- All Japan Women are at Korakuen Hall on January 3 and 4 for the first two shows of the new year. As has been the case in past years the winners of the Tag League The Best tournament will challenge for the WWWA Tag Team titles, and one member of the winning team gets a match for the WWWA title.
The evening show on January 3 will have:
- Momoe Nakanishi vs. Nanae Takahashi. If there is a point to this match, I can't think of it.
- Yumiko Hotta and Tomoko Watanabe vs. Miyuki Fuji and Takako Inoue. Fuji looks to be here to get pinned.
- Manami Toyota and Kayo Noumi vs. Kumiko Maekawa and Mima Shimoda. Noumi looks like the natural jobber here.
- Kaoru Ito vs. Etsuko Mita for the WWWA title. The first time Mita has challenged for a singles title in years. This seems weak for a world title match. Ito definately goes over.
That is followed up on January 4 with:
- Kaoru Ito vs. Kumiko Maekawa. Maekawa might win this to set up a future title match, but I'd be surprised.
- Tomoko Watanabe vs. Takako Inoue
- Manami Toyota vs. Yumiko Hotta
- Miho Wakizawa vs. Kayo Noumi for the All Japan Singles title.
- Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi vs. Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda for the WWWA tag team title. Although this could go either way, I'm expecting the champions to retain here. LCO have been given plenty of great results by AJW in recent months, such as Mita pinning both Toyota and Hotta, them winning the tag league and Mita being put in a world title match. My guess is that they got all that in exchange for putting over Nakanishi and Takahashi here.
- GAEA on January 14 at Korakuen Hall will have Mayumi Ozaki vs. Aja Kong for the AAAW title. On January 27 the main event will be Ozaki and Akira Hokuto vs. Chigusa Nagayo and Aja Kong.
- Fuji TV announced the results of their Athena Women's wrestling awards on December 26. Kaoru Ito was announced as the MVP which is no surprise due to her having won the Grand Prix tournament and gone on to capture the WWWA title. Ito wants to log more sucessful title defences than Bull Nakano and Jaguar Yokota. Unless AJW plan to stick with Ito as champ for a long time this won't happen - Bull was the champion for two and a half years while Jaguar held it for close to five.
Match of the Year went to Eagle Sawai vs. Manami Toyota from the Fuji TV tapings in July. Tag MOTY was Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita vs. Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi, also from the July Fuji TV tapings.
- Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda surprisingly won the AJW Tag League The Best tournament today at Korakuen Hall, first working to a draw with tag team champions Momoe Nakanishi and Nanae Takahashi, then defeating Manami Toyota and Kayo Noumi in the final when Mita scored probably the biggest win of her career pinning Toyota in 13:33.
Shimoda and Mita were voted as the joint women's MVP in the Japanese Puroresu awards, finishing ahead of Crush 2000 and Megumi Yabushita. Surprising to see LCO win this ahead of Nagayo and Asuka when you consider that the reunion of the Crush Gals was historically significant and led to the biggest crowd for a women's show in several years.
In 1999 the award went to Lioness Asuka, and Shinobu Kandori in 1998.
- The AJW "Soft On Demand Christmas Tournament" on December 24 as part of the Wrestlemarinpida show at the Yokohama Bunka Gym will include Reggie Bennett in addition to the names mentioned here previously. First round matches will be Miyuki Fuji vs. Takako Inoue; Reggie Bennett vs. Nanae Takahashi; Momoe Nakanishi vs. Miho Wakizawa and Kaoru Ito vs. Kayo Noumi. Manami Toyota receives a bye to meet the winner of Takako vs. Fuji and Yumiko Hotta will automatically meet the winner of Ito vs. Noumi. The winners of Reggie vs. Takahashi and Nakanishi vs. Wakizawa will receive a bye past the second round. The semi finals look set to be Toyota vs. Bennett and Nakanishi vs. either Hotta or Ito. Soft On Demand are the sponsors of the event.
- JWP will be relaunching in February 2001. Kayoko Haruyama and Ran YuYu will both be a part of the new promotion. It is not known however if any other former JWP workers will be appearing. No show dates have been announced yet, although such information should be known within a couple of weeks.
