The 🤼 プロレス thread! Learning Japanese through pro wrestling

週刊プロレス No.2171 (from mid march)
(I read this one around golden week… I wonder how much I’ll remember)

Kenoh in his column talks about how there’s a whole bunch of 両国国技館 shows this spring, suggesting that it partly has to do with pandemic seating density restrictions making there more of an incentive to run big shows than usual. He also says an interesting aspect of the 両国国技館大会ラッシュ this spring is comparing the women’s promotions and the men’s since both are running there. He suggests part of why 女子プロレス is particularly successful right now is that it helps to have a somewhat more niche audience during a pandemic, since they’re going to be more likely to still commit to going to a live show than general audiences would be for the larger men’s promotions. He compares Tokyo Joshi fans to “地下アイドルヲタ” in the sense of being deeply invested.

(Giulia’s column is just her running down the card for the then-upcoming 両国国技館 Stardom shows)

There’s a long and interesting obituary feature for 風間ルミ, the longtime joshi wrestler who passed away recently, including career recaps and an interview with her friend, Mayumi Ozaki. It’s unfortunate I’m not writing this closer to when I read the issue, as I can’t do it justice now, but it’s a good tribute, and a couple interesting details I remember: she had a single (the vinyl was heart-shaped!), a manga, 蹴撃エンジェル RUMI (sadly out of print, I did check…), once she got married in-ring to pro-wrestling itself, and when she founded LLPW she was reportedly “日本マット界初の女性社長.”

Tsukasa Fujimoto of Ice Ribbon got married! It’s been a running gag that the magazine staff tease her about her love life so they’re as shocked as anyone. The groom is someone not involved with wrestling she’d known for a little over a year. If I recall correctly - she’s not retiring (though she doesn’t plan to wrestle forever either), and hopes that fans keep following the story of Ice Ribbon amid changes like this.

One for the “80s pro wrestlers looking cool in a very 80s sort of way” scrapbook
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The first Tiger Mask donated some ランドセル to an orphanage. That’s nice!

There’s a couple interviews ahead of TJPW’s Grand Princess.
The first is with Yuki Arai… but I confess I don’t remember what she said!
The second is with 長野じゅりあ, and my main takeaway is that she sounds like a strange, incredibly busy person! The title of the interview is 空手X看護師X女優Xプロレス and is about how she’s variously pursued (successfully) each of those career paths, more or less at the same time, and she’s also popular on Tiktok and youtube. That seems like a gigantic, incomprehensible amount of work to me. The way she got into pro wrestling is also wild - apparently Sanshiro Takagi saw her karate videos on Tiktok and just offered her a job, and she said yes since she missed fighting in a ring from when she retired from karate.

There’s an interview with Hikaru Shida about her doing an Ice Ribbon show where she’ll reform her tag team with Tsukasa Fujimoto, マッスルビーナス.

The industry column, kind of weirdly, is about the magazine staff talking to Fujimoto’s dad asking what he thinks about the wedding. If I remember right, he’s happy about it!

The longer industry column is about Zeus and his decision a while back to leave AJPW to return to his home promotion (the much smaller) Osaka Pro Wrestling to help run and revitalize it. There’s some interesting history of the promotion included - apparently it was founded in '98 when スペル・デルフィン split away from Michinoku Pro, and it closed (except as a name for other promotions to run shows under) in 2014 - now Zeus is aiming to revitalize it to the pre-2014 state, and it sounds like he has a strong love for the promotion and wants to especially make it a local institution and something fun for families to enjoy.

週刊プロレス No.2172 (from the week of Grand Princess in lateish March)

I get that they’re going for a play on “Just Tap Out,” but uhh… :sweat_smile:

There’s an interview with Guerillas of Destiny and Jado from NJPW, about their recent face turn. Tonga and Loa say they don’t want to be thought of as “ガイジン” wrestlers - NJPW is their home. Jado says that their dad, King Haku, was very nice to him (or y’know, a better way to translate スゴクお世話になった) so he’s with them to the end.

(Giulia’s… still running down the card for those 両国国技館 shows…)

Sort of an off-topic thought, but I’m a big fan of the costume Risa Sera uses for deathmatches, and this picture was the first time I noticed it’s a wrap-print top rather than an actual wrap. Anyway - much like Orange Cassidy’s denim-print sweats, I think that illusory form + practical function combination is a fun wrestling thing!

I remember this is where I neglected reading further in the magazine for a long time because I was reading bits of it while watching the NJPW golden week show at the time and they announced the participants of the Best of the Super Jr.s tournament, including El Lindaman, so I thought “oh, neat! What a coincidence! I guess I should read this long El Lindaman interview I just got to then.”
Anyway, I never did get around to watching any of the tournament yet…
In the interview, El Lindaman visits his old school after winning the G-Rex championship in GLEAT, which has an interesting pointy design. A brief interesting detail is it sounds like Shingo Takagi made the connection that got him into wrestling.

The history column is about an interesting minor side-note in wrestling history - in 1978, a single Championship Carnival show was broadcast over the radio, because a radio station was restructuring and tried giving wrestling a shot. They didn’t stick with it and said that the visual appeal of wrestling just means it’s not suited for the format, but the columnist (who listened at the time) thinks that the presentation was too bland and if they’d gotten a great color commentator the idea coulda had legs.

In the champ talk column, Hazuki mentions Kairi contacted her both when she (Hazuki) retired, and when she (Hazuki) returned to wrestling. That’s nice!

There’s a listing for an unusual match in the misc. news section.
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There’s also a brief obituary for Scott Hall. I wonder if he’ll get a larger one later.

There’s an installment of the regional arena spotlight series - there isn’t usually anything to say about these in particular but I like them! This one is about 伊万里市 in Saga, and it looks very pretty.

There’s an interview with Giulia ahead of the Stardom 両国国技館 shows - she describes Syuri as being very nice and caring (she always casts Syuri as her wife when describing DDM as a family and here she talks more about what a good wife Syuri would be) and a natural babyface who balanced out DDM when it was more heelish initially. She approves of her growing into a leader and setting out on her own though, and thinks it would be great if everyone in DDM did that eventually.
She sees her other potential opponent, Mayu Iwatani, as very talented and impressive but sort of an enigma for her - she wonders what Mayu thinks about and says the answer is maybe ‘nothing at all’ that’s how pure she is.
She’s rather more cruel on the subject of Suzu Suzuki, criticizing her weight gain and Prominence’s stamina.

KAIRI has an interview too - the parts recounting her stay in America are particularly interesting. She says she said from the start she was going to study and would be back some day. Some of her big takeaways are that in Japan you perform for the audience, but in WWE you perform for the camera, and that she was a lot more self-conscious about her smaller build in WWE. She practiced glaring at her opponent and showing her emotions and toughness more. She says there you get lots and lots of advice from many people, a lot of it conflicting, and you need to learn to not follow all of it because otherwise you’ll lose sight of what makes you unique.
Apparently now she’s a freelancer so she might turn up in places other than Stardom, she got married, and also she opened a gym near 江ノ島 called PARA-FIT24.

I like this picture of マッスルビーナス!

There’s an AEW Revolution recap. If you want a recommendation for a wrestler to follow for the month, Michael Nakazawa’s got you covered. (I’ve seen Miki Motoi tweet about doing color commentary for Rampage before, and she seems to be a particular fan of Hook and Danhousen as well)

Mutoh’s column is about him participating in NJPW’s 50th anniversary show as an OB. He says he saw a lot of people working there he remembered from when he wrestled for them. They compare AJPW and NJPW (I think in the context of why he went to NJPW’s 50th and not AJPW’s although I’m not positive about that) and he says a lesson he took from Inoki is 「常識なんてクソ食らえ」, to avoid being just ordinary (a translation that captures fully 100% of the tone in that quote I’m sure you’ll agree :sweat_smile:)

The short industry column is about how Saki Kashima in Stardom has started wearing レガース and trying out using kicks. Whether or not a wrestler uses kicks is a decision that seems to consistently be given a surprisingly large amount of weight in these issues.

The long industry column is an interview with Sanshiro Takagi on the occasion of DDT’s 25th Anniversary. He compares the main event of Takeshita vs. Endo to a rivalry in a Taiga drama, and talks about how Omega (vocally) and Ibushi (implicitly) left DDT in care of those two, and how their rivalry is every bit as good as that storied one that came before. And with them DDT marches brightly into a new chapter.

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Wow, this is amazing, haha, I didn’t know that! And yeah, agreed about her having an incredibly busy life. Britt Baker truly has nothing on her, honestly.

I full on laughed out loud at this. Absolutely incredible.

Wow, this is the first time I noticed that, too! It’s a very clever piece of gear!

Did you end up getting around to watching any of the Prominence shows? I watched the smaller ones, and watched some of their proper launch show, but it got too intense for me, haha, so I had to miss a lot of it (including most of Risa Sera’s match). I wanted to support them, though, so I left it open so that they’d get the views. I imagine that these shows would be a time where having decent listening comprehension would really benefit you, because there isn’t really much in the way of translation available.

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I haven’t yet! I really should…
They fall into that awkward space where I’m interested enough I would want to watch without distractions (ruling out watching while working or to a lesser extent while doing anki) but they’re small enough shows without commentary (I assume?) that I don’t set aside time to sit down and watch one single-mindedly.
I think hopefully the golden week wrestling satiation is starting to wear off at least, so maybe soon!

