Japan is so different from the US. Women start training at insanely young ages to become professional wrestlers, some even starting as young as eleven years old. While some of them have immense talent and will eventually mature to be the face of their companies, some may not make it very far. There’s really no telling but the sky is the limit for Women in Japan right now. With companies like Stardom, TJPW, Diana, Marvelous and Sendai Girls, just to name a few that host some of the best talents in the world on their rosters, Joshi Wrestling is going to continue to grow into a true worldwide phenomenon.
With that said, today I am going to introduce you to 21 women in Japan that are wrestling currently and are under the age of 21. These women are your future of Joshi and are women you need to keep your eyes on. Without further ado, let’s do the damn thing.
#21. Hina | STARDOM | 15yo
Hina has grown in the ring little by little, considering how young she is (15 years old) and she already has 4 years of experience. She’s not the best on Stardom right now but it’s totally fine, for her booking she’s doing ok, her in-ring skills are getting better, she already looks like a big star and I really see her in a near future being one of the faces of the promotion.
#20. Rhythm | Just Tap Out | 20yo
Rhythm is a relative newcomer in most people’s eyes but she already has 3 years of experience. The 20-year-old, masked Joshi, is currently competing in JTO and has some stiff competition on that stage. She can grow to become a huge deal in Japan, she has the skill and she has the look, she just needs to really hit her stride.
#19. Ruaka | STARDOM | 18yo
Stardom has a decent-sized roster of really young women wrestling for them. But of them, the only one who like, really shows me much is Ruaka. She’s got clean moves and an actual style of selling. Most of the younger women just sort of sell very much as if they very taking their first bumps (some of them might be, honestly), but Ruaka looks like an actual wrestler when she sells. She has a handful of high-impact moves, which a lot of young women appear to lack. She’s not bad at all, considering she’s 18. I think by the time she’s 22 she’ll be one of the stronger Stardom competitors if she keeps improving at her current rate.
#18. Miyu Amasaki | STARDOM | 20yo
Miyu is very promising and is being groomed to be a future star for Stardom. She’s been booked with and against some of the best in the company, has been the centrepiece of most of the New Blood shows so far and is surprisingly smooth in the ring despite being so inexperienced. She’ll start developing a character before long and her promos need work, but she’ll get there. It’ll be interesting to see how she improves while working with AZM in the tag league, which can only help her.
#17. Ai Houzan | Marvelous | 19yo
Ai Houzan is very young but already has a good grasp of the technical aspects of pro wrestling. She does not display much charisma or personality yet, but hopefully, those will come with time and experience. She’s in a promotion with Takumi Iroha, one of the very best in the Joshi world right now, so she has all the tools she needs to become a huge player in Japan.
#16. Miran | World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana |13yo
Miran is in her rookie season in Diana, a place that has produced some huge names in the Joshi world. At only 13 years old, she is one of the youngest on my list today but she has some of the biggest upsides that I’ve seen in someone so young. Miran actually has a match coming up in Stardom against Miyu Amasaki at New Blood 6. Keep your eyes on this young lady.
#15. Saran | Ice Ribbon | 13yo
Saran is working for Ice Ribbon, the same company that produced the phenomenal talent Giulia. At thirteen years old, like Miran, she has a huge chance to grow and become a major player for Ice Ribbon. There are a lot of obstacles for her, obviously, but given time I believe Saran could be the next AZM.
#14. Nanami | Ice Ribbon | 16yo
Nanami still looks pretty green in the ring, but I had no idea she was only 16 years old when I was watching her. She certainly has the potential to develop into a much better wrestler. Working with Ice Ribbon and the talent that they have, she can grow to be a much better Joshi and performer than anyone may realize yet.
#13. Yurika Oka | Sendai Girls | 19yo
Oka is genuinely a revelation to me. She’s the best teenage wrestler I’ve seen since AZM, and she’s only going to get better. She’s crisp with her movements. She looks as comfortable in the ring as anyone. She sells like hell, nearly Mayu Iwatani level of selling folks. Watch out for this wrestler, she’s going to be big.
#12. Riko Kaiju | SEAdLINNNG |20yo
Rico Kaiju is already a really good wrestler. She has a lot of great matches, like against Tsukasa Fujimoto during his 5 single matches series is the perfect example. She has a great future ahead of her. Especially in that she has quickly developed into a very solid rookie wrestler over at SEAdLINNNG. I genuinely believe that she could be a big player in Joshi in a few years.
