Dream Slam Weekly Vol. 3: The latest on Hikaru Shida, KAIRI returning & more

Dream Slam Weekly (vol. 3)!

By: Karen Peterson

We’re just marching straight toward summer tournament season! If a company doesn’t have one, you can likely guess that some of its stars might be traveling abroad or participating in ones hosted by other companies. The biggest challenge for me is with all these great tournaments cropping up inside Japan as well as abroad, it’s so hard not to book plane tickets, pack a bag, and run away from the heat and humidity of Orlando, Florida. Many people want to come to Florida for the summer, but I’m here trying to escape to cooler weather. 

You might notice from time to time that certain promotions are omitted. This will be likely due to no updates since a previous report. It is not a slight or my refusal to cover them. I just don’t want to be redundant. I will continue to do my best to include as much as possible in a timely manner. If you see a major update that I’ve missed, please let me know! There are so many companies and freelance units out there, so I want to help them all gain wider audiences!

BIG EVENT/NEWS

Retired Wrestler, FKA Kagetsu, Makes Life-Changing Announcement

Yesterday, Yuu Ishino (formerly known as Kagetsu/Yukari Ishino) launched a YouTube Channel with a surprising announcement. Last summer (2021), Yuu has reassignment surgery to transition from female to male and was now living as a man. Yuu (Yu and Yū are also acceptable romanizations) did not go into the specifics of his surgery but did reveal on camera that without a mask, he now has a small chin beard. Additionally, he prefaces that as this is all new to him (choosing he/him pronouns and the softer boku first-person pronoun when referring to himself). In the video, he acknowledged how beloved the name Kagetsu was among fans around the world but kindly asks everyone to please use his new name (and pronouns he/him) moving forward. With all of these changes in his life, Yuu wishes to explore his new life and will do it on his YouTube Channel

In February 2020, Stardom’s Kagetsu retired from professional wrestling. Since then, very little had been seen of Kagetsu, aside from throwing their support behind Kyoko Kimura after Kimura’s daughter, Hana, passed away in May 2020. Kagetsu would wrestle in an eight-person tag match in what would be thought as the main event of the inaugural Hana Kimura Memorial Show, Mata Ne in a losing effort against ASUKA (VENY), Syuri, Mio Momono, and Natsupoi. ASUKA would immediately challenge Kagetsu to a singles match to formally close the show. Kagetsu tagged with her retired OedoTai partner, Hazuki alongside Konami and Death Yama (Kaori Yoneyama) representing Tokyo Cyber Squad. They would also be joined by TCS member Jungle Kyona who was out with injury at the time.

This year, Ishino will assist Kyoko again with the second Hana Kimura Memorial Show: BAGUS in an administrative, non-wrestling capacity as part of the event and program staff. I am so excited for Yuu and I can’t wait to see where his adventures take him.

International Excursions & Adventures

Summertime seems to be tournament season, not just in Japan, but around the world, and more and more announcements of surprise entrants and guests are cropping up the closer we get to June!

International Appearance Schedule

Introductions & Round-up (alphabetical)

DIANA {@W_W_W_DIANA |#ディアナ }

Haruka Umesaki main event Stardom’s New Blood 2, yesterday with Cosmic Angels’ Mina Shirakawa and Unagi Sayaka, defeating Young OED (OedoTai) members Starlight Kid, Rina & Ruaka. Umesaki is another name that is quickly gaining traction due to all the various places she’s appearing and doing an amazing job while she’s at it.

Next Show: May 15th (as part of their 11th Anniversary Celebration) at Posto di Amistad 

  • Haruka Umesaki vs. Himiko
  • Ayako Sato vs. Miran
  • Jaguar Yokota vs. Madeline vs. Deborah K
  • Kyoko Inoue vs. Nanami 

Gatoh Move & ChocoPro {@GatohMove | @GatohMove_JP | #ChocoPro #gtmv}

Need to cleanse the heart & soul, you know that Gatoh Move & Choco Pro are the place to be. 

