Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hikaru, Maemura retire/Okuda returns to the ring

The major news in joshi puroresu this week was the end of the careers of Hikaru and Saki Maemura, and the end of Chick Fights SUN/joshi in ZERO1. Both of these young ladies started their careers in AJW and chose to be affliated with Nanae Takahashi and her various stables after the end of Zenjo. Both were (along with Nanae & Natsuki*Taiyo) part of SUN when this promotion started and had various highlights and lowlights along the way. When Nanae & Natsuki quit ZERO1 to go freelance (as the Passion Red stable), they stuck it out with ZERO1, seeming to prefer to not freelance. Most of the last year of their career was spent either wrestling each other or working mixed tag matches with the WDB Tag Team belts on the line. The 26th saw their final show. Saki & partner Minoru Fujita defended the mixed tag belts (these belts will probably disappear now) against Toshie Uematsu (who was one of the native heels from the R.E.M. group) and Ikuto Hidaka. I thought it would have been cute to have Hikaru and fiance Koji Kanemoto (from New Japan) challenge, but they didn't go that route. Hikaru teamed with her nemesis Aja Kong and did the final job of her career to Manami Toyota (whose partner Haruka Matsuo is saying goodbye soon herself). The final match was Hikaru versus Saki and the Lanakila-H got Hikaru the last win.

Shuri "Tyrannosaurus" Okuda returned from her 10 month absence after shoulder surgery following a Hiroyo Matsumoto backdrop at last year's Jaja Uma tournament. In the meantime, Okuda quit Sendai Girls, relocated to Tokyo, and joined Team MAKEHEN. She has a new costume and a new ring name, "Basara". Basara teamed with Mikado against Mio Shirai and Bambi, and against general puroresu tradition, won her comeback match from injury. Basara pinned Bambi with a German suplex. Plenty of photos of her new outfits and general teenage girl nonsense and emoticon abuse can all be found at her blog, .

NEO ran several house shows this week, two in Kyushu wrapping up that mini-tour and a couple closer to home over the weekend. Nothing huge happened. We did have Ayumi Kurihara pin Haruka Matsuo and rookie Nozomi Dai missed the weekend shows for an unspecified reason. Cherry was the substitute on Saturday and lost to Tanny Mouse in two minutes, but she was hungover, so it's OK.

JWP, Sendai Girls, and Ibuki all had minor appearances. Arisa Nakajima was pulled from JWP's dojo show and joshi fans hope that this is nothing serious. Sendai Girls performed in the rain at a local rock festival and Meiko Satomura rocked Sendai Sachiko's life away with a Death Valley Bomb. Older sister DASH Chisasko had fun hanging out with all the Japanese indie hipster kids.

Oh, I'd be remiss in not mentioning a title change. The DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship now has its 781st champion. Former titleholder Toshie Uematsu was drinking somewhere in Tokyo and had a bit too much and passed out. A Professional Wrestling WAVE poster fell on her. Tommy Ran, who is a 24/7 professional referee, made the three count and the poster follows a long storied tradition of great inanimate object champions!

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