Joshi Spotlight: Jumbo Hori

Every 1970s Joshi’s theme song sounds like it’s from ’70s anime. It’s tremendous.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- JUMBO HORI:
Real Name: Ayumi Hori
Billed Height & Weight: 5’11” & 176 lbs.
Career: 1978-1985, 2006-2017 (a few matches per year)

-Here’s a bio I’m largely doing just for the sake of curiosity- looking up random 1980s AJW matches and names and found this interesting name, humorously called “Jumbo” because she’s of the stupendous height of 5’11”. I mean, it sounds funny, though that IS tall for a woman- 5’8″ is so tall that two women of that height were called “The Twin Towers” in 1993, much less someone three inches taller. “Jumbo” is actually a very common name for AJW- it was tossed on their first World Champion, and has been used on a few other women as well. Looks like Hori was the last of them.

From what I can see in matches, she’s pretty good, but isn’t given a whole ton of credibility against the top stars- Jaguar Yokota controls whole matches against her, for example. She’s a good Power Wrestler, though- in a company based around chain-wrestling and working limbs, this big chick just hefting people up and slamming them down over and over again is something more akin to what Joshi became in the 1990s. Though 1980 was a simpler time and often her token offense is just hoisting people into a fireman’s carry and tossing them off sideways into a back bump- we were a bit away from the more extreme heavy-hitting power stuff.

Through The Looking Glass: Overlooked Joshi Talent Of The 80s

CAREER TRAJECTORY:
-Jumbo was never a major singles star from what I can tell, but had a VERY strong tag run- I’ll call her the “Billy Gunn” of AJW. She seems to have wrestled Jaguar Yokota to a million Time Overs and Double-DQs during the early ’80s. Evito-X Puro helped me out with other info here:

She & Rimi (Jaguar) Yokota beat heel team Lucy Kayama & Nancy Kumi for the WWWA Tag Titles in late 1980 (two years into her career), holding the belts only 18 days before they were vacated, as Rimi abandoned tag teaming to go after the WWWA Tittle. She won the belts right back promptly, but with NANCY this time, holding them for a long 277-day reign. They lost to Mimi Hagiwara & Yukari Omori (a future Ace). There’s an odd blip in the All Pacific Title lineage where she wins the vacant title in Jan. 1982, holding it for 154 days before vacating it to chase tag gold again. It didn’t seem to work, as she went on a drought until she formed the Dynamite Girls with Omori in 1983, winning the WWWA Tag Titles a third time, holding them for a massive 435 days. The Dynamite Girls seem to be in opposition to the Crush Gals, given the names, and sure enough- it was the Crush Gals who won their first Tag Titles by BEATING these girls in August 1984.

Jumbo reappeared suddenly in 2006 after TWENTY-ONE YEARS away from the business, doing a one-off for LLPW, teaming with Shinobu Kandori against Mima Shimoda & Takako Inoue. She wrestled thrice in 2007 as well, then actually got a significant run in 2008, where she wrestled a dozen or so matches, including a 10-minute time-over with Yukari Omori against the reunited Jumping Bomb Angels! Four matches in 2009, and one each in 2010, 2012, 2016 & 2017 followed.

https://twitter.com/i/status/683372136413659136

Jumbo hitting a Ganso Bomb in the early ’80s. Even before 1990 they were nuts.

MOVESET:
Fireman’s Toss (SO MANY PER MATCH!), Swinging Slam (swings opponent right, then left, then slams them down), Powerbomb, Jumbo Suplex (Fallaway Powerbomb- Finisher)

THE MATCHES:

2 OUT OF 3 FALLS:
AYUMI HORI & NANCY KUMI vs. JACKIE SATO & RIMI YOKOTA:
* This is four of the biggest stars of this era combined, as Sato is the Ace, and Yokota replaced her. Hori & Kumi come down to something outta the “Kill Bill” soundtrack, I swear, with Jumbo not yet taking her nickname (neither has Jaguar yet, for that matter). Kumi I’ve heard a bit about- she appears a LOT on Title lineages in AJW, and she trained some JWP stars after retiring. Everyone’s in their ’70s swimsuits- Hori’s in black with big colorful rectangles on it, Kumi’s in lavender floral, Sato’s got a leopard on hers, and Yokota’s in pastel stripes. These are some really weird color choices.