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I watched Stardom’s most recent big show, Flashing Champions 2022!
I thought it was a great show!
One thing I was impressed by is Stardom’s doing a good job of building up their trainees with moments to shine. Waka Tsukiyama, Miyu Amasaki, and Mai Sakurai all got a nice spotlight in defeat, with Waka a target for Suzu’s violence, Miyu a target for KAIRI’s savy veteran violence and someone for Utami to try valiantly to protect, and Mai with a new haircut and costume that suit her and a championship shot with Giulia.
The main event between Syuri and Risa Sera was also good and violent, with the “ah, I understand completely the kanji they’re using for that” commentary word of the day being 斬首.
I’m also really happy to see how much FWC (Hazuki and Koguma) have come into their own as a top tag team - I had a thought that I’d really like to see them fight Magirabbi… ah well!
(I also like Fukigen being allowed to challenge for the SWA belt because she’s an alien).
Also, short-hair, Queen of Queen’s Quest Utami Hayashishita might be just the coolest?

On “male NJPW wrestler who doesn’t follow Stardom but is here for the main commentator to explain things to” duty this time is Great O-Khan of all people! I was worried at first his schtick would be over-powering and distracting, but I remember being pleasantly surprised that he kept that to a minimum and didn’t make it about himself and offered plenty of interesting comments. That said – I feel like his stamina rather quickly wore off since later on I felt his comments were a lot more likely to be brief and curt or involve audibly searching for something to say :sweat_smile:. Commentary seems very hard to be fair!
AZM joined later and I found it funny when she talked quite fast (さすが Highspeed champion). A fun detail is AZM’s been in Stardom for a long time (former kid wrestler) since when Kairi was around originally with the last name 宝城 so she gets to still call Kairi “ほうちゃん.”

Looks like the next big show is in July, with Oedotai challenging for the red and white belts, Momo Watanabe vs. Syuri and Starlight Kid vs. Saya Kamitani.
If I have one minor complaint with Stardom recently – it’s that Syuri and Kamitani are individually both great, but have similar vibes to me (namely fantastic wrestlers who seem like nice level-headed people) so I haven’t felt the variety in the last two matches on the card (beforehand at least) the way I have sometimes previously when it was Last Boss Utami and Hothead Giulia/Tam, which makes it a little easier to opt for going to bed and catching the end of the show later. So anyway, I’ll be curious to see if the next show mixes that dynamic up a bit!

週刊プロレス No.2173 (from late March around the end of the New Japan Cup and the Stardom double show)

These magazines sometimes come with posters, and some, like this Starlight Kid one, do tempt me to put them up somewhere, but – if you don’t mind my complaining about something completely inconsequential – it continually mystifies me that the Stardom ones especially seem to always go for “a wrestler stands in front of a white background.” There’s loads of magazine covers that are way more visually interesting (and nice memories of particular shows) just stick a couple of those on a poster!

Kenoh talks about Grand Princess. He’s impressed with Yuki Arai – for the reason, naturally, that her entrance outfit at Grand Princess is just like Kongo’s own Tadasuke! He says that the match quality in TJPW has risen a lot, and while they aren’t quite at Stardom’s level on that front (specifically singling out AZM vs. Starlight Kid as the kind of match you can’t see in TJPW), where they’re at now is just right and they shouldn’t try to focus on pro-wrestling fans and match quality to compete with Stardom, they should lean into the idol path and the new fans Arai can bring to the table, and try to duplicate the success of matches like Itoh vs. Arai as much as possible. And he sounds confident that that management agrees with that general approach, as for example the slogan on the shupro cover for Grand Princess, 東女純真, points in that idolish direction. He does say though however… there was exactly one troubling “’純真’にまったく相応しくない不純なシングルマッチ” on Grand Princess. Now I wonder which one that would be… :smile:

In her column, Giulia interviews the person who makes her costumes, マミさん, from the company “PleinsGaz.” She makes costumes for wrestlers, MMA fighters, boxers, movies, games, etc. and speaks very positively about her job. She says professional wrestlers are the hardest to make costumes for because they have to be extremely cool and extremely durable all at the same time. Their most expensive costume made was apparently over 200万円, and Giulia said her debut costume was more like 2万円.

There’s a long interview and photoshoot with Starlight Kid and Tiger Mask IV, I think just because it’s the year of the tiger and they both wear… well, tiger masks, there isn’t a larger connection. Tiger Mask relates a story from how early on he felt like he should wear the mask all the time in public, and he went through airport security and an entire plane ride with Great Sasuke while they were both in masks and felt very self-conscious! Whereas SLK says she would be too self-conscious and never wears it outside of wrestling and barely covers her face on instagram and such. SLK apparently stopped using the tiger suplex after Tam beat her with it, feeling hers must not be up to par - so they discuss setting up a time for Tiger Mask to ちゃんと pass on the move to her.

Next is a very interesting feature, about the history of the promotion Zero-1 ahead of their 21st anniversary show. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to read for sad reasons, as it’s building to the show where Shinjiro Ohtani would end up being grievously injured (last I heard, hospitalized and likely paralyzed in some form) :slightly_frowning_face:
The first part is an interview with Ohtani and Masato Tanaka reminiscing on the start of the original Zero-1 - an interesting detail is that apparently when Shinya Hashimoto exited New Japan and announced Ohtani as joining him… he hadn’t actually cleared that with Ohtani beforehand. But Ohtani felt a duty to go with Hashimoto anyway and so didn’t mind.
There’s a summary of Zero-1 history – it sounds like, roughly, in 2001 Shinya Hashimoto (one of the “Three Musketeers” of New Japan in the late 80s / 90s, along with Mutoh and Chono) lost a loser leaves town match in New Japan, and while apparently there were plans to form some kind of New Japan satellite organization, he struck out on his own with Zero-1, putting on a memorable 旗揚げ show including a match that brought New Japan and NOAH together (with Hashimoto and NJPW’s Yuji Nagata vs. NOAH’s Mitsuharu Misawa and Jun Akiyama, although it sounds like it ended unsatisfyingly with a draw) and an opening match feature Marufuji. Then that momentum carried well for a few years, but management strife and Hashimoto being injured led him to announce Zero-1’s closure in 2004, and for that same day Ohtani and others announce a reborn Zero-1. In 2005 Hashimoto passed away from a brain hemorrhage, and it sounds like from there it’s been a long history of ups and downs and name changes and wrestlers coming and going and the like, with Ohtani being the main constant.
An interesting detail is after Hashimoto passed away, Zero-1 revived a practice from Rikidozan’s day, of holding wrestling shows at 靖国神社.
There’s some quotes from various wrestlers about Zero-1, and one I thought was interesting was from Jun Kasai, who wrestled for them early on (before he got big in the death match scene). He talks about Hashimoto yelling at him after he stayed home instead of being a second at a show, despite someone else having given him permission. And also about Hashimoto causing a ruckus at a hotel knocking on wrestlers’ doors in his underwear and running away.
The final part of the feature is a magazine staffer talking I think about how Zero-1 has had the most different people assigned to cover it over the course of its history with the magazine. It ends with this quote, talking about Ohtani:

大谷は負けても立ち上がる、負けても感動させる、負けても目立つ。それはもうゼロワン21年。。。いや、その前から大谷を見続けている者はよくわかっている。だからこそ4.10両国では勝つ大谷が見たい。そして「大谷、ゼロワンはオマエなんだな」と、見る者全員に思わせてほしい。

:slightly_frowning_face:

On a lighter note, there’s a small news item about that unusual Okada-designed burger at MOS Burger. It sounds like there’s a limited number available on the 29th (meat day - get it? にく) a for a few months.
It appears to be… a soy patty + a chicken patty + chicken nuggets on a lettuce bun.
Okada says “これをたべてムキムキになってもいいですし、ダイエットをしている方、女性であればたんぱく質を摂ることで髪のけ、肌とかもきれいになると思うので、いろいろな方に食べていただきたいです。たんぱく質が豊富だからレスラーもスゴく喜ぶんじゃないですかね”
My thought personally is そう。。。ですね?why chicken nuggets
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In a little feature I don’t think I’ve seen before, there’s a “Close Up Bout!!” spotlight on a particular match: Ram Kaicho vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto in a one-fall, 6 minute and 66 second time limit match at an event celebrating Ram’s 17th anniversary from her debut. Fujimoto was apparently a surprise appearance and it went to a time limit draw. This was interesting, my not really knowing anything in detail about 666 or Ram. That high of an anniversary number surprised me - it sounds like from wikipedia she had her pro wrestling debut in elementary debut so I guess that explains it.

The costume column is about Suzu Suzuki of Prominence! It’s about her deathmatch-focused costume, and she says multiple times her that it’s important to her that her deathmatch costume have plenty of bare skin (like on the back) so that someday in the future she can be suitably 傷だらけ to her liking in a wedding dress and/or a wedding-dress-themed white wrestling costume, whichever she ends up getting married in. She says a costume to a pro wrestler is like a star to mario, 無敵になれる!
One small interesting detail is there’s lizard-style print on parts of her costume (like the grey parts), symbolizing her love for her 3 pet lizards.

