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


I don’t think he has, personally. But finding something interesting for him to do might take more bravery and creativity than NJPW really has as a company. I’d like to see Jay have to really face his insecurities, and maybe lose his position in Bullet Club, or something!

Okay, I laughed at “DDT’s weirdo division” haha. Maybe they should make that one real. They could do a “give weirdos a chance” campaign!

Yeah, I think I might’ve talked before about having a similar experience with Stardom and with TJPW, too, when I was first exposed to them. I came at wrestling from such a strange direction: DDT → NJPW → AEW → TJPW/Stardom, so when I watched joshi wrestling for the first time, my conception of what pro wrestling looked like was defined pretty heavily by the presentation of men’s wrestling (and specifically プロレス). I remember feeling pretty turned off by the idol stuff in TJPW, and just the way that Stardom’s entire presentation worked, because it felt to me like women’s wrestling as a whole was treated with much less gravitas than men’s wrestling.

My impressions changed as I got deeper into both companies, of course. I think the big turning point for TJPW for me was DDT Ultimate Party 2019, honestly. I’d just started to really get into TJPW by that point (thanks to Misao and Sakisama haha), and I was just so charmed by all of the TJPW parts of that entire show, and stuff like Kenny respecting Miyu so much that he wanted to fight her himself, that went a long way. I feel like CyberFest probably serves a similar purpose there, showing that TJPW is a bit of an oddball company, yes, but it’s no less legitimate than DDT or NOAH.

Honestly, with Stardom, I’m not sure how I feel about the thought of changing the belts, haha. I think you’re probably right that it would improve the global perception of them, though.

I guess the main problem to me is that if Stardom is going to present itself as the number one women’s wrestling company in the world, there’s kind of a certain… responsibility, I guess, that’s inherent in that. And Stardom doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record with some of that, like the bikini fights (and bikini photobooks…), which are honestly bigger turn-offs for me personally than whimsical belts. I don’t mind individual promotions doing heavily sexualized stuff (I mean, I’m a DDT watcher haha), but I do get bothered by the thought that women’s wrestling can’t succeed without including that stuff, so in that sense, I wish there was less of a disparity between Stardom and NJPW.

That said, though, NJPW could step up with sexualizing their male wrestlers haha and it could solve that problem from a different angle, I think :sweat_smile:. That’s sort of how the DDT and TJPW dynamic feels to me. Like, yes, TJPW has photobooks and portraits and such, but their stuff is either exactly on par with what DDT puts out (they literally hire the same photographer), or DDT takes it a step further (Endo’s nude photobook, basically any Pheromones match, etc.). So it doesn’t feel like any of that is happening because TJPW is a woman’s promotion.

Even with the idol stuff, my opinion of that in TJPW evolved into me wishing more men’s wrestling promotions had more singing and dancing haha. Wrestling is a performance, after all, and I think it’s fun to combine it with other performance arts. I also wish that men’s promotions would incorporate more of the whimsy and magic that’s in TJPW. DDT sometimes gives me my wish there, but I feel like NOAH would benefit from this, too… I swear this argument is not driven entirely by my “give us a TJPW/NOAH crossover” agenda. But if I can put Mizuki and Yuka into NOAH, and Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima into TJPW, and write a 30k word novella about it, then I think there’s enough common ground between the two companies to make this work.

I guess really what it comes down to for me is that instead of wanting women’s wrestling to become masculinized in order to stand on even footing with men’s wrestling, I want men’s wrestling to take some inspiration from women’s wrestling, too. Wrestling is increasingly becoming distant from the old hypermasculine big guy vs big guy stereotype, and I think letting it be more feminine is honestly super healthy for the development of the medium, and would bring in many more new fans (especially fans who aren’t men) than it would turn away.

Pink frilly Riho gear Kenny forever!!

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Yeah, I think to some extent it’s an unavoidable experience of getting into this kind of thing (specific subsection of an already niche interest, primarily in a different language), where you just aren’t gonna know what the context or the vibe is until you’ve actually invested some time into it. Without any information, suspecting a women’s wrestling promotion could turn out to be condescending or exploitative is… probably a pretty reasonable concern! And what, if any, red flags there are are a lot more distracting when you aren’t familiar with the good parts yet.

I feel like similarly – I have a hard time recommending 龍が如く or getting takers on those recommendations, because stuff like the – at best, weird – integration of the sex industry into minigames, or the handful of disappointing moments of transphobia, are much bigger turnoffs when you’re still kind of expecting the series to be like, a hypermasculine GTA-tinged crime game, instead of an extremely good-hearted game about goofy dudes being buds.

Like – the process of figuring out if uncomfortable elements are the main tone, or just occasional lapses takes a frustratingly non-zero amount of time, is I guess what I mean.

The biggest thing about Stardom that makes me personally at this point safely conceptualize its uncomfortable bits as overlookable/outlier type things rather than main distractions (and it’s worth mentioning that I get the impression Stardom has changed drastically since just before I started watching in 2020), is that at the end of the day, I don’t think any aspersions can fairly be cast at how seriously and importantly the competition itself in Stardom is presented. Like the sheer scale and prestige of just this last year’s 5 Star GP for example (26 participants! Big shows with commentary! Packed Korakuens!) surely is unique to Stardom among the current women’s promotions and divisions of the world as far as I know.

While there are still elements of the presentation that can make me uncomfortable sometimes (those spots in the rumbles sometimes, the occasional “Cosmic Rules” matches, I still don’t really know quite what to make of Rossy Ogawa and his prominent role) and I can understand why newcomers would be additionally wary of those things - when the entire rest of the card is killer big-deal women’s wrestling, it’s easier to look past it for me than it ever was when there were issues with how the women’s divisions in WWE were handled when I was watching those. Just from the sheer volume, if nothing else. I still maintain that rather than being fast-paced per se, Stardom these days more accurately just has a ton of stuff going on at all times. Which itself is certainly at least something I never experienced watching women’s wrestling in American promotions!!

I would say though… at the very least, they certainly know what they have with Mr. Tanahashi :smile:. A big percentage of their ads are just “hey if you buy NJPW merch, Tanahashi might smile at you!” And I guess the sexualization varies by participant but there is the Concurso… I do like that New Japan seems more aware of WWE at least of the idea that the audience might fairly find the male wrestlers attractive (whether or not that’s quite the same thing as “sexualization” per se).
(oh yeah – and come to think of it I just remembered the プ女子 episodes of the New Japan variety show, which are very weird in their own way, but basically just amount to a full show of women ogling the male wrestlers and talking about what makes them hot)

I think the gap between New Japan and Stardom on this particular front isn’t quite as big (again, at least these days) as it can seem when not actively watching Stardom’s actual full shows. They both do ultimately feel primarily like “check out this variety of charismatic athletes!” to me, which is at least in principle, fair, and sorta inseparable from pro wrestling whether it’s acknowledged or not.

