Joshi Spotlight: Joshi in 1993

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Akira Hokuto: Tape traders used to sell a collection of JUST her 1993 matches! Find out why!

JOSHI IN 1993:

And now I’ve finally reached the end of 1993 in my reviews, so I can do a “Year in Review” post. Here’s my review of 1992:

-This era started in late 1992, but really took off in ’93, with several legendary cards. Dream Slam 1 & 2 were the two famous ones when I first got into Joshi in the 2000s, and featured the most “Dream Matches”, as every company’s best were paired off. As one reviewer put it, the entire show came off like everyone was going all-out to have the best match humanly possible, and the effort was completely insane- the crowd was hot the whole show, and there ended up being five ****+ matches on each of the two cards.

The booking was fascinating, as the larger AJW was in every bout against rivals JWP, LLPW & FMW, but were magnanimous in trading wins (booking-wise, the others probably wouldn’t let themselves get gobbled up). Two matches on the cards, Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori, and the main event tag match between AJW (Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada) & JWP (Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki), are near-universally considered ***** matches, and in the end, JWP’s team took home AJW’s WWWA Tag Team Titles!

Other bouts saw FMW’s team (Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda) fail to get that same gold but beat an AJW midcard team (Las Cachorras Orientales), an “up & comer” match where Sakie Hasegawa beat Hikari Fukuoka, LLPW’s upper-mains Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai get crushed by Aja Kong & Bull Nakano, Kyoko & Takako Inoue beating top JWP talent in tag bouts, LLPW’s midcarders beat AJW’s midcarders, and even CHIGUSA NAGAYO coming out of retirement, losing to old ’80s rivals Devil Masami & Bull Nakano. In short, this was a supercard all over the place, with only a few bad matches (mostly rookie stuff… and one really bad MMA match). Everyone got to look good, and picked up key wins to gain credibility.

LLPW’s Harley Saito and JWP’s Hikari Fukuoka got added to the AJW Grand Prix in the summer, and we got the “Thunder Queen Battle”– a great Iron Man 8-Woman Tag (starting with four 1-on-1 matches and then 40 minutes of team wrestling) where JWP’s wrestlers managed to score a last-second win over AJW’s team (the snotty Takako, who’d been acting a royal bitch all match long). St. Battle Final capped off many of the stories over the course of that year, as Toyota/Yamada managed to win their WWWA Tag Titles back from JWP’s team, Aja Kong defended the WWWA Title against Megumi Kudo, and Akira gave her win back to Kandori in an epic struggle.

Shows throughout the year therefore featured a lot of guest stars from rival promotions, and both JWP & LLPW ran big “mixed” shows. Politically, it was really interesting to watch, as you’d see Aja Kong treated as unconquerable (see below), beating everyone else’s Aces. An AJW top star (Toyota, Hokuto) would usually beat a rival from another company. AJW’s upper-midcarders (Takako, Yamada) could usually beat the #2-3 stars of rivals (Mayumi Ozaki, Harley Saito). And yet… it wasn’t like AJW just crushed everyone. Their midcarders in particular took a beating all year, often jobbing out. Most of AJW’s upper-midcarders (Kyoko, Yamada, Takako, Hotta) jobbed to the Ace of another company at some point, too.

-I don’t think any wrestler has ever had a year quite like Akira Hokuto had in 1993. If anything, this run is the reason she’s considered a legend even to those who don’t follow Joshi (apparently a famous old “Tape Trading” set was just her 1993 matches). Her run in joshi is very odd, full of confusing things, rumors, a quickie marriage & retirement, moving to New York with Bull Nakano (?!?), then coming back as a big star again, but I feel like she went from “Great Main Eventer” to “Icon of Joshi” in 1993, starting with her incredible match against Shinobu Kandori at Dream Slam 1. This is a match so famous even people who don’t watch Joshi usually know about it, and it was an all-time classic- Kandori was bigger, stronger, more durable, more athletic and had better technique… but Hokuto was crazy. So she bled buckets, sold every armbar like death, and in one of my favorite endings, we just saw the two wrestlers exhaust themselves to the point where they could only throw punches. Hokuto won, purely by luck in the end- she scored a punch and landed on a flat-backed Kandori, and that was that- she’d beaten the Ace of LLPW.

