Sunday, January 23, 2011

STARDOM debuts to a full house

Nanae Takahashi slaps Yuzuki Aikawa
STARDOM held their debut show today in front of a full house of 446 fans at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. As has been mentioned previously, Nanae Takahashi and Natsuki*Taiyo are the only experienced pro wrestlers on the roster. Most of the rest were making their pro wrestling debuts on this show. And of course Takahashi is in charge of training them. Fuuka is general manager but I don't know what she does because former ARSION owner Hiroshi Ogawa is the boss. And he ran JD Star a few years ago. For this show, they brought in 20 year old Mexican wrestler Iris and she teamed with Nanae Takahashi against Natsuki*Taiyo and Yuzuki Aikawa. Aikawa is the busty bikini model being groomed to be the new Fuuka. This was only her second match. She's supposed to be the ace so they're putting her in the ring with experienced wrestlers and they're supposed to make her look as good as possible. So I'm told the match was pretty good. Takahashi won over Aikawa with a backdrop suplex at 21:31. As you can see by the pic, Aikawa got slapped pretty hard and her eye swelled up. She also said she was knocked dizzy. Apparently the other matches weren't that good. None of the newbees were working with experienced wrestlers so they won't be good. MMA fighter Nika Nagano beat Eri Susa with a cross arm breaker at 3:55. Arisa Hoshiki beat Mayu Iwatani at 7:04 and Yoko Bito beat World Tiger IV at 10:31. I know at least two girls dropped out during training but they still have this eight year old HARUKA on the roster. Though having an eight year old on the roster might have seemed like a cute idea six months ago, they don't have any opponents for her. They ended up having her do a three minute exhibition with Natsuki*Taiyo. What are they supposed to do with her? STARDOM is running every two weeks and Ogawa announced they will run Korakuen Hall on July 24. That is very ambitious. How long are fans going to put up with a sub-standard product before they stop coming? And how many of these girls will stay? Will STARDOM become a revolving door of new girls? And what if any of them get injured? There sure is a lot of pressure on Nanae Takahashi's shoulders to make these girls good very quickly.

A second joshi company called REINA debuted today. They are less ambitious and they remind me of the New AJW that ran shows in smaller towns the last few years. They are based in Chiba and will run monthly shows outside Tokyo. They are using freelancers like Yumiko Hotta and Manami Toyota and some JWP wrestlers including Kaori Yoneyama were on this show. They don't have any of their own wrestlers and I expect them to get whoever they can depending on the scheduling of all the other joshi feds. I doubt they have a TV or DVD deal. There is money to be made running shows in areas that most wrestling companies will not go to. If a town only gets a show or two a year, the town will fill the hall because they want a return visit. Of course it is offset by travel and talent costs. So I don't think REINA is an ambitious company and they will operate under the radar and I guess they'll make a few bucks. I don't see them as significant.

No comments:

Post a Comment