13 January 2016

2001 BBM Fighting Beauties Set

Now that I have cleared out my Draft folder completely of the low-hanging fruit, I am working on the posts that take a lot of time to write, generally because they have a lot of scans in them. I don't know how a lot of folks churn out those long posts every day. I guess maybe they have a little more leeway in their lunch hours or some sort of time management skill that allows them to accomplish the things they plan on doing. I just get to the stage where I think about doing things, and then I goof off until bedtime rolls around.

This post showcases the 2001 BBM Fighting Beauties card set, which I think is sort of the predecessor to their current True Heart Japanese Women's Wrestling set. I haven't extensively researched it, but I can find some mentions of this set name for 2000, 2001, and 2002. It looks like the True Heart name comes into being in 2003, so that would make sense from a timeline standpoint. All I have at the moment is the 2001 Fighting Beauties set, as that is the only set that I've seen on eBay. I bought it quite a while ago and now I am getting around to showing some of the cards I scanned.

While newer sets have pictures of the wrestlers in their ring gear on card fronts and backs, the older sets featured the wrestlers in their street clothes on the front and in wrestling action on the back. The colors used in the nameplate correspond to different wrestling promotions. I tried to pick some of the most interesting photos to share here. Command Bolshoi is one of my favorite wrestlers. She always appears in her mask, even in her various social media accounts. A lot of her masks are themed, like the snowman one she is wearing here. In addition to being a wrestler, she is also a competitive bodybuilder and a musician. I will always post any card featuring an athlete with a pet dog, even if that mop in Sachie Abe's arms barely qualifies as a dog. That ice cream cone shot on Hiroyo Muto's card would fit right in on a Collector's Choice baseball card. That set always had nice candid photos. I like seeing the masked wrestlers in their everyday clothes and in everyday settings.

The card backs feature the wrestler's name, the promotion they wrestle for, biographical information, and a photo of them in wrestling action. The colors in the background match up to the colors used on the front to distinguish between the promotions.

I picked a few more cards from the set to show here. Ayako Hamada wrestled in the U.S. from 2009-2013 for TNA Wrestling and Shimmer Women Athletes. Yoshiko Tamura's dog definitely qualifies as a dog based on my qualifications. I wonder if that dog sheds much? I have a brown and white dog, and that stinking white hair gets everywhere. My dog has never been in my car or visited my office, but his fur is in both those places, as well as on any clothes I happen to be wearing. My wife's dog sheds about as much, but her dog has black fur that doesn't show up as much. I included the Akino card because I thought the picture was funny and the Reggie Bennet card because I am not sure if it is meant to be out of focus and blurry in an artsy way or a drunken cell phone pic way.

Here are the backs of the previous four cards. Some of those action photos are pretty intense. The Reggie Bennet photo appears to be taken at the same outdoor venue as the Command Bolshoi photo earlier in the post. I guess I always think of wrestling as an indoor sport, but I guess you could do it outside, too.

The checklists fall in the middle of the set, splitting the individual wrestlers from the other subsets. The checklists appear to also include a few insert sets. I don't have any examples of cards from the insert sets, so I don't really know what their themes are.

The first subset is called Team Spirit and features wrestling teams. The best one in this batch is probably Ayako Hamada featured on a card with her father, Gran Hamada, although the uniforms on that ReDRUG team are pretty amazing.

To me, the most intriguing part of these card backs is that ReDRUG card. I am curious as to whether that wrestler in the center is Command Bolshoi unmasked. If so, it would be the first picture I've been able to find of her with her mask off. I almost don't even want to know.

These Flashback 2000 cards feature what I assume were prominent matches from the previous year. I don't know why these matches were chosen, but I imagine they had title implications or featured famous rivalries or were retirement matches for one of the wrestlers involved. It seems like any time a wrestler retires, they get a big sendoff event in their honor.

The backs of the cards probably tell you what happened in the match, but I can't read them. That one in the upper right almost looks like a retirement match because of the large quantities of ribbon in the ring and the giant trophy. The Ayako Hamada - Aja Kong match in the lower right was probably a title fight, as seen from the belt in the photo, and the one in the lower left was apparently the start of the zombie apocalypse.

The final subset is called 90's Legendary Heroines and features wrestlers who were famous in the previous decade. I believe Jaguar Yokota is still appearing in sets today, so she's had quite a lengthy career. The other wrestlers I've scanned here seem to be long-retired. Bull Nakano spent some time as a professional golfer with the LPGA but apparently didn't have a lot of success in tournaments.

The card backs feature more photos. Again, the sheer quantity of ribbon on the Sakie Hasegawa card suggest a retirement event. The other cards are less clear. As with all of these cards, I would probably be able to give a lot more information if I could read and understand the language. For now I am limited to whatever I can find in English and whatever work other people have done as far as biographies and descriptions. But that is at least a sampling of the 2001 BBM Fighting Beauties set.


  1. Boy, my 2/14 collection would love that Hamada father and daughter card.

    1. It is a pretty cool card. I think of you when I get a new Hamada card in. I wish there were a good source of singles from these sets.

  2. I really need to get some of these Japanese wrestling cards, these are pretty awesome.

    Two of the "Flashback" cards stood out for me; the upper right for the giant butt descending on the rival wrestler - I would've thought that hilarious when I was a kid - and the one below it, because with the action and facial expression and Ayako's costume, it looks very much like something from anime or Power Rangers.

    I got curious about Reggie Bennett, the one obvious gaijin in the set, so I Googled her. She's from California and appeared in a couple of movies in the 1980's, including the Molly Ringwald film "Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone".

    1. I chose that first Flashback card because I thought the photo was pretty funny. There are some pretty wild outfits on these wrestlers. You can even kind of tell which era of wrestling they are from based on their ring gear. It's pretty cool that you were able to track down some information on Reggie Bennett. I almost want to check out that movie. It could just be bad, but it could also be so bad it's good.

  3. awesome as usual. combat toyoda reminds me of that girl in your other wrestling post that wears gold. in other words... she freaks me out.

    1. It seems like some of them play pretty frightening characters.