Monday, October 31, 2011

Match-of-the-Day: Tomoka Nakagawa v Kalamity

The force of impact -- Kalamity for Tomoka

All photos by David Falcon

Match-of-the-Day: October 31

Competitors: Kalamity v Tomoka Nakagawa

Volume: 44 -- third match

Time: 6:00

Finisher: Kalamity-ville Horror

Highlight: battle of special heels as the Halloween Match-of-the-Day.  Kalamity made a big impression during these tapings with her matches against Hailey Hatred and Tomoka.  There was some thunderous contact in the corner and of course Kalamityville Horror for the finish!  She would win the FFL championship the week after SHIMMER -- you could say Kalamity was just warming up in this match!

Key: Match winner's name is in bold & italics
Match times are approximate and not official

Tomoka Nakagawa -- inventive Joshi heel

Kalamity neutralizes the hold

Kalamity has Tomoka at her mercy

Tomoka is in charge, for a moment . . .

Tomoka with a stinging boot

Tomoka is tenderizing Kalamity's skull

Double knees -- but Tomoka not home

Tomoka with a painful hold

Kalamity resists temptation to "Give"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

REINA 1st Anniversary Show at K-Hall

Aoi Ishibashi, Goya Kong, Dalys la Caribena , Zeuxis, Kimber Lee, Mia Yim (back row)
Lady Apache Commandante, Saya (front row)

Mia and Aoi get ready for their match
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

REINA Celebrates its 1st Anniversary in Korakuen Hall  Sunday (5/13/12)

Here is the line up:

- Basara & Saya vs Hikaru Shida {Ice Ribbon} & Tsukasa Fujimoto {Ice Ribbon}

- Aki Kanbayashi vs Kimber Lee

- Mima Shimoda {CMLL}, Ray {Ice Ribbon} & X vs Goya Kong {CMLL}, Zeuxis {CMLL} & Dalys la Caribena {CMLL}

- Mexican National Women's Title: Princesa Blanca {CMLL} vs Lady Apache {CMLL}

- Aoi Ishibashi & Mia Yim vs Kyoko Inoue {Diana} & Sareee {Diana}

- Hair vs Hair Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight: Yumiko Hotta vs La Commandante {CMLL}

This show marks REINA debuts for Kimber Lee, Goya Kong and Lady Apache, and the return of Mia Yim

What you love about this show is that REINA remains true to the cosmopolitan palette of wrestlers that they opened with on May 8, 2011.  REINA continues to be the only promotion in Japan where you can regularly see Lucha Libre wrestlers thanks to their partnership with CMLL in Mexico.  Though REINA has a relatively small cadre of Japanese women that call their promotion home (Aki Kambayashi, Aoi Ishibashi, Saya, and Hotta) they have built relationships with Diana and Ice Ribbon and the wrestlers from those promotions are in evidence at this big show. 

Let's not fail to mention that this is a big "homecoming" for Mia Yim who graduates from college next weekend in Virginia and has stated that she hopes to move to Japan and make a name for herself as one of the respected gaijin in the Joshi world -- her idol and mentor is Hailey Hatred.  She seems to want to focus on the ring work that Japanese promotions (and fans) prize rather than the crazy-ass spring she had in CZW and AIW that featured hard-core feuds with Greg Excellent and Allison Kay respectively.  It is certainly an honor for her to be the only gaijin featured in a REINA v Diana match at the Anniversary show tomorrow.

Mia Yim brought her friend and CZW rising star Kimber Lee to REINA with her this time.  Kimber Lee and Mia will give their CZW and JAPW feud a rest this weekend as they face different opponents.  Kimber Lee with square off in singles competition against REINA veteran and trainer Aki Kanbayashi.

All in all the show promises to be enjoyable and I will plan to post photos on this page after the show.  I imagine that Mia and Kimber will be peaking through the back stage curtain when ice Ribbon headliners Shida and Fujimoto take on Basara and Saya (we will see how Basara's knee is holding up).  They will also be interested in Shimoda and Ray battling CMLL ladies Zeuxis and Kong.  And everyone will want to see if Hotta or Commandante loses her hair.


Mia Yim and Aoi Ishibishi make their Korakuen Hall entrance
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Updated 5/14/12

REINA 33 First Year Anniversary  The Results
May 13, 2012
Korakuen Hall
800 fans
1. Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto [Ice Ribbon] defeated Saya & Shuri Okuda [formerly Basara] (13:23) when Shida used a Three Count of the Soul on Saya.

