Thursday, December 31, 2009
Azumi Hyuga retires
Here's the S-Arena video report for Sunday's JWP Korakuen Hall show featuring the retirement of Azumi Hyuga. Before I get into that, JWP announced before the show that 18 year old Pinkie Mayuca will retire from joshi puroresu. She's been out with a knee injury since May. She had surgery and you never know if she can return but I guess not in this case. The first clip on this video is a match between Nanae Takahashi and Sachie Abe. It's not like anyone thinks Abe can beat Takahashi but JWP wants to continue the JWP vs Passion Red feud and they've announced one of those convoluted round robin leagues that focuses on JWP vs whoever. The league begins on Jan. 10 and the winner gets a JWP Open Weight Championship shot against Kayoko Haruyama on the Apr. 18 Korakuen Hall show. I'm not crazy about these kind of leagues because it takes the focus away from the champ for an extended time period. But sometimes these companies can't think of anything else to do. Of course the remainder of the video has Azumi Hyuga & Commando Bolshoi vs Kayoko Haruyama & Kaori Yoneyama in Hyuga's retirement match followed by clips of the retirement ceremony. Some fans have asked why Hyuga chose to work with those wrestlers when she could have worked with anyone. I think it speaks to her loyalty to JWP and Command Bolshoi. Hyuga has been a tremendous ring performer for 15 years and she got on our radar when she won the Discover New Heroine tournament teaming with Dynamite Kansai in 1996. She has always given her best effort and is retiring because her knees won't allow her to perform at the high level to which we've all become accustomed. Of course she could have been a much bigger star. But when JWP got into serious financial trouble, she was told to leave but stayed anyway. Ran YuYu and Carlos Amano had already left and Tsubasa Kuragaki went to NEO for a couple of years and returned to JWP when things got better. JWP almost closed in 2002. But Hyuga stayed and I'm sure that's the main reason Bolshoi has been bawling her eyes out whenever she talks about Hyuga's retirerment. Her retirement is sad because we will miss a performer of superior calibre. But remember Azumi Hyuga gave 15 years of the prime of her life to entertain us and considering that she can barely walk, that's a big sacrifice. So enjoy the video and let's all give a final salute to one of the greats of joshi puroresu. Azumi Hyuga, you will be missed.