Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mia Yim Fantasy League Opponents (Japan 2012)

Mia Yim with german suplex and bridge on LuFisto @ Indygurlz    Photo by David Falcon
Mia Yim Fantasy League -- Japan 2012-2013

On the occasion of Mia Yim's big contract with REINA x WORLD with the strong likelihood that she will take up residence in Japan later this month I had to "come out of retirement" as a blogger long enough to post my list of fantasy opponents for Mia.  Mia wants to join fellow expatriate American wrestlers Hailey Hatred and Jenny Rose who are already working under contract in Japan.  Veteran Canadian Sarah Stock, TNA's Sarita, has left Mexico and is currently working shows for Stardom and other promotions.  Mia will be the fourth North American living and working in Japan on a permanent basis.

At age 23 Mia Yim has logged many long hours in the gym.  She is eating smartly and looks fantastic.  She can easily stand toe-to-toe with physically dominant Japanese women like Hiroyo Matsumoto and she towers over the likes of Kana, Syuri, and Mio Shirai.  Mia takes up residence in Japan at a fascinating moment in women's wrestling history for that nation.   The great old guard that began wrestling in the late 1980's is in the twilight of their careers, but there are many great names that may still have a year or two left to work.  Some, it must be said, seem as though they will never hang up the tights.  Those monumental women include:  Aja Kong, Manami Toyota, Mayumi Ozaki, Mima Shimoda, Kyoko Inoue, Takako Inoue, Command Bolshoi, Yumiko Hotta, Jaguar Yakota, Shinobu Kandori, and others.  This is a stunning list of talent and all of these women are over 40!  Then there is a list of women in their upper 30's like Chikayo Nagashima, Carlos Amano, GAMI, Abe, Kyoko Kimura, Emi Sakura, Aki Kambayashi, Cherry, and others.  Wrestlers who are near 30 and at their prime would include Meiko Satomura,  Nanae Takahashi, Yuki Ohka, Kana, Kaori Yoneyama, Ayumi Kurihara, and others.  Gaijin multiple belt winner Hailey Hatred would have to be counted in this number.  These wrestlers are arguably at the peak of their skills and with ever growing influence in promotions like Sendai Girls, Stardom, and Hiroyo Matsumoto (free), though younger than the others,  would have to be included in that group.  Then there is a group of 20-somethings who are on the rise and demonstrating that a new generation of joshi star is on the rise.  These charismatic young workers would include Syuri (WNC), Mio Shirai (free), Yuzuki Aikawa (Stardom), Ray (free), Hikaru Shida (Ice Ribbon), Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon), and Misaki (WAVE).  Of course there are always some precocious teenagers too like Aoi Ishibashi (REINA) and Sareee (Diana) and the Riho (Ice Ribbon).  Suffice it to say it is a rich and wonderful time for Mia Yim to be entering the world of Joshi Puroresu in the greater Tokyo area.

In a REINA match, Mia struggles to escape Manami Toyota               Photo by Luke Matsuki

Believe it or not, thanks to several previous tours with REINA and thanks to visionary booking from SHIMMER's Dave Prazak, Mia has already met several of these legends in the ring.  At 23 Mia has already faced, in singles or tag matches:  Manami Toyota, Hailey Hatred, Hiroyo Matsumoto (x2), Kana, Yumi Ohka, Hotta, Kyoko Inoue, Ray, Shida, Fujimoto, Kambayashi, and others.  That's amazing all on its own and speaks highly of what promoters and bookers think of Mia's talent and big match ability.  It's exciting to think that she will be training in the dojo every day and regularly working 10+ minute matches in the Land of the Rising Sun.  Mia fans have much to look forward to.  Hopefully REINA x WORLD will allow Mia to work some matches outside the home promotion.  Currently REINA is running about one show per month.  For a woman who is used to showcasing her talent in the ring twice every weekend on the US indy scene, once a month may feel like a letdown.  Hopefully the REINA bosses will see the wisdom of allowing this bright young talent to galvanize audiences throughout the Joshi world. 

So here goes my new wish list for Mia's opponents.  Let's start with the veterans who won't be around forever. 

1)  AJA KONG:  At the top of Mia's list and mine would be a bout with the great Aja Kong.  The super heel is still the dominant force in Joshi but every woman wants to test herself against the biggest, baddest toughest bitch in the universe and that is Aja. 

Aja Kong               Photo by David Falcon

2)  TAKAKO INOUE:  One of the most beautiful and durable women in the business is Takako Inoue.  Her photo books are legendary, but her wrestling is even better.  Now choosing the occasional LLPW and Oz Academy shows, Takako can grow old gracefully.  But she is still one of the all time greats and absolutely looks the part -- heel or face she is a pro's pro. 

Takako Inoue

3) MIMA SHIMODA:  like Takako, Mima is a gorgeous woman who is in incredible shape and continues to play the bitch-heel better than anyone around (except perhaps Ozaki herself).  Mima in a singles match would be a feather in Mia's cap.  Happily Mima is friendly with REINA and she may well be on the card for some of the events this fall.

