Joshi Spotlight: Joshi in 1996
By Jabroniville on 31st October 2022
JOSHI IN 1996- THE YEAR OF DOOM:
* aka OH GOD JOSHI IS SO DEPRESSING RIGHT HERE WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?
So now I’ve reached the end of another year in joshi history, as 1996 is at an end in my reviews. After an iffy 1995, with wrestlers leaving all over the place, 1996 is in a rough spot… and it gets worse. A LOT worse.
The Big Stories:
* Manami Toyota’s World title reign as queen of All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling doesn’t draw that well for much of the year.
* Akira Hokuto joins GAEA Japan after a while away from AJW.
* AJW business dwindling leads to some truly disastrous shows, like shoving MMA into things and having a Rookie/Veteran tag tournament do awful business at the Budokan Hall.
* The top of most of the cards grew stale, without anyone ready to “step up” to the next level, requiring last minute pushes and “hey these rookies are elevated now”.
* The Japanese economy suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. This is arguably the biggest deal in all puro promotions by the mid-90s, and slaughters business as people have less money to spend. The bubble burst on the economy and hurt everyone but the biggest companies.
Key examples of the downturn include the quitting of Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto in early 1995, leaving AJW without two of its most over wrestlers and most reliable draws. The former was falling apart physically and retired, but Akira still had some “go” in her, and this was a HUGE loss for the company. And Manami Toyota as Champion… she was an okay draw at first, with some shows doing okay, but saw diminishing returns and she was rarely the most over person in her own MATCHES, much less on the card. All the fresh matches being eliminated did not help. Her first title defense, against Yumiko Hotta, was kind of a mess that saw a lot of botching in the end (I think Manami’s knee got blown out), and a crowd widely against Manami and for her opponent.
Manami Toyota’s run as WWWA Champion seems to draw well at first- defenses against Yumiko Hotta & Kyoko Inoue do pretty good business from the looks of the crowds… but the latter (Wrestling Queendom ’96) features maybe the last hurrah for AJW, as it’s their last really big crowd. The whys and hows are complicated and you’d probably have to ask the fans at the time, but it’s probably a combination of the Japanese economy, disinterest in the same old stars fighting each other (Manami had done major matches against both women in almost each year previous, and had fought everyone else a ton, too), the end of Interpromotional “Dream Matches”, the lack of Akira & Bull (huge, guaranteed draws), and likely Toyota not drawing as well (both Hotta & Kyoko draw more of a crowd reaction in their bouts).
It’s hard not to see this sense of boredom creep into everything, as the same-old matches are there, the effort falters, and there’s very few hot new stars to shore things up. Blacked-out arenas and quiet crowds become the norm when the peak periods saw hordes of screaming fans.
Also, AJW had tried to focus on male viewers over teenage girls (their old bread & butter), which had nuked the growth potential of the fanbase (which used to recharge every couple of years, along with the new faces in the matches), and those old guys weren’t showing up as much. So the new generations of rookies were much weaker than past ones, and took far longer to improve when they did succeed.
I’ve also watched the match star ratings plummet as the years go on. 1993 was a banquet of ****+ matches with numerous reaching the full monty. By 1996 here there’s almost nothing getting close to that- even the ***3/4 matches have dried up. And I’m probably more generous than a lot of reviewers. It’s astonishing to watch and I’m still trying to figure out WHY. It’s not like I got pickier (sometimes I even ELEVATE past matches on re-watch!), but it’s like… the wrestlers are doing the same-old stuff, but are often much worse at it. Toyota & Kyoko relied so much on their athleticism that their physical gifts diminishing with age & injuries steadily makes their matches worse. I have to imagine that the pressure of putting on such amazing matches at the ludicrous “AJW Pace” for the entirety of 1992-95 has finally caught up with many people, as the slowdown is obvious and nobody is shooting for the stars anymore. Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto are struggling to hit previous heights as well.
