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

Finished translating TJPW’s Korakuen Hall show on June 19, Additional Attack '22! The recap is here. It’s a decently long one!

The main event for this one was between two of my favorite tag teams: the Magical Sugar Rabbits and 享楽共鳴. I was very torn on it, but was ultimately happy to see MagiRabbi retain. They’ve actually managed to work their way through most of the roster during their five defenses so far.

After the match, they talked about how the status quo hasn’t changed (Shoko still has the singles belt, and MagiRabbi the tag titles), but they’ve managed to increase the value of the belts. Then Yuki Arai entered the ring, and challenged for the tag belts on behalf of Saki Akai and herself (they’d won their earlier match, and Arai had whispered something in her ear before they left. She’d suggested that they challenge for the titles, and Saki had agreed).

Arai said that she’s only been here for about a year, which is a very short period compared to her senpais, but during this time, Saki, Yuka, and Mizuki have shown her a lot of cool things up close, which has made her want to become stronger, and makes her want to win. So that has become her motivation: she wants to win against her senpais.

I really liked how Yuka accepted her challenge. She said: “デカい2人には大きい舞台でタイトルマッチやってもらおう.” My translation was: “For two giants, let’s have the title match on a big stage.” Yuki Arai and Saki Akai are both very tall, making them デカい people indeed, haha.

Backstage, Yuka said that there was a lot of pressure. These few lines confused me a bit: “ピンチがチャンスに、チャンスがピンチに? 表裏一体やった。信じてたけど、中を開けてみないと分からないから.” Here was my attempt: “I can say this now: there was loads of pressure! Crisis into opportunity, or opportunity into crisis? They were the same thing. I believed in us, but you never know until it unfolds.”

Mizuki said that since they lost in the first round of the tag tournament earlier this year, she was really nervous. MagiRabbi have started a bit of a tradition of losing in the first round, despite being probably the strongest team in the company. It kind of reminds me of a running joke of sorts that TJPW has with Miyu always losing in the first couple rounds of their singles tournament.

The interviewers asked them what they have to watch out for concerning their next opponents, and Yuka said the length of their legs, which made me laugh. She said that they both use the same moves, so she’s cautious of those legs.

Mizuki said that she’s fought Saki in battle royales, but never in a proper match. But she has felt her strength, even if only a little, and it was scary. She wonders if Arai still isn’t ready.

Backstage, Arai talked more about wanting to catch up to and overtake her senpais, and then she said: “追い越したいって気持ちがあるんですけど。実力では届かない部分が大きいんですけど、気持ちでは負けてないって思うので.” This part confused me! I struggle a lot with 部分 in these kinds of sentences, because sometimes it’s hard to work with in English, but it just occurred to me with this that maybe 部分が大きい is similar to “for the most part”?

This was my attempt: “For the most part, I can’t reach them in terms of raw ability, but in terms of feelings, I don’t think I’m losing.”

Arai says that she feels confident when she’s with Saki, and she wants to aim for the belts. It’s her first time challenging for the tag belts, so she’s nervous. But they chose a big stage for this, so she wants to seize the opportunity to work out a lot of strategies with Saki.

Misao and Shoko seem to be taking the loss well enough. Misao says that she hopes MagiRabbi’s value increases even more, and when the price has gotten very steep, then next time, she’s going to get their necks.

The last part, もう一度クビを獲りにいきたい, confused me when I read the recap, but it made a little more sense when I looked at the caption on twitter, which spelled it with the kanji and gave Yomichan a better clue how to translate it: 首を取りにいきたい. Yomichan helpfully informed me that 首(くび)を取(と)る is an expression that means to decapitate (or depose/topple).

The show also announced a couple big name guests: current AEW women’s champ Thunder Rosa, and Willow Nightingale (who unfortunately will not be able to make it to the show due to visa issues. Miu will be facing Ryo Mizunami instead, which is a match that should also rule).

For folks who don’t know, Rosa actually has wrestled in TJPW before, and won a title there. She was there at the end of 2019 and at the very beginning of 2020, when she wrestled Itoh and won the International Princess title (this was on 1.5 after TJPW’s 1.4 show, and Itoh, who defended her title on both nights, made a hilarious comment on twitter about how she won her title match on 1.4 and then lost the title on 1.5, which makes her basically Okada).

Unfortunately, Rosa was never able to defend her title, since TJPW’s April US show ended up getting canceled due to the pandemic, and there weren’t other opportunities for her to wrestle in TJPW due to travel restrictions. So she vacated the title.

It’ll be interesting to see her in TJPW again, because Rosa’s career is in such a different place now than it was when she was there the last time. Interestingly, her scheduled International title defense that got canceled was going to be against Shoko, and now both of them hold the top titles in their respective companies haha.

Rosa’s opponent this time is Miyu. Miyu mentioned that when Rosa was in TJPW last time, they didn’t fight. She said: “総合をやっているというのもあって、武闘派だなって印象があった.” I struggled with this. This was my best attempt, leaning pretty heavily on DeepL: “Because she did everything so cohesively, I had the impression that she was a martial arts fighter.”

Miyu says that she thought it would be interesting to fight her one day, whether it was under regular pro wrestling rules or special rules. She says that Rosa is the AEW champ right now, but she wants to fight her regardless of that. (They actually translated part of this one on twitter, presumably the work of Mr. Haku!)

Regarding her scheduled match with Willow, Miu said that this will be her first singles match with a foreign wrestler, so she’s really nervous, but will try her best to at least be able to make a self-introduction, like “hello”. Willow has a great smile and amazing power, so she wants to see how much she can do against her. (There’s a translation of part of this as well.)

During the actual show, Miu had a pretty fun match with TJPW’s newest rookie, Juria Nagano. Juria, whose match count is still in the single digits, naturally got crushed. Afterward, Juria said something that confused me both in the recap and in the tweet caption :sweat_smile:. From the tweet: “すごい怪力とパワーというイメージだったけど、闘ってみると本当に怪力すぎてどうすることもできなくて気づいたら上にいたり回されてたりした.”

Here is my very uncertain translation attempt: “She gave the impression of amazing superhuman strength and power, but when I tried to fight her, I realized that she was truly so powerful that there was nothing I could do when I was in the air or being spun around.”

Regarding Juria, Miu said that she assessed her as they fought, and she felt strong. This part of the sentence was a little tricky: “いろんなわらじを履いてますけど、プロレスラーとしても一人前というか、まずは勝ちから狙っていってほしいので.” That first part seems to be a saying that’s similar to “she wears many hats”, so that’s what I went with. Miu says that Juria wears many hats, but she’s a fully fledged pro wrestler. Or rather, for now, she wants her to aim for victory. She wants Juria to keep striving forward, and keep taking on challenges in wrestling.

Those are the matches covered in the recap, but as always, there are some fun details in the undercard that didn’t make it into the highlights.

Arisu Endo and Kaya Toribami was a fun rookie match because neither of them had won a singles match yet. I was surprised to see Kaya take the win here!

I spent a long time trying to figure out Kamiyu and Mahiro’s comments. They seem to be changing their tag team name from Toyo University? My translation disagrees with what the Dramatic DDT blog went with, so I could be wrong about this, but I think their new team name is 東洋盟友 (Toyo + sworn friend), except instead of the word being read 東洋(とうよう)盟友(めいゆう), it’s 東洋(トーヨー)盟友(メイト)? Dramatic DDT romanized it as Toyo Meiyu, but I think that’s wrong :sweat_smile:. I think they’re playing a bit with the reading of 友 and making a small pun. I translated it as “Toyo Mates”, haha, because the plural worked better in English. I could be completely wrong about this, though! But I tried listening to their comment and heard Mahiro mention something about kanji, and it sounded like she was saying トーヨーメイト.

I was completely lost with this line: “うちらタッグ名をボヤっとさせてんじゃん.” Could not figure out what she was saying at all, haha.

One of my favorite matches in the show was the threeway “love triangle” match between Pom Harajuku, Yuki Aino, and Raku. The match involved Pom trying to turn Yuki’s crush on Raku into an advantage for Pom by bribing Yuki into teaming with her against Raku by offering her a Raku photobook. Naturally, the comments for this one were pretty golden.

Yuki said that she managed to get a not-for-sale photobook, and Pom said she obtained it through a special route. Yuki said that she only did this out of love for Raku, so she’d like to apologize. Then Raku asked if she’d rather have the photobook than the person herself, and Yuki tried to deny it.

Hikari Noa and Maki Itoh’s comments were also really funny. The two of them are really similar people in a lot of ways, but cannot stand each other, and never get along when they’re on a team together.

Hikari said that she has a lot of respect for Itoh, and she’s sorry that she was paired with a champion and lost. Then Itoh said that it was also her own fault for not making the save at the end. Then Hikari said that everything she just said is a lie, and she doesn’t like Maki Itoh very much. (Itoh’s expression after that was pretty good, haha).

I wasn’t entirely confident about translating this: “でも最後にカットいけなかったのも伊藤の責任だから” as “But it’s also Itoh’s fault for not making the save at the end”, but that seems to be how they use the word カット in the match recaps (i.e., breaking up a pin attempt). At least, I think?

And those are all of the highlights from this show! I’m going to work on the press conference translation next, and hopefully will at least get that one done before the big show, even if I don’t quite manage to finish the VOD translations before then.

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I think the “for the most part” is fine (I’m glad I don’t have to translate so many sentences!) but one really minor quibble I’d take is I’d remove “raw.” “raw ability” connotes to me like, your baseline capability before training, including untapped potential. Whereas 実力 connotes to me like, your actual, practical ability to get something done. In Arai’s position, a lot of her problem is her ability is still too raw! And so yours sounds to me a little bit like even if she trained she’d still be outclassed in terms of raw ability, while I don’t get that from hers.

Looking at this and the translation they posted, I don’t think DeepL has steered you right.
武闘派 did not seem like “martial arts fighter” to me so I searched around some and found this bit on the wikipedia page for “heel”:

武闘派ヒール
レスラーのキャラクターや立ち位置ではなく、ファイトスタイルに基づいた分類で、ラフファイトや反則技、場外乱闘や過激で危険な技といった技術・行為を積極的に取り入れて戦うレスラーのこと。

And Weblio has:

相手と妥協せず、暴力・武力を用いて自分の主張を貫こうとする考えの人。

So I think she’s saying that Thunder Rosa fights roughly and forcefully, basically.

The other part, 総合, is I think where their translation took got the MMA connection, because it’s presumably 総合 as in 総合格闘技, i.e. MMA.

In the video her construction is a bit more clear, super roughly: she heard about her and how she did MMA → saw her fight in TJPW → dang yeah, やっぱり, she’s a forceful and strong fighter

I’d put it more like along the lines of “as soon as I realized there was nothing I could do, I was in the air being spun around”
The 気づいたら the state preceding 上にいたり回されてたりした.
Perhaps she was putting it together right about here :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

No yeah, you’re right. In the tweet, when it says “東洋盟友(トーヨーメイト)”, that’s how readings are often clarified in text where furigana would be not possible or not ideal, in places like a tweet or a magazine article or subtitles. And yes, in the video she spells out the kanji she wants.

I think she’s just saying their tag name has gotten vague/unclear. Like are they Team Toyo University, just Toyo University, or what - that kind of thing. So she was thinking of refreshing it with a clearer name that’s definitely theirs (but with 東洋 still involved of course), and Mahiro provides the new name idea.
Kamiyu says something right after this line that seems like a small joke - I can’t super duper make it out but I think it’s something like “the school’s name is unclear too so it can’t be helped but still” and if so, there’s this line at the top of Toyo’s wikipedia page and maybe that’s what she’s referring to?

大学の略称は東洋(とうよう)であるが、一部では洋大(ようだい)も使用されている。

yep!
image

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Finished translating the TJPW press conference from June 22! It wasn’t actually that much, but when you’re as slow as I am, it’s a lot :sweat_smile:. Here’s the transcript for the tag title match (and the video), and here’s the transcript for the Princess of Princess title match (and the video).

I’ll start with the tag match.

Saki’s… entire first comment confused me, pretty much :sweat_smile:. Here’s what she said: “後楽園で試合をした後、優希ちゃんにリング上で(耳打ちで)タッグのベルトに挑戦してみたいと告げられまして。見え方としては自分も背中を押したという。自分もTwitterで“ケツ持ってあげるから”とは言ったんですけど。自分自身、それで奮い立たせられたところもあります。頑張ればベルトを獲れる相手でもないってことは分かってます。でも、自分自身このベルトに初めて挑戦するので、荒井選手と私の覚悟をちゃんと形にして、ベルトを腰に巻きたい」とキッパリ.”

She said that after their match at Korakuen, Arai whispered in her ear and said that she wanted to challenge for the tag belts. I spent a long time trying to figure out “見え方としては自分も背中を押したという”, and my best attempt was: “From her performance, you can see that I pushed her.” Then she said that she also said on twitter, “ケツ持ってあげるから”. I spent some time on google trying to figure out how to translate ケツ持つ. I ended up going with “I’ll clean up your messes.”

My attempt at “自分自身、それで奮い立たせられたところもあります” was “I myself was encouraged by that.” Then “頑張ればベルトを獲れる相手でもないってことは分かってます” confused me. I think she’s saying: “I understand that if you work hard, it won’t be your opponent who wins the belt.”?

Putting it all together, this was what I had:

After our match at Korakuen, Arai-chan whispered in my ear in the ring and said that she wanted to challenge for the tag belts. From her performance, you can see that I pushed her. I also said on twitter, ‘I’ll clean up your messes.’ I myself was encouraged by that. I understand that if you work hard, it won’t be your opponent who wins the belt. But even so, this is my first time challenging for these belts, so I want to make sure that Arai and I are in good shape so that we can wind those belts around our waists.

Arai’s comment was a little easier. She said that she’s a 後輩 after all, and she’s surrounded by wonderful 先輩 who have made her into a professional wrestler. But this kind of environment doesn’t last forever. Even while working in SKE48, she’s felt that. In this way, she feels blessed to be able to challenge for the titles with Saki, her lovely senpai, at a time when Yuka and Mizuki are holding the belts. She’s going to seize this opportunity, surpass her strongest senpais, and take another step up to the next level. Winning the belt is not her final goal, and there is so much more she wants to do. But as just one part of the process, she hopes to win the belt with Saki.

Mizuki said that protecting the belts from 享楽共鳴 gave her confidence. She said that she’s really happy to fight Arai, who battles on in difficult circumstances, and Saki, whose 戦ってる所作とか she likes (how to translate this? I went with “fighting performance” but felt a little weird about it :sweat_smile:). Then Mizuki said “求めていたのはこんなスラッとした方じゃないので”. I think this says: “But I wasn’t looking for opponents this slender.”?

The next line was so confusing, I’m sure the transcript has to be leaving something out. She said: “2人から守ったら、もうちょっとペちゃんとした人と戦いたいと思う.” I think this says: “If we defend against these two, I want to fight someone a little more ペ.” But I couldn’t figure out ペ at all, so I think it’s either a reference I don’t get or there’s something missing here.

Mizuki goes on to say that she has lots of dreams for the future, and in order for MagiRabbi to become even bigger, she wants to defend the belts all over the world and the universe, so she can’t lose them.

Yuka said that she thinks the tag belts are distinguished by having a wide variety of matches (I definitely agree with this!). Then she said something that made me laugh: “望んでたのは三頭身で、実際に来たのは十頭身くらいある人間で.” I think this says: “What I wanted was someone who was three heads tall, and what we actually got was a human being that was ten heads tall.”

