundant to talk about how great she is at this point, you just need to watch her. Watch her in Mexico. Watch her in Japan. Watch her in in the states (especially her SHIMMER match against Kana). Watch her, year after year, effortlessly put on amazing matches. Ayako Hamada is an international treasure and the best of her generation.
Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi
Lariato: In the first half of 2012 especially, Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi marked themselves as one of the best tag teams on the planet with a series of amazing matches in AJPW and home promotion BJW. Both guys are freakishly strong and I never tire of watching them in matches against other heavy hitting teams like Get Wild of Manabu Soya & Takao Omori.
Sonny: The Kanari sisters slowly emerged from the humongous shadow of Meiko Satomura in 2012, showcasing their great tag team skills versus a wide variety of opponents.
In May they debuted in CHIKARA, and defeated The Bravado Brothers. On June 25, they defeated Manami Toyota and Kyoko Inoue. In September they teamed with Meiko Satomura in CHIKARA’s King of Trios to defeat Green Ant, Red Ant and AssailAnt. In round 2 they defeated Jigsaw, Manami Toyota and Mike Quackenbush. In round 3 they lost to the team of The Young Bucks and Mike Bennett in what may have been the best match of the entire weekend.
PWG, BJW, CZW
Alex: Drake Younger’s 2012 has been a powerful journey to be able to watch, one that made him one of the best wrestlers of the year. A resolution to clean himself up led to him getting in the best shape of his life. That then led to a renaissance for Younger as a wrestler. In 2012 he delivered some of his strongest matches, including wars with Sami Callihan, B-Boy, Rickey Shane Page, Roderick Strong, and MASADA, peaking with an awe inspiring Iron Man with Sami Callihan.
Moving out to Los Angeles and finding another home with PWG turned out to be a great move for him, allowing him to show new audiences what the Combat Zone faithful already knew: Drake Younger is one of the most well rounded wrestlers in the world, able to deliver with a wide variety of opponents. An inspiration, in ring and out, making him a clear choice for this write up.
Ben: Forget the broken glass and death matches, Drake Younger can do it all, and regularly does. To me, he is the definition of a hybrid wrestler, and I love the diversity this brings.
Having changed his life this year (in more ways than one), and moved to California, a whole new horizon has opened up for him, including PWG, where he continues to have increasingly fantastic matches to sit alongside 2012 classics such as 60-minute Iron Man vs Callihan.
As I type this, he is completing his 4th tour of Japan, and has already signed a contract for his 5th tour. Every time he returns to the States following one of these tours, he seems to have grown again. It’s a pleasure to watch someone so humble, positive and joyful about their chosen craft, and long may it continue.
Lots of stuff happened at Wrestlecon, most of which you can buy on iPPV at WWNLive.com and you can already download the CHIKARA show here at Smartmarkvideo. Greg was on-hand for plenty of it. Here are his pics from SHIMMER and CHIKARA, featuring the returns of Serena Deeb, Madison Eagles, and Amazing Kong, Ayumi Kurihara’s final US match, and Cheerleader Melissa taking back what’s hers. Oh, and a bit of Jyushin “Thunder” Lyger.
Here’s our final gallery from the most recent SHIMMER tapings. This was the one where Allysin Kay, as she long ago prophesized, got in the ring with The World Famous Kana (although rumor has it she’s still looking forward to a one-on-one confrontation). Also, Athena continued making her case that she is the best by taking on the best in Ayako Hamada. All this, and lots of ninjas. Enjoy!
SHIMMER Volume 50 saw the cross-generational Joshi dream match of Kana versus Ayako Hamada come to American soil, in what is now largely considered, “the best fucking match ever.” There was also the welcome return of SHIMMER original Lexie Fyfe, who looked fantasticin the main event elimination match. Please enjoy our photos, volume 51 and 52 are coming soon!
Greg, boss that he is, attended yet another three day international wrestling summit with the AAW/SHIMMER Weekend. Here’s his wonderful photos from the first of the four SHIMMER shows. This was the one where Athena found herself in the main event, Courtney Rush lost herself in the past, and, delivering on months of trash talk, Portia Perez actually, finally, for real beat Kana. Enjoy!
In 2010, Weekly Pro-Wrestling, the top Professional Wrestling publication in Japan, printed a “Joshi Manifesto” penned by Kana. Her blunt but substantive criticism of the Joshi Puroresu scene earned her scorn from many, but eventually proved to be a turning point in her career and one of the most notable moments in recent Joshi history. It is in that tradition that we offer this piece. We always give wrestlers the chance to speak their minds in our candid interviews, but we were surprised when we were contacted by a fighter who felt the need to deliver something more. A message. A warning. A manifesto.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed here by Kellie Skater do not necessarily reflect the views of Dirty Dirty Sheets or its staff. Photos by Greg.
