Saturday, August 27, 2011

CMLL-REINA International Jr. Championship Final Now Set

To absolutely no one's surprise, Zeuxis defeated Sachiko Sendai today at REINA 11 to set up a Mexico v Japan final (against Ray) in the CMLL-REINA International Championship Final on September 10.  Since the belt is co-sponsored by Japanese and Mexican promotions, it is not surprising that they should have stars from each country facing off in the final.  The match promises to have a lucha libre flair because of Ray's penchant for the quebrada and the highflying arsenal of attack moves.  Both wrestlers also wear masks, adding to the Mexican flavor.  This again proves that REINA wants to carve out a Lucha Libre niche on Japanese soil.  Though crowds have been small, the idea may be gaining popularity.

Ray v Zeuxis in the International Jr. Championship Final

Part of the puzzle in all of this is why REINA would commit to Mia Yim and Luscious Latasha, pointedly NOT fluent in Lucha Libre moves.  Both of these women prefer to have their feet on the ground.  Too bad TNA got to Rosita first because she is the type of wrestler that would fit in well with the REINA concept.

Luscious Latasha gives Mia Yim a boot to the gut
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia Yim did have a match in REINA 11 and defeated fellow American Luscious Latasha by submission.  This despite a bad case of turf toe from missing the mat on a moonsault in training earlier in the week. 

Mia was given the honor of addressing the crowd at REINA 11
(she tried to use her Japanese)
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SMASH 20: Kana v Syuri

This is an amazing match!!

This is a devastating kick-fest.  With all due respect, I'm not sure Mia Yim would have survived against either of these women.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mia Yim Interview, Part 1 (April 2010)

Up Close and Personal Interview SEGMENT 1: Family & Childhood

Here is the first of three segments of David Falcon's "Up-Close-and-Personal" interview with the gorgeous and talented new Indy phenom, Mia Yim.

DF:  Mia, when you are in the ring you are this beautiful, confident, woman of action – it seems like nothing is impossible for you – and yet, I’m sure it was not always this way.  I know you have had some difficult days in your childhood and with your family.  In this interview I would like to help your fans get to know YOU – the Stephanie that became Mia Yim.  I’m sure your journey with its ups and downs and even some stories of survival will encourage your fans – especially some of the young ones who may be going through something similar now.
Mia just before her VCW match in March 2010
Photo by Wrestling Wally

DF:   You said that you first began watching wrestling when you were eight years old – about third grade.  How was your family life before third grade?  Would you say that your young childhood was pleasant or difficult?  Share a story with us that captures your feelings about your early childhood?

Mia:  I always had an awesome childhood. Mom and dad were still together, everything was picture perfect. I grew up in California so there was a lot to do. And I had a lot of friends. My sister and I would go play street hockey, tag, and all the fun games with our friends. Nothing really was tough before third grade.

DF:  Were you close to your parents and your younger sister?  Who were you closer to, mom or dad?  Why?  Were there other family members (grandparents, aunts, cousins) that played an important role for you as a girl?

MIA:  I was always closer to my dad when I was young. I think it was because I was a tomboy and considered their “son” (ha, ha). We were similar especially with our love of sports and computers. We had that special bond. No other family members really played an important role for me; I was always independent, besides my parents of course.

 Mia's sister Kristen Bell

DF:  When did you first find someone your own age that you could trust and confide in?  Who was that 'best friend" for you in your formative years?

MIA:  I don’t talk to her now, but in high school I had a best friend who helped me through everything:  break ups, drama . . . everything. In high school I hated everyone in my family so having her in my life at that point, really influenced me to be who I wanted to be, not what my parents wanted me to be.

Somewhere between elementary school and high school then, your relationship with your father and your family faced a road block.  You went from having a “special bond” to “hating everyone in my family.”  What event changed your relationship with your father?

MIA:  I think I just wanted to be by myself. I wanted to be independent. After my parents divorced, that’s when I decided it's basically Me, Myself, and I.  I felt that I couldn’t trust no one but myself.  I was an awful teen -- ha, ha.

Mia Yim in elementary school and pre-school

DF:  I haven’t heard you talk much about your mother except to mention that she dragged you to church and you did not like it.  Was your mother supportive of you during childhood?  Was she someone you could trust and be honest with?

MIA:  I couldn’t really trust her with my secrets and what not but we were cool until I turned into a teen. We butted heads a lot as a teen. She is straight out of Korea so her ways are a lot different than American ways. My curfew was 8pm until I was 17 (which I didn’t follow anyways), I couldn’t wear shorts higher than my knees, it was very strict. And I just rebelled against it all. My first piercing was my belly button.  I did it myself because my mom wouldn’t allow me to have anything pierced but my ears.

