Monday, January 27, 2014

Natsuki*Taiyo to retire on June 1

Natsuki*Taiyo announces her retirement plans
At yesterday's STARDOM show, Io Shirai successfully defended her World Of STARDOM Championship against High Speed champion Natsuki*Taiyo. After the match, Natsuki announced she will retire from pro wrestling on June 1. Her reason is actually very similar to Mika Nagano's reason for her retirement from MMA. Natsuki will be 30 years old in May. She has been a pro wrestler for ten years. It's time to go. She says that when she first started in pro wrestling, she was 20 and her plan was to stay for five years. But when that time came, she did not feel she had accomplished enough and decided to stay for five more years. Now she feels the time is right to retire. And though her announcement may have been a surprise to the crowd in attendance, I'm sure Natsuki's best friend Nanae Takahashi was well aware of her plans and it was discussed with STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa too. He said she has been talking retirement for the last year. Natsuki*Taiyo's real name is Natsuki Mizushima. She was born May 7, 1984 in Kawasaki. She was trained by veteran pro wrestler and trainer Animal Hamaguchi in 2003. The funny thing is she actually fought in MMA before she debuted as a wrestler. Fans forget that All Japan Women had MMA on their shows. Natsuki lost to Hari by first round KO on Dec. 19, 2003. She made her pro wrestling debut in Jan. 2004. But AJW was having financial problems and of course they closed Apr. 2005. Natsuki left AJW in 2004 and in 2005, she resurfaced as Natsuki*Head in Sakura Emi's promotion Gatokunyan. This was before Ice Ribbon. Like the masked wrestler Ray, Natsuki became quite the spot monkey at that promotion. She was already friends with Nanae Takahashi from her AJW days. And after Takahashi recovered from 2005 knee surgery, she made a deal with Zero-1 to start Pro Wrestling Sun and brought Natsuki with her. she changed her name to Natsuki*Taiyo. And since then, those two have been joined at the hip. Wherever Takahashi has gone, Natsuki followed. And that includes when STARDOM was formed in 2011. Though she has held a few belts, the primary belt she has held is the High Speed Championship. She was the first champ when NEO started it in 2009. She has held that title since STARDOM bought it from NEO in 2011. I think Ogawa should retire that title with Natsuki*Taiyo. But I know how reluctant promotions are to retire titles. Natsuki's appearance and wrestling style is very similar to retired wrestler Momoe Nakanishi. But she doesn't have Momoe's talent or charisma. It's tough to live in Momoe's shadow when Nanae Takahashi is the best friend of both of them. I suppose Natsuki could have enhanced her career on her own. But I guess the friendship was more important then advancing her career. I'm sure STARDOM will miss her.

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