#11. Manami | SEAdLINNNG | 18yo
Manami is going slow in her career, but I really expect good things from her especially being in the same locker room as Meiko, Chihiro and DASH. She’s already got 5 years of experience and has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. She has some really good leadership to learn from and will only continue to grow.
#10. Aoi | Just Tap Out | 20yo
Aoi is one of the best graduates in recent JTO times on par with Inaba. She has a radiant charisma, showing it from the first match. A couple of months after her debut, she got a title shot and put a brilliant performance against Inaba. Aoi has one of the most unique looks not only in the Joshi scene but in women’s wrestling in general. She might not be all that crisp in the ring yet, but if she gets there, her star will rise without a doubt.
#9. Ibuki Hoshi | Ice Ribbon | 19yo
The sky is the limit for Ibuki, one of the best if not the best breakout stars this year she walks on empty as the best under-20-wrestler and she truly deserved every push she took and never disappointed in the big matches she was put into. She has one of the best chops in the industry, she has excellent dramatic facial expressions that are perfect for her character, especially when she faces the big names.
#8. Hanan | STARDOM | 18yo
Hanan is one of those that have grown up in the promotion, has improved a lot and is ready to move to an upper tier of singles wrestling. I believe her rookie period concluded after she dropped the Future of Stardom Championship. Although she might wait for several more years to accomplish more, (just like other wrestlers in her case such as Azumi, Ruaka or Saki Kashima) we could expect her to be a breakout superstar earlier than we ever thought.
#7. Kohaku | Pro Wrestling WAVE | 21yo
Glad to see her back. Her career was up in the air after leaving Marvelous, but after taking some time off, renaming herself, and joining Pro Wrestling Wave, she seems to be back on track as a fresh young prospect. Kohaku has had some great matches already in her young career and that’s even with her break from wrestling. Keep your eyes on her.
#6. Haruka Umesaki | World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana | 21yo
One of the top prospects in the Joshi scene. A girl with great potential with some star presence and already very good in-ring abilities. A wrestler to look after in the years to come, as she’s starting to get some name reputation, with appearances in STARDOM, Wave, DIANA & Sendai Girls among others, this year only.
#5. Rina | STARDOM | 15yo
Rina is probably the most charismatic of the three sisters, Hanan and Hina. Just imagine how much she has already experienced in her career at the age of 15! She has been in three factions, faced the death of her mastermind Hana Kimura, fought for the Future Of Stardom Title, and developed a great relationship with Hanan that could lead to a major Stardom feud in the future. It is very interesting how good Rina will be in 5 years. Mini-Hana will someday reign over all of Stardom, mark my words.
#4. Tomoka Inaba | Just Tap Out | 20yo
Tomoka Inaba is extremely talented and incredibly advanced for her young age. She is going to be a star somewhere in the Joshi scene, and my guess would be sooner rather than later, especially since she has aligned herself with World of Stardom Champion Syuri and God’s Eye.
#3. Starlight Kid | STARDOM | 21yo
After turning heel Starlight became the perfect villain with a great personality, and it’s amazing how incredible she can be as a charming babyface and as a cheeky heel at the same time. And her ring skill became even better. She’s still young and has everything ahead of her. SLK is extremely charismatic and talented and is the perfect foil for AZM. SLK has a huge career ahead of her.
#2. AZM (Azumi) | STARDOM | 20yo
Her matches with Starlight Kid at Stardom Cinderella Journey In Nagaoka where she started her second reign with the High-Speed Championship. Her match with Fukigen and Hazuki solidified her admittedly relatively lacklustre second reign and tied it all back around to when Hazuki lost the belt in a discussion in the exact same trio at Stardom World Big Summer In Osaka. AZM is a star, plain and simple.
#1. Suzu Suzuki | Prominence | 20yo
Suzu Suzuki is already working at the top of the world in terms of quality at the age of 20, and the only thing standing in the way of being booked as such by major companies is her strong commitment to her company Prominence and to freelance shows in general – which is no flaw. She has the ability, the natural charisma and the personality to rule the industry in the years to come. She’s hitting the main events of Korakuens now, wait til she hits the main event of even bigger shows.