When we think of professional wrestling, it generally involves a lot of body slamming, sweat, and colorfully entertaining costumes. This is actually the reality of life inside the wrestling ring. However, did you know that female wrestling occurs in Japan? Yes, that’s right! A female wrestling promotion, World Wonder Ring Stardom (aka Stardom), started in September 2010, by JD Star promoter, Rossy Ogawa, retired female wrestler, Fuka Kakimoto (柿本 風香) and veteran female wrestler, Nanae Takahashi.
The promotion also involves modeling calendars that get published every year to help promote the event and are very popular!
Fuka Kakimoto is a retired Japanese professional wrestler and after her retirement, she started training a Japanese female model, Yuzuki Aikawa, up for a career in professional wrestling. Yuzuki is also retired and is now considered a gravure idol that involves appearing in male magazines, films, advertising campaigns, video games, and television programs all throughout the country.
Aikawa’s first year in professional wrestling went so well that she ended up claiming 2011’s Female Wrestler of the Year award. She also won several other wrestling awards on top of that and has even released her own independent wrestling events. The promotion was initially based around Aikawa and was followed on by several others who were also trained including Arisa Hoshiki, Eri Susa, Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, Yoko Bito and Yoshiko.
A big event in Stardom took place on April 29, 2013. It was called Ryōgoku Cinderella where wrestlers donned beautiful costumes for the event. This was a competition of the most popular ‘giantess’ and included those from other wrestling federations. The event included outside participants such as Lin Byron, Makoto, and Syuri from Wrestling New Classic. Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling also sent Manami Toyota and Meiko Satomura to join the event. Ryogoku Cinderella was attended by 5,500 fans dominated by men who were eager to see their favorite female wrestlers battle it out in the ring and be crowned champion!
Check out the results here.
The Stardom female wrestling promotion is definitely something that keeps fans coming back for more. It is great to see female professional wrestling doing so well here in Japan and it’s also interesting seeing how a variety of mixed martial arts has influenced the wrestler’s style in the ring.