Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling

The WWWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was the top singles championship in All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling from 1970 until it closed in 2005. The title was descended from the original World Women's Wrestling Championship, which Mildred Burke won in 1937.

The All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Corporation, established in 1968, was the successor to the All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Association, which had been formed in August 1955, to oversee the plethora of women's wrestling promotions that had sprung up in Japan following a tour in November, 1954, by Mildred Burke and her World Women's Wrestling Association (WWWA). These promotions included the All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Federation, and the All Japan Women's Wrestling Club, started in 1948, which was the first women's wrestling promotion in Japan.

By the mid-60's, the Association had fallen apart, due to infighting between the member promotions. In 1967, another attempt to organize the sport of women's professional wrestling was made with a new All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Association. This time the Fabulous Moolah, the NWA Women's Champion, came across from the United States and traded her title with Yukiko Tomoe, to lend legitimacy to the promotion. Unfortunately, the new Association broke up later that year. Finally, Takashi Matsunaga, who had been the promoter for All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Federation, formed the All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Corporation (AJW) with his brothers. The promotion held its first card on June 4, 1968 and got a television deal with Fuji TV in the same year.

In the fall of 1970, AJW, which had been contesting the American Girls' Wrestling Association Championship since the previous year, hosted Marie Vagnone, new holder of Mildred Burke's WWWA World Heavyweight Championship which had been revived in a WWWA tournament earlier that year in Los Angeles. On October 15, 1970, in Tokyo, Vagnone lost the WWWA title to Aiko Kyo, and AJW had a new world championship singles belt.

Jean Antoine won the belt from Aiko Kyo on March 9, 1972, in Odawara, Kanagawa.

Six days later (March 15, 1972) Aiko Kyo won the belt back in Nagoya, Aichi.

Sandy Starr then took the belt on April 26, 1972, in Osaka.

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