Girls’ Pro-wrestling Unit COLOR’S {@GPU_COLORS | #GPU_COLORS }
SAKI & Co are truly cropping up everywhere from Stardom, WAVE, and Ice Ribbon to PURE-J, YMZ, and DIANA, they are working and working HARD. They’re definitely making a name for themselves as indie queens. Their fourth big self-produced show, Yes, My Way 3, will take place on Friday, July 15th. In the meantime, you can find them working in many places with a big match at Korakuen Hall on June 5th against Stardom’s Cosmic Angels, where the losing trio has to join the other team as rookies!!  Tomorrow: COLOR’s ☆Festival (May 15th)

  • Opening Match: Yuko Sakurai (COLOR’s) vs. Riko Kawahata (T-HEARTS) (1/10)
  • Tag Match: Hikari Shimizu (COLOR’s) & Yuna Mizumori (GMCP) vs. Rina Amikura (COLOR’s) & Momo Tani
  • COLOR’s Championship: SAKI © (COLOR’s) vs. Kakeru Sekiguchi

GLEAT {@LIDET_ENT | #GLEAT #GPRO #LIDETUWF}

Michiko Miyagi Versus Dash Chisako (Sendai Girls) – G ProWrestling vol. 25 (May 18th; Korakuen Hall)

Ice Ribbon {@IceRibbon_eng |@ICERIBBON_jp}

Just over a week removed from Tsukushi Haruka’s Retirement and Tsukasa Fujimoto’s indefinite suspension of in-ring activities, IR just keeps marching on! Sakaide Ribbon 2022 Results (May 14th) – Sakaide City Gymnasium, Sakaide, Kagawa

  • Hamuko Hoshi & Yuko Sakurai defeat Char & Hikari Shimizu (9:55)
  • Maya Yukihi defeats NATSUMI (9:04)
  • Banny Oikawa & Tae Honma defeat Saori Anou & Yappy (11:35)
  • Violento Jack defeats Takashi Sasaki (9:27)
  • Rebel X Enemy (Maika Ozaki & Rina Yamashita) (w/Ram Kaicho) defeat KISSmeT PRINCESS (Misa Kagura & Nao Ishikawa) (13:42)
  • Ibuki Hoshi, Kaho Matsushita & Yuuki Mashiro defeat Miyuki Takase, Sumika Yanagawa & Totoro Satsuki (18:58)

JUST TAP OUT {@JUST_TAP_OUT |#pw_jto}

Business is picking up for the JTO Girls including a self-produced all-women’s show and a tournament for your busy summer schedule! AOTOMO JTO’s Aoi & Tomoko Inaba Produced Women’s Show (5/21) – Basement Monster Hachioji:

  • Tomoko Inaba (JTO) vs. Suzu Suzuki (Prominence)
  • Aoi & Suzuka Yanagawa (JTO) vs. Risa Sera & Akane Fujita (Prominence)
  • rhythm vs. Misa Kagura
  • Bulldozer Amisa vs. Yura Suzuki

Queen of JTO Tournament (Starts 5/29, Quarter-Finals 6/5; Finals 7/9) – Seed rankings as of May 2022.

  1. First Round Bye: Yu Yamagata  (#1) as Queen of JTO – will face the winner of Inaba/rhythm
  2. First Round: Tomoka Inaba (#2) vs. rhythm (#5)
  3. First Round: Aoi (#3) vs. Bulldozer Amisa (Unranked)
  4. First Round: Sumika Yamagawa (#4) vs. Misa Kagura (#6)

OZ Academy {@INFO_OZAcademy|#OZアカデミー }

District of Dystopia (May 8th) Results

  • Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Itsuki Aoki (13:29)
  • Beast Friend (Aja Kong & Kaori Yoneyama) defeated MISSION K4 (Kakeru Sekiguchi & Sonoko Kato) (13:48)
  • OZ Academy Pioneer Title #1 Contendership Three Way: AKINO defeats Yumi Ohka and Yuu (8:44)
  • Best Two Out Of Three Falls Six Man Tag Team: Ozaki-gun (Maya Yukihi, Mayumi Ozaki & Saori Anou) defeat Hikaru Shida, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Rina Yamashita [2:1] (21:10)

Prominence {@Prominence2022 | #プロミネンス #PROMINENCE}

Recent

  • Suzu Suzuki defeated DDM’s Mai Sakurai (Stardom New Blood 2; 5/13)

Next Big Show: Kuen Ranbu, (5/29; ShinKiba 1st Ring) Risa Sera and Suzu Suzuki will face one another in a match. 

