Friday, March 31, 2006

Chigusa Nagayo visits Sendai Girls

Well, well, well. Look who paid a visit to Sendai Girls. According to Meiko Satomura's blog on the Sendai Girls website, Chigusa Nagayo sent her an email on Wednesday and said she was coming to the Sendai Girls dojo the next day. And Chigusa did come on Thursday. Satomura said she was very nervous because of course Chigusa is her mentor and taught her everything she knows about the joshi business at a very young age. Let's hope Chigusa didn't teach her bad booking tendencies.

Apparently it went pretty well. Chigusa spoke with Sendai Girls president Jinsei Shinzaki. Then she spent some time with Satomura and her trainees. She told Satomura that she was on her own now and she should do her best to be successful. Satomura told her students that the things she learned from Chigusa are the things she's teaching them. Chigusa spoke to the trainees and said she was wanted to be proud of Satomura and in turn them. She told them that the joshi business is very difficult but if they learn the true spirit of joshi from Meiko Satomura, they will be successful. Chigusa observed the practice until lunch time.

Then they had some lunch, some tongue and hamburger I think and Chigusa left. So Chigusa Nagayo had a pleasant last minute visit to Sendai Girls. Sendai Girls debuts on July 9 at the Sun Sendai Plaza and Chigusa Nagayo's next show is April 15 at Differ Ariake.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Bud Powell
Song:Night In Tunisia
Album:Bud Powell:The Very Best

Bud Powell was one of the great pianists of the bop era who unfortunately couldn't stay away from booze. His Blue Note recordings from the early 50s are excellent and this is a 2005 comp of those recordings. So it's a very good introduction to his music.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't you just love bureaucrats?

I received a letter from the Ontario Disability Support Program today. This is what it said.

On March 15, 2006, the Disability Adjudication Unit received your Disability Determination Package. It has since come to our attention that you are receiving the Ontario Disability Support Program benefits under the prescribed class of "persons in receipt of disabilty benefits under the Canada Pension Plan". Thus, your application with our office is now considered closed.

What does this mean? Well, it's so poorly worded it could mean several things. In my case, it means that I am already approved medically by the Canada Pension Plan Disability and therefore I am automatically approved by ODSP and I don't have to go through their adjudication process. So it's a good thing. Of course I knew that but I did call them to confirm and also to complain about the ambiguous wording of the letter. I would imagine that some people getting this letter might think they are screwed. I read this to a friend today and he didn't understand it either. It gave me a good laugh but I know it's not really funny.

Fuuka claims to have learned new techniques

Fuuka made the media rounds today to promote the PRINCESS tournament that JD Star is starting this Sunday for wrestlers with less than three years experience. She went to Nikkan Sports, Nippon Sports & Sportsnavi. Though Fuuka actually won an MMA match in Smackgirl, JD Star has chosen to promote her as an idol wrestler. Fuuka says that she is training and trying to improve and has recently learned some new techniques from The Sambo Queen Megumi Fujii. Fuuka even posted a pic of Fujii on her blog. I will remain skeptical about any improvement in Fuuka because she has no incentive to improve. She will win this tournament and JD Star will continue to push her regardless.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Thelonious Monk
Song:In Walked Bud
Album:The Complete Blue Note Recordings

Great pianist but one of the most enigmatic figures in jazz. This is from a 4CD box set of his Blue Note recordings. To find out more about Monk, check out the Clint Eastwood produced documemtary Thelonious Monk...Straight No Chaser.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

G-Shooto announces May 6 show

G-Shooto has announced two semi final matches for their Strawweight tournament will be on May 6 at Shinjuku FACE. MIKU & Youko Yamada are also scheduled to appear. Bouts are scheduled for two five minute rounds.

G-SHOOTO - 5/6/06 - Shinjuku FACE

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Four Tops
Song:Standing In The Shadows Of Love
Album:The Ultimate Collection

Another classic Motown song and Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs is as good as any singer in R & B history. That boy could sang.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

DVD Review:SHIMMER Vol. 1


Lets face facts. When most wrestling fans think of womens wrestling they think of the pathetic excuse for eye candy that is on every Monday night's WWE RAW. You've got girls who are hired for their ability to pose in Playboy. Ring skills mean nothing. Not to mention the trained chimp fans yelling for "puppies". There are some very attractive girls wrestling in indy feds. But buying indy fed videos for a womens match is an expensive proposition and sometimes the production quality is poor. You also have companies that sell womens wrestling videos in private rings at ridiculously inflated prices. Sorry guys. I'm a cheapskate. I can get plenty of joshi puroresu at reasonable prices, professional production quality and the kind of hard hitting action I want to see.

Dave Prazak is attempting to change this perception with SHIMMER and he's off to a pretty good start with SHIMMER Vol. 1. Dave has wisely hooked up with Ring Of Honor to produce and sell DVDs of womens wrestling with the women sold as athletes and they're in front of a live audience. It's not perfect but for 2 1/2 hours of action for $14.95 you get a lot of bang for your buck. And it doesn't look like it was shot by some kid who got a video camera for his bar mitzvah.

So is every match on this DVD a four star classic? Well that's not very realistic but that's what some fans want. Let's just say that there are two bonafide great matches on this show and the rest are pretty good. Let's get the criticism out of the way and then I'll get to the good stuff. In the long run, Dave needs to be very careful about over emphasizing the ROH regulars because they're not his best wrestlers. This becomes a bit of a problem with the main event on this DVD. I will discuss this in the proper context a little later. It's not a bad match but there is a problem with it. Also, he has to mix up the wrestlers a little better. I assume he does that on future shows. For example, Shantelle Taylor & Tiana Ringer train together constantly. They may be a little too familiar with each other and their match comes across as over choreographed.

Team Blondage (Krissy Vaine & Amber O'Neal) win their match over Cindy Rogers & Nikki Roxx by cheating mainly to set up a Rogers/O'Neal match on Vol. 2. And I like Rogers better as a heel anyway. The other prelim matches are OK except that Allison Danger vs Beth Phoenix is too high up on the card for a comedy match. I know Danger is an ROH regular. Phoenix has sure changed since I used to see her on AWF shows here in Toronto a few years ago. She's a comedy wrestler now. She even kissed the ref. This shtick got her a WWE developmental contract. She did what she had to do. I don't like it though.

There are two really great matches on this show. The first is Cheerleader Melissa vs Ms. Chif. I had never seen Ms. Chif before. she has a kind of goth look. What she does is try to intimidate her opponent with aggressiveness. Melissa may look like the girl next door but her reaction to Ms. Chif is to give her a whuppin' and that's exactly what she does. It was a hard hitting match with a bit of a twist at the end and I want to see more of Ms. Chif. She takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. I've been a Melissa fan for several years.

Sara Del Rey vs Mercedes Martinez simply tore the house down. The complaint I always hear about women wrestlers is they are more interested in looking good than having a good match. These two decided to go out and prove that they can hit as hard as anyone. And I don't think they had ever faced each other before. I am familiar with Sara of course but I had never seen Mercedes before. Both are double tough and very impressive. It was a twenty minute draw and was good enough to be a main event anywhere in the world.

But it wasn't the main event on this show. That was saved for ROH regulars Lacey vs Daizee Haze who have been feuding. It was an OK match but somewhat anti-climactic. The crowd really deflated after the previous match. Daizee Haze is popular with her flower power shtick. She weighs 110lbs. and I think she needs to put on some weight. Her flying mare DDT finisher is one of those moves where the wrestler being given the move is working harder than the wrestler performing the move. And it's hard to believe that someone as slight as Daizee could create the kind of torque to perform that move. So I wasn't crazy about Daizee and she was the one being showcased here. Though I did like her offense out of the "tree of woe". There's also a bonus match from a Nov. ROH show with Lacey vs Sara Del Rey. It was OK.

The SHIMMER DVD is definitely worth $14.95 and it does support quality womens wrestling. There's no T & A here. A couple of suggestions. Maybe improve the lighting especially on the arena floor. I would recommend adding wrestler profiles as one of the extras on the DVDs and maybe wrestler interviews too. I'd like to see SHIMMER have a belt in the future. Dave Prazak & Allison Danger did the commentary. Dave did his homework. Allison didn't add much to it. At the end of the DVD Allison Danger described SHIMMER as "American joshi". Well, not yet but you're off to a good start. Keep up the good work.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Herbie Hancock
Song:Maiden Voyage
Album:Cantaloupe Island

This is the song that made Herbie Hancock a star in the music business back in the 60s. It was his first record. He's still at it today and has a documentary coming out soon. I like Herbie as jazz musician as opposed to gadget master. He likes toys.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ashford & Simpson
Song:Found A Cure
Album:Capitol Gold:The Best of Ashford & Simpson

Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson are one of the most prolific songwriting teams in history. They started working together at Motown in the late 60s and Simpson got a reputation as a very strong record producer who knew exactly what she wanted. The two eventually got married and started recording on their own. They continued to write and produce music for others like I'm Every Woman for Chaka Khan. They had several hits on Capitol in the 80s which are all on this collection. Some of them are a little dated but Found A cure is a good song if a little long.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Kurt Busch wins Bristol Nextel Cup race

Bristol Motor Speedway is a half mile high banked concrete speedway. So when you put 43 cars on the track, the winner is likely to be the one who stays out of trouble. Because everybody is going to bang into somebody at some point and there might even be a fight after the race because tempers will boil over. Friday's qualifying for the Food City 500 was rained out so the qualifying order was set by 2005 Nextel Cup owner points. Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy was on the pole.

Points leader Jimmy Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy had a flat tire on the first lap. After an unscheduled pit stop, he was a couple of laps down. Later on Johnson tangled with Matt Kenseth-#17 USG Sheetrock Ford and smacked the wall. This knocked Johnson's car out of alignment and killed his day. He finished 30th. Greg Biffle-#16 Subway Ford & Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge also had tire problems but both were able to rebound.

