Yuzuki Aikawa made her name as a pin-up model, appearing in glossies. The curvy bikini model also worked as a race queen, before joining an idol group and releasing a CD. Then she did something unexpected. She got her ass kicked.

Aikawa made the leap to Japanese female wrestling.

As a rule of thumb, Japanese pro wrestling can get extreme, with wrestlers duking it out in barbed wire rings, hitting each other with flaming chairs, and leaving the ring a bloody mess.


As with all pro wrestling, there's a lot of stage craft. There are also a lot of injuries.

The slick world of swimsuits was miles away from the ropes of the ring.

Until her female wrestling debut, she was known as a buxom model, who appeared in photos, revealing DVDs, and the first Yakuza game.

Aikawa was even dubbed the pin-up queen of the next generation.


(愛川ゆず季 Gree)

Aikawa was no pushover.

The model had nearly a decade of taekwondo training and began to gain weight and muscle mass for wrestling.


The move was to kickstart her career; the shelf life for Japanese pin-ups is typically short.

Last summer, Aikawa held a press conference for her first bout, and that fall, she faced off with veteran champ Nanae Takahashi.


Aikawa was destroyed, emerging from the ring with her eye swollen shut, welts all over her face, and scratches all over her chest.

Even though she lost, her going chin to chin with Takahashi and folding like paper won fans over.


Aikawa continues to wrestle, posting her first win earlier this year and winning again this month as well.

Thanks to wrestling, her popularity has gotten a second wind. And it looks like it will continue building steam, as she proves herself to be more than just a pretty face.


(Japanese Womens Wrestling | SportsNavi)

The rookie wrestler appeared in an annoying ad for a new PS3 game.


As the years grind on, lots of pin-up models try to move into different fields, whether that be singing or acting.

Yuzuki Aikawa doesn't look to be a bikini model who became a wrestler. She's a born fighter who happened to start out in swimwear.


(Top photo: gon*867*1 | 女子プロレス復活を応援します!)

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