Tomoka Nakagawa announces retirement
Credit: Ringbelle:Â http://ringbellesonline.com/2014/06/04/tomoka-nakagawa-announces-retirement/#more-22035
Following her unsuccessful challenge for theÂ OZ AcademyOpenweight Championship earlier today,Â Tomoka Nakagawaannounced her intention to retire from the wrestling businesson December 4. The 32-year old made her intentions public after losing to AKINO in the promotion’s Korakuen Hall show.
The 9-year pro has enjoyed success on both sides of the Pacific and currently holds two different Tag Team Championships. She holds the doubles straps withÂ Hiroyo MatsumotoÂ in OZ AcademyÂ and is one half theÂ SHIMMERÂ title-holdingÂ Global Green GangstersÂ alongside best friendÂ Kellie SkaterÂ — incidentally, they are the most successful tandem in SHIMMER history with ten defences of the belts since winning them in April 2013.
Nakagawa grew up as a wrestling fan but was unable to train at theÂ All Japan WomenÂ dojo because at 5’1â€³, she was an inch shorter than a minimum height. Instead, she trained to become a nurse but later pursued a career in wrestling. Debuting as part of theÂ Kaientai DojoÂ in 2004, she stayed there for three years and wrestled under a range of names before electing to compete under her real one. From there, she went freelance — initially aligning with theÂ IbukiÂ promotion which is produced byÂ S Ovation,Â which runs theÂ Joshi 4 HopeÂ showsÂ — and has worked in places likeÂ NEO, OZ Academy, Pro Wrestling WAVE, SMASH, Stardom, JWP, Reina, Ice RibbonÂ and more, amassing eight Tag Team Title reigns as well as one singles accoladeas SMASH Divas Champion, defeatingÂ KanaÂ to become the promotion’s second titleholder — though she dropped the belt back to her on her first defence.
The Asahikawa, Japan native made her first appearance in SHIMMER in April 2010, falling to fellow debutanteÂ Ayumi KuriharaÂ and establishing herself as a dirty little cheater who would spit water in her opponents’ faces and would employ other sneaky tactics. She aligned herself withÂ Daizee HazeÂ andwon her first SHIMMER Tag Team TitleÂ with her in March 2011. The reign would only last to the next set of tapings when the tandem wouldÂ drop the belts to Kurihara andÂ Ayako Hamada. Nakagawa would team up with buddy Skater onÂ volume 51 in late 2012Â to form 3G, and the pairÂ won the straps the following AprilÂ following a heated feud with theÂ Canadian Ninjas.
Nakagawa weaselled her way into fans hearts at SHIMMER with her naughty tactics for which you wanted to hate her but couldn’t. Utterly adored and respected as a performer, she will certainly be missed. However, there is still six months of Tomoka to enjoy, which includes more SHIMMER tapings in October as well as much more action in Japan.