Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tag Team Tuesday: The Jumping Bomb Angels

Today's Tag Team Tuesday choice is The Jumping Bomb Angels.

Today's pick for Tag Team Tuesday is a bit unusual. Unusual in that females are not usually paired off into tag teams. In most cases female tag teams are formed because they are terrible as singles and the WWE wants to get their money's worth out of their contracts. I mention the WWE by name because they are the worst at hiring non-talent and pushing them before they are ready.

Oddly it was the WWF that made The Jumping Bomb Angels international stars. While Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki were known in Japan, it is quite likely that had they not jumped to the WWF I would have never known about the duo.

Tateno and Tamazaki were the first females that I saw do something more than an arm drag, a monkey flip, a hair drag, and a drop kick. Both of these women were 5'5" and billed around 268lbs but they were a force to be rekoned with in the world of wrestling. It is likely that many of the serious female wrestlers also watched this pair in the ring and sought more Japanese female wrestling.

While I will always respect women like Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah, it was the Jumping Bomb
Angels that made me think women had a place in wrestling beyond fan service.

Before coming to the WWF, Tateno and Tamazaki held the World Women's Wrestling Association (WWWA) World Tag Team Championship (1970-2005). The WWWA was considered by many to be one of the most respected women's wrestling federations and thus their titles were important.

On January 5, 1986 the Jumping Bomb Angels defeated Bull Nakano and Condor Saito to win the WWWA titles but were defeated March 20, 1986 by Lioness Auka and Chigusa Nagayo (The Crush Gals).

The Jumping Bomb Angels were introduced to American in mid-1897 and at the '87 Survivor Series they were the sole survivors in the Women's division. At the '88 Royal Rumble, the JBA beath The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin) in a 2 out of 3 falls match to win the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship.

The WWE barely has a tag team division now. It is hard to believe that at one time they promoted a women's tag team championship.

The Jumping Bomb Angels lasted over a decade (1981 to 1991) but only captured the gold twice. Once in the WWWA and once in the WWF. Still, they were allowed to shine where the male Japanese wrestlers that the WWF brought in were mostly saddled with Asian gimmicks and forced to keep their style soft with a low work rate.

The Angels lived up to their names with high flying moves and a quick work rate. While they did use a double dropkick as their finishing move - it was only after working the ropes. In American the only person that used the ropes on a regular basis was Macho Man Randy Savage for his flying elbow. To see two women utilize the top ropes... it really left a lasting impression.

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