This drew a lot of attention, and made her a megastar. She spends the rest of the year beating other LLPW wrestlers, even winning the Japan Grand Prix in 1993, defeating Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta in back to back ****+ matches. She challenged for the WWWA Title weeks after knee surgery, proving her legend by having a ****1/2 match while essentially one-legged, as poor Aja had to demolish someone she respected in a one-sided bout, and looked miserable for it. Near-perfect matches with Ozaki & Toyota were followed by Rumi Kazama’s best matches ever. Finally, Hokuto gave Kandori her win back at St. Battle Final by the end of the year- ANOTHER great bout, it featured an angry, humiliated Kandori calmly dismantling an outmatched Hokuto while her subordinates watched and cried (being held back by elder AJW wrestlers), finally executing her with a lethal uppercut. One of wrestling’s perfect moments.

And then, Akira announced the “Dangerous Queen Final Countdown”, as losing to Kandori meant she wanted to retire (or marry a luchadore in Mexico, whatever). Her & Toyota won the Tag League in more classic matches, with Hokuto getting a trophy and cutting a tear-filled promo like she was going away forever, despite the booking making it seem like she was groomed for the position of heir-apparent. Certainly she was the most popular wrestler on the card by a country mile, easily surpassing Meltzer darling Toyota or the Champion, Aja Kong.

-1992 saw the Toyota/Yamada team have a preposterous number of great matches, going to **** or so every other week, and ending the year having triumphed over all challengers, as well as having a remarkable feud against each other that I believe was the moment Manami in particular got “MADE”. So it’s kind of funny that 1993 saw all of that goodwill largely to towards having them lose to other wrestlers in high-profile matches- they lost to Aja & Bull, then Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki in some great interpromotional mayhem, with JWP’s top team actually unseating them for the WWWA Tag Titles at Dream Slam II! The Grand Prix that summer saw both of them lose to Hokuto, and more. The booking seems almost kinda clever- neither was ready for the top of the card just yet in terms of positioning, so you use that goodwill to put OTHERS over until you’re ready to pull the trigger.

And pull the trigger they did- this year actually cemented their legend more than the LAST one did! Though they lost their tag belts to the JWP team, that match was a ***** masterpiece of Escalating Finishers, and made them look amazing (it was the 1993 Wrestling Observer Match of the Year). And by the end of the year, they won the titles back in an exquisite, perfectly-timed match (that was actually much shorter than their usual ones)- ALSO getting *****, ending a three-match series where every bout got a perfect rating. Along the way, Manami beat Ozaki in a singles match and went ****1/2 with her, Plum Mariko & Hikari Fukuoka in separate matches, while Yamada won the All Pacific Title, the promotion’s secondary belt, defeating Toyota at Wrestling Queendom! And then they had back-to-back ***** matches in the Tag League finals, on the opposite sides of the ring. So by the end of the year, both are effectively marked as the next big things, with Manami being one of the most legendary workers ever (and Meltzer’s favorite), while Yamada’s push continues.

-Aja won the WWWA Title in November ’92 against longtime rival Bull Nakano, and this year cemented that run (she started things off with a handily-won match against Kyoko Inoue), though was overshadowed by the Interpromotional Era… of which Aja played a smaller part than you’d think, often being in the middle or sub-Main Event on many cards! The famous Dream Slams showed her in tag bouts in the upper-midcard, which weren’t the best showcase of her ability, for example. But she’d go on tears here and there- Thunder Queen Battle saw her as the dominant force in the match, scoring a quick fall over JWP’s Ace Dynamite Kansai in the early going, and the JWP team having to fight hard to keep her from getting victory after victory. That summer’s big show, Legacy of Queens, saw the Ace (vs) Ace showdown, Aja unleashing her MDK, the Super Mountain Bomb, to defeat Kansai’s challenge. And then St. Battle Final saw her defeat FMW’s top female, Megumi Kudo, in another classic match! Aja had thus defeated two rival Aces as well as her biggest AJW contender in Hokuto. I think her only pinfall loss all year is in a tag match, and it’s Hokuto doing it with a reversal. So, in effect, while Hokuto & Toyota probably had bigger years in terms of tossing out snowflakes in great matches, Aja not only nearly matched them… but was easily the #1 woman’s wrestler in the world, gaining ultimate credibility.