She says, even so, she thinks they’ll be able to have matches with a lot of variety. So to start with, they’ll take down these two high profile people. (I was torn on how to translate “注目度の高い2人”, but ended up going with “high profile” because both meanings of the word (physically tall and also big in popularity) seemed to fit).

The interviewer asked them what to look out for in the opposing team, and Saki said that Yuka and Mizuki seem to be really close in their private lives. They’ve defended the belts a number of times, and have that kind of bond, whereas this next match will be the third for Saki and Arai. So she thinks they need to get to know each other better. But since they don’t really have time for that, she thinks MagiRabbi will be very formidable enemies. But then, she thinks challenging tough enemies is precisely what makes a pro wrestler.

Yuka made me laugh again with this: “見た目から分かる通り、手足の長さが私たちと特に違う点。その手足をどう攻略していくのかが、私たちの見せどころでもあります.” My translation: “As you can tell from their appearance, there is a big difference between the length of their limbs and ours.” She said that how they’re going to attack those limbs is what they’ll show, and that will be the key in terms of how this develops.

Arai’s answer was a little confusing. She said: “未知数な部分が多いと思いますし、2人でプライベートでお話ししたりとか全くないので知らないところが多いんですけど。だからこそ可能性は無限大だと思うので.”

Here was my attempt: “I think there are a lot of unknowns. The two of us don’t talk in our private lives at all, so there’s just a lot that I don’t know. I think there are infinite possibilities.”

And that’s it for the tag title match!

For the Rika vs Shoko portion, Rika starts off by saying that she was really happy when Shoko became champion at Ryogoku Kokugikan. She wondered what kind of champion road she was going to walk, and she wanted to watch the whole rote. But she also wants the belt. She’s not going to go back on her declaration that she is going to be the champion who blooms a second time, who blooms out of season.

Then she said: “せっかく夢の舞台で戦えるので、今まで見たことがないような中島翔子の顔を見たいなって思うし、気持ちにもさせたい。私も自分が見たことない自分に出会うような試合がしたいと思ってます.”

Both sentences here confused me :sweat_smile:. Here was my attempt: “Since I will be fighting on this long-awaited dream stage, I want to see a side of Shoko Nakajima that has never been seen before, and I want to make her feel the same way. I also want to have a match where I encounter a version of myself that I have never seen before.”

Shoko talked about having experienced title matches at big venues. She feels like TJPW is gaining momentum, and she is as well. There are more wrestlers challenging from overseas, and she has a strong desire to be at the forefront of this momentum. Defending the title against Yuka at CyberFight Fest was one of her goals, but what she wants more than achieving this is to become even stronger. She aims to be a champion who’s constantly progressing.

This part was a bit confusing: “積み重ねた回数が力になると思ってるので、常に新しい自分を、レベルアップしていく自分を見ていただきたい。戦っていく選手にも、常に新しい自分と戦ってほしいと思ってます。その勢いの先頭に立ちたい気持ちは、リカも一緒だと思ってます.”

Here was my attempt:

I think my strength is in everything I’ve accumulated, so I hope you will always see me becoming someone new and rising to the next level. I also want the wrestlers who I’m fighting to always be facing a new me. I think Rika is the same in that she also wants to be at the forefront of this momentum.

Shoko finishes by saying that she believes they’re going to fight with that same feeling of wanting to make TJPW bigger, so she’s really looking forward to it.

The interviewer asks them about their impressions of their opponent. I really liked Rika’s answer, haha. She said that she thinks Shoko wrestles in a model way, or rather, she wrestles beautifully. From the perspective of both a wrestler and the audience, Rika thinks that Shoko has become a very good wrestler.

The paragraph leaves us with this line that I especially enjoyed: “そのきれいなプロレスをする中島翔子を崩してやるって気持ちです」とニヤリ.” My translation: “‘I am going to destroy Shoko Nakajima, who does such beautiful wrestling,’ she said with a grin.”

Shoko started off by saying that she likes Kamen Rider Hibiki (at which point, I immediately braced myself for having to go down another google hole. But thankfully, she took pity on me this time :sweat_smile:). Shoko said that when you hit a wall, the only solution is your own strength and discipline. She likes that kind of style, and she thinks that’s how she sees it.

She used to think that Rika had a really reliable style, or rather her style was to steadily run down her opponent and get the victory. But these days, Shoko doesn’t know what she’s thinking. But Shoko thinks that’s Rika’s strength.

Then Shoko said: “思いつかないことをしてくるところ。私は教科書通りが好きだったりするので。リカはそれをぶち破ってくるというか、そこが一番の脅威であり、理解しがたいところでもあります.”

Lots of small things I was unsure on. Here was my translation:

She does things that I would never have thought of. I benefit from following a textbook. Rika is going to smash right through that, so I should say that is the biggest threat, and that’s what I find hard to understand.

The next question concerns the fact that this will be the first time the two of them have fought for the title. Rika said that she wanted to fight Shoko with the belt on the line, of course, so she has continued with her pro wrestling career until now. It surely means a lot for them to clash in their ninth year. She thinks this is the moment for her to surpass Shoko and hold the belt in her hand.

Shoko said: “ベルトが懸かっていてもいなくても、リカとの試合は楽しめてたと思うんです.” This one was a little hard for me, but according to DeepL, she said: “I think I would have enjoyed this match with Rika whether or not the belt was on the line.” Shoko says that’s because Rika is strong. This time, there is a feeling of anticipation as well.

The rest of her comment was very tricky :sweat_smile:. She said: “同い年で同じくらいの時期にプロレスと出会って、東京女子に入って。人生の中で青春みたいなのを、同じ時間プロレスに対して向いてきたみたいなところはあると思うんです。このタイミングで自分がチャンピオンなのは、これを守っていく上で、防衛ロードの先にリカとも絶対戦いたいと思っていたので。いずれ来るだろうと思っていた試合です.”

The first three sentences all gave me trouble. Here was my attempt:

We discovered pro wrestling around the same time when we were about the same age, and we joined TJPW. We were facing the springtime of our youth, and were wrestling at the same time. I am champion at this time, and I am going to defend this, because I definitely wanted a match with Rika ahead of my road of defenses. I knew this match would come eventually.”

And that’s the end of the press conference! At least, that’s the end of the transcripts. I’m going to get started immediately on the (much shorter) translations for the VOD shows, but I’m not confident I’ll get them done before the big show on the 9th.

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I think her main point is about resolve and where it’s coming from given that Arai just asked her to do this.
My take on the train of thought is like this (not meant to be a direct translation since I don’t mind being able to get away without writing those, ふふふ):

  1. After the match Yuki told me she wanted to challenge for the belts.
  2. It probably looked like I was also pushing her into it - like I said all confidentially on Twitter that I’d push her forward and take responsibility.
  3. But part of that was also to rouse my own confidence.
  4. I know Magical Sugar Rabbits aren’t the kind of opponents where as long as you just try your best, you’ll win the belts.
  5. But it’s my first time challenging for this championship, and so I want to make sure Arai and I are fully resolved and ready to wrap those belts around our waists.

It’s one of those ones that’s just kind of difficult to pick fully apart for no obvious reason. But I think that’s roughly what she’s saying.

I would try to help here, but I confess I’d just be pondering the same dictionary entries and brainstorming English phrases I’m sure you would be!

There’s not exactly anything missing in the transcript, other than her tone of voice and gestures which help a lot here. She says it like this: *ペちゃん*とした人 with a downward hand gesture like she’s squishing someone down. Yuka laughs at it too. So it’s connecting with the comment about these challengers being too tall and slender, she hopes the next ones are more compact! (watch it be 東洋盟友…)

Ooh, nice one!

I would tweak it slightly and say something like:
"The two of us don’t talk in our private lives at all, so there’s a lot that we don’t know about each other. But to me that just means there are infinite possibilities!”
The こそ in だからこそ is the connective tissue that signals the rhetorical shift like “here’s a potential negative → but that exactly is actually our main strength, here’s how!” that may have been what made it confusing if you missed it.

A minor quibble, but I think what she says is more along the lines of like, a principle or rule of thumb like “there’s strength in numbers, so” or “the more defenses you have the stronger you get, so” so like, strength generally comes from the number of 回 that accumulate. Rather than what she specifically has accumulated so far in the past, if that makes sense.

Haha, I’d say this part is more like “I like to do things by the book.” A turn of phrase, not a literal 教科書!

I would put this part more like “with my being champion now, and having to defend this belt, I knew for sure I wanted a match with Rika for it somewhere on the road ahead.”

A particular piece I’d point out is I believe 防衛ロードの先 would be more like the road of defenses ahead (or you know, more literally, “the part of my road of defenses that’s ahead of me”) than “ahead of my road of defenses”, as illustrated by for example the first google image result for “道の先”:
image

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Got a bit distracted by, uh, other news last night, but I miraculously managed to get both VOD show translations (almost) done! I haven’t really looked much at the match recap portions, though, since I prioritized the actual comments from the wrestlers. If I find anything notable or confusing in the rest of the recaps, I’ll make another post about it later, haha.

First off, the June 25 show! Here’s the recap.

One of the fun things on this show was the team of three Yukis: Yuki Arai, Yuki Aino, and Yuki Kamifuku (Kamiyu). Little touches like that are part of why I love TJPW, because even on the road to one of their big shows, they’ll throw together a team purely just for the fun of the concept.

Yuki (Aino) gets the win here, but Yuki (Arai) gets a taste of what she’s going to be up against with Yuka.

Here are the post match comments for the Yukis. A fun touch that I loved is that whoever captioned this listed their names as 優希, ユキ, and ゆき instead of using their surnames, which is what it typically uses.

Yuki (Arai) comments that Yuka was there, and she was so powerful, and Yuki (Aino) says that she thinks it’s great that Arai fought her and didn’t lose. Yuki (Arai) says that in the two weeks that remain, she’s going to do her best to compete with Yuka in power as well as other areas. Then Yuki (Kamifuku) condescendingly says, “えらい! 花丸”. Basically, “Great! You get a gold star!” (花丸 was a fun new word to learn).

Saki wasn’t present for the preview matches. Arai said something that confused me a little bit: “不安ですけど、赤井さんが見た時に、組んでいけるって思ってもらえるように頑張ります.” My best attempt was: “I’m anxious, but I’m going to do my best so that when Akai-san sees me, she’ll think that we can work together.” I couldn’t quite figure out what to do with 組む here.

Before I looked at these comments, I thought there was probably not going to be anything especially interesting, since it’s just a small house show. Well, Rika proved me very wrong!

Here are her comments. I’m just going to post the whole caption and then my translation. I got a tiny bit of help already on one line.

リカ「もっと中島翔子には辰巳リカで頭のなかいっぱいにさせたくて。もっと夢中にさせたいって思ってます。7・9はメロメロ…ではないな。虜にさせたいと思ってます。その上で、狂い咲き。タッグのベルトも取りにいきたいと思っているので、見といてください」

Rika: “I want to completely fill up Shoko Nakajima’s head with Rika Tatsumi. I want her to be more obsessed with me. She’s… not exactly head over heels about July 9, huh? I want to make her a prisoner of love. And then, I will bloom crazily. I think we’re going to win the tag belts as well, so please keep your eye on me.”

My personal read on it is that she’s projecting a bit here. She’s hoping that Shoko falls for her the same way that she has fallen for Mizuki, because she knows just how debilitating that kind of love can be. Rika frequently loses the ability to think clearly in matches with Mizuki, especially when they’re tagging.

Naturally, the part actually quoted in the recap was not the fun part, haha. They managed to break up her comment in such a way that it really confused me, though. Lots of grammar I’m still not that familiar with.

Here was the paragraph that really confused me:

「前哨戦はすべて勝つで全勝戦」としてやったりの辰巳。足攻めも「いけちゃうんじゃないかと思った」と手応えを掴んだ様子。「中島翔子を虜にさせた上で狂い咲く」と辰巳ワールドで完全凌駕しての頂点取りを狙う。一方の中島は「しっかり辰巳リカに向き合って防衛したい」とコメントした。

And then my very unsure translation:

Tatsumi managed to “achieve a complete victory by winning every single preview match.” She also achieved a good effect with her leg attacks, saying, “I thought I could do it.” She is aiming to reach the summit by perfectly surpassing Shoko Nakajima in Tatsumi’s world, saying “I will make Shoko Nakajima a prisoner of love, and then bloom crazily”.

Shoko’s comments were a pretty hilarious contrast. She said: " 次のタイトルマッチにちゃんと向き合えてたかを今日は思い知らされたというか。私は辰巳リカにしっかり向き合えてたのかどうか、すごく反省しました。気持ちを切り替えて、しっかり辰巳リカに向き合って大田区での防衛に向けて全力でいきたいと思います."

I think this is what she said?

“Today made me ask if I was facing my next title match properly. Or I should say, I reflected a lot on whether or not I was facing Rika Tatsumi the right way. I’m going to renew my preparation, face Rika Tatsumi properly, and use all of my power to defend the belt at Ota Ward.”

And that’s it for that show!

The other show was the next day, on the 26th. Here’s the recap for that one.

The highlight in this show was Maki Itoh and Miyu Yamashita teaming up again for the first time in a while. Here’s how the recap summed up their comments. It made me do a bit of a double take:

試合後、伊藤は「地元でタッグタイトルやったら勝てるんじゃない?」と色気を見せ、山下は久々のタッグ結成に「私は離れていても好きだから」とキッパリ伝えるも、伊藤からは「いいです、そういうの。やめてください」と一蹴されていた。

After their match, Itoh said that if they fight for the tag titles in their hometown, they could win, couldn’t they?

Then, uh, と色気を見せ. I definitely misread this part as “showing her sexual(/romantic?) interest”, though I don’t think this is the intent :sweat_smile:. I’m blaming the fact that I added 色気 to my Anki deck initially in a Pheromones context.

Then Miyu tells her, “I love you even when we’re apart.” But Itoh brushed her off. I translated her response as: “Okay, that kind of thing. Please don’t do that.”

(This is not the first time that Miyu has told Itoh she loves her, and it is also not the first time that Itoh has responded like this.)

I watched their comments, but didn’t gleam much more out of it, unfortunately. This is one of those times where I really wish my listening comprehension was better :sweat_smile:. But, well, I’ll take what I can get.

I was a little confused by their first few lines quoted in the tweet. Miyu said: “普段はタッグとしての意識があんまりないね?” I translated this very uncertainly as: “You’re normally not very conscious of being a tag team, are you?”

Itoh responded: “何かを一緒にやろうとするのが常じゃないから。やろうとすればできる、みたいな.” My (also uncertain) translation was: “Because trying to do something together is not the usual state of things. If we try, we can do it, right?”

The other match covered in the recap was the last preview match for the tag title match.

Arai said: “今日初めてマジラビさんの連係を受けてしまったんですけど、いろんな連係があるのは強いなと改めて思いました.” I think this means, roughly: “Today was the first time I was subjected to MagiRabbi-san’s tag team moves, and I was once again reminded that it’s powerful to have so many tag team maneuvers.” (Here’s the comment video on twitter for posterity.)

Arai also announced that she and Saki have new tag team moves. She said that they have tag team moves that MagiRabbi still don’t know about, moves that only Saki and her can do. She also vowed, “私たちの未知数で無限大な可能性を大田区でしっかり出して勝ちます.” This is another one where I think the main struggle I had was trying to word it in English. This is what I went with: “With all of our hidden secrets, we’re going to show our infinite possibility at Ota Ward.”