Mia the club girl

DF:  Did you have any significant emotional or spiritual experiences that had influence on your life before you were 13?

MIA:  Before I was 13? Not really. My mom forced me to go to church which made me dislike it even more so I never really had any spiritual experiences.  And emotional experiences . . . ?  I was too young and silly to even know what emotions were.

DF:  What about during high school?

MIA:  In High School, I was a nerd. In my high school, it was full of white snobby, rich kids -- dumb blondes wanting to screw the next top football star on the team. I was never really in with the trends in school. It was always me, my best friend, and a few other friends hanging out together. I was teased and bullied, but I didn’t care.  Now that they know I am pursuing my dreams, they all of a sudden want to be my friend, and I love the satisfaction of telling them to fuck off J

DF:  I find it very hard to believe that you were ever a nerd!  You were always athletic and cute.  Why did people tease you?

MIA:  I was known as “the weird kid."   I had frizzy hair (This was before I discovered the hair straightener), pimples, not developed (all the girls in my grade had big boobs and whatnot), and I wore the Wallmart and Marshalls brand clothes instead of the Juicy Couture and Baby Phat and shit the other girls wore.

Mia on the beach in San Diego

DF:  Were you ever the victim of abuse – physical or emotional – from friends, family members, ex boyfriends, etc. (feel free to keep identities vague if you don’t want to name names)?  If so, who or what helped you recover?  Do you have any advice for someone who might be in an abusive situation?

MIA:  A few boyfriends were abusive.  Never physical (because if it got to that point, I would have killed them), but it was always emotional:   telling me who I can talk to, where I can go, who I can text, stupid shit like that. I had about two boyfriends and I took it for a while. I then realized that I could find better (which I did).  This made me stronger; I could believe in myself and my capabilities.

 DF:   Did/Do you have any obsessions or phobias that seriously affected your childhood years?

MIA:  Nothing serious, just anxiety attacks. Roller coasters . . . just the thought of them makes me want to cry. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like them.

DF:  It sounds like you had a strong desire to please your father and receive positive attention from him – being a tomboy and liking wrestling.  Did your father tell you he loved you and give you the positive attention you deserved?

MIA: Oh yea my dad always gave me attention. Not so much with wrestling as he opposes women in wrestling (he thinks it objectifies women), but with my past sports. He was ALWAYS at my volleyball games, giving me thumbs up and cheering. He is my #1 fan. And he always, always would give me a hug after every game which was really comforting.

Mia spikes for Marymount University

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mia Yim's Gear Parade in Japan

Mia Yim has had four matches for REINA on this her second tour of Japan and she has worn four different sets of gear.  She has a fifth set -- the purple gear that she favored during her first year in the ring, but I don't believe she's worn that in a match since 2010.  Will she wear purple or go back to her new yellow gear?  Or will it be red, turquoise, or green?

REINA 8 v Matsumoto (Yellow)

REINA Tag v Toyota/SaYa (Red)

REINA 9 v SaYa (Turquoise)

REINA 10 v Ray (Green)

And what will it be next week -- August 27?  We do not yet know Mia's opponent, nor do we know what gear she will wear.  I'd be surprised if we see the purple gear; she may have retired that.

Mia v Mickie in NEW (fall 2010)

CMLL-REINA Int. Jr. Champ. Opening Rounds

Mia Yim v SaYa

Hierro de Dama v Sachiko Sendai

These were two quarterfinal matches.  Mia Yim advanced to face Ray on August 20; Ray was victorious.  Sachiko Sendai advanced to face Zeuxis in a match that will be contested August 27.  Smart money is on Zeuxis to advance to face Ray on September 10 for the CMLL-REINA International Jr. Championship.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wave Photos: Triple Tails v Misaki, Ohka, and A*YU*MI

WAVE "Summer Festival '11 Black" August 16, 2011
Shin-Kiba 1st Ring         261 Fans

1. Yumi Ohka, Misaki Ohata, & Hiren defeated GAMI, Sakura Hirota, & Ayumi Kurihara (8:12) when Ohata pinned GAMI.

2. Bambi defeated Sawako Shimono (7:28) with a Key Lock Clutch Hold.

3. Cherry & Kyoko Kimura defeated Toshie Uematsu & Moeka Haruhi (17:29) when Cherry used the Cherryton Bomb on Haruhi.

4. Yumi Ohka, Misaki Ohata, & A*YU*MI defeated Kana, Mio Shirai, & Io Shirai (16:04) when Ohka used the Big Boot on Mio.

Check out Luke Matsuki's great photos of the match!  No one takes better photos of Kana than Mr. Matsuki!

