I've been watching professional wrestling all my life, and when it came down to women's wrestling, I honestly thought it was meaningless, worthless, and boring. It wasn't until Trish Stratus started wrestling that it actually became interesting to me. I witnessed Chyna become the first and only female to win the Intercontinental Championship. I saw Lita do a Moonsault, which just blew my mind. By that time they gained my respect, but I still didn't appreciate women's wrestling. I still had that feeling that they didn't belong. I felt they were just all breasts and looks, with no real purpose.
Two weeks ago, I was expanding my wrestling knowledge and ran across the name Jaguar Yokota. I went to Youtube, and to my surprise, it was a female wrestler. I watched a couple of her matches and I'll be damned if she didn't impress me.
You see, Jaguar Yokota (born Rimi Yokota) is a Japanese female professional wrestler. What impressed me was how little she was, but how great of a wrestler she is.
In the early '80s she was considered one of the best wrestlers of either sex in the world. Yokota made her debut against Mayumi Takahashi on June 28, 1977.
Yokota spent most of her career in AWJ (All Japan Women), where she was the headliner. She became the AJW Junior Champion in January 1980. She'd go on to win the WWWA World Tag Team Championship with Ayumi Hori on December 17, right after becoming the first AJW Champion.
On February 21, 1981, she defeated her idol, Jackie Soto, to become the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship. She was only nineteen at the time!
Unfortunately, she would go into early retirement at the young age of twenty-four after a shoulder injury. But she soon became a trainer for AJW, producing such names as Manami Toyota, Magumi Kudo, and Kyoko Inoue.
Yokota would come out of retirement in 1995 to form her own promotion company, JDStar, and wrestle as the top star. Yet, she would retire again in 1998 and the company folded in 2007.
Today she wrestles as a freelancer in HUSTLE and now goes by Jaguar Y. Jaguar Yokota married in August 2004, and today, at the age of forty-seven, is still going strong.
She innovated moves such as the Suplex Powerslam (The Jackhammer) and the Double Underhook Powerbomb.She is a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (class of 1996).
She's helped pave the way for female wrestlers of today and for future Hall of Famers like Trish Stratus, Lita and Victoria.
It is because of her that I now appreciate women's wrestling. I normally turn the channel when the women are wrestling, but maybe now I'll just sit back and watch these women do what they worked so hard for, and I don't mean divas or knockouts. They worked hard to become wrestlers!