Gaea Japan
AcronymGAEA
Founded1995
Defunct2005
HeadquartersJapan
Founder(s)Chigusa Nagayo
Owner(s)Yuka Sugiyama
Chigusa Nagayo

Gaea Japan (trademarked as GAEA Japan) was a Japanese women's professional wrestling promotion. GAEA's name comes from the Greek mythological goddess of the Earth, Gaea or Gaia.

History

GAEA was founded in 1995 by Chigusa Nagayo, a professional wrestler who achieved huge success in the 1980s with her tag team partner, Lioness Asuka, as the Crush Gals.

GAEA's formation was first announced at a press conference held on August 24, 1994. Present at the event were charter members Nagayo, KAORU, and Bomber Hikaru. GAEA's first rookie auditions were also held on this occasion. Their rookie class included Meiko Satomura, Toshie Uematsu, Chikayo Nagashima, Sonoko Kato, Sugar Sato, Maiko Narita, Chihiro Nakano, and Makie Numao.[1]

On April 15, 1995, the new promotion held its first show. It was at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall and was called Memorial First Gong.[1] The event was a sellout and received good press. From this point on, GAEA held monthly shows at Korakuen and also occasionally went on the road to other Japanese cities.

GAEA's reputation grew as a result of the acquisition of some well-known wrestlers and the organization of some very successful interpromotional shows. GAEA acquired highly respected freelance wrestler Akira Hokuto on September 16, 1996 and Toshiyo Yamada on July 3, 1997. The promotion established a relationship with the Japanese hardcore promotion Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW) on July 29, 1995, and worked with the prominent American promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1996. As a component of the relationship with WCW two GAEA wrestlers, Akira Hokuto and Toshie Uematsu, became the first WCW Women's Champion and WCW Women's Cruiserweight Champion respectively.

GAEA's most famous storyline involved the reunion of 80's tag team sensations, the Crush Gals, in 2000. The Crush phenomenon in Japan was roughly akin to the American phenomenon of Hulkamania and the first appearance of the reunited partnership on May 14, 2000 at GAEA's fifth-anniversary show, drew the attention of the entirety of the Japanese press.

On March 15, 2004, a weekly show with matches from GAEA started on The Wrestling Channel.

On April 10, 2005, GAEA closed its doors for good with a farewell show at the Tokyo Korakuen Hall called Eternal Last Gong. The promotion closed while still being profitable due to a combination of Nagayo's desire to retire, reliance on free agent wrestlers, and many of the original members being inactive or wanting to move on.[2]

On February 5, 2020, Nagayo announced a one-night return for GAEA on April 15, 2020 in Korakuen Hall.

Championships

GAEA established the two All Asia Athlete Women's (AAAW) titles (with AAAW being a play on the WWWA acronym of All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling's titles), a singles championship and a tag team championship, on November 2, 1996. Originally, the singles belt was labeled "Heavyweight", while the tag team belts were labeled "Junior Heavyweight", but the weight class requirements were eliminated on May 31, 1998. The first AAAW Champion was GAEA founder Chigusa Nagayo. The belt was subsequently held by some of the most prominent Japanese women's wrestlers of the 1990s including Manami Toyota and Aja Kong. The AAAW Tag Team Championship was first held by Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato. Also, Uematsu's WCW Women's Cruiserweight Title was solely defended in GAEA after Uematsu won it in the United States until the title was abandoned after GAEA and WCW ceased their relationship.

The AAAW Single Championship and AAAW Tag Team Championship were revived in 2022 by Chigusa Nagayo's promotion Marvelous That's Women Pro Wrestling. The AAAW Single Championship was revived first, on January 10th 2022, with its first new champion being Takumi Iroha. The AAAW Tag Team Championship was later revived, on May 1st 2022, with Itsuki Aoki and Rin Kadokura winning a tag league tournament and obtaining the revived tag titles.

Final champions

Championship Last Champion(s) Previous Date Won Location
AAAW Single Championship Aja Kong Meiko Satomura April 3, 2005 Yokohama, Japan
AAAW Tag Team Championship Ran Yu-Yu & Toshie Uematsu Carlos Amano & Manami Toyota April 3, 2005 Yokohama, Japan

Alumni/notable guests

References

  1. ^ a b "GAEA Memorial First Gong In Korakuen". cagematch.net. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  2. ^ "GAEA解散真相". Kakutolog (in Japanese). Kakutolog. November 24, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2019.

Archived Official Website at the Wayback Machine (archived August 16, 2000)