Yuka commented that Arai has guts and a competitive spirit, so she wonders how she’ll be with Saki. Then she said: “自信も持ってくるとうざい部分がある.” This is where I got lost :sweat_smile:. DeepL said: “There’s a part of me that’s annoyed at the confidence she’s bringing.” This made sense in context and sounded like something she’d say, but I couldn’t figure out where it was getting “annoyed” from. I couldn’t figure out とうざい.

Mizuki said she’s never had a match with both Saki and Arai, so she wonders how it’ll go. According to the caption on twitter, she also said that they have to go to space, so they’re going to defend these belts.

And that’s it! I’ve translated nearly 9,000 characters in the past week, and I am very tired :sweat_smile:. Excited for the show tomorrow/today, though!

Thank you again for all of your help, rodan! You’ve done so much to help me improve my Japanese and also get more out of TJPW, and you’ve helped a handful of other people also understand these storylines.

I’ll get a tiny break after this next show, so I won’t be posting nearly as many things in a row, then the Tokyo Princess Cup is going to start :sweat_smile:. I doubt I’ll be able to get those translations done in time at all, but we’ll see.

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組む is commonly used in wrestling for starting (or being in, in ている form of course) a tag team together. Like “to team,” say.
So “組んでいける” is like, “teaming with her could work.”

Yeah I wouldn’t really know the exact connotations either, but I suppose here it’s describing her brightening expression when she talks about that part here:

image

Weblio for 色気 has as one of the definitions “愛嬌(あいきょう)。愛想。おもしろみ。風情。”, so I suppose “色気を見せる” could be understood as like, “to show charm.” Though other definitions include “異性に対する関心や欲求。色情。”, “人をひきつける性的魅力。” and " 女性の存在。女っ気。" so I suppose the connotation would be particularly the kind of charm a (presumed) heterosexual man might fight attractive.

In any case – I don’t think your misreading of “showing her sexual(/romantic?) interest” would be correct - if it were sexual (which it doesn’t seem like it is here) I think it would be more like “eliciting sexual(/romantic?) interest.” Based on the definitions quoted, and how 色気 to me makes me think of like, male narrators describing a female character in a book like, doing anything, and being all “dang that was full of 色気” (which makes it seem like potentially a mildly sexist way to describe a woman being innocuously excited something but hey who knows).
So like - Pheremones for example would be associated with 色気 because they unabashedly want the audience to be attracted to them, not because they’re attracted to the audience, for example.

In any case, coincidentally in the Kenoh column I read today he was talking about a mixed tag match where he kicked Mayu Iwatani and he complimented her selling (as everyone does) like this:

思いっきり蹴ってやったぞ。でも、岩谷ってやられっぷりがいいんだよ。やられてる姿に色気があるのはすごい。アレは練習じゃ身に着かない。プロレスラーとして天性の才能があるよな。

So I would assume/hope from that that the connotations are not inherently at all sexual :sweat_smile:

Not gonna try to transcribe or translate directly since I’m not super good at that either, but I think I can understand the general point of each thing they say and I think seeing that flow would help clarify what they’re saying better than it being squished together with the unrelated other part of the interview
(there’s a cut in the video after the part about teaming in their hometwon).

Interviewer: It’s been a long time since you two tagged.
Both: yeah, it has!
Interview: Did any gap or anything like that form between you two because of that?
Both: Nope!
Yamashita: well we fought at least, in America and stuff
Itoh: Yeah! We’ve had matches as enemies so it’s been a really long time since we were allies.
Yamashita: it doesn’t really feel like it’s been a long time though! After all we don’t really think of ourselves as tag partners normally, probably. (seems a little embarrassed for a second before Itoh responds because she might have just over assumed Itoh didn’t feel they were partners either)
Itoh: yeah we don’t usually invite each other to do stuff together huh
Yamashita: When we do come together we click
Itoh: yeah, like if the impetus is there, it’ll go well
(uh oh things really speed up from here so my comprehension is no longer at the level of understanding the full train of thought, and the part you asked directly about is already covered. Oh well, might as well keep going)
Yamashita: (starting to switch gears to talk about her feeling close to Itoh)
Itoh: ah I see where this is going
Yamashita: (the part you said about loving Itoh despite the distance)
Itoh: (the part you said about cutting it out)
Yamashita: (does a derisive impression of Itoh denying love)
Itoh: (complains about saying stuff like that in front of the cameras)
Both: (intense bickering)
Yamashita: (making a strong point about something? I think like about, complaining because she insists Itoh wrote her true feelings in a magazine column or something? Something like that maybe. There’s a couple key words I don’t understand but would be curious to know what they were)
Itoh: (whispering now, something about Shupro, the magazine, I think - like either they’re here so don’t say it in front of them or maybe the thing Yamashita was talking about was in there, maybe.)
Yamashita: so it’s fine! If anything I should be the one complaining about what you’re saying in front of the cameras! you don’t have a leg to stand on!
Itoh: (something like “okay okay fine fine got it - I’ll go find (that word I don’t understand again) and write it down” – so perhaps the thing Yamashita was so insistent about is something more imaginary like a diary she insists Itoh is writing all her true feelings in or something like that)

Anyway again, take all that with a big grain of salt but hopefully that helps click those particular sentences into place at least! And if you didn’t catch it be sure to watch for Yamashita’s funny impression of Itoh!

Helping with these has helped me get used to looking for those useful recap pages in other promotions too and is it just me or should wrestling promotions post links to the video along with the recap!! Especially if it’s just a bunch of individual tweets!!! Am I just overlooking them or do they not do that at all?? in this case they’re at the end of the show linked on wrestle universe (albeit from a slightly different angle, oddly) but still

“… and win.” :slight_smile:

Bit of a hiragana traffic jam there for sure, but what if I broke it up like this:
自信も持ってくると
うざい部分がある.
or even, as Yuka does in the video, like this:
自信も持ってくると
ちょっと
うざい部分ありますね.
(hearty chuckle)
image

(the meaning provided by DeepL is fine here, though I’d clarify just in case that more literally, it’s like there’s an annoying part of Arai. But I suppose it’s more natural sounding in English and conveys the same thing the other way around)

No problem, happy to help and I’m among that handful, so thanks!

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週刊プロレス No.2182 (from early may, around the end of golden week)

In her column Giulia talks about wrestlers’ first victories, and her first victory in a wrestling match in particular, which was about 10 months into her career.
I mentioned previously that I especially like Giulia’s submission hold where she’s entirely off the ground and wrapped around her opponent’s shoulders - so it’s nice to know the name for it, and that she won her first match with it! It’s a move she received from her coach, Mio Shirai (note the M! Not Io!). It’s called the 蜘蛛の巣 and is a 飛びつき式変形卍固め.

There’s a very long El Desperado interview with interesting but hard to summarize stuff about New Japan’s junior scene. It sounds like Despy will namedrop and wish for matches with potential opponents even if it seems impossible to keep an inflow of outside wrestlers (like El Lindaman in the
BOSJ) into the division to keep it from going stale - like if I remember right Daisuke Sasaki gets mentioned here I think.
One particular oppoent in the BOSJ he has his eye on is Wheeler Yuta from AEW, describing him as a “スーパーシンデレラボーイ” because of his shooting up to superstardom after that one bloody match. He hopes to catch the attention of any AEW fans who’ll be watching their match with curiosity because of that.

El Lindaman is also interviewed and he says that there’s a lot of fans who are passively aware of and interested in promotions outside of New Japan but don’t get around to checking them out, and by being in the BOSJ he hopes to be that impetus to turn that passive attention into active attention for GLEAT.

In Naito’s column he looks back at dome matches with Okada.
It sounds like he’s getting or had gotten (I forget) annother surgery on his right eye. He’d been developing symptoms again for a while since about a year after the first surgery but got used to it and put off correcting it, saying that part of the reason he didn’t wear a mask during his entrance at the '21 dome show was because he was worried about visibility and the steps on the entrance ramp (which I remember him saying in a previous column so the added information about the eye symptoms contributing to that concern is an interesting new detail).
He says his goal is still to main event next year’s Tokyo Dome so he can finally say “デ・ハ・ポン!” there (I recall KENTA cut him off last time…)

Kenoh’s column is about how he’s appearing in the Hana Kimura memorial show. He says that he and Kyoko Kimura are very good friends and he admires her and is eager to support her in her cause - he would have been in the last memorial show but NOAH schedules conflicted. Apparently they’re such close friends that people who knew them both (including the interviewer) assumed they were dating, but Kenoh insists they weren’t, but pre-pandemic they would go for drinks 2-3 times a week, or go mountain climbing together , and get in touch when they had free time.
He talks about an interesting sounding match Kimura put together around the time Hana debuted, where Kenoh teamed with Syuri against Mayu Iwatani and Masaaki Mochizuki! Which is where the compliment towards Mayu’s selling that I quoted in my last post showed up.

Big Japan really lives up to the name huh!

The history column is kind of interesting, mostly for trivia I didn’t know about.
It concerns the name MSGシリーズ, which is apparently the name New Japan used from 1978-1982 for their tournament league (previously called ワールドリーグ戦, the same as the former JWA’s similar tournament) competing with All Japan’s Champion Carnival.
The name is apparently directly related to securing WWWF head Vince McMahon Sr. and his employed wrestlers for New Japan away from All Japan, as WWWF was based heavily around Madison Square Garden and events with “MSG” in the name had been held in Japan by it and All Japan because of that.
Looks like (switching to reading wikipedia in curiosity) in 1983, MSGシリーズ would be renamed to IWGPリーグ戦 along with the establishment of the IWGP name, and Hulk Hogan would become the first original IWGP championship, which would be defended specifically in these tournaments.
In 1987 those tournaments stopped and the IWGP Heavyweight championship was reintroduced as a more normal championship starting the lineage that ran to 2021, with Inoki as the first champion.
And in 1991 tournaments began under the G1 Climax name.
So there’s some trivia for you!

There’s an interview with Yuma Aoyagi following his Champion Carnival victory. apparently after beating Jake Lee he casually floated the idea of them forming a team together, with him leaving Nextream and Lee leaving Total Eclipse (but I’d be skeptical Lee would go for it).
He says he wants to make All Japan audiences laugh, and being a big Marvel fan, compares himself to a funny, maybe-hero, maybe-villain like Deadpool rather than a Captain America or Batman type.
I would ask who in the world picked the poses for the photoshoot, but I have a sneaking suspicion he did himself…


image

There’s an interview with Jungle Kyona ahead of her exhibition match at the Hana Kimura memorial!
It sounds like she’s doing well in her office job. She says that while she was recovering from her injury, her “心のバランス” crumbled, and she had trouble eating or sleeping without medication. So realizing the situation needed to change, she looked for work and through a connection started as a secretary and driver for a 社長 of a marketing company, but quickly clicked with it and got involved more with management and the marketing side and now her title is apparently “秘書部長と、スポンサー・マーケティングループのマネジャー.” She says that she’s the type who needs to be active and moving, so having something to be busy with at the new job immediately made a world of difference from not being able to have matches while injured.
When it came time to choose between Stardom and her fulltime job, her heart said the office job, but she makes clear she still loves Stardom: “退団した今でもスターダムへの愛情は、誰にも負けない自負はあります。”
She talks some about Hana and says that shortly before her passing during the pandemic, Hana stayed with Kyona when her outlook was turning negative and her condition seemed dangerous. But once things seemed to settle, Hana went back to her own apartment to take care of her cat.
Kyona’s strongest memory of Hana is going to see the 桜 bloom with her, and she says all wrestlers who had a connection with her carry her legacy in some way and fulfill the ambitions she had.
It sounds like injury flare ups threatened Kyona’s appearance at either this or the previous memorial show, but she plans to have an exhibition match with an opponent she’ll name at the show who “will be in the building” and “is an important part of this start of (Kyona)'s second wrestling life” (which looking at who it was, yeah lol clearly no lie there).
Included is an awfully bittersweet photo of her and Hana at an audienceless match in 2020, and her with her trunks with “87” on them in honor of Hana (you know, “ハナ”)


image

In Tenryu’s column he talks about Satoshi Kojima being set to challenge for the GHC belt in NOAH. He says it’s a relief when a wrestler makes a jump like that and audiences respond to his theme music, and that Kojima looks way younger than his age of 51, speculating that mentality makes more of a difference to wrestlers’ apparent age than the physical. He speaks harshly about wrestlers like Kojima (until now), Nagata, and Tenzan being left on the sidelines to obediently age and retire “like chihuahuas” putting it rather poetically this way: 会社の隅に追いやられて、春先の氷柱みたいに気づけば闘志が溶けてるなんて、そんなのなんのためにプロレスやってるかわらかないよ。
He says Kojima gets that and knows it may be his last chance to appeal to the wrestling world at large, as shown by for example, his arriving in a NOAH t-shirt rather than a New Japan one. Tenryu hopes he will win the title and help revitalize NOAH and show change is coming.
He also talks about Ohtani’s injury, saying that one takeaway is that we should recognize what pro-wrestling is, especially (kinda feels like he spins into an old guy ‘kids these days’ tangent here) pro wrestlers who take it lightly, saying wrestlers surely don’t get to practice taking bumps as rigorously as they used to and complaining about wrestlers being on their phones before matches.
He also talks a little about Great O-Khan and that certificate he got for saving that girl. Tenryu says that as an “悪役レスラー” he wondered about the best way to handle it, but he decided it would be best for O-Khan to use any fame and notoriety gained from news picking it up and ride that to get more attention. In a lesson by contrast, Tenryu says he didn’t do enough 名前を売る’ing when he made the jump from sumo so although there’s a character gap O-Khan shouldn’t have qualms with exploiting any attention turned his way from it.

There’s an understandable but funny typo in the WWE section.
(now I wonder if WWE would claim a trademark on this version…)

The short industry column is about Waka Tsukiyama and how her long quest for her first match win is drawing attention to her.
and the long industry column is about Saya Kamitani and her quick rise to the top with her current white belt championship run, her rivalry with Maika whose career is also 3 years, and how Kamitani now feels at home and acclimated fully to pro wrestling (she started as an idol).

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I completely agree that they should post the videos with the recap!! Predictably, as a librarian, I’m concerned about the, well, poor archival nature of most wrestling stuff. Tweets and youtube videos and such are just really intangible pieces of media, and it’s so easy for stuff to get lost…

I also would absolutely love for them to include full transcriptions, at the very least. NOAH actually does transcribe them on their own site. Every time I look at it, I’m jealous that TJPW doesn’t do the same :sweat_smile:.

Maybe I’m just a weird person who cares more about post-match comments than the average fan, but in my opinion, they’re pretty essential in order to fully follow all of the storylines… It’s strange to me that more companies don’t realize that. I know that most of them don’t have a dedicated translation team subtitling everything like NJPW does, but I feel like even just transcribing the text increases accessibility.

As far as the video uploads go, with TJPW at least, typically how it works is that shows that air live never have the comments included in the video, but the VOD shows do. I think it’s because the VOD shows are usually edited (they cut out time between matches and add in alternative camera angles and such), so they might as well add the comments in at the end.

I’m not sure why they’re usually filmed from a different camera, but I feel like I noticed the same thing with NJPW when I was still watching (the post-match comments that air live after the main event would be filmed with a different camera than the video of them that gets subtitled and uploaded later).

I sent the DDT site feedback (through their feedback form) in English asking if it would be possible for them to at least include full transcriptions of the comments, but (unsurprisingly?) did not receive a response. I think I’m going to try asking again in Japanese when my Japanese is better. I’ll ask if they could include the videos (or at least links to them) somewhere on the site, too.

That photo made me laugh, haha. Thanks for sharing all of this as always!

