||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
|Birth name||Ayumi Kurihara|
|Ring name(s)||Ayumi Kurihara
|Billed height||1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Billed weight||57 kg (126 lb)|
July 13, 1984 |
|Trained by||Mariko Yoshida
|Debut||April 24, 2005|
|Retired||August 4, 2013|
Ayumi Kurihara (栗原 亜弓 Kurihara Ayumi?, ring name: 栗原 あゆみ) is a retired joshi puroresu wrestler who grew up around pro wrestling. Her parents' Tokyo yakiniku (焼肉) barbecue restaurant, "The Three Treasures of Buddha" (三宝) was not only a place where wrestlers often ate, but is also a sponsor of pro wrestling events. Because of this involvement, Kurihara has had to work twice as hard training and in the ring to avoid the stigma of being a sponsor's daughter.
Kurihara played basketball in high school in Tokyo, and after graduation, she went to work at her family's restaurant.
Professional wrestling career
Kurihara entered training with the women's pro wrestling promotion AtoZ and then transferred to M's Style, where she learned the craft from well-known Japanese female wrestlers Gami, Mariko Yoshida, Akino, and Michiko Ohmukai. Kurihara debuted in 2005, at the age of 20. She is viewed as one of the future stars of joshi puroresu in Japan as she has a hunger and desire second to none in the younger class. In a "1 Day Tournament" Kurihara had her pro debut and defeated Gami in her debut match in 9:08 when she reversed a pin attempt into a roll-up. She then lost her following tournament match in 6:54 when Toshie Uematsu beat her with a flying body press. M's Style closed in the fall of 2006. The final match was a six-person tag match, pitting Tojuki Leon, Bullfight Sora and Kurihara against Akino, Ohmukai and Yoshida. The younger generation won the match. Since then, Kurihara has wrestled as a freelancer, in Neo, JWP, Jd', Ibuki and Pro Wrestling Sun. Near the end of her tenure in M's Style, Kurihara incorporated a stronger finishing move to her moveset. Ohmukai was shown teaching her how to perform a uranage, which she then went on to use in a tag victory with Ohmukai against Ayako Hamada and Cherry. In December 2006, Kurihara wrestled Shuu Shibutani in a special show geared toward the upcoming generation of wrestlers. The fans voted the match the best of the night and both women received trophies.
Kurihara often hits numerous dropkicks during her matches, including missile dropkicks off the top turnbuckle. She's not afraid to hit hard and take hard hits, prompting American wrestler Steve Corino, who works for Pro Wrestling SUN and faced her in a mixed tag match, to call her "lil' Kawada girl." (Toshiaki Kawada is well known in puroresu for his stiff strikes) This has led to Kurihara taking a beating from veterans like Nanae Takahashi and Dynamite Kansai in matches due to her hard-hitting work rate. On July 16, 2007 at the Pro Wrestling NEO "Summer Stampede '07" show in Korakuen Hall, while teaming alongside Shuu Shibutani versus Aoi Kizuki and Nagisa Nozaki, Kurihara broke her clavicle receiving a hard flying clothesline by Kizuki. Kurihara finished the match, hitting three more missile dropkicks before scoring the pinfall. This injury caused her to miss the remainder of 2007.
She returned to action on December 9, 2007 to compete in the main event tag match in Michiko Ohmukai's retirement show, but re-aggravated her injury causing her to need surgery. On December 20, 2007, Kurihara underwent the surgery in which the doctor removed bone and bone marrow from her hip to use to reconstruct her clavicle along with a titanium plate and screws. While out of action for several months, she kept occupied with her family restaurant, some photo modeling, fan meet & greets and supporting joshi pro wrestling in Japan, often alongside mentor and trainer Akino. She also picked up modeling endorsement for the Chiba Lotte Marines advertising soba noodles and Yebisu beer. She was also in negotiations with Rockst★r energy drink, but never signed.