The unmasking of Triple Tails

Attitude on Estrogen!

Check out all the great action . . .

REINA 10 Video: Shimoda/Hotta v Dama la Hierro/La Comandante

Check out this home handheld video from the Mexican fans at REINA 10.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

REINA 10 Photos

These great photos are from Takehisa Kashima and Youji Kawauchi

Match 1:  Hiroyo Matsumoto v Lady Afrodita

Hiroyo Matsumoto with her "Live Happy" shirt

Hiroyo enjoys life at Lady Afrodita's expense

Hiroyo's devastating knee hammer from top rope

Hiroyo's technically flawless backdrop, hold for pin

Match 2:  Kyoko Kimura v Luscious Latasha

Kyoko Kimura humiliates Luscious Latasha

Latasha bounces back with a missle drop kick

Latasha's lumbar region in fiery pain!

Clinical choke slam!  1. . . 2 . . . 3!

Match 3:  SaYa v Aki Kambayashi

SaYa ready to take on Aki Kambayashi

Kambayashi in charge

Kambayashi with a crotch choke on SaYa

Match4:  Mia Yim v Ray CMLL-REINA International Jr. Belt
Mia Yim sporting a new 'do-rag

The debonair and mysterious RAY

Mia Yim and Ray in CMLL-REINA International Jr. Semi-final match


Ray is a super flyer -- beautiful form on her moonsault

Explosive missle drop kick from Ray

Mia takes a swinging rope kick to the face

Mia with a Running knee to face

Will Mia be able to get up?!

Mia shows her strength

Match 5:  Dama de Hierro and La Comandante v Yumiko Hotta and Mima Shimoda

Shimoda with a drop kick on Hotta

Mima Shimoda found a familiar folding chair

Mima with shoulder block of Dama la Hierro

La Comandante with a choke slam on Mima

Hotta brings out the chains on Dama la Hierro

Mima brings a double stomp to Hierro in corner

Mia holds back la Comandante as Japanese and Gaijin wrestlers face off

Later we learn that Mima had betrayed the Japanese and sided with the Gaijin

REINA 10 Results from Yokohama

REINA ran their 10th event today, results from Yokohama Radiant Hall:

No attendance figures available.

All photos by Youji Kawauchi and Takehisa Kashima

Ray warily shakes the hand of Mia Yim

Hiroyo's knee hammer on Lady Afrodita

Hiroyo Matsumoto beat La Afrodita in 7:53 with a back drop.

Luscious Latasha with flying head scissors on Kimura

Kyoko Kimura beat Latasha in 10:09 with a choke slam.

Kambayashi has Saya in a submission hold

Aki Kanbayashi beat Saya in 10:21 with a STM.

CMLL-REINA International Jr. Heavyweight Title Tournament:
Ray beat Mia Yim in 10:43 with a sky twister press.   This went as predicted given Ray's stature in Japan and Mia Yim's newcomer status.  Youji Kawauchi reports that is was a fantastic match -- no surprise.  As a result, Ray advances to the finals.  She will face the winner of Sachiko Sendai and Zeuxis.

Yumiko Hotta Return Match: La Comandante & Dama de Hierro beat Yumiko Hotta & Mima Shimoda in 14:31. La Comandante pinned Hotta after a diving body press.

Shimoda missing her targets and hitting her partner, Hotta

REINA 11 is next Saturday. Sachiko Sendai and Zeuxis will be the other International Jr. Championship semi-final held on that day.  We should know who Ray faces in the tournament finals on September 10 after the event.

*Note:  It seems obvious to me that Zeuxis will get the win next week.  She was present for REINA 1 on May 8, and she has been the lynch-pin of the lucha libre presence in the REINA dojo.  She definitely has the respect in Japan at large and in the REINA dojo in particular.  Also, it makes sense that the CMLL-REINA final would have a Japanese AND a Mexican contesting for the belt -- it is a co-sponsored promotion after all.  Of the names available for this tournament, Ray and Zeuxis were the two with big enough reputations to be in the final -- so God's in his Heaven and all's right with the Joshi World.  The other tantalizing thing about a Ray v Zeuxis final is that it will be a high-flyer's festival with both women uncorking massive high spots -- mucha lucha -- it fits the promotion and should be a crowd pleaser as well on September 10.  Something to look forward to!

Zeuxis has Ray in trouble in an earlier match this summer.