In a new exclusive interview, MAX VOLTAGE member Ryo Mizunami revealed that she was just days away from retirement prior to her AEW debut in 2019.
Prior to wrestling at Double or Nothing 2019, Japanese star Ryo Mizunami was ready to call it quits.
In 2021, Japanese star Ryo Mizunami came to the attention of Western fans through her nearly year-long run with All Elite Wrestling.
Having initially featured as part of a Joshi trios bout on the inaugural Double or Nothing pay-per-view in 2019, Mizunami was drafted in for the Japanese half of the 2021 AEW Women’s Eliminator tournament and surprised many by outlasting contracted AEW talents, such as Yuka Sakazaki and Emi Sakura.
After dispatching former champion Nyla Rose at the tournament finals in Jacksonville, ‘ANIKI‘ went on to contest Hikaru Shida’s AEW Women’s World title at AEW Revolution before becoming a fixture on the promotion’s YouTube shows, Dark and Dark Elevation.
However, in a recent interview with The Wrstling Podcast, Mizunami revealed (via an interpreter) that prior to receiving the call for Double or Nothing, she had intended on retiring from the business:
So, first of all, this was May 2019 when AEW was starting up. They wanted six women for a Japanese Joshi six-woman tag match on their show (Double or Nothing) so they called her up.
But this was a time when she was considering retiring and she thought it would be one of her last matches, maybe as a part of a retirement tour of sorts or just a bucket list thing before retiring – wrestling in the US.
But once she went there and had the match, that changed her view of the world and of wrestling, and she said, ‘ No, there’s no way I’m retiring or quitting when things are so fun, and I just found out that there’s so much more out there.’
So, without that, she probably would have retired in 2019 but because of that appearance at AEW, she’s still going strong today.
Mizunami has not competed in AEW since September 2022, where she represented the company in Japan as part two promotional events held in Tokyo, Japan for the forthcoming AEW Fight Forever video game.