Welcome to Frank Pozen's Big Bad Blog. A lot of folks have been asking me to update them about my recovery. So I thought I would start a blog primarily to do that but also to talk about other topics of interest including the wrestling business and whatever else I can think of. I plan to update this on a regular basis so check back and leave a comment if you wish.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Is Ibuki closing?
Ibuki owner Mariko Yoshida said in an interview in the new issue of Weekly Pro Wrestling that Ibuki's Nov. 8 Korakuen Hall show will be the final regular show. She will run one more show in May at Shin-kiba 1st Ring to celebrate Ibuki's fifth anniversary. Officially, Ibuki will be on hiatus. Unofficially, it appears that Yoshida wants to close down but Ibuki's parent company S-Ovation is interested in continuing in the joshi business. It remains to be seen exactly what they have planned. This announcement is the beginning of the winding down of Mariko Yoshida's wrestling career. This began last year when she closed her personal website and continued after her 20th anniversary show when she stopped being an active wrestler. Of course she hasn't officially retired but Yoshida hasn't worked a match all year. She hasn't even appeared on any anniversary or retirement shows. She was at Kaoru Ito's 20th anniversary show last week but didn't appear on the show. So I'm not that surprised by this announcement and it also wouldn't surprise me if Yoshida retired in May. There has been speculation that she wants to start a family with her husband. But I'm sure that the continued slump in the joshi business hasn't helped. Ibuki was started as a branch of Yoshida's training program. My impression is Yoshida liked training better than either wrestling or promoting and she was very proud of her girls. And Ibuki gave these youngsters an outlet to hone their skills without having to deal with inter promotional politics. She seems to believe that Ibuki has run its course. Even if she is finished as a promoter, one would hope that Yoshida would continue to train. But it appears that she wants out of the joshi business completely. It's a very sad end to a distinguished career. Obviously Mariko Yoshida is a great wrestler. But her legacy is all the young girls she trained over the years in AJW, ARSION, M's Style and now Ibuki. It will be a great loss to pro wrestling if that ended.