Joshi Spotlight: Yumi Fukawa- Pretty Soldier Legend
By Jabroniville on 20th October 2023
YUMI FUKAWA PRETTY SOLDIER LEGEND: THE DARK ATTACK PRO WRESTLING!:
* Yes, this very Japanese-style title is from a set of comedy matches centered around rookie wrestler Yumi Fukawa in 1995.
We start off with (of course) a bikini photo shoot, and then show Yumi waking up at her apartment and then showing an x-ray of her broken collarbone, which delayed her proper debut by over a year. The next clip is her training with Aja Kong, Aja throwing high-angle kicks into pads held by Yumi, then she gets the young girl to attempt takedowns on her, schooling her on the mat.
WATER PARK FIGHT:
YUMI FUKAWA vs. MISAE WATANABE:
* The first match actually takes place at a waterpark. Yes, the “Rookie Swimsuits” are now ACTUAL swimsuits, as the gangly Watanabe, in black, takes on Fukawa, in orange.
We start with Misae bashing Fukawa’s head into the guardrail for the stairs, then tries to toss her off the small bridge over the water, Yumi fighting out of a press-slam and tossing Misae over instead, then following up with a dropkick into the pool (clearly thrown from a point lower than the bridge). Misae comes back with a sleeperhold/drowning, then a figure-four underwater (is this a fetish thing? The camera is REALLY close), clipped back to the sleeperhold, and then an actual REFEREE shows up and they’re wrestling on a mat elevated from the rest of the pool while people watch along all around them. Fukawa does snapmares but gets headscissored out of a headlock and HEY! Their hair is DRY now! Kayfabe, people! Yumi tries a cross-armbreaker but gets bow & arrowed as we get lingering shots of amused viewers (and a long, lingering shot of a pretty girl, naturally) until Yumi first counters a backdrop suplex for two, then scores an awful backslide with Misae’s shoulder CLEARLY leaving the mat on the close camera-angle for three (3:29).
Rating: 1/4* (just for the mandatory “toss into the pool” spot)
STREET FIGHT (Literally):
YUMI FUKAWA vs. NOBUE ENDO:
* Yumi now has to deal with Endo on an actual city street in the pitch darkness. You can barely see anything as they grapple on a random mat in the middle of nowhere.
This one defies recapping, as it’s mostly shots of clothing and the ref’s striped shirt is the only thing you can see well. The one in yellow puts the one in white in a Boston crab and scores a submission at (3:00). Oh, the yellow one is Endo!
Rating: DUD (lol no)
We get clips of Yumi eating with Reggie Bennett, who is trying to stuff her face (oh, this IS a fetish video!). Reggie speaks Japanese, saying “kawaii” and holding up Yumi’s face.
YUMI FUKAWA vs. YOSHIKO TAMURA:
* Yumi vs. another rookie, as Tamura, in a blue shirt, sneaks up behind her in a crowded market and slaps her in the back of the head. Both girls can’t help laughing during the whole thing.
Both girls slam each other into tables and do snapmares on the tiny mat they have. Man, wrestling looks even faker than usual when it’s in public in street clothes. Yumi manages a crab, but Tamura gets a headscissors and rolls her around. Yumi escapes and ties up her legs and tries a variety of holds around the arms (trying hard not to laugh while she does it), but Tamura starts choking Yumi with an overshirt- Fukawa manages to escape and hits a RUNNING DROPKICK (just scooting forward about five feet) and the Standing Backdrop of Death for two. But Tamura bails and charges through the “crowd”, hitting a lariat and then wrapping the mats over Fukawa and barrel-rolling on it for the three (2:56). Well that’s a new one. I like how using the mat actually makes it SAFER, lol.
Rating: 1/2* (just for that “charge through the crowd” lariat into the barrel roll on the mat)
YUMI FUKAWA vs. BULL NAKANO:
* Yes, BULL NAKANO gets another match, and it’s against the tiny rookie on a friggin’ railway train. Bull has the makeup still, but swaps her usual to long hair that proves Bryan & Vinnie’s crush on her to be apt. Yumi’s in a pink shirt and looks like a dorky high schooler while Bull has this button-up white shirt that makes her look normal if not for the lightning makeup everywhere.
Yumi charges into Bull, who of course ignores it completely and throws the kid into some salaryman who was sitting beside her. Yumi throws forearms (… what the hell is that sound effect? This loud “THWACK!” is heard that is clearly not an elbow on flesh) and Bull throws a lariat that makes a literal cannon sound. Bull waits her out and then chucks her into the door and a few other seats, then two-hand lifts her and carries her across the train until dropping her on another seat, then puts on a sleeper, switching to a painful-looking Dragon Sleeper for the tap-out win at (1:38). Only Bull Nakano could make a stupid comedy tape’s fight on a train be like a * match, lol.
Rating: * (good bumping! And Bull pretty much shaming the rookie and destroying her is Wrestling 101. Plus she actually used the terrain to her advantage, making this look like a one-sided action movie fight)
Fukawa hangs out with… her friends? Fellow rookies? But then it’s time for our last fight…
YUMI FUKAWA vs. LIONESS ASUKA:
* And in comes Lioness Asuka in street clothes to cover Yumi’s eyes from behind, sending everyone laughing. But then they switch to their wrestling gear (Asuka in blue, Fukawa in a pink Jobber Swimsuit) in the dark for the last match.
Fukawa’s shots are ignored while Asuka’s get the hilariously overwrought action movie sound effects (punch: “BOOOOOOOOOM!” kick: “WHAPOOSH!”), then stretches her out on the ground, pulling at her face as Yumi can’t even bother to hide her laughter. Lioness now gets the GREATEST GIANT SWING EVER, doing it outside in the dark so you can’t see shit, and hangs Yumi up over her shoulder to pull at her face some more, then dropping her on the mat and then shoving her into the fountain (which is HUGE and has a big light & waterjet show). Yumi stands there and preens until the show starts off while they’re fighting. Asuka has this “WTF?” look on her face as she beats up Fukawa amidst all these flashing lights and both are soaked- Yumi counters a backdrop for two, then throws dropkicks, which are no-sold repeatedly until Asuka finally goes down (veteran move: sell the “third dropkick” to put over the lesser), but Lioness finally lands a roundhouse kick and Yumi is I guess dead at (7:12), the ref stops his count and just calls it.
They get a wheelchair out for Yumi, but she is now not dead and the two bow to each other in respect.
Rating: 1/2* (I mean, it’s part of a match, though you can’t see much, there’s way too many close-ups, and the offense is wrestling at its most basic)
Well this was certainly a thing. I dunno who was buying this tape and for what, but it’s the strangest way to feature a wrestler I think I’ve seen. “Here’s Yumi Fukawa! She’s pretty and has a good figure! Now see her get beat up in matches where you can’t see anything and where we expose the business by adding sound effects and show them laughing through the spots!”. I can just see Jim Cornette’s conniption over this now! Just goofy fun, though I can’t imagine how this was supposed to help Fukawa’s career.