TOKYO TOUR, OCTOBER 7, 2015 – Today is show day, so I take my time getting up.
I want to be well-rested and make an impression on the Japanese fans. There is much more to my getting ready of course, than Sabu, so I get up about an hour before he does, at 11AM, fill the little tub, and take a nice relaxing bath. I like to meditate a little on showday, and run through my head some of the spots Sabu and I typically do.
Welcome back to The Super Genie Diary.
After feeling relaxed and my body warmed up and freshly shaved, i blow out my hair till it’s nicely smoothed, wash my face in the sink, and moisturize it with a special skin product a friend of mine formulated for me. Then I begin applying showday makeup, which is thick and dark to show up well under the lights. I have to put on quite a bit becuase my hair is so platinum, I can look washed out. And false eyelashes are a bit part to making my eyes stand out, so I rarely do a show or signing without them. They can be quite a hassle to put on, so I struggle with them a bit, and then – voila – they are staying where I want them, finally.
I am going to wear my turquoise blue genie outfit, which shows up great against my tan and my hair. I apply smokey eye makeup, and do a nude pinkish lip, and line my lips so they are full and luscious, lol. Long and luscious hair and lips. Perfect!
1:30PM – I put on the kimono that the hotel has supplied, and by now, Sabu is getting up. Because of so many years of his “suicidal” form of wrestling, as it has come to be know as, his signature moves often put his body on the line. He often has a hard time sleeping due to aches and pains, especially in his left hip and right shoulder. So it’s good for him to get as much sleep as he can, when he is able to sleep. We eat some of the food from the corner store we have put in the room refrigerator, after heating it up in the microwave. Mmm, rice balls!
We try some other dishes, which of course primarily involve rice and noodles. I try not to “carb up” too much, so I avoid the noodles and rice as much as I can, but damn, it tastes so good, it’s hard.
Pickup time to head to the venue is 4:30PM and we have some time to kill, so Sabu and I put on jeans and a t-shirt go for a little walk outside. It’s beautiful out. Not too cold and not too warm, the seasons are the same as in Michigan where Sabu lives. (My apartment is in the Atlanta area, but I spend almost half my time in Michigan now). It feels good to get the blood going with a brisk walk. Sabu is big on walking, always has been. He’s told me stories about walking miles to go to the gym when he was a teenager to get in a good warm up before he hit the weights. He is very big on wrestlers having good bodies and even with his body pains and advancing age (now 51), he still goes to the gym almost daily. And it shows.
After about an hour, we head back to the hotel, and I put on my Genie costume. Turquoise bra under a gold sequined bra, and my turquoise Genie pants with a gold belt, and gold dangling armlets, and necklace. The Genie cap is put on last, and Sabu uses bobbypins to secure it to my hair. The Super Genie is here.
Sabu opts to bring his gear in his wrestling suitcase, and dresses casually. My costume is quite elaborate, so if the ride to the venue isn’t long, I like to get dressed at the hotel. It may look a little odd to passers-by to see a woman in a genie costume, but hey, I want to be prepared and ready, and not have to rush myself into my outfit before the show. I feel much calmer if I am dressed and makeup applied so I’m ready to go before we get to the show.
4:30PM – Nosawa shows up and we have a short drive to the venue, which is a high school in Chiba. When we get there, we spend a lot of time in the dressing room, since we are quite early. Sabu has a meeting with the bosses from another promotion in Japan called FMW, who are very interested in booking him for upcoming shows. Typically in Japan, women have a subservient role to the men. They are not supposed to walk beside, but walk behind them, and at wrestling shows it is often enforced that women are kept separate from the men. Sabu doesnt believe in this way of thinking however, (which is a good thing, as I certainly don’t) and so I stay in the locker room with him and Nosawa, and one of the bosses of FMW who will be one of Sabu’s opponents today, Mr Onita.
It’s important now to point out some things about Mr Onita, or Atsushi Onita, his real name. Onita is a famous Japanese pro wrestler, government official, film and soap opera star in Japan. He used to wrestle for a company called All-Japan, where he met and worked with WWE Hall of Famer The Sheik, who is also one of the most notorious heels in the history of pro wrestling. The Sheik is Sabu’s uncle, and he trained Sabu and many other pro wrestling stars, such as Sabus’ close friend and old tag team parter Rob Van Dam. Onita was Sheik’s “young boy” or “geen boy” which means he learned from the Sheik and carried his bags. Twenty years later, Mr Onita started his own company, FMW, and invited Sabu and his uncle to wrestle in a tag team tournament in Japan which ran from Nov 1991 till January 1992. This is where the Sabu/Onita history begins.
This meeting I was allowed to sit in on involved Mr. Onita and two of the other bosses from FMW, and the plan was to continue the Sabu/Onita feud in a series of upcoming matches, the next one being planned to be Dec 22. (This date ended up being postponed for the Sabu/Onita feud, due to reasons I can’t reveal now, but will in my third installment of The Super Genie Diary). This show today was for a woman wrestler named Ray, and her promotion.
Ray is known as a female Hayabusa, or Phoenix, who is a male wrestler in Japan and still a friend of Sabu’s. Hayabusa copied Sabu’s look, gear and moves, but added a mask to the look, and became quite famous in Japan till he broke his neck in a match sixteen years ago and is now wheelchair bound.