In Hideki Suzuki’s column, Giulia reconnects with her “師匠” now that he’s back in Japan. They’re clearly close, as they’re constantly giving each other crap in that good friend sort of way. Apparently at the end of last year he visited Japan and hung out with Giulia and some others a few times, and she joked at the time that since he hadn’t been wrestling in NXT anyway but just standing around with his arms folded, he should come back to Japan so they could hang out more. Then… well he really did come back to Japan.
An example of their kind of back and forth is the interviewer mentions Suzuki’s tag title win, Giulia doesn’t congratulate him and says she wants him to work harder and get a singles title, so Suzuki says he’ll do a hair vs. hair match, so Giulia says it should be an eyebrow hair vs. hair match. At one point Suzuki (surely intentionally) calls the participants of the Stardom 両国国技館 title match “ジュリさんとシュリアさん.” It’s like, wall to wall poking fun of each other.
In the picture, they do the Sushi Zanmai pose since they got food from Sushi Zanmai. I’ve been there! in 龍が如く

In the industry column, Syuri talks about her 朱世界. She learned a lot from Giulia and respects her, but knew it was time to strike out on her own faction-wise to keep growing, and so it says something that Giulia knew her well enough to be on the same page. She points out Utami, Giulia, and Mayu won the 女子プロレス大賞 the last three years respectively, so beating all three in her run will let her etch her name into history.
She says one thing she learned from Tajiri (who trained her) is that it’s not enough for a wrestler to just be strong - if you just want to be strong, go into MMA - to be a pro wrestler you need other capabilities like holding a crowd and charisma. And it sounds like she’s confident in her strength and wants to improve as much as she can in those other elements.

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Thanks as always for these! They’re a joy to read :blush:

I laughed out loud at this, haha. Kenoh’s column is killing me once again. Though, when I actually looked at the two photos of them side by side, he’s not actually wrong…

I only just now understood why the 29th is meat day, ahaha :sweat_smile:

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Something small that I wanted to mention is that AEW has an official Japanese twitter account now! The account is here. There’s less of an incentive to read the tweets as reading practice because it’s information that is readily available in English, but it’s nice for the Japanese fans.

In other news, I finished the translation for the May 29 TJPW show (recap here)! I was… not actually in time for their next show, haha, but that one was only available as a VOD (hence why I forgot to put it on my schedule :sweat_smile:), so I couldn’t watch it on the date it happened anyway.

The May 29 show was a bit of an odd one. They were missing Itoh, Yuka, and Miyu, who were all in the US. It ended up giving the rookies some nice opportunities, though. The main event was a series of five singles matches, each between a rookie and one of the top wrestlers in the company, with a 10 minute time limit for each match.

Unsurprisingly, none of the rookies were able to win, haha, though Suzume did manage to fight to a time limit draw against Miu Watanabe.

Yuki Arai faced Shoko, and after the match, Shoko said: “練習の成果が出てるというか、やってるものがすごい身についてる気がします.” The last half of this sentence confused me, haha. My best attempt at a translation was: “Her training is showing results, or rather I should say that everything she’s doing makes me really feel like she’s picking it up.”

I was also confused by another one of Shoko’s lines. She said “サイバーファイトフェスは東京女子として全員全力を出し切ることが一番大事。このままの勢いでみんなでかき回したい.” I got this far with my translation: “The most important thing at CyberFight Fest is that we all give it our all as TJPW. I want to keep my momentum going and みんなでかき回したい”. I could not figure out that last part at all, haha.

Kamiyu’s comment in the same tweet also confused me. She said: “デビューして5年経って東京女子の居場所的に誰かを待ち受ける人になれたのかなと思ったらちょっぴりハッピー”. This was my translation, though it took me a bit to wrap my head around the meaning (assuming my translation is roughly correct? :sweat_smile:): “It makes me a little happy to think that it has been five years since my debut, and my place in TJPW is now being a person waiting for someone.”

I think Kamiyu was referring to the fact that her role in the company is now being someone whom other wrestlers, like the rookies, seek to eventually reach. But maybe I’m wrong!

Mizuki’s comment was also confusing to me. She said: “みんながみんななりたい自分になれるように頑張って欲しいなとお姉さん目線で思いつつ私もなりたい自分になるので一緒に頑張ろうねと.” I couldn’t figure out what to do with the part in the middle about お姉さん目線 haha. Here was my attempt: “I want everyone to do your best to become the person you want to become, from your big sister’s point of view, and I want to become who I want to be, too, so let’s work hard together!”

The other interesting match featured Rhio, a visiting foreign wrestler from the UK (she’s the first foreigner to wrestle in TJPW since the pandemic). It took me so many tries to read her name correctly (it’s RHIO, not RIHO, hence why it’s written リオ).

Rhio defeated Yuki Aino. I started to copy and paste the Japanese text from her comment on twitter so that I could translate it, then realized what I was doing and laughed. Sure enough, all of her comments were in English, saving me a little work. (Mr. Haku was apparently actually back doing some more work with TJPW, primarily in a backstage capacity, and I’m pretty sure that he was the person translating for her.)

In her backstage comments, Rhio challenged Maki Itoh for the International title! That challenge happened at the VOD show a week later, which I still haven’t seen. The last time Itoh had an International title defense on a VOD show (in pre-pandemic 2020), she ended up dropping the belt to Thunder Rosa, so her losing it here wouldn’t be without precedent…

The other exciting thing that happened during the show was an announcement at the very beginning that CyberFight is launching a new project called “夢プロレス - dream on the ring -”! It appears to be some sort of competition (albeit very small scale) where four women with different backgrounds in the entertainment industry (but no wrestling experience) take on different challenges, and the woman who wins in the end will have the opportunity to achieve her dream of becoming a pro wrestler.

The four candidates are, assuming I romanized their names correctly: former idol and TV personality Wakana Uehara (上原わかな), dancer Emma (エマ), gravure idol Himari Manaka (真中ひまり), and TV personality Risako (凛咲子).

The program is being broadcast on TJPW’s official youtube channel every Friday at 8pm (Japan time), and will follow the candidates as they train for several months. More information about the four and their reasons for wanting to try pro wrestling will be introduced in the program.

I ended up getting curious and checked out the first episode on youtube. To my delight, it has Japanese subtitles! Here it is if anyone wants to try watching it:

I didn’t really try to follow along too closely (it would take me probably 30x longer to watch it if I paused to try to read the subtitles with better comprehension :sweat_smile:), but it was fun practice nonetheless.

A good chunk of the video showed the women doing various exercises that I believe are part of basic wrestling training. I appreciated that they labeled each of them in the top corner. Here are the screenshots I took to include on my flashcards for each of those words:

They’re all pretty straightforward, except for 前回り受け身. When I watched the video the first time, I recognized 受け身, which I’d discussed with one of my friends before, because it apparently has a sort of slipperiness to it that’s interesting.

My friend has struggled with translating this word in the past (I haven’t had to deal with it yet myself, though it’s only a matter of time) because it seems to refer both to the act of selling and the act of taking a bump. With the way that kayfabe functions in Japanese wrestling, wrestlers can’t really openly talk about selling their opponents’ moves, but 受け身 sort of lets them get away with talking about it, because it’s essentially referring to the skill of receiving an attack.

Practicing taking bumps is a pretty core aspect of basic wrestling training (both for teaching you how to fall safely and how to make your opponent look good), and you can see in the video above how they basically roll forward and then splay out like they’re dead, haha, which is an important skill to have if you’re trying to make your opponents’ moves look like they did a lot of damage to you.

I googled 前回り受け身 to try to confirm the reading and ideally get a better way to translate it, and most of the websites that google gave me were about judo, because I believe the name for this originated as a judo technique (though I think how it’s practiced in pro wrestling is a little different, for the reasons I mentioned above).

Sure enough, goo informed me that it’s 前回(まえまわ)()(), and it referred to it as “forward rolling break-fall” in the description. Which, yeah, I guess that’s basically what they’re doing here!

I’m definitely going to try to watch more of these episodes. If I can, I’m going to try to learn at least a few words from each of them. I think no matter who wins the competition at the end, I’ll be sad to see the others lose the opportunity to become wrestlers…

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The one minor note I would give, is I think the やってるものが connects with the 身についてる, with the 気がします more tacked on at the end. So I’d put that part more as something like “she’s really mastering what she’s doing (in the ring).”

I think she’s saying that she wants to mix it up with everyone while everyone’s (or to make sure everyone’s) pumped for Cyberfight Festival.
I suppose her match with Arai could be an example of the kind of “stirring the pot” / かき回す she maybe means, in the sense of stirring up with it more drive in Arai to eventually overcome those obstacles, rather than suppressing it.

You’re about right, but with a bit of a different nuance! The full audio is a lot clearer for this one because she starts talking about how at first she was a rookie who had to come to the ring to politely ask for a match, but now she just has to sit around like a cool older sister in her room waiting and the challengers will come with a timid knock at the door! So she enjoyed that feeling of TJPW being her house in that sense of receiving guests/challengers instead of the other way around.

If I slice it like this would that help: お姉さん目線で思いつつ (as in, it’s the 思い that’s happening with the お姉さん目線)
She was talking in the audio about watching and remarking to herself how “ねこちゃん” has her own style, and so it’s about her, “with a bit of an older sister’s eye” (in the sense of being more experienced in TJPW) noting that she wants everyone to grow into their own unique best self, roughly. And even as she thinks that realizing she wants that for herself too so 一緒に頑張ろうね!

This is concurrence, not disagreement as that jibes generally with my experience, I’d just note that the word feels to me a bit like if “taking moves” was a completely natural thing to say in English. It’s a little hard to talk about taking moves in English without using more directly kayfabe-breaking phrasing like “bumping” or “selling” but that seems like a weird quirk of English terminology if you think about it, since the main priority of receiving a move someone else performed on you as safely as possible (and the secondary priority of looking cool!) is largely the same whether or not the move was actively trying to hurt you, so it makes sense I think the terminology would be the same as a martial art where you need to practice taking moves too like in judo.

