When Carson, CA native Kia Stevens was training at the New Japan Los Angeles dojo in 2002, I doubt she could have predicted that she would become one of the biggest international stars in pro wrestling today. The joshi business hadn't had a real gaijin heel since Rhonda "Monster Ripper" Sing. But I think most of us can agree that Amazing Kong is quickly approaching Rhonda's level. Amazing Kong has improved in the ring tremendously since she's been in Japan and now she can do anything that only much smaller wrestlers are supposed to be able to do. She didn't have to work hard and take her craft seriously but she has and it's paying off. And her appearance in SHIMMER has raised the level of awareness with fans who don't watch joshi. And she's not slowing down anytime soon.
Pro Wrestling SUN had another one of their typical press conferences on Friday to promote the Feb. 21 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru were there to talk about their match but as usual, Amazing Kong disrupted the proceedings. This time her wrath was aimed at Natsuki*Taiyo. She was talking about wanting to face Amazing Kong. AK came in and proceeded to grab Natsuki around the throat. Toshie Uematsu came in and said that she had spoken to her tag team partner Steve Corino and he approved a three way match for the World 1 Womens Championship between Amazing Kong, Toshie Uematsu & Natsuki*Taiyo. Takahashi asked Natsuki if she really wanted to do this and of course Natsuki said she was ready to win the title. I doubt that but it could set up some conflict between the REM members.
NEO also held a press conference on Friday to make a couple of announcements about their Feb. 18 Kawasaki City Gym show. First, Amazing Kong has signed to defend her AWA World Womens Championship against Kyoko Inoue. This was a little more orderly and Kyoko of course said she is looking forward to the challenge and will win without fail. The other big announcement relates to a tag team match on the card. Misae Genki is just returning from injury. She wants to have a tag team match at this show that is worthy of a main event. So she asked JWP Open Weight Champ Azumi Hyuga to participate and she agreed. NEO GM Koda said on the NEO blog that he would attempt to get Meiko Satomura & Nanae Takahashi to appear in this match. They announced at the press conference that Satomura has agreed to appear and will team with Hyuga. They didn't know about Takahashi. But I can confirm that Takahashi was at the Feb. 3 NEO show at Itabashi Green Hall and agreed to be in the match. So it will be Misae Genki & Nanae Takahashi vs Azumi Hyuga & Meiko Satomura. That should be pretty good. Of course if they got those two for this match, why couldn't NEO get either of them for the main event? Sorry about the use of logic, folks. They also got four brothers who have won wrestling medals in primary school to join the wedding match. That's a little more typical of NEO silliness.
Meanwhile, Dave Prazak has announced that Amazing Kong will appear at the SHIMMER tapings in Berwyn, IL on Apr. 7. AK literally made a big splash at last May's tapings. No matches have been announced yet but Nikki Roxx is still making noises about a rematch with AK. AK's response was "Bring it on". Also, Cheerleader Melissa is scheduled to go to Japan to challenge for the AWA World Womens Championship in Pro Wrestling SUN so she's probably interested in locking up with Amazing Kong too. We don't know yet when Melissa is going to Japan. If it's not April, I expect her to go in July. And of course will SHIMMER have an Amazing Kong title defense at this show? Lots of questions and Amazing Kong is in the middle of all of it here and in Japan. Here's a video of Amazing Kong & Kyoko Kimura defending the NEO Tag Team Titles vs Misae Genki & Haruka Matsuo Nov. 3, 2006.