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週刊プロレス No.2183 (from mid May)

In Tanahashi’s column they get to talking about Best of the Super Jrs and their predictions for the tournament. Tana adroitly predicts El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the finals, with Despy taking the edge. The interviewer, タナ番, complains that’s too 本命ish to be a fun prediction, and himself picks SHO vs. Master Wato in the finals with SHO winning. Then Tana realizes that despite so many 外国人 wrestlers invited to the tournament neither put them in their finals predictions so he replaces Hiromu with Clark Connors in his (with Despy still winning) and then ends the column with a very good ダジャレ: 予想はよそう.

Wrestling factions are fun because you can take a photo with your friends after fighting them to decide who gets to be the leader.

In her column, Giulia chats with a former All Japan Women’s wrestler, Momoe Nakanishi (now Momoe Oe because she’s married to Makoto Oe who does commentary for stardom often, which is how Giulia set this up). One difference between her day and Giulia’s is career start and length was even quicker then - Giulia’s career is 5 years so far, while Momoe started at 16 and says she already was hitting the most fun peak around 5 years in. She also says that wrestlers then were very rough and set their own pace and timing that you just had to keep up with, while Stardom has an impressive variety. Giulia says she wonders sometimes if Stardom fans want “きれいなプロレス” but Momoe says since pro-wrestling’s a fight, Giulia shouldn’t change her style and if there weren’t wrestlers like her in Stardom it wouldn’t be interesting. They spar a little bit too, despite Momoe not having done it in ~17 years.

One tidbit in Kenoh’s column is he says he’s especially gonna lay into Simon Gotch because of his “奇抜な髪型”

There’s a long feature on Stinger but I confess I’m not very tuned into the jr. scene in NOAH so I didn’t read it very carefully…

I like this picture of 享楽共鳴 attempting to count their own fall!

There’s an interview with Ibuki Hoshi about her ambitions in Ice Ribbon in the wake of the many departures, as well as a short column from a reporter speculating on Ice Ribbon’s future. It sounds like, at least, Ice Ribbon has a number of younger wrestlers for whom the power vacuum will make for interesting 成長 stories in the coming months!

In Mutoh’s column they talk about Kojima showing up in NOAH and ramble for a while about wrestling generations - Kojima is part of the “第三世代” apparently, and it sounds like it goes: Three Musketeers (Mutoh, Chono, Hashimoto) → 第三世代 (Kojima, Tenzan, Nagata, Nakanishi) → Tanahashi and Nakamura’s generation.

Looks like they crucified an Ultraman in Michinoku Pro!
That sounds ridiculous but, genuinely, Ultraman gets crucified like, a lot in the actual shows so if anything by doing this they’re respecting the canon.

I appreciate the kanji… pun I guess you would call it? Going on in this Cyberfight Festival ad.

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週刊プロレス No.2184 (From late May)

There’s an interview with Ninja Mack (and/or Ninja Mac as it’s spelled in English here), an American wrestler recently signed to Pro Wrestling NOAH. He says he lives the “ninja lifestyle” and claims he wears his mask all the time, even at home, to the point luchadors would comment on it. He says he visited the Yokohama Gundam and get stopped by security for wearing a mask but he explained he was a NOAH wrestler and it was okay - so he’s glad Japan has respect for pro wrestling.

After his eye surgery, Tetsuya Naito’s been vacationing in northern Japan.
Naito seems like kind of an odd dude. He’s a longtime fan of New Japan, but never seems tremendously interested in watching other wrestler’s matches. But he’s a huge fan of wrestling venues – like there’s an inset in his column that every week spotlights Naito’s thoughts on a particular arena (which I haven’t mentioned just since there’s apparently been 133 of them and I mean, my depth where I would have any context on the subject would surely peter out at 5-10 tops), and so anyway he went to wrestling venues on his vacation, I guess just to look at them. And Hiromu was around, I guess because of the Best of the Super Jrs. tour and did not share Naito’s enthusiasm, but got a vending machine ice cream and left.
I don’t know a lot about Tetsuya Naito but I know he likes looking at professional wrestling venues and Hiroshima Carp games!

There’s a long Mayu Iwatani interview on the occasion of her getting a Stardom grand slam accomplishment completed with the SWA title victory! She’s now won all titles in Stardom, except Future of Stardom which she was never eligible for in its existence. She says they’ve gotten a lot of challenges come in already from people outside of Stardom who want to challenge her for the belt so she hopes to defend it against exciting challengers, but first - a space alien! She says she was worried about turning from アイコン to オワコン so it’s good to have a title belt to prove she deserves to be called an icon, especially with Stardom growing fast enough probably a lot of fans hardly have any impression of her with a belt.
One rough topic she talks about, is apparently she lost her memory during the match with Syuri at Ryogokukokugikan - it sounds like she hadn’t done a missile dropkick in a long time but broke it out there and just hit it not quite right, and ended up in that frightening state where her body was going 100% on autopilot and so no one noticed, but internally she was scrambled and doesn’t remember stuff leading up to the match. It was her first time something like that had happened to her (which the interviewer says is remarkable in and of itself given her pretty long career - oof) and it triggered a small return of her 脱走 tendency she talked about in her book, where she just went away for a week to settle down.
On the subject of Starlight Kid, Iwatani says in the end she’s glad SLK went to Oedotai since it’s brought out an 仕切り屋さん-ness that STARS wouldn’t have been able to provide and she regrets that - “なんかごめんね、とか思っちゃいますよね。” but she hopes fans remember MK Sisters and hope to see them again!

Giulia’s column is the second half of her chat with Momoe Nakanishi formerly from AJW. One interesting thing they share is that both of them performed at New Japan Tokyo Dome shows. Momoe’s was in 2002 and she says the main event was Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Masahiro Chono so she didn’t exactly feel like the star attraction. Giulia’s was in 2020 teaming with Hana Kimura and she talks about being nervous beforehand but Hana psyching her up.
The biggest lesson Momoe recommends for wrestlers today is to 楽しむ as she regrets not having fun with it as much as she should have in retrospect. Especially with the ease of access to negative comments to day, best to focus on what you enjoy. Giulia agrees and says her strategy sometimes is to write a reply to a negative comment and then erase it.

There’s also a long interview with Yuki Arai on the occasion of her one-year wrestling debut anniversary. She says with training included, her time spent on wrestling vs. idoling is probably about 50/50. Wrestling hasn’t distracted from being an idol, but idol shows were less frequent due to the pandemic and are ramping up now. She’s glad to see wrestling fans at SKE48 shows and vice versa.
There’s a number of places where she talks about being touched seeing other TJPW wrestlers (like getting teary-eyed on the train thinking about how cool Daisy Monkey were in their tag challenge match) and some interesting stuff where she considers the possibility of focusing on the tag division in the near future…
The accompanying photos are very cheesy. Is she gonna eat the cakes or not?!

There’s some interviews and impressions from mainly Zero-1 wrestlers talking about the Ohtani benefit show coming up – but I don’t really know very much about Zero-1 still. One part I do have context for is a page about Yuji Nagata and his thoughts – apparently Nagata and Ohtani debuted the same year for New Japan! Initially Nagata felt a bit jealous of Ohtani with his success in the junior division but that reversed when Nagata found success in the heavyweight division. Apparently Ohtani likes to drink and has a tendency to call Nagata late at night to come hang out - including once when a drunken Ohtani called Nagata but Nagata was on tour and was like “… I’m in America right now.”

There’s a short interview with Suzu Suzuki on the occasion of an upcoming deathmatch one-on-one against Prominence leader Risa Sera. She says she’s having the most fun of her career, and gets to do and think about pro wrestling all the time on totally her own terms. She’s gonna beat Risa Sera to show she’s at the top of women’s deathmatch wrestling. As for Stardom, she still has her sights set squarely on Giulia. She also heard that Yuki Mashiro said she wanted to fight her, and she was touched since it reminded her of when she was in Ice Ribbon and said she wanted to fight Giulia who left. Mashiro isn’t the type to be so brash like her so she wants to stoke that fire and convey the message, “anytime!”

And there’s also an interview with Risa Sera! In the past she had talked about retiring after a ten year career, and now the time has come and she’s having too good of a time with wrestling to stop. The #1 thing to change her mind would be meeting Suzu Suzuki and wanting to mentor her and see how she develops. When she started she didn’t think at all that she’d get so enamored with pro wrestling (apparently she started because of going for a part in an Ice Ribbon affiliated movie, go figure) but meeting deathmatch wrestling, and then meeting Suzu are why she’s stuck around so long and now she’d call it a 天職.

In Hideki Suzuki’s column he chats with Tsukushi about her retirment. He highly praises her technique.
He starts teasing her about the finality or non finality of her retiremnt asking if she’ll sell her ring attire and she says she’ll take it home to her parents, at which point he asks “have you heard of Atsushi Onita” (the joke being, Onita has “retired” many many times – I think he still has matches…). She says she isn’t fed up with pro wrestling, she loves it! But she’s 25 and has done nothing but wrestling. And she doesn’t want to be a 30 or 40 year old who doesn’t know how to do anything except wrestle. The interviewer asks if that’s a dig at Suzuki, but he retorts he was a postal worker for 8 years. If it’s really final, it may well be the last time she’s in the magazine and Suzuki says she’ll be a ヲカタ which is apparently sumo slang for someone outside the business (sounds similar to joking she’ll be a mark now).
The included picture reminds me how I have absolutely zero sense of scale at all for people I know about mainly because of these magazines. I vividly remember assuming Ram Kaicho was tall, for example…

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Well… this is going to be a long one. I should probably break out the Details tags…

Magazines:

週刊プロレス No.2185 (from end of May)

Giulia’s column is about Mai Sakurai and her growth and recent new look. Giulia says there may still be plenty to work on, and the 不器用 and 真面目 aspects of her personality aren’t naturally suited for pro wrestling, but she’s excited to train with her, and touched to see how not just her but all of DDM are making the mark on her growth and having their mentoring sides shine through, including the most junior, Maika. And it’s a freebie that Mai got Giulia a tag title shot by pinning Koguma! She thinks her growth and bravery shown so far will light a fire under rival newcomers as well, mentioning Momo Kogo seemed especially shaken and motivated after losing to Sakurai, who was her kouhai in Actwres.
Giulia’s parting comment is a reminder that Sakurai was won over to DDM via Giulia’s “attack her with sledgehammers while wearing scary masks” scheme: そう、そしてこの流れの起点になったのは。。。謎仮面だって事を忘れるなよ, 諸君(笑)。Good point, Giulia! Come to think of it, I wonder if that skeleton terrorizing Saya Kamitani into a coffin match is just Giulia using her patented communication skills to invite her to DDM…

Alex Zayne is interviewed, as he’s been participating in Best of the Super Jr.s and also making a lot of buzz for himself on twitter by documenting himself enjoying Japanese culture while on tour. He comes across very gregarious here. He was apparently a lifeling wrestling fan, starting with Jake Roberts, and being influenced by people like Hayabusa as a tape trader later on. He debuted at 18 in 2005. He briefly worked for WWE recently but sounds like he joined at the wrong time before everyone got fired and he presumably got caught in that, doing NJPW Strong since.
He apparently worked in social media marketing previously, but says the successful use of social media here is a coincidence, he’s just enthusiastic. He gets 日本語上手’d but says it’s machine translation plus some help from Despy. The interviewer also asks him why he’s so into Taco Bell, and it’s because they were the dependable option open late when he would go to the gym after work.

Tanahashi’s column is looking back on a busy May for him, with flying back and forth to America and whatnot. Apparently there was a press conference where Tomohiro Ishii was especially talkative and it turns into an Ishii-themed column for a moment with Tanahashi saying “ボクはいつも石井選手の試合はすごいなって尊敬心をもって見てるわけですよ。” I guess I’ve got something in common with Tanahashi after all!

In All Japan, it sounds like Suwama has regressed (it says losing memory but I don’t know if that’s metaphorical or a literal angle they’re running with) to when he was a heel in Voodoo Murders (which is a nice coincidence for me since it aligns perfectly with where I’m watching along with that Nakamura book), and the headline describes this in kind of a fun way: 諏訪魔は諏訪魔. Apparently he swapped out the last kanji when he joined Voodoo Murders originally, but never swapped back, so やっぱり…

In less heelish Suwama news, apparently he and Ishikawa are starting a women’s wrestling company called Evolution. It sounds like it will be owned or affiliated in some way with a talent agency called Status and/or All Japan. He doesn’t say who exactly he wants to apply or how many they’ll hire but they’re looking for women to apply who stand out, and can offer a well of experience and an intention to produce All Japan Pro Wrestling style women’s wrestling.
I wonder if this is their answer to like, NJPW and NOAH both having women’s companies now under the same corporate umbrella? Or if it’s a more independent thing? I remember seeing Suwama and Ishikawa turn up in I think an Ice Ribbon show producing matches or a show or something but don’t remember the context.

There’s a paid article with “記事広告” in the top corner (wonder if I’ve ever missed that in other articles?) about a company, CarBell, that’s apparently been sponsoring a bunch of wrestling shows. I think it just amounts to the guy who runs the company likes wrestling so it’s a bit of a vanity thing to get involved that way.
Oddly, it lists the services under the CarBell umbrella, and it’s like, a new car market service, a rentacar service, luxury cars, car subscription, and… in-home pet cremation??
I assume it’s some kind of set-up where you end up paying more for the car than you would otherwise, but I will say “コレCARラ” is a very good name for a “used car subscription” model.

There’s a nice fan drawing of Ibushi…

Kenoh in his column insists the theme this week be CyberFight Festival to advertise it, then immediately launches into a tangent complaining that Sanshiro Takagi did an ad on the back cover of the magazine 土下座’ing asking readers to sign up for Wrestle Universe… right before the site renewal and sign-ups would need to be redone. He also complains about DDT, saying again that it isn’t pro wrestling.

Daisuke Sasaki says in interview that Kenoh is a sad angry man with no friends and tells him to take his salary from Sanshiro Takagi quietly. People coming to CyberFight Festival are going to notice DDT is more interesting than NOAH after all.

In Shoko Nakajima’s interview she talks about how Yamashita and Sakazaki were two people she was always a step behind and so it means a lot to have this match against Sakazaki and overcome them in turn. She calls Yuka ユカッチ and when asked to slot her into her family metaphor (apparently she compared Miyu last time around to a younger brother) she says she’s like an older sister but close in age.
About possible challengers in the 4way match, she says Rika is 怪奇派 lately, and personally speaking she’d most like Miu Watanabe to be the next challenger since they spend a lot of time together in the dojo, but she’d be happy facing and defending against any of them.

There’s some good pictures from the Sera/Suzuki deathmatch. I’m just glad they’re having fun…
Apparently it was a draw, and they’re starting a 10 match series where Suzuki will prove her mettle and challenge Sera again afterwards. Sounds like a fun Prominence version of a similar multimatch deathmatch series Suzuki had in Ice Ribbon.
(WARNING: blood, violence)

Continuing to talk about the Third Generation in his column, Mutoh talks about how the generations after him didn’t really end up the main star of their own promotions the way lots of wrestlers in the past did or tried to do at various points, comparing it to the Edo period feudal principal 一国一城. He cites as examples Inoki, Riki Choshu, and Akira Maeda, and if I’m reading him right at least I can name non-New Japan examples from prior generations like Baba and Misawa off the top of my head too. He says – speaking from experience – it’s better for wrestlers now to not get into management - let the entertainment companies with lots of money deal with that.

