Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Ayako Hamada signs with TNA
The Ito Dojo held a press conference today at Colosseo to announce the card for their Apr. 19 show. But Ayako Hamada announced that her match against Kaoru Ito in the main event of this show would be her final appearance in Japan and she has signed with TNA. Though she has spent most of her 11 year wrestling career in Japan, she was born Feb. 14, 1981 in Mexico City. Her father El Gran Hamada currently works for Michinoku Pro and her older sister Xochitl was a wrestler in the 90s. Back in 1997, women weren't a big part of the Lucha Libre scene so Ayako's dad took her to Japan to work for the new company ARSION. Ayako is considered a protege of Aja Kong. Ayako was very popular and won several titles but things started to go sour after Aja left ARSION in Feb. 2001. She left in Jan. 2002 and expressed interest in working for the WWE. So she's been interested in coming to the US for a long time. At the time, the WWE refused to hire any women under age 23 due to Stacy Keibler's immaturity. It was a dumb rule. Though Ayako was technically a freelancer, she worked exclusively for GAEA beginning with Akira Hokuto's retirement match in Apr. 2002 and that included a title run teaming with Meiko Satomura. She branched out in 2003 and won the WWWA Singles Title over Monoe Nakanishi on AJW's 35th anniversary show in May 2003.
At the beginning of her career, Ayako usually went home to Mexico once a year. As the Japanese business continued to flounder and CMLL began to show more interest in women's wrestling, she went home more frequently. She worked for AAA mostly because of her long friendship with the Apache Sisters and also worked for CMLL. Three years ago Ayako started working as a trainer for the Kaoru Ito Professional Wrestling Classroom. She continued to wrestle occasionally but I suspect her price may have been too high for some of the other joshi feds. With the joshi business still stagnating and Ayako way too young to be semi retired, it's not surprising that she would sign with TNA. She's always wanted to work for one of the big US companies and she really has nothing left to accomplish in Japan or Mexico. You can be sure that Awesome Kong is glad to see her as the two have had some tremendous matches like their May 2, 2004 match for the WWWA Singles Title. Check out the video. Ayako is also very good friends with Samoa Joe going back to the days when he used to go to Japan on a regular basis. Lately TNA's problem with the Knockout division is they only have one wrestler who can work a good match with Awesome Kong and she's under a burka. We all know what Ayako can do in the ring. Of course fans are concerned about what kind of stupid giommick TNA will give her. I know she doesn't need a gimmick but did you ever see Ayako under a mask in Hustle?