Mildly interesting side note I thought of – I remember when I started my Shupro subscription, there was a slightly off-putting regular feature each week where there’d be a page of a gravure modeling type shot of a different female wrestler. I remember that being another one of those initially off-putting “I’m not sure about this” type of elements but it’s been gone for a long time. I wonder if it was a temporary thing I just happened to catch the tail-end of, or if the recent surge in women’s wrestling popularity has helped it be replaced with actual coverage.

I definitely agree about this! I think the ideal outcome for me to bridge that barrier of entry problem would be for these big media companies to trust the product and its appeal enough to let it earn enough fans and respect naturally that the feminine-ish elements that today can trigger “uh oh maybe the powers that be aren’t taking this seriously” fully just become accepted and a fun part of wrestling, and more and more of the need for self-consciously “gritty!!” “tough!!” presentation fades away.

like I remember being (and still maybe am) uncomfortable with Stardom’s Cinderella Tournament concept, where the winner wears a fancy dress and tiara and gets a “cinderella wish” – but I thought about it and honestly in a vacuum that’s a really fun stipulation! and if it were dropped a small something would maybe be lost – whereas if the men got a similar (or… the exact same…?) stipulation, perhaps something would be gained…

I dunno! I guess it’s no surprise that the intersection of famously complicated things, gender and professional wrestling, would be itself complicated :sweat_smile: especially when these two countries have weirdly completely different systems around it fraught in completely different ways, with incompatible terminology.

I tell ya though – back when I had the WWE Network, I tried to watch “Attitude Era” shows and WOWEE despite watching a shocking amount of 80s and early 90s wrestling and enjoying it pretty well that year, I just couldn’t do it once like, Val Venis and D-Generation X started showing up and I stopped completely. There was some stuff in there I saw that I would truly say personally was outright show-poisoning garbage… We really do have it better now than it used to be (for what low a bar that is).

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Yeah, I think Japan in general is more, I guess, aware of and willing to market to this audience regardless of gender (which is both a good and a bad thing!). Photobooks don’t really exist in American promotions in the same way, though I bet they would sell quite a few of them if they made them, haha.

But I do think that the concurso differs a lot from Stardom’s bikini stuff, for complicated reasons concerning audience gaze and identification. There are a few DDT products that I do think are comparable to the bikini photobooks, though. Like the nude photobook with the infamous fabric (link contains a, uh, borderline NSFW Kota photo, fyi!) that Kenny’s house show tights were made out of.

If NJPW starts having wrestlers start feuds in their underwear or having matches where that sort of thing is an actual stipulation, though, then yeah, that would totally be on par, haha.

There was a podcast interview with Kenny from I think 2019, maybe with Don Callis or Dave Meltzer or someone like that, where the interviewer asked Kenny about the increase in women fans that NJPW had gotten in recent years. Apparently it was, at least at the time, nearly 50% women fans, which is obviously a way higher percentage than fans in the west!

I do think that NJPW does a fair amount of catering to this audience, hence why they’re successful there, but there were definitely things on the shows themselves that I found incredibly offputting at first, like Miho Abe and Pieter. I’d be fine with that stuff if it wasn’t so… well, obviously designed around the idea that the audience is a (heterosexual) man :sweat_smile:. Like, fanservice aimed at lesbians is a thing that also exists, but that’s… not really what’s happening here. But if one of the wrestlers had a scantily clad male valet who does provocative poses, then I’d let them have Miho Abe and Pieter without complaint, haha. But as it stands, there are still just all these little reminders that they do have a particular audience in mind for their shows, and that audience is not me.

I honestly have some complicated feelings on the sexualization aspect just in general, but that’s largely due to being asexual. For the most part, I’m okay with people doing whatever they want as long as everyone is comfortable. What worries me is that there is a certain pressure, particularly on women, to exist as sexual objects in addition to being athletes, and that there are much more limited paths to success in the field if the women don’t want to go down that route.

Ok yeah the New Japan Cup would extremely be improved if the winner gets to wear a fancy dress and a tiara at the end!! I probably still wouldn’t get back into watching, haha, but I would tune in to see the winner’s outfit at the end…

Yeah, pretty much :sweat_smile:! Also, I don’t know if you ever read this, but there’s actually a really interesting interview with Effy where he talks about wrestling and drag. Here’s a quote that particularly stands out to me:

“Literally, wrestling is drag! It’s over-the-top exaggeration. Obviously for [queens], it’s exaggeration of femininity and on our end it’s masculinity. Where I’ve taken my character, I’ve played with both ends of that. They say, ‘Oh, here’s this boy in fishnets’–and then I beat people’s asses.”

This is actually something that gets further complicated when you add in Mexican wrestling and the whole concept of exóticos, which exist within a completely different cultural framework, and are in many ways sort of a direct reaction to Mexico’s culture of machismo. I’ve spent a lot of time sort of trying to grapple with the concept. Is it a positive or a negative stereotype, is it empowering LGBTQ people and issues or holding them back, etc., but truthfully it’s a situation where I don’t think there are a lot of clear-cut right or wrong answers! It’s positive and empowering for some people, and also unfortunately restrictive for others, since there isn’t really an existing framework for luchadores to be openly LGBTQ outside of that specific model.

It’s something I’m hoping to be able to do more research on when my Spanish gets better, because so far, I’ve mostly just read English language research, which is fairly limited! I have a feeling that I’ll find a lot more nuanced articles and essays on the subject being written in Spanish by people with a more direct connection to the culture…

Sorry for rambling! I have a lot of interest in the subject and have also thought about it a lot, so I have a lot to say! :sweat_smile:

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週刊プロレス No.2208 (from October, the end of the 5 Star GP)

This one’s a supplemental issue not included with the subscription, focusing exclusively on the 2022 Stardom 5 Star GP. I went ahead and bought it since I loved that tournament so much!
My impression (not having read it yet but I mean if I end up disagreeing by the end I’ll just go back and edit this out so) is that it’s not unmissable by any means, but it seems like a pretty fun souvenir of sorts if you care about the event covered.

The first big section is a page for each of the 26 tournament entrants, ordered by point total by block, with a summary of how they did across the tournament, and their personal story it tells.
I think these are neat! So I tried to summarize them.