The end of the race was a battle between Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth & Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy. Kenseth had the lead and Busch bumped him with five laps left to take the lead. Harvick passed Kenseth for second and was gaining on Busch when the checkered flag flew and Kurt Busch won the race.

So who got mad? Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy was running fourth. He bumped Kenseth to take third place. Kenseth retaliated on the final lap and spun Gordon out. Gordon finished 21st. After the race, when Kenseth tried to explain himself to Gordon, Gordon pushed him. Kenseth admitted in an interview that he probably should have waited until Gordon cooled off. Both guys were called to the NASCAR trailer and will likely be fined.

Congratulations to Kurt Busch, crew chief Roy McCauley & car owner Roger Penske for the victory. Matt Kenseth now leads the points. Congratulations to Bobby Labonte for a big top five finish that should get him in the top 35 in points and locked into the field. He needed that finish. Here's the top ten in today's race.

1.2/Kurt Busch/Miller Lite/Dodge/Roger Penske
2.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
3.17/Matt Kenseth/USG Sheetrock/Ford/Jack Roush
4.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
5.43/Bobby Labonte/Cheerios/Dodge/Petty Enterprises
6.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
7.16/Greg Biffle/Subway/Ford/Jack Roush
8.5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
9.12/Ryan Newman/Alltell/Diodge/Roger Penske
10.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham

Kumiko Maekawa retires

Veteran AJW wrestler Kumiko Maekawa retired Sunday at Korakuen Hall after fifteen years in wrestling. Now, Maekawa's retirement has not been particularly well received by fans. Part of this is because she was a heel for most of her career and it's natural to hate a heel. But there has also been a perception that Maekawa has been very selfish over the last couple of months. I think that's a fair perception.

Maekawa had held the WWWA Singles Title since AJW closed. She had apparently lost the title at Feb. 19 GIRLS DOOR show to Ayako Hamada. After the show, Hamada returned the belt to Maekawa. Fans were outraged by this baloney. Maekawa is now claiming that the match was a former champions match and was never supposed to be for the red belt. There's nothing like a little revisionist history to take heat off yourself. So why did GIRLS DOOR promote it as a title match? And why did Maekawa bring the red belt to the show? The answer is she is now lying and making excuses because she knows she was wrong. Having her chase the red belt for the final month of her career would have created interest but she decided to think of herself first and the joshi business second.

The other criticism has been Maekawa's unwillingness to put anyone over in any of her pre-retirement matches. Would it have killed Maekawa to put Hikaru over just once when they had their final match last week? Not that it would have helped Hikaru. Her whole career has been a series of false pushes. I'm sure she learned this behaviour from her good pal Yumiko Hotta. So now in her retirement match Maekawa will defend the WWWA Singles Title against Nanae Takahashi. She said that after the match she would turn the belt over to the Matsubagas, owners of the now defunct AJW.

The WWWA Singles Title match between Kumiko Maekawa & Nanae Takahashi had the potential to be very interesting because these two really dislike each other. Maekawa told Matsunaga that the red belt would be returned to him whether she won or lost. Takahashi won the match in 25:04 with the Nanaracka. The belt was in fact presented to Matsunaga. The girls were both crying at this point. Takahashi said that though she and Maekawa have never seen eye to eye, they decided to put that aside and have a good match at Maekawa's retirement show.

The retirement ceremony was the usual. All of her friends coming to the ring to make presentations. Maekawa's mother was there too. Then the ten bell count and it's over. It seems that Maekawa plans to open a swim club at the seaside that may include martial arts classes. She also said that Nanae Takahashi would succeed an annoying senior in the future. So finally Kumiko Maekawa has retired and we can go on to something else. Here's the results of the show.

MIDGETS:Ota def. Mr. Buddhaman
Saki Maemura & Ayako Sato def. Hikaru & Natsuki*Head (Maemura over Natsuki*Head in 18:32)
Mika Nishio def. Sasori by DQ
Yumiko Hotta, Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe def. Manami Toyota, Takako Inoue & Amazing Kong (Ito over Toyota in 17:13)
WWWA SINGLES TITLE:Nanae Takahashi won the title over Kumiko Maekawa in 25:04

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Dinah Washington f/Brook Benton
Song:Baby, You've Got What It Takes
Album:20th Century Masters:The Millenium Edition

Dinah Washington is one of the greatest jazz singers ever and this duet with Brook Benton was a huge hit back in the 60s. You definitely need to get you some Dinah Washington.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kyle Busch wins Bristol Busch Series race

The weather hasn't been very good this weekend for NASCAR racing in Bristol, TN. Yesterday's Nextel Cup qualifying was rained out. Then this afternoon's qualifying for the Busch Series was...ahem...snowed out. So the cars for the Sharpie Mini 300 lined up by owner's points and that put Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy on the pole. Then it started snowing again 32 laps into the race and the race was stopped for an hour and a half.

When the race finally got restarted Kevin Harvick dominated for the first half of the race. But he thought he had a flat tire so he pitted during a caution on lap 148. It turned out he had a windshield tearoff on one of his tires. So Harvick had to go to the back. He had a fast car but could he get through traffic. He's have to avoid the usual Bristol bumping and grinding to do that.

Carl Edwards-#60 Ameriquest Ford used pit strategy to get the lead but he eventually wore out his tires and lost the lead to teammate Greg Biffle-#16 Free Credit Ford. Matt Kenseth-#17 Ameriquest Ford & Kyle Busch-#5 Lowe's/Shop-Vac Chevy were right behind him and Kevin Harvick was coming fast. Biffle had a loose wheel with 12 laps left and finished 28th. Busch took over the lead and was able to hold off Harvick & Kenseth for the win. So that windshield tearoff on his tire cost Harvick the race.

DVD Review-Manami Toyota:Queen of Queens

Manami ToyotaQueen of Queens Vol. 1-6
Cost:6 DVDs for $25US including shipping
Contact Sonny at

When discussing the history of joshi puroresu and the heyday of the 1990s, the discussion inevitably leads to the All Japan Women class of 1986. Most of the wrestlers we enjoy watching were trained in that class. I'm talking about Akira Hokuto, Erika (Aja Kong) Shiseido, Mima Shimoda, Etsuko Mita, Nobuko (Bison) Kimura, Toshiyo Yamada and of course Manami Toyota. We can debate all their strong points and weak points endlessly but they are all very entertaining to watch. My joshi video dealer friend Sonny in California has decided to take on the daunting task of chronicling the entire career of Manami Toyota on DVD. He's calling it Queen of Queens. He says there will be 30-40 DVDs when he's finished. So he sent me the first six volumes which cover Toyota's career from 1986 to 1991. I'm not complaining. I love Toyota.

Sonny is doing this project in chronological order. He's including any Manami Toyota match he can find and he's also including some more unusual footage. The first DVD includes footage of Toyota's audition and some footage of her room at AJW. The matches cover 1987 to May 1989. For the most part they're nothing special though it is interesting to see Toyota's March 1989 match against her good friend and pre-Aja Kong Erika Shiseido. I don't see the greatness in Toyota at this stage. She looks like just another rookie. The second DVD starts with a complete 30 minute episode of the Ringstar TV show from 1988. It includes a rookie race that Toyota actually wins but it also has footage of Lioness Asuka waking the girls at 4:30AM. It went on too long and I could have lived without it. The matches are mostly from the 1989 Tag League The Best when Toyota teamed with Toshiyo Yamada. They're OK but Toyota still hasn't figured things out.

In 1989 it should be obvious to Manami Toyota that her 1986 classmates Akira Hokuto & Erika Shiseido had progressed a lot faster than her. She needed to develop a ring style and a distinct personality. The third DVD demonstrates that she did exactly that in 1990. First she put on about ten pounds so she looked less like a little kid and she started to bring more intensity to her matches. She's still struggling with her look and isn't that comfortable yet with her high flying but those things will come. The key match is from June 17, 1990 against Akira Hokuto as part of the 1990 Japan Grand Prix tournament. This is the fateful match when Hokuto jumped on Toyota from the top rope to the arena floor, banged her knee on the ringside railing and cracked her kneecap. This injury would plague Hokuto for the remainder of her career. The doctors ended the match over Hokuto's protests. Boy, was she pissed. It appears that Hokuto was supposed to win the JGP but this changed things and Toyota won the final over Yumiko Hotta. The other wrestlers viewed Toyota's victory as a fluke and would constantly bring it up for the next year. And just to prove it, Toyota challenged Bull Nakano for the WWWA Singles Title shortly after and Bull killed her in short order. The fourth DVD continues with 1990. The matches are OK and we're starting to see Toyota's legendary flexibility. In one match, Hokuto twists her in such knots that I figure Toyota must be double jointed.

The fifth DVD begins with a match that has Akira Hokuto with her arm in a cast. I'm not sure of the story behind that angle though I suspect it has to do with Hokuto taunting Toyota about her JGP win. It's followed by a May 1991 Toyota match vs Aja Kong. The video quality isn't the best but it's the best match on this collection and demonstates the chemistry between those two. We also get a couple of clips of Manami Toyota & Etsuko Mita singing Time To Go. Some guys are fans of the singing. I'm not and Toyota is a terrible singer anyway. Some fans will probably enjoy the singing more than me. The sixth DVD features Toyota teaming with Debbie Malenko in the 1991 Tag League The Best. The matches are OK and we are starting to see Toyota flying all over the arena. But Malenko herself says after one of the matches that she didn't think the match was up to par. The DVD ends with Manami Toyota winning Wrestler of the Year at the 1991 AJW awards banquet.