And really, with gates falling and smaller shows being the norm, the impetus to work harder probably isn’t there- a lot are probably like “screw it” after busting their humps for years for little financial gain (the Matsunagas of AJW in particular are legendary tightwads, even by the standards of wrestling promoters), and taking 300 suplexes a year on your neck for half a decade has gotta leave you in bad shape. Then you add in the issue with elevation, and people aren’t moving forward on the card no matter how much they try, because old positions are entrenched. So why WOULD the midcarders start pushing for ****+ matches? Add all that together and you have a business that’s more about finding “diamonds in the rough” than the embarrassment of riches that Joshi was during the Golden Age.
But hey! 1997 is both a little better (the rise of LCO! Tons of good matches there!) and OH GOD SO MUCH WORSE (AJW goes bankrupt and nearly everyone quits). At least it ain’t BORING.
THE YEAR’S OTHER AJW STORIES:
* Toyota’s failure to draw is interesting. She’s lionized by Dave Meltzer and a lot of fans followed in his wake, and she wrestles a very modern style… and she IS rather popular with fans a lot of the time (she draws some big reactions in 1995 on her way to the Red Belt), but she just didn’t have “it” as far as charisma went. Her “Humble Dork” interviews and trying to make her an ideal waifu to the male fans didn’t work (her “Arrogant Murderjock” persona is apparently more close to reality and would have been a great heel champ), and her old rivalries were tired. There just wasn’t enough there, with Aja & Kyoko having fought her a billion times. Even if she brought the Red Belt back to AJW (defeating JWP’s ace Dynamite Kansai), which SHOULD have cemented her… it just didn’t.
Manami finally does the job to Kyoko after beating her like a drum for years, giving Kyoko the Red Belt at long last… but it’s probably too late. Kyoko was one of AJW’s most over wrestlers for years (the “Kyo-ko!” chants of the crowd came during matches against even the most popular acts) and was arguably the fans’ choice over Toyota for the “Next Ace” push, but it just didn’t happen. And then it’s December and ticket sales are in the toilet again. I’ve read that Manami was about to retire at this point and was stepping back until agreeing to stay on in 1997, but her lack of effort near the bottom half of the year becomes palpable.
* Double Inoue wins the WWWA Tag Titles back from Akira Hokuto & Mima Shimoda in January, holding them for half a year (while Kyoko challenges for the top title as well), but lose to Shimoda and Manami in June! Thus ends the two years of dominance the Inoues had at the top of the tag ranks- probably the most relevant Takako ever was. Their reign was absolutely amazing, full of ****+ matches. Shimoda, paired up with first Hokuto and then Toyota, seems like she should have been elevated by all this, but she really kinda wasn’t. Fans didn’t care, and her as the subordinate didn’t move the needle- her career seems to have stalled out completely- she might be doomed! (spoiler alert: throwing her back with her old tag partner in 1997 revolutionizes both of them and gives joshi it’s first new main eventers in ages)
* The Japan Grand Prix runs from June to August, but proves itself to be emblematic of the era’s problems, as not only is it the same old stars doing the same old matches, but it FAILS TO SELL OUT KORAKUEN HALL, an extraordinarily bad sign. Little of note seems to happen, except poor Etsuko Mita gets used as a jobber near the bottom of the rankings (she gets one of the “token flukes” as Chaparrita ASARI beats her), and Kyoko Inoue loses in the finals to Aja Kong. This seemingly shows the “heir apparent” isn’t necessarily gonna coast, and re-establishes Aja’s dominance (itself a rarity, as former champs often became “special attractions” or just soon retired).