In North America, Hayabusa would be accused of stealing Sabu’s look, but in Japan its not considered stealing. It’s more of a tribute as he learned from Sabu. (Hayabusa showed up at Ray’s show to say hello to his old friend Sabu) As for Ray, she is considered the female Hayabusa, and is a well respected female wrestler in her own right. (As of earlier this week, I have been informed Ray has a malignant tumor in her brain, but it’s yet to be confirmed)
The match for today will be Sabu and Nosawa and another female wrestler vs Onita, Hosaka, and Ray.
Fittingly enough, there is a bodybuilding and fitness competition for Japanese men and women going on before the wrestling show. The female contestants look more like swimmers, no leanness but more of a “healthy” look is how I would describe the female competitors I saw. Somewhat thick is about all I can say about what I saw, and there are but a few well-built male competitors who actually look like what we would consider bodybuilders. Having been a former Ms Olympia bodybuilding competior, a few of the males are excited to snap photos with me, and I’m feeling more at home here in Japan. A couple of the female do as well. Japan may be highly developed in the worlds of pro wrestling and technology, but from what I witness here, not so much in the world of fitness.
7:00PM – It’s almost showtime, and Sabu and I go to our gimmick table and sign some autographs and pose for photos. The show is about to begin, We head to the back and wait our turn, while drinking coffee we get from the vending machines. Sabu is unahppy that there is only ice coffee, no hot coffee for him today. He is an avid coffee drinker and honestly should buy stock in Folgers. Its near 8:30 and our six-man/woman tag is the main event. Even to this day, Sabu gets pre-match jitters, so he bounces around a bit to warmup and tries to get his anxieties under control. I am usually the nervous one, so it’s definitely a surprising and refreshing change to be the calm one. All of us who are in the match are backstage, and one by one,they head out to the ring while their music plays.
Right before we are to go out, Sabu pulls me aside to pray, and “Boom, boom, boom” his music hits. When the time is right, I walk through the curtain and hit my two initial poses, then I step to the side and wait for Sabu to come through the curtain to join me. The crowd goes wild (as much as) Japanese fans go wild. They are much more controlled and polite during wrestling matches. They tend to just watch quietly and then as they get their first glimpse of this man they are so familiar with and who has such a rich history with Japan, from his uncle to himself.
Sabu taps my shoulder and I drop to a knee. The arm goes up, and Super Genie (named so by Sabu to acknowledge the muscle in my arms, not just a gsaenie, but a Super Genie), puts her hands in prayer. We walk out to the ring and the match begins.
Lots of action and a lot of excitment, this match is a preliminary in the Onita/Sabu feud, so there is some action between the two or them, but most is teased. Sabu hits an impressive moonsault off the top rope in the far corner during this match, it stands out in my mind, as these days Sabu rarely does his famed move called the Triple Jump (which involves hitting the ropes, jumping off a chair, balancing on the top rope, then doing a moonsault) and I’m impressed to see him do a moonsault. He lands a bit on one side to protect his shoulder, I notice. But I’m thinking dang, that must have hurt his hip. True to form, Sabu puts his body on the line to entertain the fans and give them what they are looking for. Time and time again when Sabu and I have been at shows with former WWE colleagues of his such as Ricky Steamboat, they comment on the fact he is still performing and looking so strong after so many years in the ring. Sabu is modest and just shrugs it off.
This is the first time the Japanese fans have seen me, and I focus hard on tossing Sabu chairs high and steady. The chairs have to be tossed in a certain way to come across as “a trick” which is what Sabu wants to make my role special and stand out. At first, the Japanese fans have no idea what to expect of me, and they have no idea I’m tossing the chairs into the ring for Sabu. Instead, it seems like Sabu summons the heavens for a chair and then it magically jumps into his hands. Lol. The crowd pops when they see Sabu grab the first chair, seemingly out of thin air. They pop even louder for the second chair, when they realize Super Genie is the one tossing them to Sabu. Sabu looks pleased as he sees his idea getting over with the Japanese fans. Mission accomplished!
The match is near the end, and Sabu puts Ray, the female Hayabusa, through a table. Before going for the cover, he does his signature point to the heavens, but then Onita stops Sabu from getting the pin and the win by spraying red mist from his mouth into Sabus face. Sabu covers his face and eyes in pain, and is robbed of getting the pin and the win. He stumbles to a corner and I go to help him and someone else gets the pin and the win for Sabu’s team. Still, we are victorious.
The match over, I help Sabu to the back, and there is so much mist from Onita that Sabu slips on it and hits the floor. To me, its a little funny, but I do my best to conceal that, and after, hitting the “pointing up” pose, Sabu heads to the back, keeping up the facade of being blinded by Onita’s mist, i help direct him to the back.
Sabu tries to clean up the messy red stains as much as possible, and Nosawa takes us back to the hotel. Sabu and I shower and change into jeans and t-shirts, and celebrate by going for Korean BBQ at a little restuarant near the hotel. We select a modest plate of meat to barbecue, and have the most delicious salad as well. Its one of his favorite foods, and soon beoming one of mine.