Red Stars

  1. Tam Nakano (1st place)
    After losing the white belt in 2021, Tam was stalling with failed championship shots and injury, but fully recovered and bounced back particularly with her celebrated matches with Natsupoi and subsequent acceptance of same as a new member of Cosmic Angels, as well as a great match challenging for Syuri’s red belt. Her path through to the tournament file was marked by stopping other wrestlers’ hot streaks (as both Himeka and Maika lost to her when they had momentum), and the final with Giulia shows why that feud and Tam in particular are evergreen attractions (ロングセラー) for Stardom.
  2. Maika (2nd place)
    Maika notched impressive wins coming out ahead in rugged confrontations of attack and defense, incl. between her “fated rival” Utami Hayashishita and her former stablemate Syuri. Her Michinoku Driver II is a powerful weapon, but Tam stopping her momentum, a shocking loss to Momo Kohgo, and she and her tag partner Himeka’s first singles match together in the final ending in double KO meant she was out of the tournament. Maika certainly has the ability, now if she can only capture a belt, the Maika era will arrive.
    (P.S. they don’t mention it, but a notable memory I have of Maika in this tournament is when she got very very sunburned in the middle of it…)
  3. Himeka (2nd place)
    For Himeka’s summary, they emphasize heavily the first singles match between her close friend, tag partner, and stablemate Maika on the final show. They also talk about how after reaching the semifinal of the tournament in 2020, her singles momentum stalled (apparently in part due to back pain), but the match with Maika and an impressive red belt challenge have only deepened the expectation of big (jumbo?) things from Himeka (ひめか待望論)
  4. Risa Sera (2nd place)
    As the invading leader of Prominence, Sera surely found enjoyment in wrestling for Stardom in the tournament, based on the extremely painful looking things she did to the other wrestlers: particularly the Giant Swing on Momo Kohgo that ended with throwing her directly into the audience’s chairs (which yes, I remember!). She broke out that technique a couple of times after that, and also made (the very light) Saki Kashima look like a crash test dummy with unparalleled speed in the Giant Swing.
  5. Koguma (5th place)
    Koguma’s the type to have fun in her matches, and her tendency to either persuade or force bear poses and kuma chants out of her opponents was a memorable throughline in the tournament. Her nickname of “Highspeed Genius” was born out in victories over AZM and Utami Hayashishita however, and after lots of success in the tag team division with fellow un-retiree Hazuki as FWC (Fukuoka Double Crazy), her first singles title since returning to wrestling can’t be far away.
    (come to think of it, I’m honestly shocked she hasn’t been highspeed champion since then)
  6. Utami Hayashishita (5th place)
    Utami’s reign with the red belt across 9 defenses made her synonymous with big matches in Stardom and won her the 2021 Tokyo Sports Women’s Pro-Wrestling top prize, and so for her this tournament was an opportunity to regain that spotlight. An early match with her rival Syuri was sure to be a draw, since they had fought for 43 minutes in the past with no conclusion (30m draw + 13 minute extension ending in double KO), so how could 15 minutes be enough? Utami defeating Syuri just before the bell marked the start of that revival she was hoping for… however point-wise the end result of the tournament can only be a disappointment.
  7. AZM (5th place)
    AZM’s won technique or special achievement prizes in all her 5 Star GP appearances since her first in 2019, and she held her own in a difficult and powerful block with speed and skill, not ending at the top, but having sped ahead (さすが) and been at the top of the block standings for a long time. Her winning combination of canadian destroyer into her pinning “Azumi sushi” won victories and showed absolutely that the Highspeed Champion can hang at the top of Stardom’s competition.
  8. Syuri (5th place)
    Syuri won the 2021 5 Star GP, but actively defending the red belt during the run of the tournament may have made the path to a second consecutive victory even more difficult, and after a loss to rival Utami, and a loss to Saki Kashima’s 起死回生 despite Saki being actively Syuri-phobic, although Syuri was able to keep the possibility of advancing open to the end, she wasn’t able to see it through.
  9. Saki Kashima (9th place)
    This tournament was in a way, Saki Kashima’s blooming into a true entertainer. Her long-relied on surprise rollup move 起死回生 led her to upset victories, and her ingenuity and varied moves (like the Shoryuken she does) and storylines like overcoming her fear of having to fight Syuri, meant that although she’s a heel, she’s become very popular. Spapapapaan!
  10. SAKI (10th place)
    An outside wrestler from the independent unit COLOR’S that’s allied with Cosmic Angels, SAKI’s had a 10 year career, and despite the many matches she’s had, the tournament provided many first-time opponents and experiences, and although point-wise she didn’t end up with as many points as expected, she’s nevertheless grateful for that experience.
  11. Mai Sakurai (11th place)
    First wrestling for Stardom in 2021 after a roughly 1.5 year career prior to that, Mai was briefly in Cosmic Angels before deciding to join Giulia in Donna Del Mondo (thanks to Giulia’s inexplicably successful “attack the rookies in horror masks” plan). Shupro says she showed the most growth out of anyone in the tournament and I agree! I’m surprised it doesn’t mention her very bold goal of – I think it was just 3 or 4 losses? – that she made to her mentors Giulia and Hideki Suzuki. And while she didn’t net enough victories to avoid all three of them having to dogeza in apology, she got a lot closer than I was expecting!
  12. Momo Kohgo (12th place)
    Momo’s entry into the tournament was as a replacement for Thekla who had to drop out due to injury, with Momo earning the spot from doing next-best below the qualifying line in the rookie preliminary tournament beforehand. She fought hard, but wasn’t able to accrue a hugely surprising number of points, with two victories, against Saki Kashima and most surprisingly, Maika. She formed plenty of rivals to revenge herself on though, particularly fellow former Actwres Girl’Z member Mai Sakurai. Shupro says she has a “hurricanrana-like move” as a finisher that is continuing to be polished.
  13. Unagi Sayaka (12th place)
    Unagi shined in 2021 including with a 5 Star GP performance that won one of the special achievement awards, so her drop to last place this year is a harsh blow that suggests there may be an obstacle she needs to breakthrough to find success again.
    (She has since been traveling around freelancing quite successfully in other promotions - to such an extent that I’m not really clear on what if any direct ties she still has with Stardom other than still being a Cosmic Angels member)

