This was your 4th tour of Japan. How does touring now differ for your?
My first tour for Japan was just a fly by trip. I only worked two shows for REINA as a SHIMMER representative. Now I represent S-Ovation as a freelancer and I can work for a few different companies, and I get to train in many places. I also understand more Japanese now, and understand the train system. So I can freely wander around without fear of getting lost!
This time around you wrestled in Nagoya, Sendai, Osaka, Fukushima, and of course Tokyo. Did you get to do any sightseeing?
Usually when I am travelling around I don’t get much of a chance to sightsee. We did get a pretty good view of Mt. Fuji from the bullet though, and I ate wonderful food in Sendai!
I explore Tokyo a lot. The temples are my favorite part. I go to Sensoji temple each year on New Years Day. I have visited quite a few temples and have loved each one. The girls and I spend way too much time in Harajuku; and Roppongi, of course! Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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 Remsburgin 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.
This weekend Madison Eagles returns to SHIMMER. As well as Serena Deeb. As well as Amazing Kong. All three of these amazing wrestlers (and lovely people) have been away for far too long. I wish I could be there, but thankfully there’s a live iPPV option. It’s 1AM on Sunday for me, probably a more reasonable hour on Saturday for you.
Watch the above video by our own Chris C., with a massive tune by Coheed and Cambria, to get hyped. Enjoy the bonus matches as well and get ready to stomp-clap-stomp-stomp-clap to Prelude 12/21 again.
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!