Saori Anou Talks Being Champion, Ice Ribbon, Being Freelance, And More | Interview | Fightful News (2023)

Scott Edwards Jan 17, 2023 2:30PM

There are a number of incredibly talented freelance wrestlers in the world today with many of the very best competing in Japan. Fightful has had the chance to interview some of the top Joshi freelancers including Maya Yukihi and the NOMADS' group. However, none may be better right now than the reigning ICExInfinity Champion, Saori Anou.

Anou began her career in 2015, beginning her career in Actwres girl'Z. Since then, she's competed in all of the top Joshi promotions in wrestling including STARDOM, Ice Ribbon, Sendai Girls, OZ Academy, and Pro Wrestling WAVE.

Related ArticleStu Grayson Is All Elite (Again)

She was the first ever AWG Champion, defeating SAKI in a tournament to win the title back in 2018 and going on to hold the gold for 272 days. Anou also held the OZ Academy Tag Team Championship alongside Yukihi in 2019 as part of Ozaki-gun and despite all this success, 2022 proved to be her best yet.

After Tsukushi Haruka retired from Ice Ribbon, the ICExInfinity Championship was vacated and a tournament was made to crown a new champion. Anou battled through the tournament before defeating Yuuki Mashiro in the finals to win the title for the first time in her career. She's now held the championship and been at the top of Ice Ribbon for over 200 days with no end in sight!

Fightful's Scott Edwards had the opportunity to interview the reigning ICExInfinity Champion, who opened up wanting to travel the world and wrestle, who she'd like to defend her title against next, being a freelance wrestler, and so much more.

Here's what Saori Anou had to say!

What made you want to be a pro wrestler?

To tell you the truth, I didn't become a professional wrestler because I wanted to. At first, I thought I would just make my debut and then quit.

However, I was frustrated in my debut match, so I tried to do my best again and practiced recklessly.

As I did so, I became more and more addicted to it.

Then there is now.

What would you tell someone who wants to become a pro wrestler?

Being able to immediately feel the fan's real reaction from the ring.

Furthermore, the pleasure of being able to captivate the audience with my performance from all four directions in the ring cannot be experienced outside of professional wrestling.

On the other hand, I think it's a very difficult task.

You appeared as “X” wrestling against Tsukasa Fujimoto at Yokohama Radiant Hall in 2020, from that time to now, what’s it been like wrestling in Ice Ribbon as a regular competitor?

As "X", I participated in Ice Ribbon for the first time in a while.

I felt that I was welcomed with a better response than I had imagined.

After that, I met Suzu Suzuki, Yuki Mashiro, and various wonderful players.

I think this ring is one of the best performance places.

You became the 34th ICExInfinity Champion, so many greats have held this title through the years, what’s it been like to hold this championship?

Since it is a belt with a long history, I have also respected it.

I've seen many title matches for this belt.

I also challenged Suzu Suzuki two years ago when she was the champion.

I lost that time.

That's why I always wanted to get this belt.

I am very happy to be the champion now.

Do you have interest in challenging for the tag team championships in Ice Ribbon? If so, who would you want your partner to be?

Hikaru Shida and Ibuki Hoshi are champions, so I'm interested in challenging them.

If I had to choose her as my partner, it would be impossible, but I wanted to challenge for the belt with Yuuki Mashiro.

I can't think of who is better now.

Do you have a favorite defense as champion so far?

I have fond memories of every title match. Especially the defensive match against Stephanie Vaquer belonging to CMLL.

Even if I didn't understand the language, it didn't matter in the ring.

I think that each other's feelings can be conveyed through each other's feelings.

I realized once again that professional wrestling is amazing.

I had a strong desire to compete against stronger players from all over the world.

I am confident that I will be able to perform well.

After successfully defending against Asahi, who are you hoping to defend the title against in the future?

All players are welcome.

I would like to have a title match with Tae Homma, who is also a freelancer.