The video quality of these DVDs is excellent for the most part. Sonny has tried to get commercial video masters when possible. But some matches were on TV only and never released on video so the quality depends on the source. It only becomes a real problem twice. Once on DVD #4, Manami Toyota, Mika Takahashi & Suzuka Minami vs Aja Kong, Bison Kimura & Madusa Miceli is virtually unwatchable and the Toyota/Aja match on DVD #5 is shaky but well worth watching. The bottom line is that if the match is available on a high quality source, the quality on the DVD is equally high. And these matches on DVD are superior to anything on VHS anyway. Sonny is charging $25US for all six discs. You can't beat that. You can contact him at and he'll take care of you. As a major Manami Toyota fan, I was very interested in watching her career develop from its infancy. I'm looking forward to future DVDs and I will review them when I get them. There's no such thing as too much Manami Toyota.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Sam Cooke
Song:Having A Party
Album:The Best of Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke was one of the smoothest R & B singers back in the 60s and this collection was recently released in a remastered version. Cooke died in mysterious circumstances. There have been rumours over the years that he was a mob hit. But he was a great singer and still sounds great today.

Friday, March 24, 2006

ODSP meeting today

So I was at the Ontario Disability Support Program office today to get my benefits started. Other than Wheeltrans making me late, it was no big deal. There are no medical issues as I am already approved by Canada Pension Plan Disability so it's all just paperwork. They want to see my bank statements and my tax returns. It's a good thing I'm organized and know where everything is. The woman there was even impressed by that. I can't imagine what it's like for someone who isn't organized or is intimidated by government bureaucracy or doesn't speak English very well. The main thing I get from this is all my medications, medical benefits and wheelchair repairs paid for. I get very little money from ODSP because I'm already receiving CPP Disability payments. The other stuff is important too. The strips for my blood sugar monitor are a buck apiece. So it's over and done with. I'm sure I'll have to jump through more hoops for them at a future date but I won't get too excited about it. There are supposed to be some changes coming for ODSP to make it easier and faster for the disabled to get benefits but I'm on so I'm happy about that.

Smackgirl announces Next Cinderella Tournament 2006

Smackgirl has announced the dates for the Next Cinderella Tournament 2006. The first round for the Flyweight and Middleweight tournaments will be split between the already announced April 22 show at Taishi Azeria in Osaka and the May 3 show at Tokyo Kinema Klub. The semi finals will be July 23 at Golds Gym South Tokyo Annex and the finals will be Sept. 15 at Korakuen Hall. The Flyweight tournament will have four to eight fighters. Already scheduled to appear are Yuka Okumura, KEM-MAKI & Fukuko Hamada. The Middleweight tournament will have eight fighters. Already scheduled to appear are Miyuki Ariga, Mizuho Sato, Kanako Takeuchi, Tachiwaki Yui, Kazuna Moroboshi with Kinuka Sasaki vs Sakura Nakamura already announced for the Apr. 22 show.

Two matches added to Apr. 22 Smackgirl show

Two bouts have been added to Smackgirl's Apr. 22 Taisho Azeria show. One features Smackgirl regular Hari against Japanese Arm Wrestling Champion Kamei Natsuko. The other will be part of The Next Cinderella Tournament and there will be more tournament matches on this show. The card so far.

SMACKGIRL - 4/22/06 - Taisho Azeria
LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (3 rounds)-Yuka Tsuji (Champ) vs Cami Hostetler
OPENWEIGHT BOUT (2 rounds)-Hari vs Kamei Natsuko

Lineup announced for Apr. 15 Chigusa Nagayo show

Chigusa Nagayo said a couple of weeks ago that she would make a special return to the ring on a Big Japan show on Apr. 15 as a favour to her old friend KAORU. It appears that this has turned into the second Chigusa Nagayo Produce show. Here's the lineup.

CHIGUSA NAGAYO PRODUCE - 4/15/06 - Differ Ariake
Natsuki*Head vs Ayako Sato
Toshie Uematsu & Leon vs Ran YuYu & Chikayo Nagashima
Dump Matsumoto vs Shark Tsuchiya
Dynamite Kansai & Carlos Amano vs Devil Masami & Ayako Hamada
Aja Kong & Tomoko Watanabe vs Manami Toyota & Kaoru Ito
Chigusa Nagayo, Ryuji Ito & Takashi Sasaki vs KAORU, Abdullah Kobayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Isley Brothers
Song:That Lady (Part 1 & 2)
Album:Super Hits

The Isley Brothers are one of the all time great R & B groups. Super Hits is a budget collection of their 70s & 80s T-Neck recordings. It's great stuff but there are other collections out there that will give you more bang for your buck.

Today is ODSP day. Talk to ya later.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:LaVern Baker
Song:Jim Dandy
Album:Soul On Fire:The Best of LaVern Baker

Classic R & B hit from the 50s from Atlantic Records. Jim Dandy to the rescue. Go Jim Dandy! Go Jim Dandy! LaVern still sounds great.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Have you heard that Kumiko Maekawa is retiring soon?

It won't be long now and the "scary senior" Kumiko Maekawa will finally retire. But she's still making the rounds and appeared on Tuesday's M's Style show against Michiko Ohmukai with Rie Tamada as special ref. I guess after this weekend these companies are going to have to think of something else to put on their shows.

At the last M's Style show, Bullfight Sora begged Aja Kong to be her partner in a tag match. She agreed and their opponents were Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. It was a typical Sora comedy match with Aja, Toshie & Ran ganging up on her at one point. I guess she was annoying them. Aja eventually rejoined her and Sora took the fall over Ran with a running elbow in 19:48. Another comedy match followed with Hikaru & GAMI playing a game of KISS. Hikaru used a Frankensteiner and the dreaded liplock to win at 13:56. Leon made her first NSG Title defense over Saki Maemura in 18:42. Leon's next challenger Hikaru was at ringside and Leon said she would crush her and retain the belt at the April 2 Empress Produce show at Shinjuku FACE.

The match between Kumiko Maekawa & Michiko Ohmukai was described as The Last Match Of The Class Of 1991. Of course special ref Rie Tamada was part of that class too. So it was kind of a big deal for the three of them. Maekawa & Ohmukai spent a lot of time kicking each other because that's what they're good at. Maekawa had a black eye which she says she got at Sunday's ONLY ONE show. Maekawa won the match with the heel drop at 13:23. The three reminisced backstage afterwards about the last fifteen years and posed for pictures.

The main event had AKINO teaming with M's Style rookie Ayumi Kurihara vs Ayako Hamada & Mika Nishio. AKINO controlled the match when she was in there but things didn't go too well when she tagged in Kurihara. Nishio took the fall over Kurihara with a German suplex at 22:39. Kurihara's first anniversary is next month and she's asked AKINO to give her a singles match against Nishio so she could get revenge. AKINO said she would think about it. The next M's Style show will be on April 29 at Shinjuku FACE and will feature a special tournament for their third anniversary. Here's the results of Tuesday's show.

M'S STYLE - 3/21/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Aja Kong & Bullfight Sora def. Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu (Sora over Ran in 19:48)
Hikaru def. GAMI in 13:56
NSG TITLE MATCH:Leon (Champ) defended her title over Saki Maemura in 18:42
Kumiko Maekawa def. Michiko Ohmukai in 13:23
Ayako Hamada & Mika Nshio def. AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara (Nishio over Kurihara in 22:39)

Kay Noble update

Here's a link to Greg Oliver's article about veteran wrestler Kay Noble at SLAM Wrestling. Unfortunately, it's not good as Kay has inoperable cancer. For those interested in seeing Kay in action, I recommend the documentary about the late Vivian Vachon called Wrestling Queen. It features a complete match of Vivian vs Kay. Both were very good wrestlers. You should be able to find a copy on eBay.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Max Roach
Album:The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker

Max Roach is one of the all time great jazz drummers. He was an innovator in the 50s and continues to experiment with percussion techniques today. He also has his own record label. This is from an album he recorded for Verve in the 50s and it's not even one of his major recordings and it's still really good. I do recommend the Clifford Brown/Max Roach 2CD comp available on Mercury.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Veteran wrestler Maria Bernardi dies

Here's a link to Greg Oliver's obit about veteran wrestler Maria Bernardi from SLAM Wrestling. Maria was also instrumental in the development and growth of the Cauliflower Alley Club. Condolences to her family.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:New Direction
Song:I Came To Jesus
Album:Get Your Praise On

New Direction is a very energetic gospel choir. They are an offshoot of the Chicago Mass Choir. Outstanding arrangements and enthusiasm.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Kasey Kahne wins rain delayed Atlanta Nextel Cup race

Yesterday's Golden Corrall 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series was rained out. So the race was on Monday at 11AM. Tire wear and engine durability are always an issue at Atlanta. The way the race turned out was if you could stay out of trouble, you could have a good finish. Kasey Kahne-#9 UAW-Dodge Dealers Dodge won the pole but the big story was Bill Lester-#23 Waste Management Dodge becoming the first black driver to start a Nextel Cup race since 1986. Unfortunately, Lester didn't do very well in the race. He went several laps down with an ill handling race car and finished 38th.

The big story of the race was many potential winners dropping out of contention. Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford was looking to win his third consecutive Atlanta race but a pit road collision with Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge eliminated him. Most of the rest had tire problems. Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge, Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, Clint Bowyer-#07 Jack Daniels Chevy, Denny Hamlin-#11 FedEx Chevy, Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Ford, Robby Gordon-#7 Harrah's Chevy, Greg Biffle-#16 Subway Ford & Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy all had fast cars and all spent time at the front but tire problems killed all of them.

That left Kasey Kahne in the lead with Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford chasing him. Martin got close but Kahne turned it on when he needed to and won the race. Congratulations to Kasey Kahne, crew chief Kenny Francis & Car Owner Ray Evernham. Big top ten finish for Paul Menard. Menard is what is called a pre-rookie. He's a Busch Series regular and will run a few Nextel Cup races to prepare for a full time Nextel Cup ride next year. A top ten finish for a part time team is unbelievable. Top tens for Kyle Petty & rookie Reed Sorenson too. Jimmie Johnson finished sixth and continues to lead the points. Here' the top ten.

