Joshi Spotlight: Crane Yu

SUSPICIOUS TUMBLR — Dump Matsumoto & Crane Yu with Shiro Abe (1985)

Crane is on the right, Dump Matsumoto on the left.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- CRANE YU:
Real Name: Yukari Honjo (aka Masked Yu, Dynamite Jack)
Billed Height & Weight: 5’8″ 220 lbs.
Career Length: 1980-1989

-So on the famous Atrocious Alliance bouts of the 1980s, you’ll see a pretty wild assortment of punk rock girl characters backing up the legendary Dump Matsumoto. Most notable of these is a baby Bull Nakano, but there’s also this HUGE, muscular woman with curly hair, and one that’s effectively a “Clone Buddy” of Dump (like how WWF would add Typhoon to Earthquake and Phineas to Henry Godwinn). That’d be Crane Yu, the former “Masked Yu”, who continues to befuddle Westerners as to the naming theme of the group, as according to our own Manjiimortal, they are named after CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES, not animals- Dump Truck, Bulldozer and Crane. So the “Crane” in her name isn’t the animal, nor is Bull’s “Bull”. That there is a Grizzly on the team confuses this further, though.

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Joshi Spotlight: The Crush Gals vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels

THE CRUSH GALS vs. THE JUMPING BOMB ANGELS:
* Here’s a collection of three matches featuring the Crush Gals going up against the Jumping Bomb Angels, all uploaded by our very own Evito-X Puro! The first one happily keeps some commercials, but ’80s ones are less wild than the ’90s stuff.

These matches are fascinating because the JB Angels are of course memorable to WWF fans of the ’80s for throwing out the most innovative offense on Earth at the time, in Japan it was the Crush Gals who were more popular and successful, being full-bore teen idols with a fan movement that was a pure phenomenon.

A Refresher:
Chigusa Nagayo: The most wildly popular Joshi probably ever, with legions of teenybopper fans despite honestly coming off like a bully when she’s not fighting the Atrocious Alliance. REALLY good at selling. Plays Ricky Morton. Wears red.
Lioness Asuka: Better worker than Chigusa but only 80% as popular. Comes in to mop up. Wears blue.
Noriyo Tateno: Long hair and the thiccer of the two Angels. Was the bigger star.
Itsuki Yamazaki: Slender and extremely quick- inspired Manami Toyota big-time.

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Joshi Spotlight: Dump Matsumoto

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Pic by our very own Bob Dahlstrom!

“Matsumoto actually pioneered the gimmick that the Road Warriors would later use to great fame in the United States, of being face-painted bikers with bizarre haircuts and monster heels who sold very little, if at all, for the smaller, under matched babyfaces. […] Matsumoto’s impact was so great that she often brought crowds literally to tears with her villainous tactics, and when she would merely walk down the street in any major city, people would scatter in fear”
-Dave Meltzer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6-tlQ12oUA

Dump’s amazing theme song.

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Joshi Spotlight: The Jumping Bomb Angels

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“The Jumping Bomb Angels were very popular at the time, and my friend invited me to the show – and I went to the first show without any prior knowledge- and then I thought ‘oh, THIS is what I have to do’. That was about ninth grade.”
-Manami Toyota, via a translator, about why she became a wrestler, at the Chikara Joshimania show.

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- THE JUMPING BOMB ANGELS:

NORIYO TATENO:
Billed Height & Weight: 5’5″ 165 lbs.
Career: 1981-2010

ITSUKI YAMAZAKI:
Billed Height & Weight: 5’5″ 137 lbs.
Career: 1981-1991

Among the only classic Joshi known to North American fans, the Jumping Bomb Angels are somewhat famous to workrate snobs for coming on WWF TV and blowing minds with offense that looked straight-up futuristic for the time, throwing out crazy double-teams and top-rope moves that NOBODY was doing at the time. Popular in Japan, neither became a true megastar, and they were always subordinate to the Crush Gals (who were over to the point of being a cultural phenomenon at the time), but I think they were definitely more noticed by people who wanted to see fast-paced action- hell, I think it’s fair to call the JB Angels among the most influential wrestlers of all time!

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Joshi Spotlight: The Crush Gals

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“Japanese crowds are usually respectful and quiet.”
-Chris Jericho (paraphrasing)

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- THE CRUSH GALS:
CHIGUSA NAGAYO:
Stats:
Billed Height & Weight: 5’5″ 192 lbs. (lighter in the ’80s)
Career Length: 1980-today (still active; retiring shortly)
Trained By: Unknown

LIONESS ASUKA:
Stats:
Real Name: Tomoko Kitamura
Billed Height & Weight: 5’7″ 172 lbs. (lighter in the ’80s)
Career Length: 1980-2005
Trained By: Unknown

“She’s [Chigusa] the single most popular and arguably the most historically important female wrestler who ever lived. To this day, in pro wrestling or MMA, not Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Kerry Von Erich, Dusty Rhodes, or Chuck Liddell could match the reaction I saw that woman receive live in her heyday.”- Dave Meltzer, who LOVED to point out how big the reactions the Crush Gals got compared to Hulk Hogan. If you write a Gals article, you have to mention them equaling Hogan in popularity. I think it’s a rule.

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Joshi Spotlight- The History of AJW

THE HISTORY OF ALL JAPAN WOMEN’S PRO WRESTLING (AJW):
Existence: 1968-2005

With enough reviews posted, and a better understanding of joshi, I figured I would post a full history of the top company in the genre.

-AJW, called “Zenjo” in Japan (“All+Women”) is pretty much where Joshi begins and ends- it’s responsible for all the peaks and most of the valleys. When Meltzer and his readers go on about ’90s Joshi, they’re almost always talking about something AJW did- most of the biggest stars of all time (The Beauty Pair, Crush Gals, Manami Toyota, Aja Kong, Akira Hokuto) are AJW alumni, and all the biggest cards feature them.

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Joshi Spotlight- All Star Dream Slam II (Part 2)

And now it’s the final part of the “Dream Slam” reviews, culminating with soem of the best matches fo the shows!

The Previous Parts:
Dream Slam I (Part 1)
Dream Slam I (Part 2)
Dream Slam II (Part 1)

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