- Jd' on December 29 at Korakuen Hall will have a Death Match between Fang Suzuki and Sumie Sakai and well as The Bloody vs. Megumi Yabushita for both Yabushita's AWF Title and Bloody's Queen of the Ring.
- NEO are at Kitasawa Town Hall, Tokyo on January 8 which is headlined by a one night "NEO Stage 2001" tournament. First round matches are Takako Inoue vs. Yoshiko Tamura; Tanny Mouse vs. Yuki Miyazaki; Junko Yagi vs. Misae Genki and Yuka Nakamura vs. Mima Shimoda.
- JWP are running a free show on December 30.
- At the December 17 GAEA Korakuen Hall event Chigusa Nagayo came out under her old "ZERO" gimmick with Lioness Asuka wearing a similar costume and going under the name of "ZONE". It looks likely that "Darkside Crush" as they are to be known will challenge for the AAAW Tag Team titles at some point in the new year. Nagayo's past work as ZERO has been pretty poor, hopefully Asuka will continue to work at a high level under this part-time gimmick.
- Akira Hokuto and Mayumi Ozaki captured the AAAW Tag Team titles from Chikayo Nagashima and Sugar Sato on December 17 when Ozaki pinned Nagashima in 24:37.
- NEO ran a shoot-style event on December 17 at Korakuen Hall using mostly pro wrestlers that had competed in the ReMix tournament as well as a few other people. Kyoko Inoue did not work this show, which was headlined by Junko Yagi defeating Rudowa by submission in only twenty seconds.
- Aja Kong and Ayako Hamada have been teaming together in main events of recent ARSION shows which doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering they are supposed to be feuding. Xochitl Hamada has continued to win pretty much all of her matches, presumably to build her up for doing a job against Ayako in her retirement match on December 24.
- Saw some pictures from the AJW November 23 Tokyo Yoyogi Gym show recently. The six woman cage match main event looked to be excellent. Momoe Nakanishi used what was probably the move of the night, a moonsault attack onto Maekawa from the top of the cage. Ito also performed a Diving Footstomp from the top of the cage onto Maekawa. By the looks of it, all six women bled heavily. Maekawa is now wearing the same style outfit as the ones worn by Shimoda and Mita.
Whilst on the subject of this match, there appear to be two reasons why Ito was booked into it rather than the more logical Watanabe. Firstly so that one team would consist entirely of WWWA title holders, and also to create a future issue between Maekawa and Ito in preparation for a probable WWWA title match between them.
- At the November 23 GAEA Korakuen Hall show, Sakura Hirota came out dressed as Dump Matsumoto for her singles match with Lioness Asuka. Lioness obviously won the match and became something like the 28th holder of Hirota's homemade title belt.
- Not sure if I have previously mentioned this or not, but on November 19 at Korakuen Rena Takase defeated Linda Starr in 10:24. This was Takase's first singles win in ARSION after sixty straight losses.
- AKINO and Ai Fujita of ARSION recently visited Hawaii.
- Chikako Shiratori is auctioning one of her outfits.
- Ayako and Gran Hamada retained the P*MIX titles on November 25 defeating Pentagon and Xochitl Hamada in 10:20 when Gran pinned Pentagon.
- For those of you with access to GAORA TV, the GAEA shows taped on November 26 and December 12 will air on December 15 at 5:30pm.
- All Japan Women's Wrestlemarinpiad 2000 on December 24 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym will be headlined by Tomoko Watanabe vs. Kumiko Maekawa for the All Pacific title. Watanabe will retire if she loses which would suggest that she won't be losing unless she is already planning to leave the company for other reasons. Also happening is a "Christmas Tournament" with Kaoru Ito, Yumiko Hotta, Manami Toyota, Nanae Takahashi, Momoe Nakanishi, Miyuki Fuji, Kayo Noumi, Miho Wakizawa and Takako Inoue partaking.
