Tagged: roh

ROH: Night of Hoopla and Reclamation

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Ring of Honor has finally pulled back on its ban on digital cameras, just in time too: Gregory Davis was able to capture all the glorious, pants-free moments of Night of Hoopla in Chicago. He then traveled to Milwaukee for night one of Reclamation. Enjoy our photos and read the full results of the tour here. There’s also a photo or two courtesy former ROH champion “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards, welcome to the staff! Be sure to check out his new DVD here.

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Allison Danger and the Infinitely Sad Tuesday

Tuesday was full of sad. I’m talking Amanda Palmer solo set sad. First came the above video, a tear-jerking clip of Ayumi Kurihara saying goodbye to her SHIMMER fans before flying back to Japan, where she will retire in August.

Lots of Joshi retire, and lots retire young but most everyone seemed to think of Ayumi as a lifer. Her retirement announcement was completely shocking. Ayumi is an amazing wrestler and always a joy to watch. Joshi Pro won’t be the same without her.

Then came news from LuFisto, confirming fears that she was injured during the SHIMMER Volume 53 iPPV this past weekend. You should read her thoughts here on her Facebook page. At least this sad is mitigated by the fact that LuFisto is one of the toughest, strongest, and hardest working people in the world. She’s come back from major injury and medical issues before, each time being in better shape, each time a better wrestler than before. I have no doubt we will be able to say the same after this setback. I believe in LuFisto.

And then came news that Rachel Summerlyn is taking time off due to a lingering neck injury. Rachel is one of my favorite wrestlers and favorite people due to her love, passion, and perpetually positive attitude. I think she’ll be making dudes bleed their own blood before we know it.

In the meantime, she’s enlisted Khris “Texas Rainmaker” Wolfe to kick Gary Jay’s ass in her stead at St. Louis Anarchy’s massive Circus Maximus show (in a 10,000 Thumbtacks match). Anyone in the area should check it out.

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And then, in the main event of Final Sad:CLIMAX 2013, SHIMMER announced that Allison Danger would be ending her in-ring career this weekend. The announcement hit me hard. Danger’s career has meant a lot to me and honestly, she’s largely responsible for the existence of DDS.

The first Ring of Honor show I watched was not very good. I had already stopped watching other wrestling entirely, giving ROH a chance was a last ditch effort at seeing whether or not the art was worth following anymore. I wasn’t sold, at all. However, Danger’s performance as Christopher Daniel’s disciple and her religious devotion to his “prophecy” intrigued me. I’d never seen anyone in wrestling quite like her and I wanted to see where things went, so I decided to give ROH, and wrestling in general, another shot.

There were plenty of great things going on in ROH during that time: Danielson, Joe, Punk, Low Ki, Cide, etc., but Danger’s contributions will always hold a special place for me. Sometimes they had an off night (see: my first show), but Danger was always, always on point through the multiple transformations her character underwent.

When Danger transitioned into a more regular in-ring performer for ROH that eventually led me to looking into her work in other places, which led me to her work in Japan which, of course, helped me discover my true wrestling love in Joshi Puroresu which eventually lead to this site.

Danger has meant that much to many people. She laid the groundwork for the late 00’s US women’s wrestling renaissance with those ROH matches, a renaissance which entered its Silver Age when Danger uttered the phrase “American Joshi” on the first SHIMMER tapings. A phrase Danger brought meaning to with her matches against the likes of Del Rey and Martinez and Melissa and Haze and MsChif and Knox and Rogers and Perez.

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Danger was stellar outside the ring as well. She was one of the first to take an active role in social media. She blogged about her travels in Japan, engaged fans in weekly SHIMMER chats, and MySpaced when it was still a verb. She even offered epic take downs of the worst elements on wrestling message boards, in between being an outspoken advocate for women in wrestling.

Allison Danger started a charity drive at SHIMMER to help mothers in need provide necessities for their kids. Danger also once promised to fuck a fan’s mom after a show in Montreal. Danger beat Bryce Remsburg in a Lady Gaga dance-off. Danger pissed off an aged woman so badly that the old lady rose from her wheelchair in order to get at her.

Allison Danger has done great things in wrestling, far too many for me to do them justice in a small post like this. I’m saddened that I’ll never get to see another Allison Danger match live, but I feel privileged to have been at so many. I’m sure she’ll still be around wrestling in some form, and hopefully still as a performer, but her absence in the ring will leave a hole that can never be properly filled.

She will be dearly missed.

