Tagged: manami toyota

Total Joshi: Episode 4 Recap

totesjoshi

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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Manami Toyota’s 25th Anniversary Show

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Manami Toyota is the Greatest Pro Wrestler of All Time, but it’s easy to overlook that she’s still one of the best right now. It’s a mistake no one who watched her the 25th Anniversary: Flying Angela show could make.

I saw it live last September with 600 other Toyota fans in a legit sold out Shinjuku FACE. On that night Manami put on the single greatest performance I have ever seen by any wrestler, anywhere. As she did on her 20th Anniversary show, Toyota chose to wrestle  in every match on the card. She wrestled every match on the card, as if it were the last match on the card. Through five often grueling, always competitive matches Toyota grappled, brawled, kicked, screamed, suplexed, and got suplexed, slammed, and beaten. She never faltered, never tired, never stopped flying from the top rope at her opponents.

I’d never seen anything like it, and I don’t think I ever will again. At least not until Manami’s 30th anniversary show.

The first match was the toughest. Two of Toyota’s eternal rivals, Aja Kong and Kyoko Inoue, teamed with recent adversary Tsubasa Kuragaki. On Toyota’s team were ICE Ribboners Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi. whom Manami chose because they have excellent dropkicks as a counter the other team’s size.

This strategy seemed to be working as Team Manami kept Team Destroy Manami off balance and out of killing range for a while. Then pint-sized Tsukushi tried to bow and arrow death-sized Aja Kong, and it did not go well. Tsubasa, as she had done earlier in JWP and CHIKARA that year, crushed Manami. She torture racked all three of her opponents at once, and finished off Toyota with a sick Metal Wing. Post-Match: Kong gave an angry, heart-felt congratulations to Manami for surviving twenty five years as her kicking bag.

In a friendlier encounter, Toyota faced fellow former AJW alum Miho Wakizawa. Wakizawa was one of the stars of AJW during it’s final run and retired around when the company closed. She only just returned in 2011 with the opening of STARDOM. Wakizawa is often known for laughs, but this turned out to be the most technical match of the night. After all, she took 10 years off and was facing her senpai who kept at it the entire time. Wakizawa fought like she had something prove. She made a very strong showing, but Toyota eventually won with a Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex Hold. Continue reading

Saturday Morning Wrestling VIII

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Dirty Dirty Sheets brings you another selection of some of the world’s finest wrestling, handpicked for your enjoyment on this wonderful Saturday morning.

NJPW: Prince Devitt vs. Pac

New Japan’s Best of the Super Junior’s tournament is in full swing now. Prince Devitt is killing it even more than usual, thanks to his attitude change and formation of the Bullet Club stable. Here’s a match from last year’s tourney with the Real Rock’n’Rolla versus Pac. Respect the shooter.

AAA: Hector Garza vs. El Brazo

Wrestling fans we were recently shocked by the passing of Lucha Libre standout Hector Garza. See a young Hector take on El Brazo in a Hair versus Hair match.

World Of Sport: Johnny Saint vs. Mick McManus

Also, British Wrestling legend Mick McManus passed away at the age of 93. Here, see “The man You Love To hate” against Johnny Saint. Also be sure to read The Guardian’s obituary for McManus, it’s in depth and incredibly informative.

Beyond Wrestling: Jarek 1:20 vs. Darius Carter

Back in America, Beyond Wrestling has been making a number of big moves from a partnership with Yahoo Sports, to a special name your own price show, and it’s upcoming massive Americana event. They’re bringing in Steen and Cabana but the heart of Beyond has always been the guys who hadn’t quite made a name for themselves nationally, yet. The Debonair Millionaire Darius Carter is just about to blow up to that level. See him against Jarek 1:20 (who is well on his way to being an international star, in magic). Continue reading

Dream Slam Weekend

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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.

