Mike Johns Something Completely Different: Daizee Haze
By Mike Johns
Jan 19, 2012 - 7:55 AM
If there is any one story that demonstrates just how different the world of Women's Professional Wrestling is from the world of Men's Professional Wrestling, it's the story of Daizee Haze. Considered among her peers as perhaps one of the best wrestlers in the world at the time, Daizee always struggled to get her due. Wherever she went, be it IWA: Mid-South, TNA, Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, or even SHIMMER, it always seemed that, no matter how hard she worked, there was always someone one step ahead of her, whether it was Matt Sydal (now Evan Bourne), Delirious, Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley, MsChif, Mickie Knuckles, or Sara Del Rey. Despite that, though, Daizee always gave the best possible effort in the ring, so much so that Dave Prazak has even referred to Daizee as the "Shawn Michaels of SHIMMER". While many of you reading this may balk at the comparison to Shawn, it's not necessarily out of the realm of possibilities. Out of every woman who has ever graced a wrestling ring in the past decade, few, if any, were as good, bell to bell, as Daizee Haze. But, for whatever reason, solo success was always just outside of Daizee's reach. Sure, she held a few minor singles titles in the mid-2000s, most notably the unified NWA Midwest/IWA: Mid-South Women's Title in 2005, but most of her career has been spent either as a member of a faction, a sidekick, or in a tag team.
Daizee's most prominent role at the national level is most likely her time spent as Delirious' partner in Ring of Honor, starting in 2006. The story most of you reading this may remember is the love triangle between Delirious, Daizee Haze, and Rhett Titus, which led to Delirious turning on Daizee after she freaked out when Delirious tried to ask her out. It began with Rhett claiming to have slept with Daizee, a claim she vehemently denied, while Delirious fought for her honor. As this was happening, though, Delirious was obviously in love with Daizee, waiting for the right time to share his feelings with her. Once he did, Daizee panicked and told Delirious that she only thought of his as a friend, which was the catalyst for Delirious to join the Age of the Fall and turn on Daizee Haze. Eventually, Delirious saw through Jimmy Jacobs' smokescreen of self-pity, while Daizee realized that she cared more about Delirious than she originally thought. By the time Ring of Honor debuted on HDNet, Daizee Haze and Delirious were friends again, and their relationship, if it ever did materialize beyond their friendship, was never explored, although their friendship was once again tested by Austin Aries in 2010, when Aries was attempting to draft Delirious into his stable, which, ironically enough, included Rhett Titus, the very guy who put the initial wedge between Delirious and Daizee in the first place.
Meanwhile, in CHIKARA, Daizee Haze made her biggest impact as a member of
Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (also known as the BDK), alongside her tag team partner, Sara Del Rey. Their purpose in the BDK was to protect the reigning Campeon de Parejas, Claudio Castagnoli and Ares, by preventing other teams in CHIKARA from gaining 3 points. In CHIKARA, 3 successive wins by a tag team gives you the right to contend for the Campeon de Parejas, but if you lose just one match on your way to 3 points, you're forced to start all over. When Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush finally defeated Claudio and Ares for the Campeon de Parejas, Haze and Del Rey got 3 points themselves, looking to get the titles back for the BDK, but Claudio, the leader of the BDK, would not have it. If he and Ares could not be champions, no one in the BDK could, which led to Haze and Del Rey breaking away from the BDK. At CHIKARAsaurus Rex: King of Sequels, Sara Del Rey defeated Claudio Castagnoli, forcing him out of the company. Meanwhile, Daizee Haze took the brunt of the BDK's anger afterwards, as Tursas chokeslammed her, injuring her and writing her out of CHIKARA storylines going forward.
As all of this was going on, Daizee Haze had also made a major impact in her final year in SHIMMER, turning heel after a loss to Misaki Ohata on Volume 29. After several years of hardships, including being injured for the majority of the previous 10 volumes, Daizee finally let her anger loose on SHIMMER, aligning with Tomoka Nakagawa, going undefeated in SHIMMER, eventually winning the SHIMMER Tag Team Titles from the Seven Star Sisters (Misaki Ohata and Hiroyo Matsumoto) on Volume 40. Unfortunately, the team of Nakagawa and Haze would be short lived, as, after only one successful defense of the SHIMMER Tag Titles at ROH's Honor Takes Center Stage: Night 2 against Hiroyo Matsumoto and Ayumi Kurihara, they would lose the titles on Volume 41 to the team of Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada. Daizee would then announce her retirement from wrestling that same night, leaving many to speculate why she was leaving the business.
To be perfectly honest with you, I'm not sure what to think when it comes to Daizee Haze and her speculated Health Issues. For those unaware, many fans have speculated the last few years that Daizee Haze has some sort of eating disorder, a rumor that's only gained more validity in the last year of her career, as she appeared deathly thin in the early part of 2011 before eventually being written out of both CHIKARA and SHIMMER. Meanwhile, Ring of Honor has quietly ignored Haze altogether, as she hasn't been booked since Sinclair Broadcasting bought ROH last summer.
While the exact nature of her health and the reasons for her retirement are still unknown, the legacy she left behind in her career should still be heralded. As perhaps one of the hardest working women in all of wrestling, Daizee leaves behind an incredible series of matches which sets her on par with some of the best the world has to offer, including Sara Del Rey, Ayako Hamada, and Manami Toyota. She also leaves behind the memories of a great character, either as the peace-loving hippie chick we saw in the mid-2000s, or the angry, violent feminist we saw in the final years of her career. Unfortunately, by the very nature of the pro wrestling business, Daizee's greatest contributions to the business remain buried in the Independents, lost gems of perhaps one of the greatest female performers of her time.
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