3月のAEW Dynamite以来、実に4ヶ月ぶりの試合です。
Riho will join Nico Nico Pro-wrestling TV show. We would see her match first-ever since March!

里歩&中森華子&朱里 vs 真琴&朱祟花&小林香萌
Riho & Hanako Nakamori & Syuri vs Makoto & Asuka(VENY) & Kaho Kobayashi!

The broadcast will be scheduled on 7/4 or 7/5. You can subscribe below link.

プロレス関連ポスターやポートレートで数々の素晴らしい作品を生み出しているグラフィックデザイナー ハコファクトリィ (@hakofc)さんの個展「レスラーズグラフィカ4 (@hakoten201718)」に、今年も里歩選手がモデルの作品が公開予定です。

Riho will participate as a model for artworks of the solo exhibition “Wrestlers Graphica 4 (@ hakoten201718) ” by graphic designer Hako Factory (@hakofc), who produces many wonderful works with professional wrestling related posters and portraits.

プロレスラーだけの写真展「レスラーズ グラフィカ4」
Web: https://hakoten.jimdofree.com/


Riho also participated as a model at last year’s “Wrestlers Graphica 3” and held an autograph session.
Please note that no autograph session is scheduled for 2020.


WOR Women's Wrestling MVP 2020 Result

里歩選手がWrestling Oberseverが選ぶ2020年女子部門 第6位を獲得しました。

Wrestling Obeserver listed Riho on #6 of thier Women’s Wrestling MVP of 2020.
That’s the second in Japanese Joshi Wrestlers and closest to Io Shirai who got the first.
This result proved her achievement as the first AEW women’s world champion.
Congratulations Riho!

Riho’s entrance music “Eternal Beauty” is now available on iTunes and Apple Music. You can get this great music in only $1.29!

里歩選手の入場曲「Eternal Beauty」がiTunes / Apple Musicで配信開始となりました。



You can also grab your CD on Yoneyamado’s website. Please read following instruction if you will buy it from outside Japan.


At first, Riho told us she has just enjoyed her Japan stay.
Then her thought goes back to the time when she took on Hikaru Shida on this August at ALL OUT.

「ALL OUT」で志田選手とのシングルマッチでは両国国技館での試合や後楽園ホールでのメインイベントといった13年間のキャリアでも感じたことの無い孤独感があったそうです。
里歩選手はそれを「10,000人ちょっとのお客さん vs 里歩」と表現しています。

There was the huge loneliness she never has been felt even thou through her 13 years experience included felt at the match Ryogoku Sumo Arena or the main event at Korakuen Hall.
She described that feeling as “About 10,000 visitors vs Riho”.


Riho let us in on a secret that she couldn’t stand up after the match.
But overcoming that kind of loneliness made her more confident.

実際に11月に同じペーパービューでやった vsさくらさんとのシングルマッチは「楽しんでやろう」という気持ちで挑むことができましたし!実際楽しむ事ができましたし!」

Riho: The truth is a mystery whether it was released from pressure or took so much damage from the match.
But I was pretty confident that I was able to overcome that loneliness.
In fact, I was able to challenge the singles match with Sakura at Full Gear in November, with the feeling of “Let’s have fun!”
And I actually really enjoyed it!


Finally, The column has concluded by this unique sentence.


Riho: You may seem like I’m a bright person, but I’m fighting with many things because I’m a human.
So that I was fighting laundry today!



Riho put the column just after coming back to Japan.
This week she has looked back on changes for 4 months since leaving Gatoh Move.


でも今まで平凡のプロレス生活を送っていたせいで、刺激が本当にちくちく刺さるような刺激というか。 』

Riho: Circumstance has significantly changed since July.
Long-term stays in the US and participation in AEW are one of them, and in Japan, I joined Stardom.
Anyway, there were so many people who I never met.

Of course, I had met many people, got stimulation, and that was my joy.
But that stimulation really was the feeling like tingling because I had lived an ordinary wrestling life.


In my opinion, she has experienced “not ordinary” life.
Anyway, dramatic changes of circumstance seemingly gave to Riho stimulations that never had before.