In the only mention of the Ibushi situation I’ve caught to date, there’s a page recapping the New Japan press conference. I won’t cover it again, but one part I thought was interesting was the wording used to describe parts of Ibushi’s tweets: “内情を暴露するような内容も含む批判的な発言”

The shorter industry column is Maki Itoh recounting how she lost her phone and credit card in America and panicked. It sounds like they were likely stolen as she was getting out of a taxi at the airport. She went back to the hotel and had no way to contact anyone, but Excalibur found her and helped a ton to get everything sorted, and she managed to coincidentally run into Yuka who she was trying to meet at the airport so it all worked out. Thanks Excalibur!

I don’t really read the parts in the back of the magazine about like, free prizes you could win if you fill out a survey and stuff, but I off-handedly noticed a list of “よくなかった記事” that appears to be results of reader surveys for articles they didn’t like… and in every magazine I had lying around today, #1 is the WWE recap, #2 is the history column, and #3 is the fan art and photos page. And like… first off – I’m offended on behalf of the history column guy. And second of all, why publish that? Surely those results just show that people buying a magazine about contemporary Japanese pro wrestling would, when taken as a group, be less interested in the articles not directly about contemporary Japanese pro wrestling? And in any case all three of those columns have been in every issue I’ve read and have a clear and obvious purpose for inclusion so it doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere.

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週刊プロレス No.2186 (from early June)

In Naito’s column, he talks about how he congratulated Hiromu on his tournament victory by leaving, but leaving behind a yogurt container on which he wrote the unsigned message “盛りさん、3年連続、4度目の優勝おめでと”, with 盛りさん apparently meaning Hiromu because he 話を盛る’s a lot.
This made me reflect on how like, Tanahashi tells earnest corny jokes, Giulia is slyly self-deprecating and also ツッコミish, Hideki Suzuki is a sarcastic banterer, Kenoh stretches sarcasm so far it turns into kayfabe, and then Naito with his jokes is… inscrutably straight faced.

Giulia’s column is about New Blood, the Stardom shows that spotlight newer talent to the company that they put up free on youtube, and how she has a match with Miyu Amasaki at the next one.

I like this pose they did ahead of the cage match a lot.

I would like to hang out under the giant floating Rikidozan head! It looks fun!

Apparently the 5 Star GP won’t be the only tournament Suzu Suzuki and Risa Sera are doing this summer - they’re in Catch the Wave 2022, for the promotion called Wave. (I saw later on apparently Suzuki, Sera, and Komeyama all progressed)

Kenoh lays into DDT further in his column, saying wrestlers like Takeshita and Endo are held back because everyone sees it as a theater troupe, not a real pro wrestling company, with stars like Ibushi and Omega only being truly recognized once they’d left. He says pro wrestling fans might be able to shrug off their antics and go “well it’s DDT” but that’s not what the general public will do - they’ll just associate pro wrestling with DDT and be turned off of it forever.
He says Sasaki is representing DDT, but Kenoh won’t be representing NOAH, he’ll be representing all of pro wrestling, and he says of Sasaki loses, DDT should disband, and Takagi should quit and be expelled from the industry. If Kenoh loses… Japanese pro wrestling is over.
Pretty high stakes!

There was a Jumbo Tsuruta memorial show (22nd anniversary of his passing) and it looks like Shingo Takagi was there and he took Aoyagi’s trophy so Aoyagi took his King of Pro Wrestling trophy in turn.

This ad for a Nomads event includes the slogan “No home… Yes ambitious!” and something about that phrase made me laugh a lot. I do get what they’re going for! :sweat_smile:
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There’s an interview with Yuka Sakazaki where she talks about her challenge against Shoko Nakajima. They have an intertwined career (apparently once being in a tag team called “みらクりあんず” but I don’t really know why it’s called that or spelled that way) and they have a deep trust as wrestlers although they aren’t necessarily close outside the dojo. She calls her しょこた and says she’s a 仲間 she can rely on. She hopes to be a double title holder and that Rika doesn’t win the 4-way since then she’d have to defend against her and she lost a title to her once already…

Tenryu’s column talks about Jake Lee in All Japan and roughly how he’s an asset but they should be careful about stuff like where Jake Lee encountered Tanahashi at the Korakuen anniversary show and challenged him a bit and Tanahashi suggested he come to New Japan – because the important thing to build is trust in delivering what the star says, so it’s not the kind of match that should be teased if there’s no way to back it up.

There’s an obituary for Tarzan Goto, a longtime FMW wrestler, who died of cancer. I don’t know anything about him, but from the picture, yep that’s a veteran deathmatch wrestler all right.

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週刊プロレス No.2187(from, you know, about a week later in early June)

There’s a two page ad for Forbidden Door and one full page is just Tanahashi’s face. The text is kind of interesting – I suppose that’s the parentheses equivalent of a furigana situation where it’s the kanji explaining the meaning of the furigana rather than the furigana clarifying the reading of the kanji? And that’s why the parentheses is before rather than after?

Tanahashi’s column talks about Forbidden Door and how when he goes to America now he doesn’t have to explain to the audience who he is like in the 00s, and they joke that with circumstances meaning he has to fight Goto for a spot that he thought he’d already challenged for before CM Punk was injured, and it’s going to end up as a match with a guy who’s already come to New Japan plenty, it’s less like a forbidden door and more like he fumbled with the lock using the wrong key on a regular entry door that wasn’t locked in the first place.

This picture of Kenoh in pain and wearing a Gundam shaped hat is surely ripe for use as an emoji.
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I also like these pictures of Shoko Nakajima at Cyberfight Festival.

In All Japan there was a six man tag between past Champion Carnival winners and there’s a lot going on in the included pictures. First of all - Jake Lee’s entrance attire is so much. Secondly, Aoyagi is in both pictures because apparently Minoru Suzuki and Voodoo Murders flavor Suwama opted out of the photo opportunity due to heelishness so Aoyagi and the ref are the stand-ins.

There’s also an action shot of Suzuki slapping Ishikawa. Won’t ever turn down Minoru Suzuki slapping someone.

Another good photo is this one of Lady C applying a giant backbreaker on Saya Iida.

Then there’s a strange multipage, completely wordless photo collage of the Best of the Super Jrs. this year.
It reminds me a lot of um, a middle school yearbook.

There’s an interview with Masato Tanaka in Zero-1 about his winning the belt from Sugiura in a symbolic victory on behalf of Ohtani.

There’s a kinda interesting feature on dojo matches, and promotions that run them and have run them in the past, like NOAH, Michinoku, Choco Pro, Ice Ribbon, etc. Apparently a precursor was a 登竜門 match in SWS, one of Tenryu’s various promotions throughout the year.s

Looks like Tiger Queen got some supervillains in the First Tiger Mask’s promotion: “Darker’s”, comprising of Dark Tiger, Dark Panther, Dark Cheetah. This ネーミングセンス is too complicated for me!

There’s a feature called Harukamania about a wrestler named Haruka Umesaki in the promotion Diana. Apparently she’s positioned as something of a successor to Sareee, who was getting a whole lot of buzz as an up and coming wrestler before she signed with WWE NXT. But she’s making her own name not just trading on Sareee’s. She seems cool!
There’s some comments from other wrestlers, one of them being Mei Suruga describing Haruka as a rival.

The costume column is about Waka Tsukiyama, the Stardom newcomer still shooting for her first win.
An odd detail that only stands out once you mention it is she’s wearing two sets of pants - the skimpier one on top was initially what she was considering but it was too much on its own. She has moon elements (because of her name, duh, though apparently she’s cutting out the moon pose she did at first but doesn’t say why), an impish tail to go with her nickname “コズエンの小悪魔,” and hearts because they’re cute. She says it’s inspired by things like Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure because she aspires to be the kind of wrestler kids can look up to and want to be when they grow up. She says it’s actually pretty revealing but she has the kind of figure that doesn’t come across as overtly sexy even if she wears clothes that are, which worried her in the past but now she owns it.

Mutoh’s column is about マイクアピール. He says that in American wrestling, lots of promos are important to sell the next big show, but in 昭和 era Japanese wrestling, all of it was on TV so if you were watching there wasn’t particularly a next big thing to sell, so the old-school Japanese wrestling mentality he has is to only say things on the microphone when you need to. Even famous catchphrases, like for example, Inoki’s 「1、2,3,ダー」he only started doing in 平成2 (1989-1+2 = 1990). Nowadays though, it’s become an expected thing that the main eventer closes the show and Mutoh doesn’t seem particularly a fan, because he thinks anything to communicate should be communicated via the match, and unnecessary words said after would just be a distraction.
It’s an interesting column to me, because I’d actually been thinking recently about how, although a lot of it is probably just a fun of understanding the language thing, the Japanese pro wrestling thing I most feel changes the show for the better and should be imported to American pro wrestling… is the closing マイクアピール! And just in general having the wrestlers talk after the match (backstage and whatnot) instead of beforehand. I like that it’s a source for emotional catharsis (and sometimes plot advancement) when the wrestlers’ and audience’s emotions are at their rawest.
Anyway here’s a cool young Mutoh.

In the industry column, Satoshi Kojima reflects on his GHC Heavyweight victory, saying the grandslam is a nice thing people around him care about, but it’s not what motivated him, that was to become champion in NOAH and support it. He’s asked if Go’s “I AM NOAH” then what’s he? He considers “I AM KOJI” but settles on “I AM ‘いっちゃうぞバカヤロー’” which the columnist notes is less catchy but spins poetically into noting how Kojima still yelled that catchphrase throughout the pandemic even when the fans couldn’t yell it out too, and how that shows his indomitability.

The ad at the back of the magazine is a casting call for a 実写映画 based on Mayu Iwatani’s book! :open_mouth:
I wonder what that will be like. I could certainly see the base story of a depressed teen running away to become a wrestler being dramatized into something fun. If like, it’s someone literally playing Mayu and like, Rossy Ogawa and stuff that would be weird but could still be cool? I never did see that Stephen Merchant Paige movie thing…

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週刊プロレス No.2189 (from lateish mid June)

There’s an interview with Tony Khan about Forbidden Door.
An interesting thing here language-wise is that for Khan’s words, all the names use their American equivalents. Like he says ニュージャパン and トモヒロ・イシイ and stuff like that, no kanji in names. I suppose it conveys like, a foreign dignitary type of vibe, like he’s American and using American terminology. As opposed to when an American wrestler comes to be a part of a Japanese promotions shows, and their translated interview uses the regular Japanese terminology. Anyway, it’s interesting!
He says he’s never been to Japan but he learned a little Japanese in school and can understand a bit but kanji are hard! Someone tell Tony Khan about wanikani! and teach him to delegate so he has time for reviews

Naito recovered from eye surgery and finished his vacation, sounds like. He met Ace Austin at a show and was fascinated by his magic extendo stick and impressed by his huge thighs. It’s cool that a lot of foreign wrestlers are in the G1, but he thinks it’s a bit too bad there aren’t any Japanese wrestlers who are entering it for their first time.

The big topic this issue is the slap from Katsuhiko Nakajima to Tatsuya Endo that KO’d him and ended the match.
Giulia talks about slaps for her column, saying for her, they’re 大事なコミュニケーションの一つ but they do often throw you for a loop or leave your jaw feeling sore but it usually goes away within a week. She says that fans complaining about the match stoppage and saying 「ちゃんとプロレスやろうぜ」 should take away instead , to borrow a phrase,「これもプロレスだ」. One thing out of it she praises is Nakajima’s conduct after the match as she says 賛否はあるけど, it sounds like he went the route of playing it strong and scary rather than apologizing for it and カッコよくて痺れちゃうのがプロレスラー。

There’s interviews with Tam and Natsupoi ahead of their (great) cage match. It sounds like there’s mutual jealousy dating back to their time in Actwres and including things like Tam getting to tag with KAIRI. Tam says she’s going to draw out the extremes of a feminine ドロドロness as opposed to her similarly bitter and emotional feud with Giulia which had some masculine energy to it in the end. “このドロドロが永遠に地獄の果てまで続きそうだな”

I don’t know why they published a screenshot from Toy Story in this wrestling magazine

In Kenoh’s column there’s a bit where he says in GHC Heavyweight championship matches, he’s 2戦連続無敗. The interviewer remarks that while that is true, those two matches were both draws… and he lost his previous 4 matches for the title… so put another way, he’s 6戦連続未勝利. Kenoh does not appreciate this perspective.

There’s a big feature on Big Japan Pro Wrestling ahead of a deathmatch tournament they’re having.

I like the goofy outlines on these 1970s era covers! They should bring those back.

The history column is about Giant Baba and Andre the Giant and how they understood each other well because of their shared gigantism. The dream match of the two of them facing off never got a chance to happen (although they met plenty of times in rumbles and tags and stuff), but on reflection the columnist thinks that’s a good thing since it’s nice to think of them more as allies.

There was a show called Fortune Dream 7, produced by Kenta Kobashi, in a continuation of something he put on before the pandemic, it sounds like. It looks like it brought together people from various promotions picked out by Kobashi. Most interesting to me is Himeka and Lady C! Apparently Himeka hit Lady C with a Jumping Knee passed to her directly from Jun Akiyama who got it in turn from Jumbo Tsuruta, and she hit Lady C with it and did Tsuruta’s call, thereby overtly echoing Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Giant Baba. I had absolutely no idea Himeka had a connection like that in her background, so that’s interesting to me!

Hideki Suzuki weighs in on the slap – but first he talks about how he got a kitten and had to figure out how to lure it out from under the washing machine. He suggests the column just be about the cat (which I wouldn’t mind) but the interviewer asks him to talk about wrestling please.
Anyway - about the slap and people complaining Nakajima’s slaps are too dangerous he says he sees it as the general public complaining because you don’t get slapped in your day to day life and so it seems scary, and since they’re not the ones involved their opinions aren’t especially relevant anyway.

A nice photo of Go Shiozaki

In the short industry column, they don’t wait for Tenryu’s own column to ask him about the slap. In some very, um, Tenryu-ish opinions, he says that (although he’s just an observer) he thinks Nakajima has nothing to be blamed for, he’s confused why the other wrestlers just stood around instead of covering for Endo and finding a way to continue the match without him, and he thinks Endo needs to extra vigilant about winning and looking strong in the future, like “Hulk Hogan or Triple H” levels, to rebuild his image.

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週刊プロレス No.2190 (from midish late June)

Giulia’s column is her talking to Stardom’s ring announcer 安藤頼孝 (hey, I almost guessed that name reading right!). He says he got his start in 2000 when he was called in in a rush to announce for an All Japan Women’s garage match (after applying some time before). Something fun he’ll do rarely, apparently, is call out ストライク when Mayu Iwatani throws her armband at the start of a match.

In Hiroshi Tanahashi’s column, they talk about the G1 blocks. The four blocks has only happened once before, in 2000, while Tanahashi’s first G1 was in 2002.
Tanahashi’s in C block, so he remarks that he’s 「タナハCヒロC」then.
The interviewer says he wondered if the A/B naming scheme would have been changed this year too. Tanahashi suggests いろは naming instead, so he would have been in は block.
The interviewer says he’s sure Tana would have said 「タナはシのはブロック」 if that were the case…
They give their respective predictions for the blocks and bicker light heartedly again about them, but of course the predicted winner of the tournament as far as the column is concerned is Tanahashi.

All this joking around reminds me of another Tournament related Tanahashi goof a while back I forgot to mention: he joked that with Ace Austin around, backstage if someone called out エース! they’d both turn their heads!

There’s a nice fan’s drawing of El Desperado. Cute!

There’s a GLEAT related feature here.