The first main way I came across it was Mayu Iwatani in shupro (or her book, or both) being complimented on her 受け身 since she sells like death but almost never gets hurt, and then is still able to revive and win the match (hence her “zombie” nickname). So people consistently said Iwatani has great 受け身 because it’s safe and impressive.

The pro wrestling dictionary, by the way, has:
image

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Finally had the chance to watch the TJPW VOD show from April 6! No recap for this one, so I just had to work off of the comment videos on twitter.

There were two matches with, well, plot significance in this show. The first was a sort of double preview match for Yuka vs Shoko at CyberFight Fest, as well as for Yuka/Mizuki vs Shoko/Misao shortly after.

After the match, Yuka said: “最高の相手だなとは思いますし、いい緊張感を持ってフェス、うちらが一番盛り上げるので見ててください”. I was a bit unsure, but I translated this as: “I think she’s my best opponent, and the Festival will have some good tension and we’re going to be the most exciting, so please watch us.” Yuka also said that there’s no way they lose as a tag team, and she’s not worried even a little bit.

Shoko said: “やっぱりまだ(坂崎の)隠し持った手を引っ張り出すことはできなかったので。今から私は引っ張ってきたものをブラッシュアップして最高の状態で臨みたい.” This was a little hard for me, haha. Very tentatively, this was my best shot: “In the end, I still couldn’t draw out (Sakazaki’s) hidden moves. From this point forward, I’m going to brush up on what I have learned from her, and be in my best condition.”

Misao’s comment, in that same video, also confused me. She said: “向かい合って瑞希さんにもユカさんにも勝てる勝機を見出したような気もする.” I think she was saying: “I feel like I’ve finally found my chance to face Mizuki-san and Yuka-san and beat them.” But the grammar in this was confusing haha.

The other match with significance was Rhio vs Maki Itoh for the International Princess belt. It was a fun match, but my favorite part was afterward, when both Itoh and Rhio spoke to the crowd. Rhio tried to speak a little Japanese, and Itoh encouraged her, and it was just a really delightful language teaching moment in the middle of a wrestling promo, haha.

Backstage, Rhio said (in English) that she loved being in TJPW, and she invited Itoh to come fight her back in England.

An interviewer asked Itoh if a friendship sprouted between them, and Itoh said something that I thought was really interesting actually. She said that she’s shy in Japanese, but not in English! That does seem to come across in her twitter presence and in her English promos, haha (she has a tendency to be very, very crude in English).

It’s interesting that she has that kind of confidence while speaking a language that she is still learning, but not her native language. Maybe it’s part of the nature of Japanese just being more concerned with politeness in general, which sort of frees her up more in English to say ruder things without having to worry so much about it.

Itoh also said that she made a lot of friends during her last excursion, so she’s going to do her best to communicate more so that she can bring them here. Aim for the post-match drinking together!

And those are all of my comments on the TJPW show!

CyberFight Festival is today/tomorrow! It’s June 12 Japan time, if that helps. There have been a few recent developments that have made me a lot more excited about the show. One of the most exciting things to me is that NOAH’s Katsuhiko Nakajima will be taking Marufuji’s place and teaming with Kotoge and Inamura (with his new theme by the Final Fantasy composer) against DDT’s Tetsuya Endo, Jun Akiyama, and Higuchi!

I’m excited because I like all of these guys (not that I don’t like Maru :sweat_smile:), and it’ll be especially thrilling to see Nakajima, as a heel, have to somehow work together with some of NOAH’s most staunch babyfaces in order to represent the company. Maybe his “俺がノアだ” claim has some actual weight to it after all…

Also, Kenoh’s match with Daisuke Sasaki will now be a hardcore match. There has been a fair amount of mud-slinging (not literal. This is a necessary clarification when DDT is involved) between the two of them, and between the DDT and NOAH wrestlers in general, toward the other promotion. You can probably guess Kenoh’s complaints, haha. From DDT’s side, a lot of their criticisms of NOAH have been based in NOAH’s lack of ability to draw fans right now, which… well… they’re not exactly wrong there.

daisukesip
(I found Kumirei’s custom forum emote script, and migrated over some of my favorites from a discord server)

Something that’s interesting to me about that feud is that Sasaki has also had to step up, as a heel, to carry DDT on his back and represent them.

Dieno made some interesting comments about that. He said that Sasaki actually always carries DDT on his back, but now it just happens that he can say it publicly. Dieno went on to say: “In that sense, all of us carry DDT. Its not something we need to show, but we all carry DDT. It’s natural for us to. It depends on the situation if we need to say it. I’ve not been shaken enough to say.”

They uploaded a pretty funny video of Sasaki just criticizing NOAH for like eight and a half minutes. I’m delighted to say that this one not only has Japanese subtitles, but also has English subs that you can turn on!

There have also been a few funny developments centering around Kenoh’s column in shupro, but I’ll let rodan get to those without spoiling haha.

I also watched episode 2 of 夢プロレス-dream on the ring-, which focuses on 凛咲子 (I decided not to embed this episode because she talks about her past doing gravure, and there is some footage of that, so just a warning, it might not be the best choice for watching at work, haha).

I couldn’t resist trying to understand a little more because I wanted to find out more about her, so I ended up watching it twice, once without pausing (for the listening practice), and then again with pausing at just about every subtitle so that I could attempt to read them and look up a few unknown words.

I’m afraid that what I feared would happen is coming true. I’m starting to get attached to all four of them, and don’t want any of them to lose the competition…

feelstana

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Hey pals! Dropping in as a new Wani Kani user with my very first post in the community to say that I’m so excited to find this thread. I’m a lifelong wrestling fan who started following NJPW about eight years ago, and have been getting more into other promotions like DDT and Stardom since. I’m glad to see that other folks here see the value in the medium as a Japanese language resource — I couldn’t have said it any better than @fallynleaf’s incredibly detailed breakdown in the OP.

I kind of checked out of most wrestling during the pandemic because of the whole “This isn’t the same without a crowd” and “I am uncomfortable seeing packed venues with all these unmasked and unvaxxed people” but thankfully the whole industry has taken a turn for the better this year. And I just renewed my NJPW World subscription to catch Dominion this weekend on the road to Forbidden Door (even if barely paying attention to New Japan for a few years means I’ve got a lot of catching up to do).

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One point I’d say (maybe being wrong of course) is that 最高 gets thrown around so often that to me it doesn’t have as much contrastive weight as “my best opponent.” Like I guess I’d think of it more here like “ideal”/“you’re the best!” kind of best than “person X is my best friend” kind of best. :sweat_smile: Shoko’s a 最高の相手, but she’s not necessarily specifically ゆかの最高の相手, I think.

The other part I also think is made trickier by her kind of reaching for something to say and so the transcript not coming out as clear as a professionally written essay or anything like that.
The way I would read it is:
いい緊張感を持って → “we’re gonna have いい緊張感, so…”
(埼玉。。。) フェス、-> “… Festival audience, (she first addresses Saitama, then フェス, seemingly reaching for the right phrase or some promo energy that’s escaping her that day)”
うちらが一番盛り上げるので見ててください → “we’re gonna 盛り上げる the most so please watch.”

A tip for the future is I’d say you understandably likely got tripped up on the “持ってフェス、” part? And the て there can be a tip off that it’s the “I’m talking and need a conjunction” て, not a modification of フェス (since it doesn’t end in る). And then that might make it easier to pick apart what exactly “フェス、” is doing there, which I think ends up sort of an addressee for the “見ててください” at the end.

I’d say Shoko’s talking about how 前哨戦 are a chance to see as much of what an opponent can do as possible, and while やっぱり she wasn’t able to fully draw out 100% of what Yuka can do (so Yuka will still have tricks up her sleeve), Shoko now intends to brush-up on and review everything she did learn about Yuka so she can face her in the best possible condition.
(Which isn’t really a disagreement with your translation, just a note about nuance for you to check if you took away exactly the same thing or not - basically I think she’s talking about 手 she wasn’t able to 引っ張り出す, and then in the next sentence all the ones she has been able to up to this point, 引っ張ってきたもの)

I’d break it down like:
向かい合って(見て) → “facing them…” (in the video I think she says 見て which may make it a little clearer)
Xような気もする. → “… I feel as though X” (in this case, that she uncovered a chance of victory over Yuka and Mizuki even though it sounds like they lost this particular day) (Incidentally, I hear “気がする” distinctly in the video, so I wonder if the switch to も in the transcript is just to tie it in slightly more cohesively with what Shoko says, without the bookends from Misao of her talking about the day and then bringing it back to her hopes for their challenge that do the same job in a wordier way in the audio)

ooh, the crying Tana one seems useful… :sweat_smile:

@ironcladfolly welcome! And please don’t be scared away by long posts!

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@rodan Thank you! No worries, I’m so here for them — these are the kinds of in-depth breakdowns and translations of プロ I’ve been trying to find for years! Turns out all I needed to do was start learning a whole new language :joy:

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I’m super excited to see you here! And honored that this thread was your first post, wow! I hope you keep coming back :blush:.

Thank you for your compliment on the opening post! I spent ages drafting it, haha. I think I was posting in my study log about starting this thread for over a month before I finally actually did it. If you want more wrestling discussion, there’s also some of it happening in my study log, though I try to confine the more detailed stuff to this thread.

