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|Ring name(s)||Mariko Umeda
November 1, 1967|
|Died||August 16, 1997
Plum Mariko (プラム麻里子 Puramu Mariko ) (November 1, 1967 - August 16, 1997; born Mariko Umeda (梅田 麻里子 Umeda Mariko ) was a Japanese female professional wrestler who wrestled for Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling from 1986 to 1992 and then, JWP Joshi Puroresu from 1992 until her death in 1997. Mariko was the first professional wrestler in Japan to die as a result of injuries suffered in a wrestling match.
During her career, Mariko received many ring injuries which eventually resulted in a brain abscess. She had suffered several concussions previously, but had continued to wrestle. On August 15, 1997 she teamed with Command Bolshoi against Mayumi Ozaki and Rieko Amano at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza, Hiroshima. At the matches conclusion, Ozaki used one of her regular moves, the Ligerbomb, to pin Mariko. The move was executed no differently than normal, but appeared to have triggered a pre-existing problem, the abscess on her brain. Since other wrestlers on the card had sold their finishes that night, the fans in the arena didn’t immediately realize there was a problem. It seems that this spot may not have been the planned finish of the match. In any case, Mariko was knocked out from the Ligerbomb and didn’t kick out. After the match, Ozaki and the other wrestlers saw Mariko, who still hadn't budged, snoring, which was a sign that her brain was bleeding. Mariko died a few hours later on August 16, 1997.
No postmortem was performed on her at the request of her father. Despite this, Mariko was said to have had head injuries and an abscess on her brain which may have contributed to the head trauma that killed her.
An annual memorial show was held in her honor from 1997 to 1998. Both JWP and Mayumi Ozaki's Oz Academy have held annual memorial shows since. Mariko was posthumously inducted into the All Japan Women's Hall of Fame on November 29, 1998.
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