Megumi Kudo was the top female wrestler in FMW from 1990-1997 and was a 10-year veteran of the sport. During her time in FMW she became one of the most recognized female wrestlers of the 1990s and many likened her to a female Hulk Hogan because of her popularity and tenacity in the ring, and she became something of a “hardcore sweetheart” to fans because of this and her beauty.
Kudo joined All-Japan Women in the 1980s at age 16, debuting in August 1986 against Kaoru Maeda (KAORU). She found little to no success there. She was released in March 1988 because she had not enhanced her wrestling ability enough, and worked as a kindergarten teacher for a while. Kudo returned to wrestling in March 1990 and joined FMW, and quickly got pushed to the top. Tt is generally considered that this was because of her looks, but she worked and trained hard, developing her skills significantly. She ended up being the top star of FMW’s women’s division, and one of the most recognized female wrestlers in Japan during her heyday.
Kudo worked all kinds of matches, but she was mostly known for brutal death matches, where the ring ropes were replaced with barbed wire. Her notable feuds were against Shark Tsuchiya, Combat Toyoda and Sumie Sakai. She also was very decorated, winning a total of 10 women’s championships in FMW. She competed until April 1997, she had her retirement match against Tsuchiya in a “No ropes 200V double hell double barbed wire barricade double landmine glass crush death match”. This refers to a match fought under hardcore rules wherein the ropes are removed and replaced by 200V electrified, double-layered barbed wire, and the ring surrounded by double layers of landmines and broken glass. You can still find this match on YouTube and Veoh. She vacated both of the titles she held in a retirement ceremony on June 13, 1997, retiring very young-she was only 27 when she walked away.
After retiring, Kudo continued working in entertainment, which dated back to when she released a music CD and had a major movie role in 1992. She also did 4 modeling photobooks. She also makes appearances on various TV programs in Japan, including as a commentator for pro wrestling events, as well as a weekly radio show in Japan. More recently she is enjoying retirement and family life-she is married to former FMW wrestler BADBOY Hido, who is still active on the Japanese indies today-and has several dogs.
On a personal note, Kudo was really my introduction to FMW and joshi puroresu, her tenacity, ability to absorb punishment and willingness to put her body on the line in hardcore matches quickly won me over. She has always been one of my favorite female wrestlers of all-time and is truly an icon of joshi puroresu, an amazing combination of beauty, brawn, and heart. She will always be my favorite “hardcore sweetheart”.
Stats & info:
Real name: Megumi Takayama
Weight: 132 pounds/60 kg
Experience: 10 years
Finishing move: Kudome Valentine (vertebreaker-piledriver variation, move she invented)
Current affiliation: Retired
6-time WWA World Women’s Champion
4-time Independent World Women’s Champion
Official websites (Japanese):
The website has not been updated since 2006, but the blog is still active and updated regularly (every couple days on average)