The history column is kinda interesting - he talks about how a foreign wrestler, Rip Tyler, bragged to him about being probably the only professional wrestler with no divorces, and how at the time he thought that was ridiculous but just was like “それは素晴らしい!そうかもしれませんねえ” since he seemed proud of it. But he saw in Tyler’s obituary he was still married and had been for 40 years, and he understood the pride better then, speculating that 昭和 era American wrestlers marriages without divorce may well indeed have been below 10%.
Anyway the point of the article is to talk about a notable happily married wrestler, Tatsumi Fujinami, and how Inoki had a major seat at Fujinami’s 1981 wedding to his wife Kaori, and how that was the first, maybe only time Inoki directly referred to Fujinami as a successor.

There’s an interview with Yuki Arai and Saki Akai ahead of their tag title shot against Magical Sugar Rabbits in TJPW. Arai says she’s when she’s next to Akai and they’re both キラキラing she’s “100培くらい” more confident than she is normally. And their names and general backgrounds (i.e. both from Kyoto) are so similar it must be fate. The name they’re going with (though it doesnt’ sound super final?) is 令和のAA砲.
They attempt to list each other’s positives and negatives about each other on a whiteboard (or :blossom: and :question: points about each other as incl. in the picture although it’s barely visible) - Akai says Arai’s professionalism really impressed her like when she didn’t eat much food at a big dinner where they first interacted. And Arai’s initial response when asked about her impression of Akai is “え。。。優しい?” which Akai jokes is like when a friend asks you about their boyfriend and you struggle to find words. But she elaborates that Akai was easy to talk to and welcoming from the start. Akai says that with her path through DDT, she didn’t really have female senpais in the sense of people actually signed with the same promotion, so she wants to provide what experience she’s accumulated to Arai. Like she said she got enough negative comments when she started that she was worried about Arai processing the same thing, but she impressed her by being unfazed by it - Arai says she’s made a point since starting idoling to try to read comments written by people earnestly wanting her to read them, and actively ignore ones written without that in mind at all. That seems like a good way of thinking about it to me!
if they win, they’ll want to defend the belts in Kyoto, and Arai wants to celebrate at Akai’s house.

There’s an interview with Chigusa Nagayo about her being inducted into the Pro Wrestling EVE Hall of Fame in the UK, where she was inducted and Takumi Iroha and VENY had a match. It sounds like she really got a kick out of it! She seemed to be pondering a lot the “entertainment” side of wrestling and wanting to lean into that heavily, and making sure wrestling changes along with the times. Apparently she’s training for a return to the ring because Maria in Marvelous challenged her.

The costume column is about Miyu Yamashita!
One odd detail about her costume is the してるようでしてないベルト - there’s a part on her costume that kinda looks like a belt and has loops for a belt but she doesn’t wanna keep track of a belt so there’s no belt.
You may wonder what the design on the front of her costume means – apparently she just asked the designer for a design that “doesn’t look like anything” and “doesn’t seem to mean anything” so.
It’s weird to see a glimpse of her before this kind of costume – apparently she switched over in 2016 (and debuted in 2013)


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Mutoh in his column talks more about マイクアピール and I covered the gist already but some kinda interesting tidbits is he all but literally says “back in my day” about how gameshows used to take their time on a single question and now it’s back-to-back trivia questions one after the other and it goes to show how society has sped up like how shows are back to back one after another and so the マイクアピール needs to be in there now to sell the next show to keep the cycle moving quick. And he says he relies on catchphrases and key points. The phrase プロレスLOVE for example apparently originated from the media, not from him.

The short industry column has some more interesting background to Himeka’s Jumping Knee! Apparently when she was an idol, as a 全日本プロレスの応援大使 she got the move from Jun Akiyama as the only woman to inherit it. But additionally - when she was in Actwres during a top championship match, the move broke the jaw of another wrestler, Reika Saiki, which led to her extended absence and eventual retirement earlier this year (she’s the one whose retirement ceremony was in TJPW fairly recently). So out of guilt and fear she’s avoided the move since, only breaking it out in modified form in the match for the red belt against Syuri and now at Kobashi’s show. It sounds like that guilt is something she’ll always carry with her in some form - since even if it wasn’t intentional or her fault, it’s a big thing to know that it happened and wonder if your impact in pro wrestling will be a net negative because of it - but it’s also made her more careful and vigilant as a wrestler.
So anyway, it’s move with multiple levels of story behind it, and layers to add in the future!

Finally, there’s a new Ice Infinity Champion! As the tournament has been won by Saori Anou. She’s a freelancer, not signed to Ice Ribbon, but that name recognition can bring attention to a promotion where multiple young wrestlers shined in the tournament and where now the only signed wrestlers with more than 5 years of experience are Tsukasa Fujimoto (who’s not wrestling for an indefinite length of time) and Hamuko Hoshi. Although Fujimoto’s not wrestling, she remains as staff and she’s watching all the shows at every event, and she compares it to when Ice Ribbon was starting out and everyone was new.
The tournament had a fun rule where if matches went to a 15 minute time limit draw, the wrestler with the shorter career would advance in the tournament. The one who made it to the finals was Yuki Mashiro. (It does sound like Ice Ribbon could be a really good venue for 成長 stories right now - in my head I realized I was assuming all the departures was a sign of something badly managed under the surface and maybe young wrestlers would be better off leaving too, but thinking back over it it does seem like it was largely a bunch of coincidental life circumstances and creative differences about specifically deathmatches.)
They’re apparently looking to hire new trainees, as well. I don’t think I’ve seen the version of the logo with the ring before? I wonder if they’re phasing out the ice cream cone?


___

I’m caught up now! I think for only the second time? I wonder how long it will last…

I have thoughts about recent wrestling shows but will leave those for another date…

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Wow, you got a lot of reading done! Thanks as always for sharing, and congrats on catching up!!

tamu_believes_in_you

The MiraClians! Unfortunately their team was before my time, so I can’t explain their name :sweat_smile:. They were actually the inaugural champs when TJPW debuted the tag titles in 2017! I find their team interesting because despite being ex-partners, there isn’t any bitterness between them, though they’ve both found, I guess, their true tag team soulmate, and it turned out it wasn’t with each other. But they’ll still work together from time to time when they have opportunities to during matches.

The seeds for the Magical Sugar Rabbits’ tag team actually began when the MiraClians were still together. I can’t remember who Mizuki was tagging with at the time (it was either with Riho, or with Mizuki as the original flavor Itoh Respect Army (as opposed to the NEO Itoh respect Army, which was formed later after Itoh disbanded the original faction due to her jealousy and insecurity over Mizuki having more success than her)), but she and Yuka realized they had a connection when both of them were with other partners, and, well, that was that.

The Magical Sugar Rabbits are the only team to have held the tag titles more than once (though NEO Biishiki-gun has held them with three different combinations of wrestlers).

There was actually this amazing match in 2020 (I thought they uploaded it to youtube, but I just went looking for it and had no luck, so I guess not…) where, leading up to Yuka vs Mizuki for the Princess of Princess title at the first Wrestle Princess show, Yuka and Shoko teamed together against Mizuki and Itoh. The match just blew me away in terms of how you could see the relationships between all four participants shift over the course of it. It can be watched here on Wrestle Universe (starts around 1:09:55).

Incredible, ahaha.

Definitely agree about this. Backstage comments are so important, and I think it’s a really cool reward for the winner of the main event to close out the show! AEW actually sort of does this a lot of the time, from what I can tell, but it very rarely makes it onto TV. But there will be footage circulating (sometimes shot by fans, sometimes uploaded by AEW themselves to youtube and such) of the wrestlers basically closing out the show. It’s sad to me that this part doesn’t get to air typically. Personally I think it’s a better ending then some random beatdown :sweat_smile:.

I noticed that NJPW does this in the subtitles for comments from foreign wrestlers as well. Like, when Zack or Tama or someone says their (Japanese) opponents’ names, it’ll often be written in katakana in the subtitles instead of with the regular kanji. Generally they’d translate NJPW as like 新日本, though. It’s an interesting translation choice.

I’m kind of shocked he’s never been to Japan, considering the fact that he’s very wealthy and also has been a huge puro mark for years. Apparently he was a fan of the Golden Lovers back when Kenny was still a babyface.

Yeah, I’m not exactly sure how to translate this one, though I think I’ve seen others refer to it as “Reiwa Ban AA Cannon”, so that is what I have been going with. As far as I can tell, they’ve decided to stick with it, or at least it’s what all of the recaps use.

I didn’t know the story of her inheriting Jun’s Jumping Knee! It’s a shame that things turned out sad, though… That’s unfortunately part of wrestling as well :pensive:.

Yeah, I was a bit worried about it, too, but Yappy made some posts on twitter about how the environment now is actually a lot better, and she feels very positive about it, and the wrestlers who are there now feel good about the company’s future, in contrast to the doom and gloom from some fans. So that made me a lot more hopeful.

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Finally (almost) finished the Summer Sun Princess translation! This show happened on July 8. Here’s the recap. I’m still working on the non-dialogue parts, but I got through all of the post-match comments at least. I might be back with follow-up questions, though, depending on how the rest goes :sweat_smile:.

This was TJPW’s first show with cheering and streamers being allowed again! It was endearing to watch the new rookies be so slow at cleaning up the streamers, due to a lack of practice. The recap starts with the main event, Shoko Nakajima vs Rika Tatsumi for the Princess of Princess title, so I’ll start there.

They definitely had me believing that Rika was going to take this, despite me knowing in my heart of hearts that there was no way it was going to happen (hey, the rest of the show was full of shake-ups! they could have another one here!). I loved her missile hip attack from the top rope to the outside, and just her general brutality. Rika is an interesting wrestler to me because I don’t consider her to be particularly a favorite, but her big matches always get me invested.

But alas, it was not to be. Shoko managed to pin her, ruining her dreams of being the 狂い咲き champion. As Rika started to leave, Shoko called out to her. She told Rika that she was strong, and then she said that as the champion, not only did she win today, but she’s going to keep winning, so she looks forward to meeting Rika again further down the road.

Backstage, Shoko said that when she met Rika, she was a really fragile girl. She got injured a lot, and had a lot of close calls. But today, that Rika is nowhere to be found. Not knowing what Rika is going to do scares Shoko, but this Rika is very strong and robust.

Shoko said: “ベルトを巻いてから防衛し続けてるんですけど、東京女子はもっと成長しないとダメだなって思わせてくれる環境です,” which confused me. I think this means: “TJPW is an environment that makes me want to grow even more.”? Here’s the video.

Shoko goes on to say that since she won the belt, she wants to keep winning with the intention of defending the title against everyone. She also hopes to win the Tokyo Princess Cup, and there is also TDC Hall on October 9. She’s aiming to wear the belt a second time at Ryogoku Kokugikan, and she wants to make a lot of dreams come true.

Backstage, Rika said that today was the big match on the highest stage, so she went out there with the intent of having the best match in her career. Shoko said that she was strong, but she realized that it still wasn’t enough. But her spirit isn’t broken, and she’s going to keep going. She felt her love for pro wrestling all over again, and she wants to fall in love even more, become completely absorbed in it, and once again appear as Rika Tatsumi the champion.

The semi-main event, the tag title match, Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki vs Saki Akai and Yuki Arai, was my favorite match in the whole show. It also broke my heart, but, well, such is wrestling.

I went into this match so confident that MagiRabbi would win and retain the belts. That confidence started to shake halfway through. And then that moment at the end when Yuka dived into the ring to take the Finally herself so that it wouldn’t hit Mizuki… That was one of those wrestling moments that I knew would live in my brain forever. I was still thinking about that as I watched the ref count the final pin.

After the match, Saki said that MagiRabbi is strong, and she thinks if her and Arai challenged them 100 times, they’d be no match for MagiRabbi 99 of those times. However, although they might be inexperienced as a tag team, Arai has incredible potential. The fact that they drew the winning ticket this one time out of 100, that was due to Arai’s innate luck or her pull. Saki’s intention was to lead, but Arai also supported her in part. She said that from here, it gets hard. Now they’re in a position of being chased. She said: “明日から追われる立場として、どんどんその先を走りましょう.” “From tomorrow onward, as they start to chase us, let’s keep running.”

I really liked this because it pointed out I think what was so devastating about that match, which is that MagiRabbi really should have had it, but they lost everything in just like 30 seconds at the very end. Maybe if Yuka had disrupted the Finally kick by shoving Arai out of the way instead of taking it herself, she’d have been able to save Mizuki in time.

In Arai’s comments, she said that there were many difficult moments, but her lovely senpai was nearby, and Saki saved her many times. Arai thinks that today, she showed her best performance yet. But winning the belt isn’t her goal. She wants to do her best to keep growing and pull TJPW along as a member. She feels like she’s carrying the weight of the history of her senpais who have held this belt up until now. She doesn’t want the belt to be disgraced while she’s holding it. She also says that since none of the other members of SKE have become champions like this, she wants everyone to see the belt.

Yuka said that she was just one millimeter, two millimeters short, and she lost her belt. But “マジラビは永遠に不滅なんで” (from the video caption). I really liked that line. I translated it as “MagiRabbi is permanently indestructible.”

Her next line in the caption gave me a little trouble. She said: “荒井ちゃんも私の意地悪にもくらいついてきて、これは化けるなと思いました.” I might be missing a little context here, because I didn’t fully get it. Here was my best attempt: “Arai-chan stuck by me even though I was mean to her, and I thought she would be able to improve dramatically.”

Mizuki said that she’s frustrated, but a loss is a loss. But today’s match, and the fact that they defended the belts until now, these absolutely aren’t negatives. She’s going to use this as a springboard. She said she was going to space, but she’s going to do what she can to fly around the world first.

When I translated this, I wondered if that meant she was hoping to do an overseas tour, and sure enough, it seems the answer is yes! They just announced that she’s going to be coming to the US to wrestle Emi Sakura at Deadlock Pro Wrestling on August 6! Should be an awesome match. (Deadlock is truly getting to book some amazing joshi talent this year…)

This wasn’t covered in the recap, but Yuka also said that having a wrestler like Saki Akai holding the belt and participating in TJPW is going to be a step up for the organization. She thinks it’ll be a catalyst for them and will make TJPW more interesting.

This is kind of a funny thing for her to say, because Saki Akai hasn’t participated much in TJPW, but Sakisama very much has. Akai is actually serving in a similar role here, where she’s mentoring a less experienced wrestler through tagging with her. It has proven to be an excellent formula in the past, and this version has a different enough flavor, I’m excited to see where they go with it. It’ll be interesting to see wrestlers with an extensive history with Sakisama, like Misao, have possible opportunities to face Saki Akai…

(The two are very much treated as different people in kayfabe, but there is sort of a meta awareness present in a lot of the booking.)

I’ll end the tag titles match portion with this amazing photo from the recap that took my breath away when I saw it:

Next up, Miyu Yamashita vs current AEW women’s champion, Thunder Rosa! This was a fun one because it was actually Rosa’s return to TJPW after two years. It’s also an interesting match because in many ways, it paralleled the exact situation that led to the whole Forbidden Door thing in the first place: the AEW world champion came to Japan to fight the ace, and if the ace wins the match, they’ll earn themself a shot at the AEW title.

If you want to watch this one, AEW actually uploaded it on youtube! It features AEW’s commentators and not Chris Brookes and Akki, alas, but the match itself is just as good. If you want to watch this and be unspoiled, stop reading here.

Miyu ended up having much better luck than Tanahashi had back in NJPW in January 2020, which feels like worlds away at this point. The ace managed to beat the AEW champ and earn herself a title shot. We still don’t know when this match will be happening, but it’ll be exciting!