Upcoming Appearances

  • Stardom: Suzu Suzuki (Prominence) vs. Mai Sakurai (DDM) (New Blood 2; 5/13)
  • World of Stardom Championship: Syuri © (Stardom) vs. Risa Sera (Prominence) (Flashing Champions 5/28)

SEAdLINNNG {@SLINNNG | #SEAdLINNNG }

UK’s Ayesha Raymond signs as Amazon – On Monday, May 9th, SEAdLINNNG announced that UK wrestler, Ayesha Raymond has signed on with the company and will use the ring name Amazon. Her first match was May 13th at Shinjuku FACE, where she was in the third match on the card as Rina Yamashita’s partner against ASUKA (VENY) and 2AW’s Ayame Sasamura. Currently, she holds three championships, but she’s already got her eyes on SEAdLINNNG’s tag team championships. For those thinking she looks familiar, she did have a first-round match against Toni Storm in the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017. She isn’t a brand new face in SEAdLINNNG either as she had previous tours with the company in 2018 and 2019!

Results (5/13) – Shinjuku FACE | {Tour Date Calendar}

  • Opening Match (1/20): Makoto defeated Misa Kagura (JTO) (9:45)
  • 3-Way Match (1/20): Riko Kawahata defeated Chie Ozora and Itsuki Aoki (10:15)
  • Tag Match: Rina Yamashita & Amazon defeated Ayame Sasamura (2AW) & ASUKA (13:59) 
  • Semi-Final 6-Woman Tag Match: Ryo Mizunami, Yuu, & Yoshiko defeated Hiroyo Matsumoto, Miyuki Takase & DASH Chisako (18:32)
  • Main Event SEAdLINNNG BEYOND THE SEA Single Championship (1/30): Arisa Nakajima © defeated Rico Kaiju. (19:58) This was Nakajima’s third defense as the 7th Champion.

Next Big Match (6/10) – Shinjuku FACE | {Tour Date Calendar}

Sendai Girls {@SendaiGlobal|@senjo2006 |#仙女 #sendaigirlspro }

The next big show for SenJo will be ~The Sky is The Limit~ ShinKiba 1st Ring (June 16), but the roster is participating in the Hana Kimura Memorial Show 2: BAGUS! On May 23rd. Dash Chisako will have her single’s match against Michiko Miyagi next week (May 18th) at May 18th G-ProWrestling Card at Korakuen Hall. 

Stardom {@We_Are_Stardom | @WWR_Stardom | #STARDOM #スターダム}

Himeka vs. Lady C Participate in Fortune Dream 7 – On June 15th, Himeka and Lady C will have a singles match on Kenta Kobashi’s Fortune Dream 7 show at Korakuen Hall. It will be the only women’s match on the card. The comparisons between Jumbo Tsuruta and Giant Baba are quite nice for the tall women who previously tagged together.

KAIRI Returns at Flashing Champions!!

Yes, the Pirate Queen returns at Flashing Champions to team with Tam Nakano against Queen’s Quest’s Miyu Amasaki and Utami Hayashishita. 

TOMORROW (5/15): Queen’s Quest will main event the show with a 5-way match to determine the next leader of the group.

Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling (TJPW) {@tjpw2013}

Road to CyberFight Festival (June 12th)  – Saitama Super Arena

On May 10th, CyberFight had its online press conference for the 2022 GF Festival. 