I decided it was time that “The Rate Tank” Kellie Skater sets down some simple rules for all to follow. This is a necessity, as way too many people disrespect The Rate Tank, and mutantkind in general, for my liking.
Rule 1: Thou shalt not support the ideals of the Mutant Registration Act. We are Homo Superior and if we choose to be anonymous that’s our decision. We shall not become pawns for humankind. And registration leads to genocide. That’s just not cool. Every time I hear a fan yell, “Die Mutie,” it just proves the fact that Magneto was right1.
Rule 2: Thou shalt not accuse The Rate Tank of being on Roo-Roids or any other illegal substances. This includes chanting ‘Roo-Roids’, ‘steroids’, and ‘HGH’ during my matches. Or bringing signs stating this! It’s a nasty rumour started by Allison Danger! All allegations. I am a pure, albeit amazing physical specimen. In fact you might say I am the Ultimate Total Package.
Rule 3: Thou shalt not cheat if you accept an Open Challenge I set. Clearly way too many unscrupulous characters accept these challenges and cheat me!
Rule 4: Thou shalt always follow orders from the IG. The International Gangstas2 are going to eventually run the world anyway, you might as well get in quickly and obey us! This may save you an IG arse kicking.
Final Fantasy VII, the most beloved chapter in the long running video game series, features the story of an insecure and unsure boy who only finds his place in the world after emulating the man he aspired to be. Of course, only by stepping out from that person’s shadow was he able to fulfill his destiny as hero and savior of the world. This past Saturday at NCW: Femmes Fatales VII, fans witnessed a similar transformation. Billed as an International Summit, Montreal’s Centre de Loisirs St-Barthelemy was home to some of the world’s best wrestlers including new SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa, Pro Wrestling WAVE Ace Yumi Ohka, and Australian powerhouse Kellie Skater.
However, it was a match between two of Quebec’s own that was the main attraction, as Kalamity challenged her trainer, partner, and rival LuFisto for the NCW:FF International Title. This bout was the culmination of years of friendship, rivalry, love, hatred, and violence1. Stepping out of the shadows of her mentor, the “Oncoming Storm” took her spot amongst the upper-echelon of the sport and became the new face women’s wrestling in Quebec.
NCW: Femmes Fatales VII
October 8th, 2011 Montreal, QC, Canada
A. Mary Lee Rose (w/ Mademoiselle Rachelle) defeated Millou with the Encore – “Punk Rock Princess” Mary Lee Rose was scheduled to meet Cheerleader Melissa in a featured bout, but, fearing reprisal for months of attacks and trash talk, backed out and was thus bumped down to the pre-show. She didn’t seem all that bothered by the demotion and even brought Millou a stuffed turtle, perhaps to suggest her young opponent lay down’ to take a nap. Milouu took the ‘gift’ and spiked it, leading Mary to attack and gain the upper-hand, which she retained for most of the bout. Between that and Mdsm. Rachelle’s usual “hands-on management” Millou was easy prey to Mary Lee Rose’s Encore.
Post-Match the FFVII intro video was aired. The crowd clapped when clips of former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles were displayed.
1. Angie Skye defeated Cherry Bomb with the Tight Pull – We dig Cherry Bomb. She’s continually improving all aspects of her wrestling, from adding the Cattle Mutilation to her repertoire to dropping people with Sliding Ds like a female Canadian Masato Tanaka, she’s pretty rad. However there’s a major hole in her game that needs to be addressed: she has not developed an effective counter to having her tights pulled. Last Femmes Fatales Cherry lost a match to Britney Savage with this maneuver. This time Bomb had cool new shiny gear and we thought maybe there was some anti-grip technology involved. Unfortunately, CB did not have that feature installed.
Both women started this match off by exchanging leg kicks and, after some cheap shots from Skye, Cherry lit her up with some chops. Angie managed to gain control with the “Montreal Special” (Snapmare/Spinal Tap/PK, staple combo amongst the Femmes Fatales roster). Skye choked Cherry over the second rope, then hit a running flying high kick to Cherry’s exposed spine lead to a 2 count. Bomb rallied back with a flying lariat, Sliding D, sick sick sick corner Shining Wizard straight to Skye’s face! Going in for the kill, Cherry Bomb applied Cattle Mutilation but Skye managed to get her feet to the ropes. Visibly frustrated, Cherry argued with the official which allowed Angie to steal the victory with, you guessed it, a roll up and handful of tights.