Blue Stars

  1. Giulia (1st place)
    Two motivations drove Giulia through the tournament: making up for last year (when she had to drop out partway through due to injury) and her long-awaited first singles match with Suzu Suzuki since they both left Ice Ribbon (three years apart) in the final. Her first two matches were losses, but after successive victories, especially her memorable match with Starlight Kid, her confidence and form were in full force. The summary also calls out her dramatic victory over Saya Kamitani, her and Mayu Iwatani “once again” not reaching a conclusive end with a draw, and her tagging with Rina Yamashita midtournament at Stardom in Showcase.
  2. Mayu Iwatani (2nd place)
    Mayu is the wrestler with the longest Stardom career, and has become an undeniable living “icon” of Stardom, but although the 5 Star GP has been held since shortly after the promotion started (and Mayu’s been there since the beginning), she didn’t enter until 2014, after falling through entrance-deciding matches in '12 and '13. After winning the Cinderella Tournament in 2015 and 2016, she won her first 5 Star GP in 2018. And since no one has ever won the tournament twice so far, she was gunning to be the first. But being an icon also means being a target. Opponents like MIRAI and Saya Kamitani alluding to her “icon” status heavily in speech after beating her shows that although she didn’t manage 5 Star GP V2, Mayu’s synonymy with Stardom remains fully intact.
  3. MIRAI (2nd place)
    MIRAI hasn’t been long in Stardom and already won her first Cinderella tournament, and now came one step away from winning the 5 Star GP. The sheer force of her left-handed lariat made a huge impact, along with her catchphrase ”魂込めて" (“putting my soul into it”, let’s say). What’s next for MIRAI’s mirai*? Singles? Tag? Both?
    (*Translator’s note: mirai means future)
  4. Suzu Suzuki (2nd place)
    Suzu has been very active freelancing and with Prominence, and won a singles championship in Wave but also missed time due to a shoulder injury, and then entered this tournament late after testing positive for COVID. She went in with Giulia as the sole target in mind due to Suzu’s grudge against her for abandoning her when Giulia left Ice Ribbon with no warning. Although she insisted she wasn’t having fun after initial losses, by the end of the tournament as victories accumulated, it seems that Suzu couldn’t help but enjoy fighting Stardom’s wrestlers and accumulated many future rivals in the process. She may have entered only for Giulia, but by the end of the tournament Suzu certainly made her mark on all of Stardom.
  5. Hazuki (5th place)
    Hazuki played a prominent role in the tournament with 7 straight victories meaning she sped out ahead of the competition with a vertical falling brainbuster (垂直落下式ブレーンバスター) as her finisher… but then that was followed by 5 successive losses. From all appearances though, this was due less to Hazuki losing momentum herself, and more all of Stardom leveling up, she was just a forerunner of that growth.
  6. Saya Kamitani (5th place)
    While last year around the 5 Star GP, Saya leaked the identity of “X” and no one will let her live it down, this year she enters the tournament as a prestigious white belt champion, and although KAIRI saying the white belt was crying (as build to a postponed match) may have thrown her off her game, Saya made a strong showing and accumulated a number of additional challenges for her belt…
  7. Starlight Kid (5th place)
    After her turn to Oedotai the year prior gave her a huge boost in popularity and shook off the image of a lower card sidekick, SLK entered the tournament with big expectations behind her despite her small size, since her self-presentation is so strong. She’s motivated by a chip on her shoulder and a long list of wrestlers to revenge herself on. Some of that revenge might have been successful, and she’s become something of a major barrier to overcome for the younger wrestlers, but one new target for revenge was certainly created as well in the form of Suzu Suzuki…
  8. Natsupoi (8th place)
    Natsupoi is on a hot streak after betraying Donna Del Mondo to join Cosmic Angels and tag with Tam Nakano and “start a revolution,” and while she didn’t win this singles tournament, the revolution wasn’t built in a day after all, and there is surely very high expectations for Natsupoi and Tam in the tag division soon…
  9. Momo Watanabe (8th place)
    It’s the first 5 Star GP since joining Oedotai for last year’s semifinalist and (for now anyway) record holder for most white belt defenses, Momo Watanabe. She brought plenty of “Oedotainess” to the table in the form of a wrench (or spanner if you prefer), plenty of interference from the seconds, etc., seeming to show complete disregard for winning or losing.
  10. Ami Sohrei (10th place)
    Entering the main tournament having won a clean sweep of the preliminary tournament, Ami Sohrei made a very big impact for a wrestler so early in their career, particularly with her new move 雷の如く (“Like a Thunderbolt,” with the Like a Dragon echoing definitely 100% intentional). She may well be a candidate for a 5 Star GP victory in the near future.
  11. Mina Shirakawa (11th place)
    Another candidate for the wrestler showing the most growth in this series, what she may not have gained in victories, Mina showed in gain in style and ring psychology. Shupro describes her style here as a unique, classical flavored one, mentioning moves like her Figure 4 or 吊り天井 (“drop ceiling”, known in English as the Romero Special), which let her make an impact despite not placing highly. Once that impact is paired with pinfalls, singles gold will surely follow.
  12. Saya Iida (10th place)
    This is Iida’s second 5 Star GP after entering last year’s as a replacement and this year entering via the preliminary rookie tournament. The “Macho Gorilla” faced a reset in momentum after being out for injury a long time, and while she found a couple of victories with her new pinning move, a modified version of her “Iida Bridge” called the “Iida New Bridge,” further success remains a little down the road. Her most striking victory was stopping Hazuki’s momentum. A fellow member of stars, Hazuki was also something like a trainer to Iida, and so she had hoped to beat Hazuki with her teacher’s own finisher, the vertical falling brainbuster, but ultimately won with the Iida New Bridge for now.
  13. Hanan (12th place)
    Hanan went into the tournament as Future of Stardom Championship, but faced successive losses through almost the entire tournament. Showing impressive strength of spirit at just 18 though, she was able to at last get two victories in the last two matches of the tournament, and in the end was glad to have seen it through.

Next there’s a rundown of every show in the tournament. I’m not reading or summarizing all that, but they include some comments from a winner of one of the shows (probably from the post-match or backstage promo?) some of which are interesting.

  • MIRAI says she’s no icon of Stardom after beating Mayu once, but she’ll put her soul into it and become an ace of Stardom.
  • SLK characteristically pesters Saya Kamitani after beating her, saying she’s got “nerves of tofu” (豆腐メンタル) torn to shreds after KAIRI’s comments.
  • Mayu says she thinks Hanan might be a future icon of Stardom but she can’t let her be one just yet (after a match where I remember being particularly impressed at Hanan’s gumption in attacking Mayu before the bell)
  • Saki Kashima addressed her hometown crowd after a victory in Shimane
  • SLK sincerely expresses encouragement to Hanan after beating her, as they both debuted as kids wrestlers (a year or two apart), and as a former Future of Stardom champion who lost on her 5th defense, SLK knows best out of anyone how impressive Hanan’s being on her 8th defense is.
  • “I’ve grown out of Arita haven’t I?” Himeka asked former Actwres Girl’z senpai SAKI after beating her, referring to her (Himeka’s) former ring name.
  • Risa Sera helpfully points out to Koguma that she is not in fact a bear but a human.
  • Suzu Suzuki calls Iida a shit gorilla. (but acknowledges she is very strong)

The last feature in the issue is SLKの天罰完了日記, a diary of Starlight Kid’s days during the tournament. It’s pretty surface-level, but kinda fun to hear about the circumstances around a tournament like this, with mundane details like what breakfast she likes (banana + yogurt + honey + protein), an Oedotai party around her birthday, “YoungOED会inHOTEL,” a movie she saw on Hulu and recommends (竜とそばかすの姫, or in English, the much less memorable title “Belle”) or what her sleep levels on any given day were like. That kind of thing.
One wrestling-related detail I especially liked was she describes complicated feelings behind her match with Iida, because Iida was out injured when SLK was forced into Oedotai originally, so there’s mixed feelings where Iida has a hard time recognizing that Kid has changed and left Stars, and Kid was stuck both glad to see Iida return and defiantly not wanting to lose to a Stars member.
She also talks about the match with Suzu Suzuki that was postponed and that Kid ultimately lost, and she says she was looking forward to it and it was violent as expected and Suzu’s extremely aggravating but she loves that kind of person (こーゆー奴大好きなんだわ) and is already looking forward
to the inevitable rematch down the line.