I'm sure it will be a fight that will satisfy everyone.

How do you feel about the future of Ice Ribbon as you lead them as the champion?

Ice Ribbon is challenging various things.

I observe objectively and think that this ring is interesting.

I want each wrestler to aim for one goal.

I want you to cherish the moment and move on. I'm sure it will be a better promotion then.

However, Saori Anou will still captivate the hearts of all fans. I want more title matches.

You’ve been a freelance wrestler for some time now. Can you tell us a bit about your experience and how it’s allowed you to grow as a wrestler?

I felt stronger than ever that I had to protect my own value. Because there are no future guarantees.

I am also responsible for product management and schedule management. It's hard, but I don't hate it. By becoming a freelancer, I was able to face myself more than ever before.

I was able to understand Saori Anou the most.

That's why the current Saori Anou is the best.

You’ve worked with ASUKA a lot, especially recently. Would you like to team with her more in 2023?

I want to join! She has aura, strength, and sex appeal.

I like her very much.

Is there anything that inspired your impressive entrance costume?

In my case, I tell the designer what I think of the costume. He makes it concrete and makes it.

I try to choose what suits my skin and face rather than what I like.

I want to change my image completely this year.

What are your top goals for the future?

I want to improve the brand called Saori Anou.

This year, I want to compete not only in Japan, but all over the world.

I am confident that I will captivate all audiences.

I want to fight in a big arena.

Is there anyone you haven’t faced before that you’re hoping to in the future?

I have someone I want to fight.

I'll leave it to your imagination.

Is there a promotion you haven’t worked for that you’d like to? Are there different promotions you hope to compete as part of in 2023?

Of course, there is.

It's not just Japan.

There are also attractive promotions in the US, Mexico, and Europe.

Do you have interest in wrestling outside of Japan in the future? Possibly the United States much like other freelance wrestlers have?

I have never played a match outside of Japan.

I want to go fight all over the world this year!

I want to surprise professional wrestling fans all over the world.

What excites you about pro wrestling right now?

I find joy in being able to fascinate myself which is different from my everyday self.

Outside of pro wrestling, what are your hobbies?

I like watching comedy and anime.

Also, I love staying at home, so I like making my room cute!

You’ll team with Jungle Kyona at The Great Muta’s final show. What does it mean to you to be featured on such an important show? How do you feel heading into the match?

It was also one of my dreams to perform in a big arena. I was very happy that my participation was decided.

At the Yokohama Arena, we will maximize the appeal of the wrestler Saori Anou to those sitting far away.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans around the world as you prepare for a big 2023?

I want everyone in the world to see Saori Anou.

My suplex bridge will be a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world.

You'll fall in love at first sight with my suplex bridge.

A huge thank you goes to Saori Anou and her agency for letting this interview happen.

If you'd like to follow Saori Anou on Twitter, you can follow her here: @anou_saori

We also want to thank Chiyoko for the help help in this interview. Chiyoko helped me translate the questions from English to Japanese.

You can follow Chiyoko on Twitter here: @chiyoko_asakura

Anou will team with Jungle Kyona this Sunday on the GREAT MUTA FINAL " BYE-BYE" show as The Great Muta will have his final match. They will face Natsu Sumire and Maya Yukihi in tag team action. The show will be viewable on Wrestle Universe.

And you can follow both @ICERIBBON_jp and @IceRibbon_eng on Twitter to keep track of all of Saori Anou's upcoming matches and defenses in the promotion as well.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Last Updated: 04/08/2023

Views: 5999

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Birthday: 1996-12-09

Address: Apt. 141 1406 Mitch Summit, New Teganshire, UT 82655-0699

Phone: +2296092334654

Job: Technology Architect

Hobby: Snowboarding, Scouting, Foreign language learning, Dowsing, Baton twirling, Sculpting, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Francesca Jacobs Ret, I am a innocent, super, beautiful, charming, lucky, gentle, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.