The last 5 years, we’ve seen the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE going from considered to the bathroom break spot to being taken seriously has been great to watch, but it has also rewritten history and made people ignore the contributions promotions like TNA, Shimmer and other promotions had to women’s wrestling. One of the promotions affected the most by this rewriting of history by WWE has been AJW.
All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (no relation to AJPW), was a joshi promotion that ran from 1968 to 2005 and at one point it was considered the pinnacle of women’s wrestling. AJW during it’s run had some of the best matches you’ll ever see ever.
When you hear the debate about all time great female wrestlers, we hear names like Lita, Mae Young Trish Stratus, who deserved to be mentioned, but wrestlers like Manami Toyota, Aja Kong, Akira Hokuto, Lioness Asuka, Chigusa Nagayo and many more also deserve to be on that conversation that unfortunately is monopolized by wrestlers that worked in WWE or the United States.
Even after it closure, AJW’s influence can be felt to this day with wrestling like Bryan Danielson, Cesaro or Kenny Omega, as well with joshi promotions like STARDOM nowadays.
AJW had some of the best in-ring wrestling you’ll ever see and with time, the matches have aged like french wine. If you don’t believe, you can take Dave Meltzer’s word for it, who rated 19 matches from AJW with 5 stars.
While the in-ring quality of AJW is almost unmatched, the storytelling in AJW, especially in the 90s, was fantastic and in a way was the predecesor of what see today.
You can’t even say finding matches from AJW is a hard task, you can find most matches on YouTube and Dailymotion with just one click. There’s no excuse for you not to watch AJW today.
- Chigusa Nagayo vs. Jaguar Yokota (Aug-22-85)
- Chigusa Nagayo vs. Lioness Asuka (Feb-26-87)
- Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs. Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue ( Jan-11-91)
- Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota (Apr-24-92)
- Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (Aug-15-92)
- Akira Hokuto vs. Aja Kong (Nov-11-94)
- Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (Nov-20-94)
- Akira Hokuto vs. Manami Toyota (Sep-2-95)
What are you waiting for?! Go watch AJW ASAP!