-Kyoko Inoue of all people, fresh off a huge push in 1992, kind of suffered and “hovered” in 1993, not winning any gold despite her obvious top-rate working skills. She won in Dream Slam tag matches, but suffered a fluke loss to Bat Yoshinaga in the summer, fought in the Thunder Queen Battle, lost to LLPW’s Ace Shinobu Kandori at Legacy of Queens, and in a filler match against an FMW loser at Wrestling Queendom. Still, she was a highly popular act… and then all of a sudden she wrestles Joshi legend Devil Masami at Wrestlemarinepiad ’93 at the end of the year and defeats her in a classic match, played up like Devil had the experience and power, but the kid just had too much “go” for her, countering everything until scoring a flash-pin reversal at the very end. But then that just served to set her up to lose to JWP’s Ace, Dynamite Kansai, at a big JWP show. So she’s kind of in this “Loses to the Main Eventers” zone.

-Takako was a solid “Idol Wrestler” in ’92, but didn’t really stand out as particularly great… but Mariko Yoshida’s injury kind of lit a fire in her to score that place on the card, as suddenly by early ’93 she’s one of AJW’s top ten workers probably, hitting all kinds of cool s---. She developed a Super Chokeslam and a vicious “walk around and knee them in the face first” Tombstone, and really seemed to angle for a push. Losses to Manami & Kyoko early in the year made her look like a competitive “one to watch”, and having a ****-ish match with Cutie Suzuki proved her a remarkable singles talent. Her team with Yumiko Hotta were set up as perennial challengers in many matches, though they didn’t pick up any big wins until very late in the year, winning the trophy UWA Tag Titles. But she’s also one of the best CHARACTERS in joshi, with a trademark vicious streak and a nasty, “I’m willing to cheat and will give the ref s--- for scolding me” attitude.

-Hokuto’s subordinates, Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda, undergo a magical shift this year- ’92 saw them as “pretty okay” midcarders who never really stood out, but proximity to Hokuto and frequent shots in Interpromotional matches seem to light a fire under them and they suddenly start trying really, REALLY hard, and by the end of the year, they were a regular team who managed to create an “LCO Template” in matches that could hit ***1/2 with just about anybody. Their specialty was Shimoda selling, Mita dishing out punishment, and both being cackling, wailing psychos who just enjoyed hurting people. Their position on the card was still pretty low, as they were often “Token Sacrifices” that AJW let lose to anyone and everyone in tag matches (doing so twice to LLPW teams, for example), they’d soon be rewarded heavily.

-The diminutive ASARI was never gonna get a serious push at the high level, but as a rookie jobber, Masami Watanabe was pretty good in her role. She was ultra-tiny but sold well and made people’s stuff look great, and her flippy offense soon earned her a push- renamed Chaparrita ASARI, she suddenly debuts her Handspring Backflip Mule Kicks in one match, blowing the roof off the building, and later develops the SKY TWISTER PRESS, one of wrestling’s great “holy s---” finishers. She’s still low-tier, but she easily eclipsed elder Numacchi by year’s end, and was ready for a push of her own- but though she defeated LLPW’s Mizuki Endo to become the new AJW Junior Champion at Wrestling Queendom I, she lost it barely a week later to JWP’s Candy Okutsu. She’s interesting to watch here, as she still botches a lot of moves and needs to be carried by more well-rounded workers (Endo, Candy Okutsu), but her moves are such crowd-pleasers that it barely matters.

-AJW had a real murderer’s row of talent, with a few great stars still hovering in the midcard.

