Kenoh talks a bit about pro-wrestling t-shirts in his column - sounds like nWo shirts were just as big in Japan as America, and one Japan-specific well-selling shirt is Hulk Hogan “一番” shirts.
Giulia’s column is about the 5 Star GP, and she talks about each of the competitors. It’s a fun rundown! Really too bad she had to drop out from injuries.
The history column is about a singles match between Inoki and Terry Funk on the latter’s first trip to Japan in 1970. I was kind of curious if I could find the specific match, but no luck. 50 years ago is a long time!
There’s an interview with Utami Hayashishita talking about her then upcoming match with Takumi Iroha. The main thing I remember is a remark that they’re probably the wrestlers with the most female fans…
There’s a women’s counterpart to the men’s wrestling shirt rundown from last issue. All the Stardom one’s are tied to factions or events, oddly.
I like Suzu’s shirt that’s just her dumping thumbtacks on her head (and that 15th anniversary Ice Ribbon shirt is nice too):
週刊プロレス No.2135 (2134 is a special issue about the Dome show that wasn’t included in the subscription and isn’t on Booklive either)
I really like this picture of Mayu selling a headbutt. Showcases really well why everyone calls her a zombie, and everyone’s facial expression is great:
This is maybe the most dramatic picture and tagline yet! Can you tell what it says? ぐ・れい・とう・む・た・狂騒曲 → グレート・ムタ 狂騒曲 (協奏曲)-> ~“Great Muta Manic Concerto”
Giulia’s column is about training. My main takeaway was that Milano Collection AT (who also does a lot of color commentary for NJPW) is/was a major trainer for Stardom. I feel like I heard that before but didn’t really connect the dots before.
Apparently if you’re uncomfortable going to a crowded wrestling show, you can pay Michinoku Pro to come to your house and wrestle in it. They quote prices (十万円 as the base price for a singles match and up) so I guess it’s a real thing you could do If you have the space??
There’s an interview where Suzu talks with famous retired deathmatch wrestler Mr. Danger at his steakhouse, ステーキハウスミスターデンジャー, for advice for her upcoming summer-themed deathmatch with Rina.
It says the steak is “脂ギッシュじゃない” but from the picture I feel like that must only be true before the huge glob of butter is put on it?? I wanted to look at the restaurant’s webiste but it’s down… Google Maps makes it look like a pretty cool place though.
In another ice Ribbon article, Tsukasa Fujimoto returns to where she debuted (or just wrestled at a long time ago), 千本桜ホール. They recount a story, called the 松本浩代事件, where another wrestler, 松本浩代, wrestled Fujimoto and one other newbie wrestler at once in a handicap match, and completely dominated, saying 「お前らみたいなのがいるからプロレスがダメになるんだ」, meaning that wrestlers like Fujimoto who were former idols were ruining the business (and they way they talk about it, it sounds like it wasn’t wholly a storyline). Anyway, now 12+ years later, that wrestler and Fujimoto are a tagteam!
There’s also a fun bit where the conversation turns toward 恋, and Fujimoto’s asked how it’s going on that front. And she asks back what day it is - it’s her birthday. And when they set up the interview after not being able to schedule one with the other tag team, what did she say? She said she’d be open to it, but it was her birthday, so she hoped she’d have plans. And was she able to do the interview? - so there’s your answer.
Speaking of 松本浩代, Hiroyo Matsumoto is in the costume column, and I mostly just include it to put a face to a name in the story above, but also it’s a bit interesting her colors in the costume are the way they are out of hometown pride - they’re the colors of the 東海道線, and she’s from 平塚市
Muta comes across a bit like an old man in his column… he’s asked about tag partners and abruptly changes the subject to talk about how he watched the olympics and the rules in the judo competition were really easy to understand, so pro wrestling tag matches should follow the rules more closely, it’s too difficult for a spectator to understand the rules at a glance with so many double team moves.
I dunno though, I feel like spectacles like this shot of Chaos in a six-man tag are part of the fun!
There’s a brief column about Yuka Sakazaki’s impressions comparing American wrestling with AEW and Japanese wrestling - I think it was the usual notes about how hearing the crowd again is extremely refreshing, and also you have to be much more conscious of the TV cameras and timing.
I posted so many pictures of mists, here’s a shining wizard too just to balance it out.
There’s a page of lucha information from Mexico. One infrequently appearing page is better than nothing I guess!