Around mid-March 2008 Kurihara began light training again with Mariko Yoshida and in the U-FILE Dojo. On June 8, 2008 she announced on her blog that she has finally resumed full training including her signature dropkick. Her new return to action was scheduled for December 14, 2008 at Tokyo Shinjuku Face for her personally produced show titled "Starting☆Over." At her event she wrestled twice, first in the opening bout victory against good friend Shuu Shibutani and then in main event 2/3 Falls Tag Team match where she teamed with Natsuki☆Taiyo against veterans Akino and Nanae Takahashi. In August 2009 Kurihara traveled to Mexico City, Mexico to participate in Ultimo Dragon's Dragonmania IV show on August 25, 2009 in Arena México. She also participated in some smaller independent events while in Mexico. Here Kurihara debuted a new costume with a mask, calling herself A☆YU☆MI. Kurihara teamed with Yoshiko Tamura to challenge Nanae Takahashi and Kana for the NEO tag team championships on December 31, 2009 in Korakuen Hall. Kurihara and Tamura became the 12th NEO tag team champions after Kurihara pinned Kana at 21:32. This was the first championship of Kurihara's career. In February 2010 it was announced that Kurihara and several other joshi wrestlers would be appearing for Shimmer Women Athletes pro wrestling in Berywn, Illinois on their March shows. Kurihara would also be appearing for Jersey All Pro Wrestling the same month. This was Kurihara's first trip to the USA.
On April 10 and 11, 2010, Kurihara took part in Shimmer Women Athletes' tapings of Volumes 29 to 32. On Volume 29 she defeated fellow joshi wrestler Tomoka Nakagawa, on Volume 30 Nikki Roxx and on Volume 31 Sara Del Rey, before losing to Daizee Haze via countout on Volume 32.
Kurihara returned to Mexico in late May/early June for her 2nd Mexico tour. On May 29 at the Lucha Fan Fest in Circo Volador de Mexico City A☆YU☆MI won the Women X-LAW Extreme Championship, a title belt from Xtreme Latin American Wrestling. The match was an "8 Way Dance" of La Chola vs. Dama X vs. Afrodita vs. Lady Monster vs. Luna Mágica vs. A☆YU☆MI vs. Cassandra vs. Xena.
On May 30 A☆YU☆MI participated in an 8-Women tag match at the Arena Lopez Mateos for the AULL promotion (Alianza Universal de Lucha Libre).
Soon after rival joshi wrestler Tomoka Nakagawa traveled to Mexico to challenge A☆YU☆MI for her newly won title belt. After Nakagawa defeated her in a non-title match on June 3 for IWRG in Arena Naucalpan, A☆YU☆MI successfully defended the title belt against Nakagawa on June 5 at the Arena Lopez Mateos for the AULL promotion again.
On September 11 and 12, 2010, Kurihara returned to Shimmer Women Athletes to take part in the promotion's tapings of Volumes 33–36. On Volume 33 she defeated Daizee Haze in a rematch of Volume 32, on Volume 34 she unsuccessfully challenged Madison Eagles for the Shimmer Championship, on Volume 35 she defeated Cheerleader Melissa and finally on Volume 36 she, Ayako Hamada, Cheerleader Melissa and Serena Deeb defeated Daizee Haze, Tomoka Nakagawa, Madison Eagles and Sara Del Rey in an elimination tag team match. On December 31, 2010, Kurihara defeated Yoshiko Tamura in Tamura's retirement match to win the NWA Women's Pacific and NEO Single Championships. On October 1, 2011, Kurihara and Ayako Hamada defeated Daizee Haze and Tomoka Nakagawa to win the Shimmer Tag Team Championship. On November 8, Kurihara made her first appearance as A★YU★MI, a villainous version of her masked persona.