  1. Hikari Fukuoka & Plum Mariko vs. Kaoru Ito & Sakie Hasegawa
  2. Sakechi Nobue & Terri Powers vs. Eriko Tsuchiya & Yoshika Maedomari
  3. Esther Moreno & KAORU vs. Mima Shimoda & Tomoko Watanabe
  4. Etsuko Mita & Minami Suzuka vs. Miki Handa & Rumi Kazama
  5. Bat Yoshinaga vs. Susan Howard
  6. Chigusa Nagayo vs. Devil Masami
  7. Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue
  8. Aja Kong & Bull Nakano vs. Eagle Sawai & Harley Saito
  9. Dynamite Kansai vs. Yumiko Hotta
  10. Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori
  11. Combat Toyoda & Megumi Kudo vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada

If you’d like DVDs, physical or download, of the event, check out IVPvideos.com.

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.












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Spotlight: Meiko Satomura

Co-Authored by Leslie. Photos by Nami.

Meiko Satomura is one of the world’s most dedicated and respected Professional Wrestlers. Her career has spanned 17 years, across which she has held multiple titles and constantly set the standard of excellence for in-ring competition. As both a wrestler and a trainer she has been one of the most influential forces in Joshi for more than a decade.

Born November 17, 1979, in Nishi-Ku, Niigata, Japan, Satomura was gifted at combat sports from a young age. She grew up studying Judo and was prefectural champion for three straight years in junior high school. One day her sister took her to a New Japan Pro Wrestling show, and it was there that Meiko fell in love with pro wrestling.

She dropped out of school early to apply for an audition with a new Joshi Puroresu company, GAEA Japan. She was trained by Chigusa Nagayo, and at the age of 15, made her debut on April 15, 1995 at GAEA’s inaugural show. She defeated Sonoko Kato 1 via submission with a juji gatame. Satomura showed fire rarely seen in young wrestlers, and unleashed vicious strikes and blood-curdling screams on her fellow rookie. Satomura was immediately labeled as a future ace. She was given the color red for her singlet, to symbolize her being heir apparent to Crush Gal and GAEA head, Chigusa Nagayo (Kato was given blue, the color of Lioness Asuka).

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  1. See Meiko’s debut match vs Sonoko Kato here.

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!
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  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.

Ten Questions with Zeuxis

A myth holds it that Zeuxis, the famed artist of Ancient Greece, could not find one woman beautiful enough to model for his painting of Helen of Troy, so he had to use the features of five different ones to complete the piece. Zeuxis, Puerto Rican born luchadora, only needed to see Marcela wrestle on TV to be inspire her to become an artista del ring. In the three years since her debut Zeuxis has worked her way through the independent ranks of Mexico and into CMLL, wrestling’s longest running promotion. She has also completed multiple tours of Japan for Pro Wrestling REINA, where she has garnered a loyal fan following. We recently caught up with Zeuxis to talk about her inspirations, the influence of Joshi Puroresu on her style, and what she thinks about US women’s wrestling.

Japanese translation and photos by Aoikougei.

Por favor, haga clic aquí para español.

日本語はここをクリックしてください。

Please tell us who trained you, and how long you have been wrestling.

I am 22 years old, my birthday is November 3, and I began training when I was 15. I started with amateur wrestling for two years, then I became a professional and wrestled independent promotions for 2 years, and now I work in CMLL, which is the best company in Mexico.

Who are some of the wrestlers that have inspired you?

I was always fond of Konnan and Perro Aguayo, they were my idols. The person I admire, that got me interested in joining the sport is Marcela, she is my biggest idol. I also look up to Ultimo Guerrero, whom I train under now, and Satanico and Virus.

One of your finishing moves, El Caballete, is an amazing submission hold! In Japan, you use the Sky Twister Press as your finishing move. Why the change?

In Mexico, El Caballete is totally different than anything that’s been seen1. But I’ve only been able to use it once in Japan. They say that everything has to evolve, so I am trying to develop my high flying style. I love it because it is so different, and I am trying to combine the technical aspect and the high flying together, to make a tougher style.

Who are some of your favorite opponents?

Going to Japan to wrestle for REINA made me a more mature luchadora, as I could face great legends in Japan such as Yumiko Hotta, Manami Toyota, Ayumi, and Ray among others. But also in Mexico, I was able to wrestle my idol Marcela, and tag team with rudas such as La Comandante, Princess Blanca and Amapola. I think that helped me to have more experience and demonstrate my qualites as a luchadora day to day.

Besides wrestling, what do you do with your time? Do you have any hobbies?

