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.
Another month, another SMASH show to be giddy about. This one had some major implications, as it hosted the Semi-Finals of the Women’s Title Tournament and the Quarterfinals of the men’s bracket. Here are the results:
SMASH.20 – 2011.08.11 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
1. SMASH Men’s Title Tournament: TAJIRI defeated Shinya Ishikawa with a Buzzsaw Kick at 9:27
2. SMASH Men’s Title Tournament: AKIRA defeated Zeus at 7:55
3. SMASH Women’s Title Tournament: Serena Deeb defeated Makoto with a Spear at 13:10
4. Yuko Miyamoto, Ray and YO-HEY defeated Yuji Kito, Mio Shirai and Kodama with Miyamoto La Magistraling Kito at 12:02
5. Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Mentallo with a Dragon Sleeper at 7:45
6. SMASH Woen’s Title Tournament: Kana defeated Syuri with the Kana Lock (Crossface Chicken Wing) at 13.25
7. SMASH Men’s Title Tournament: VENENO defeated HajimeOhara with a Senton dive at 9:32
8. SMASH Men’s Title Tournament: Starbuck defeated GenichiroTenryu with a Piledriver at 7:33
The show opened up with Ice Ribbon head/mother Emi Sakura sending Makoto off. This was Makoto’s first show as an official member of SMASH. Ice Ribbon underage-badass Riho, as promised, crashed the party and attacked TAJIRI. She’s pissed about Makoto leaving Ice Ribbon for SMASH, and will be taking her anger out on TAJIRI’s head in a match at the next IR Korakuen Hall show.
Riho wasn’t the only Joshi to make a shocking appearance. Freelance megastar and universally beloved sweetheart Ayumi Kurihara came tot he show…and was roundly booed after ostentatiously declaring herself the top idol wrestler and the ace of Joshi puroresu. Most of those boos came from Syuri fans apparently. Arrogant Ayumi is something new, and it’s more than a bit reminiscent of how Kana exploded into the SMASH scene. She’ll be wrestling on the next SMASH show.
In the ring we saw VENENO (?!) defeat Hajime Ohara, in nothing short of a tragedy for us loyal Hajime fans. He also attacked Starbuck after the Canadian scored a notable victory over the legendary Tenryu. TAJIRI and AKIRA also had a confrontation. Both of those matches will happen at the next SMASH show on September 8th.
On the women’s side Makoto’s US excursion and intense spear training 1 was not enough to get her closer to the title , as the Unstoppable Serena Deeb gored through her for victor. She’s done that to every single woman she has faced in SMASH. Serena is one of the best in the world and as she told us in our interview, it would be amazing for her as an American to become the first title-holder for SMASH. Her final hurdle would be the winner of Kana vs Syuri.
Kana and Syuri have a sordid past. When Kana came into SMASH she set her sites directly on Syuri, attacking her in a legendary post-match brawl (while wearing her business suit). The women had two matches. While they split the wins, Kana proved quite dominant in the more recent outing. After that, they actually teamed together. Kana attempted to take Syuri under her wing and help her become a more serious and deadly fighter. It seemed to work. Syuri has grown a lot in the past year, becoming more intense and focused. At one point Kana even called Syuri her “daughter” after her Kana-esque performance against Hikaru Shida.
At some point things changed and Kana decided she was no longer impressed with Syuri’s performance. Kana dressed Syuri down in two separate press conferences, criticizing her for not showing enough improvement and accusing her of having no “belief.” Syuri was devastated and had a full on meltdown, putting on a frightening display of rage after the press conference. You’d have to assume that Syuri came into this match angrier and more intense than she’s ever been. But that was not enough to propel her to the finals as Kana viciously choked out her “daughter” with the Kana Lock. That put Serena and Kana in the finals in September. This means that regardless of who wins, the first SMASH women’s champ will be wrestling in SHIMMER in October. Rock and roll.
And that was SMASH 20! Enjoy the amazing pictures from Yuichi until the videos are out. Also, check out this new Kana vs Syuri playlist, covering their history together. Peace.