If you want to add anything to any of the opening posts, by the way, feel free! I’ve been too busy to check youtube to see if there have been other good free matches uploaded there recently (and I’m biased toward the promotions that I spend most of my time with), so if there’s any match that you really love that’s available for free, please add it as a recommendation!

I completely understand checking out of wrestling during the pandemic. I had times where it was very hard to keep watching. Still do, honestly, because it’s an industry that can be really awful. But I’m still here because I truly think that as a medium, it’s one of the most beautiful forms of art in the world.

Honestly, you not paying attention to NJPW for the past few years was probably for the best :pensive:. They’ve had… a rough past few years. Some of it has been misfortune outside of their control (injuries, sickness, a global pandemic and travel restrictions, etc.), but a lot of it has been problems of their own making (horrifically exploiting their workers after they get injured, continuing to book abusers and people complicit in a culture of abuse, and just bad booking in general and a lack of willingness to adapt creatively, which isn’t morally bad but does not make for compelling content).

I was originally excited about Forbidden Door, too, but actually just ended my own NJPW subscription last month, due to the ongoing situation with Kota Ibushi that I’ve been posting about in here over the past month. I’ll probably still watch the show, but not on my own dime.

The good news is that things have been much brighter for Stardom and DDT and many other companies! I’m not really watching Stardom anymore (I was putting way too much time into watching wrestling and something had to give), but from what I’ve heard from folks who still are, they’ve been on a fantastic run lately.

DDT and TJPW (and AEW) are where I’m mostly focusing my energy currently. TJPW is my favorite company, but they recently became much less accessible to English-speakers after Mr. Haku left CyberFight and they lost their translator. So I’ve been trying to translate as much as I can on my own with my (upper beginner) Japanese, haha, hence many of my recent posts in this thread.

It has definitely been hard, and I truly could not be doing this without rodan’s help. I’m hoping that when I get good enough at the language, I’ll be able to give back some, too, and help other beginners out in the same way :blush:.

But yeah, all of that is to say that I’m very grateful that I started learning the language, because I needed it a lot sooner than I thought I would when we lost TJPW (and temporarily DDT) translation. I’ve actually been able to stay more or less caught up on TJPW’s storylines for over half a year now! And I’ve made some pretty big leaps in understanding with all of the practice I’ve gotten with it, though I’m still far from being able to understand promos on the fly during shows.

Feel free to post about shows that are exciting to you, funny tweets, interesting articles or interviews, or really anything that catches your attention. Even as a beginner, you’ll be surprised at how far you can get with enough enthusiasm, haha!

Thanks for all of your help as always! I’m proud of myself for actually managing to figure this one out!

feelstana is one of the emoji that I believe to be honestly essential, tbh. It should be included as a default emote because no existing emoji quite captures the feeling of Tana stoically crying.

The other one that I consider absolutely essential is tamu_believes_in_you:

tamu_believes_in_you

We use that one mainly for expressing solidarity and support and sometimes gratitude. If I could make just one of our wrestlemoji part of the existing emoji canon, it would be this one.

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I watched CyberFight Festival 2022!
I didn’t have giant expectations, but I was totally ready to spend a lazy sunday watching wrestling and eating a ridiculous amount of garlic fries, and I ended up loving the show!

First of all, oh my god Kenoh’s hair, him coming out after the build-up of those entrances is one of the funniest things that’s ever happened. I feel like… Kenoh might be the best professional wrestler? No one does utterly ridiculous things with the utmost seriousness like him, huh.
Other thoughts:

  • I was very impressed with the expensive-looking presentation. So many extras! And that screen on the second-level that opens up for wrestlers to enter through is so cool.
  • Shoko Nakajima has very quickly ended up at the top of my “anxiously rooting for them to win” wrestler list so I was most looking forward to the TJPW title match and was very engaged watching it! Yuka’s amazing and is one of those people who winning a title would be a believable outcome for at anytime, anywhere so her being pre-occupied with Magical Sugar Rabbits’ reign was no reason for me to rest easy that Shoko would retain. But she did! Yaaaaay! I was very happy about that albeit quite disappointed they didn’t give her any post-match promo time.
  • Satoshi Kojima’s GHC title shot seemed a little random, and I had no expectation that he was going to win, but he seems super likeable, I’m bread club 4 life :bread: :croissant: :baguette_bread:, and of all the 剛腕s in the world, he’s the 剛腕est, so I was more than happy to root for him too, and enjoyed that match. And he actually won! Yaaaaay! The second ending lariat was a super cool moment. I should find some bread to eat…
  • The Kenoh/Sasaki no-DQ match was really fun! That last stomp off the top of the ladder has gotta be now at the top of my list of moves I’m glad to never ever take. Holy cow did that not look fun! Not in an unsafe sort of way, just in a… grown man landing directly on my stomach from some height sort of way.
  • The match with Endo and Nakajima (assuming the ending was planned) definitely did it’s job of making me really really really want to see Nakajima challenge for Endo’s title, which I’m hoping was the point. I thought the stuff between them that we saw was electric. they’re so pretty… The heavies in the match weren’t bad either. Hopefully not the last we see of whatever all that was, anyway.
  • I was surprised how good a foil Rob Van Dam was for Kiyomiya.
  • I quite liked the tag match with MAO and 朱崇花 et. al! A lot of inventive spots I feel like I hadn’t quite seen before.
  • It looked like Simon Gotch was wearing Junji Ito themed trunks, and I had mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I was tempted to think that was cool. On the other hand… the hair situation, for starters, absolutely prevented me from thinking that.
  • I think I’m probably willing to try just reading Pheremones in a positive light. Nothing wrong in principal with sexy dudes who are clearly very very aware that they’re sexy dudes. Or butts! lots of butt
  • I should probably watch more DDT now that my listening comprehension is kinda decent. The commentary adds a consistently funny level of deadpan! Like this exchange between the commentator and a guest, Marika Tani from SKE48 who was there mainly for Saki Arai and said she’d never seen a DDT match before, as in the ring a man is hypnotized by a pair of sunglasses to uncontrollably participate in a dance battle:
    “えええ。。。谷さん”
    “はい”
    “ご説明いたします!”
    “お願いします!”
    So simple, but awfully funny while what’s happening in the ring is completely ridiculous.
  • I will say though - it seems like Cyberfight tends to tend to use celebrities / non-wrestling personalities as guests and stack up a lot of them during a show, which is somewhat less interesting to not-knowing-general-Japanese-media me than Stardom’s tendency to use active wrestlers. Though I admit, they’re probably more professional as commentators! The comedian Kendo Kobayashi for example, was good throughout (it seems like he’s longtime enjoyed/been involved in pro wrestling in some way).
  • Coulda done without the Cyberjapan dancers interlude tbh…
  • My heart goes out to those poor audience members who suffered an assisted flying cross body from Yoshihiko :pensive:

The show definitely did it’s job in the sense that I feel very positively about Wrestle Universe and would recommend it to anyone interested as clearly a great value for the money! For the future, I’m definitely bought in on Shoko Nakajima’s run at this point, and I’ll be very curious to see Kenoh’s title shot… And the Mutoh retirement run should be emotional!

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I’m really glad that you enjoyed the show! They certainly did not hold back with the production value, haha!

Sadly, DDT’s translator did not translate the TJPW comments, so it looks like I have a little work ahead of me after all! There was also a press conference leading up to TJPW’s Korakuen show. I’m going to try my best to get through both of those before the next show!

Here are some individual responses to some things re: CyberFight Fest that I'm putting under a cut to spoiler guard them:

I legitimately think that he’s one of the best comedy wrestlers in the world! He’s so good at this! His shupro column is frequently the highlight of your recaps for me, haha, and just his entire manner and character, he’s a delight!

I loved his hair, and him singing his own entrance theme (Kenoh in TJPW when??), and the way that the match had all of these little callbacks to the last CyberFight Fest, like Yoshihiko’s cameo, the bike (used by Kongoh!!), and that sort of thing. It was very much a DDT hardcore match specifically. Kenoh won it by playing DDT’s own game!

I honestly think that he’s the true star of this year’s CyberFight Fest, and that part of the reason why is because he was so involved not only in the show last year, but also in DDT’s Peter Pan show in 2020, right after NOAH had been acquired by CyberAgent. He has been an absolutely essential piece to making the whole ragtag group of companies function thematically.

I’m so glad you enjoyed this match, and that you’re enjoying Shoko! Her entrance was probably my favorite out of all of them, because how often do you see dancers wearing inflatable t-rex costumes at a huge title match??

I really enjoy Shoko and Yuka’s friendship because once upon a time, they used to be tag partners, but they ultimately ended up not being each other’s true life partner. They’ll still work together on the rare chances they have to tag, and still appreciate those moments, but they like fighting each other equally as much. It’s just an interesting dynamic that I’m not sure I’ve quite seen before in wrestling, where they’re ex-partners but without any bitterness.

My friends and I spent… I think the entire match, from his entrance all the way to the end, talking about bread, haha! I love bread dad!! That match was a delight for me because I really like Go (he’s one of my top three favorites in NOAH), and I also really enjoy Kojima, so I would be happy but also sad no matter who won. I hadn’t realized just how similar Go and Kojima’s styles were, so it made for a really compelling dynamic between them. So many chops and lariats!

