Gaea Japan

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Gaea Japan
Acronym GAEA
Founded 1995
Defunct 2005
Headquarters Japan
Founder(s) Chigusa Nagayo

Gaea Japan (trademarked as GAEA Japan) was a Japanese women's professional wrestling promotion. (Japanese female professional wrestling, also known as joshi puro, is a style first recognised in 1948. Since then it has gained more recognition both in Japan and internationally.) GAEA's name comes from the Greek mythological goddess of the Earth, Gaea or Gaia.

History[edit]

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. She helped to train a lot of the younger wrestlers that were featured in GAEA.

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.

On April 15, 1995 the new promotion held its first show. It was at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, and was called Memorial First Gong. 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.

Championships[edit]

GAEA established the two All Asia Athlete Women's (AAAW) 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 and 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.

Final champions[edit]

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 and Toshie Uematsu Carlos Amano and Manami Toyota April 3, 2005 Yokohama, Japan