Just weeks removed from the loss of joshi star Aliya’, the Japanese joshi received more tragic news last week with the passing of joshi wrestler Ray from a brain tumor on August 30, 2018. She was only 36 years old.
— Leon (@leon3purej) August 31, 2018
A 15-year veteran of the squared circle, the Hong Kong native debuted in 2003 with Gatokunyan after being trained by joshi legend Emi Sakura. She remained with Gatokunyan until it folded in 2007, despite her trainer departing a year earlier to start up Ice Ribbon. While she would move to work with Ice Ribbon, she also found great success early on working with All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW) great Mariko Yoshida in her IBUKI promotion through 2010.
In 2011, she became a regular performer with Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project (JWP) as well as regular appearances with Sendai Girls, REINA, Stardom, OZ Academy and every other joshi promotion in Japan. She was a favorite of former WWE/ECW Superstar TAJIRI, whom Ray worked with first in his SMASH promotion from 2010 through 2012 (where she unmasked and worked as Lin Byron) and then with his new promotion, Wrestling New Classic (WNC), from 2012 through 2014.
Most remembered as a tag team specialist, she was a multi tag team champion alongside her most memorable partner, Leon, capturing the JWP, Daily Sports (another JWP title) and REINA Tag Team titles. She also won the Ice Ribbon tag team titles with her mentor, Sakura. But despite her reputation as a tag team wrestler, she also held her own as a singles competitor – she won the CMLL-REINA International Junior Heavyweight title in 2011, and as Lin Byron captured the WNC Women’s Championship in 2013. Ray, alongside Leon, also made their way to the North American scene, working with SHIMMER on multiple occasions, as well as with CMLL in Mexico.
In 2015, she underwent a routine MRI following a concussion that discovered a brain tumor. In February of 2016, it was discovered to be a Stage III tumor, and due to it’s sensitive location (it was attached to the nerves), it was sadly, inoperable. She underwent treatments for the past few years, but this past May she was rushed in for emergency surgery for hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Her battle ended on Thursday August 30.
— コマンドボリショイ (@piko3purej) August 31, 2018
Deepest condolences to all family, friends, and co-workers of one of the most athletic performers ever to step foot in a SHIMMER ring, Ray. She was part of some of the most exciting bouts in our history, and we were very fortunate to have had Ray as part of the SHIMMER family. pic.twitter.com/v2gcA16Eyq
— SHIMMER Wrestling (@SHIMMERwomen) August 31, 2018
My heart is deeply saddened I was blessed to get to spend time with @viva_Ray in my tours of japan this women was one of the most talented hard working women ever and kind my prayers go out to @piko3purej ??? #ThankYouRay #joshi pic.twitter.com/7iJ0pu8Tal
— Hudson Envy (Ashly) (@HudsonEnvy) August 31, 2018