Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lioness Asuka - Japanese Women Wrestling

female wrestling, women wrestling, japanese women

Ring name(s) Lioness Asuka, Tomoko Kitamura, ZONE
Born July 28, 1963,Tokyo, Japan
Trained by All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW)
Wrestling Debut May 10, 1980
Retired from wrestling April 3, 2005

Lioness Asuka is a pro wrestler from Tokyo, Japan. Along with Chigusa Nagayo she formed the Crush Gals, perhaps the most famous and successful women's wrestling tag team of all time.

she was born Tomoko Kitamura on July 28, 1963, Asuka joined All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW) in 1980, and had her professional debut on May 10 of that year. She was an immediate sensation, winning her first title, the AJW Junior Championship, the following year, and the AJW Singles Championship in 1982. In 1983 she formed a tag team, called the Crush Gals, with Chigusa Nagayo. The Crush Gals were huge stars for the (AJW), in the mid-1980s. They feuded with Dump Matsumoto and the Jumping Bomb Angels. Thanks to their fame, AJW's weekly television broadcast consistently brought in ratings over 12.0. Their fame also carried over into other media, including recording top ten singles.

By the late 1980s, the Crush Gals broke up, and Asuka began a lengthy feud with Nagayo, which culminated in her achievement of the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship in 1989. She retired later that year, but came out of retirement in 1994. She subsequently wrestled for many of the new women's promotions that arose at that time, such as Jd' and ARSION. In 1998, she made a significant move when she joined GAEA Japan, the promotion run by her former partner, Nagoya. Asuka began her GAEA career as a top heel, feuding with Nagoya, and, in one storyline, winning control of the organization from her. Eventually, near the end of 1999, Nagoya and Asuka united against a common rival, and, the next spring, reformed the Crush Gals. The storyline was huge news in Japan, and GAEA's April 4, 2000 show, featuring the debut of the reunited team, now called CRUSH 2000, was the biggest in the promotion's history.

Due to a neck injury, Asuka announced her retirement on November 3, 2004. Her retirement was made official on April 3, 2005.

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