Sunday, April 12, 2009
News-Hamada to TNA, Haruyama Retains
The big news in joshi was the announcement that Ito Dojo's Ayako Hamada is going to be joining TNA. If this happens, I think she'll be the first Japanese woman to wrestle on American TV since Akira Hokuto feuded with Madusa in WCW back in 1997. Hamada is going to have at least one more show in Japan after next weekend. It was previously announced the April 19th Ito Dojo show was her last, but now Hamada will also play a part on the April 30th "Yes We Can" show. This show is being produced by Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima, & Sonoko Kato of OZ Academy and it features workers who debuted in the mid-to-late 1990s. The 14 previously announced participants were to all compete in a single elimination tournament, with Amano, Nagashima, Kato, Meiko Satomura, Toshie Uematsu, Ran Yu-Yu Azumi Hyuga, Tsubasa Kuragaki, Kayoko Haruyama, Keito, Yoshiko Tamura, Yuki Miyazaki, Tanny Mouse, AKINO. It's not clear exactly how Hamada is going to fit in or if they'll add a 16th participant to have a proper bracket with no byes.
Nagashima & Kato became the first holders of the OZ Academy tag team championship to have a successful title defense, with Sonoko pinning Takako Inoue, who was with KAORU. This April 12th show also kicked off a competition over the next six shows to determine the next challenger to Dynamite Kansai and the singles title. The rules give the five contenders (Aja Kong, Manami Toyota, Carlos Amano, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Hiren) 3 points, 2 points for a tag team win when they make the pin, 1 point for a tag team win when the partner does, and 0 points for draws & losses. Hiroyo & Aja teamed and beat Kansai & Amano (who was dressed like Cutie Suzuki after losing at the closed show last month), so Hiroyo takes the early lead with 2 points, with Aja at 1. Toyota failed to score when tag partner Mayumi Ozaki lost to Ran Yu-Yu (with AKINO), and young tramp Hiren lost to young clean-cut girl Ayumi Kurihara.
JWP had two title matches and got a new storyline going. Kyoko Kimura and Tomoka Nakagawa from the Revolucion Amandolo heel group are roaming around like the LCO used to do. They beat Arisa Nakajima & Pinkie Mayuka, roughing up the young Mayuka. Command Bolshoi & Megumi Yabushita won the JWP/Daily Sports tag titles from Yumiko Hotta & Keito, with Bolshoi beating Hotta with a Kido Clutch. Payback for PUNT THE CLOWN, I guess! Kayoko Haruyama cemented her position as the current ace of JWP. She used the Keene Hammer to defeat Azumi Hyuga, who she first won the title from about a year ago. Kimura was revealed as the next challenger for the title, on July 19th. I assume Kimura and R.A. will spend the next few months torturing JWP's juniors and mid-carders.