On November 26, 2011, Kurihara defeated Marcela in the main event of an Ayumi Kurihara Produce event to win Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre's World Women's Championship. After successful title defenses against Cherry and Hailey Hatred, Kurihara lost the title back to Marcela on March 9, 2012, in Mexico City. After seven successful title defenses, Kurihara and Ayako Hamada lost the Shimmer Tag Team Championship to Courtney Rush and Sara Del Rey on March 18 at the tapings of Volume 48. On July 16, Kurihara defeated Ryo Mizunami to win Pro Wrestling Wave's 2012 Catch the Wave tournament. On August 19, Kurihara teamed with her trainer Akino to defeat Aja Kong and Sonoko Kato for the Oz Academy Tag Team Championship. On March 28, 2013, Kurihara announced that, due to the various injuries she had suffered during her career, she would be retiring from professional wrestling on August 4. On April 6, Kurihara returned to the United States for her final Shimmer Women Athletes appearance, losing to Mercedes Martinez at the Volume 53 internet pay-per-view. Kurihara's retirement event, titled "Thank You for Everything", took place on August 4 in Korakuen Hall and was produced by Zabun, the company behind Pro Wrestling Wave. Kurihara wrestled two matches during the event; first she defeated her trainee Mika Iida in the opening match and then teamed with Iida and Akino in a six-woman tag team main event, where they defeated Aja Kong, Gami and Tomoka Nakagawa, with Kurihara pinning Kong for the final win of her career.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling
- Oz Academy
- Pro Wrestling Wave
- "栗原あゆみ". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "Ayumi estará en el CMLL en el mes de septiembre". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). August 14, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- "Saturday night Wave vol.８". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "『夏フェスタ'11・Black』". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-01-22.
- ""かわいすぎるレスラー"栗原あゆみが引退". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- Byers, Ryan (2010-04-12). "411’s Live SHIMMER Report: April 10th and 11th". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
- Csonka, Larry (2010-09-11). "SHIMMER Volume 33 Taping Results". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- Csonka, Larry (2010-09-12). "SHIMMER Volume 34 Taping Results". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- Cook, Steve (2010-09-12). "SHIMMER Volume 35 Taping Results". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- Cook, Steve (2010-09-12). "SHIMMER Volume 36 Taping Results". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- "2010 NEO results". Purolove. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- Martin, Adam (2011-10-02). "Report of the Shimmer Volume 41, 42 tapings". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "栗原あゆみＣＭＬＬ世界女子王座を初戴冠、１．８ブル中野引退興行へ出陣". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. November 26, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- "2012年01月03日（火） 【ユニオン1・3リポート②】菊地が入団希望、新高木が登場!". Union Pro (in Japanese). January 3, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- "栗原あゆみがＣＭＬＬ世界女子王座を防衛＝Ｒeina メキシコ遠征での防衛戦に意欲". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. January 16, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- Salazar López, Alexis A. (March 9, 2012). "Marcela de nueva cuenta Monarca Mundial Femenil del CMLL.". Estrellas del Ring (in Spanish). Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Cooper, Chad (March 19, 2012). "Results of Shimmer Vol. 47 and 48 tapings". WrestleView. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "『Virgin Shock～catch the Wave2012決勝～』". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "2012/08/19(日) 18:00～ 「プラムの花咲くOzの国2012」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- "人気女子レスラー栗原あゆみが引退". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- "８・４後楽園での引退を発表／栗原あゆみ会見". Ringstars (in Japanese). Ameba. March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- Namako, Jason (2013-04-06). "4/6 Shimmer 53 iPPV Results: Secaucus, New Jersey". WrestleView. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- "入門から10年間、最後まで全力で駆け抜けた栗原あゆみ！たくさんの仲間たちに囲まれ、涙よりも笑顔で引退！". Battle News (in Japanese). 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "栗原あゆみ「プロレスが大好き」／引退興行". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "2010年2月14日(日)". NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "アイアンマン王座が華名から栗原あゆみに移動". Dramatic Dream Team (in Japanese). 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- "Dramatic 2012 June Special". Dramatic Dream Team (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "渋谷 シュウ". JDStar (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "ファンが選んだベストバウト表彰式". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Livedoor. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
- "『夏フェスタ '11・White』". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "『Like a Virgin 1224』West Japan～大阪ラプソティ DX～". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- "『catch the Wave 2011 Final 波女決定リーグ戦決勝トーナメント』". Pro Wrestling Wave (in Japanese). Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- Oz Academy profile
- Ayumi Kurihara's Official Website site is in Japanese
- Ayumi Kurhara's blog is in Japanese
- Ayumi Kurhara's Promotional blog AYUMI☆NEWS is in Japanese
- Ayumi Kurihara's YouTube Channel