私は安定を求める代表格みたいな性格なんですけど、この4ヶ月くらいでもっと色んな事に挑戦してみたいと思えるようになりました。 』

Riho: What I want to say is to challenge is important.
And I appreciate the circumstance which I can challenge.
I’m a typical person who wants to be stable.
But I’ve gotten my thoughts that I would want to challenge many more things during these 4 months.


Her challenge in the United States and Japan have just begun.
We will continue to watch the growth of Riho players who are undergoing a lot of stimulation and changing as both humans and professional wrestlers.



The weekly column “Riho’s dressing room” on the Weekly Pro wrestling mobile has updated with the article named “Things never changed in 13 years”.
In there, she wrote about her thoughts and the relation ship Emi Sakura after leaving Gatoh Move.

Below is the excerpt.


When Riho started to appear on AEW, she often cried by feeling the pressure that has never been before and the loneliness.
Sakura always relieved her by talking words that made Riho feel at ease.


Riho said about that relationship in her words.

That was not because I left the company, but it has been the case for the last 13 years.
I couldn’t see it because it was natural.


At the end of the article, Riho express Sakura as this.

“The person who I respect the most, who I don’t want to lose the most and I want to see my growth the most”

Full Gearでのタイトルマッチを巡るストーリーで世界に闘いの場を移した後、師弟は同時に最高のライバルでもあるという新しい時代へ突入したようです。

After their battle field moves to the world during the stories about the title match, it seems that the teacher and the student have entered a new era that they are also the best rivals.
I’m looking forward what is the next of their still going story.


Below is the English translation of the interview for Riho by Weekly Playboy Japan.

※ この記事は週刊プレイボーイによる里歩選手へのインタビューの英訳です。

Congratulations on winning the Inaugural AEW Women’s Championship!

Riho: Thank you!
I didn’t expect you to become a champion in the United States in 3 months after going freelance and make a name for the world!

Riho: I never thought I would do that!
I thought I am an unknown part-timer when I was starting to wrestle in the US.

Moreover, the physical difference between you and the opponent, Nyla Rose, was like adults and children.

Riho: In fact, I got big cheering from fans rather than her and that made me think “I can’t lose”!
On top of that, I don’t fear physical differences because of having been many experiences for matches between Male competitors.

I know you had many mixed matches and heard that you were teamed up with Kenny Omega.

Riho: That was when I was 12. He has cared about me ever since.

That connection made you join AEW?

Riho: I got a mobile message that “Perhaps I might have a match in the US, but are you interested in Riho?”  from Kenny then I replied in an easy mood like “Lemme do that!”.
I never thought that was such a big new company.
I stepped in front of almost 20,000 crowds, I had wrestled on a small venue with only 60 peoples in Japan though.
And there weren’t fans who have supported me in the US.
I feel very lonely and upsetting so I thought I would be back home every time.

Do things have changed after becoming a champion?

Riho: It has changed a lot!
At first, there was a feeling that a stranger came in the waiting room.
After becoming the champion, they called me by my name “Riho”, I wonder if I’d have been recognized.
People have recognized me even if I’m on the road or in the hotel.
Airport inspector who looked out the champion belt said “Oh, Riho! Congratulations!”.
I have understood how popular pro wrestling is in the US.

People would be surprised if the champion belt found in the luggage. [laugh]
By the way, how about the treatment by AEW?

Riho: After arriving at the airport, a hired car for the venue arranged properly.
Hotels are also luxury, for example, there are 6 pillows and have no idea how I can use it all[laugh]
That’s a huge difference between Japan, where I left home in the middle of the night and tripped by a car and go back immediately after the match.

That’s exactly what the American dream is!
But you didn’t have a specific goal and saying “I’m having fun now” when we had the interview one and a half years ago.
What made you go freelance.

Riho: When I leave the ring in a month by injuring neck, I could look myself objectively the first time.
Even though I’ve been in pro wrestling for 13 years, asking myself if I would do more 13 years, then the answer would be no.
So I had the feeling want to be challenging rather than being enjoyable at the same place.
That was the period just starting to appear in other promotions, I found that how pleasant to meet new fans who cheered me in the match against the first-ever opponent is.