2. Aki Kambayashi defeated Kimber Lee (08:40) with a Llave de Reina Dos.

3. Mima Shimoda & Ray & Tomoka Nakagawa [Joshi Team] defeated Zeuxis & Goya Kong & Dalis la CaribeƱa [CMLL Team] (17:48) when Shimoda used a Tiger Suplex Hold on Zeuxis.

4. CMLL National Women's Championship Match: Princesa Blanca defeated Lady Apache (2-1). Apache used a Modified Stretch on Blanca (02:14). Blanca used a Reverse Figure 4 Leg Lock on Apache (01:59). Blanca used a Gedo Clutch on Apache (05:27). (7th defense)

5. Kyoko Inoue & Sareee [Diana Team] defeated Aoi Ishibashi & Mia Yim [REINA team] (17:49) when Inoue used a Powerbomb on Ishibashi.

6. Hair vs Hair Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight: Yumiko Hotta defeated La Comandante (20:34) with a Cross Armbreaker.

The event ended with an announcement the REINA would be dissolved.  Don't know much about that.  If it means that Mexican, American, and Australian wrestlers will no longer have a platform in joshi, that will be unfortunate.  It does seem like joshi fans appreciate a variety of wrestling styles.  Japan needs a REINA somewhere.  But as SMASH demonstrated, running a wrestling promotion is a business and they do not always survive.
Mia throws Sareee in REINA v DIANA tag bout
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia seems bemused by Tommy's 4-count
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Poor Sareee is getting worked over by Mia and Aoi
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia flexing for the mildly amused Kyoko Inoue
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

When I asked Joshi fan and photographer Youji Kawauchi about Mia's performance in the tag match on Sunday, he said, "She has greatly improved at everything compared to what she was before."  There you have it! Youji had not seen Mia wrestle in REINA since late September of 2011.  In eight months, fans have seen a world of improvement from Mia Yim!

Kyoko's not amused now!  Damn, Mia's strong!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia's partner, Aoi, fares less well against the Joshi legend, Kyoko
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Aoi will feel this later -- ouch!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

The REINA team goes back to work on Saree
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia leaves her calling card between Saree's shoudler blades
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Mia with a cannonball on Saree in the corner
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

But Saree fights back with a drop kick
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Now the heavy hitters do battle!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

SkyYim to the outside on Kyoko! Loco Lucha from Mia!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Sky Yim -- Quebrada!
Photo by (unknown)

Mia has no respect for legends!  Damn!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Aoi gets a chance to fly too!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

All good things must come to an end
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Kyoko with powerbomb finish on Aoi
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

DIANA Team are victors!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Promising REINA team are vanquished
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

After the match -- much respect!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

. . . and Mia gets to sign the Korakuen wall!
Photo by Masa-san

Kimber Lee also made her Japan debut v Aki Kambayashi
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

Things got rough for Kimber early on . . .
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

. . . and they didn't get much better later
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

a glimmer of hope!
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

but it was short-lived
Photo by Youji Kawauchi

REINA 19  October 30, 2011

Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

146 Fans

Aoi Ishibashi dives from top rope onto Hanako Nakamori

Photos by Takehisa Aoikougei Kashima

1. Sachie Abe defeated Lady Afrodita (8:29) with a Frankensteiner.

2. Hanako Nakamori defeated Aoi Ishibashi (13:17) with a Fisherman's Suplex Hold.

3. Leon defeated Dama de Hierro (10:34) with the Mad Splash.

4. Aki Kanbayashi & Ishinriki defeated Zuexis & Lingerie Muto (10:52) when Kanbayashi defeated Muto.

5. Yumiko Hotta defeated La Commandante (16:48) with a Reverse Cross Armbreaker.

Dama De Hierro

Lady Afrodita v Sachie Abe

Wait, does Aoi Ishibashi  have a stud in her tongue?
(I guess she idolizes Mia Yim)

Aoi Ishibashi with drop kick on Hanako

Leon over Dama De Hierro

Dama has Leon on the ropes

Leon with spear on Dama

Zeuxis and Lingerie Muto team up on Aki

They didn't win, but they look awesome!

Hotta elbows la Comandante

Hotta still in control

La Comandante with K.I.D. on Hotta