On Sunday night at OZ Academy‘s Connect To The Future at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, new tag team champions were crowned when Beast Friend (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Kaori Yoneyama) defeated BORDERLESS (Rina Yamashita & Yoshiko) to win OZ Academy Tag Team gold.
OZ Academy is the joshi promotion run by longtime joshi star Mayumi Ozaki, a long time regular with Japanese Women’s Wrestling Project (JWP), who also compete in the legendary All Japan Women’s Wrestling (AJW) in the early 1990s. Ozaki founded OZ Academy in 1998. It marks the 5th tag team reign for Hiroyo Matsumoto in OZ but the first in Beast Friend. The former OZ Openweight Champion was a recent standout in the WWE Mae Young Classic 2018, who made it to the second round before falling to eventual winner Toni Storm. Matsumoto is also a regular performer with Sendai Girls, Stardom, and other joshi promotions in Japan, and was a part of SHIMMER in the US for a few tours (she won SHIMMER Tag Team titles with Misaki Ohata in 2011).
Her partner is no slouch herself. Kaori Yoneyama is a near 20-year veteran and one of the last women to hold the AJW Championship. In her 19-year career, she has also won the JWP Openweight and JWP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and is a former 2x Stardom High Speed Champion and 4x Goddesses of Stardom Champion (for trios), including one with Beast Friend partner Matsumoto in Jungle Kyona‘s JAN stable.