* August’s Discover New Heroine show- a two-day show at the Budokan- is a legendary disaster of epic proportions and comes to define the waning power of AJW. It’s based around, well, discovering new heroines, as there’s a tag team tournament featuring Veteran/Rookie teams from AJW, JWP, GAEA Japan, FMW and JD’, plus the U*Top fighting tournament of legit MMA matches. The show draws VERY poorly- the notoriously hard-to-fill Budokan is less than 1/3 full and even THAT’S probably an exaggeration by the office. Part of the horror involves injuries as well- JWP’s Tomoko Kuzumi takes a huge kick to the face thanks to poor timing, Kumiko Maekawa effectively exploding her mouth, sending gobs of blood everywhere. Chaparrita ASARI hits her Sky Twister Press head-first, landing flush on Yoshiko Tamura’s face, giving ASARI a stinger and Tamura a concussion… and Tamura has to fight in two more matches that night! Watching a clearly-concussed Tamura stumbling through matches becomes horrific given modern insights into CTE, let me tell you.
So what becomes a show about showcasing the new rookies involves many of them getting crushed and often legit injured, while the veterans look kinda weak because they’re jobbing in oddly-quick matches with little build-up to the finish (since for card-length purposes the bouts are 8-12 minutes long). It is nice to see Kuzumi & Tamura get pushed a bit, but both are still way below the veterans.
* For whatever reason, every single show in 1996 seems to include one particular reversal: someone attempts to climb the ropes from the inside, but gets caught on the middle rope and German Suplexed off backwards, for a two-count. I never remember seeing this spot in joshi before, and for some reason EVERY SHOW uses it! I call it the “Mandatory 1996 German off the Second Rope” for this reason. It’s very weird, though- why would one move in particular just be used so frequently, out of nowhere?
THE OTHER STARS:
* The company seems to go into panic mode, going “OH SHIT WE FORGOT TO PUSH THE ROOKIES!” as suddenly the next generations get brought up in a company gutted by the midcard emptying out in 1995 (Suzuka Minami, Sakie Hasegawa, the Raijin Army and others leaving). Problematically, though, enough veterans haven’t retired to leave spots for these wrestlers, meaning many of them stagnate on the card as there’s nowhere for them to rise TO, as the remaining wrestlers are still too established to be jobbing to kids who were never properly raised through the ranks in the past couple years. Ideally, most of them should have started getting elevated about a year before this, creating a stronger midcard. But then, the Matsunagas were never good at planning ahead… this always seemed to catch them with their pants down at the worst possible times.
* Tragedy of tragedies, REGGIE BENNETT stops being booked in late 1996! A reliable upper-midcarder who was credible enough to do jobs to Aja, Kyoko and others while still looking good, she felt like she could constantly be reheated or even elevated, but they never went that far. Her best singles match was probably one with Hotta a year earlier, and she was the All-Pacific Champion for half the year- she jobs to Takako on her way out and disappears from the company (she doesn’t reappear until ARSION in 1998 or so). Her leaving also kicks a hole in the depth of AJW.
* Yumiko Hotta also has a really bad year, wasting time doing stupid shoot-fight stuff because AJW is jealous of the business UWF-I was doing around this time, and the rise of MMA in general. This seems set to reheat her into a world title contender again or something- was she already being set up to take Kyoko’s gold?
* Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe start winning more and more matches as time goes on, and their pushes will rev up quickly in 1997. Tomoko at this point is still getting the “hey- she went 15 minutes with a top star!” mini-push- not yet credible but getting there.
* Takako Inoue should seemingly be start getting groomed for the “next level” but despite holding the All-Pacific Title by year’s end, she’s still way below the credibility of the upper tier. One issue is a lack of big-time finishers- she hasn’t added to her moveset in years, it feels like. I’d actually missed this entirely, as that match isn’t on YouTube or was mentioned much in the Quebrada match listing.
* Kumiko Maekawa stops jobbing and starts getting better gear and a push as a lethal kicker with a wind-up thrust kick being treated as a big deal. Her push and improvement would be extremely rapid, as she’d be in top tag team matches by the next year. She’s still a jobber at this point, but within a couple of years she’d look like the “Future of the Business”, hitting incredible martial arts moves, and she’d be a future Ace herself.