Tam Nakano has a risque photobook out called “Twilight.” Sounds like it’s geared heavily towards simulating you being idyllically married to Tam Nakano, so if you want that… go buy the book I guess. She says she wants both men and women to look at it.
Giulia’s column is about body image, and she says that while different people have different looks and different preferences, for her body type and her preferences, a thin look is the best way she can project that admirable pro wrestler fantasy, and she says it isn’t true that you need bulk to wrestle safely.
She also talks about how with corona she was motivated to put together a home gym and really push it as much as possible, but that after losing her championship she’s intentionally reverted to a less intense and more sustainable regimen.
As much as I like ultra-cool ripped champion Giulia, her current look sounds way better on the whole just from a livability standpoint. A reminder (along with Tanahashi constantly expressing body anxiety in basically every column) that wrestlers have a lot of the same body image maintenance problems and expectations movie stars do.
It also includes this picture of her in 4th grade, the intense intangible early 2000s-ness of which was a sudden weird reminder that I’m the same age as Giulia. Usually the school uniforms mask it, but she was in Italy at the time and just looks like any of my classmates. I even basically had the same glasses.
The history column is about a 1967.8.14 match between Giant Baba and Gene Kiniski that Baba apparently always called his best match. I’m gonna link it because it’s from 54 years ago.
I wasn’t sure what a summer-themed deathmatch would look like… I guess like this, huh. Suzu said in the previous interview she wanted to do stuff she’d never done and nobody had ever done - looking at this I feel like probably she managed it.
Shoko Nakajima has an interview and she poses with her Gamera figures, which makes her a definite babyface in my book!
NOAH announced a show for January first (pity イッテンイチ doesn’t have the same ring to it), and Kenoh has a running bit where, since that’s his birthday, he calls it Noah’s first birthday show, and proclaims it the first of what’s sure to be an annual tradition, 「ABEMA presents信念だよ、拳王大生誕祭vol.３７」(geddit, 信念/新年?). It’s a pity we don’t get to see the conversation live. He plays the bit straight the entire way through and watching him say it all with a straight face would be a lot of fun.
Learning a bit about Japanese history and interacting with media set when clans were important has made me wonder about mon when I see them, and so I was curious about the one Marufuji wore for announcing the New Year’s show. At first searching in English on my phone I thought maybe it had something to do with Asano, but predictably Japanese sources seem much more informative, and I found a page with a lot of detail. Still don’t really know at all if it has particular meaning in this case (and if so what meaning), or if nowadays you just go with whatever mon when you need to dress up or what, but it’s interesting at least.
Giulia’s column is about making rivals, and she says it’s the same as finding a romantic partner, you shouldn’t be quick to dismiss someone just because you don’t think you’d have chemistry. You gotta fight the urge to put on a polite face, and bear your heart in the ring until you find a rival you can smash that heart into a bunch and get the fans excited and make a bunch of money.
Ah, to gently caress the face of a Stone Pitbull…
There’s a match briefly mentioned from 2011 where apparently as a “昭和の洗礼,” Yuzuki Aikawa, then a new wrestler/idol and star for Stardom took on famous heel Dump Matsumoto. Sounds like another interesting clash between two different eras.
The industry column at the back talks with a TJPW official, and it sounds like they think Cyberfight made a very big impact, and they plan to make TJPW the number one women’s wrestling promotion in Japan. It mentions last year they had 3 wrestlers leave and go to Stardom - I guess this is talking about Unagi Sayaka, Mina Shirakawa, and Natsupoi? - and it sounds like they want to scale up and avoid that kind of thing in the future.
Otherwise, I did resubscribe to the Ice Ribbon niconico channel. I should add to the wiki about Ice Ribbon in general. The principal downside with the channel is it seems like they upload shows to it 6 months after the fact. So unless you have, say, a giant pile of wrestling magazines, you aren’t going to have any context for anything that’s going on and you can’t just jump in and watch what’s happening right now (except maybe if you catch them as live events or on niconicopro).
But the last few magazines especially have motivated me to more actively sprinkle wrestling into my day, and to start watching from Suzu’s IceX∞ win on, since there’s a lot of matches I would have liked to see since then. So Ice Ribbon joins the fog of promotions I’m vaguely keeping track of but not doing a great job staying perfectly up to date with, along with Stardom, AEW, NJPW, TJPW, NOAH, DDT, and historical/defunct promotions…