* Bull Nakano had a year that’s part “she’s being moved down the card after her Ace run is over” and part “so she can still have ***** matches”, because she has a great one beating Devil Masami. But mostly she’s in tag team stuff, unless she’s beating her old rival (Chigusa Nagayo) or a JWP upstart (Hikari Fukuoka). But it’s a far-diminished spot, probably due to wear & tear.
* Yumiko Hotta had a ton of credibility due to her real-life toughness, but she was usually the one doing high-profile jobs, losing to Dynamite Kansai at Dream Slam, for example. Her & Takako formed a successful tag team, losing to all the major teams this year, but finally winning the trophy UWA Tag Titles by the end of it. But she’s a Kyoko-level “token sacrifice to put over the rival company’s Ace”.
* Sakie Hasegawa is really getting a jump-start on her career as the ideal “Rising Star” rookie, as she gets a solo win over Hikari Fukuoka at Dream Slam, two big upset wins during the Grand Prix (surprising Yamada & Takako), and things like that. She’s still easy pickings for most big stars, but this is as clear as day that they see a lot in her- she’s effectively in Mariko Yoshida’s role from last year.
* Suzuka Minami… just kinda got forgotten. Her team with Hotta ended, she jobbed at Dream Slam 1, and she was just kind of a high-credibility “filler” in a lot of tag matches. Her stuff was always great, but she never seemed to win the big one here. Her biggest win by far was against Harley Saito at Dream Slam 2, beating a high-level LLPW opponent in a great match.

* Bat Yoshinaga started getting a major push around this time, showing up in a token awful real Kickboxing Match on many big cards, but they started putting her in a lot of tags against serious competition, while keeping her protected from a lot of jobs. Despite that, she’d often defend her WWWA Martial Arts Title in horrendous shoot fights, giving her a worse rep. But she had really fun matches against Kyoko & Aja this year, and things looked good for the future! Wouldn’t pay off, though.
* Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe were in similar roles, getting bigger and bigger matches and getting to look good against a good wrestler once in a while, but they were in lower positions. Tomoko ends up with a pretty bad reputation as a worker in part because during this era, she was usually the clumsiest wrestler on the card, screwing up her slingshot moves where she tried to wrestle like Kyoko Inoue, bouncing off the second rope to hit stuff. I call her “Tomoko Calo” for a reason.
* Class of ’86 wrestler Kaoru Maeda returned as the masked Infernal KAORU, but her Lucha style was a poor fit in AJW for a while, as she frequently had some of the worst matches on the card.
* Mariko Yoshida is unfortunately hurt for the entire year, still. You see her as a referee, often getting the biggest crowd reaction of the introductions!
* And by the end of the year, a big foreign girl named Reggie Bennett would make her debut, using some impressive power stuff, to shore up the midcard.

-AJW wasn’t all roses, unfortunately- sometimes, stuff just doesn’t work out. Debbie Malenko looked great at the start of the year, but her team with Sakie Hasegawa, and her career, ended when she snapped her leg catching Manami Toyota during a tag match. Jobber Saemi Numata, after several bad matches, was turned into the comedy wrestler “Numacchi”, now being a total joke, despite winning the AJW Junior Title and actually having a half-decent 20-minute draw against LLPW’s Sumi Toyama once. Chikako Shiratori & Akemi Torisu were jobbers during this time, and never quite developed- Torisu was soon gone. Probably most disappointing to AJW was Terri Power, a super-tall, muscular Gaijin who could have filled important upper-midcard positions, except she overextended herself trying the “AJW Style” and had some spectacular botches, embarrassing herself and exposing the business. She got her arm hurt around the Dream Slams, and despite winning a tag match there against an LLPW team, she soon went home and stopped getting booked.

JWP IN 1993:
-The Interpromotional Era was very, very good to JWP, who seemed to be placed as the “#2 Promotion” in the rankings, with Ace Dynamite Kansai given particular credibility in matches against AJW wrestlers. As JWP’s Champion, she defeated Yumiko Hotta at Dream Slam 1 in a legendarily stiff war that still put over Hotta greatly, then won AJW’s top tag titles in a ***** battle the very next week! And they didn’t drop them until year’s end, in ANOTHER ***** match! She lost to Aja Kong at Legacy of Queens in the summer, but was also put over strongly there.

The other stars did remarkably well, too. Devil Masami proved she could still “go” when she carried a retired Chigusa Nagayo to a **** match at Dream Slam, then hit ***** with Bull Nakano later, on a JWP show, and hit ****1/2 in a tag match, as the most active participant! Mayumi Ozaki had a series of ****1/2 or so classics of her own against Manami Toyota, Akira Hokuto & Takako Inoue, and made the most of her charisma, acting like a nasty witch despite being tiny. She partnered up with rival Kansai to win the WWWA Tag Titles, too. Idol wrestler Cutie Suzuki had numerous great matches, mostly in tags, but had a great, fun rivalry with AJW’s idol, Takako. Command Bolshoi was in an lot of comedy stuff, and usually got crushed against any credible competition.

