Long before the Women’s Revolution in WWE, TNA Wrestling gave its female performers an abundant amount of spotlight. The women of TNA were labeled “Knockouts” and they were given ample TV time to ply their craft alongside their male counterparts.
But one of the Knockouts from the early years of the division is not only out of the business, she’s also headed to prison. PWInsider is reporting that former TNA tag team champion Ayako Hamada was sentenced to 18 months on drug charges.
Hamada was arrested in May after authorities went to her home because she was supposedly being held against her will at knifepoint. When they arrived, they found her acting strangely and she failed a drug test soon after.
She is heading to a Tokyo prison and no further details of the case are known at this time. It’s unclear if she could be released earlier due to good behavior.
Hamada is the daughter of Japanese legend Gran Hamada, who has been wrestling since 1972. Ayako’s debut came in 1998 at the age of 17 and she worked not only in Japan, but Mexico as well.
She was a standout in Mexico’s AAA promotion and she also competed in All-Japan as well as Shimmer. But many American fans first saw her when she came to TNA in 2009. Hamada feuded with several Knockouts, including Alissa Flash.
Hamada was held in high regard by many fans and was one of the first international stars of TNA’s Knockout division. She is the daughter of Japanese wrestling legend Gran Hamada and her sister Xochiti Hamada, is also in the business.