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WWE Mae Young Classic - Summer 2017

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It's possible Toni Storm has the same type of contract the UK guys like Dunn and Bate have.

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1 hour ago, Norwegian Rudo said:

Do we know this? The rumoured start dates would fit in very well with the normal time frame for foreign signings to get their physicals and legal matters sorted.

That's what Big Dave reported, and since he is also the one that reported she signed with WWE I assume he is 'in the know'. His WWE sources tend to be solid-ish.

I don't think WWE has ever debuted a wrestler that was still signed under a contract with another promotion, so not sure where the theory would come from anyway. They've signed indie wrestlers that had belts but not if they had a written contract, I mean they leave LU wrestlers alone and you know they want at least some of them. With talent they tend to play pretty by the book, and like I said, Kris Wolf is a midcarder in Stardom and not someone you'd start a big issue over.

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52 minutes ago, Kevin Wilson said:

That's what Big Dave reported, and since he is also the one that reported she signed with WWE I assume he is 'in the know'.

Where did he say that? Not doubting you, just can't remember reading it.

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16 minutes ago, Norwegian Rudo said:

Where did he say that? Not doubting you, just can't remember reading it.

I don't get the newsletter to give an exact quote but it was reported a few different places, cagesideseats for example.

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Thanks. That's from the last newsletter, and all Dave says is that she probably won't be in the tournament as she is "finishing up in Japan". That's, to put it mildly, short on details and could pretty much mean anything.

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I legit can't remember if we are talking Kairi or Io now but I am trying to piece together the blurbs directly out of the WONs - I am sure I will miss some. I left out all the Hojo not being able to do the elbow drop stuff and I left out the Io not starting till after the tournament bit since that has been posted a couple of times already.

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In following in the recent tradition of everyone we praise internationally getting the phone call, both Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo have gotten offers to start in WWE in 2017 in the last week or two. Both told Stardom management about it this week. Shirai said she was going, and said that she was called by Shoichi Funaki. Hojo was contacted by Shinsuke Nakamura and Simon Inoki. Hojo at first didn’t make a final decision and there is some question if she can pass the physical because she’s had two major concussions in the last two years. In July, when WWE ran at Sumo Hall, Hojo was introduced to Nakamura through Simon Inoki, who knew her because they had worked together when Hojo did an IGF tour. Nakamura pushed to Hojo that she’d do great in WWE. Hojo most recently told the Stardom office that she’s interested in going to WWE. Stardom officials believe Shirai is gone for sure, but they are working to keep Hojo and Hojo then said she’s not sure what she’s going to do.

There is a belief that Hojo doesn’t want to go to WWE so much as prove she’s better than Shirai. Among the fans, Hojo has always been No. 2 to Shirai because Shirai is considered the better wrestler of the two, even their hardcore Stardom fans like Hojo more. It’s been pushed to Hojo that if she stays, she’ll be the No. 1 female wrestler in Japan, but if she goes to WWE, that will never happen, and that because Shirai is the “bigger star” and better looking in WWE’s eyes along with being a better wrestler, that she would never surpass her going there. A big part of this also is the marketing success of Asuka, as the prior mentality that American fans would never care for Japanese women workers (and for a long time the belief was the same regarding men, even after Great Muta became a big star in 1989, because nobody from Japan had become a top star in WWE) no matter how great they are in the ring has had to die when she got over. Plus there’s the reality of Asuka’s age (she just turned 35 and Vince has age-phobia on guys, so imagine the mentality on women and you can pretty much see it given Asuka is the oldest woman wrestler in the promotion) while Shirai is 26 and Hojo is 28. The one thing about them that people who see them against each other or with the other Japanese women don’t realize is they are really short, both about 5-foot-1.

10/31/16 Issue - which seems to be the first issue this came up

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Speaking of women, it now looks like Kairi Hojo is coming with Io Shirai. Stardom knew last week that Shirai was leaving and Hojo was on the verge, and was pushing for Hojo to stay noting she'd be their top star. Right now both are scheduled to stay with Stardom through about April of next year. Shirai will have her 10th anniversary big show on 3/20 at Korakuen Hall and that will be her last major event. Hojo will have a homecoming show in April and then also probably be leaving, although Stardom is trying to convince her to stay because losing one won't be so bad but losing both will be devastating, in particular because they have nobody at their level to elevate to take their places. The promotions' big three of late have been those two and Mayu Iwatani.