Assorted pictures:




Thank you for writing this up! As someone who surely consumed more of the 5 Star GP than is good for a person, I still enjoyed the look back. Just to quickly respond to your wondering about Unagi’s status, she herself has said her relationship with Stardom now is deliberately vague, in order to keep things “exciting” and to keep people talking about her, because “if people are wondering about it they’re paying attention to me, and that’s a good thing, right?” So the answer to that one is a big fat shrug emoji for pretty much everyone who doesn’t work there. Anyway, thanks again!


I finally watched 大日本プロレス リア王 (BJW’s King Lear)! This show happened on August 7, 2008, so it is quite old at this point, but I really enjoyed it! As I think I already mentioned, BJW did a series of Shakespeare deathmatch shows from 2008-2011 (there were three: King Lear, Romeo vs Juliet, and then two showings of Macbeth). These shows are not available anywhere online, as far as I have been able to find, so I bought the DVDs secondhand and had them shipped from Japan!

I’ve been trying to translate as much stuff as I can find about these shows so that I can share them with my friends and also hopefully get more info about them out there so that Shakespeare enthusiasts can know that they exist!

King Lear is the one I have the least info for (the Romeo vs Juliet DVD came with what appears to be the original program for the show folded up inside, and Macbeth has a guidebook, which I had a friend buy secondhand for me and just got in the mail!), but the back of the DVD has a lot of good stuff on it, so I translated it with the help of a friend who was also super interested in these shows, and who helped me buy them.

I’ll include the original Japanese, and then my translation under it so that you can choose which to read haha.

The introduction on the back of the DVD:











My translation:

The stage was called a ring, and it was bounded by ropes.

Before the show, sentiments like: “What on earth is this?” “A play performed by wrestlers would be like a boring school play anyway…” “There’s no way professional wrestlers could do something like Shakespeare…” and various other assumptions floated around “Big Japan’s King Lear.”

However, when I saw the venue that day, I realized that these concerns were utterly uncalled for. The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse was not the usual venue for a Big Japan Pro Wrestling match, but it was the perfect abode for King Lear—it was Lear’s Palace.

Then King Lear entered the ring with his royal attendants, accompanied by a violinist! And then came the wrestlers portraying Lear’s family, with King Lear at the helm!!

The atmosphere was entirely that of a Shakespeare play dressed up as professional wrestling. Cordelia’s exile was the story. Before the eyes of the king unfolded the contest.

And betrayal, friends turned to enemies, exile, treason, despair… countless tragedies which descended upon us avalanche-style… Each and every one of them was perfectly expressed in the “pro wrestling” that is conveyed in the bodies of the wrestlers.

As the wrestlers physically expressed the drama, so too did the actors bring the challenge to the wrestlers to stake their pride as expressive artists within the boundaries of the so-called squared circle.

It was neither theater nor pro wrestling, but everything that happens in the ring is pro wrestling, and everything expressed by human beings using their bodies and minds is art.

Because of pro wrestlers, this project is not a blasphemy against art, but maybe a formal challenge. For the first time in the long history of Japanese professional wrestling, Shakespeare was expressed. This was the first time in the 400 years of history since the show was first performed that it was fought with real blood and sweat flowing, and Shakespeare must have gazed down from above the clouds and seen the passionate tale presented by these daring men.

Without a doubt, these men have carved their names and left a deep impression in the history of pro wrestling and theater, as well as in the hearts of the audience.

It was fun translating the list of tragedies: 裏切り、仲間割れ、追放、反逆、絶望と・・ I was like, “Hey, I just learned 仲間割れ from the Wrestle Universe chat!” Overall, I did better than I thought translating this, or at least my friend had relatively minor fixes, haha. I made a few errors when transcribing the text from the DVD, but I think I caught them all when translating it.

Something that was kind of funny to me was that there were a lot of words here that were taught to me as: “this can be written in kanji as [ ], but you’ll always see it in kana.” Well, they were in kanji here! Including our old friend, 又. I thought maybe it was done to save space (they didn’t exactly have a lot of real estate on the back of the DVD), but one of my friends suggested that maybe they used more kanji to sound more ~Shakespearean~. That is also a possibility!

I found that whole thing really fascinating because, well, I’m obviously obsessed with pro wrestling, but I’ve also loved Shakespeare for a long, long time, so I sort of have one foot in each world here. It’s unfortunately wholly unsurprising to me that this show received the reaction that it did when it was first announced, because I think that gets at the high/low culture dichotomy, and the fact that most people place Shakespeare on one side of that, and pro wrestling on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. I have actually sort of done a lot of research on that, too, haha, because I focused a lot on fan studies in undergrad and in graduate school, and the high/low culture issue came up a lot! :sweat_smile:

In any case, this is the kind of show that is made for an audience of me (my inability to watch deathmatches notwithstanding…), so I was very excited about it! I would love to see more of this kind of thing in wrestling! It’s honestly similar in many ways to Hiragana Muscle, though Muscle is a comedy and this is a tragedy.

Also, the card for all of these shows is incredible! I love the match names!

