Japanese Wrestling News: Manami Toyota to retire today
What's the story?
The curtain falls on a truly iconic career today. Arguably the greatest female professional wrestler in history, Manami Toyota's final matches take place today in Yokohama.
In case you didn't know...
Best known for her legendary work in All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling (AJPW), Manami Toyota is regarded by many as the greatest female professional wrestler in history. A member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, Toyota made her debut in August 1987 and the awards started coming almost immediately.
"The Flying Angel" went on to win championships across four decades, but it is the quality of her matches that will be forever remembered. Toyota has taken part in 17 WON-rated five-star matches, and only three wrestlers have taken part in more. All 17 of Toyota's perfect bouts took place between 1991 and 1995, an incredible five year stretch for an all-time great.
Toyota is also the only female to win the prestigious WON Most Outstanding Wrestler award, which came in 1995.
The heart of the matter
The clock strikes midnight on Manami Toyota's career today, and it will do so in a truly unique way. In March 2017 Toyota announced her retirement would come on November 3, and it will not be a simple one-on-one bout.
Toyota's final match will actually be a series of matches, 50 in total. Manami will do battle against some of her greatest opponents in a series of 50 one-minute long matches. Opponents include Bull Nakano, Toshiyo Yamada and Carlos Amano.
Manami Toyota's retirement comes at just 46 years old, which may seem young to some readers. It must be taken into account that Toyota's career began at just 16 years old, and she wrestled an immensely physical style throughout the glorious '90s.
Don't expect today's matches to touch the heights of those iconic bouts with Yamada, Kyoko Inoue and Aja Kong, but today's event in Yokohama will be monumental nonetheless.
Toyota's retirement gauntlet takes place in Yokohama today. The event takes place in Osanbashi Hall, located on Yokohama's Osanbashi Pier.
Toyota's career is coming to an end, but her importance to professional wrestling can't be understated. A true titan of the ring, A weekend of watching the early '90s classics may well be ahead for many grappling fans around the world.
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