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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Ten Questions with Dave Prazak

Dave Prazak  helped change things. Beginning with his work in the IWA-Mid South Women’s division and his creation, with Allison Danger, of SHIMMER: Women Athletes, his vision for a better world for Women’s wrestling has influenced and inspired numerous wrestlers and promotions to aim higher and demand more respect. The fingerprints of SHIMMER are seen even in the recent influx of American talent into Japan, where foreign women had been rare for the past several years. Besides his role as promoter, Prazak has also been a longtime ROH commentator as well as the manager of many an unsavory individual. We caught DP as he heads into the next big two day, four taping SHIMMER weekend on October 1st and 2nd in Chicago.

Tell us how you got started in the wrestling business and how long you’ve been involved.

My first actual role on a wrestling show was as a ring announcer for Dennis Coralluzzo’s NWA in early 1996. Prior to that (while in high school) I updated hotlines, produced a cable access television show, and wrote a newsletter, but I don’t consider any of that as being in the business. However, it was through doing those things that people within wrestling knew who I was, and they helped me get my foot in the door with Dennis and the NWA. I eventually transitioned into becoming a manager, training at the Steel Domain in Chicago, and over the years have at one time or another served in every possible role associated with presenting a live pro wrestling event, from announcing to managing to refereeing to wrestling to booking.

How would you define Dave Prazak? Where does your passion for wrestling come from?

Just being a fan of wrestling for over 20 years slowly drew me into getting involved myself. I never necessarily intended to get involved. My first ring announcing bookings were offered to me, and I thought it would be fun to give it a try. I just kept doing it. If I weren’t first and foremost a fan, I wouldn’t have continued my involvement with wrestling for as long as I have.

Growing up as a fan, which wrestlers inspired you? What was your favorite match that you saw live?

Some of my early favorites were Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig, Bret Hart, and Roddy Piper. I later developed a great appreciation for Chris Candido, beginning with his Smoky Mountain run. I didn’t go to a lot of live events prior to getting involved on the independent level, but two that stick out in my mind that I had a chance to see live as a fan was one of the early Flair vs. Hogan house show matches in the WWF at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, and the Flair vs. Steamboat match in Chicago at WCW’s Spring Stampede PPV. I also had the opportunity to be there for a lot of the ECW shows at the Arena in Philadelphia starting in summer of ’95. After getting into the business, the list of amazing matches I’ve had the privilege of seeing in person is endless. I was at the timekeeper’s table for both of the Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk 60 minute draws in ROH, to name a couple.

What would you say is the best women’s match that you’ve ever seen, outside of SHIMMER or ROH?

That’s a tough one, since there’s so much great stuff out there. The main few matches from Japan that initially caught my attention back in the tape trading days all included Manami Toyota. The buzz about her work in the Wrestling Observer at the time prompted me to seek out tapes of her matches. Some of my favorites from that era included the series of Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Dynamite Kansai tag matches, Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue matches, and the Toyota vs. Yamada hair match. I was into that stuff before I paid any attention to American women’s wrestling, so I guess it was AJW in the early ’90s that got me interested in women’s wrestling to begin with.

Over the past 6 years, SHIMMER has built up into one of the leading women’s promotion in the world. Do you feel that your roster is presently at it’s all time best?

I would say that it is. The SHIMMER events that I’ve been the happiest with overall was our most recent set, so that’s a good indication that I’m pleased with our present lineup of talent. It’s just the right combination of talent. We’ve spent five and a half years establishing many of our core wrestlers like Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, MsChif, Daizee Haze, Nikki Roxx, Allison Danger, and Mercedes Martinez with our audience. They have proven to be a great foundation that we have built upon during the time since. The addition of talent from other parts of the world has provided a great mix of both styles and personalities. Each wrestler adds something unique to the shows. Ayako Hamada, The Canadian Ninjas, LuFisto, Madison Eagles, Jessie McKay, Kellie Skater, The Knight Dynasty, all of the Joshi4Hope [Ayumi Kurihara, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Tomoka Nakagawa, Misaki Ohata] wrestlers… each are essential pieces to the SHIMMER puzzle. When you put all of them together, it’s such a tremendous variety of worldwide talent to have all appearing together on the same show. I’m very pleased with our current crew, and we’ll be making some exciting new additions in October.

As a manager yourself, who do you feel were the best managers of all time?

Jim Cornette, Bobby Heenan, and Sensational Sherri are the three that immediately spring to mind. All three were excellent promos in their own right, in combination with being outstanding at ringside during matches. I’ve had the honor of working with and learning from all three at one time or another over the years. Sherri was the first female wrestler I feuded with and wrestled against as a manager, and even though those matches were nothing to write home about, they are experiences during my time in wrestling which I will always treasure.

How epic would a broadcast booth of Kevin Kelly, Dave Prazak, and Portia Perez be? How do you imagine the interaction between Kevin and Portia would go? How many weeks before Portia would be thrown off the air for doing or saying something crazy?

