April 15 Update
- Lineups for ARSION cards through April have been amended. April 18 in Takaoka has been changed to Mariko Yoshida & Reggie Bennett vs. Aja Kong & Yumi Fukawa; Candy Okutsu & Mika Akino vs. Mikiko Futagami & Rie Tamada; Ayako Hamada & Ai Fujita vs. The Apache's and Michiko Ohmukai vs. La Galactica 2000. On April 23 in Fukushima they have Hamada & Akino vs. Aja & Bennett; Tamada vs. Ohmukai; Candy & Fujita vs. Mari & Galactica; Yoshida vs. Fabi and Fukawa vs. Futagami. In Nagoya on April 25 matches will be Futagami vs. Candy; Fukawa & Ohmukai vs. Aja & Tamada; Yoshida, Mari & Galactica vs. Hamada, Akino & Fujita.
- All Japan Women have just announced the lineup for the event they have tomorrow at the Nagoya Rainbow Hall, a 10,000 seat arena. The match they are relying on to put asses in seats is a non-title match between Yumiko Hotta and Takako Inoue. Personally, I don't like their chances of drawing anything close to a sellout with that main event. Other matches are Kumiko Maekawa & Kayo Noumi vs. The ZAPs and Manami Toyota & Miho Wakizawa vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi. Come to think of it, when the lineup for a show such as this is virtually the same as what they throw out at regular shows, I think I'd have kept it quiet until the last minute hoping that people would buy tickets in anticipation of a great main event.
- ARSION have announced the card for the 1999 ARS Tournament that happens on May 4 at Tokyo, Korakuen Hall. In a non-tournament match dubbed "Sky Fly Dream", the rookie trio of Ayako Hamada, Mika Akino and Ai Fujita take on Mexican's Fabi Apache, Mari Apache and La Galactica 2000. First round tournament matches are Rie Tamada vs. Hiromi Yagi; Mariko Yoshida vs. Reggie Bennett; Michiko Ohmukai vs. Mikiko Futagami; and Candy Okutsu vs. Aja Kong.
Something ARSION has so far neglected to mention is what the winner of this tournament is actually winning. They have made it pretty clear that the Queen of ARSION, currently held by Mariko Yoshida, is a transferable title, so presumably last years pattern of having the winners of two tournaments collide to determine the QofA is not going to be revisited. Also with the champion already in there it wouldn't make a lot of sense for the winner to get a title match.
I expect that in the first round Yagi will probably defeat her partner Tamada because she has been pitched higher in the pecking order so far, and history will repeat itself from last year giving Bennett the upset win over Yoshida. At the bottom half of the draw Ohmukai has little chance against Futagami, but Candy Okutsu could be in a good position to defeat Aja Kong. Candy has been promoted as one of the top three stars in the promotion, and would regain some of the steam she lost by failing to capture the QofA in December if she were to beat Aja. If those results go as I expect, then in the first semi final Reggie will beat Yagi. The other semi-final could go either way, they could elevate Gami by having her beat Candy, or repeat last years final.
April 11 Update
- JWP ran a show in Asahikawa on April 12. The only result I have received is that in the main event Yuki Lee, Dynamite Kansai and Kana Misaki defeated the combination of Azumi Hiuga, Devil Masami and Chikako Shiratori when Kansai pinned Shiratori after 15:41.
JWP were in Kitami on April 13, in the main event Azumi Hiuga, Dynamite Kansai and Acute Sae (Tomiko Sai) defeated Devil Masami, Ran YuYu and Maya Hashimoto at the 15:05 mark when Hiuga pinned Hashimoto. Unfortunately, that is the only result I have from the show.
- GAEA's Korakuen Hall show on April 25 is entitled "The Day After SSU". Obviously someone at GAEA can't count because if they could they might realise that it is no less than three weeks after SSU took over the promotion at the April 4 Anniversary show. Main event is a six woman tag pitting Lioness Asuka, Mayumi Ozaki and Mima Shimoda of SSU against KAORU, Meiko Satomura and Sonoko Kato. Other matches are Etsuko Mita vs. Toshiyo Yamada; Sugar Sato & Kaori Nakayama vs. Toshie Uematsu & RIE; Chikayo Nagashima vs. Sakura Hirota; Sugar Sato vs. Sonoko Kato and Nakayama vs. Chigusa Nagayo.
April 11 Update
- Dynamite Kansai has been hired by GAEA to help them in their on going battle with Lioness Asuka's SSU gang. Asuka appeared at the JWP show in Sapporro after Kansai's match on April 10, and took on Kansai's tag team partner Kana Misaki, defeating her by pinfall in only 1:58.