Mima Shimoda            Photo by David Falcon

4) MAYUMI OZAKI:  Ozaki is a hardcore/heel legend who has made JWP and now OZ Academy the best promotion in Japan.  She is a small woman that plays ten times her size with pure attitude and guts.  She's the woman with the chain who would rather bloody you than look at you.  Mia may not go near this because she does not like hardcore matches, but Ozaki demands to be reckoned with.

Mayumi Ozaki        Photo by David Falcon

Let's address the next group of veterans:

5) KYOKO KIMURA:  Kimura is one hard-ass bitch!  She does MMA, death matches (barbed wire and light tubes), splits Kana's head open with a head butt -- this woman is a damn dangerous and unpredictable wrestler.  Plus she's got the badass, devil-may-care Rasta gear that would make her a great tag partner with Mia herself -- The Rasta Girls!  Good news:  Kimura also has ties to REINA so this match could actually happen this year.

Kimura attacking Shimoda

6) CHERRY:  Cherry would be a fun opponent because she plays the face so well yet has so much experience and a lot of great ring presence.  Not the highest priority match, but a fun one none the less.

Cherry and Mio Shirai         Photo by David Falcon

Any up-and-coming wrestler would want a shot at this next group and I know Mia would welcome opportunities to face these peak performers:

7) KAORI YONEYAMA:  This athletic, balletic woman with the incredible work-rate would be a dream opponent of many wrestlers.  She brings such charisma to the ring and her move set guarantees a breath-taking match.  Mia would be stretched to the hilt.

Kaori Yoneyama with Team JWP            Photo by David Falcon

8) AYUMI KURIHARA:  The great Ayumi  is one of the strong-style wrestlers who never gets the credit she deserves because she is such a cute face that her athleticism and toughness are sometimes overlooked.   I would love to see the kicks and high-flying strong style that a Mia v Ayumi match would provide.

Ayumi Kurihara  Photo by David Falcon

9) MEIKO SATOMURA:  A stunning talent.  She riveted the CHIKARA audience at King of Trios two weeks ago.  She defines stiff strong-style wrestling.  It is no mistake that Kana's two favorite matches -- turned into apps for your smart phone -- are against Meiko.

Meiko Satomura
10) NANAE TAKAHASHI:  Along with Meiko and Hiroyo she is an intimidating physical presence and a stiff worker.  She is the backbone and bedrock of the popular Stardom promotion.  Last summer she defeated Mercedes Martinez in an epic battle at Korakuen Hall.
Nanae Takahashi
The hot up-and-coming twenty-somethings, Mia Yim's wrestling peers, also have a place on the list.
11) MIO SHIRAI:  Mio is one of the most popular wrestlers in Joshi today.  She is sexy, irreverent, with attitude to spare.  But she is also a great wrestling skill set.  Mio v Mia would be a match with pepper and punch -- and attitude to burn.
Mio Shirai            Photo by David Falcon
12) YUZUKI AIKAWA: This bikini-model-turned-damn-good-wrestler who has risen to the top in the strong Stardom promotion and earned the respect of the demanding Japanese wrestling fans.  She has also put a lot of butts in the seats with her charisma, courage, and cockatoo preening.  her high kicks would be a delightful foil to Mia's stiff Tae Kwon Do arsenal.
Yuzuki Aikawa
13) SYURI:  Stiff kicking passionate fighter of WNC and rival of Kana is one of the most captivating young wrestlers in Japan.  She works in Tajiri's promotions where women take on men as often as they take on other female opponents.  Syuri is a tough-ass, passionate, fearless fighter that woulod be a perfect foil for Mia's high-impact kick set.  This is one of my most high-priority matches!
14) HIKARU SHIDA:  Shida is a ripped, athletic wrestler from Ice Ribbon who has a huge up-side.  Mia has faced her briefly in a REINA tag match that she was drafted into because of Aoi's broken collarbone.  Hikaru brings a high-energy, high-impact attack that would challenge Mia but bring out the best in her similar attacking style.  This would be a barn-burner of a match!
Hikaru Shida
All these dream opponents do not mean that I would not love to see rematches with kana or Yumi Ohka or Hiroyo Matsumoto.  Indeed, a feud with Hiroyo may be as exciting an event in joshi puroresu as the feud between Kana and Syuri or Hailey and Kaori -- these two are perfectly complimentary opponents in skill and attitude.  I would love to see these matches.
Ayumi and Hiroyo at SHIMMER afterparty  Photo by David Falcon
Mia Yim v LuFisto @ Indygurlz last month                Photo by David Falcon


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  2. One of the best laid out, concise articles I have ever read about a wrestlers projections of opponents. Mia Kim I thought initially was going to end up doing the terribleWWE/TNA or some other promotion comparable. She made the GREAT choice of pursuing joshi and will walk in the US/Japanese wrestling world for years if it works out. Go get em (although I adore Manami Toyotal more than any female wrestler. Good job my man.

    1. Thanks, Marshall, I appreciate the encouragement. I agree about Toyota, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Mia was fortunate enough to have a tag match with Toyota very early one. In that match she logged in a lot of minutes vs Manami. Nevertheless, it would be fun to see them have a singles match. All that said, I could not agree more that Mia made a great choice going to Japan. SHIMMER and REINA book her best, though JAPW and CZW had some unique angles (namely intergender matches or mixed tags)on booking her given the limited number of women in their stables.