After the match, Rosa spoke in English and said that it was fun, and having a match with someone with that much experience, it just makes her better. She said that she’s not going to lose the title like last time, and reiterates that Miyu gets a title match whenever she wants.

Miyu said something that confused me in both the recap and the tweet caption. From the tweet: “2年半越しにロサが戻ってきて大きい団体のベルトを持ってきてくれて嬉しいし、そんな気持ちが乗っている中、勝てて嬉しかったです.” Here was my attempt: “I’m so happy that Rosa came back after two years with a belt from a big organization, and with all of those feelings riding on it, I was happy to win.”

The part I struggled with was そんな気持ちが乗っている. I tried looking it up, and 気持ちが乗る appears to refer to being in a state of heightened energy. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it here :sweat_smile:.

Miyu goes on to say that there’s a part of her that wonders if she only won because it was at her home. But she is still getting stronger. She says that if she can challenge for the belt, she wants to go to the U.S. not as a representative of TJPW, but simply as a wrestler.

The final match covered in the recap was Maki Itoh vs Alex Windsor (from Pro Wrestling EVE) for the International title. I’m not really familiar with Alex, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but the match was fun! The result was quite a shock!

After the match, Alex said (in English) that she’s taking over the world, and she’ll take the belt wherever she wants to. The video of this one is fun because she hassles Mr. Haku a little bit, because he’s there as her translator. I appreciated the shirt he was wearing, haha.

Itoh said, “なんで自分はいつも弱いんでしょう。もっと強くなりたい.” “Why am I always weak? I want to become stronger.” She mentioned that she has another overseas excursion in August, so she has to switch gears and fight against wrestlers from around the world. It may take some time, but her only choice is to work hard to become stronger. It has been a long time since she has tasted this frustration. She’s grateful, and she’s going to move forward to the next step. When the time comes, she will challenge.

The video caption adds: “今日だけは落ち込もうと思います.” I translated this as: “Just for today, I’m going to be down in the dumps.”

And that’s it for all of the matches with title implications! With TJPW, though, that’s only half of the fun. Here are some notes from the wrestlers’ comments concerning the other matches:

Moka Miyamoto and Juria Nagano, both rookies with karate backgrounds, faced off in a 空手対決! I actually wasn’t quite sure how this would go. I thought Juria might have a chance, actually, despite her career being so short. But I never should have doubted Moka!

Moka said that she was excited to see that Juria’s karate was strong, but her strikes were so powerful. But this was pro wrestling, and although Juria might be better at karate than she is, she has been doing this for longer than Juria has, so she absolutely didn’t want to lose, and was happy that she won.

Juria said that in the karate showdown, she wanted to get her first singles victory, so she’s disappointed that she lost. She had been doing 正拳突き, but this was the first time she was on the receiving end, and 正拳突き hurts so much. I wasn’t quite sure how to translate 正拳突き :sweat_smile:. I might just romanize it, honestly.

Juria finishes with: “正拳突きでダウンとれるようなパンチ力を身につけたいなと思いました.” I struggled to wrap my brain around this one a bit. I think I understand the Japanese, but putting it in English made me question my understanding. Here’s what I went with: “I wanted to learn how to punch with force like taking down an opponent with seikenzuki.”

The eight-women tag match featuring Aja Kong was fun as always (Aja loves to appear in TJPW for their big shows, usually teaming with Raku, who is her favorite). After the match, the wrestlers mostly talked about cheering and streamers being back.

Nao’s line here confused me: “声援ってこんなに力になるんだなっていうくらい、やってやろうっていう気持ちになる!” A little bit too much going on there for me to figure out :sweat_smile:. My very unsure attempt was: “Cheering makes me stronger, and it makes me want to give it my all!”

Kaya mentions that the paper tape got her right in the face, and Nao says “愛だからね!” “It’s love!”. Misao says that she wants to team up with Aja next (she tried to defect during the match, but it did not work out for her).

Yuki similarly confused me: “みんなが今までにない声量をぶつけてくれるのでテンション上がりまくったし、負けないように闘わなきゃなと思いました.” Here was my attempt: “Everyone was cheering louder than ever before, which raised my spirits, and I felt like I had to fight not to be outdone.”

Aja said that she was able to mark her return to TJPW with a victory. In the next tweet, she talks about getting to do a new Oyasumi Express with Raku (this involved Aja carrying Raku in a piggyback). Yuki and Pom commented: “あれはヤバい…” (“That was dangerous…”?). Aja says that her knee is in good condition, so she wants to continue to be invited to TJPW if there’s any occasion. She had a lot of fun!

The next match was Miu Watanabe vs Ryo Mizunami, who was filling in last minute since Willow Nightingale was unable to get her visa figured out in time to make it to the show. Ryo is one of my favorites, so I was really looking forward to this one, and it was awesome!

Ryo had nothing but praise for Miu afterward. She said: “ぶったまげました!” I think this was basically “I’m floored!”? Then she said that Miu is amazing, isn’t she? Ryo thinks we haven’t seen everything from her yet, and she still has lots of room to grow. She may have lost today, but the audience got the message. She’s a wrestler with amazing hidden potential and possibility. Ryo is looking forward to seeing where she goes from here.

Miu said that she simply thought “Mizunami, you have amazing strength”. Because the fans called out Miu’s name, even though it hurt, she told herself to get it together. At the very least, she was able to accomplish her goal of doing the Giant Swing. She wants to power up some more and do her best so that she can beat Ryo.

The next match featured Hikaru Shida, another guest from AEW, this time tagging with Hikari Noa against Kamiyu and Mahiro Kiryu. It was a fun one, especially since Shida in TJPW has a bit of a mean streak that we don’t get to see as often in AEW.

After the match, Hikari said that she had the most awesome time fighting alongside Shida, and she’s delighted that they could have a match where both of them had weapons.

Shida said that Hikari seemed to have more fun than when Shida fought her in Ryogoku, and she thinks she finally met the real Hikari Noa. She wouldn’t mind teaming up with her again, or facing her again.

Kamiyu’s comments confused me again, as is typical :sweat_smile:. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what she was talking about at the beginning. She said: “神奈川に藤沢の次に有名な寒川っていうところがあって、そこから生まれてアメリカに行った凄いチャンネーらしい.” Here was my best shot: “There’s a place in Kanagawa called Samukawa, the second most famous place after Fujisawa, and having been born there and gone to the U.S., she seems like an awesome girl.”

Then Mahiro comments that that’s how Kamiyu acknowledges Shida… Kamiyu responds by saying that they’re going to turn Toyo University from a third-rate university into a first-rate one, and Mahiro tells her to quit it.

I feel like I’m missing some context here? Or my translation is very off, or something :sweat_smile:.

And finally, the last remaining match, which was probably my second favorite! This one was Riho and Arisu Endo vs Suzume and Mei Suruga.

Lots of history in this one. A lot of it was before my time. For folks who don’t know, Riho spent a good chunk of her career in Gatoh Move, where she was basically the ace. I believe the entire time she was there, she was the only person who held the singles title in the company. Mei is currently mostly based in Gatoh Move, where she, alongside Baliyan Akki (who was on English commentary for this show), are essentially the current Gatoh Move aces.

This match was actually one where I’d say you might be better off watching with English commentary, because both Chris and Akki know Mei very, very well. Akki is her main tag partner, as the Best Bros, and the two of them held the Gatoh Move tag titles for quite a while until Calamari Drunken Kings (Chris Brookes and Masa Takanashi) won them off of them. Chris and Mei are bitter enemies. So, as you can guess, Chris and Akki don’t exactly provide the most unbiased commentary during this match, haha.

But, interestingly enough, Mei and Riho aren’t really the main focus here. This match is really about Suzume and Arisu. Suzume and Mei formed a sort of connection when Suzume fought Mei during her anniversary show (I still haven’t seen this…), so that was sort of the first inkling of them realizing they had a connection.

But Suzume’s main tag partner is Arisu, of course, as Daisy Monkey. I didn’t realize until this match, but I think this might be their first time actually facing each other all year? Since they started tagging regularly, at least. And TJPW spent a lot of the year really building their team, so them fighting now feels extra charged.

I was amazed that I had actually managed to forget that their careers are somewhat close in length (Suzume has over a year’s head start on her, but Arisu is steadily gaining ground, experience-wise), making them rivals in addition to partners. And boy, you can really feel that rivalry here! I think this is where TJPW really, really excels. I love the way that they balance those feelings of close tag partners, but also desperate rivals who really, really want to win, at any cost. Lots of wrestling companies do this, but in TJPW, usually they can fight like this and still remain just as close (if not closer) afterward. I personally find that very relieving :sweat_smile:.

In any case, Arisu tries very, very hard, and she almost manages to get the upset here, but in the end, Suzume proves to still be the stronger of the two.

After the match, Riho says that it gave her some fresh motivation to fight someone with whom she has a connection. She said that Arisu said that she’s frustrated, so Riho hopes she’s going to become an even greater wrestler.

Arisu says that she had a lot of emotional attachment in this match, so it was frustrating to lose, but it was fun and she learned so much.

I really liked how Suzume’s comments sort of seem to echo theirs a little bit. She says that in a match where all of the wrestlers were connected with a red string of fate, there’s a lot of emotional attachment. I loved her use of 赤い糸 here. She says that it was a big deal that she was able to face Arisu. She thought she might lose at the end, and she was so frustrated, she cried.

Mei’s comment confused me. She said: “いつ鈴芽ちゃんと組む日が来ても万全のメイのサプライズをお届けしたいなと思います.” Here was my attempt: “Even if the day comes when I can properly team with Suzume, I want to deliver a perfect Mei Surprise.” I couldn’t quite figure out what she was saying here, though the “surprise” might be a reference to their tag team name, Mei Bee Surprise.

In the next video, Suzume says that she will fight with the intention of surpassing Riho, and also surpassing Mei.

And that’s everything from the comments! Whew!

There were a couple other neat announcements from the show. They announced that TJPW’s next all-women audience show is going to be held at Korakuen with free admission! I hope they’re able to have cheering for that show, because the previous all-women fan shows that they’ve done were held within the past couple years when cheering was not allowed. It’s awesome that this one is going to be at Korakuen, though. It sounds like it’ll be a proper big show!

They also announced that Max the Impaler is going to come wrestle in TJPW! I’m super excited for that! For folks who aren’t familiar, Max is a transmasculine nonbinary wrestler in America who has worked in ROH and made a few AEW Dark appearances, in addition to working the indies. They’re super cool and should make for a fun styles mix with TJPW’s typical style.

Next up, the Tokyo Princess Cup! Which is starting very soon! I’m aiming to get each translation for those shows done within two days, but we’ll see how that goes…

There are some other non-TJPW things I wanted to post about, but I’ll save that for another post :sweat_smile:.

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I’d say more along the lines of “TJPW is an environment that makes me think I need to groe even more to be successful.”
東京女子は → Tokyo Joshi is…
もっと成長しないとダメだな → if I don’t grow/improve (成長 is used a lot in the magazine and whatnot to refer to wrestlers’ growth as wrestlers) more, that’d be ダメ → I need to grow/improve more.
って思わせてくれる環境です → …an environment that makes me think the middle thing (in a good way, like it challenges me to keep improving).

I mean, “stuck by me” but only if you mean in the sense of like, how a defender in basketball sticks by the person they’re covering.
A moment that stuck out to me a lot in the match was when Yuka hubristically chucked Arai right back into Arai’s own corner for her to tag out. So it sounds to me like Yuka’s saying Arai kept after her despite stuff like that, and that’s what led Yuka to realize the match could turn around the same time you did.

A minor tweak is I’d say it’s less like those feelings are riding on the match, and more like Miyu is riding high on those emotions during the match.

When I watched the backstage comments on the day I saw the shirt and thought “I bet I know who that guy is” :slight_smile:

The gist is Miyamoto took her down with just a 正拳突き, and she wants to improve her punching ability to be able to do that too.
正拳突きでダウンとれる → to be able to score a down / knock your opponent down with a 正拳突き
正拳突きでダウンとれるようなパンチ力 → punching power like / such that you’d be able to score a down with a 正拳突き.
So that’s what she wants to attain.

The wording in the video is maybe a bit clearer:
“私も、負けないような、正拳突きだけでダウンできるようなパンチ力を身につけたいなと思いました”

I’d say, like, “cheering makes me want to give it my all, to the point that I was shocked how much strength it gave me!”
The transition that may have gotten lost in the long string of grammar would be the っていうくらい, which I’d say would be roughly “to the point that I’d say (the thing that came before)”

I think the 負けない here is just talking about the match. :sweat_smile: I guess “I have to fight to not lose the match” sounds weird in English, but I think she’s saying the cheering boosted her spirit and perseverance to fight and go for a victory in the match.

I think I remember watching the backstage comments on the day and thinking “well I don’t know what that was about but oh well I’ll figure it out if there’s a question about it” :sweat_smile:

My suspicion was that she was talking about herself - but she’s from 藤沢. I googled “寒川 レスラー” and got an article about Shida so that closes the case and as a bonus explains why she made the point of saying Samukawa is less famous than Fujisawa. (I don’t get the impression either place is particularly famous)
She’s talking about her impressions of Shida, and in a Kamifuku-ish way describing Shida in a way that sounds similar to herself and then saying she sounds amazing.
In retrospect - the “志田さんをそうやって認識してるんですね……” part is Kiryu figuring out what Kamifuku is saying herself and going like, “oh, so that’s how you’re perceiving Shida-san”

I’d say the いつ connects up with the 来ても later on, and clarifies the meaning as: “whenever the day may come that we tag again, I want to deliver a perfect Mei Surprise!” She’s reflecting that she doesn’t know when/if they’ll get to tag again in the future, but if/when they do she hopes it’ll be great.
(and yeah I think the surprise part is either just referring to the team name or maybe it’s something Mei says in other contexts too)

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I wanted to post about some non-TJPW stuff that has also been happening recently.

First up, here’s another interview from Mr. Haku! This one is with former Stardom wrestler Sumire Natsu, who is a very interesting person.

One note on these interviews is that Mr. Haku said that all of the wrestlers he’s interviewing are doing these interviews because they have international aspirations. So definitely keep an eye out for them appearing in other countries besides Japan!

There have been quite a few high profile wrestlers from Japan coming to America (and the UK) to work the indies this year. TJPW has been sending loads of their wrestlers on excursions, with Miyu, Itoh, and Yuka coming over to work AEW and other shows, and Mizuki having at least one appearance scheduled at Deadlock. Plus with Takeshita’s continuing excursion, and former Stardom wrestler Jungle Kyona scheduled to make appearances over here as well.

The other things I wanted to mention concern negative industry things, so I’ll hide the details for both.

Michael Elgin seems to have finally burned his last bridge in Japan.

Apparently he got arrested for shoplifting protein powder?? Can’t say that’s how I expected his career to end, but I also can’t say I’ll miss seeing him at all. He seems to be out of NOAH in the short term, likely the long term, because I believe his options were to either serve prison time in Japan or leave the country and never come back, and I think he chose the second one. Basically the whole wrestling world has been united in dunking on him, so if you hear anyone on NJPW commentary or elsewhere joking about protein powder, it’s almost certainly a reference to this.

In any case, NOAH has gotten easier to watch, though I’m still waiting for them to do something about Hajime Ohara…

And on another note:

Kota Ibushi's injury is not healing well.

I was worried about this after a comment Kenny said in a recent stream where someone asked which of the Golden Lovers are closer to making an in-ring return, and he said that Kota’s shoulder is in pretty bad shape.