In other happenings from that show, Kansai & Misaki became the number one contenders to the JWP World tag team titles, beating Ran YuYu & Devil Masami when Kansai pinned Ran at the 20:32 mark. They challenge champions Carlos Amano & Commando Bolshoi on April 21 in Osaka. Also Azumi Hiuga retained her JWP Open Weight title against Carlos Amano, pinning her with a Michinoku Driver II after 17:08. This was Azumi's first title defence.
- The ZAP's worked under their former identities of Tomoko Watanabe and Kaoru Ito tonight, and defeated Neo Ladies top heel team of Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita when Ito pinned Shimoda after 30:09. Watanabe did work a match without the gimmick a few weeks ago so this isn't necessarily a sign that it has been dropped for good.
- A message from ARSION president Hiroshi Ogawa was posted on their web site today saying that Emiko Kado had died on April 9.
- ARSION's show in Kanagawa on April 29 will have Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada; Mikiko Futagami vs. Mika Akino; Michiko Ohmukai, Rie Tamada, Yumi Fukawa & a partner TBA vs. Aja Kong, Reggie Bennett & The Apache's and Candy Okutsu vs. Ai Fujita. La Galactica 2000 will also be in action. On April 30 in Chiba they have Candy, Akino & Hamada vs. Ohmukai, Tamada & Fukawa; Kong & Fujita vs. Yoshida & TBA; Reggie Bennett vs. Fabi Apache and Mari Apache vs. Galactica.
May 2 in Nagano will see Kong & Tamada vs. Yoshida & Mari; Ohmukai & Fukawa vs. Futagami & TBA; Hamada & Akino vs. Bennett & Fabi; Candy vs. Galactica and Fujita vs. Fabi. On May 3 matches will be Futagami & Yoshida vs. Fukawa & Ohmukai; Fukawa vs. Reggie; Hamada, Akino & Fujita vs. Candy & The Apache's; and Ohmukai vs. Galactica.
- Neo Ladies' presented a rare show today drawing a tiny crowd of 360 in Tokyo Hamamatsu. Part of the reason for the poor attendance could have been that they were without Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita who worked AJW's event today. Kyoko Inoue defeated Saya Endo by pinfall in the main event. The only real news from the show was the return of former FMW mainstay Miss Mongol who defeated Yuka Nakamura by pinfall in a very short match.
- Yasha Kurenai defeated Sachie Nishibori by pinfall at the 8:52 mark of their match for the IWA tonight. The encounter was billed as "Nishibori Sachie Moyaren Zimatumo", whatever that means.
April 9 Update
EMIKO KADO DIES
- It was announced at 9:35am this morning that twenty three year old ARSION rookie Emiko Kado has died. Kado suffered a serious injury from a blow to the head when she was working a tag team match on March 31 in Fukuoka teaming with Michiko Ohmukai against the veteran team of Mariko Yoshida and Mikiko Futagami.
Kado was immediately rushed to the hospital in Fukuoka, where she sadly died on April 9.
Kado made her first appearance for ARSION early in February of this year, working exhibition matches against wrestlers such as Mikiko Futagami. She made her official ring debut on February 18, 1999 at the ARSION First Anniversary show, held before 1550 people at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, losing to Aja Kong. Kado wrestled fourteen matches in her brief career.
This is the second death to occur as a result of a wrestling match. The first was on August 16 1997 when JWP's Plum Mariko couldn't be revived after receiving a Lyger Bomb during a match.
April 8 Update
- Lioness Asuka will wrestle for GAEA on April 10. It is quite possible that Asuka will be taking on Dynamite Kansai at some point as GAEA have supposedly hired Kansai to sort out Asuka's SSU gang that is terrorising the promotion.
In another interpromotional match, Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita return to All Japan Women's for a one-off appearance on April 11 for a re-match with ZAP I and ZAP T. They had a match a couple of week's ago that went to a non-finish.
- ARSION's Yumi Fukawa has once again changed her ring attire, and in my opinion her new one is her best yet! It's a two piece, similar to her other ARSION outfits, but in pink with "Yumi" written across her chest.
- Big Japan's show in Hamamatsu on April 6 drew a sellout crowd of 1,550. As has been the trend with recent BJ cards, they had a womens match on the undercard. This time Kyoko Ichiki hooked up with Ampolo to defeat the team of Marcella and Chiharu Nakano. I have never seen Marcella or Ampola wrestle, so I won't comment on whether they are any good or not, but as they are working for Big Japan you can probably make a logical guess. Ichiki and Nakano both used to work for all-women's promotions, Jd' and GAEA respectively, and are both reasonable workers. Chiharu either already has, or soon will be marrying a wrestler so it's quite possible that she won't be wrestling as often after her marriage.