In the same period, You expand your opportunities for England, Taiwan.
And becoming the champion in Singapore.
Did you gain confidence from that?

Riho: That was the feeling of making the base as a pro wrestler rather than the confidence.
I wished I would be showing that in various places.
So I told honestly Miss Sakura about the thought, then she said “The right time has come, I will let you go with confidence”

[ snip ]

You had almost 300 matches from October 2012 to May 2017 and there were so many counts from your debut in 2006.

Riho: Certainly there is a part that can improve the match more than practice.
For example, the timing to use my leg right after finding the chance to roll up, or the timing to get to the fan’s heart, intuitive things largely depend on the experience.
And due to my physical small size, I think I’m pursuing how to put my weight on or moving my body to turn over big opponents.

Even if worn out, you have the stamina for counter-attacking on the right occasion!
Your quickness and various maneuver make fans hot, on the other hand, you are described as an “Idol” wrestler from your adorable looking.
What is your opinion about it?

Riho: My mentor Miss Sakura said so, also American fans seem to accept and cheer me along with “Japanese Idol culture around”.
That might be my strength, but I’m ambivalent.
Because I’m a professional wrestler and feel “Don’t take me lightly!” [laugh]

You won a High-speed championship belt immediately after joining Stardom which you have chosen as a Japanese base.

Riho: Fans might not find the way how to look freelance wrestler like me.
The belt is the best way for the expression, so got it fast was nice to me.

Why you chose Stardom?

Riho: Not just I was offered but also I think there was the place where I potentially change most.
They are famous enough that when I said “I do woman pro wrestling” abroad, every people said, “Is it Stardom?”.
From that point, they are closest to the world.
And they might become dominant in Joshi promotion, after having affiliated with Bushiroad.
It’s my joy to appear in such a promotion.

On the flip side, how was joining AEW?

Riho: Everyone is aware of being a star and especially I’ve been learned from female rosters’ “Looking at me!” vibes.
All rosters are free anyway, and I got excited about the atmosphere that they are doing as they like.

Well, what about the future?

Riho: I will appear in AEW at least two times in a month.
Thus It seems to be a busy life going back and forth between Japan and America.
But pro wrestling is fun and I’m fulfilling, so I only have eyes for my business.
The current professional wrestling is completely different from the old one, and ordinary people like me are also doing it.
If people were getting known that fact, they would be much more enjoy it.
I also aim to tell that.
After I became freelance and many people could see the match, I started thinking about what I could do but I have never thought about it in the past.
I want to do anything if there is a possibility of knowing professional wrestling!

Rolling Stone Japan recently published the interview for Riho.
Below is the second half of English translation.

Also available the first part of the interview.

※ この記事はローリングストーンジャパンによる里歩選手へのインタビューの英訳です。

What is the reason why you decided to leave Gatoh Move that is a turning point of your growth?

Riho: Affected me directly was my AEW debut that realized in May ’19.
There have been 14 years from my debut despite my appearance.
I had various types of matches also in overseas.
But I was extremely stimulated by recognizing that there are still so many scenes I have never seen.
I don’t know how many years my life as a professional wrestler will continue, but I should experience those new worlds until then.

Even so, you needed taking much courage to leave Sakura who was like the mother in the industry?

Riho: I feel embarrassed to say from myself, but I knew that my popularity was a big part of Gatoh Move, so of course there was a hesitation.
Miss Sakura encouraged leaving the company, immediately after talking.

That’s a great point.
You might be an irreplaceable “daughter” for Sakura.

Riho: Thus I thought I couldn’t go beyond her while I was together.
If I was in the same company, I would follow up after all.
In that way, I could only be Sakura even if how hard I would work.
For outperforming Sakura, I should do it myself in the different place and based on her teachings.
She might be understanding it.

As a professional wrestler, have you ever remembered what you learned from Sakura?

Riho: That is “Don’t imitate others”.
There is a trend in professional wrestling maneuever, and popular maneuever spread quickly.
Sakura doesn’t like to incorporate the skills of others easily.
I still intend to keep my teaching faithfully that without relying on imitation, believing in your skills and polishing them carefully.
So winning AEW belt by Soumato was really happy.
Because the manuever I continued to polish has proven to be world-class.