- CAZAI will team up for the last time on December 16 as Candy Okutsu, Ai Fujita, AKINO and Ayako Hamada take on Azumi Hyuga, Aja Kong, Mari Apache and Linda Starr. This show also has a singles match between Etsuko Mita and Mariko Yoshida. On December 17 at the same venue they have Candy Okutsu vs. Aja Kong. Freelancers being used for the late December tour are Azumi Hyuga and PIKO between December 13 and 17; and Candy Okutsu, Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda on December 16 and 17.
- NEO's ReMix World Cup 2000 show drew a crowd of 6500 at Budokan Hall, Tokyo on December 5. The tournament was won by Marlos Coonen of Holland. Coonen defeated former AJW wrestler Mika Harikae after only 0:33 in the first round and received a bye past the second round to defeat America's Becky Levi after 0:25 in the semi finals and scored a win by decision over Jd' pro wrestler Megumi Yabushita to win the final.
Kyoko Inoue of NEO was defeated fairly easily by Russian Svetlana Gundareno after 3:11 in the first round of their round one match. A non-tournament fight saw Etsuko Sakuraba lose in 2:29 of the first round to Tatiana Kovichanba.
Of all the pro wrestlers involved, the most sucessful was Megumi Yabushita. Yabushita's first round match was a win over Bambi Bartonchelo in 2:07 and followed this up by defeating Gundarenko by a 3-0 decision in the semi final. This was a big win for Yabushita as Gundarenko has always defeated the Japanese pro wrestlers in the past, including wins over both Yumiko Hotta and Shinobu Kandori back in 1995. The only other pro wrestler involved was Junko Yagi, formerly of LLPW who won her first round over Frau Hulman in 2R 3:58 by referee stoppage, then lost to Becky Levi by decision in round two.
- Candy Okutsu of ARSION is set to re-retire on January 5 due to back injuries that originally forced her to retire back in 1997. Throughout 1998 Candy was one of ARSION's three best workers but unfortunately her quality of work fell somewhat in 1999 and didn't improve in 2000, where she has spent much of her time as masked ReDrug member Red Lynx.
Candy debuted against the late Plum Mariko on August 4 1992 under her real name of Tomoko Okutsu. She took on the "Candy" name in early 1993. A fairly good worker from the start, Candy captured the AJW All Japan Junior title from Chaparrita ASARI on December 6 1993 and held it until March 26 1995 when she dropped it to AJW's Rie Tamada. Candy won JWP's Junior title in a triangle match over Hiromi Yagi and Hiromi Sugo (now a JWP referee) on June 16 1995, holding it until December 6 1995 when she fell to Yagi. Candy regained the title from Yagi on July 27 1996 but had to vacate it a week or so later when she was no longer eligible to hold the junior belt.
Candy and Yagi joined up with Hikari Fukuoka as "The Hi-Chans" in early 1997. The group didn't really get that far as Yagi retired to get married on March 15. Candy later retired due to the aforementioned back injuries on August 17, losing to Hikari Fukuoka in a match for Fukuoka's JWP title.
Candy's retirement ended on February 18 1998 at the ARSION debut show where she worked to a 15:00 draw with Yumi Fukawa. On May 5 1998 Candy won the ARSION ARS tournament by defeating Fukawa, Rie Tamada and Reggie Bennett to earn a place in the decider match for the Queen of ARSION. Candy became Tiger Dream, the first female Tiger Mask in the summer. The gimmick didn't last that long though, being largely abandoned prior to Candy losing to Mariko Yoshida in the Queen of ARSION title match that December.
Early in 1999 Candy formed a group called CAZAI with Ayako Hamada, AKINO and Ai Fujita. As well as being a group in wrestling, they were also a musical band, releasing a CD that summer. CAZAI was broken up in 2000. Candy then became Red Lynx for much of the year until reverting to her real name for the ARSION year end show in December.
- The LLPW faces are now all part of a group called "Team Frontier".
- The GAEA main event at Korakuen on December 17 is going to be Sugar Sato and Chikayo Nagashima vs. Mayumi Ozaki and Akira Hokuto for the AAAW Tag Team titles. For some insane reason, the semi main event is Dynamite Kansai vs. Sakura Hirota! Other matches are Asuka and Satomura vs. Devil and Yamada; Kato and Takeuchi vs. Bloody and Uematsu; and in the opener Nagayo vs. KAORU.
