|Hailey Hatred & Her Gold|
Welcome Sharp Shooter Press readers, Smooth Gentleman here with the second editorial (Part I)
in my three part series on women's wrestling. As announced within the first part of the series, I will be focusing on the Joshi scene in Japan throughout this entry.
After writing my first editorial I had a very interesting "conversation" with a fellow wrestling fan that has a very unique view on women's wrestling. So, instead of jumping straight into my opinions on the Joshi scene I will provide some commentary on this conversation.
|Serena Deeb & Kana|
He started the conversation by mentioning he only cared of three women wrestler's in the world, and my first article would have only been interesting with their pictures featured. Of course he did not care at all for their wrestling skill, he then followed by saying, "You forgot to mention GI Ho as an attractive woman that could wrestle."
Yes, I am serious.
Nothing against her, I actually remember watching some WEW shows in the past. But, she isn't at the level of any of the names I mentioned. Getting onto the topic, he went on to say the following, "I get what your point is but it will not appeal to me. People don't kick out of kudo drivers and if they trained better they wouldn't look so sloppy or inadvertently be so stiff. Now, I don't like WWE main event style and tna is hit or miss, but sometimes I just shake my head when watching Joshi."
I'm not a worker, have only taken a few bumps (will tell the story about that on my upcoming radio show), so I will use the words of the competitor in my first picture. During Episode 25 of the Ringbelles.com, "Women of Wrestling" podcast Hailey Hatred said she admired working in Japan (paraphrasing) because, "They work towards perfection." Anyone that has heard stories about the Japanese Dojos would understand that any wrestler that has made it through the system is well trained.
This conversation did lead me to think about how prevalent these opinions are with fans across the world. I will use a familiar name to American wrestling fans, (Ayako) Hamada. I remember watching Impact! on December 10, 2009 when Hamada faced the then Global Champion Eric Young. That match should have alone proved that Joshi (and women wrestler's in general) can compete at an extremely high level.
I do find the comments of all Joshi working "stiff" to be a great generalization. Sure Joshi such as Hamada, Kana, Tsubasa Kuragaki, and others may have a more physical style; yet does that mean they cannot work? What about the Seven Star Sisters (Hiroyo Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata), Tomoka Nakagawa, and even a legend like Manami Toyota? I wouldn't say they have overly physical styles. So, it's definitely a gross overstatement to assume all Joshi is extremely "stiff."
I chose to highlight Hailey Hatred as she became the first Gaijin (foreigner) to win the most prestigious (debatable) and longest currently active singles Joshi title in Japan. On June 26th of this year she became the JWP Openweight Champion. Adding that belt to a rather large collection of belts currently in her possession. An interesting point to make is that she will face current 1/2 of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions and the current TNA Knockout Champion, Gail Kim on November 25th at the Absolute Intense Wrestling show in Cleveland, Ohio. She will be putting her Triple Crown of the TLW Women's Championship, Hybrid Fighting Championship, and her JWP Open Class Championship on the line in a very interesting match.
Until recently I have not heard much of Hailey Hatred (whom I have dubbed "American Josh"i), after watching a few matches of hers and listening to her interview it makes sense as to why she has made a name for herself in Japan. Much like Cheerleader Melissa who on November 5th of this month was the only female to appear on a AJPW show, which is a very rare occurrence. Cheerleader Melissa is a personal favorite of mine, and those who aren't familiar with her...
The second picture is from a recent SMASH show where Serena Deeb was defeated by Kana in a match that decided the first ever SMASH Diva's Champion. With promotions such as SMASH, JWP, Ice Ribbon, OZ Academy, WAVE, and others giving women in Japan a chance to shine. Annie Social is currently on a one year excursion to the promotion named World Women Pro-Wrestling Diana in Japan, which is owned by Joshi legend Kyoko Inoue. So, there definitely are a lot of interesting things going on in Joshi currently.
I firmly believe as more Joshi competitors compete within the United States and Europe that Joshi as a whole will grow. Many women's wrestlers in America seem to be dying at the opportunity to compete in Japan, I believe it's time for more Joshi to venture out as well. Kana recently wrestled a few matches in the United States, lets hope that's starting a trend that will continue long into the future.
Pro Wrestling EVE (UK) and Ice Ribbon (Japan) recently co-promoted a show in the United Kingdom, I read that there were talks of some wrestlers from EVE being rumored to be invited to tour with Ice Ribbon and that another co-promoted show could happen in Japan sometime next year.
Part three will dive more in depth with my thoughts of the current state of women's wrestling in America and how it will pan out in the upcoming years, there will also be a few surprises included at the conclusion of that editorial!