First Fall: Everyone scrambles about and trades stuff to start, with the most interesting bit being Hori resisting Jackie’s headscissors just by standing there and powering her off. Yokota & Kumi trade stuff until Hori just does Fireman’s Tosses to the diminutive Yokota, then they double-team her and Hori boots her around the ring and works the arm. Jackie does a bit better, doing a cool “hop over their back and swing an armdrag” move. She tries another flying headscissors, Hori improvising a friggin’ DEATH VALLEY DRIVER by falling backwards, but Jackie just treats it like a normal drop and keeps on the headscissors. Atomic Drop gets two- so funny seeing that sold as a killer. Yokota comes in like a screaming spitfire, but gets launched by Kumi and now Jackie’s back in, and avoids a toss by landing on her feet, hitting a jumping headscissors and then SLAMMING Kumi’s head into the mat from a running start- yikes. Haha, and now that Jackie’s turned the tide again, Yokota can come in with her Thesz Presses, butterfly suplex, and an INSANE move where she charges the turnbuckle pad and DROPKICKS it, sending her deflecting off for a splash at 75 mph. Backbreaker from Jackie gets three at (8:28). Complete non-stop action.

Second Fall: Yokota takes a beating and is tossed off the top by Hori, then stretched out repeatedly, but bridges out of a pin and tags out- Jackie crushes Hori and hits a backdrop suplex for two and everyone fights outside the ring, Hori taking a big pounding out there, too. But Hori comes back in the ring and the heels hit stereo Figure-Fours! Ref’s so busy giving Hori shit for her illegal one that he doesn’t see Yokota in the ropes and still stuck in Kumi’s, which is great. Shoulderbreaker, but Yokota bridges out at one and hits a run-up cross-body out of the corner! Butterfly suplex and now Hori takes jumping moves, but dumps both opponents and it’s ANOTHER brawl outside! But Kumi gets in the ring and wins the fall via Count-out at (7:14)!

Third Fall: Jackie hits a camel clutch and a running powerslam on Kumi for a bridge-out, then she starts dominating both women with technical stuff. She & Yokota just furiously tear Hori’s legs apart, Yokota hitting abdominal stretches until she escapes. Kumi hits Running Screaming Attacks (the joshi specialty) and Hori hits that swinging slam for two. Kumi with release Northern Lights & butterfly suplexes on Jackie, but Yokota comes in with her flip-dodge on Hori but misses a dropkick. Hori runs into her chest-first twice, then hits a Fireman’s Toss- she readies another, but Yokota LANDS ON HER FEET and leaps up for a leg-roll clutch for the flash pin (6:42)!

Damn, where did THIS one come from?! Most matches from this era are dated as hell, and here they’re whipping out crazy reversals, big flying moves, and more. Crowd-brawling was a common spot even back then, but this was fought at top speed the entire way. There was no consistent selling (standing on the apron was like a total health-refresh, like when you plug in quarters in WrestleFest) and everyone just ran at each other for the ’70s equivalent of a Spotfest, but this was a hell of a lot of fun for that.

Rating: ***1/2 (one of my favorite matches from this era that I’ve seen)

JUMBO HORI vs. RIMI YOKOTA:
(1983)
* Jumbo takes on the promotion’s top wrestler, the future Jaguar! Who is super itty-bitty, despite being athletic. Both are wearing 1970s Swimsuit outfits, Rimi’s in green and Jumbo’s in black. Jumbo is almost a full head taller, but has a shoulder-brace on.

Rimi does her flips to start and plays evasion, but gets Moolah Whipped around. She controls on the mat, but Jumbo wraps those tree trunks around her neck, then rolls her up off the ropes and hits a fireman’s toss, really using her size. Flying cross-body misses- that was dumb. She shoves Rimi out of the ring off a figure-four, but takes the worst of a brawl outside and Rimi ties her legs in knots in the ring for several minutes until Jumbo comes back with power and brawling, then javelins her across the announce table outside! She fires off two more fireman’s tosses but gets her legs caught on the second and is stretched again. Rimi hits ass attacks and an octopus stretch, rolling her up when she’s hiptossed out. Rimi hits the Figure-Four, sold like death!

Jumbo finally rolls into the ropes, but Rimi ties her legs up there and kicks away. Jumbo takes a breather, and when she runs in, hits this interesting spinebuster where she lifts Rimi, swings her to one side to build momentum, THEN slams her down. HUGE Release Powerbomb (in 1983!) astonishes the female commentator, but Rimi hurricanranas her out of a second one (in 1983!). Thesz Presses and another octopus & rollup, but Jumbo keeps powering out of stuff and hits another fireman’s toss for two. Rimi does a TORTURE RACK of all things, which looks preposterous, and then they just keep trying to roll each other into pins until Time Expires at (17:43 of I think 30:00 shown).

Interesting old-timey stuff, but Rimi was just too dominant and Jumbo too limited. Then she hits a friggin’ JACKNIFE POWERBOMB and Rimi just immediately counters the next move and is back on offense again? You’d think that’d be a huge deal for the time and it barely mattered. Some solid “fighting for the holds” stuff, but early ’80s wrestling always looks like the PRELUDE to the exciting part of the match rather than the “meat” of the whole thing, to me.

Rating: **1/4 (technically fine and with some good moves, but no ending)