Here is the card as it was printed on the back of the DVD:

序章 バイオリン 松田麻由美

第1幕 グレート・リア王より開催の御挨拶

第2幕 ドランカープリンスタッグマッチ 30分ー本勝負

バックス宮本 アプロディタ忍
ゴネリル谷口 オールバニ弁慶 with オズワルド勘九郎

第3幕 200ポンドマッスルハードコアタッグマッチ 30分ー本勝負

マルス関本 ハーデース黒田
リーガンWX コーンウォール小林

第四章 狂気

第五幕 追悼バトルロイヤル

コング桑田 ✕ 八代進一・谷山知宏組 ✕ 黒天使 ✕ ボクデス・スカンク組

ローズ&蛍光灯祭壇デスマッチ 時間無制限1本勝負

エドマンド佐々木 エドガー葛西 黒天使
コーデリア伊東 フランス帝王 ケント井上

My translation (I added the actual names of the performers in italics)

Prologue: Violin Mayumi Matsuda

Act 1: A Greeting from the Great King Lear

(Great Kojika)

Act 2: Drunkard Prince Tag Match (30 minutes, one fall)

GONERIL Taniguchi ALBANY Benkei with OSWALD Kankuro

(Yuko Miyamoto & Shinobu VS Yuichi Taniguchi & Daikokubo Benkei with Kankuro Hoshino)

Act 3: 200lb. Muscle Hardcore Tag Match (30 minutes, one fall)

MARS Sekimoto HADES Kuroda

(Daisuke Sekimoto & Tetsuhiro Kuroda VS Shadow WX & Abdullah Kobayashi)

Act 4: Madness

Act 5: Mourning Battle Royal

Kong Kuwata (storyteller) ✕ Shunichi Yashiro・Tomohiro Taniyama ✕ BLACK ANGEL ✕ Bokudesu (pastor)・SKUNK (guitar)

(Kong Kuwata ✕ Shunichi Yashiro ・Tomohiro Taniyama ✕ “Black Angel” Jaki Numazawa ✕ Masahiro Kohama ・ Tatsuo Sunaga)

Rose & Light Tube Altar Deathmatch (no time limit, one fall)


(Yoshihito Sasaki & Jun Kasai & “Black Angel” Jaki Numazawa VS Ryuji Ito & Men’s Teioh & Katsumasa Inoue)

Most of the wrestlers were pretty easy to find via google if I just typed in the kanji and added 大日本プロレス, but a few of the non-wrestlers gave me more trouble, haha. ボクデス in particular was a headache to find (what a name, lol)! My friend had to do the google sleuthing for that one, but he did manage to find him (he’s a performance artist, as it turns out). And スカンク was helpfully listed on the back of the DVD as “ギター”. That was beyond my investigative skills, too, but my friend somehow managed to figure out who it was.

I also had a bit of trouble with the katakana names of some of the characters who aren’t actual characters in King Lear. I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be Greek/Roman gods? Sort of? It’s complicated! I was confused when initially translating the names, but when I actually watched the show, I think it clicked why they chose to go with that.

This is the third adaption of King Lear that I’ve seen/read. The first was a regular performance of the play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the second was the novel A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. Both were very good! I’ve also read the play twice. It’s honestly not my favorite Shakespeare play, but I did get pretty heavily influenced by the eye-gouging scene in the OSF production and wrote something similar into a D&D game I was running at the time, haha, and then my mom and her siblings had a King-Lear-esque falling out over their inheritance after my grandmother died, so I ended up becoming pretty well-acquainted with the story whether I liked it or not…

But, well, here are some of my impressions after watching BJW King Lear:

I wasn’t able to understand terribly much of the dialogue, haha, but I got the basic gist of the story, thanks to my King Lear knowledge. It appeared to be King Lear told through a wrestling setting instead, so I don’t think it’s really full of direct Shakespeare quotes or anything (I caught plenty of wrestling words, at least, haha), but I dunno. I did notice I caught a lot more of the dialogue when going back through the show afterward to get screencaps. There is (Japanese) commentary for the matches, which helps convey some of the story beats. That in itself was an interesting stylistic choice.

The matches themselves are actually pretty enjoyable just as matches, I think. They fit into an overall story, but the wrestlers work them like they’re regular matches, so even if you don’t fully get what’s going on, you can still enjoy the narrative of the matches individually. Only one of the matches was a true deathmatch, and that was the main event: the Rose & Light Tube Altar Deathmatch. I was able to watch more of it than I thought I would, haha, because the vibes were simply off the charts.

Here are some screenshots of the show, plus some more specific comments:

Great Kojika played the “Great” King Lear! I’m not normally a BJW watcher, so I had no idea who he was until I looked him up, but apparently he co-founded the promotion and is the oldest Japanese wrestler as well as the one with the longest career, and is also the oldest active wrestler in the world (at age 80!). Legitimately extremely fitting for this role, actually!

I really liked the way he wore the two belts around his neck like this. This is from the scene where Cordelia gets exiled.

From the Drunkard Prince tag match.

Regan and Cornwall had a bit of a 仲間割れ during their match. Not a good way to impress the king!

I hadn’t seen much of “Black Angel” Jaki Numazawa’s work before this (I’d only seen him in the last BJW X DDT crossover show, I think), but he left a pretty strong impression on me in this! His character work as (I’m assuming?) the Fool character was pretty great!

The music in this show also ruled. I loved the violin at the beginning, and the guitar they had going on during the battle royal act was fun! They also had this incredible altar setup, with bunches of roses and light tubes on the apron…

Tajiri was also here for some reason? I don’t remember seeing his name on the back of the DVD, haha.

Jun Kasai was fantastic in this! Honestly, all the wrestlers were great! I have no idea why he decided to kiss Numazawa’s character here, but, well, they decided to do that! I guess it’s a bit of a preview for the main event of Romeo vs Juliet, which is the next show…

The altar turned out to be made of light tubes, which is extremely pro wrestling, and of course someone crashed through it. I didn’t even realize what it was made out of until partially through this match. There were some other pretty incredible light tube/barbed wire/rose weapons, which of course broke spectacularly.

At one point, they scattered roses all over the ring and did a rolling cradle on top of the roses and the broken glass from the light tubes… I could only watch scattered pieces of this last match, but boy did it have a lot of striking imagery…

All in all, I loved it! I’m very excited for Romeo vs Juliet next, whenever that is able to happen! (It depends on when there are lulls in the TJPW translation workload, haha). I already got started translating the program, and I hope to get most of it done before watching the show so that my friends and I have as much context as possible.

With King Lear, I’m considering trying to translate shupro’s recap for it, since it goes more in depth about the plot (I didn’t look at the recap before watching because I didn’t want to spoil it), and then maybe making a huge blog post with everything I have translated for the show so that English-speaking fans (of wrestling and/or of Shakespeare) can know that it exists. Because I think it’s an incredibly cool work of art that really transcends genre boundaries in both directions.

I’d also love to properly gif it at some point, though who knows when I’ll get around to that, haha. Not that there’s really any particular rush, though… :sweat_smile:

Someday, when my listening comprehension is better, I’ll definitely rewatch all of these shows to get the full experience.

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A couple translation suggestions (if you don't mind!)

The どうせ here I would say is like, “any way you slice it, the outcome is definitely gonna be X”
Whereas the “anyway” used here reads to me like a softer “ehh I was thinking of going but it’ll probably be X anyway so why bother” kind of anyway.
I would try to ramp up the derision - here’s my own attempt:
“A play put on by wrestlers? There’s no way that doesn’t end up just like a mind-numbing school play!”