1.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham
2.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
3.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
4.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
5.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
6.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
7.15/Paul Menard/Menards-Pittsburgh Paints/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
8.45/Kyle Petty/Tire Kingdom/Dodge/Petty Enterprises
9.88/Dale Jarrett/UPS/Ford/Robert Yates
10.41/Reed Sorenson/Fujifilm/Dodge/Chip Ganassi

The Sambo Queen appears on Mar. 19 Ibuki show

As many fans are aware, Megumi Fujii is a world famous martial artist and MMA fighter known as The Sambo Queen. Back in 2003, Mariko Yoshida worked out at Fujii's dojo. They became very good friends and Fujii agreed to face Yoshida in a pro wrestling match in ARSION in May 2003. I have this match on DVD (thanks PUNQ) and for someone who had never been in a pro wrestling match before, Fujii was pretty damn good. Obviously Yoshida agreed as Fujii has appeared on a couple of Yoshida's Ibuki shows including the Mar. 19 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. Yoshida has also used veteran amateur wrestler Akiko Nakni. I guess she is showing respect to these women and setting an example for the young wrestlers on her shows. If business is good, I wouldn't be crazy about her doing that. But Ibuki is an extension of Yoshida's Gym and is kind of a hobby for her so it's OK. Here's what happened at the show.

Ayako Sato suffered a broken leg so she was replaced by Yoshida trainee Hiroyo Matsumoto in her very first match against Mai Ichii. It was a five minute exhibition. Matsumoto is 20 years old and has a background in judo. She has been training with Yoshida since January and will make her official debut this summer. Apparently Hiroyo did OK on short notice.

K-DOJO's Bambi has been training at Yoshida's Gym. Many fans are now familiar with Bambi's cutoff jeans look. So when she came out for her match vs Ayumi Kurihara in a one piece white bathing suit, the crowd in attendance went nuts. Bambi's suit is definitely reminiscent of joshi legend Mimi Hagiwara. Of course no one will ever confuse Bambi for Mimi in the ring. But Bambi won the match with a diving senton at 13:51. And don't worry. I'll give you some pics to look at. Maybe it's a new birth for Bambi.

Here's another wrestler with a new look. No more afro for Kyoko Kimura. She has dreadlocks now. Her opponent is Atsuko Emoto. After having her lip split open by Emoto's missile dropkick, Kimura won in 24:58 with boots to the back of the head known as Big Boots. Maybe it's a new beginning for Kimura too.

The main event was a two of three fall tag match with Mariko Yoshida & Shuu Shibuya vs Megumi Fujii & Natsuki*Head. Yoshida won the first fall over Natsuki*Head with the Spider Twist in 7:38. Fujii won the second fall over Shibutani with a knee lock in 4:17. Shibutani won the third fall with a back drop over Natsuki*Head in 9:00. Yoshida said afterwards that she wants the young wrestlers to understand the kind of intensity it takes to be successful in joshi and her friend Megumi Fujii illustrates that perfectly. Shibutani said she was very happy with the victory and now she wants to face Natsuki*Head in a singles match. The next Ibuki show will be on May 6 at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. Here's the results of the show and a link to some pics at Yoshida's website.

IBUKI - 3/19/06 - Shin-kiba 1st Ring
EXHIBITION:Mai Ichii - draw - Hiroyo Matsumoto
Bambi def. Ayumi Kurihara in 13:51
Kaoru Ito & Cherry def. Leon & Tomoka Makagawa (Ito over Nakagawa in 19:56)
Kyoko Kimura def. Atsuko Emoto in 24:58
Mariko Yoshida & Shuu Shibutani def. Megumi Fujii & Natsuki*Head 2 falls to 1 (Yoshida over Natsuki*Head in 7:38, Fujii over Shibutani in 4:17, Shibutani over Natsuki*Head in 9:00)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Doors
Song:Light My Fire
Album:The Doors Box Set

One of the best songs of the psychedlic era from one of the most intriguing bands. Jim Morrison was a very creative guy who who unfortunately had a mile wide self destructive streak. That doesn't change the high quality of the music.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kana retires and Hotta & Futami have close encounter at Mar. 19 ONLY ONE show

Yumiko Hotta made her return as a promoter on Mar. 19 at Korakuen Hall. I'll call the promotion ONLY ONE for now but I wouldn't be surprised if that changes. There was a tag team tournament on the show with T-1 president Futami bringing his own team. They were supposed to face Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa in the first round but that was changed and the T-1 team faced Manami Toyota & Sachie Abe instead. The young joshi wrestler Kana retired on the show as well.

As I've mentioned before, Kana is retiring due to chronic nephritis. They were about to start the retirement ceremony when Kana asked Hotta to give her one last match. Hotta refused because of Kana's sickness but the other wrestlers threw her in the ring. Kana surprised Hotta with a flying hip attack and pinned her in two minutes. The two hugged afterwards. Then the retirement ceremony. Many of the wrestlers came to the ring to present flowers to Kana. Mima Shimoda, Mariko Yoshida, Rie Tamada, Nanae Takahashi, Hikaru, Saki Maemura and her old school pals Haruka Matsuo & Mika Nishio were all there to celebrate Kana's career. Then the traditional ten bell salute and pink & yellow paper tape floods the ring. Of course it's always a sad day when a young wrestler is forced to retire due to illness. Kana says she had been studying web design and will return to that career. She will be missed.

Back to the tag tournament. Manami Toyota & Sachie Abe won over the T-1 team by DQ. The T-1 team wore masks. I understand it was Amazing Kong & Megumi Yabushita under the masks. Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa won their match and then won the tournament when Hotta used the pyramid driver on Abe. While Hotta & Maekawa were celebrating, Futami and his T-1 team rushed the ring and destroyed the trophies and of course the whole thing was a big melee. Afterwards, Futami reiterated that he would destroy joshi puroresu. Maybe he should find something else to do with his time. Expect a Hotta vs Futami match in the near future. I bet you can't wait. Here's the results of the show.

ONLY ONE - 3/19/06 - Korakuen Hall
Yasusato Nakajima def. Mika Mizunuma in 7:41
KANA RETIREMENT MATCH:Kana def. Yumiko Hotta
ONLY ONE TAG TOURNAMENT:Manami Toyota & Sachie Abe def. T-1 Mask 1 & 2 by DQ at 9:55
ONLY ONE TAG TOURNAMENT:Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa def. ZAP-T & Sasori (Maekawa over ZAP at 9:27)
ONLY ONE TAG TOURNAMENT FINAL:Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa def. Manami Toyota & Sachie Abe (Hotta over Abe in 13:08)

Maekawa's road to retirement continues at Mar. 16 EXCITING BOX show

The fan comments I see regarding the upcoming retirement of Kumiko Maekawa are very interesting. There seem to be a lot of fans who just don't like her. Maybe it's because she's been a heel for the majority of her career. Just for the record, Maekawa isn't a favourite of mine but I think she was a very effective heel over the years. She was decent in the ring. I've seen plenty worse so I'm not sure where the hate comes from. Maekawa's road to retirement continued on the Mar. 16 EXCITING BOX show at Shinjuku FACE.

The EXCITING BOX shows are kind of odd. The other promotions run five matches. EXCITING BOX is running four matches and one is a womens boxing match. And Maekawa was in two matches on this show. I don't know why they're doing this but it means that all the matches have to be fairly long. That could be a problem if you have a rookie in there who shouldn't be in a match longer than five minutes.

Maekawa's first match was against Hikaru. This was Hikaru's first one on one match against Maekawa in a year. Hikaru said it was her last opportunity to defeat Maekawa before she says goodbye to the "scary senior". That didn't work out for her. Maekawa won in 16:20 with an axe kick. Hikaru said afterwards that she tried as hard as she could but she just can't win against Maekawa.

The main event had Maekawa teaming with Saki Maemura vs Nanae Takahashi & Mika Nishio. The match went over 30 minutes and ended when Takahashi botched a backdrop and dropped Maemura on her head. The doctor ordered the match stopped and Takahashi & Nishio got the victory. It looks like Maemura will be OK and the doctor was just taking precautions. Maekawa told Takahashi that she's not quite finished yet and Takahashi said she's planning a big sendoff next week. Of course the two will face off one last time in Maekawa's retirement match next week. Here's the results of the show.

EXCITING BOX - 3/16/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Kyoko Kimura def. Ayumi Kurihara in 13:41
Kumiko Maekawa def. Hikaru in 16:20
WOMENS BOXING:Mari Watanabe def. Mayumi Kubo by TKO in round 4
Nanae Takahashi & Mika Nishio def. Kumiko Maekawa & Saki Maemura (Takahashi over Maemura in 32:40)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Beach Boys
Song:Fun, Fun, Fun
Album:The Best of The Beach Boys

I don't know about you but I'm gonna have Fun, Fun, Fun til my daddy takes my T-Bird away. Those were the days.

Jeff Burton won yesterday's Busch Series race in the #21 Coast Guard Chevy.

Dark Angel on W5

CTV's W5 newsmagazine had a feature on Sarah Stock AKA Dark Angel. Here's a link to the story on their website which also links to video footage. Victor Malarek was the reporter. A couple of observations. It was very amusing to see Malarek get in the ring with Sarah & Princess Sugey. That is Shantelle Taylor & Tiana Ringer in the background during the Corey Lacroix interview clip. The biggest problem is they did the piece out of order. The Dark Angel/Marcela title match was actually last summer but they decided to show it at the end of the piece for effect. Her trip home to Winnipeg was at Christmas so it came later. Of course they didn't even bother to mention Sarah's trip to Japan last fall to work for JD STAR when she had to have elbow surgery and she got to work with Mariko Yoshida. I'm sure Sarah learned a lot on that trip. Artistic license can be very convenient sometimes.

This link is too long. You will have to copy it to your browser.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Angie Stone
Song:No More Rain (In This Cloud)
Album:Black Diamond

Angie Stone is a very talented R & B singer/songwriter who has a following very similar to singers like India.Arie. Check her out if you haven't done so.