In addition to wrestling, I’m a paramedic and work at the Red Cross. Some of my hobbies are going to the movies, I love comedies and romance movies. My favorite actors are Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Ben Affleck.

You are one half of the REINA tag team champions with your partner La Comandante. Please tell us how you feel wrestling in Japan is compared to wrestling in Mexico.

I am happy to be tag team champions with one of the great rudas2. Mexican wrestling is more varied because it blends mat wrestling with high-flying, in comparison to the Japanese style, which is slower but much harder hitting. So far I think I have achieved my goal of making the fans happy with my style.

Do you have any interest in wrestling in the United States? Have you watched any US women’s wrestling shows?

During my stay in Japan, I have watched many matches from the United States, and it is completely different from Mexican style, but very similar to the Japanese style. I would like to experience wrestling the great fighters there. I saw the SHIMMER show where Matsumoto and Ohata won the tag team titles from the Canadian Ninjas, and I could see the quality of the women wrestlers in the company.

Who are three opponents that you have not wrestled that you would wish to face?

Ayako Hamada, Aja Kong and Hailey Hatred. Although I wrestled Hailey before, I would like to wrestle for one of her championships. She has knowledge of Mexican and Japanese styles, so I think she would be a great rival.

Please give us a few words on the following people:

La Comandante – An excellent ruda and a great companion in the ring, we are the perfect combination.

Yumiko Hotta – A legend and a great rival. I studied and trained to prove to her that I am ready. She is so much more, and a very forgiving person.

Ray – My worst enemy in Japan. She has a high-flying style that many aspire to, but I proved that I will not give up so easily and I will take her championship. (Ray is the CMLL-REINA International Junior Heavyweight Champion.)

Mia Yim – My best friend, I am able to share many things with her, and I think she has a great future ahead as long as she wants to excel.

The Canadian Ninjas – Excellent team made up of two great fighters, but we were able to show that we were better. Hopefully we can have another match with them.

Ayako Hamada – One of the best fighters in Japan and Mexico, it would be an honor to work with her as a partner or as my opponent. I think her fighting style is excellent.

Do you have anything that you would like to say to your fans?

Follow the ascent of my career! I have a lot more to show you and will continue to work to keep your interest.

To learn more about Zeuxis follow her on twitter (@zEuXiScMLl) and like her on Facebook. Below, check out tag team action featuring Zeuxis and La Comandante taking on Joshi legends Manami Toyota and Yumiko Hotta. We’ve also footnoted some of the bouts and events referenced above, go to the bottom of this page to watch.

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  1. Watch Zeuxis win the first fall with her El Caballete submission in this six woman match.
  2. See Zeuxis and La Commandante defeat the Candian Ninjas to become the inaugural REINA tag team champions here.

Spotlight: Bull Nakano

As we approach the historic Joshimania shows, presented by CHIKARA, Dirty Dirty Sheets will present a number of articles in hopes to increase fan awareness and knowledge about the women coming to Joshimania, and the history of Joshi Puroresu in general. Today we present a spotlight of one of Joshi’s most enduring icons, Bull Nakano.

Once you heard her music, you knew things were going to pick up, big time. Bull Nakano was one of the most feared wrestlers of her time. With her gargantuan hair and her intimidating face paint, you knew immediately upon seeing her that Nakano was not to be messed with.

Nakano made an impact quickly in the wrestling world, debuting at the tender age of fifteen for All Japan under her real name, Keiko Nakano in 1983. She won the AJW Junior Championship in September of the next year and held it for eight months. She joined the Gokuaku Doumei (Heinous Alliance) of notorious “Super Heel” Dump Matsumoto, shaved half her head, and transformed into the face-painted beast we know today. At this time she won the AJW Championship, the secondary singles title in AJW, and held it for a full three years. She also took over the stable, renaming it Gokumon-to, and over the years led women like Bison Kimura, Bat Yoshinaga, Aja Kong, and Kyoko Inoue.

In 1986 she had a short run in North America with Dump Matsumoto, who was her mentor. She also then won the WWWA World Tag Team title with Dump, who retired, leaving Nakano to hold the title two more times with two different partners (Condor Saito and Grizzly Iwamoto) after this she focused more on her singles career in which she briefly appeared in Mexico and won the CMLL’s first Women’s title in 1992.