I was really happy for Kojima, though I was a little sad that Go’s run with the belt ended so soon. I’m hoping they’ll get a rematch so that we get to see that match again, haha, and that Go wins the next time. Kojima posted on twitter about how much he loved getting to have an entrance like that, and it made me so happy for him that he got the chance to be on this show, because he’d never get that treatment in NJPW, not at this point in his career.

I thought the same as you when I watched it live, but unfortunately, the ending was not a work, and Endo got concussed for real :pensive:. I do hope they revisit that match at some point, because I loved what little we did get. I really like Nakajima typically, so it’s unfortunate that he messed up here, but unfortunately that’s always a risk with wrestling.

despair_kagetsu

That match was great because it truly felt like DDT showing off the wild side of the company that’s just the incredibly athletic side of it. I love Mao and Asuka’s team, and I’m glad that Asuka gets to tag with the 37Kamiina sometimes, so it just made for great fun.

The Pheromones have done some matches that I’ve enjoyed, and some that I have really not enjoyed, haha, so the gimmick is pretty hit or miss for me (the sexual aspects don’t inherently bother me, but it does bother me when it’s portrayed as very non-consensual, which really just gets back to the core issue with Dieno’s gimmick for me), but admittedly I did really enjoy Akito joining them. They seem like a great fit for him. His gear upgrade was pretty incredible!

I think you’ll definitely get more out of it now, yeah! It’s certainly a company where the ability to understand Japanese is more important than it is with other companies because it’s often a pretty big part of the humor. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you should absolutely try watching a ひらがなまっする show at some point!

In agreement there…

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週刊プロレス No.2175 (from late march/early april, around Wrestlemania)

There’s an interview with SHO which came across to me like a pretty straightforward heel interview, with SHO seeming particularly intent on convincing the interviewer that the Bullet Club / House of Torture version of himself is who he’s been deep down all along.

In Tanahashi’s column he talks about returning to promotional and fan events, incl. one that involved him and two comedian Tanahashi impersonators! He’s impressed that their Tanahashi costumes are homemade and surprisingly up to date with his costume changes, and says he’s happy to be impersonated because like Mickey Mouse he can be in more places than once, though it may cause some to wonder 「今日の棚橋は小さいな」… The interviewer offers for free the name タナーズ if he does events with them as a group in the future.

AJPW’s Champion Carnival is starting up, and there’s an interview with Jake Lee, who won the championship with a harder edge last year and went into this anniversary year on top but had to vacate the title due to an eye injury. The vibe I’d say he has in this interview as a character is “guy being frank and thruthful about the state of the company, and demanding more, but being kind of a jerk about it” if that makes sense. Despite being from Hokkaido he says he doesn’t want to win the title at an upcoming Sapporo show because the stage would be too small.

Yuma Aoyagi says in the metaphorical cafeteria of AJPW and the Champion Carnival, wrestlers like Jake or Suwama or Ishikawa are 定食 but sometimes you get tired of that and he’s a ゲテモノ like チョコラーメン.
On wrestling X tokusatsu watch, for some reason the picture for Aoyagi here has him posing with Daimajin!

The blocks for the Champion Carnival look pretty nice! I enjoyed the one of those I watched, and I’m glad it’s a little bigger of a tournament this time. If time weren’t a factor and if the matches hadn’t all happened like months ago at this point I’d definitely be curious to see how Jake, Miyahara, and Aoyagi would do.

Kenoh talks about Hideki Suzuki in his column and is complimentary of his fighting style, which can connect with the crowd and ゼニを取れる in any era. I feel like he also complains about something or other in a Kenohish sort of way but I don’t have quite enough context to parse exactly what. :sweat_smile:

There’s an interview with Tetsuya Endo following his championship win over Takeshita in DDT. He says since Takeshita and him both debuted in 2012 and Takeshita devloped and succeeded earlier than him, some jealousy burnt, and while now he still doesn’t like him it’s at least as equals. He suggests bringing back some of the DDT-ish “まさか” element to the title, and floats the idea of picking a challenger via election, which, of course Yuki Arai would win thanks to SKE fans…

A nice picture of 路上プロレス from that train show a while back! I guess they were on a small private scenic route in Chiba, based on the station sign. don’t gotta blur anything if I crop carefully!

Giulia’s column is about the Cinderella Tournament and how the オーバー・ザ・トップロープルール is it’s 面白いところ. I agree!

The ad for the back issues available on the app shows a snippet from a time in 1989 when (newly elected to real life government, I think) Antonio Inoki got attacked and stabbed in the head by a “暴漢.” Geez!
also there’s a picture of young Minoru Suzuki - as always, with absolutely no noticeable things different from how he looks today.
image

The history column recounts an odd bit of wrestling history – in 1980, New Japan and All Japan had a softball game against each other! Apparently it was a good day for Inoki, as he struck out Baba as pitcher, hit a home run as batter, and New Japan routed All Japan 22 to 5.
This despite something I didn’t know – Giant Baba had a baseball career before wrestling! Who did he play for? The Giants of course! Go figure.

Suzume and Arisu Endo are interviewed ahead of their challenge for Magical Sugar Rabbits’ tag belts in TJPW. They decide on a new team name and go with “Daisy Monkey,” recounting how they came up with it:

「でいじー」は2人が好きな花の名前で、そこに何を付け加えるかファミレスでずっと悩んでて。そこで奇跡的に2人同時に「もんきー」を思いついたんですよ。

なる。。。ほど?

Assemble, the 女子プロレス combination / benefit show that started during the pandemic tried a proof of concept for a new format: an outdoor wrestling show at a theme park called Lake Sagami Resort Pleasure Forest, where you can bring your dog, so there’s an interview with Akira Hokuto about it, and here she is with Paddington Bear and some puppies:

Mutoh’s column wraps up his comments on the 50th anniversary year of NJPW/AJPW with some pondering the impermanence of life… He says in 焼肉屋 terms, 50 years of continued business is really something, but it’s not like a 老舗店 with a name and secret タレ stretching back to the Edo period - in terms of イズム he feels both companies have changed completely along the way. He says he didn’t know Baba when he went to All Japan and ran the company after Baba died but there was a 匂い that remained that faded by the time Mutoh left, even though nowadays Suwama for example admires Jumbo Tsuruta and Baba and the old AJPW and picked the company for that reason.

In the short industry column, there’s recommendations for NXT 2.0 and comments on what it’s like following a show in a different language (noting there’s more fun in the skits and stuff outside the ring than the matches themselves). Just kinda fun to see the other side of the coin…

The long industry column is about deathmatch wrestler Jun Kasai, who lost a belt in Freedoms recently. It remarks on how the documentary about him last year brought more popularity to him and the promotion, and how of non Cyberfight or Bushiroad affiliated wrestlers in Shupro’s 好きな wrestler reader poll, Kasai ranked the highest at 21. Kasai says ”これやめちゃったら死んだも同然。だから死までやるしかない。”
The included photo is of one photogenic crazy monkey! Content warning: blood (of course)


And the best part is he’d be really really grumpy about that! :sweat_smile:

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I translated some things a little out of order this week because I decided to prioritize the press conference that TJPW had on June 13 before finishing the CyberFight Fest translations. So I will start with that! I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish the CyberFight Fest translations before the Korakuen show tomorrow, but I’m getting a little faster at this, so I’ll try.

First of all, here’s the recap for the tag team championship part of the conference. Here’s the video of it.

I’m excited for this one because I really like both teams, and I honestly can’t decide who I think needs to win it more :sweat_smile:. Shoko and Misao have never held the tag team titles (with each other). If Shoko wins, she’ll become the first double champion in TJPW history. So, on the one hand, I really want them to win, and I think it would be very deserved after everything they’ve been through as a tag team, especially recently, but… well, I also really love MagiRabbi and don’t want their reign to end so soon! So I’m torn.

During the press conference, Misao said that she saw Yuka and Shoko’s match at CyberFight Fest, and she was happy to see Shoko defend her belt. She felt proud of their match, and was very inspired by it, and she wants the tag title match to make the other TJPW wrestlers feel proud in that same way. She thinks it can be said that as far as TJPW is concerned, MagiRabbi really stand out. She feels like they can be called a 看板 (I struggled with how to translate this, but ultimately settled on “draw”, despite the slightly insider-y language) for TJPW, which is why she wants to beat them.

I think I figured it out, but her last sentences here confused me a bit. She said: “すごく価値のある状態になったマジラビに勝ったら、“東京女子に享楽共鳴がいるぞ”って言えるような存在になれると思ってます。享楽共鳴の価値を上げるためにも、絶対にこの試合は勝ちたいと思ってます.”

Here was my attempt at a translation:

MagiRabbi are in a very valuable state, and if we can beat them, I think we’ll be able to say ‘For TJPW, it’s Kyoraku Kyomei’ in that same way. For the sake of raising Kyoraku Kyomei’s value, we have to win this match.”

Shoko said that until her match with Yuka, that was the only thing that she was thinking about, so she’s only just now getting excited about the tag title match. She wants to have a friendly competition with their best rivals as a team, “引っ張ったり引っ張られたり”, pulling each other and being pulled. She’s looking forward to seeing what kind of match they’ll have next.

She said: “ハイパーミサヲと力を合わせて、私たちらしい戦い方で勝ちにいこうと思っています.” I was a little confused, but translated it as: “I’m going to join forces with Misao, and we’re going to fight in our own typical style and win!”