Plum Mariko was stuck in kind of a midcard position, never doing much, but Hikari Fukuoka was given a huge storyline as part of JWP’s offerings- typically, she LOST. But she always lost in this very entertaining, fun way that made her look like a try-hard rookie who just needed to climb that next hill. JWP’s Sakie, more or less. And you ALWAYS need wrestlers like that- a heartbreaking loss to her AJW counterpart at Dream Slam 2 left her begging forgiveness from JWP’s President, and made it all the better when she got that win back at Thunder Queen Battle, earning JWP a vastly-important fall in the Iron Woman Tag! And she pinned Sakie to end the 6-woman tag at Legacy of Queens, too. She suffered big losses to Manami & Bull Nakano during the year, but always had fun matches with them as they easily overpowered her, but gave her just enough to be fun (all the matches are around **** or so).

LLPW IN 1993:
-LLPW is a company in a very weird position, here. With an extremely tiny roster, no TV, and only one majorly credible star, they somehow make the most of it, usually putting a lot of effort into their matches on big cards. The name of the game here is Shinobu Kandori, a legit judoka and the promotion’s Ace, who loses to Akira Hokuto in one of joshi’s biggest matches ever at Dream Slam 1. I detailed that feud in Hokuto’s bio, but needless to say, Kandori is a terror- she shreds Hokuto’s arm the very next week to regain some heat, then spends the year crushing AJW talent wherever she finds it, handily defeating Kyoko Inoue at Legacy of Queens, choking out Takako at an LLPW show in September, and more. And by St. Battle Final, she gets her win back, crushing Hokuto in a brutal, one-sided contest that both caps off Hokuto’s story for the year and sees Kandori look unstoppable… yet Hokuto’s the one who walks out of the feud as a beloved star.

LLPW is so Kandori-centric the others get very little to do. Eagle is simply “the credible Big Girl”, looking powerful in mostly tag bouts, and crushing AJW’s midcarders in Elimination Tags. Harley Saito comes off as a great worker, but is splattered by Bull Nakano at Dream Slam 1 and loses to Suzuka Minami at DS2, and tends to be in that “credible loser” category otherwise. She does well when she enters AJW’s Grand Prix in the summer, but earns a lot of draws against upper-mid acts like Takako & Yamada, then loses to Hokuto- it’s clear she has a “cap”. Rumi Kazama does little aside from a mid-year feud against Hokuto that sees her drop two matches and lose her hair, but they’re probably her BEST matches and Akira was somewhat generous.

The rest are… the rest. They usually fail to stand out. Miki Handa is skilled, but “filler”, and the others barely appear- you rarely see Leo Kitamura or Yukari Osawa or whomever. Yasha Kurenai is a lot of fun, though- she has a scrappy brawler act and uses a staff for a weapon, but she’s often treated poorly, jobbing out to midcarders like Sakie Hasegawa. Never mind that 2-minute squash against Akira.

-I… don’t really know too much about FMW (hard to find the right era’s stuff on YouTube & DailyMotion), but their interpromotional stuff has been good. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda, their top stars, were in the main event of Dream Slam 1, losing to Toyota & Yamada in a great ****3/4 match, and they crushed LCO at the next show in a ****-ish one. Combat appears sparingly on the shows otherwise, but beat Suzuka Minami in a good power vs. technical match in the fall- she also beat Kudo for the FMW Women’s Title in July! Kudo herself had a classic against Aja Kong at St. Battle Final, an Ace vs. Ace struggle where she fought hard and disabled the Uraken backfist using elite technical wrestling of all things (from an FMW wrestler!). Crusher Maedomari barely appears on other cards, but was the promotion’s female champ by the end of the year.

