Friday, May 13, 2011

36 Hours and Counting

Mia Yim @ Pro Wrestling Sun
Photo by Scott Finkelstein

Mia Yim swings Daizee Haze across the SHIMMER ring
Photo by David Falcon

The big day for young American wrestlers Roxie Cotton and Mia Yim is fast approaching -- only 36 hours away.  REINA 2 begins at 6pm on Sunday evening.  Mia and Roxie will both face Joshi girls.  Mia's opponent is one of the most charasmatic women in the ring on any continent -- Asia, North America, or Australia -- none other than Hiroyo Matsumoto!  Mia will have to be at the top of her game to hang with Hiroyo -- especially since Japanese matches routinely go between 10-20 minutes.  I believe the longest singles match that Mia has ever participated in was the July 31, MCW match with Mickie James that went 11:00.
Hiroyo with SHIMMER tag belt in March 2011
 Photo by David Falcon

Mia has been training at the REINA dojo both Friday and Saturday.  She is learning some exciting new moves (and how to "take" a top rope rana).  It must be true that for great workers, learning to "take" a hit is as important as learning to give it. 

Hiroyo's entrance with 3S
 Photo by David Falcon

It seems that every Joshi worker, even the young ones like Matsumoto and Misaki, have an extra knee brace or elbow wrap that speaks to the hard training, grueling match schedule, and the wear and tear of dojo life.  There is no time to feel sorry for yourself in the japanese promotions; the fans expect you to put out for 15-20 minutes every night -- highspots, submissions -- you must bring it!

Ayumi Kurihara & Hiroyo Matsumoto @ SHIMMER afterparty
 Photo by David Falcon

Who would know this better than Joshi veteran Yumiko Hotta, the stiffest SOB to ever donn the kickpads in AJW.  She is now the REINA boss and someone Mia had the pleasure of meeting yesterday at her training session.  Some of Hotta's sentiments-be-damned stiffness lives on in Kana and a young American protege like Mia Yim.  I hope Mia can study the AJW Hotta of the early 90's to see what blistering kicks really sounded like when they hit a cowaring torso.  After AJW Hotta began to fall into disfavor among Joshi fans for her bookings, her inconsistent match record/effort, and for her attitude in general.  There is still a lot of diffidence in Japan about Hotta.  This new promotion, REINA, along with her friend Mima Shimoda and the mexican workers from CMLL, could begin to change Hotta's image in the Joshi community.

Noumi v Hotta in A to Z, Korakuen Hall, Feb 2004
 Photo by David Falcon

In the mean time, I am looking forward to Mia's big match with Hiroyo on Sunday.  My friend Youji Kawauchi says he will be there to take pictures, so I hope to have a detailed match summary as well as photos, soon after the event.

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