A couple things:

  1. you’ve got 日の当たり here but it sounds like you translated based on 目の当たり so that would be a transcription to doublecheck.
  2. I don’t feel great about the first-person narrator materializing for just this sentence. I don’t think 目の当たり and 解った necessarily imply a personal narrator describing their own experiences here (although it makes sense why it would feel more natural to translate it that way…). I’d say the subject in that sense is still the general, collective opinion.
    My attempt:
    “But at first sight of the venue, all such qualms were found to be needless concern.”

This is really picky, but I would say the original order matches the structure more: “The story was Cordelia’s exile”
空気は…そして物語は → The atmosphere… The story.

This one is hard because there’s a two part structure with very similar ends, and it’s easier to intuit what they’re probably saying than figure it out exactly. Assuming the transcript is exactly correct though, I think what’s happening is it’s describing the deepness of the challenge posed to the pro-wrestlers by re-emphasizing it.
レスラー達の肉体表現に闘いを挑んだ役者達も ~ the actors who challenged a fight towards the wrestler’s physical expression.
又 ~ also, furthermore
四角いリングと言う結界の中、表現者としてのプライドを賭けてレスラー達に挑んで行った。~ they went to the wrestlers’ home turf and challenged the wrestlers’ very pride as performers within the bounds of the so-called squared circle.

I think you mistook the structure here. I would say the second comma is separating two things modifying 冒涜:


roughly “a blasphemy against the arts perpetrated by pro wrestlers”

Yeah I wouldn’t say they’re being over the top with it here, but pretty much 100% of those “usually written as kanji” cases you will see as kanji if you read literature that’s a notch or two older or more serious/formal. I don’t know exactly what generates those messages in jisho and such but I assume it’s there mainly as a “write this one in kana when you use it yourself” type of thing, not a “this kanji is so rare as to be unusual in all situations” type of thing.
Here I would say it’s dialing up the gravity a bit, as appropriate for a Shakespeare play about a royal court. Kanji has a bit more weight, after all! に於いて for one doesn’t save a lot of space :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for sharing so much about that show!! It looks like a really neat thing :eyes:


How about: “A play put on by wrestlers would definitely be like a mind-numbing school play at best…”

I thought I’d already double-checked this one, but I looked again, and sure enough, you’re right, haha, it is indeed 目の当たり! Curse you small text!! I had a fair amount of trouble with this one, and I think only sort of accidentally ended up at the correct interpretation, haha, because that was what made sense!

How’s this? “However, at the sight of the venue, all such qualms were found to be needless concern.”

This one was honestly super tricky! I had no idea what it was even saying, haha. The version in the translation I shared here was actually my second attempt at that line. Here was my first:

“The actors who challenged the struggle expressed by the physical bodies of the wrestlers also challenged the wrestlers to stake their pride as expressive artists within the boundaries of the so-called squared circle.”

My friend read it a little differently, hence my second attempt, haha. I think my own interpretation is a little closer to yours, though, now that I compare them.

That does make sense! I think I was reading it as modifying both 冒涜 and 挑戦状, but I think rewording the sentence conveys that sense better, too: “This project is not a blasphemy against art perpetrated by pro wrestlers, but maybe a formal challenge.”

Honestly, it makes me wonder if a lot of the noise people make about it here on this forum is a bit overblown :sweat_smile:. People complain about WK teaching this stuff as if it’s such a rare use case, there’s no point to a general audience even learning it so early in our studies, but honestly if I can find it on the back of a pro wrestling DVD, I think most people are likely to come across it much sooner than they might expect…

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(The alternate translations you asked about seem fine!)

Yeah I went back and forth on it myself… it could always be I suppose one of those situations where the copywriter got a little turned around themselves and didn’t notice. I feel like the 役者達も又 makes you expect something like “and the pro wrestlers did too” to line up the contrast grammatically, and then that just doesn’t turn up.
As-is my hesitant conclusion was the contrast between 挑んだ and like, 挑んで行った was the emphasis being made. Like the main point I think is that they not only laid out a challenge but went to their territory to have them put it on the line.

With your original I would have quibbled that I think in “challenged the struggle expressed by the physical bodies” the 闘いを挑んだ I think means like, “challenged to a 闘い.” Like this cat I found trying to fight drowsiness.

I think probably interpreting it as modifying both is right, but yeah the impression I got from your original was that you were interpreting it as modifying like, the verb / whole sentence, like “Because of pro wrestlers, this project is…” Sounds like it’s just a chair-rearranging issue though!

Yeah… :innocent:

I think what bugs me about that kind of complaint is the implicit assumption that like, your horizons won’t be widened over the course of learning, so limiting yourself strictly to what you’re currently interested in or expect to encounter at the moment should be sufficient. Like if you’re sure you’d never check out a pro-wrestling version of a Shakespeare play then it doesn’t matter one way or another what forms of words are on the packaging or not, it’s completely irrelevant.
But that seems like a bummer when widening horizons seems like, the main point of language learning (and will definitely happen to one extent or another as you progress), so might as well lean into it.

For what it’s worth in my own anki deck I always include a card for whatever the dictionary has as the primary kanji variant, and then additionally have separate lists I can add them to to import for making cards for a no kanji variant, alternate kanji variant, or alternate no kanji variant, based on if I encountered the word one of those ways. And while that makes a lot of cards (~30k so far with ~10k new and unlearned), and some are definitely like, obscure plant varieties that I don’t drill particularly strictly, I’ve never felt like, “ugh what a useless word” since I mean… I read it once somewhere or it wouldn’t be in there. And it’s not like I’ve been unearthing ancient texts or divining the hidden secrets of the stars either…

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Not a translation post this time (I’m still trying to finish the last one up haha), but there was enough going on that I thought it’d be worth sharing some things!

Monthly Puroresu (which, incidentally, follows the TJPW translation account now :sweat_smile:… The timing was a bit funny, because I was just complaining to a few friends about a TJPW article they’d published which had wrong information, and then a day later, I got the notification that they were following me. Hopefully this means that their TJPW articles will be more accurate going forward?) wrote a guide on how to watch various Japanese promotions! They cover some companies I don’t know much about, so I added a link to it to the promotion overview post at the beginning of this thread.

Also, Kota Ibushi’s NJPW contract is up, and he is now free!! He’ll be returning to the ring on March 30 for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport, where he’ll be facing Speedball Mike Bailey (!!), and then he’ll also be wrestling at Joey Janela’s Spring Break on the 31.

Kota vs Speedball is a match that I have been wanting to see for a very long time, haha, ever since I read this interview with Mao (who teams up with Mike Bailey as the Moonlight Express). As the interview points out, there are some parallels between Moonlight Express and the Golden Lovers, which are both DDT tag teams consisting of a Canadian nerd and a Japanese weirdo.

