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: LLPW Women’s Sparkling Fireworks

Thankfully, this uploader (Joshi Puro Oshi) puts all their stuff in a playlist.

LLPW WOMEN’S SPARKLING FIREWORKS (LLPW vs. AJW):
(11.09.1993)

* This show has popped up a couple of times during these Spotlights, as I recognized this extremely distinctive arena (looking like a high school gym with high bleachers on one side), but didn’t realize that these matches were all from the same show. This actually precedes the mega-show LLPW vs. AJW: Nagoya Super Storm by a couple of weeks, meaning this is much less of a big deal. But in that, you kind of get some freedom- silly matches, squashes, true rarities, etc. The Main Event is the cap-off to the Akira Hokuto/Rumi Kazama mini-feud that’s sprouted up over these shows during the summer months, while the Ace of LLPW is in a unique tag match right before the main, and AJW’s Ace is facing a jobber.

“TL;DR- Why Should I Care?”: So the interesting thing from a “wrestling nerd” perspective is all these stars you rarely find on these shows otherwise, plus things like utter squashes. LLPW is throwing mid-tier star up against top-tier AJW foes, but also dumping many of their lower-tier stars in one-sided contests against big names. Some of the matches are clipped, but not by much.

The crowd here is REALLY sparse at first, with empty chairs seen everywhere. And there’s four weirdos who spend all the matches sitting in the aisle while facing the crowd, then stand up to block the fans during entrances. Are these out-of-work train workers?

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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- Joshi in the WWF (1980s Edition!)

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JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- JOSHI IN THE WWF (1980s Edition):
This is a real bit of weirdness, and one that has largely been ignored by WWF history- the late 1980s run of the Jumping Bomb Angels (and other Japanese women’s wrestlers) in the WWF. The timing was odd, and I’ve never read a behind-the-scenes piece of this era, so it’s a tricky thing to put together.

Many wrestling fans, especially us “Workrate Snobs”, are aware of the Jumping Bomb Angels getting a terrific run in the WWF from 1987 to 1988, though you would actually see the occasional bit of guest-starring from AJW-trained women before that. There are a couple of Crush Gals matches on WWF TV from early 1986, in fact!

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Joshi Spotlight- Random Grab-Bag (LCO & Toyota!)

So here’s a random assortment of matches I’ve found- some of the most fun to be had on YouTube Joshi searches isn’t with spotlighting only one wrestler or one show, but by jumping all over the place, finding interesting little things here and there. Some of the best workers of the early ’90s were paired up in all sorts of interesting ways.

But don’t worry if you don’t like it- the next batch will be more focused- the first two Wrestlemarinepiads, a Grand Prix thing from 1993, and maybe a history of a few Joshi promotions.

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