Kota himself basically confirmed this on twitter not long afterward. He also alluded to having plans for creating something (a stable? a promotion? an organization?) that will benefit wrestling, even if he himself is unable to make his own return to the ring. He’s still optimistic that he’ll be able to come back eventually, though, but it might take a long time. He also is very firm about not wanting to work at NJPW anymore, and says that he’s going to say more about them after he quits.

Here’s a summary with all of his tweets about it and translations.

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negative industry stuff

Lol, good riddance!

I do not at all want to dig into such a raw situation and cause you or anyone to spend more time preoccupied with it, so please feel free to completely ignore if that might happen!! And I’ll try to keep my comment as short and innocuous as possible,

But geez, translating a subject that’s really important and where all the context is impossible to come by because of twitter + an industry we’re not a part of + that industry is built on lying to the public, seems really difficult huh!

(Spoilering the next part since I failed to try not to articulate the specific language point I was getting hung up on - WARNING for chance of rabbit holing into splitting language hairs about a bummer situation!)

I just spent a long time looking through that whole timeline and trying to answer the question for myself: “do I think Ibushi is saying that he has never met Ohbari face-to-face still, and that therefore the 2 times mentioned in the press conference were both outright lies, or do I think Ibushi is saying that he and Ohbari were not personally acquainted with each other before all this and he was therefore offended by Ohbari’s chummy demeanor and avoidance of what Ibushi felt was important when they did meet?” and came to the conclusion “I have no idea.”
My gut about the situation said one way, the translation said another, my understanding of the grammar and context said “…maybe??? I dunno???”

My initial feeling about the press conference was it felt genuinely like an account of an upper management suit who thought it was a situation he could smooth over with glad-handing, and thought he had successfully done just that, while being completely wrong on both counts because it was much deeper and rawer than that for Ibushi and that managerial tone was only ever going to rub him further the wrong way (once the meetings were over and he had time to think over how he felt about them).
So especially in the necessary lack of context, it is hard to let go of that initial feeling, which I think is a lot of why I got sucked into the question (since that impression is completely wrong if Ohbari fabricated the meetings entirely) and why it’s hard to answer for me.

I think my feeling at the end of the day is it does sound a lot like Ibushi’s saying he never met Ohbari in person, but it doesn’t make sense to me why Ohbari’s play would be to go with a blatant lie (as opposed to ‘just’ truth-stretching and choosing favorable framing) in that case given the situation, or why Ibushi wouldn’t say extra clearly that those meetings never happened as reason #1 not to trust the press conference, and with the way specific tweets are worded, I’m not sure that I can rule out the other possibility, as the most definitive stuff is like “I was X at the press conference when ABCD, and also when Y even though I (have?) never met him” where it’s difficult to parse the temporality in the grammar or “I’m not acquainted with him at all!” where it’s difficult to say if that means he never met him at all or just never did regularly or on any personal basis.

And it doesn’t help that there’s a tweet reply of a native speaker asking for clarification on the same point…

So yeah, I admire the clarity and work put into all those translations, especially about such a tough subject! I’d be stuck second-guessing myself and too afraid of wording it slightly the wrong way and giving someone a mildly wrong impression.

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negative industry stuff

Yeah, it really is. For what it’s worth, Joe’s translations (not these specific ones, but for other tweets) have also been corroborated by Kuma, who is a native speaker. He said that Joe’s translations are accurate and trustworthy. Joe also has years and years of experience specifically translating Kota, as he’s read both of Kota’s autobiographies, listened to all of his podcast episodes, and has translated dozens of interviews and other things, so he’s fairly well-versed in Kota’s way of talking, in addition to just closely following his career over many years.

Of course, it’s definitely still possible to make mistakes, especially in these circumstances, and with a highly context-dependent language. The translator I feel most comfortable trusting with Kota’s Japanese is Michael Nakazawa, who is a close personal friend of Kota’s, but he is (understandably) not touching these tweets…

Regarding the supposed meetings with Ohbari, the sense I got is that Kota might be referring to his claim that NJPW tried to fire him over LINE without talking to him in person, which Kota has been consistent about and which Ohbari has denied. It does seem clear that the narrative being pushed by NJPW is outright lying a lot about working closely with him and the company being on good terms with him.

The meetings discussed in the press conference, to me and my friends at least, seemed very heavily kayfabed. The sense I got is if Ohbari did meet him, it was very brief and did not address any of the actual concerns that Ohbari said were addressed. Kota is also upset that they did not do the press conference with him present. He wants them to do a live one so that they don’t have the opportunity to edit it however they want.

But yeah, it’s unfortunately a really sticky situation where we are still missing a lot of information. I suppose we’ll probably find out more once Kota is free of his contract and can talk more openly. It does seem clear, though, that NJPW has made repeated efforts to make it look like everything has been smoothed over when it very much hasn’t. Considering the stuff they already lied about (saying that Kota wanted to return to wrestling sooner when he repeatedly made it clear that he wasn’t ready), it wouldn’t surprise me if they lied about the meetings as well.

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only a little bit more negative industry stuff

Yeah, on some level whatever meetings happened if any clearly didn’t register as having any import to Ibushi and didn’t work to make everyone happy, so I suppose it’s the same difference.

I think your read makes a lot of sense!
One thing that still confuses me is if the New Japan management’s goal with the press conference was to kayfabe the public into thinking the situation was cleaned up, it seems like a weird strategy when the problem at hand for them is a guy breaking kayfabe and telling the public a situation needs cleaning up - if they think that guy might still do that.
That makes me want to still lean a little bit “they thought they were cooperating with Ibushi and had reestablished trust, and were gravely mistaken” (which isn’t necessarily much better!) but who knows – I could easily be naively reading too much good will into a corporation’s actions, or underestimating the legal restraints they have (or thought they had) on what Ibushi can say and the power of a friendly seeming press conference to influence marks like me, or just misreading the situation entirely.

Thanks again for the clear and cordial discussion about it, anyhow!
I’m unplugged from the wrestling social media grapevine more and more lately to avoid spoilers for shows I haven’t seen yet (and never had friends who were also into wrestling) so I appreciate the bits of background of the type of things that for better or for worse don’t make it into shupro! :sweat_smile: (though I hope it doesn’t feel like an obligation!)

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continuing the discussion

Yeah, it does seem odd, but then again, there are plenty of fans who don’t follow Kota on twitter, and plenty of English speaking fans who have absolutely no idea whatsoever that any of this is going on, so it makes sense from that perspective that NJPW would try to bend the narrative to the best of their ability.

Unfortunately, judging by a lot of fan responses, plenty of people are eager to discount accounts like Kota’s, as well as Karl Fredericks’, because their NJPW fandom comes before their support of the performers, and they seemingly don’t want to consider that the wrestlers might have serious reasons for speaking out against the company.

The main thing for me is that it was more than just a press conference; they also tweeted out birthday announcements for him, merch and other promos, and promoted matches and such involving him, especially in conjunction with Forbidden Door, despite knowing that there was no way he was going to be involved. Plus with Tana doing the Kamigoye…

There’s just such a stark difference between what the company is presenting and what the actual person is saying, on multiple counts. I think they’re trying to ensure that when he does leave, it makes it look like it was one person acting irrationally, and that they were trying to do everything “right”, but he was the one being impolite and erratic.

No problem! I’m… very plugged into the wrestling social media grapevine, for better or for worse, so I hear quite a lot. I’m very strict about sourcing stuff, though, so with most of the stuff coming through to the English-speaking world about the Japanese wrestling scene, I automatically don’t trust it unless there is an actual verifiable source (Meltzer and Sean Ross Sapp and co. don’t count). Kota tweeting openly about all of this is one of the very rare occasions where we do have an actual primary source instead of secondhand info being transmitted by people who don’t speak any Japanese, so I give it a lot more weight.

(Small complaint about the wrestling rumor mill)

I am… very sick of western fans who know absolutely nothing about TJPW and DDT talking about those companies and the wrestlers as if they have some deep knowledge of what’s going on there. The latest rumor that bothered me was some people saying that Shida was scouting the wrestlers in TJPW while she was there in order to bring some of them to AEW.

Miyu in particular was named here, which is frankly ridiculous, because if you’ve followed TJPW/DDT over the past couple years, you’d know exactly who scouted her for AEW, because it was a literal plot point in her match at DDT Ultimate Party in 2019. Kenny (who works very closely with AEW’s women’s division, though he does not have booking power) specifically said that he wanted to fight her to see if she would be a good candidate to bring to AEW. He met her years ago, actually, and he and Kota helped her with her kicks when they were still in DDT. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I’m sure we would have seen her show up in AEW in 2020.

Not to mention the fact that Sanshiro Takagi has talked about wanting to bring TJPW talent to AEW loads of times, before they had an official partnership, even. It’s just really frustrating to me that people ascribe all of these ulterior motives to Shida’s actions and her bookings in Japan when we have no actual evidence that she is working as a scout for AEW at all. It just feels like a lot of fans trying to make themselves feel smart by discerning the inner workings of the industry when they don’t even have a basic understanding of the surface level details about TJPW and DDT that are available in English, even!

So yeah, basically I think it is very fair to avoid the wrestling social media grapevine, because half of the time, the information that circulates on there has no actual source besides like: “well, there was a reddit comment that said this.” I won’t even get into the many false Kota Ibushi rumors that circulated for years, like the rumor that he has a rich family… :sweat:

I’ll try to keep posting more stuff here that I think is worth mentioning! Obviously, most of my concerns are over labor issues and abuse in the industry, but there are some positive things as well that are worth sharing, too :blush:.

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週刊プロレス No.2191 (from a couple weeks ago, the week following and including Forbidden Door)

In Naito’s column he says he didn’t watch Forbidden Door partly out of grumpiness since he wasn’t on the card. He says when he heard about Hiromu not being able to make it he was surprised and texted him “huh, where are you right now?” with the response “in Japan.” at which point he did not follow up any further. He says normally he ignores Takagi’s travel stories, but this time he might actually pay attention since Takagi got to tag with Sting.

There’s a pretty funny interview with Suwama - he insists that this new/old Voodoo Murders heel version of himself is a completely different person than Evolution Suwama, so while on paper Suwama is a record 7 time triple crown champion, this upcoming championship match with Jake Lee will be an attempt to win the belt for the first time, since he never held it when he was in Voodoo Murders. This bit extends to the point that when the interviewer asks about that joshi wrestling endeavor Suwama recently gave a press conference about, Suwama says that was someone else and you’ll just have to ask him.

The cover of the magazine this week is about a wrestler named Fujita “Junior” Hayato who returned in Michinoku Pro to win the Tohoku jr. heavyweight championship after a 5 year absence including a long battle with cancer. He says he’s happy to be alive and in the spirit of no regrets, even challenged Hiromu Takahashi and Kenoh.

Giulia talks about moving, which it sounds like she’ll be trying to do in the near future. Her old apartment sounds pretty bleak. One wrestling-related aspect is she talks about how the road from the train to the apartment involves 凸凹 roads and stairs and pedestrian bridges and it really sucks coming back from tour with bags while tired and in pain, so she’ll be looking for a place with a quicker and easier walk from the train station.

Some good pictures from Tam vs. Natsupoi!

This is the self-confidence I feel whenever I eat bread

The history column is interesting - it talks about Haku’s start in wrestling. Apparently he was a sumo wrestler who had to quit sumo along with some other Tongan wrestlers due to a dispute, and he was scouted by All Japan where Genichiro Tenryu had also at the time recently transitioned from sumo to professional wrestling. Early ring names there were Tonga and Prince Tonga and anyway he had a long and varied career and now his sons Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Hikuleo are all involved with NJPW.

In Kenoh’s column he says Mutoh’s retirement is “いいニュース” and it’s 「引退ロード第1弾じゃない。”脱・武藤”の始まりだ。」He says there’s no active wrestler with the kind of name recognition to the general public that Mutoh has, but he will be happy to fill the gap that he leaves behind.
He also recalls a Michinoku Pro show in Tokushima (a bit far from Michinoku huh) that he went to when he was a fan, and he was happy to see Mutoh, but some goober ダサいマスクマン kept getting in the way – given it was Michinoku, was it The Great Sasuke? Nope! He was a bit like Sasuke, but he wore orange and yelled “いっちゃうぞバカヤロー!” - that’s right, it was “ザ・グレート・コスケ,” Satoshi Kojima under a Sasuke mask. Kenoh says after he wins the championship he will grant The Great Kojisuke a spot on the opening card of NOAH shows.

There’s the short article about Rika Tatsumi training undergoing 滝行 to hope for victory in her title match in TJPW. She says it was surprisingly painful and she narrowly bested the waterfall, lasting about four minutes. She’ll definitely win the match now.

There’s also a short article (it’s mostly pictures of her at the beach) about Maki Itoh returning to her hometown of 福岡県小郡市. It’s a pretty small, out of the way town, and she left to pursue an idol career and hasn’t really been back since school days. Apparently she doesn’t have much sense of it as a hometown since when she was there she had no friends - she suspects because she was too cute and everyone was jealous and mean so she retreated internally. She says coming back affirms that she made the right choice (since she is the cutest in the world after all, so of course she has to leave and travel bigger places) but she’s glad to not just be from Tokyo since it prompts her to work harder and she can be a superstar when she comes home. And if anyone offers she’ll be a 観光大使.

朱崇花 catching the eye of the camera mid chair shot makes for a fun photo.

Speaking of 朱崇花, there’s an interview with Chihiro Hashimoto, double tag + singles champion in Sendai Girls, ahead of her title defense against 朱崇花. She’s been focusing on defending the tag championship for want of challengers, but the match with Asuka should be an exciting and interesting match. She says they have similar roots since they both apparently did レスリング and watched Ayako Hamada and decided to become pro wrestlers from that.
She recently turned 30 and she’s feeling positive about it. She says the red dress she’s wearing in the photoshoot was a gift from Meiko Satomura a long time ago that she picked out now to represent Sendai Girls red as the champion.
A lot of cool wrestlers in the shot from the press conference for the event! I feel like at this point I’m surprised when Suzu and Risa aren’t involved in a joshi event rather than the reverse.

The costume column is about Master Wato – I was kinda hoping to learn why his costume is quite so blue, but it just says it’s his favorite color, which I gathered. Apparently on one of the レガース there’s a hidden cat mark, so watch out for that and if you spot it you may be blessed with good luck.

In Hideki Suzuki’s column, he says he popped for Minoru Suzuki and Chris Jericho interacting, but otherwise Forbidden Door was “within expectations.” He’s a lot more excited and interested in talking about the NJPW and Stardom joint show announced for November 20th. He says he’s a “古い人間” but in principle he’s fully supportive of intergender matches, saying he wants to see stuff to shake up his “古いタイプの人間” expectations. Even if there’s just mixed tags rather than direct competition, there’s lots of exciting possibilities for wrestler and faction combinations, like Himeka and Okada, Giulia and Naito, Starlight Kid and a top junior, etc. It ends with an extended joke about how he’ll contribute his valuable WWE Thunderdome experience of seconding as a complete bystander to Giulia and DDM generously for free with an implied joke that he probably asks Giulia to cover for drinks and stuff a lot.

The short industry column is about Tatsuya Endo’s return after the KO that was such a big topic in a previous issue. He sounded shaken and humble and regretted showing weakness as champion but will treat it as a reset and hopes DDT fans internalize that it wasn’t a mistake on Nakajima’s part, but a lack of 耐久性 on his part and couldn’t be helped.

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