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


While many fans will know of Joshi talents like Aja KongManami Toyota, Meiko Satomura and even Bull Nakano be it through Dave Meltzer rating their matches five stars or in the case of Kong, Nakano and Satomura their stints with WWF/WWE.  These women represent just a small part of Joshi history so we have decided to shine some light on talents from the Joshi scene that don’t get the recognition they deserve. We start by focusing on the 80s when All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling had a monopoly on the scene and was led to new heights by the Crush Gals.

Condor Saito 

Saito (Left) With Her Stablemates

The Atrocious Alliance was part of a huge feud with the Crush Gals which was both a television and ticket selling success.  The most fondly remembered members are of course the hall of famer Dump Matsumoto and the legendary Bull Nakano (who would go on to be a WWF women’s champion).  Saito was an important member of the faction though, while not as physically imposing as her stablemates she was more than capable of wrestling their chaotic, attack everyone in sight, heel style which became the group’s calling card during their feud with the Crush Gals.  Saito retired in 1988 as a former WWWA World Tag Team Champion and AJW Junior Champion.

Kazue Nagahori

Kazue Nagahori only wrestled for four years but in that time she was an impressive member of the Red Typhoon tag team alongside Yumi Ogura.  She wrestled a highly athletic style that AJW wouldn’t fully embrace until the early 90s but she is a performer that even by today’s standards can be considered an impressive worker

Mitsuko Nishiwaki

Fire Jets
Nishiwaki (gold) with Yumiko Hotta

Another tag team, another overlooked talent.  Mitsuko Nishiwaki was a member of the Fire Jets alongside the still-active Yumiko Hotta.  They had many fantastic matches with Akira Hokuto and Suzuka Minami which were a precursor of what was to come in AJW as their matches were often worked in a style more reminiscent of 90s AJW.  Nishiwaki also has a note in history as Bull Nakano defeated her in 1990 to kick off her historic 1000+ day reign as WWWA Champion.

Jumbo Hori

Jumbo Hori would’ve fit in very well in peak AJW.  Her penchant for dropping her opponents on their head in as many ways as possible was far ahead of it’s time for AJW and she wrestled a style in the early 80s that would become more of the norm in the company throughout the 90s.  She had success as an All Pacific and WWWA Tag Team Champion but unfortunately never reached the heights of her tag partner Yukari Omori who went on to win the WWWA title.  It cannot be exaggerated just how good Omori was.

Mika Takahashi

Mika Takahashi is another performer who came along just a little too early.  Her work alongside Kaoru Maeda was really good and was a style that would become popular in AJW in the early 90s.  Takahashi retired in 1991 but her career never progressed past AJW Tag Title level (the company’s secondary set of tag team championships) despite her obvious talent.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

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