Monday, July 6, 2009
Mita Retiring/MAKEHEN owner arrested
Etsuko Mita, who has been wrestling since 1987 and is best known as a tag-team worker, especially with the classic Las Cachorrus Orientales team with Mima Shimoda, announced her intention to retire in November. I presume the retirement ceremony will be at NEO's November 1st show at Korakuen Hall and I'm expecting Shimoda and a lot of the still-active AJW workers from that time era to be on hand as well. Maybe they'll reprise the Mita-Toyota Mint Showers team. Etsuko has been hampered in recent years with very bad knees and I think that is the reason she has made this decision.
NEO's Korakeun Hall show this week featured the one day Midsummer Tag Tournament, with 8 teams. Kana and Ayumi Kurihara scored a 1st round upset over Kyoko Inoue & Hiroyo Matsumoto, with Ayumi countered Hiroyo's Liger Bomb. The NEO Machine Gunz (Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki) got past Revolucion Amandola (Kyoko Kimura & Atsuko Emoto). Neither of those teams got past the semis, though. Yoshiko Tamura & Fuuka beat Kana & Kurihara after a Tamura elbow finished off Kana, while Tanny Mouse got rolled up in under a minute to allow Nanae Takahashi & Emi Sakura to advance. The Nanae/Emi team won the tournament, as Nanae hit the Nanaracka on current NEO/NWA Pacific champion Tamura. It looks like the Nanae-Tamura title match that didn't happen last month after Nanae's concussion and Emi's brief title reign is going to happen later this year.
Tomohiko Hashimoto, who is the owner of Team MAKEHEN, was arrested in Tokyo. Details are sketchy, but it seems that robbery and/or extortion is the charge. This puts the future of this indy in doubt, which for joshi fans involves the Shirai sisters and Basara. If MAKEHEN goes under, then their will be three young wrestlers that would be attractive for another promotion to pick up, and I'd rather see these three end up in a better environment.
WAVE had another round of Catch the WAVE league matches, and some of the blocks are coming into shape. Ryo Mizunami finally made her league debut in the Young Person's block with a win over Moeka Haruhi. Mizunami next faces Pinkie Mayuka, and a win or draw there sets up a match with Ayumi Kurihara to decide this block. Kana has already won the UK Block, as her Kana Gon Sleeper on Shu Shibutani puts her on 5 points, and the final match between Misaki Ohata and Kyoko Kimura is left meaningless, as neither can get to 5 points. In the Visual Technical Block, Apple Miyuki's upset over Yumi Ohka makes for an exciting final set of matches, as Apple, Yumi, KAORU, and Toshie Uematsu all have one match remaining. The winner of Okha-KAORU will probably advance. The Comical block is a bit of a joke, as all matches have been time-limit draws. Ran Yu-Yu and Bullfight Sora will meet in the final group match; a win by either wins the block but there will probably be another draw and then something silly as a tiebreaker.
JWP's show featured Pinkie Mayuka beating Esui and earning a shot at the JWP Junior/POP championships. Pinkie gets her chance in 2 weeks against either Misaki Ohata or Io Shirai, depending on their match for Ohata's titles that will happen at next week's Ibuki show. Kyoko Kimura & Tomoka Nakagawa beat Kayoko Haruyama & Keito, as Nakagawa got the win over veteran Keito.
Finally, in the "never believe wrestlers are really retired department", there are reports that former GAEA comedy queen Sakura Hirota is going to resume wrestling and will be joining DDT. She does seem a good fit for a comedy-intensive promotion.