April 5 Update
- Complete lineup for ARSION's 'Starlet 99' show at Korakuen Hall on April 14 is Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami for the Queen of ARSION; Candy Okutsu & Ai Fujita (debut!) vs. Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino; Rie Tamada vs. Aja Kong; Michiko Ohmukai vs. Reggie Bennett; Yumi Fukawa vs. Hiromi Yagi; and The Apache's vs. La Galactica 2000 & Emiko Kado. Obviously Kado will not be able to compete due to the injury she suffered recently.
This sounds like it will be a very good show overall. It's unlikely that Futagami will win the Queen title at the moment because ARSION still needs to give Yoshida credibility as a champion. Ai Fujita, who is making her debut at this show was interviewed in the current Lady's Gong, she has already wrestled a little in Mexico, although she will probably be working the Yoshida-esque technical style rather than lucha. She's pretty cute as well!
The other matches are fairly predictable, Tamada doesn't have a chance in hell against Aja and the best Ohmukai can get against Reggie is a draw. It's hard to say what will happen between Yagi and Fukawa. Fukawa never beats anyone except Fabi Apache, but Yagi is technically not part of the promotion. Yagi defeated Mikiko Futagami a few weeks ago, so that pretty much seals it in her favour.
- As I reported here a few weeks ago, ARSION has the ARS '99 tournament at Korakuen Hall on May 4. They are charging ¥10,000 for some seats which is more than just about any other promotion charges at Korakuen. Jd' are only charging ¥6,000 for the best seats at their Korakuen show on April 29. Of course the ARSION show will be much better so it's all swings and roundabouts.
- GAEA did work the attendance at their Yokohama Bunka Gym show yesterday. In reality the arena only holds slightly under 5,000 and was only about three quarters full meaning that there were only about 3,700 people there at best. The next GAEA show isn't until April 25, so it'll be interesting to see what other changes President Lioness is going to implement. As Satomura & Kato defeated the AAAW "Junior" tag team champions, Aja & Ozaki it would make sense for them to get a shot at the titles they once held.
The first change in GAEA with Lioness is in charge has been to there web site. The photo's of Chigusa on the main page have been removed and photo's of SSU and Lioness have replaced them.
- Because of the big GAEA show yesterday, little has been said about AJW's event that also happened in Yokohama. Really, there isn't a lot to say about it. The veterans squashed the youngsters like bugs as they usually would. They booked Miho Wakizawa to go for 14:29 against Miyuki Fuji, this is just ridiculous because Fuji isn't very good at all, and Wakizawa isn't in a position where she can carry a weak opponent to a good match.
- Neo Ladies have "Neo Revolution 3nd" (sic) in Tokyo on April 11, but still haven't released the lineup. The best seats in the house for that one are ¥6,000.
- JWP Open Weight champion Azumi Hiuga (Tomoko Kuzumi) will defend her title for the first time on April 10 against Carlos Amano as part of JWP's "New J Northern Light Tour". Hiuga won the belt on February 28 from Hikari Fukuoka. It's doubtful that she will lose it this quickly because traditionally when someone wins the JWP title they have it for a while. With the exception of a brief reign by Devil Masami in 1994, nobody has held the title for less than one year. Also on April 10, Dynamite Kansai & Kana Mizaki meet Ran YuYu & Devil Masami.
Carlos Amano & Commando Bolshoi make the first defence of their JWP Tag Team titles on April 21 in Osaka when they are challenged by Dynamite Kansai & Kana Mizaki
- JWP have their "Edge Out" tour through May beginning on May 3 in Chiba for an afternoon show. Following that they have shows on May 12, May 22, May 26 and May 28 finishing with an afternoon television taping at Tokyo Korakuen Hall on May 30.
April 4 Update
- GAEA ran their major show at the Yokohama Bunka Gym today drawing a crowd of 6500, which is a sellout unless they bumped up the numbers. In the main event Lioness Asuka defeated her former partner Chigusa Nagayo by pinfall after 16:59. Due to the pre-match stipulation, Asuka is now the president of GAEA. In the top tag match, Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato surprisingly beat Aja Kong & Mayumi Ozaki when Satomura pinned Aja after 17:19. KAORU & Toshiyo Yamada defeated Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita when KAORU pinned Shimoda after a gruelling 38:27.
- Keith Watanabe reports that ARSION rookie Emiko Kado suffered a serious injury at a recent show when she took a hard blow to the head. At the moment, Kado is still in hospital.