11/7/16 Issue

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Kairi Hojo of Stardom has agreed to a three-year contract. She’s a great wrestler who was one of the women on the Lucha Underground show against Pentagon Dark earlier this season. Nakamura has been pushing for her to come to NXT for several months, since before we originally reported her getting an offer. She had told Stardom officials that she had turned down the offer and was staying with them. She just told the promotion now that she was leaving and wanted to leave in April. She’s got two titles and Stardom wants to her drop the titles before she leaves. The company felt they were misled by Hojo through all this. Io Shirai, the company’s top star, was more up front about her situation. She’s also reconsidered coming and said that she will be going to Orlando later this month but would not be working any shows over Mania weekend. This is a gigantic blow to Stardom, because they were probably the top two Japanese stars with the group and the key players why Stardom has been viewed as Japan’s top women’s wrestling promotion. Plus the third biggest star from the promotion, Mayu Iwatani, wants to retire before the end of the year. Iwatani was originally booked to win the World of Stardom title from Shirai in December, but the finish was changed to Shirai keeping the belt when Iwatani told the promotion that she wanted to retire in 2017 and Shirai decided she was going to stay. Shirai and Meiko Satomura are generally considered the two best woman wrestlers in the world right now. This would replenish NXT’s women’s division that has really been just Asuka, to a degree Ember Moon, and a bunch of women who aren’t anywhere near that level

03/13/17 Issue

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Kairi Hojo, real name Kaori Housako, officially announced at the 5/6 Stardom show that she is leaving the promotion. She never mentioned going to WWE, as nobody is allowed to say anything until WWE announces it first, but she signed a three-year contract in March for $60,000 per year. One of the things that made it tough for Stardom is that she was earning more than that in Japan, her home country, and in a position to be a guaranteed star and to have the matches she wanted to have, but the lure of WWE as the major league still got her to leave

Io Shirai hasn’t signed yet and her coming to Orlando in late March to the Performance Center as WWE recruiting didn’t go swimmingly from her standpoint. Shirai is Stardom’s biggest star and Hojo was No. 2. Stardom would be able to survive losing one, but losing both, particularly if Mayu Iwatani also retires, would be devastating. Asuka, then known as Kana, was the top star of Japanese womens wrestling before Shirai and Hojo. Hojo is an excellent worker and is 28 years old, but smaller than most of the WWE women. She competed in the sport of Yachting at a high level while in college and was an Olympic hopeful in that sport. After college, she was working as an actress. She did a play where her role was to be a heel woman wrestler and a Stardom official saw the play and invited her to come to a show. She saw the atmosphere and immediately wanted to become a wrestler in 2011 and debuted on January 7, 2012

05/15/17 Issue

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Kairi Hojo, one of the elite woman wrestlers in the world, who signed with WWE in March, but had personally kept it quiet, should be reporting to the Performance Center shortly.

Hojo, real name Kaori Housako, 28, announced at Saturday's Stardom show that she is leaving the promotion. She never mentioned WWE, because talent is not allowed to mention they are going to WWE until WWE announces it first.

We had reported Hojo's negotiations and signing as the story was playing out from last year. WWE was after both Hojo and Stardom's top star, Io Shirai. Shirai was brought to Orlando not that long ago to train, which was not supposed to go public but due to a communications issue, was briefly mentioned on the WWE website.

Shirai hasn't signed with WWE at this point.

Hojo has wrestled for just over five years and was an Olympic hopeful in yachting before getting into pro wrestling. She had worked a few shows for Lucha Underground but was not under contract with the promotion.

05/06/17 WON Website

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By Mike Johnson on 2017-06-06 13:06:00
WWE plans to distribute the Mae Young Classic tournament in a different way, PWInsider.com has exclusively confirmed.

The plan is to film the 32-woman tournament on 7/13 and 7/14 at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida for the WWE Network.

The Network will debut a preview special for the tournament on 8/20 with the first round of the tournament being released via Video on Demand the final week of August as a way to let fans binge the "episodes."

The second round will be released the first week in September, again via the VOD service. Initially, the plan was to release them Summerslam week but the decision was made to hold off so that the women's tournament was not overshadowed by everything else WWE had scheduled for that week, which is pretty smart.

The current plan is to hold the finals live on Tuesday 9/12.  Currently, the only WWE event scheduled that day is a taping in Las Vegas for the Smackdown brand, so it may be that the finals of the Mae Young Classic will air live on the Network from Las Vegas.

WWE has already locked in a number of talents for the tournament.

 

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I am not a fan of binge watching no matter how great a show is.  But as long as it's spaced enough so we have the chance to catch everything then great.