(kinda/sorta in the order of how I liked them… the ***** matches are anyone’s ballgame, though)

Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (St. Battle Final)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (Dream Slam II)
Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori (Dream Slam I)
Thunder Queen Battle: Aja, Kyoko, Takako & Sakie vs. Kansai, Ozaki, Cutie & Hikari (JWP Thunder Queen)
Akira Hokuto & Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada (Tag League Finals- Match One)
Devil Masami vs. Bull Nakano (April 18 JWP Show)
Suzuka Minami, Akira Hokuto & Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Dynamite Kansai, Devil Masami, Mayumi Ozaki & Plum Mariko (Wrestling Queendom I)
Akira Hokuto & Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada (Tag League Finals- Match Two)

Aja Kong vs. Megumi Kudo (St. Battle Final)
Akira Hokuto vs. Mayumi Ozaki (Thunder Queen Battle II)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda (Dream Slam I)
Yumiko Hotta, Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa vs. Mayumi Ozaki, Plum Mariko & Hikari Fukuoka (Legacy of Queens)
Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori (St. Battle Final)
Manami Toyota vs. Akira Hokuto (AJW Grand Prix Semi-Final)

Devil Masami & Plum Mariko vs. Chigusa Nagayo & Cutie Suzuki (Thunder Queen Battle II)
Dynamite Kansai vs. Yumiko Hotta (Dream Slam I)
Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (Wrestling Queendom I)
Kyoko & Takako Inoue vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Cutie Suzuki (Dream Slam I)
Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai (Legacy of Queens)
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Takako Inoue (June 20, JWP)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda (FMW- May)
Aja Kong vs. Akira Hokuto (Wrestlemarinepiad ’93)
Takako Inoue vs. Harley Saito (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Manami Toyota vs. Mayumi Ozaki (Wrestlemarinepiad ’93)
Shinobu Kandori vs. Kyoko Inoue (Legacy of Queens)

Kyoko Inoue vs. Devil Masami (Wrestlemarinepiad ’93)
Manami Toyota & Akira Hokuto vs. Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa (Tag League The Best ’93)
Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue vs. Bull Nakano & Suzuka Minami (Tag League The Best ’93)
Chigusa Nagayo vs. Devil Masami (Dream Slam I)
Bull Nakano & Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Cutie Suzuki, Plum Mariko & Hikari Fukuoka (St. Battle Final)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Aja Kong & Bull Nakano (AJW/JWP Outbreak of the Storm)
Manami Toyota vs. Hikari Fukuoka (Thunder Queen Battle II)
Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Harley Saito, Eagle Sawai & Miki Handa (AJW/JWP Outbreak of the Storm)
Double Inoue & Yumiko Hotta vs. Cutie Suzuki, Plum Mariko & Bolshoi Kid (Dream Slam II)
Etsuko Mita & Suzuka Minami vs. Rumi Kazama & Miki Handa (Dream Slam I)
Suzuka Minami & Kaoru Ito vs. Devil Masami & Candy Okutsu (Thunder Queen Battle)
Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue (Jan. JWP Show)
Bull Nakano, Suzuka Minami, Las Cachorras Orientales & Bat Yoshinaga vs. Eagle Sawai, Harley Saito, Yukari Osawa, Miki Handa & Leo Kitamura (Legacy of Queens)
Aja Kong & Bull Nakano vs. Eagle Sawai & Harley Saito (Dream Slam I)
Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori & Eagle Sawai (Dream Slam II)
Aja Kong, Bull Nakano & Bat Yoshinaga vs. Yumiko Hotta, Manami Toyota & Takako Inoue (AJW Grand Prix ’93)

Yumiko Hotta, Kyoko & Takako Inoue vs. Eagle Sawai, Harley Saito & Rumi Kazama (St. Battle Final)
Takako Inoue vs. Cutie Suzuki (Legacy of Queens)
Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda (Dream Slam II)
Akira Hokuto vs. Yumiko Hotta (AJW Grand Prix Finals)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue (Zenjo is Dream- Ignition)
Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue (One-Hour Draw)
Bull Nakano & Kaoru Ito vs. Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Shinobu Kandori vs. Yumiko Hotta (Nagoya Super Storm)
Akira Hokuto vs. Rumi Kazama (Legacy of Queens)
Suzuka Minami vs. Etsuko Mita (AJW Grand Prix ’93)