* Yoshiko Tamura, debuting in 1994, gets a sudden push as of late ’95, randomly showing up all over the cards teaming up with veterans and jobbing to other veterans, when she’d been nearly invisible in my column before now (ie. not in televised matches). So while she’s looking at the lights, she’s being treated like she matters- she also gets a big run in the “Discover New Heroine” tournament, getting her brain smashed in by ASARI Sky Twister Pressing onto her face, but she guts it out for the next TWO matches that night. She’d later form a big part of NEOLadies when AJW fell apart, being Kyoko Inoue’s kouhai. But for now we’re just in her early stages.
* Rie Tamada & Yumi Fukawa, a rising youngster and a super-green one, actually pair up as “TamaFuka” and make a go of it on the undercard in a pairing that lasts for a bit. As Rie was a try-hard midcarder (who had some skills but was never really super-impressive) and Yumi has idol looks, it seems like a perfectly good undercard duo. They don’t pick up many big wins and don’t show up on many major cards, though. They win the bottom-tier Japanese Tag Titles in December as a bit of a showcase, at least. Fukawa’s looks and increasing ability see her get a bit of focus and she’s probably the “Peak Rookie” at this point, even over Kumiko.
* The rest of the rookies are pretty weak, though some would end up becoming something. Kayo Noumi, Mari Mogami, Mina Taniyama (the future Tanny Mouse), Yoshiko Tamura, Yuka Shiina… some would be okay. Misae Genki herself would get pretty good, I think. Chaparita ASARI is already an amazing high-flyer, but was really jobbed out a bunch this year and looks hesitant going forward. A true future star would be Momoe Nakanishi, who’s in her “jobbing to bodyslams” first year at this point.
* I noted this in my summation of 1995, but Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto both leave AJW for good in early 1996 (too early to even matter much in the rankings or matches). Hokuto drops the Tag Titles back to Double Inoue and that’s that. This is a crushing blow AJW never recovers from- Hokuto had captured the zeitgeist and was by far the most over star- nobody else comes close. Nobody else seems to leave in 1996 short of some rookies who don’t pan out… that’d change.
THE CRACKS HAVE FORMED:
* So in both 1994 & 1995, I queried “Are Cracks Forming?”. Because the company was making a lot of subtle, small mistakes that could build up over time (not replacing older stars; stalling on pushes because they had a hot new thing going, so the next generation didn’t level up fast enough; etc.). Well here are the real cracks, and they’re impossible to ignore. The top of the card is maybe half its former size and NOBODY has been built to replace the old, leaving stars, AND the company is missing all the interpromotional Dream Matches fans had been accustomed to from 1993-95, meaning the cards now look boring and same-y. Kyoko Inoue, Aja Kong & Manami Toyota have chemistry like few others, but even *I* don’t care as much about the latest in their 150-match series!
JWP IN 1996:
-JWP actually has a hell of a spark to it in 1995-96, as a bunch of rookies they bring in turn out to be REALLY GOOD- way better than AJW’s class, in fact. I dunno what it is, but we have the future Carlos Amano, Ran Yu-Yu and Azumi Hyuga (a future Ace) in here all under their Jobber identities, and they’re all not only really good for rookies, but turn into superstars. Except that’s when the industry is dead so they’re barely remembered, lol. So Hyuga’s legacy is when people do watches of “the stuff I missed when I got out of joshi” and they go “Holy crap, this Azumi Hyuga was really good!”.
* Possibly the most important shift for the future is the formation of Mayumi Ozaki’s heel stable… OZ Academy. This is a huge one mostly because that stable is STILL AROUND, and has the name Ozaki uses for her own Vanity Promotion to this day. At this point it’s basically her and three rookies- Reibun Amano and GAEA’s Chikayo Nagashima & Sugar Sato. But holy crap will we be seeing more of OZ Academy.
