Monday, August 4, 2014

Deep's history with WMMA

While Deep Jewels only goes back to 2013, they are actually more of a continuation of WMMA in Japan than something new. Deep has an interesting history with women in their organization and it begins with the first all women promotion in Japan, Smackgirl. Smackgirl was founded and based on the tradition of Pro-Wrestling and as a result, pro-wrestlers were often found on the cards and there was an unfortunate set of rules. No striking was allowed on the ground and ground fighting was stood up after 30 seconds. The 30 second rule was thrown to the way side in 2007 but the no gnp lasted for years. Despite the unfortunate rules, Smackgirl created the first generation of popular female fighters in Japan. Fighters like Mei Yamaguchi, Megumi Fujii and Hisae Watanabe all made their debuts in Smackgirl. Fighters like Yuka Tsuji and Hisae Watanabe flourished in the promotion and became stars. 

However, as time went on, fighters began to drift away from Smackgirl. A number of the fighters were drawn to a promotion called Deep. Deep allowed the women to strike on the ground and let them fight for longer. They brought in fighters like Hisae Watanabe, Satoko Shinashi and debuted fighters like Miku Matsumoto and Ham Seo Hee. It was during this time that Miku became more and more popular and Deep in a way tied their future with WMMA with Miku. An as a result, when Miku retired Deep almost completely stopped promoting WMMA. However, Deep had seen that popular female fighters can draw fans and they formed a close relationship with a promotion called Jewels.

In 2008, when Smackgirl folded, 2 organizations formed. These were Valkyrie and Jewels. The forming of two companies proved to be a poor decision as the talent pool wasn't large enough to share and potential ticket selling fights were stopped because of backstage politics. Valkyrie eventually started putting on fewer and fewer shows until most of their fighters signed with Jewels. Jewels put on 26 shows during its existence. While having a number of top-level talent, Jewels had a hard time producing new talent. As a result a number of their cards were filled with amateur kickboxing/grappling matches. Jewels had worked closely with Deep for a long time. They often held their events on the same days at the same venues using the same rings and staff. Jewels also held their press conferences and weigh-ins at the official Deep Gym. As a result it came to no surprise when Jewels was absorbed into Deep and became Deep Jewels. 

I have put some data together to show Deep's relationship with WMMA

Satoko Shinashi
March 2nd, 2002 makes Smackgirl debut
December 29th, 2002 defeats Watanabe in Smackgirl
January 22nd, 2004 makes Deep debut

Hisae Watanabe
April 7th, 2002 makes Smackgirl debut
August 4th 2006 defeats Shinashi in rematch for Deep Championship

Miku Matsumoto
October 24th, 2004 makes Deep debut
September 15th, 2006 loses to Lisa Ward in Smackgirl 
August 5th 2007, defeats Watanabe for Deep Championship
June 28th 2009, defeats Lisa Ward in Deep

Ham Seo Hee
February 16th, 2007, makes Pro-debut for Deep
Septemeber 6th 2007, makes Smackgirl debut
September 13th 2009, makes Jewels debut
May 25th 2013, becomes Jewels Champion
November 4th 2013, retains Championship for Deep Jewels

Takyo Hashi
November 4th 2004, makes Smackgirl debut
Septemeber 6th 2007, becomes Smackgirl Champion
May 18th 2014, becomes Deep Jewels Champion

Mika Nagano
December 26th 2007, makes Pro-debut for Smackgirl
November 16th 2008, makes Jewels debut
August 13th 2013 makes Deep Jewels debut 

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