Women of the Year 2013: Ayumi Kurihara


Every hour until the clock strikes midnight (Eastern time) and we usher in 2014, Diva Dirt will highlight – in no particular order – the women who made an impact in 2013.

Ayumi Kurihara

2013 would be the final year in the career of modern Joshi’s most celebrated stars, Ayumi Kurihara. She retired in August after an eight-year career riddled with injuries – a common enemy of those who practice the hard-hitting Japanese style of wrestling.

Things started off badly for Ayumi in 2013, as she fractured an orbital bone at an Oz Academy match in February. The following month, she announced her impending retirement, and set about saying her farewells the only way she knew how: in the middle of the ring. At SHIMMER 53 in April she faced Mercedes Martinez in a losing effort in what was to be her final match on American soil before heading back to Japan to see out her last months in wrestling, working largely at WAVE, where she faced the likes of Ayako Hamada, Kana and many more in matches that were every bit as good as the classics she’s had in the past.

Her final appearance, at a show entitled “Ayumi Kurihara: Thank You For Everything”, saw her team up with Mika Iida and AKINO to defeat Aja Kong, GAMI and Hiroyo Matsumoto, before being showered with streamers and paraded around on her colleagues’ shoulders in a warm and teary farewell. Thank you, Ayumi!

Come back at the top of the next hour to see who else has been crowned one of 2013’s “Women of the Year”.