* Hikari Fukuoka rules the tag team ranks, in anticipation of her future push- JWP puts in the work at making her credible, as she & KAORU (from GAEA Japan) dominate the JWPTag Titles until the summer, then she quickly wins them back with Devil Masami as her partner.
LLPW IN 1996:
-This one has very little stuff on YouTube at the moment, and as the Interpromotional Era dies down, they stop showing up on AJW cards. As they were a distant #3 promotion (and #4 if FMW’s women’s division is counted, though apparently LLPW had a pretty solid loyal fanbase for a while there), they are invisible, and it gets worse when GAEA debuts in the spring of ’95. Their top title is in transition, as oddly the Ace Shinobu Kandori is unseated by Noriyo Tateno late in ’94, and subsequent champs are Eagle (the former heir) and Harley Saito as a “Karula” character. I don’t know if they realized the flaw in making a promotion based around only one dominant wrestler or what.
FMW’s WOMEN’S DIVISION IN 1996:
-The division takes some irreparable damage as Combat Toyoda retires in May. However, she is a TRUE pro, doing a ton of jobs all over the industry on the way out, giving props to Aja Kong and others… then has her best match ever against Megumi Kudo- an amazing No Ropes Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch. Kudo is left to carry what’s left against the Dollar General Dump Matsumoto: Shark Tsuchiya.
GAEA JAPAN- A NEW CONTENDER!:
-GAEA just kept on truckin’ in 1996- their inaugural class was still young, but pulled off some shockingly good contests, like a ***+ Meiko Satomura/Sonoko Kato match, made more impressive by the fact that both had wrestled earlier in the day! In fact, them, Chikayo Nagashima & Toshie Uematsu all showed incredible promise, and it was a crapshoot as to who was the best at this point- Meiko had the energy and aura (but was a bad overactor), Kato the best overall, Chikayo had the best and deepest moveset (but little charisma) and Toshie was the flippiest. Sugar Sato was increasingly-good (if generic), too!
In addition to the Meiko/Kato match, an “All Rookies” tag match (Kato/Meiko vs. Chikayo/Sugar) hit ***1/2, which was further proof of the GAEA training system, as well as how miraculous all these rookies were. Second & third-years were simply NOT this good.
* Chigusa Nagayo becomes the first AAAW World Champion, defeating Devil Masami in Singapore. This finally gives GAEA a belt to fight over.
* GAEA had a few more dream matches in the offering, too, like Chigusa meeting LLPW’s Shinobu Kandori (a big star who showed interest in wrestling her in the late ’80s), but only in a tag match. A handful of new rookies had shown up, but none showed the promise of the first generation (GAEA never would replicate that)- most of them I still have to look up even a year after seeing them. But there WAS a big shift in the foundation of GAEA, as Mayumi Ozaki from JWP shows up, and promptly recruits rookies Sugar & Chikayo to her new group, OZ Academy! This completely turns GAEA from an “outsiders vs. homegrown talent” promotion into a “Feuds with heel stables from within” promotion, Chigusa taking the lessons of her Crush Gals days in the ’80s and turning herself into a virtuous cheerleader of her charges against despicable monsters like Ozaki.
* Sugar/Chikayo quickly form a villainous duo, feuding with not only the Mini-Crush Gals Sonoko Kato & Meiko Satomura, but they win the Japanese Tag Titles from AJW as well!
* Overall, the color-coded rookies have developed styles- Kato (blue) is very “UWF/Crush Gals”-like with her kicks and solid framework of skills. Meiko (red) is this wild, crazy, energetic star who has some silly spots (her screaming windmill punch charge) and squalling mannerisms, but has the most fire by far and every movement cries “Look at MEEEEEEEEE!”. Chikayo (yellow/green) is the most “MOVEZ”-heavy, athletic & acrobatic, showing way more agility than most 2nd-years. Sugar (white) is probably the most generic and clumsy so far, struggling a bit to control things. Toshie Uematsu (green) is the true wizard of the air- she’s ultra-tiny and less graceful than Chikayo but can do crazy run-up-the-person’s-chest flips out of the corner and more.