I’m not sure if Portia and Kevin have ever crossed paths, but it would be an interesting combo. Portia is someone who everyone should take notice of as a commentator. She has done an outstanding job on the SHIMMER DVDs, and commentary just seems to come naturally for her. I’d like to think we have good chemistry as a team. She’s one of those rare few individuals who excels in several different roles in wrestling, much like one of her main influences Eddie Gilbert years ago. Be it in the ring wrestling, cutting promos, doing commentary, or ideas creatively, she is one of the best all around contributors to independent wrestling right now. Hopefully as time goes by, both fans and those within the industry itself will fully recognize her abilities.

Is there going to be a SHIMMER Wellness Policy so that we can finally find out what is in Kellie Skater’s shaker cup? (#rooroids)

If we did institute a wellness policy, I’m not sure we would have enough testing supplies to be able take samples from the multitude of wrestlers that we book on these shows. We can barely fit them all in same ring for a group photo. It is on the agenda to somehow gain possession of Skater’s “supplements” in order to conduct a chemical analysis of its contents.

Please give a few words on each of the following:

Madison Eagles – Has exceeded my expectations as SHIMMER Champion, and delivered on every level during all of her matches thus far. Worthy of worldwide attention and praise.

Cheerleader Melissa – One of the best female wrestlers in the world. I can’t thank Melissa enough for all of her hard work and physical sacrifices over the years to help build our brand. Current Legend.

Hiroyo Matsumoto – Charisma~! Crazy strength, outstanding wrestling, and the magical ability to put a smile on everyone’s face. Expect big things from Hiroyo in the future. LIVE HAPPY!

Kana – Master of self promotion~! Independent. Controversial. Anti-establishment. Explosive. Would provide some exciting, fresh match possibilities against North American opponents.

Nicole Matthews – Only beginning to reach her potential. Has grown into one of the most talented heels on the roster, and is dedicated to making constant progress. The sky is the limit for Nicole during the coming years.

Red Man – Thumbs DOWN.

The Knight Dynasty – One of the most memorable debuts in SHIMMER history. In many ways Saraya and Britani, along with Rebecca Knox at their side, stole the show at our last set of tapings. Molten hot lava heat. It’s no wonder there’s fire surrounding Saraya on the Vol. 38 cover.

In closing, is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans? At Which upcoming shows can they check you out, and when are the new SHIMMER DVDs coming?

New DVDs are coming out “not soon enough.” We will begin shipping 37 as soon as it’s in our hands. It ships to us on July 27th. 38 should be in our hands about two weeks after that. 39 and 40 to follow shortly thereafter. So, four new DVD releases within the next two months to sink your teeth into. You will also see a few unexpected changes to our DVD product beginning with these. If you’re able to make the trip to Chicago, come and check out the taping of Vols. 41-44 on October 1st & 2nd. We have some exciting things planned for the weekend which you’ll want to be there to witness in person. Support independent wrestling no matter where you are!

To learn more about Dave Prazak follow him (@DavePrazak) and SHIMMER (@SHIMMERWomen) on twitter. Also visit the SHIMMER website (shimmerwrestling.com).

Saturday Morning Wrestling V – June 18th, 2011

In today’s edition of Saturday Morning Wrestling we focus on the wrestlers who have been a part of our recent interview series. The response to our interviews has been tremendous and we again thank all the wrestlers, promoters, and fans for their support in this. If you’ve missed reading any, you can catch up by clicking on the linked names below. And after you’ve read about their passion for wrestling you can see it in action! We invite you to enjoy some great matches in this special late edition of Saturday Morning Wrestling.

NJPW – Kota Ibushi vs Prince Devitt – BOSJ Semi-Final

This is a battle from 2009 featuring the, now, former and current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champions (the match and title change took place just hours ago in Osaka). It took some time for Ibushi to climb from DDT sensation to top Junior in the world. Here is one of the turning points.

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Ten Questions with Mia Yim

In a very short time, Mia Yim has gone from super rookie to a developing international star. Her memorable appearances in Pro Wrestling Respect, CZW, SHIMMER, and Ring of Honor helped lead to her recent debut tour in Japan for the REINA promotion. She’ll be returning in July and December, and will also be making her first appearance in Texas’ Anarchy Championship Wrestling later this month for the 3rd installment of their lauded American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament. Sonny was able to catch up with Mia for a few questions about her recent travels, favorite video games, her lawsuit against Homicide, and more.

Photos Courtesy Youji Kawauchi.

For anyone that doesn’t know, please tell us who trained you, and how long you have been wrestling professionally.