Kyoko Inoue vs. Bat Yoshinaga (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Bull Nakano vs. Hikari Fukuoka (Wrestling Queendom I)
Kyoko Inoue vs. Hikari Fukuoka (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Akira Hokuto vs. Suzuka Minami (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Sakie Hasegawa & Kaoru Ito vs. Leo Kitamura & Mikiko Futagami (AJW/LLPW Nagoya Super Storm)
Suzuka Minami vs. Harley Saito (Dream Slam II)
Manami Toyota, Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue vs. Yumiko Hotta, Suzuka Minami & Takako Inoue (Aug. 5th AJW Show)
Akira Hokuto vs. Rumi Kazama (Hair vs. Hair Match, Nov. 9th LLPW show)
Akira Hokuto vs. Toshiyo Yamada (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Manami Toyota & Las Cachorras Orientales vs. Aja Kong, Bull Nakano & Tomoko Watanabe (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Akira Hokuto vs. Harley Saito (AJW Grand Prix ’93)
Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue (Tag League The Best ’93)
Chaparrita ASARI vs. Mizuki Endo (Wrestling Queendom I)
Dynamite Kansai vs. Kyoko Inoue (Thunder Queen Battle II)
Dynamite Kansai vs. Toshiyo Yamada (Wrestlemarinepiad ’93)
Suzuka Minami vs. Combat Toyoda (St. Battle Final)
Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta vs. Akira Hokuto & Toshiyo Yamada (AJW Grand Prix ’93)

-This year… was a real stand-out for women’s pro wrestling. I mean, look at all these ratings- Dave Meltzer went the same on all the top ones, too, so it’s not just me. Akira Hokuto had arguably the greatest single year any wrestler has ever had at this point, cranking out an embarrassing number of great matches, even while hurt, and then you have Manami Toyota’s incredible series. Dynamite Kansai’s in a huge number of great ones, too, being a bit part of the Thunder Queen Battle, the huge war with Aja, and the legendary trio of WWWA Tag bouts. Mayumi Ozaki’s not only in all those, plus a bunch of ****1/2-level matches against a variety of high-end singles competition, arguably having a better year for solo bouts than even Toyota. Takako Inoue even hits ****1/2 twice! This was also a year of incredible tag-team wrestling, as four of the six ***** affairs and the vast majority of the rest of the list were as well.

WWWA WORLD TITLE: Aja Kong (since Nov. ’92)
ALL PACIFIC TITLE: Akira Hokuto (since Nov. ’92), VACANT (injury- Aug.), Toshiyo Yamada (Nov.)
IWA WOMEN’S TITLE: Manami Toyota (since April ’92)
AJW TITLE: Kaoru Ito (since Nov. ’92), Debbie Malenko (Feb.), VACANT (injury- April), Mima Shimoda (Sept.)
AJW JUNIOR TITLE: Kumiko Maekawa (since Sept. ’92), Numacchi (June), Mizuki Endo (LLPW- Sept.), Chaparrita ASARI (Nov.), Candy Okutsu (Nov.)
AJW MARTIAL ARTS TITLE: Bat Yoshinaga (since ’91)
AJW MIDGET TITLE: Little Frankie (since ’91)
WWWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (since March ’92), Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (JWP- April), Toyota & Yamada (Dec.)
UWA TAG TEAM TITLES: Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (since Jan ’92), VACANT (reasons unknown- 1993), Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue (Sept. ’93)
JAPANESE TAG TEAM TITLES: Bat Yoshinaga & Tomoko Watanabe (Dec. ’92), Kaoru Ito & Sakie Hasegawa (April), Miki Handa & Yasha Kurenai (LLPW- Dec.)

JWP OPENWEIGHT TITLE: Dynamite Kansai (since Dec. ’92)
JWP TAG TEAM TITLES: Mayumi Ozaki & Cutie Suzuki (since Aug. ’92), Devil Masami & Dynamite Kansai (March), Ozaki & Cutie (Dec.)

LLPW TITLE: Shinobu Kandori (inaugural champion- Aug.)

FMW & WWA WOMEN’S TITLE: Megumi Kudo (since July ’92), Combat Toyoda (July), Crusher Maedomari (Oct.)