* The next training class, however, has been… less impressive. No real stand-outs yet, but Makie Numao uses a “kickpad” style already and seems a bit above the others. Chihiro Nakano, Maiko Matsumoto & Sakura Hirota are the others- Sakura gets some early “Hey, she’s pretty tough!” stuff by resisting the moves of Aja Kong & Chigusa and still kicking out. Most would not have very long careers.
* Finally, Bomber Hikari, who occupied a singular role as “sort of a trained veteran, but sucks and just beats on the rookies” retires VERY early in 1997, removing a bit of a roadblock to the younger generation (Bomber wasn’t good enough to have great matches with the kids, but was too credible to just lose handily to them).
JD’- Wait, Another Contender?:
-JD’ (“jay-DEE-star”) is the new Joshi promotion on the block… and its shows always kinda feel like a waste of time. Like you have Jaguar Yokota, Lioness Asuka & Bison Kimura, who are all GOOD, but in 1996 they’re still all working the ring rust out and not being at their prime, and it’s ONLY THEM, so you see them and all these rookies learning to work against Mexican talent brought in for these shows. So you see Mexican luchadoras doing their flippy stuff, but holding back against the joshi like Chikako Shiratori (who is trying REALLY HARD, making a go of being a worker, but… just is not very good) or The Bloody Phoenix, who is too green to be good just yet.
Like, I think any other promotion would be better off with the 3 big JD’ stars making up part of their roster. There are FIVE OTHER JOSHI PROMOTIONS running at this time! Why thin out the herd even more? (answer: some dumb money mark, who even paid for TV time!)
* Having watched four JD’ releases, I’m getting a sense of the promotion… it’s like Bison gets to be in a showcase singles match that hits around *** because she’s PRETTY good but still not that great, wrestling a style at 1/2 the speed of most of the other big stars at this point. Jaguar either gets a singles match or a tag bout to showcase the promotion’s rookies, but most of them are SO green that putting them in 12-16 minute matches is dreadful. Chikako gets all kinds of showcases, but even at her best effort, she has bad cardio and flags badly as the matches go on, and I don’t think she ever hit *** solo anyways.
* Bloody Phoenix is at least improving quickly, hitting stuff like Germans when most are still doing bodyslams. She even fits into most matches as decent “filler” like a lot of the LLPW or JWP lesser stars. Yuki Lee, however, is god-awful. Clumsy, awkward and boring- we’re supposed to dig her “Rookie Fire” and never quitting, but she keeps doing stuff like rolling the wrong way or mistiming selling so she’s half a second behind the impact of the move or something. Just basic stuff that even rookies should be okay at doing.
* COOGA of all people ends up being a highlight! Miori Kamiya was a boring filler wrestler in AJW when she quit in 1992, but here she’s suddenly hitting the “Generic Joshi Offense” and doing a really good job of it. She isn’t having the best matches of all or anything, and doesn’t have any “Big Deal” offense, but she’s putting on every move with picture-perfect precision.
* Lioness Asuka wins their TWF Title from Lola Gonzales by September, giving them a true native top star.
* This has largely subsided. Though you see things like a JWP rookie win the AJW Junior Title and two GAEA Girls winning the Japanese Tag Titles (AJW’s lowest), that’s mostly it.
THE OVERALL STORY:
-So joshi is in flux at this point- AJW is dying in ticket sales, Manami seems ready to go and starts taking up a minor role on the cards, Kyoko is now getting the “God Push”, and the next generation of rookies is almost ready to do something… but oh man things get uglier. 1997 sees the highlights of the rise of Las Cachorras Orientales as a true Main Event act and the Tomoko/Kumiko team at least. JWP, LLPW & FMW are less healthy than they were before as well. GAEA Japan is self-sustaining and improving steadily. But overall, joshi just gets really BORING around this time, with a very “Samey” approach to everything, even as the big stars falter more and more physically and have worse matches.