CF’22 Announced Women’s Matches {Event Tag: #cffes2022}

  • Opening Match 2: 10-Woman Tag: Hyper Misao, Yuki Aino, Raku, Pom Harajuku & Haruna Neko vs. Nao Kakuta, Mahiro Kiryu, Mika Miyamoto, Arisu Endo, Kaya Toribami
  • 4-Way Battle: Rika Tatsumi vs. Mizuki vs. Yuki Kamifuku vs. Miu Watanabe 
  • 6-Woman Tag: Miyu Yamashita, Maki Itoh, & Juria Nagano vs. Hikari Noa, Suzume, Yuki Arai 
  • Princess of Princess Championship: Shoko Nakajima © vs. Yuka Sakazaki (remote from US)

WAVE {@P_W_WAVE |#wavepro}

A detailed CATCH THE WAVE  Update will be in the next report.

Meanwhile in North America…

WWE Results/Updates

  • Asuka v. Bianca in Raw Championship Number One Contenders Match (WWE RAW; May 9th) Becky Lynch was on commentary for the match and got involved by attacking Belair leading to the no content before attacking Asuka. (3:05)
  • Sarray & Andre Chase w/ Bodhi Hayward defeat Tiffany Stratton & Grayson Waller (NXT 2.0; May 6th) – A fun mixed tag match as Sarray’s magical girl story continues. I did chuckle at how her transformation powers malfunctioned slightly where Bodhi was concerned. I always enjoy a mixed tag match when it makes sense, and since this is a continuation of her story, it did. The only thing I found distracting was that Chase-U hand symbol because if you’re from Florida and you follow the University of Miami, that’s their U-Tradition. (7:00)

AEW Results/Updates

  • Abadon defeats Emi Sakura (AEW Elevation; ep 62) – Great to see Abadon back on the screen and Emi in a singles match.
  • Emi Sakura & Nyla Rose versus Ana Jay & Yukazaki (AEW Dark Elevation Ep 63; May 11th; pre-taped not yet aired)
  • Toni Storm defeated Jamie Hayter in the first round of The Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament (AEW Dynamite; May 11th; 8:32)
  • Kris Statlander Replaces Hikaru Shida in Tournament (see below; AEW Rampage; May 13th) I’ll go into more detail about the medical status of Hikaru Shida below, as it plays into potentially a bigger issue within AEW. However, Stadtlander was selected to replace Shida and will face Red Velvet, who could not convince anyone in AEW to let her just cruise into the semi-finals without a match in the tournament.
  • Ruby Soho defeated Riho in the first round of The Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament. (AEW Rampage; May 13th) Soho advances to the semi-finals and will face the winner of Red Velvet/Kris Stadtlander. Toni Storm also advanced to the semi-finals and will face the winner of Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D./The Joker (Wildcard Entry). (9:07)

Hikaru Shida, Kris Stadtlander & The Owen Hart Cup 

As mentioned in the previous two issues of DSW, Shida and Deeb’s Street Fight was the ideal way to storyline “write-off Shida from TV” so she could return to Japan for Golden Week appearances and match commitments. Shida has worked nonstop between wrestling a heavy schedule upon returning to Japan as well as rehearsals for the stage show MAKAI. Personally, I feel like there was a miscommunication between the parties involved regarding how her “current medical status” should be handled in the storyline because this feels like a bit of an oversight on the company’s part, especially with their diverse talent pool. 