The Busch Series race isn't on TV in Canada today so I'll let you know who wins but I won't see the race.

Bodine outduels Martin to win Atlanta Craftsman Truck race

Last night's running of the John Deere 200 Craftsman Truck race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was overshadowed by the announcement by 2004 Craftsman Truck Series Champion Bobby Hamilton Sr. that he has been diagnosed with cancer in his neck. Hamilton is an owner/driver and currently drives the #18 Fastenal Dodge. He will step out of the truck after the Atlanta race to undergo treatment and hopes to return by the end of the season. Bobby Hamilton Jr. will drive the #18 truck. Hamilton finished 21st in last night's race.

Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota won the pole and basically dueled with Mark Martin-#6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford. Martin won the first two races of the season. Bodine passed Martin for the lead with five laps left. Then they got tangled up with a couple of lapped cars driven by Timothy Peters-#4 Dodge & Boston Reid-#25 Dodge. This caused Peters to blow a tire and hit the wall. This set up a green/white/checker finish. Bodine was able to hold off Martin and Johnny Benson-#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota to get the win.

Bill Lester qualifies for Atlanta Nextel Cup race

Bill Lester is a black driver from California who has been a regular in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the last several years. This weekend, Lester got his first opportunity to qualify for a Nextel Cup race in Atlanta in the #23 Waste Management Dodge owned by Bill Davis. Lester was successful in Friday's qualifying run and will start 19th in Sunday's race. Lester is the first black to drive in a Nextel Cup race since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986. Lester is also scheduled to run two more Nextel Cup races later this season and Davis says if he can get sponsorship he would like to move Lester to Nextel Cup full time in 2007. We'll see how he does in the race on Sunday. Having watched Lester in the Craftsman Truck Series for the last few years, he tends to be a very good qualifier but doesn't do well in the race. Good luck to him anyway. Kasey Kahne won the pole in the #9 UAW-Dodge Dealers Dodge.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Temptations
Song:Ain't To Proud To Beg
Album:The Ultimate Collection

Great song from one of the all time great Motown groups, I'm sure most folks have heard this at some point.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Good things happened on my birthday

A couple of good things happened today. My ODSP application has been approved. This happened very quickly after I called them on Tuesday. I have to go to the ODSP office next week to finish the paperwork and jump through a few more hoops. Oh joy! I'm not even getting much money from them but I need the medical benefits that don't come with Canada Pension Plan Disabilty. There was another article in The Toronto Star with Sandra Pupatello making excuses for bad management at ODSP.

Sam from Medi Chair was at my apartment today to replace the connecting cable on my power chair. I'll see if that helps it hold a charge longer.

Yuka Tsuji to defend title at Apr. 22 Smackgirl show

Smackgirl has announced the main event of their Apr. 22 show at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. Yuka Tsuji will defend her Lightweight Title against US fighter Cami Hostetler. Cami is a veteran of Ax Fighting Championships. Others scheduled to appear include Yasuko Mogi, Akiko Inoue, Kinuka Sasake, Fukuko Hamada, Nao Hanazawa & Ryoko Ifuku.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Buddy Guy
Song:Dedication To The Late T-Bone Walker
Album:The Complete JSP Recordings 1968-1972

When anyone starts talking about the great blues guitarists, they'd better start with Buddy Guy at the top of the list. He's just a great musician who has been very consistent over the years. You can't lose with any of his music.

I guess I should mention it's my birthday today. I'm not a big fan of getting older.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

JD STAR announces POP PRINCESS tournament

I don't know what to say about JD STAR management. They're always trying to come up with new ideas to fool fans into thinking that they're going to do something other than push their pathetic Athtresses. The JD STAR/A To Z merger didn't really work because all the veterans left and their most experienced Athtress Yumi Ohka is out with a knee injury. That leaves them with Fuuka & Shuu Shibutani, both of whom have to improve just to be lousy in the ring. They can't carry a company.

So JD Star held a press conference on Wednesday to announce a new tournament called Pop Princess. This round robin tournament will feature ten wrestlers who have less than three years experience. Other than dividing the ten wrestlers into two blocks of five, they didn't say how the tournament would work. It will start on April 2 and the semi finals & finals will be on June 24. Well, that will fill some TV time.

JD STAR is making a big deal about having tournament participation from various companies. Just a little window dressing. Here are the wrestlers that will be in the tournament. Block A will have Fuuka (JD STAR), Mai Ichii (Gatoukuunyan), Haruhi (Gatoukuunyan), Ayumi Kurihara (M's Style) & Urai (Gutsworld). Block B will have Natsuki*Head (Gatoukuunyan), Cherry (Union), Shuu Shibutani (JD STAR), Tomoka Nakagawa (K-DOJO) & Bambi (K-DOJO). The best of this group is probably Natsuki*Head who trained at AJW.

However, I suspect the purpose of this tournament is to continue to try and push Fuuka as JD STAR's ace. Their last attempt to do that didn't turn out too well when Fuuka lasted six minutes with AKINO last weekend. JD STAR is determined to push the Athtresses no matter how bad they are and how badly they fail. And most of these other wrestlers are the equivalent of Athtresses and have been spending a lot of time at Yoshida's Gym so they can improve to the point of just being poor in the ring. So if you like watching train wrecks, you might enjoy this tournament. But JD Star's ruse is easy to see through. Some of the girls are cute. Here's a picture of them.

The link is too long. You have to copy it to your browser.

Kumiko Maekawa wrestles five opponents on THE WOMAN show

THE WOMAN held their monthly show on Mar. 10 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Of course with Kumiko Maekawa retiring shortly, it was decided to have her wrestle five different opponents in succession. She went 3-1-1. It's not unusual for joshi feds to do this sort of thing as a tribute to a retiring wrestler. Maekawa first won over Kyoko Kimura with a heel drop on the top of her head, then over Sakura Emi with a knee lock, then over Natsuki*Head with a soccer kick. Maekawa finally lost a match to Commando Bolshoi with a hurricanrana. Finally she had a 10 minute draw with Saki Maemura.

Mika Nishio had what was described as a big win in a three way match over Leon & Kaori Yoneyama. The guy's a big Nishio fan. I dunno. Is there such a thing as a big win anymore? The non televised main event had Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru over GAMI & Toshie Uematsu when Takahashi used the Shining Wizard on GAMI. Apparently THE WOMAN will have a tag team tournament next month. That's what these companies always do when they can't think of anything else. Here's the results of the show.

THE WOMAN -3/10/06 - Shin-kiba 1st Ring
Kumiko Maekawa def. Kyoko Kimura in 7:45
Kumiko Maekawa def. Sakura Emi in 7:06
Kumiko Maekawa def. Natsuki*Head in 8:27
Commando Bolshoi def. Kumiko Maekawa in 5:43
Kumiko Maekawa - 10 min. draw - Saki Maemura
AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara def. Michiko Ohmukai & Cherry (AKINO over Cherry in 22:20)THREE WAY MATCH:Mika Nishio def. Leon & Kaori Yoneyama in 10:16
Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru def. GAMI & Toshie Uematsu (Takahashi over GAMI in 23:48)

Mar. 11 G-Shooto results

G-SHOOTO - 3/11/06 - Shinjuku FACE
All bouts scheduled for two five minute rounds unless otherwise noted
CLASS C+ BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT-Seri def. Yoko Ogama by unanimous decision
BANTAMWEIGHT GRAPPLING MATCH-Sakaya def. Aiko Hattori by points (8-1)
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT TOURNAMENT BOUT-Yasuko Kamada & Eri Kaneya battled to a majority draw (19-19, 19-19, 20-19) but Kamada advances to the next round because she won on the third card.
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT TOURNAMENT BOUT-Masako Yoshida & Misaki Takimoto battled to a majority draw (19-19, 20-18, 20-19). Yoshida advances to the next round.
EXHIBITION BOUT-one round-MIKU - draw - Megumi Yabushita
CLASS B+ WELTERWEIGHT BOUT-Marloes Coenen def. Youko Takahashi by submission at 39 sec. of round 1

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Larry Graham
Song:One In A Million You
Album:The Best of Larry Graham & Graham Central Station Vol. 1

Larry Graham had a great career going as bass player for Sly & The Family Stone when he left to start his own group Graham Central Station. They recorded some really good funk when Larry became a soul crooner and had his biggest hit with One In A Million You. It's a pretty good song but I like his funk better.

I have been in contact with the Ontario Disability Support Program and it looks like I should be able to get this resolved pretty soon. I'll get a bit more money but it's the medical benefits that come with ODSP that are important. There's a story on the front page of today's Toronto Star about the Ontario Ombudsman looking into bureaucratic delays at ODSP that are affecting a lot of needy people adversely. I have heard plenty of horror stories. Because I'm already getting federal disability benefits, it's not as big an issue because my medical situation has already been approved. So I called my ODSP worker on Tuesday and she agreed to fast track my application in order to activate the medical benefits. So I faxed them some financial statements today and once I'm approved I have to go there and finish the paperwork. Maybe I'll get a call from them tomorrow as a birthday present.LOL

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Song:Easy Living
Album:Them Dirty Blues

Classic song from one of the greatest sax players ever.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Elvis Presley
Song:Heartbreak Hotel
Album:A Touch of Platinum:A Life In Music

There's not much to say about Elvis. I prefer his 50s music and there are plenty of collections out there. This is just one of them.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Jimmie Johnson wins at Las Vegas

Though Jimmie Johnson won last year, the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been dominated by Roush Racing. It looked like that would continue at today's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 when Greg Biffle-#16 National Guard Ford won the pole.

Roush cars driven by Biffle, Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford & Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford all took turns at the lead. Kenseth led the most laps and it certainly looked like he would win. But Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy was catching him when a flat tire for Kenny Wallace-#78 Furniture Row Chevy brought out a caution and set up a green/white/checker finish. Kenseth told crew chief Robbie Reiser that there was something wrong with the engine. He switched ignition boxes but it didn't help. Kenseth was unable to hold off Johnson and Johnson won the race by a nose. He led one lap but it was the right lap.

Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy had another altercation with Kyle Busch-#5 Ice Age 2 Chevy. It wound up with Stewart brushing the wall and getting a flat tire. Instead of a top ten finish, he finished 22nd. Busch finished 3rd. Also, Scott Riggs-#10 Stanley Tools Dodge & Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy had decent finishes ruined by being penalized for being too fast on pit road on the final caution.

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, substitute crew chief Darian Grubb & owner Rick Hendrick for the victory. Casey Mears had his third straight top ten and rookie Denny Hamlin had a top ten too. Johnson is the points leader. Here's the top ten of the race.

1.#48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
2.#17/Matt Kenseth/Dewalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
3.#5/Kyle Busch/Ice Age 2/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
4.#9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge/Dodge/Ray Evernham
5.#24/Jeff Giordon/Nicotrette/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
6.#6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
7.#31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress
8.#16/Greg Biffle/National Guard/Ford/Jack Roush
9.#42/Casey Mears/Texaco Havoline/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
10.#11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

Kasey Kahne wins Las Vegas Busch Series race

As usual, the talk in the NASCAR Busch Series this year is the domination of Nextel Cup drivers. Because of the change in testing rules, there are even more guys driving both series. The Busch Series owners like James Finch are complaining. The drivers don't seem to care much. David Green said in an interview yesterday that it doesn't bother him. Either way, don't expect NASCAR to do anything to limit Nextel Cup drivers in the Busch Series. They believe it helps attendance. So who was on the pole in last night's Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway? Matt Kenseth in the #17 Pennzoil Ford. What else is new?

Kenseth led the first part of the race and would duel for the victory with Kasey Kahne-#9 Ragu Dodge and Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy. When David Gilliland's blown engine in the #84 Ranchwood Homes Chevy brought out a late race caution, that set up a green/white/checker finish. Kahne held off Kenseth for the win. The highest finishing Busch Series only regular was Jason Leffler-#32 Lucas Oil Chevy in 11th. It's going to be like this all year.

Canadian Paul Tracy-#34 Sport Clips/American Crew Chevy had a flat tire early in the race put him a lap down. Later in the race he had trouble entering pit road and was penalized. He finished 36th.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Youthful Praise
Song:You Are So Awesome
Album: Live, The Worship, The Praise

Youthful Praise is a tremendous gospel choir from Connecticut led by James Hairston. Very strong arrangements and great energy. Check them out.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Aretha Franklin
Song:Something He Can Feel
Album:The Very Best of Aretha Franklin Vol. 2

Classic Curtis Mayfield song performed by the Queen of Soul. Rather than get this CD, I would suggest the 4CD box set The Queen Of Soul. That has all of Aretha's Atlantic hits.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hotta invades T-1 offices, sets up ONLY ONE tag tournament

So with Yumiko Hotta having the ONLY ONE show to promote on Mar. 19, it's pretty obvious that the war of words between Hotta and T-1 president Futami will result in an angle at the show. Futami has been expending a lot of energy to defend his behaviour at the T-1 GP show on Feb. 23.

He says on the T-1 website that extending an invitation to Emi Tojyo to appear on the show got him into big trouble with some of the other wrestlers. Her involvement in an adult video has made her persona non grata with a lot of the wrestlers. He got into a very noisy argument backstage with Mayumi Ozaki. He says he tried to calm her down but she didn't want to hear any of it. She was clearly very upset with him and threatened not to appear on the show unless she got paid in advance. The argument continued during the show until Futami came out to the ring during the Kaori Yoneyama/Chikayo Nagashima match to berate Yoneyama. He says this was not planned and was a result of the backstage argument with Ozaki because Yoneyama sided with Ozaki. It appears that the confrontation during the main event with Hotta was planned. However, he says things got out of hand earlier and stayed that way for the rest of the day. He admits now that he hurt the show.

On Mar. 7 Yumiko Hotta told Sportsnavi that Futami is welcome to come to the ONLY ONE show on Mar. 19 to try and collect 50,000 yen for the broken sunglasses if he can. Futami faxed a response to Hotta saying that he's responsible for Hotta getting media coverage for her show and if it wasn't for him no one would care if she called it A To Z, ONLY ONE or whatever. He wants to help her sell tickets anyway so he can collect what she owes him for the sunglasses. He says maybe he'll show up with his own team for the ONLY ONE tag tournament.

Hotta's response was very typical of her character. She decided to go to the T-1 office on Friday with a Sportsnavi reporter in tow to confront Futami in person. It's not the first time Hotta has done this to set up an angle. Not surprisingly, they got into an argument in front of the reporter. The result of this is that Futami will have a T-1 team in the ONLY ONE tag tournament. Their opponents? Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa. Well, what do you know? The other match in the tournament will have Manami Toyota & Sachie Abe vs ZAP & Scorpion (both are masked wrestlers). Kana will also have her retirement ceremony on the show. Hotta crowed that she called out Futami in person and he had no choice but to respond accordingly. She was upset that he responded to her by fax. So there you have it. The Hotta/Futami war continues. It should be good for a laugh anyway.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Karen Clark Sheard
Song:We Acknowledge You
Album:The Heavens Are Telling

This great live track was written & produced by Donald Lawrence. These two have worked together frequently and have a lot of chemistry. Karen is simply one of the best singers anywhere with a legit four octave range.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

IWA Japan exploiting adult video rumours

Last week we were talking about the rumours that IWA Japan's Nozomi Takesako had appeared in an adult video. Considering that Takesako denied it on her blog, you'd think that the whole thing would be forgotten.

But those geniuses at IWA Japan have decided to exploit the rumours by running a borderline offensive angle. On Thursday IWA Japan held a press conference. Chocoball Mukai and his sidekick SM Marie announced that on the IWA Japan show on May 2 at Shinjuku face, Nozomi Takesako will have a match with a real porn star named Taka Kato. If Takesako loses to him, she will be forced to make her adult video debut.

Takesako was at the press conference wearing a dog collar at the end of a leash held by SM Marie. Mukai said that he is forcing Takesako into the match because she embarassed him by not being loyal to him and she tried to destrot the Mukai army. Takesako said that she is confident she will win and she wont't have to appear in an adult video. Here's a link to a pic from the press conference. Ugh!

The link is too long so you'll have to copy it to your browser.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Eddie Palmieri
Song:Nica's Dream
Album:Listen Here

Eddie Palmieri is a latin jazz pianist from New York. For some reason, he's not as well known as other jazz musicians probably because he has rarely been on a major label. This version of a Horace Silver classic is from his latest CD on Concord Picante. It features violinist Regina Carter, a musician I'm not crazy about but she does well here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Chigusa Nagayo returning to the ring

Chigusa Nagayo told Daily Sports on Wednesday that she is returning to the ring in a six person tag match on Big Japan's April 15 show at Differ Ariake. KAORU will be returning from her year long injury layoff on the show as well. Chigusa says she is returning for this one show as a favour to her long time friend KAORU. For now she says this is a one time appearance.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Michael Brecker
Song:By George
Album:Two Blocks From The Edge

Veteran sax player Mike Brecker has been around since the late 60s when his older brother trumpet player Randy Brecker put him on his first solo record Solid. The brothers continued to work together, most significantly as The Brecker Bros. starting in 1975. Mike has since become one of the most respected jazz players in the world today and this song is a good example of his music.

Lufisto wins battle with Ontario Athletic Commission

Montreal based woman wrestler Lufisto posted the following on her website. This battle with the Ontario Athletic Commission has been going on for several years and basically prevented Lufisto from accepting bookings in Ontario. It was an outdated law that should have been abolished many years ago. Congratulations to Lufisto for getting the law changed.

A long battle is over me... And I'm not talking about a violent hardcore match!

This past Sunday, I got a phone call that I had been waiting to receive for some time. On the other line, a gentleman from the Ontario Human Rights Commission told me that I had finally won what is perhaps the most important fight of my career as a professional wrestler.

With that, it's time for a history lesson.It was the weekend of Wrestlemania 22 and yours truly was scheduled to participate in a match for a local promotion right in Toronto. That match would be a hardcore, inter-gender tag team bout. It was pretty exciting for me back then as I was really getting more bookings in Ontario and fans were really receptive to what I was doing in the ring. But it all came to a crashing halt.I got an e-mail from the promoter, telling me that he couldn't book me anymore. Why you may ask? Turns out, some rival promoter in Toronto decided to file a complaint with the Ontario Athletic Commission. You see, in the province of Ontario, professional wrestling is actually regulated by the OAC, which is a branch of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. I didn't know it at the time, but there was this clause in the act that oversees professional wrestling, stating that a man and woman may not come into contact in the ring. Yep, that's right – in the year 2002 such a rule still existed on the books. The commissioner, having no choice but to enforce the regulation as a result of the complaint, proceeded to contact the promoter and advise that that match I was scheduled to participate in could not happen.

To say I was slightly pissed off at that time would be an understatement. I was really upset. What got me really down was the simple fact that there was a regulation that basically said I couldn't do what I love to do because I'm a girl. I know some people out there don't like the idea of girls wrestling guys in the ring and I do respect those views. But this regulation was simply WRONG!What could a girl do? Only one thing…Fight!

Fact is, lots of people in the wrestling business (in Ontario) love to complain about the OAC. Granted, I have my own opinion about whether wrestling should be regulated or not, but the fact is, the regulation in question was there and b###hing about on message boards was not going to get that rule off the books.

After consulting with some close friends of mine, I proceeded to file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. This was the only route I could take if I wanted to fight the government.From the first moment I spoke with a representative at the OHRC, I received nothing but unconditional support for my cause. They saw what I saw, that the regulation in question was a violation of my human rights, based on my gender. I filled out the necessary paperwork and it was time to take down that regulation.I realized early on that this would not happen quickly. Change comes slowly in government and I had to be patient.