In AJW, Bull was famous for her epic matches with and against Aja Kong. They were factios mates and a dominant tag team together, but it was Kong who Nakano dropped the WWWA title to her in a brutal steel cage match. This was after Bull had another historic, nearly 3 year-long reign.

She then returned to the US in 1994, this time with a bigger role. She was a main stay in the Women’s title picture feuding with Madusa Miceli. She lost to Madusa in the summer of 1994 but then went on to win it in her home country at the Big Egg Wrestling Universe event in November. She held the title for five months until she dropped it back to Madusa. Soon after this, she was released from the company. She then went on to wrestle for a rival US promotion where she continued her feud with Madusa, with Madusa winning their final match together. This was the last of Nakano in the USA and soon after Nakano left wrestling altogether.

Since then, Nakano spent time becoming a professional women’s golfer as well as writing books on cooking and weight loss. A few years ago she opened up her own restaurant, as retired Japanese wrestlers are known to do, though she closed it temporarily in order to find a larger location.

With her strong offense and her outlandish hair, Nakano stood out to me when I first started watching old wrestling tapes. When I found out she started at such a young age it was someone I felt I could relate to. Her passion stood out and that’s why I consider Nakano to be one of the best ever.

While Nakano left wrestling in 1997 (she never had an official retirement ceremony), her legacy and impact lives on through many wrestlers today, including Sara Del Rey who even uses Nakano’s entrance music. Countless other female wrestlers, in both Japan and North America, have listed her as an influence in their wrestling style and one of the reasons they chose to step in the ring in the first place.

For years fans and wrestlers have clamored for her to return to the ring, this January in Tokyo, Bull will produce a show which will finally include her retirement ceremony. As of now, she is not scheduled to wrestle on the show itself, though it is known that Aja Kong will appear.

As Bull walks away from wrestling for good, please look back at her career via the matches selected below. Nakano is a certified wrestling legend and we can thank her efforts for helping pave the way for the Joshi of today.

  1. Bull Nakano vs. Jaguar Yokota
  2. Bull Nakano vs. Aja Kong - WWWA Title Cage Match
  3. Keiko Nakano & Yumi Ogura vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels
  4. Keiko Nakano vs. Yumi Ogura – AJW Jr. Title Match
  5. Bull Nakano & Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada
  6. Bull Nakano & Aja Kong vs. Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai

Mariko Yoshida: The Dirty Dirty Sheets Interview

Mariko Yoshida had a storied career spanning three decades and several of the greatest Joshi promotions. She went from a beloved, high-flying mid-carder in AJW to a dominant shootstyle main eventer in ARSION. She had done it all in Joshi, including winning several titles, wrestling in the US, and even starting  her own promotion, IBUKI, to train the next generation. As the years passed by, her pupils grew, and her injuries mounted, she quietly walked away from the ring having accomplished all there was to accomplish as a Joshi wrestler. Or so we all thought. Earlier this year Mariko Yoshida surprised fans, wrestlers, and promoters alike by making her return to the ring after a multi-year absence. She’s also recently joined twitter and started her own UStream channel, in hopes of connecting with her legions of longtime fans. We are proud to present to you our interview with the legendary Mariko Yoshida.

Co-authored by Leslie. Translation by Aoikougei.

日本語はここをクリックしてください。

Please tell us why you chose to become a professional wrestler? When you started, who were some of the wrestlers that guided you?

I was attracted to wrestling by watching the Crush Gals. I wanted to be like them. It was my trainer, Jaguar Yokota, [that guided me the most].

You were injured in 1992, and didn’t wrestle for two years. During that time, you were still one of the most popular wrestlers in AJW. What was that period like for you?

I was really glad to have the people behind me, it was great. I had the support of everyone, and after my recovery I fought very hard for the fans.

You often teamed with and wrestled against Manami Toyota. What are your thoughts on her?

Outside the ring, she is a very gentle and kind person. But inside the ring, she has impeccable focus!

In 1997 many wrestlers left AJW. Why did you choose to go to ARSION?

At that time, I had fractured my arm and was out of action. ARSION invited me to join them and, when I was set to make my return, that is where I wanted to go.