You’ll be into the Intergender match on DDT Ryogoku Sumo Hall show.
This is a type of the match that you are good at?

Riho: That’s right.
I have been experienced many times in Gatoh Move.
There are few people also in pro wrestling fans who watched mixed match, and people tend to think that’s queer.
But mixed match in Japanese pro wrestling is very high quality and, in my opinion, we can be proud of that in the world.

Riho: When I did mixed match with Kenny at Taiwan in last summer fans were very surprised and said “Was there that type of match!”.
At upcoming Ryogoku Sumo hall, the fans’ attention is due to Kenny, who became an AEW superstar.
But I want them to enjoy the mixed matches.
On top of that, I want to appeal fans who Riho is.

Are you also aware of being an AEW representative when you work with Kenny?

Riho: I don’t have that idea at all. Because AEW has more amazing players than I. [laugh]
I just got a freelance, so now I’m just trying to fight for myself.

What is your future destination?

Riho: As mentioned previously, I don’t know how many years to continue, so I want to experience as much of the world I have never seen before.
Participating in Stardom, an company that I never had touch with, is a part of ideas.

Do you think whether you would consider about retiring again in the future?

Riho: If that time comes, it would be when I could say everything is done.
I have no idea what will make me such state for now.

At least crowning AEW’s belt is not “everything”?

Riho: Sure, that’s not the goal.
After conversations, I think the reason of continuing to wrestle today may be to find what I feel “complete” in my life.

Rolling Stone Japan recently published the interview for Riho.
Below is the first half of English translation.

※ この記事はローリングストーンジャパンによる里歩選手へのインタビューの英訳です。

Riho: I actually look like a kid in oversea rosters.
Making people think outside the box by my matches is a great joy.

Is there any difference between competing with overseas wrestlers and Japanese wrestlers?

Riho: There was no particular difficulty for AEW matches.
Mr. Kenny told me that he wanted to show Japanese Joshi style to the world, thus I was trying not to remind being in overseas matches.

By the way, I heard that AEW are getting make-up artists and stylist ready for rosters?

Riho: That’s sure, but many rosters from Japan tend to wear makeup themselves.
If I leave it to the makeup of them, it looks like to be an American, so it will not be my face.
Only Miss Sakura could dare to ask for makeup every time.

Right after mentioned the name, Emi Sakura, who is also participating in AEW and known as one of the best geniuses in pro wrestling, is indispensable for talking about you.
She is responsible for was making you a pro wrestler.

Riho: I met her the first time when I was in the 2nd grade.
At that time, Miss Sakura has opened the action gymnastics class for kids and seeing flyers was the beginning of everything.

Were you interested in professional wrestling at that time?

Riho: Actually, I didn’t even know it existed, so I didn’t know Sakura either.
Starting the class by believing that was a genuine gymnastics, then I was in the ring at age 9 without realizing it. [laugh]

Isn’t it like a trick? [laugh]

Riho: I didn’t even know that.
That was like a continuation of learning, it might have been like a piano recital for ordinary children.
When years belonging to Ice Ribbon that established by Sakura, I think I’ve been competing like that for a long time now.
To tell the truth, I really considered retirement when she left.
I was growing up watching Sakura in pro wrestling since my debut, so I really had no idea what I do without her.

Therefore you joined Gatoh Move that was the next company founded by Sakura.
From the fan’s perspective, your match seemed dramatically changed after joining Gatoh Move and altering the ring name to the current one.

[Notice] Riho changed her ring name from Hiragana letter to Kanji in Japanese after 2 months she joined Gatoh Move.

Riho: I never thought about pro wrestling seriously in Ice Ribbon age.
Because I just was thinking that all I should do is what I was told.

You were in standing out position, but I would say you were quite like a joker.

Riho: Me, that kind of person, suddenly put to the position of the ace of Gatoh Move because there were few members.
Then, after all, I have to think and act on my own.

You got the awareness as an ace.

Riho: Adding to that, It was great that I could have a junior who I had been taking care of.
I think I’ve grown a lot personally through the experience of nurturing the pro wrestler named Kotori who felt like a sister for me and retired in 2017.