Fortunately, I had lots of support from my fellow workers, promoters and friends in general. They really helped keep my spirit up when I thought that I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel as it were.For a while, it seemed like there was going to be a showdown with the OAC in Toronto in the form of a hearing, but it never happened. The OHRC knew that this regulation just didn't belong there and realized that nobody had a chance when it came to defending such a regulation.

From there, I stayed in contact with the OHRC as they pursued the complaint for me. In the end, it came down to just one phone call, the very phone call I got this past Sunday. I was told that the OAC would proceed with removing the regulation once and for all.The fight was over and I won!

Words can't describe how great it feels. To be blunt, this was my fight and I was very passionate about doing it my way. I did my homework, plotted a battle strategy and executed the plan! Mission accomplished!

For the record, I want to make it abundantly clear that in no way do I harbor any ill feelings towards the OAC or the commissioner. I realize that back then, he was just doing his job, which is to enforce the rules and action complaints that his office receives.

For now, I'm just waiting to see when the rule will be officially removed for good. I must say, there is a part of me that is glad I went through this. I learned a lot about myself and what I can achieve when I put my mind to something that I feel passionate about. For those of you out there who may think you can't win against the government, think again. It's not easy and it will take time, even some of your own hard earned money. But if you truly believe in your cause, then charge forth and fight the good fight.

To all who supported me, you will always have a special place in my heart. To all who said I couldn't win, I thank you as well. You only gave me that much more motivation to keep fighting.And yes, to the coward that called the OAC that night, I want to thank you as well. You started this saga and I'm the one who finished it. It's me who's standing the ring of life with her arm held in the air as the winner and that's something you'll never be.

LuFisto xxx

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hotta & Futami continue to squabble

Last week we talked about T-1 president Futami's silly behaviour at the T-1 GP show on Feb. 23. This resulted in a pair of broken sunglasses. Futami said he would deduct the 50,000 yen from Yumiko Hotta's pay. Futami told Sportsnavi that he plans to collect the money from Hotta at the Mar. 19 ONLY ONE show at Korakuen Hall. This is Hotta's redebut as a promoter.

Sportsnavi called the A To Z office and spoke to Yumiko Hotta. Hotta said that in her 20 years in the wrestling business, she hasn't seen the kind of nonsense she has seen from Futami. One day Hotta was the MVP and was saving his show and the next day he was mad at her. She doesn't know what got into him. Maybe he's just drunk with power. He went nuts when he heard her entrance theme and foolishly charged at her in the ring. The broken sunglasses were his own fault.

So now he's insisting on collecting the money out of the gate for the Mar. 19 show. Hotta says Futami is welcome to come to the show and try to collect especially after he opened his big mouth after the T-1 GP show and said he was through with joshi puroresu. Futami's enemy Kumiko Maekawa will be there to greet him. Will he have the guts to show up? Well, now it looks like Hotta is setting up an angle. I'm shocked, I say, shocked.

Sendai Girls announces new debut date

Sendai Girls announced Monday a new debut date for the promotion. It will be on July 9 at Sendai Sunplaza. The original announced debut was to be in April. The main event is still scheduled to be Meiko Satomura vs Aja Kong.

There are a couple of reasons for the rescheduled debut. Apparently this was the best date to secure this particular hall and they want to debut in Sendai. There is a lot of anticipation locally. Also, they want to debut the trainees currently working at the Sendai Girls dojo and both Meiko Satomura & owner Jinsei Shinzaki believe the girls need more time. Shinzaki said he might use the trainees on a couple of Michinoku Pro shows.

Of course there could always be a flip side to this. There are many joshi fans who don't take Shinzaki's interest in joshi seriously and I guess they won't believe in him until Sendai Girls actually debuts. I'll say the same thing I've always said. I'll reserve judgement until I see what they actually do. Up to now, it's been all talk and they sure are taking their time.

Andretti says IRL champ Wheldon wants to go to NASCAR

2005 IRL champ Dan Wheldon left his championsip team at Andretti Green racing to join Chip Ganassi's IRL team for 2006. Speculation surfaced a couple of days ago that a future NASCAR ride is already part of Wheldon's IRL deal with Ganassi. Wheldon's manager was typically non-committal. But Andretti Green owner Michael Andretti has told a Pennsylvania newspaper that the rumour is true and Wheldon is heading to NASCAR in the near future.

There are several ways that Ganassi could accomodate Wheldon. With sponsorship, he could start a fourth Nextel Cup team. Ganassi was supposed to have a fourth team this year but cancelled it when the Jamie McMurray situation was resolved. It also depends how current drivers Casey Mears, David Stremme & Reed Sorenson perform. If Stremme crashes frequently like he did in the Busch Series, he won't last long. Ganassi could also put Wheldon in Sorenson's Busch Series ride in 2007. Based on this, don't be surprised if Wheldon turns up in NASCAR next year.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir
Song:This Is The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
Album:Nothing But The Hits

Walker has one of the best choirs around based in his Brooklyn church and this album is probably a very good introduction to his sound.

Monday, March 06, 2006

WWE interested in buying New Japan?

Here's a rumour for you. The daily Naigai Times in Japan reported on the front page of Monday's edition that the WWE is in negotiations to purchase New Japan Pro Wrestling. As many fans are aware, the video game company Yukes purchased New Japan a couple of months ago. The article is not online though the cover is and I have included a link to that. After checking out a couple of blogs that discuss the article, Naigai's reasoning is as follows:

New Japan president Simon Inoki is currently on medical leave.

Inoki recently had a secret meeting with the WWE. Well, if they're talking about Inoki's recent trip to Stamford, that wasn't exactly a secret.

Yukes has figured out that New Japan is a badly managed financial black hole.

Yukes produces video games for the WWE.

They want a piece of the WWE's action in the Asian market.

Could this happen? I guess anything could happen but there is a major barrier to point out. Of course the New Japan video library would be of interest to the WWE but New Japan doesn't own it. The footage is owned by TV Asahi. Without the video library it doesn't make sense for the WWE to want New Japan as a separate subsidiary because they don't need the New Japan brand to get over in Japan. The old saying goes "Where there's smoke, there's fire" but there doesn't appear to be any real smoke here to begin with. Here's the link to the cover of the Naigai Times.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Wayne Shorter
Song:See No Evil

Wayne Shorter is a tenor sax legend best known for his contributions to the music of Miles Davis and as co-founder of the jazz fusion froup Weather Report. But he is also a tremendous solo artist. Footprints is a great album from a couple of years ago and shows that Shorter is still one of the best today.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oops! Got a flat tire today

These things happen. I was on my way to Shoppers Drug Mart this afternoon when I ran over a nail and got a flat tire. Medi Chair technician Sam came over to my apartment and replaced the inner tube. One thing is that Medi Chair should have the emergency service number on its off hours answering machine. Both Rich & Sam thought it was on there but it isn't. They'd better do something about that. If I had that number sooner, the flat would have been fixed much sooner. But I have added it to my saved numbers on my phone.

Denny Hamlin wins in Mexico City

The NASCAR Busch Series made it's second appearance at the Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. The Telcel-Motorola 200 was at the road course in Mexico City. Being on a road course changes the usual NASCAR strategy, especially pit stops. Also, along with the NASCAR regulars, we get the road course specialists like Boris Said, Chris Cook, Canadian Ron Fellows & Belgian Marc Goossens. And in this race we get the Mexican hometown favourites led by former CART driver Adrian Fernandez. These are all really good road course drivers that could win the race.

Boris Said-#9 Ingersoll-Rand Dodge won the pole with Denny Hamlin-#20 Rockwell Automation Chevy beside him in the front row. Said led the early part of the race. A lot of the leaders pitted early when Stacy Compton-#59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford blew an engine on lap 4. The idea is you get back to the front when everyone else pits later. Said was looking to pit during the green but a caution came out on lap 25 and he had to pit. That put Said in the back but he'd come back later.

This put Kyle Busch-#5 Lowe's/Hitachi Power Tools Chevy up front. The turning point of the race was when Michel Jourdain Jr-#15 Roshfrans Ford stayed out after a caution for track position. Busch was looking to take the lead from Jourdain with fresher tires on lap 52 but messed up in turn 7 and crashed with Jourdain. Busch had a winning car and this killed him and Jourdain was out of the race. The Mexican fans booed Busch for taking out one of their local heroes and Busch apologized for the incident.

Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy was penalized for jumping the ensuing restart. Car owner Richard Childress appealed. NASCAR looked at the video and rescinded the penalty and gave him back third position. Harvick admitted that he couldn't have passed leaders Kevin Hamlin & Boris Said anyway. Hamlin held off Said through several late race cautions to win his very first NASCAR race. Busch finished seventh but he blew a win here.

As for the Canadians, Paul Tracy-#4 Geico Dodge was heading to a top ten finish when in the aftermath of the Busch/Jourdain crash, he rear ended Adrian Fernandez-#57 Lowe's Chevy and broke the radiator and finished 35th. Fernandez was OK and finished 12th. Ron Fellows-#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy had early ignition problems that put him at the back. He had further mechanical problems and ended up 33rd.

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin and car owner Joe Gibbs. And a great career best second place for Boris Said. Also a great 9th pace finish for Belgian road racer Marc Goossens-#90 Citi Financial Ford in his very first NASCAR race. I think we may see him again later this year. The Busch Series will be in Las Vegas next Saturday.

