Manami Toyota is currently busy winding down her illustrious career right now and already has secured dates with multiple dates ahead of her official retirement date, November 3rd. However, it’s been announced that Manami will face a woman that has earned her two of her many five-star ratings from Dave Meltzer come October 29th, as she takes on her biggest rival to date, Aja Kong. These two women have been battling back and forth since 1989 and have still managed to cross each other’s path to this day and turn a competitive match into an all-out slugfest. Toyota was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2002 and is the most awarded woman to receive seventeen five-star match ratings starting in 1991, two Match of the Year awards in 1993 and 1995, Most Outstanding Wrestling in 1995 and Readers’ Favorite Wrestling in that same year also.
Their matchup in the first round of the VTOP Woman Tournament at AJW’s “Big Egg Wrestling Universe” on November 20, 1994 earned Kong her second (Manami’s twelfth) 5 Star Match, which you can see here, after winning the previous year in a tag team match with Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue, and Takako Inoue going up against Dynamite Kansai, Cutie Suzuki, Mayumi Ozaki, and Hikari Fukuoka. Manami would end Kong’s first reign with the WWWA World Championship, the longest in the title’s lineage in March of 1995 and their rematch for the title that June in Hokkaido, Japan would earn them another rating from Meltzer, this time Kong regained the strap. Besides facing off in dozens of tag team matches over the years, Toyota and Kong have not wrestled in a singles match since June of 2006, when the two went one-on-one in the main event of Manami’s 20th-anniversary show in Tokyo. It was also announced at Sunday’s OZ Academy show that Manami will face Nanae Takahashi at the upcoming event on August 6th.