- At the April 4 Big Japan show, Chiharu Nakano defeated Ampolo in 9:42, and Kyoko Ichiki defeated Marcela in 12:05. New Now used some women on their show in Tokyo today, LLPW's Yasha Kurenai & Keiko Aono defeated Emi Motokawa & Sachie Nishibori when Yasha pinned Nishibori in 14:49. In an all-JWP match, Carlos Amano & Kana Mizaki beat Azumi Hiuga & Ran YuYu when Amano made Yu submit to a juji-gatame in 16:27. Finally in another LLPW match, Shinobu Kandori & Junko Yagi defeated Eagle Sawai & Sayuri Okino when Okino jobbed to Kandori at the 15:59 mark.
- Results of the popularity poll in the April edition of Lady's Gong magazine were:
- Miho Wakizawa 
- Chigusa Nagayo 
- Takako Inoue 
- Kayo Noumi 
- Momoe Nakanishi 
- Candy Okutsu 
- Manami Toyota 
Yumi Fukawa 
- Yuko Kosugi 
- Etsuko Mita 
Kana Mizaki 
- Kaoru Ito 
- Mima Shimoda 
- Meiko Satomura 
- Shinobu Kandori 
Yumiko Hotta 
- Mariko Yoshida 
- Sumie Sakai 
- Chaparrita ASARI 
- Kyoko Inoue 
In the same issue, LG listed what they consider to be Hikari Fukuoka's 20 most memorable matches. The listing is available in the Other Info section.
April 1 Update
- ARSION's April 13 show has Mariko Yoshida & Reggie Bennett vs. Aja Kong & Yumi Fukawa; Mika Akino & Candy Okutsu vs. Mikiko Futagami & Rie Tamada; Ayako Hamada & Ai Fujita (New wrestler) vs. Apache's; Emiko Kado & Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada & La Galactica 2000.
ARSION's Hiroshima show on April 23 will see Futagami & Yoshida vs. Hamada & Akino; Fukawa & Ohmukai vs. Aja & Bennett; Candy & Fujita vs. Galactica & Mari; Tamada vs. Kado and Kado vs. Fabi.
For their April 25 show, ARSION has booked Candy vs. Futagami; Fukawa & Ohmukai vs. Aja & Tamada; Yoshida, Mari & Galactica vs. Reggie, Ayako & Akino; Fujita vs. Kado and Kado vs. Fabi.
- After their Yokohama Bunka Gym show on April 4, GAEA will hold only one other event in April, on the 25th at Tokyo Korakuen Hall entitled "The Day After", which sounds ominous. Their May tour is entitled "Wipe Out". Shows take place on May 5, May 9, May 16 at Tokyo Korakuen, and May 23 at Osaka IMP Hall. I'll post lineups for those shows as soon as I get them.
- The Six Woman Tag tournament ARSION have been running over the last few weeks seems to have finished. On March 31, ARSION were in Fukuoka, and although the show drew poorly, the card sounded much better on paper than many others have been in recent weeks. Aja Kong defeated Yumi Fukawa after a fairly long 12:03, which shows how unselfish Aja is in putting over younger wrestlers, particularly in comparison to Chigusa Nagayo who rarely wrestles for more than five minutes against anyone under 30. In the main event, Hiromi Yagi & Rie Tamada made the third defence of the Twin Star of ARSION tag team titles, wrestling to a half hour draw with Ayako Hamada & Mika Akino.
- Yuki Morimatsu of Jd' has obviously decided to take a leaf out of Bill Goldberg's book and drop her first name. The results pages now list her simply as 'Morimatsu'. Morimatsu, who I am 90% sure is the wrestler formerly known as Ryuna, wrestled in the main event of Jd's March 31 show, teaming with Shark Tsuchiya & Lioness Asuka, and lost to Cooga, Yuko Kosugi & Sumie Sakai when Kosugi pinned Morimatsu after 14:09. Take a look at Results for full details on yesterdays shows.
- The current Weekly Pro had a large feature on the March 10 All Japan Women's/LLPW joint show. The Yoyogi Gym appeared to be fairly full. Hotta (who now has blond streaks in her hair) vs. Kandori looked as if it was a good, shoot style match with a lot of submission's and some hard hitting. From looking the pictures, Kandori may have had a problem with Manami Toyota being one of the ring girls. ZAP T wrestled Eagle Sawai without her mask again, both women bled really heavily. T actually managed to get the Screwdriver on Eagle, which is quite surprising as Eagle is rather hefty. The Kaoru Ito vs. Junko Yagi match looked similar to any other worked match of that kind. Interestingly, Ito wore her ZAP (Zenjyo Afraid Purpose) t-shirt.
Another interesting feature in WP was of a an SSU meeting where Etsuko Mita, Mima Shimoda, Aja Kong, Mayumi Ozaki and some guy were all talking to each other. Whilst Mita only had a small glass of wine on the table in front of her, Aja had a bottle of wine, a beer and another bottle of wine on the rocks!