22 October 2016

2005 BBM True Heart Women's Pro Wrestling

I hadn't filled any holes in my BBM True Heart set collection for a while, as some of the sets just don't show up very often. I get most of my sets from the same eBay seller in Japan, so I am limited to whatever they have in stock at any given time.

As far as I know, BBM's sets for women's wrestling were branded as Fighting Beauties for 2000, 2001, and 2002. I have the 2001 set, but not the others. In 2003 they transitioned to the True Heart name, which has come out annually since. With today's pick-up of the 2005 base set, I am still missing 2003, 2004, and 2009 for the True Heart cards. I do have 2003 on order, though, so it should be in my hands soon. I'm like 80% sure that I have the 2007 set, but I don't have scans in my folder or a post on my blog about it. I'll have to dig through my boxes and see what's going on with that. So I still need:

2000 BBM Fighting Beauties
2002 BBM Fighting Beauties
2004 BBM True Heart
2009 BBM True Heart

Based on my limited research, it looks like the women just got subsets in BBM's other offerings prior to the year 2000. I've got a handful of those cards from 1997 and 1998, and I've seen some of the others listed online.

The 2005 BBM True Heart set has 108 cards in the checklist. The first 93 cards are the standard wrestler cards. The wrestlers are grouped by promotion, with the organization's logo on the front and color-coding on the back. In the earlier years of these sets, the card fronts showed the wrestlers in street clothes with wrestling action shots on the back. More recently, the cards have retained the wrestling action shots on the card backs, but they feature posed photos on the front with the wrestlers in their ring gear.

The lower left on the card front has the BBM 15th Anniversary logo, and the logo for the promotion the wrestler is affiliated with. The lower right has the wrestler's anglicized name, the name of the set, and in tiny little text it also lists the promotions included in the checklist: All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, JWP, LLPW, JD Star, NEO, A to Z, M's Style, GATO-ku-nyan, IWA Japan, DDT, NIGHT-MARE KAIENTAI DOJO, Shinma Office, and Free Lance wrestlers at the end of the set.

Azumi Hyuga's card also shows a cat who wasn't too interested in having its picture taken. The move to featuring wrestlers in their ring gear has eliminated some of these fun photos, like Command Bolshoi on a unicycle or wrestlers with their pets.

The card backs feature a wrestling action photo, a biographical paragraph, and some of the usual data like height, weight, blood type, birth date, debut date, and a few other things I'm not sure about. Also up at the top you can find the card number, the wrestler's name in kanji characters, and the wrestling promotion's name. Again, I tried to pick some of the more interesting pictures for these scans.

Kana is the big name in this set of scans. She is currently taking the WWE's NXT developmental division by storm, with rumors that she might soon jump up to the main WWE roster. I just thought the other photos were cool, with a phone, a horned mask, and a compact car all making guest appearances.

I thought the Rei (Ray) photo was interesting because it shows her wearing a mask differing from the style I am familiar with. The other cards were chosen for their photographs. I have some miniature blind-pack figurines that I need to show off one of these days. Ofune is one of the wrestlers in that set.

Here are a few freelance wrestlers. Jaguar Yakota, Dump Matsumoto, and Ayako Hamada are all pretty famous, and all are still actively wrestling. Sumie Sakai lives and wrestles in the US now, mostly with the Ring of Honor/Women of Honor promotion. She also tried MMA for a while, and I am not sure if she is still pursuing that. Her debut MMA bout in 2006 was in my neck of the woods at a show in Boise, Idaho.

Cards 94-99 on the checklist make up a Ladies on Film subset, which feature a few fashion-shoot styled photos and a little box on the back with some of the wrestler's characteristics in English. Cards 100-102 are the cards for wrestlers who retired in 2004. Usually the wrestlers will get a final show from their promotion, with plenty of gifts and a whole lot of streamers. The photos on these cards appear to be from those retirement shows. Finally, cards 103-108 make up a Precious Memories subset. I'm sure that I would have a better idea about what this set means if I could read the card backs. All of the wrestlers in this subset retired in 2003 or earlier, and this might be a, "Where are they now?" kind of thing.

That's my quick overview of the 2005 BBM True Heart Japanese Women's Pro Wrestling set. I am hoping to have the 2003 set pretty soon. I will have another post to go along with that one, as it marked the first time I used a buying service to purchase products from Amazon.jp and Yahoo! Auctions in Japan.


  1. Always unique when you post these...no one else on the blogosphere collects them I don't think. Love the cat picture, hilarious

    1. The collector base for this stuff is relatively small, especially in the US. I know of a handful of other collectors, but I believe I am the only one with a trading card blog. The others post on Twitter, forums, or their own wrestling-centric sites.

      I thought the cat picture was great. Photos like that are the reason I feel a little sad they transitioned to the posed photo shoots in ring gear.