Post-match, Cherry continued to berate the official and proceeded to kick the bottom rope, which Montreal fans are really, really into.
2. The Sherbrooke Connection (Loue and Kira) defeated Anna Minoushka and Missy – The women from Sherbrooke have been very successful in Femmes Fatales, but they may have come into this match as underdogs against the bigger, stronger, angrier team of Anna and Missy. Anna actually chose to start off the match against both opponents at the same time, and succeeded in tossing them around. The Connection showed off their tag pro wres prowess once Missy tagged in, utilizing a double back elbow and tandem elbow drops. Minoushka attempted to intervene but was somehow controlled by the referee.
The Sherbrookes then laid Missy out with a Hart Attack, which led to Anna making her way back in. Again, the “Russian Tigress” chose to fight both Kira & Loue simultaneously. An overzealous Loue tried a hurricanrana and was thwarted by a heavy powerbomb, deep from the Heart of Mother Russia. Kira sought to choke out Minoushka, but Anna wouldn’t stay down, so Loue jumped on her back, too! The screaming powerhouse carried both her assailants on her back and drove crushed them in the corner. The SC tried a new, effective, strategy of dropping Anna with leg kicks and double drop kicking her out of the ring. That left Missy alone as she took a top rope body splash from Loue and a double team cover for the loss. Kira and Loue celebrated their biggest win yet, while furious Anna shoved an apologetic, and criminally underrated, Missy.
3. She Nay Nay defeated Xandra Bale with the Fujiwara Arm bar – No one on the corner has swagger like She Nay Nay, although Xandra Bale’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute gear gets her pretty close. The latest in descendent in the historic line of Canadian “Suicide Blondes,” Bale relied on her speed and agility but, too often, was grounded by the Street Technique of She Nay Nay. At one point she put vicious boots to Bale and tried to break her arm over the guardrail. More semi-legal techniques lead to a flying hip attack and DDT for a close two-count for She Nay Nay. Bale was then slapped into a Fujiwara armbar, but was able to scrampe to the ropes.
Sensing victory, She Nay Nay came rushing in with her beautiful scissor kick and missed! Xandra fired back with spinning heel kick and headed to the top turnbuckle for high-flying cross-body. Xandra missed the top rope dive and was placed in an even deeper Fujiwara until she was forced to submit. She Nay Nay unceremoniously threw a felled Xandra Bale right out of the ring, and happily danced her way to the back. In spite of the lack of sportswomenship the Montreal crowd, who in the past has had no love for the Miami native, offered a bit of applause.
4. Mercedes Martinez defeated Tiana Ringer with the Fisherman Buster – After a four-years-too-long absence, Tiana Ringer made her return to ring. As Anthony put it on Twitter, “No one has had a sexier comeback to wrestling.” Indeed Tiana looked to be in the best shape she’s ever been. She definitely needed that, given she wase was facing WSU Champion Mercedes Martinez. Besides making the mistake of chopping Martinez first, Ringer looked fantastic and kept pace with her S-Grade opponent. Though Ringer resorted to a lot of cheap tricks and tactics, there were many hard shots and technical maneuvers executed by both women, in this match. Tiana caught MM off-guard with a few new moves and hit her patented Scorpion Kick from out-of-nowhere on the apron. Mercedes welcomed Ringer back to wrestling by tenderizing her chest and delivering an ultra-delayed vertical brainbuster. Tiana nearly secured victory with the South Palm Beach driver, but Mercedes, after having to fight harder than anyone expected, ended things with the Fisherman Buster.
Afterwards Martinez said, being as she’s undefeated in Femmes Fatales, she should be next in line for a title shot.
5. Cheerleader Melissa defeated Yumi Ohka with the Air Raid Crash – As anyone who has seen her out of the ring knows, Yumi Ohka takes her fashion very seriously. So much so that in the ring she insists on leaving imprints of her designer boots on the faces of her opponents. It’s probably not the best way to go about sharing a style tip, but it makes for some insane matches.
This was an insane match. Not surprising. Cheerleader Melissa (did we mention she is the new SHIMMER Champion, because it feels good saying it), usually prefers to be the one leaving the bootprints and always goes into full on Terminatrix mode when put against a Joshi wrestler. We were too in awe to take play-by-play notes on this one, just know you have to buy it when it’s released. Stellar, brutal match by two of the top women on the planet.