- LLPW on December 12 at Korakuen Hall will have:
- Eagle Sawai, Rumi Kazama and Takako Inoue vs. Noriyo Tateno, Mizuki Endo and Shinobu Kandori.
- Manami Toyota and Kayo Noumi vs. Carol Midori and Sayuri Okino.
- Harley Saito vs. Carlos Amano. This should be a good match.
- Kaori Yoneyama and Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. Keiko Aono and Miho Watabe.
- Yuki Noguchi vs. Shark Tsuchiya. Perhaps Noguchi is being booked against Shark so that she can learn how not to wrestle?
- The bracketing for the NEO Remix shoot tournament on December 5 will see the following matches in round one: Megumi Yabushita vs. Banby Bartonchiero; Kyoko Inoue vs. Svetlana Gundarenko; Erin Torhil vs. Rodina Elina; Elena Pizarenko vs. Marlos Koonen; Flor Hulman vs. Junko Yagi and Becky Levi vs. Ishihara. The winner of the Yabushita match and the Pizarenko match both get a bye past the second round.
- JWP are set to close after their December 10 Korakuen Hall show. The announcement is no surprise because they have struggled to draw all year. No word on where the wrestlers will go, although Azumi Hyuga appears to have already found work with ARSION.
- Jd' at NGK Studio, Osaka today was headlined by Megumi Yabushita, Sumie Sakai and Hiroyo Muto defeating The Bloody, KAZUKI and Drake Morimatsu by two falls to one. Bloody's new heel group, which also includes SAYA and Fang Suzuki is called "Super Terrors". They formed at Korakuen on November 14 where they beat up the president of Jd'.
- Etsuko Mita, Kumiko Maekawa and Mima Shimoda beat Nanae Takahashi, Momoe Nakanishi and Tomoko Watanabe in the main event of today's AJW Korakuen Hall show when Mita pinned Watanabe in 17:39. Surprising to see Watanabe do the job when the likes of Nakanishi and Takahashi are on her team. Other results saw Sayuri Okino and Carol Midori beat Kaoru Ito and Miho Wakizawa in 19:56 of what may have been a tag league match, and Yumiko Hotta beat Takako Inoue in only 7:04.
- AJW have released a new t-shirt.
- Former FMW woman wrestler Megumi Kudo stars in a new photo book called "Body Message" which is available on December 20.
- The GAEA Chrismas Party is happening on December 24. Much like in previous years, a few of the wrestlers will get up and sing, and the Year End Awards will probably be announced.
- ARSION on December 8 at Akurosu Fukuoka has a main event of Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai. Xochitl Hamada is doing a retirement countdown series with matches against Aja Kong, Mariko Yoshida and others.
- NEO on December 8 in Tokyo is to be headlined by Emi Motokawa and Kyoko Inoue against Obacchi Iizuka and Bolshoi Kid. This could quite easily be the worst match of all time.
- Chihiro Nakano has what is probably her first piece of merchandise, a sticker with her name and a cartoon picture of her on it.
- ARSION switched all three titles at Korakuen Hall today as AKINO won the vacant Sky High belt by defeating Chaparrita ASARI; Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda beat Rie Tamada and GAMI for the Twin Star and Aja Kong surprisingly dropped the Queen of ARSION to Ayako Hamada. Check out the results page for full details of this show.
- Xochitl Hamada's retirment match on Christmas Eve will be vs. Ayako Hamada with Gran Hamada as the referee. Other matches will include Mariko Yoshida, Chaparrita ASARI and Ai Fujita vs. Mari Apache, Azumi Hyuga and AKINO; Michiko Ohmukai and Mima Shimoda vs. Bionic J and Etsuko Mital Aja Kong, Yuko Yamagata and Linda Starr vs. Rena Takase, Rie Tamada and GAMI. Also the ARSION Year End award winners will be announced.
- ARSION have released a few new videos including "Yumi Fukawa Perfect Collection ~Sayonara~" and "Tournament ZION 2000". Both cost ¥7000.