Mizuki said that she couldn’t win the fourway match and felt really frustrated, and then when she watched Yuka and Shoko’s match and Yuka lost, she felt Yuka’s frustration as if it were her own. She said: “ユカっちが私を選んでパートナーとしてやってくれてるので、私も東京女子を大きくしたいと思う.” The first part of this sentence really confused me, haha. This was my translation: “Since Yuka-chi chose me, as her partner, I also want to make TJPW bigger.”

Mizuki went on to say that she wants to defend the belts together with Yuka, and spread the message all throughout Japan, throughout the world, throughout the universe, that “MagiRabbi are the tag champions of TJPW.”

Yuka said that her match with Shoko was about the pride of TJPW, and carrying her pride in a match, but the tag belts are a different thing entirely. She says they’re belts that expand the diversity, fun, and possibility of TJPW (I think I would agree with this!). I got a little bit tripped up on her last sentence here, partially because it was long. She said: “対戦相手が享楽共鳴ってことは、もっと可能性が広がった、どんな試合になるのか分からないような試合になると思いますので、また違った楽しみ方があるのかなと思います.”

Here was my attempted translation:

I think that as our opponents, Kyoraku Kyomei will expand the possibilities even more, and because we don’t know what kind of match it will be, I think it’ll offer a different kind of fun.

Concerning what to watch out for from the other team, Misao said that they’ve defended the belts many times, so she’s very wary of the strength of their tag team power. She said: “しかも油断させつつの感じなんです。見た目かわいい感じで、ハピハピな感じだけど、やることがえげつない.” Both of these sentences confused me, haha. Here was my attempt: “They always catch you off guard. They put up a cute appearance and say ‘HAPPY HAPPY’, but the things they do are despicable.”

Shoko said that she thinks 享楽共鳴’s strength is that they’re able to have matches that feel like upturning a toy box. MagiRabbi are a tag team that breaks toys with smiles on their faces. That’s what scares her.

Mizuki answered: “パミさん(ミサヲ)のふざけてるというか、ずる賢い部分に翔子さんが乗っかっちゃうというか.” Another tricky one for me. My translation was: “Pami-san’s (Misao’s) pranks, or maybe I should say that Shoko-san takes advantage of her devious side.”

She said that they have excellent synergy, so even though Misao is the number one concern, surprisingly Shoko is also someone to watch out for. It feels like the two of them are sharing their brains.

Yuka said: “タッグには色が違う面があるので。スピードだったり、悪さ、ずるさ、2チームともあると思いますので、だまし合いをしていきたいと思ってます.” This one caused me some trouble both in understanding the Japanese, and in figuring out how to word it in English, haha. Here was my (very not confident) attempt: “They wear a different face as a tag team. I think both teams have speed, mean mischief, and cunning, so I want to outsmart them when we meet.”

Shoko talked about how feelings were a big part of her match with Yuka, who is a wrestler who is very special and who she thinks is incredibly strong. She said that that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have big feelings toward the tag title match. Then pretty much the whole rest of her comment here confused me: “ただ、2人いるんで、気持ちが半分になってるような気がしてるんです。そんな気負わずとも思いっきり羽を伸ばして試合をすれば、もし私がつまずいても、ミサヲがなんとかしてくれるっていう気持ちあるので。その分、1対1より、思い切りバクチができる気はします.”

Here was my best shot at it:

But there are two people, so it feels like my emotions are halved. Even if I don’t get worked up and have as much fun as I possibly can, if I falter during the match, I feel like Misao will somehow save me. Because of that, I feel like I’m able to take more risks than I could in a one-on-one match.

And finally, Yuka said that since Mizuki is here, she doesn’t have anything to worry about. She says: “私以上に私のことを分かってくれてる子なので。そこは安心して、完全に乗っかって、おんぶにだっこ.” My attempt was: “She knows me better than I know myself. So I can rest assured there, and climb on and completely rely on her.”

Then Yuka asks Mizuki to “お姫さまだっこしてもらって・・・”, to carry her like a princess, ahaha. I was very disappointed that they did not show the actual princess carrying in the video. But there are photos of it, and I feel like I have to share this one specifically because it’s such a great representation of both of these teams:

The other half of the press conference was devoted to Shoko’s upcoming title defense against Rika Tatsumi. Here’s a transcript of that one.

Rika said: “4WAYなんだから、もっと場外で潜んでたり、休んだりとか作戦を練ってやれたらよかったとか思ったんですけど・・・。ぶつかって当たっていくしかできなくて、結果的にそれでよかったのかなとも思っていて.” Various bits and pieces of this were confusing to me, but I think I got the general idea at least? Here was my translation:

Since it was a fourway, I thought it would have been better if I’d planned more tactics like lurking outside the ring and taking a rest… I had no choice except to hit and hit, but it got results, so I think it was the right thing to do.

She said that her opponents were all really cool wrestlers, so the fact that she was able to survive them gave her a lot of confidence. She said: “自信とかすぐになくしちゃうタイプで、もともと自信ってあってないようなもの.” This one had a little too much going on for me to be able to figure it out unassisted, so my heavily DeepL-influenced translation was: “I’m the type of person who loses confidence easily, and I never had that much confidence to begin with.” Rika says that she was able to regain it, so with her chest held high, she wants to challenge Shoko at 大田区 on July 9.

Rika also said that concerning Shoko vs Yuka, she’s happy no matter who wins, but she also really doesn’t want to see either of them win. But she also thought “no matter who wins, we’ll be able to do something great”. She says that she was on the edge of her seat, and was cheering so hard her hands hurt.

She said that Shoko is unbeatable. She’s invincible, and she doesn’t have any blind spots. But that kind of state can’t continue for long, so how is Rika going to disrupt it? Rika said that at Ota Ward, she’s going to bloom again a second time as the champion. This next part of her comment was a little tricky, but I think I managed to figure it out? She said: “私はクレイジーな人間が好きなんですけど。好きでい続けたら自分もそう言っていただくことが増えて。だから私はチャンピオンに“狂い咲きたい”と思ってます。辰巳リカは狂い咲くのほうが似合うと思うので.”

Here was my translation, with my attempt at sort of keeping her pun, haha:

I like crazy people. If I continue liking them, more and more people will say that about me, too. So that’s why I want to ‘bloom out of season’ and become champion. I think ‘crazy blooming’ is more suitable for Rika Tatsumi.

狂い apparently means “insanity” or “deviation”, and 咲く means “to bloom”. 狂い咲く means “to bloom out of season”, but the phrase literally translates to “crazy blooming”.

They ask her about fighting in the main event at a big show, and she said: “ビッグマッチでメインに立つのは初めてなんで、いろんなものがのしかかるなって思うんですけど。自分で勝ち取ったものなので、胸を張って、思い切りやるしかない.” The beginning of the last sentence there was particularly confusing to me. I felt like I understood the literal meaning of the words, but what she meant by saying it was unclear to me.

Here was my attempt at that whole chunk:

But this is my first time being in the main event at a big show, so it’s a lot of responsibility. I won by myself, so I have no choice except to hold my chest high and give it my all.

Rika says that she has been away from the singles front, but she seized her chance. She thinks the time for a “チャンピオンに狂い咲き” is now. She wants to become champ again and make TJPW even bigger, and stir things up even more.

And finally, I have one last question, haha. Rika talks a little bit about her upcoming preview match at the Korakuen show (she’s teaming with Suzume against Maki Itoh and Hikari Noa). She says that she has no choice except to win all of her matches until the title match, then says: “相手の伊藤ちゃんも、(インターナショナル・プリンセスの)チャンピオンではあるんですけど、鈴芽と協力して勝ちにいきたい。勢いつけます.”

I translated the first sentence as: “My opponent, Itoh-chan, is also a (International Princess) champion, but I want to cooperate with Suzume to win.” But that very last sentence completely lost me. I couldn’t figure out つけます at all :sweat_smile:.

That’s all from me for now!

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Not really much to correct! Only small nuance comments for the most part.

For the “東京女子に享楽共鳴がいるぞ” part, I think it’s as simple as “享楽共鳴 are in 東京女子” like it’s about them prominently being there, like in a “on the map” sort of way.
The audio is a little bit clearer – her part about “東京女子に享楽共鳴がいるぞ” refers back to a part that was truncated in what she said before about マジラビ being a 看板. After that in the video she says something like “東京女子プロレスにはマジラビがいるというように、いるような存在だと感じています。” and while I don’t think I transcribed that in a way that completely makes sense, I believe she’s talking about how マジラビ are a stable and established tag team to the point that you’d say like, ah, Tokyo Joshi, they’ve got マジラビ, and go watch the show because of that. And by beating マジラビ, 享楽共鳴 will be put on the map and be able to achieve a similar existence as an established marquee tag team.

No notes!

I would read the “ユカっちが私を選んでパートナーとしてやってくれてるので” part as one block.
“ユカっち chose me and やってくれてる’s as my partner, so…” with やってくれてる being very roughly like, “is doing stuff/this for me.” So I’d just tweak your translation very slightly and say “Since Yuka-chi chose me as her partner, I also want to make TJPW bigger”!
Incidentally – as seems to be a common theme with confusing clauses, right before this she says something that leads into this that didn’t make it into the transcript. Something about how Yuka had a lot of something but still picked Mizuki. Perhaps it would be easier to make out if I knew more about マジラビ’s history.
P.S. Yuka’s reaction when Mizuki says 宇宙中にも is very good!

No notes!