This piece of wrestling artwork was nearly defaced by some ‘punk,’ as Mary Lee Rose ran down to the ring with Mademoiselle Rachelle, and a chair, in tow. Even after having just engaged in a war, Cheerleader Melissa was fought off her attackers with a kick straight to Rachelle’s grille and an booming Air Raid Crash to Mary Lee. She didn’t even have to use the chair. File this moment under: Don’t Fuck with Melissa.
6. Courtney Rush defeated Kellie Skater with an Argentine Suplex – These two faced each other previously in SHIMMER with Skater ending up on top. To show there were no hard feelings, Rush brought Skater a stuffed kangaroo, which Tank promptly punted into the second row (Skater’s hapless New Jersey Jets could probably use her on the squad). After the punt there was a bit of a pose down, which Skater arguably won. Then there was a bit of arm wrestling which Rush definitely won.
While Tank didn’t get in reps in this match, she did resort to drinking her *ahem* supplements to their usual effect of increased strength and durability. However all the adamantium in the world can’t get between Courtney Rush and Suplex City. Tanks attempt to throw her powdered enhancements in the eyes of Courtney backfired as Rush managed the strength hurl the Tank around the ring, for a series tying victory.
7. Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Portia Perez and Sweet Cherrie with mist to the eyes of Portia Perez – It’s difficult to provide objective analysis of this match as, on her way to the ring, Portia Perez stole my ridiculously awesome shades, feeling they looked better on her. They did look pretty rad with her outfit, though. Jerk.
Anyway, this was a really fun three-way that saw Tomoka Nakagawa, try to one up Portia in acts of evil, mostly down to poor, sweet Cherrie who was caught in the middle. At one point she was being choked in the ropes and bitten in the face while the ref haplessly gave a 5-count. On this night, though, it was Nakagawa who proved the most diabolical as, after surviving a deadly Ninja Choke attempt, she caught Portia off guard with a water to the eyes and a roll up. Karma!
Oh, and the sunglasses? They were eventually returned and, as part of that arrangement we are obligated to say: be sure to attend Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s Portia Perez Appreciation Night on October 23rd in Austin, TX. Also, it would be really awesome if Rachel Summerlyn made available to Portia Perez a healthy and stout donkey for Portia Perez to ride during Portia Perez Appreciation Night.
8. NCW Femmes Fatales International Title Match: Kalamity defeated LuFisto (c) with the Kalamityville Horror 2K11 to become the new Champion – We don’t have the words for this match. LuFisto and Kalamity are small, tough, violent mirror images of one another and it always makes for a great match. However, the stakes were higher than their previous bouts as LuFisto looked to further establish her dominance of FF champion and Kalamity, after a strong debut in SHIMMER, hoped to finally prove she was no longer the student, but the master.
As great as Ohka versus Melissa was, this match exceeded it and all previous expectations. Kalamity came with her usual, stylish aggression from leg kicks to various cross-arm chokes to her always stunning “Diving K” corner elbow. I’m not sure if we’ve seen LuFisto as aggressive since her death match days. She wailed on Kalamity with an indescribably loud chair shot, and then another. This even drew shouts of, “Pourquoi?!” from the Lufi loving crowd (her answer, “Because I want to win!”).
Miss Murder wasn’t done as she dragged the Kalamity onto the apron and participated in one of their classic kick/chop/elbow/punch battles. The defending champ eventually came out on top and used the advantage to set up Kalamity for a crushing corner double stomp. A Mangalizer followed that looked to put an end to things but Kalamity somehow managed to kick out. She gave LuFisto her own finisher but she kicked out as well! Fans sensed that it was time for an Ultimate Technique, but instead of LuFisto’s Burning Hammer, Kalamity pulled out a Fisherman Spike Michinouku Driver (Kalamityville Horror 2K11, go with it) for the biggest win of her career! Totally mind-blowing match, and another you should absolutely purchase the DVD for.
It was a special to see LuFisto wrap the belt around Kalamity’s waist as she, somewhat, passed the torch to her protege. The moment was somewhat sort lived as Mercedes Martinez, making good on her promise from earlier in the night, came down to say she was next in line for the Femmes Fatales title.
And that was Femmes Fatales VII! Every match on the show was strong and two were absolutely classics. We’re already looking forward to attending the next one in March especially since both Serena Deeb and Jazz have been announced. Below, see our pictures from the event and an epic video with Courtney Rush, Cherry Bomb, Kellie Skater, Portia Perez, Mercedes Martinez, LuFisto, Yumi Ohka, Tomoka Nakagawa, and the just crowned NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion, Kalamity! Peace.