Independent Scene Spotlights for May 2022

May 23rd: Hana Kimura Memorial Show: BAGUS! {@mm85adKcZDBeliQ | #木村花バグース}

  • International Availability via FITE TV Much like last year, FITE will be hosting a broadcast of the Memorial Show. The show will cost $20. At this time, there is no announcement as to whether or not there will be English commentary or who will be doing it. Last year’s commentary was led by Ring of Honor’s Ian Riccaboni and The World Famous CB (FKA Cheeseburger), personal friends of Hana and the family.
  • KAIRI announced as Guest Commentator! The closer we get to May 23rd, the closer we get to honor the memory of the late Hana Kimura. At last year’s event (Mata, Ne!), KAIRI auctioned off her “Thank you, Hana” umbrella from her WWE Raw entrance to help raise money for the Kimura family. This year, she will be on commentary with the yet-to-be-announced commentary team.
  • NOAH’s KENOH to Face Menso-re Oyaji No, this doesn’t make KENOH a women’s wrestler! However, his participation in the event shows how deep the family’s roots run within the pro-wrestling community. For those enjoying his leg on fire DDT-style shenanigans, or how he deals with Kendo Kashin, I think Menso-re Oyaji is going to make KENOH’s comedically rough.
  • Ram Kaichou Removed from Program Ram was scheduled to participate in the event, but due to injury, she was removed from the card. The event is offering refunds for those who are displeased by her unavoidable removal from the event. 

May 20th: NOMAD’s Freelance Summit: No Home… Yes, Ambitious! {@NOMADS_fs | #NOMADS_fs}

May 2022 Big Event Calendar

    • SEAdLINNNG: at Shinjuku FACE (5/13)
    • GPU COLOR’s: COLOR’s ☆Festival (5/15)
    • GLEAT: G-ProWrestling (5/18) – updated the typo in the date

Summer 2022 Events

  • TJPW: CyberFight Festival 2022 (6/12) – Saitama Super Arena (a DDT, NOAH, & Ganbare Pro supershow) 
  • SenJo: The Sky is the Limit (6/16: ShinKiba 1st Ring;6/19: Miyagino Ward Cultural Center)
  • Stardom: Fight in the Top 2022 (June 26, 2022) Nagoya International Conference Center
  • WAVE: NAMI1 July ‘22 (July 1, 2022) – Shinjuku FACE, Osaka Rhapsody vol. 55 (July 2, 2022) – Azarea Taisho, Osaka, Nagoya WAVE vol. 23 (July 3, 2022) – Nagoya Naka Sports Center, CATCH THE WAVE 2022 FINALS (July 17, 2022) – Korakuen Hall
  • TJPW: Summer Sun Princess (July 9, 2022; 2:00 PM) – Ota Ward Gymnasium; 9th Annual TJPW Princess Cup 2022 (July 16-August 14, 2022) – The series has seven scheduled event dates throughout this period.
  • Stardom: Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP) 2022 Opening Weekend – (July 30-31, 2022) Ota Ward Gymnasium & Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP) 2022 Finals – (October 1, 2022) Musashino Forest Sun Plaza’s Main Arena (Chofu Ward, Tokyo)

Weekly Match Selection

I met Yuu Ishino (FKA Kagetsu) at a Stardom show in Jaunary 2020, just prior to the retirement announcement. With Yuu’s big announcement this week and the upcoming Hana Kimura Memorial show, I wanted to find a match where those unfamiliar with Yuu’s work in Stardom, but also one where fans could also see the growth of Stardom since Kagetsu left. There are many familiar faces in this match, and it is subtitled, so I hope you enjoy it. Opponents will be revealed at random by their entrance music and the number of participants, while unknown, is “less than eighty.”

When I spoke about retirement matches within the scope of the Japanese women’s wrestling scene, different companies do it in different ways. Some have a series of farewell matches, the entire roster versus the retiring wrestler, In Ishino’s case, Kagetsu would work a farewell tour of the indies culminating in a self-produced retirement show, Many Face, at the Edion Arena on February 24, 2020. 

Stardom Official Official YouTube

  • Promotion: Stardom
  • Show: (February 15, 2020)
  • Competitors: Kagetsu (Freelance) versus an Unknown Number of Competitors in One-Minute/One-Fall matches
  • Venue: ShinKiba 1st Ring, Tokyo, Japan

Thanks for reading! Have a great week! 

About Karen Peterson 41 Articles
Occasionally drops by wrestling podcasts, but remains rather elusive. Joined the Japanese wrestling fan scene in summer 2017, and continues to work on bridging the language gap between fans. Outside of wrestling, she’s a dog mom, perpetual Japanese learner, and when conditions permit, world traveler. Never skips dessert.