JDStar (JD’)

jdJDStar (also spelt Jd’ or JD’star), was a joshi promotion based in Tokyo. The promotion’s subtitle, “Beauty Athlete,” summed up the company’s approach. Originally founded in 1996 by wrestler Rimi “Jaguar” Yokota, she ran the promotion until leaving in 1998, when it was was bought by Kiyu Uji, and much like Yokota before him, the promotion got nowhere, even with the help of establlished stars Lioness Asuka, Aja Kong, and Chigusa Nagayo. The company had a nice roster, but none with the ability or personalities to attract much attention. In 2001, Hidenobu Ichimaru bought JDStar from Kiyu Uji, and establish a new gimmick to promote JDStar’s talent: the “Athress” (athlete-actress), which used girls with model good looks to market them for their athleticism in the pro wrestling ring, and hopefully establish them as actresses. Coming mainly from an acting background, the first run of girls had few skills, and the fanfare dropped slightly. The “athress” gimmick however, created more controversy than anything and the attempt to create an idol never quite caught on. Also dropping was the wrestlers respect for Ichimaru, as several of the established wrestlers in joshi puroresu thought that the “Athresses” should not be in the same ring as them.
JDStar folded in 2007, but several of it’s “Beauty Athletes/Grapple Beauties” remain active elsewhere today, most notably Yumi Ohka, Moeka Haruhi, Shu Shibutani, Fuka, and Misaki Ohata among others. Ohata might be the promotion’s biggest success story as the teenager is viewed as a future superstar and has begun to realize her potential with a 2009 run as JWP Jr. Champion. Ohka, Haruhi & Shibutani remain active in WAVE while Fuka is a freelancer and promotes her own shows and also has experienced great crossover popularity (she makes frequent appearances and has also done quite a bit of modeling). Another notable alumni is Sumie Sakai, who wrestled in both Japan and the US before transitioning into MMA.
You can still find JDStar shows & matches on video sites such as Veoh.com.

JDStar recognized several titles but only promoted one title, the Princess Of Pro Wrestling or POP Title, which is now unified with the JWP Jr. Championship. Therefore any JWP Jr. Champsion since June 2007 is also recognized as the POP Champion.

Although it has not been updated since July 2007, the promotion’s official website (in Japanese) can still be accessed via the following URL:
http://www.jdstar.co.jp/

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