She’s saying like – even though you know how how strong a tag team マジラビ there’s something about them that makes you let your guard down - their cute and happy-go-lucky aesthetic. I’d maybe go with something like “viscous” rather than “despicable.”

Not really any notes! (ふざけてる is tricky to translate but you can understand it by just seeing most anything Misao does :sweat_smile: and “pranks” is fine I suppose!)
I just wanted to mention a fun thing from the audio is when she’s looking for words what she says ends up like:
ずる賢い部分が。。。を。。。に
I’m sure if I held any conversations in Japanese that particle cycling would feel very relatable!

I think the transcript tidies up what she says in the first part, as it’s constructed differently from what she said in-person. But I think the transcript is clearer to me? I think it says like, “there’s different sides to tag team wrestling” as in like – different flavored sides, or like, the above-board side and the cunning side, that kind of thing, I think. And because of those shared qualities she lists, she wants to have a battle of wits.
After this there’s some batter and I can’t make out really at all what everybody says but it sounds to me I think like Mizuki and then also Shoko light-heartedly declaring an intent to take the match seriously (since だまし合い implied some ふざけてる might go on…), with Yuka and Misao perhaps being a bit less vocal on that front.

The first thought is elaborated a little in the video where she says something like – it’s not that the emotions for a tag match aren’t big too, but since there’s too people in some ways the 緊張 is lessened. Then in the video she says そんなに気負わず not そんな気負わず so it’s a bit clearer for me (I thought maybe the そんな気 was referring to the 気 in the previous thought but I think not).
So anyway, yeah, I believe she’s saying even if she doesn’t work herself up tension-wise, and fights the match freely, if she trips up, Misao will be there to catch her so she can take more risks.

Would “she’ll carry me” be edging too close to insider-y language? Since she quite literally asks to be carried here, like a princess. :sweat_smile:
The video is significantly more fun than the transcript! Mizuki interjects “無理!” and Yuka insists she wants to be carried like a princess and it’s gonna happen!
From the picture, Yuka clearly got her way and Mizuki 頑張る’d. :smile:

No notes!

No notes!

I don’t really have any help with the translation for this one, but yeah, the phrase 狂い咲く comes up like, a bunch in Stardom too. Giulia and Maika’s tag team name in one of the tournaments was “Crazy Bloom” for example. I honestly don’t have an incredible handle on it but I guess it just means blooming/succeeding at an unexpected time.

I’d say like, “I won it myself” rather than “by myself” – the point is she won the right to challenge in that match at Cyberfight Festival, so there’s nothing to do but wear that with pride and give it her all.

A good tip off with something like 勢いつけます that looks like a noun and verb squished together is it’s probably had a particle like が or を dropped, and googling around shows indeed, 勢いをつける means like, to build momentum. Which fits with the context of her building up momentum until her title shot.

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週刊プロレス No.2176 (from early april, around the time of NJPW’s 両国国技館 show and wrestlemania day 2)

During the match recaps for the New Japan show, there’s a little section about that time Great O-Khan (in real life) saved a young girl in distress from a creep. His account is interesting – he does still use 余 as his personal pronoun. He says at first when the girl and her parent were thanking him and asking who he was he said 「いえ、名乗るほどの者ではございません」 in an “I always wanted to say that” sort of way, but when the police arrived and were taking information and heard he was an NJPW wrester they said ”名乗った方がいいですよ” so here we are. He says to help if you see someone in distress, and “人生のスパイスが欲しくなったときはプロレスラーを見よ、新日本プロレスを見よ。”
Later there’s this fan photo of him looking oddly photogenic.
image

In his column, Naito talks a bit about 後楽園ホール and says that while he went earlier times when he was a kid, the first time he paid for a show there himself was, it sounds like, coincidentally the day Hiroshi Tanahashi debuted!

There’s some really rough pictures from the Zero-1 “20&21” (it was delayed a year) anniversary show where Ohtani very badly injured his neck. The end of show confetti going off with Ohtani still lying in the corner, unable to move… :frowning_face:
The match recapper says Ohtani particularly always drew strength from crowd cheers and that he would say 「ハラの底から声をだせたい」, so it’s especially sad that these were the circumstances when the crowd would chant 「オオタニ」 again, when the audience simply had to put aside covid protocols for a moment and show their support him and his recovery. We can all only hope and trust that the 「立ち上がり続けてきた」男 will “立ち上がってくれる.”

On a lighter note, Kenoh’s column is about how he launched a youtube channel! There’s a lot of back and forth about his ambitions for the channel and what youtubers he watches (I think mostly martial arts related stuff?) and a lot of name dropping. Among the loftier ambitions mentioned is to rival Logan Paul in subscriber count and, like him, fight Floyd Mayweather and perhaps have a match at Wrestlemania as well.

The papaya ads are back! This one has an insert where Tatsumi Fujinami and his wife extol the virtues of papayas and some promotional papaya dish they got to make. I feel like some papaya mogul must just be wrestling adjacent and have connections or something, the ads in this magazine are still just wrestling-wrelated things, cigarettes, horse racing, and papayas.

Giulia’s column is an admirably frank run-down of all of the various injuries she’s accumulated over her (still rather short) career. It’s a good source for unpleasant medical vocabulary, and another important reminder about the toll the regular wear and tear of sports/performance like this takes on the body. She says looking back on injuries like this and how they happened is important for accumulating information about how to avoid them, not just for yourself but for the wrestlers who come after you, saying 「こうして培った知識を、次の世代にも伝えて、リスクを最小限に抑えていくのは、先輩レスラー達の大きな役割だ」

Genichiro Tenryu’s column includes talk about DDT’s Konosuke Takeshita excursion to America and Tenryu is all for it, saying the experienced learned from that kind of a trip is invaluable, with the only main risk being the chance that he likes it too much and wants to stay…

I like this 3コマ featuring Hyper Misao and Shoko Nakajima!
さすがヒーローですね!

The short industry column is about the Up Up Girls (pro-wrestling division) auditions. They talk to someone from YU-M Entertainment, and apparently there’s no set number of people they’re looking for, and very little in the way of restrictions for who can apply (basically, healthy girls/women who are older than 13 is it), so they’re just looking for whoever the right people are, and apparently while it presumably would be very unlikely to happen from just these auditions, the end-goal is like… 30 people (which seems like uh, way more than the 3 they currently have). They talk a bit about the possibility of running full Up Up Girls cards and how with just a few more people that could be possible for small shows.

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Just thought I'd post some more updates on the Kota Ibushi/NJPW situation, for anyone who isn't following it but would like to know more.

First of all, a couple weeks ago, NJPW announced the punishments they’re issuing for Kota, Ohbari, and Kikuchi (who is not named). I was… really not fond of the way they gave Kota and Ohbari basically exactly the same penalty (a 10% pay cut) :expressionless:, not to mention barely punishing Kikuchi more than that.

I think at bare minimum, they should have forgiven Kota any punishment for this. They do not need to punish him any more on top of what already happened to him. He is (ostensibly) being punished not for whistleblowing/breaking kayfabe, but for breaching his contract and appearing at the Just Tap Out show. I really hate the way this equates “minor contract violation” with being just as bad as “labor exploitation to the point of causing life-threatening distress.”

On a more positive note, though, Kota was posting about trying to acquire a triangle or star shaped wrestling ring, which is much more in line with his old self. (It reminds me of something he said in one of my favorite interviews). There were a few other tweets that seem to suggest he was getting excited about wrestling again, and he had some sort of project in mind, though he seemed to make it clear that it couldn’t be done through NJPW (he rejected a fan’s suggestion that he try to do something with the KOPW title). He also changed his twitter account to a business account.

Just this past weekend, there was a big kickboxing(?) event, which Kota attended, seemingly on NJPW’s dime. But Kota made it quite clear that despite that gift, he’s still not happy with how things were handled with Ohbari, and he’s still planning on pushing the matter.

Also, Karl Fredericks, an English-speaking wrestler from a recent batch of Young Lions, started making some very negative tweets about NJPW and the workplace culture there. He mentioned “physical/mental/emotional abuse”, and alluded to the company treating him poorly and not believing in him or respecting the work that he’s done. He sounded really discouraged.

I wasn’t following Karl super closely, so I don’t know what else he’s been saying besides those recent tweets, but it’s unfortunate that he was treated poorly as well. Reading between the lines, it sounds like NJPW gets a lot of wrestlers to put up with exploitation by promising to give them opportunities if they tough it out.

Karl is not a very big name wrestler, and his tweets unfortunately didn’t seem to get a lot of attention (granted, it has been. quite the month or so in wrestling). I hope that other NJPW wrestlers feel emboldened by him and Kota and speak about their own experiences, because I’m sure the two of them aren’t the only people who have been exploited by the company. It’s good that someone was tweeting about it in English, too, because that way, English-speaking fans can’t use the language barrier as an excuse not to listen.

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On a much lighter note, I think I forgot to share the first video, but Mr. Haku started a series of English-subbed interviews with Japanese wrestlers!

The first one was with Rina Yamashita:

The second was with Asuka/Veny:

I thought the section in this where she talked about her gender identity, and just the concept of pronouns and such in Japanese, was really interesting. The whole interview was great!

I also watched the third episode of 夢プロレス-dream on the ring-:

It was fun to learn more about 上原わかな! I thought it was sad that she faced opposition from her parents when she wanted to get into the entertainment industry. She seems like she has a decent skillset for wrestling, with experience in cheerleading and kickboxing and working as an idol. She also really loves food.

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