I was first trained by John Kermon as a training school in VA. I trained for a year in a half before my first match. I am now currently training at the CZW school and the ROH Training Academy. I have been wrestling professionally for almost two years now.

Did you grow up a fan and if so, who did you look up to? Who do you look up to now?

I did grow up as a fan. I started watching when I was eight years old with my dad and sister. I remember being a big fan of Chyna and Lita because they were different and badass. Currently, I look up to Fujita “Jr.” Hayato and Kana.

We enjoy watching you in Ring of Honor as Princess Mia. However, we were pretty upset that Homicide decided to go crazy against The Embassy, live on iPPV, and physically attacked you. Can you give us a word or two on The Embassy’s lawsuit1 against him?

Well, Homicide is a psycho! You should already be able to tell that by his damn name. He injured Ernesto, threw a chair at our Barrister, and dared to even put his hands on ME! He thinks he can do whatever he wants, but we refuse to let him get away with touching me. Nana and I are settling this, thanks to the Barrister and his quick actions to charge him.

We’ve seen you in SHIMMER and are excited at the prospects of your return. Can you explain in your own words, what makes SHIMMER weekend such a magical event for wrestlers and fans alike?

SHIMMER is so much fun! It is like a weekend vacation from real life. We get to do what we love in front of people who appreciate real women’s wrestling. We also get to hang out with each other and with you fine people.

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  1. Hear more about the lawsuit from Barrister R.D. Evans and read the legal brief here at iwantwrestling.com

Serena Deeb: The Dirty Dirty Sheets Interview

It’s no secret: we at DDS are huge fans of Serena Deeb. Her undying love and passion for wrestling reminds us all why we care about this sport so much. In the past year she’s become one of the most in-demand wrestlers on the planet. We caught up with her, just before she set off for Australia, in order to talk her matches for Wrestling Superstars Uncensored’s June 25th iPPV, as well Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s June 26th American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament, and all the other great things happening for Serena. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Co-Authored by Ayzali. Sonny, Markus, Chris, and Greg contributed to this interview. Image seven courtesy Zombie Blood Fights.

We’re so glad to have an interview with you, as you are known for being one of the nicest, most humble, and most down to earth wrestlers in the sport. You treat all your fans wonderfully and give everything you have wherever you perform. How do you manage to stay so grounded and dedicated after already achieving so much success?

Firstly, thank you! That impression of me is very special to me because, from the first day I started wrestling, I vowed that I would never change. Oftentimes the “ego” can be one of the most detrimental qualities one can develop. I will never forget where I came from and that inspires me to stay motivated to continue to move forward and continue to accomplish my dreams in this industry. One of my favorite quotes is: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” I was 11 years old when I fell in love with wrestling and I still get butterflies over it!

Because of your success and noted work ethic, a lot of young women now look up to you as an inspiration. Is being a role model for others something you envisioned when you started?

Absolutely. When I fell in love with wrestling I was at a very young, impressionable age and I am blessed that I found positive role models to inspire me. Chyna was the first woman to do that. I always wanted to have that effect on someone, and I hope that it continues on to many more.

We don’t think people talk enough about what a phenomenal athlete you are. You are in fantastic shape and one of the fastest wrestlers in the sport. What exactly is your daily training regimen like?

I believe my speed is from the 14 years of soccer I played before I wrestled! Now, my daily training is very simple…yoga. Specifically, hot (Bikram) yoga. I have been practicing for a few months now and I’m hooked. It’s healed many of my injuries from wrestling too!

In spite of being approachable outside of the ring, you’re one of the most intense wrestlers in it. Where does that signature Deeb ‘gameface’ glare from?

Hehehe. My evolution as a wrestler over the years has really changed my demeanor in the ring and now I carry myself very differently. I believe that if you carry that intensity to the ring, and it is REAL, it will translate in your performance and also onto your opponent.

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Dream Match: Kana vs Sara Del Rey

Dirty Dirty Sheets’ personal theory on 2012 is that the ancient Mayan sorcerers foresaw the destruction a match between Kana and Sara Del Rey would bring to the planet and/or universe. Del Rey is one of America’s foremost experts in violence. Whether in ROH, SHIMMER, JAPW, ACW, or NCW Femmes Fatales, Death Rey has crushed the competition with ease. Kana’s controversial moves outside the ring have made her as despised by her detractors as she is loved by her fans. However not even her haters, “anchi/アンチ” as she refers to them, can dismiss her top tier in ring ability as displayed in places like SMASH, Wave, and her own KANA Pro.
Both are two of the most talented and sought after wrestlers in the world and fans on both side of the Pacific have been buzzing about a potential confrontation between the two. It’s a match that can/should/must happen. Here are few reasons why:

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