This card and I have a (relatively) long history. Not anything like Night Owl and 1975 Topps or anything, but at least several months' worth. I am bad with timelines anyway, but a while back one of the premier sources of Japanese wrestling cards in the United States, Puroresu Central Shop, listed an Ayako Hamada / Kana dual autograph from the 2013 BBM True Heart Wrestling set. The price was a little higher than what I will normally pay for a card, but I really wanted that card.
Ayako Hamada is a pretty famous second-generation wrestler. She is the daughter of Gran Hamada, and she has wrestled in various Japanese, Mexican, and U.S. promotions. Kana is another famous wrestler. She has wrestled in many Japanese and U.S. promotions, and is currently the WWE NXT Women's Champion under the name Asuka.
So these were both some pretty big names, and I wanted the card. The owner of Puroresu Central Shop announced a few months ago that he was going to close up and reevaluate some things, and that this might be the last time much of the inventory was available. I fiddled back and forth for a while (probably a week or two), and finally decided to go and buy the card in early August. Oh snap! It was gone. I tweeted my dismay at the development, and he tweeted back, reminding me that he'd given ample warning that this would happen. That was true. He had been tweeting about the inventory reduction for a while.
At some point the store was re-opened and some of the inventory came back, including the elusive dual autograph. They also ran a special code word sale in November, and this time I pounced on it. The card is numbered # 76 / 84, and it is one of the best cards in my Joshi collection.
In the same order I also added a Neko Nitta Hall of Fame autograph from 2016 BBM True Heart to my cart. You can see that she added a retirement inscription to the card. I don't know a lot about her, to be honest, but she was pretty easily recognizable as the cat-themed wrestler. She held the Triangle Ribbon Championship (an Ice Ribbon promotion belt that is won in a 3-person match) six times and the International Ribbon Tag Team Champion twice during her relatively short career (2011-2015). This one is numbered # 025 / 100.
Puro Central Shop has been pretty good to me, and the guy who owns it and the Joshi review site Joshi City recently tweeted out some hype for my blog.
I'm bad at recommending stuff but anyone into sports cards I really recommend @chonk34's blog at https://t.co/XNAHYgx26K. Always a fun read.— Joshi City (@JoshiPuro) December 6, 2016
When I saw that, I realized that it had been a while since I posted any Joshi content (my last Joshi post also dealt with an epic purchase from Puro Central Shop), so I dug into my scan folder for these cards. Thanks for reading!