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On 6/5/2017 at 10:39 AM, Kevin Wilson said:

Yea, I mean my love for Kris Wolf is well documented but she isn't someone worth going to court over or doing something sleazy for.

Are we talking corporations or individuals because I'd cheerfully catch a court case over Kris Wolf.

Hey, Rippa, is that Io vs. Kairi personal bullshit real heat or is it mother fuckers stirring the pot?

I also don't get Vince's age-phobia.  Asuka may be 35, but she sure as shit doesn't look or wrestle like she's 35.

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Is it true that Hojo would be making less in NXT than she would in Japan?  I could be wrong but I'd think there wouldn't be too much money in joshi.

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11 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Hey, Rippa, is that Io vs. Kairi personal bullshit real heat or is it mother fucker stirring the pot?

I would put only so much stock into it. Mayu isn't retiring, and the guy who runs Stardom's twitter confirmed they knew Kairi was leaving 8 months ago. If he gets stuff like that wrong, then who knows what else.

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4 minutes ago, nofuture said:

Is it true that Hojo would be making less in NXT than she would in Japan?  I could be wrong but I'd think there wouldn't be too much money in joshi.

With the heavier schedule she'd be working compared to Japan, I find it difficult to believe she'd take a pay cut to come to the states unless she totally did not read the contract or the dollar really sucks compared to the yen.

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I wish it wasn't going to be released over a month after being taped. Thought the UK tournament was helped greatly being live.

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26 minutes ago, J.T. said:

With the heavier schedule she'd be working compared to Japan, I find it difficult to believe she'd take a pay cut to come to the states unless she totally did not read the contract or the dollar really sucks compared to the yen.

There was definitely someone recently - and I am pretty sure it was either Io or Kairi - who Dave tweeted he knew for a fact took less money

The problem is trying to find it in Dave's Twitter feed is a hot mess

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I'm no math expert, but a 32 wrestler tournament has four rounds, then a Final. I think. So Mike's VOD release schedule is a bit incomplete.

I wouldn't try to even guess how much money Stardom wrestler's make, because a chunk of Kairi and Io's pay comes from merchandise, photobooks, etc. Someone that went to a recent Stardom show was going to pick up an Io shirt for me if possible, but he said the line for her was crazy so he didn't try to wait in it. Probably only the wrestler's themselves know the 'bottom line' money they make since there are too many factors, but it wouldn't shock me either way.

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Semis and Finals are shown live on the same show

Edit - again following the format they used for the CWC

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3 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Semis and Finals are shown live on the same show

Edit - again following the format they used for the CWC

Isn't that still missing a round? Or is my math bad.  32 16 8 4 2 so what about the other round (I am thinking about going to the shows, hence my extra interest). I have no idea how they taped the CWC which maybe isn't helping my brain.

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9 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

There was definitely someone recently - and I am pretty sure it was either Io or Kairi - who Dave tweeted he knew for a fact took less money

The problem is trying to find it in Dave's Twitter feed is a hot mess

That sucks.  You know that Vince is not going to let Kairi market her own merch so that's an even bigger slice of revenue up in smoke,

Good bye, photobooks... :(

At least she'll have health insurance...maybe....

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1 minute ago, Kevin Wilson said:

Isn't that still missing a round? Or is my math bad.  32 16 8 4 2 so what about the other round (I am thinking about going to the shows, hence my extra interest). I have no idea how they taped the CWC which maybe isn't helping my brain.

Round 1 - 32 guys (16 matches)

Round 2 - 16 guys (8 matches)

Round 3 - 8 guys (4 matches)

Round 4 - 4 guys (Semis - 2 matches, Finals - 1 match)

The taping schedule is already somewhat different since they are doing it over two days.

CWC did at least 3 tapings and then the live semis/finals

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Ah - okay - I realized we are talking about the same things

The tapings are different than the release schedule

Mike used poor wording

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Just now, RIPPA said:

Ah - okay - I realized we are talking about the same things

The tapings are different than the release schedule

Mike used poor wording

I think I am ok now. Still not sure when Round 3 is airing but its all just kinda guess work anyway if it isn't finalized. Surprised they haven't locked in all 32, since it happens in five weeks.

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Hey I found it!

 

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Isn't there a pay scale in NXT. I seem to recall footage of Crews and Jax being called in and told they were getting a pay raise.

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According to PWInsider we are getting pretty much all the PC girls in this. Pretty much guarantees the first round is going to suck with a bunch of the girls barely having had matches in front of a crowd.

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I hope that is wrong. That said, aren't many of women at the PC former indy wrestlers at this point?

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