So things suck right now, but 1997 is at least EXCITING.
(kinda/sorta in the order of how I liked them… the ***** matches are anyone’s ballgame, though)
Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue (Wrestling Queendom ’96)
Megumi Kudo vs. Combat Toyoda (No Ropes Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch)
Dynamite Kansai & Takako Inoue vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Kyoko Inoue (April 7th- JWP)
Double Inoue vs. Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda (June ’96- WWWA Tag Match)
Aja Kong vs. Kyoko Inoue (AJW Japan Grand Prix Final Match)
Aja Kong & Yoshiko Tamura vs. Dynamite Kansai & Tomoko Kuzumi (Budokan Discover New Heroine)
Aja Kong, Combat Toyoda & Cooga vs. Megumi Kudo, Bison Kimura & KAORU (Wrestling Queendom ’96)
Aja Kong vs. Combat Toyoda (Jan. 10th)
Super Heel Devil Masami vs. Mayumi Ozaki (???)
Chaparrita ASARI vs. Fusayo Nouchi (08/12)
Aja Kong & Dynamite Kansai vs. Kyoko Inoue & Devil Masami (JWP 5th Anniversary Show)
-It’s absolutely staggering to look at this list compared to other ones I’ve done- my “Best of 1993” is literally eight times larger than this. And features mostly the SAME PEOPLE! It’s like… something brutal has happened in the business.
WWWA WORLD TITLE: Manami Toyota (Dec. ’95), Kyoko Inoue (Dec. ’96)
ALL PACIFIC TITLE: Yumiko Hotta (Sept. ’95), Vacant (April ’96), Reggie Bennett (June), Takako Inoue (Nov.)
AJW TITLE: Tomoko Watanabe (June ’95), Vacant (?? ’96), Kumiko Maekawa (May), Rie Tamada (Nov.)
IWA WOMEN’S TITLE: Reggie Bennett (May ’95)
AJW JUNIOR TITLE: Yoshiko Tamura (June ’95), Tomoko Miyaguchi (Sept. ’96)
AJW MIDGET TITLE: Little Frankie (since ’91)
WWWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Akira Hokuto & Mima Shimoda (Sept. ’95), Double Inoue (Jan. ’96), Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda (June)
JAPANESE TAG TEAM TITLES: Rie Tamada & Yumi Fukuwa (Dec. ’95), Chikayo Nagashima & Sugar Sato (Sept. ’96)
JWP OPENWEIGHT TITLE: Dynamite Kansai (Oct. ’95)
JWP JUNIOR TITLE: Vacant (Dec. ’95), Hiromi Yagi (May ’96), Candy Okutsu (July), Vacant- Candy ages out (Aug.), Tomoko Kuzumi (Aug.)
JWP TAG TEAM TITLES: Hikari Fukuoka & KAORU (Dec. ’95), Dynamite Kansai & Cutie Suzuki (July ’96), Devil Masami & Hikari Fukuoka (Nov.)
LLPW TITLE: Karula/Harley Saito (Nov. ’95), Eagle Sawai (Nov. ’96)
SIX-WOMAN TITLES: Carol Midori/Mikiko Futagami/Yasha Kurenai (??), Eagle Sawai/Michiko Nagashima/Shark Tsuchiya (Aug.)
FMW & WWA WOMEN’S TITLE: Combat Toyoda (Dec. ’95), Megumi Kudo (May ’96)
TWF TITLE: Lola Gonzalez (Nov. ’95), Lioness Asuka (Sept. ’96)
GAEA JAPAN’S TITLES:
AAAW TITLE: Chigusa Nagayo (Nov. ’96)
AAAW TAG TITLES: Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato (Feb. ’96)
Joshi Spotlight Master List: https://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?p=164464#p164464