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Mika Akino
Ring name(s) AKINO
Noki-A
Billed height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Billed weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Born October 24, 1973 (1973-10-24) (age 36)
Debut July 21, 1998

Mika Akino (秋野 美佳 Akino Mika ?), better known as AKINO, (born October 24, 1973 in Tokyo, Japan) is a female joshi wrestler. Billed from Honshū, she started late in the sport and didn't debut until the age of 24. Trained by Mariko Yoshida, she proved to have an innate ring presence and excelled at the sport.

Contents

Career

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Early career

AKINO debuted in the newly formed federation ARSION (then run by Aja Kong) as Mika Akino. In her first months she floated around and tagged with fellow rookie Ayako Hamada now and again. Her most notable match was for the Queen of ARSION title, against her mentor, Yoshida. This match is considered by some to be the quintessential rookie versus veteran match of the 1990s, and both women were praised for their performance.

It wasn't long before Akino was repackaged as AKINO, and placed in the stable called "CAZAI", or Girls with Attitude. Fellow members included tag team partner Hamada, Ai Fujita, and Candy Okutsu. The heel stable gain notoriety and popularity within ARSION. Hamada and AKINO eventually won the Twin Star of ARSION tag team championship, which set the stage for possibly both women's biggest match in 1999.

Wrestling as "HamaKINO", the two champions entered a storyline with popular tag team "LCO" (Las Cachorrus Orientales), made up of Mima Shimoda and Estuko Mita. The story culminated in a bloody brawl that was later considered one of the matches of the year. Held at the Carnival '99 show, the match skyrocketed the popularity of HamaKINO, and cemented the two women as draws for the promotion.

The group split up later, and AKINO went on to win the Sky High of ARSION title from Chapparita ASARI. Kong left ARSION after disputes with Rossy Ogawa, and joshi legend Lioness Asuka took her place. Hamada left not long after, and AKINO stayed. While she never won the Queen of ARSION title, she was involved in several spotlight storylines and matches, including tagging with Asuka and competing against Michiko Ohmukai.

Leaving ARSION

After Asuka left, wrestler Yumiko Hotta took over and renamed ARSION AtoZ. In 2003, AKINO parted ways with the promotion, and declared herself a freelancer. Her mentor and friend Yoshida left AtoZ as well, as did wrestler Baby-M (at that time billed as Baby-A).

AKINO began performing with other promotions, like Jd' and JWP. She also began training in mixed martial arts (MMA), and competed at the LoveImpact show, on February 8, 2004. She KO'd her opponent, a middle cup tournament winner, less than a minute into the match. She also competed at the SmackGirl show, on August 5, 2004, and went all three rounds against her opponent, winning by split decision.

During this time AKINO wrestled primarily in Jd', JWP, and GAEA.

Forming M's Style

After leaving AtoZ, AKINO joined with three other joshi wrestlers to form a new promotion. Her long time friend Mariko Yoshida and fellow ARSION wrestler Michiko Ohmukai joined her, and rising star Momoe Nakanishi also jumped on board. The name of their promotion, M's Style, stemmed from the fact that all four women's first names started with the letter "M".

M's Style held its first show in April 2004. At the time, the promotion was thought to be the future of joshi puroresu, and had been rumored to be working with puroresu powerhouse New Japan Pro Wrestling. Nothing came of the partnership, and the promotion suffered another blow.

Momoe Nakanishi announced her retirement the same year, with nagging injuries being among the top reasons. Many in the joshi fan community considered this a death knell for M's Style, and expected the promotion to go under. It has stayed open. Running a show once a month, AKINO and Ohmukai still remain, with Yoshida occasionally wrestling, though she left to open Ibuki to train up the next generation of joshi wrestlers.

Present

M's Style closed in the Fall of 2006. After the final show, AKINO announced she would be taking some time off from wrestling to let a lingering neck injury heal up.

While still teaching classes at U-FILE, she has scaled her wrestling appearances back dramatically, appearing in an OZ Academy show in January 2007 and in the Jaguar Yokota show on March 11, 2007.

In the mean time, she has taken up golfing and currently travels with a female golfer, Sakura, acting as her caddy while competing in tournaments herself.

One of her most notable students, who was also trained by Yoshida, is Ayumi Kurihara, who has tagged with AKINO several times and also wrestled in M's Style.

AKINO has held tag championships with Ranmaru and Tsubasa Kuragaki, and has held many singles titles as both AKINO and her heel alter-ego Noki-A.

AKINO returned in mid-2007, working primarily with Oz Academy while freelancing with Pro Wrestling WAVE and performing in special shows held by Fūka.

She is currently a member of Aja Kong's stable along with Manami Toyota and Hiroyo Matsumoto. She will be competing with Matsumoto in June in a tag tournament for the newly-created Oz Academy Tag Team Championships.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • ARSION
  • Sky High of ARSION (2 times)
  • Twin Star of ARSION (1 time) - with Ayako Hamada
  • JWP Project
  • JWP Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Tsubasa Kuragaki

External links

  • Sky Perfect AKINO's official website, includes blog. In Japanese

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