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Hank Ballard & The Midniters
Song:Annie Had A Baby
Album:Sexy Ways:The Best of Hank Ballard & The Midniters

It seems awfully silly today but this was a very controversial song back in the 50s. Hank Ballard was one of the most underrated singers of his era mainly because he like to write about sex. But don't feel sorry for him. When Dick Clark had Chubby Checker imitate Ballard on The Twist, Ballard would make enough money for writing The Twist to retire. But he never did because he enjoyed performing. Ballard was one of the all time greats of rock & roll. He died in 2003.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Byron Cage f/J. Moss
Song:We Love You
Album:An Invitation To Worship

This is from the latest CD by the singer known as The Prince Of Praise. Cage's previous Kurt Carr produced CD was a huge hit so this time he teamed up with James Moss & PAJAM. That's turned out very well too.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pandora song of the day

Artist:Darius Brooks
Song:Your Will
Album:Your Will

Excellent gospel singer/writer/arranger from Chicago has been around a while but this was his first album for a major label. This is a great performance and it's beautifully arranged.

I'm not very happy with Launchcast so I'm switching to Pandora. I just didn't want to take the time to train it but it is potentially a much better service.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Article about Ethel Johnson

Here's a link to The Columbus Dispatch article about womens wrestling pioneer Ethel Johnson. Penny Banner has told me that Ethel was a great athlete and one of her favourite opponents and of course it was very tough for black wrestlers to deal with racism in those days.

Joshi wrestler in adult video?

As many joshi fans are aware, there was a major uproar a few months
ago when joshi wrestler Emi Tojyo appeared in an adult video. That
she had the audacity to do the video in the JD Star ring at Shin-
kiba 1st Ring has made Tojyo persona non grata to her fellow
wrestlers. Now there is a new potential joshi adult video scandal.

When Nozomi Takesako debuted in IWA Japan a couple of years ago she
was used in a really stupid angle with veteran wrestler Chocoball
Mukai. As many fans are aware, Mukai is portrayed in angles as a
porn star. The angle had Takesako appearing with him in videos. It
was very embarassing.

Now it appears there is an adult video floating around with someone
who resembles Nozomi Takesako. The Japanese website Tanteifile has
posted a couple of pics questioning if it is indeed Takesako. Having
seen the pics in question, it's very difficult to tell who it is.
The girl is wearing a wrestling costume but you can't see her face.
And it was in a wrestling ring. Well of course I had to look at the
pics. I have to investigate these things. If you want to go to the
website to see them, be my guest. I'm not reproducing them.
Tanteifile is reporting this like it might be her.

Nozomi Takesako has responded to the rumour on her blog. She says
it's not her and the girl in the video has been purposely dressed to
resemble her. She says she loves pro wrestling and would never do
anything like this. It appears that the producer of the video is
playing off the Mukai angle from the IWA and wants people to think
that it is Nozomi Takesako in the video. The owner of Tanteifile
insists that it could be her. All I can tell you is that there has
always been a segment of sleazeballs in Japan looking for scandals
in joshi puroresu. It looks like they're barking up the wrong tree

Kana to retire March 19

The Naigai Times has confirmed the rumour that A To Z wrestler Kana will retire on March 19 due to chronic nephritis. That is a kidney disease and it was diagnosed at the end of last year.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Horace Silver
Song:Song For My Father
Album:The Best Blue Note Album Ever

Horace Silver is a jazz pianist who started back in the 50s with Art Blakey. He started his own band and has started many musicians in the business over the years including drummer Billy Cobham, sax player Joe Henderson & Mike & Randy Brecker. The Hard Bop Grandpop continues to make great music today. This is from a various artists collection and would be a good introduction to the Blue Note sound.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So is the battery defective?

As I mentioned previously, I'm concerned that my power chair isn't holding a charge as long as it should. So Sam the technician from MediChair came to my apartment today to test the batteries. It appears that the batteries are OK but the power wouldn't come back on when he put the batteries back in. It seems that one of the connections to the motor was loose and that may be the problem. So he fixed that and said he didn't like the looks of the connector so he says he will replace it. He also tested the battery charger and that's OK too. He has to order the part from Invacare in Ohio. He'll call me when it comes in and he will install it at that time. Hopefully that will fix the problem. The chair works fine otherwise.

Fuuka as ace?

They must be getting desperate over at JD Star. They are attempting to push Fuuka as some sort of ace. As bad as the Athtresses are, Fuuka may be the worst of all. So JD Star is doing sort of a Fuuka graduation to a real wrestler or something. They'll test this out on March 12 when her opponent is AKINO. Here's what is actually going on. First, their Athtress ace Yumi Ohka is still having knee problems. I believe she had to have more surgery. Second, with Mika Nishio going freelance and Yumiko Hotta starting her own promotion again, they're running low on talent. There are also rumours that former A To Z wrestler Kana will retire shortly due to illness. Also Nanae Takahashi's Flash 7 office are severing ties with KO Productions. So that leaves JD Star with Athtresses, who are worse than rookies. They still have TV so I guess they're still in business. But will anyone want to watch them now?

Interview with MMA fighter Tara LaRosa

The following interview with MMA fighter Tara LaRosa is courtesy of Fernando Avila of Bout Review USA.

If sharp wit, honesty and a great sense of humor are a reflection of a fighters ability in the ring, Roxanne Modafferi definitely has her work cut out in her upcoming battle against Tara LaRosa, who took time off from her very busy training schedule only days before this bout in MFC 6, Boardwalk Blitz in Atlantic City to answer some questions.
BR: Why MMA, especially as a woman? How did you get involved in MMA?

Tara LaRosa: Growing up I loved Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Van Damme movies...and Roadhouse!, anything with fighting. I was enthralled with the idea of competing against somebody one on one, since I had always played team sports. I really wanted to get into some kind of training or martial arts as a kid, but the parents said no. Finally, after getting kicked out of basketball and the play, my senior year in high school I got into karate ('95-'96). At college, I got involved with their judo club and began competing... a lot ('96-'01). At a judo tourney in April '01 I got to talking with these BJJ/MMA guys and they opened my eyes to what I had been missing out on.

In September of that year I hooked up with Team Roc, and in November I had my first MMA fight. To me MMA is the most complete form of competition, and I am a very competitive person. That is the why and how. As for being a woman... I didn't have much say in that.

BR: Do you think of yourself as a grappler or a striker? Do you consider yourself a fighter or a competitive athlete?

Tara LaRosa: I'm a grappler that has to play catch up on striking skills. I consider myself a competitive athlete. I was always the peacekeeper; I never got into fights or trouble.

BR: Did you play any other sport before or after you began doing fight sports?

Tara LaRosa: I played field hockey for 12 years, and played in college on a scholarship. I also played basketball and softball in middle and high school.

BR: How often do you train now? How often do you train in your striking?

Tara LaRosa: I don't really train, I just watch the UFC. (Shhh, keep that on the DL)

BR: As a professional MMA fighter, what would you like to achieve?

Tara LaRosa: (Laughing) Fame and fortune.

BR: You fight both gi and non-gi tournaments. Tell us the difference between the two.

Tara LaRosa: For me the gi game is slower and technical, tedious almost. No gi is much more quick and explosive. Kind of like the difference between low limit and no limit Texas Hold 'Em... no limit is so much more exciting.

BR: Which one do you prefer?

Tara LaRosa: No limit... I mean no gi. (Laughing)

BR: Do you think MMA could ever become an Olympic event?

Tara LaRosa: I don't know... they already have several combat sports: wrestling, boxing, TKD, and ice hockey. Actually, I believe they were kicking around the idea of having Pancrase as an event back in 2004, but it didn't fly.

BR: If you got to do anything you wanted to promote the sport of MMA in this country, what would you do?

Tara LaRosa: #1. Educate the lawmakers about the sport, in hopes of legalization.

#2. Have in depth medical studies done to show the validity of the argument that MMA is safer than boxing. Compile death records from boxing, injury claims/ reports, and personal testimonies. Take the results and plaster the media with them. Have educational films and documentaries made, submit the findings to magazines, journals, periodicals, etc.

#3. Form a national sanctioning body governing MMA. Unify the rules and standards.
Education is key. People reject what they don't understand. They build preconceived notions off of misinformation.

BR: Do you think, in the future, women's MMA can be recognized in the same level as men's MMA?

Tara LaRosa: I'd love to give you a big optimistic 'Miss America pageant' answer here but....probably not, (examples: women's basketball, women's boxing).

BR: What is your favorite thing to do beside MMA?

Tara LaRosa: I enjoy sleeping, with eating as a close second.

BR: Regarding your next fight, what are your thoughts on Roxanne Modafferi?

Tara LaRosa: Roxi is actually a good friend of mine, so I think it will be fun. We both love the sport and we're both really competitive people, and neither of us wants to lose. She has an advantage over me she is acquiring new skills by training over there in Japan... skills and techniques I haven't seen her use. I knew her old game, and that's all I have to go on. Me... I'm training in the same place the same hours by the same people... only difference, training for a different opponent. I know she has seen all my tapes and she's seen me fight a few times in person so she knows my demeanor... PLUS we rolled at the Last Woman Standing Tourney... so she knows what I can bring physically.
It's gonna be one hell of a fight.

BR: How long you think you are going to be fighting?

Tara LaRosa: This answer changes as I get older. I guess I'll continue until I settle down and start a family, I want to be a "soccer mom"...or maybe a jiu-jitsu mom? LOL.

BR: What would you like to achieve in your pro MMA career?

Tara LaRosa: Well, I accomplished my goal of fighting in Japan, that was my dream and it was so awesome and I am so grateful for being given those opportunities! I would like to fight in some other countries also. Then there is always the dream of fighting in the UFC, in my own country.

BR: Which is your favorite kind of music? Band? Song?

Tara LaRosa: In the gym, Linkin Park. In the car, country. In the shower, something I can dance to.

BR: What is your favorite type of food?

Tara LaRosa: I love ribs and seafood. I also cook Italian and Asian pretty well.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Jimmy Cliff
Song:Many Rivers To Cross
Album:Wonderful World, Beautiful People

Jimmy Cliff became popular in North America through his appearance in the cult film The Harder They Come. He's a pretty good performer. Many Rivers To Cross is one of his best songs.