|Yoshiko, center, will face stiff punishment for her acts|
Photo via Tokyo-Sports.co.jp
STARDOM has come down hard on Yoshiko for shooting on Act Yasukawa during their February 22 World of STARDOM Championship match. The now-former Champion has been stripped of her title and suspended indefinitely. Additionally, three company officials, including owner Rossy Ogawa, have taken 30% cuts in pay in the fallout. While a promotional owner taking such harsh responsibility is unheard of in America, it also bears mentioning that Ogawa refused to stop the match after the first barrage of punches from Yoshiko, and the match was only halted when Yasukawa's corner threw in the towel after the second flurry. In short, one shouldn't trip over him or herself to praise Ogawa for acting with "class" here.
The company has also put in measures to prevent an incident such as this from happening in the future. Specifically, closed fists have been explicitly banned, a ring doctor will be assigned to every match, and an intermediary between the office and the wrestlers has been appointed. The first measure can be circumvented quite easily, but at least it's a measure against a tactic that is most easily turned from a work into a shoot.
I can't tell anyone whether these measures are "enough" to remediate the situation or even begin to make things right for Yasukawa, but it's comforting to see such behavior is not being tolerated. Again, whatever problems existed between the two, and Yoshiko admitted their relationship wasn't very good going into the match, the absolute worst thing that could have happened happened. Even though she showed remorse, Yoshiko probably shouldn't step foot in a wrestling ring for a long time, and furthermore, other wrestling companies around the world should probably look at this as a worst-case example of what could go wrong and crack down on wrestlers taking liberties in the ring.
People like to joke about veterans taking liberties with young boys or crack wise about Bob Holly throwing intentional potatoes, but that shit is just as bad if not as high profile as what Yoshiko did to Yasukawa here. If you can't trust your partner to take care of you the way you need to take care of them in a wrestling contest, then no way should that match take place. You don't need to be a wrestling pro to figure that out. It's a goddamn travesty and a shame that this horrid, terrible incident had to happen for the world to take notice, but in 2015, these measures are only spurred on by ghastly reminders of a vestigial past that needed to die decades ago.