The last decade from Hamada-San has been busy, and not without its problems. She was there as the Joshi bubble burst, GAEA and All Japan Women closed their doors in 2005, and aside from that run in HUSTLE that closed out her first Joshi run. When she came back from TNA – now Impact Wrestling – the Joshi world was a much different place.
She would land in WAVE, a promotion owned and operated by the LLPW and ARSION regular Gami. Gami had evolved her career from being a badass shooter in LLPW to a vicious heel in ARSION and eventually settled into a comedy entertainment groove with WAVE and the promotion reflected her wide-based philosophy.
One of the few Joshi promotions with a regular TV deal, WAVE was stocked full of talent and took advantage of the free-rolling freelance nature of Joshi. While you may be associated with one company there is a general belief in working towards what is good for Joshi; this allowed Hamada a lot of free reign in who she could work for, but also a regular and mandated income, which let’s be honest is the most important thing for any pro wrestler.
She would align herself with the Black Dahlia stable as a heel and gained her first major victory in the Dual Shock Wave tag Tournament of 2013 with Yuu Yamagata. In October of the same year, they would take the WAVE tag titles beating Classic Gals (Cherry and Shuu Shibutani) for the belts.
They would drop them the following July and pick them up again in October of 2014 beating Revolucion Amandla (Kyoko Kimura and Tomoka Nakagawa). Hamada would use these reigns to springboard herself to the WAVE Women’s Championship, beating current AEW standout Hikaru Shida for the belt in February of 2015, making her a double champion.
Of all people, her tag partner Yuu Yamagata would take the title from her in December 2015, two days after Christmas. The pair would also kick off a third title reign and a second Double Shock Wave Tournament in October 2015, when they beat Kayoko Haruyama and Tsubasa Kuragaki.
As explained before, Hamada also found work in and around the Joshi scene and made her presence felt in some big promotions, most notably to Western fans as a key draw for the Chikara Joshimania Tour of 2011. Drafted at late notice as a replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, she turned in a barn-burning outing with Sara Del Rey as the women of Japan set about showing the North Eastern fans what Joshi Pro Wrestling was all about.
She also turned up in Oz Academy, the topsy turvy heel-dominated promotion run by Mayumi Ozaki. Brought in as ringer by her mentor Aja Kong, her appearances brought back memories of GAEA’s heyday and it was also noticeable how much her body shape had changed and her approach to the ring. Her increased muscle mass allowed her to build on her fearsome reputation for brawling forged in ARSION. She would take on many intergender assignments and develop a taste for hardcore matches.
However, her work was in no way one dimensional. Her gifted wrestling ability never left and her ring physiology was of the highest order even after thirteen years in the business. Her former GAEA colleague Meiko Satomura understood that more than anyone.
After ten years of being a titleless organisation that featured a wider narrative, Satomura changed the game for the Sendai Girls and introduced a World’s Championship. She chose Hamada as the person to fight for the vacant belt and they had a blinder on Satomura’s 20th Anniversary show in October 2015. She would regularly appear for the promotion, building her contendership back to the title, and in April of 2018, she would upend the young ace of Sendai, Chihiro Hashimoto, for the belt.
All was not well with Hamada, though. She would be arrested on a drugs possession charge and vacated the title in May of 2018. She received a suspended sentence. In Japanese culture, a drugs charge is very hard to live down and can damage a reputation permanently. Hamada announced her immediate retirement from Joshi, announcing she would be looking for work as an interpreter. She spoke English and Spanish fluently and had good English too.
However, a year later she relocated to Mexico and started with AAA, joining the legendary Perros del Mal heel stable and hunting down the Reina de Reinas Championship, debuting in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at Triplemania XXVII. Though Tessa Blanchard won that match, Hamada was back where she belonged, swinging chairs with the best of them.
Hamada is a unique talent, a woman groomed for greatness by the best the industry had to offer, and who has never been at the very top of her game. She had a truly golden patch from 1998-2002 that set her apart in an elite group of wrestlers. However, since then, she has refined her overall game plan and continues to thrive. Larga Vida a la Reina de las Reinas!