In the early years of your career you had a high-flying style. However your wrestling became much more mixed martial arts based. Why did you make this change?

I changed companies, going from AJW to Arsion, so I wanted to change my image. I was very interested in different submission locks and techniques.

You were considered the “ace” of ARSION and were the first champion. What was that like?

Being in ARSION was very different from being AJW,  as I had the responsibility of carrying the company on my back.

Ayako Hamada made her debut for ARSION as a new star. Please give us your thoughts on her and her career.

Ayako had been around the ring all of her life, and when she made her debut, she was completely different. Something new and cool! The moves she did, for being a rookie, were incredible.

You had many great battles with Aja Kong. What where those matches like for you?

Yes! Aja Kong is such a great wrestler. Being able to wrestle someone of her caliber, as many times as I did, made me very happy.

ARSION had many great wrestlers like Michiko Ohmukai, Azumi Hyuga, Lioness Asuka, and others. Who here some of your favorites on the roster?

Lioness Asuka. I was 15 years old when I first watched her, and that was when I said, “I want to become a wrestler!” When I had my first singles match against her, my heart was about to beat out of my chest!

 In 2005 you started the Ibuki promotion, and trained many women like Misaki Ohata, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Tomoka Nakagawa, and Ayumi Kurihara. Why was training the new generation important to you? What do you think of their success?

By training younger wrestlers I have learned a lot of things as well. I am happy for their success and that they are making it on their own!

You wrestled Megumi Fujii a few times. After your matches, she went on to become the best female MMA fighter in the world.

Megumi Fujii is fast. If you give her the slightest opening, she will move on that chance and you could be in an armlock so quickly. Wrestling against her, I’ve never experienced that kind of tension in the ring before.

You previously wrestled for Chickfight in the US and became Champion there. What was your experience wrestling in America like?

The American fans cheered for me loudly, and it was a great feeling. I could raise the level of my game and I really enjoyed the matches.

How was Cheerleader Melissa as an opponent?

Melissa’s technique is so good, and she has power and stamina. She is a smart wrestler. I love Melissa!

Would you like to return to America and wrestle some day?

Yes, I want to!

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment in wrestling?

That I was able to meet so many people. That I was even able to go to America to meet the fans.

You took some time off these past few years, but recently returned to wrestling for Diana. Why did you leave? What made you decide to come back?

I took a break because my health wasn’t good, and my wrestling game wasn’t where it should be. While I was off, I started “core training” and my body was renewed! I heard that Kyoko Inoue had started DIANA, and I thought that I’d like to join, so I showed up. Also, I wanted to see the effects of my core training [on my wrestling], and how my body would feel now.

Besides training, what are some other things you like to do in your free time?

What I enjoy doing in my free time is just relaxing, daydreaming, and reading.

Please give your thoughts on Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto.

Bull Nakano was very fierce and frightening inside of the ring; but she is so very kind outside of the ring.

Akira Hokuto was my senpai [senior colleague], and in my rookie days I was often her ring attendant. I learned more from her than any other veteran.

You wrestled at the highest point of Joshi in front of tens of thousands of fans. Do you think Joshi will ever return to that point?

If the way things are done are changed, then it’s a possibility. It is being planned right now!

In closing, is there anything that you would like to say to your fans in America?

I am very happy and touched to do this interview with you. Currently, I am planning a new venture involving stunt-people. We hope to show it to American fans in the near future! Thank you so much. I′m looking forward to seeing you some day!

You can learn more about Mariko by following her on Twitter (@mariko21585), her UStream Channel, and checking out her Official Website (yoshida-mariko.com) . Also, see below as we’ve put together and uploaded a compilation of some of Mariko’s greatest matches from her days in ARSION. It’s all amazing. Enjoy!

Mariko Yoshida: Air Raid Crash Vol. 1

  1. 1999.02.18 – Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi
  2. 1999.12.11 –  Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong
  3. 2001.07.03 –  Mariko Yoshida vs. Lioness Asuka
  4. 1998.12.18 –  Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu
  5. 1999.01.17 –  Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino
  6. 2002.07.21 - Mariko Yoshida vs. Takako Inoue

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