April 11, 2009
Ayako Hamada

Ayako Hamada. Courtesy TNAwrestling.com

REAL NAME: AYAKO VALENTINA HAMADA VILLARREAL
NICKNAMES: Ayako Hamada
SIZE: 5-foot-4, 143-pounds
BORN: February 14, 1981 in Mexico City, Mexico

Ayako Hamada is a second generation female wrestler of mixed Japanese and Mexican descent. She and her sister Xochitl Hamada are both wrestlers and the daughters of Michinoku Pro Wrestling's Gran Hamada, who made his name years ago, back in Mexico's Universal Wrestling Association (UWA).

In August 1998, Hamada, who received some of her training from her father, debuted at 17 for Japan's now defunct all-women promotion ARSION. A little less than a year after her start, she won the Twin Star of ARSION tag belts with her partner Mika Akino. (She'd win the titles again in October 2000, this time with Lioness Asuka.) She also was the Queen of ARSION and won the promotion's Sky High singles title. Hamada left ARSION in 2001.

Hamada would twice win All Japan's top women's belt, the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship, in May 2003 and 2004. She also held GAEA Japan's AAAW single's title in January 2004, winning it a week after losing the WWWA belt for the first time. She has most recently been affiliated with Kaoru Ito dojo, training and wrestling there.

Mexico has been a source of success for Hamada as well. She won the UWA and International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) women's championships in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and most recently, took AAA's World Mixed Tag Team belts in November 2007.

She is now setting her sights on North America. TNA announced April 7, 2009, that Hamada has signed with them and that the April 19 Ito Dojo show will be her final match in Japan. However, it wasn't until July that TNA confirmed that she had signed and was expected to be a part of the company.


-- Compiled by Richard Kamchen

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