There are some great quotes in that piece, some including words that I think we’re discouraged from posting on this forum, haha. I do like this one: “Some fans call MAO “the second coming of Kota Ibushi” for his physical prowess—and also his affinity for nonsense.

Moonlight Express will actually be reuniting for a match the day after Kota vs Speedball! So I’m very much looking forward to that as well! (We are so close to getting the Golden Lovers vs Moonlight Express…)

It seems like Kota’s plans are to stay a freelancer and wrestle all around the world in all sorts of different places, sort of like what he did the last time he left NJPW. He also wants to start a wrestling school in Japan! It seems likely we’ll see him in AEW at some point, though probably not anytime super soon.

Also, in honor of Kota’s contract ending, I finally finished a gifset/essay that I had been working on for a long time! It’s basically a recap of the Golden Lovers side of Kenny’s AEW/Impact/AAA stories from 2019-2021. I’d meant to finish it at the end of 2021, but, well, a lot of other stuff happened in my life, and I just couldn’t get it together (I prioritized keeping up with Japanese and then taking over the DDT/TJPW translations). I dunno how many other folks here are really invested in that story, but if you weren’t in as deep as I was, or if you weren’t closely following AEW that entire time, there were probably details you missed, so I tried my best to sum up a lot of big stories with a lot of moving pieces and get to the core of it all. I think there’s a strong chance a lot of this stuff will get revisited…


Finished translating TJPW’s January 29 show!

Strangely, the comments are back to normal now for some reason? Boo, I liked having another set of transcripts!

This was the tag tournament semifinals. First up was Moka and Juria vs Miyu and Itoh. The rookies’ put up a good fight, but their miraculous tournament run ended here.

Juria and Moka’s comments were pretty easy. Hooray!

Miyamoto: “We made it to the semifinals, but our opponents today were really tough. Losing is really frustrating. But through the course of this tournament, I think I’ve grown a lot as a tag team with Juria-san. I want to keep going and win as much as possible in the future.”

Juria: “Since we made it this far, I wanted to go all the way to the finals and win, but… our opponents were the strongest, and they destroyed us. I got beaten up so badly. Even though I gave 100% of the power that I have now, this was the result. I also had Moka-san’s help, so I’m disappointed… I think this might be the limit of what I’m capable of now. I want to keep teaming up with Moka-san, and become an even stronger karate tag team.”

The main event was Miu and Rika vs Shoko and Misao. I was very much pulling for the hero and kaiju here, and they managed to win! Yay! I like both of the teams in the finals, so it’ll be really hard to watch one of them lose, but it’s impossible not to root for Misao and Shoko…

Once again, I had Mr. Haku’s help on the closing out the show promo, which was great because I ended up following his lead on how to translate 根性.

After the match, One to Million, who will clash with them in the finals, appeared at the entrance gate.

Nakajima: “…So, you guys won. Why are you trying to look cool lurking in the back?”

Misao: “So, the finals are us, Kyoraku Kyomei, versus you guys, right?”

(The other two step into the ring)

Nakajima: “Today, I became sure of one thing. Hero + kaiju, this combination is absolutely unbeatable!”

Misao: “You who’ll be squaring off against us, hero and kaiju… do you have guts?”

Nakajima: (to One to Million, who are talking back without a mic) “A bunch of guts? Got it. Then it’ll be Team Guts vs Hero + Kaiju. It’ll be fun, huh? What, you got something you wanna say?”

Misao: “We’re Kyoraku Kyomei, and you’re… a bunch of guts? Is there anything you want to say?”

Itoh: “Can I speak, then? …Who’s the cutest in the world?” (“Itoh-chan!”) “Thank you very much!”

Misao: “It’s the winner’s job to close the show, and that’s us, Kyoraku Kyomei!”

Nakajima: “Your song’s gonna play!”

Misao: “Go on, get out of here!”

Nakajima: (after One to Million has left) “I have one thing I want to say to you. I lost my belt last year, but I think the reason I didn’t lose like last time was because I had a superhero by my side. I’m counting on you.”

Misao: “Needless to say, I trust you more than anyone, and believe in your strength more than anyone. I think that we, Kyoraku Kyomei, can definitely win this tournament. Thank you. I was able to win today thanks to being at your side!”

They closed with, “We are Kyoraku Kyomei!”

Misao and Shoko’s comments were as entertaining as always:

Misao: “We made it past the semifinals!”

Nakajima: “We did it!”

Misao: “We beat Daydream!”

Nakajima: “Finally winning… Well, we’ve had a few matches against those two, even a title match, but I don’t think we’d ever been able to beat them before. I’m really happy with today’s win, and I really want to get results with this team. I think today is one good result. If we go on to win the tournament after this, I think the belts would be in sight, and today I thought I’d like to see them around the waists of a hero and a kaiju. I want to do our best to aim for the victory without losing focus.”

Misao: “Like Nakajima-san said, beating Daydream really gave me a huge boost in confidence. In the future, I want Kyoraku Kyomei to get even stronger, and win even greater things. But before we could do that, we always had to beat Daydream. We accomplished that today, and now all that’s left is winning. Next is One to Million.”

Nakajima: “One to Million?”

Misao: “We are a kaiju and a hero, but what do we call them?”

Nakajima: “They seem to be guts and guts.”

Then Misao said, “根性と根性? そんな概念みたいなものに我々、ヒーローと怪獣が負けるはずないんですよ。思い込みを打ち砕いてやります.” Most of the trouble for me was trying to figure out a good way to translate this, haha.

Misao: “Guts and guts? We, hero and kaiju, certainly won’t lose to an abstract concept like that! We’ll crush your assumptions.”

Nakajima: “I’ll smash that head, too! Maki Itoh, prepare yourself!”

Misao: “I’ll smash that leg, too! Miyu Yamashita, prepare yourself!”

Nakajima: “We’ll definitely win! Yes, we are…”

Both: “Kyoraku Kyomei!”

Itoh and Miyu talked less than last time, haha. Miyu did immediately confuse me with her second sentence, though: “私はもうね、空手って意味でも2人と向き合うと同じバックボーンがあるって意味で燃えるところもあるし.”

Yamashita: “Today was the semifinals match with Moka Miyamoto and Juria Nagano. The fact that it’s karate, and also the fact that I’m facing two people with that same spirit, that gets me fired up. But this time it’s the tag team tournament, and even though there’s quite a difference in the length of our careers, I couldn’t let my guard down against them. Truly, they were stronger than I had expected, or rather it was a hard fight. I think it’s huge that we were able to overcome them here.”

Itoh: “And the crowd was cheering for Juria Nagano and Moka Miyamoto, like, a lot.We’re masochists, aren’t we?”

Yamashita: “Surely.”

Itoh: “So… we crushed them. But I think they challenged us with everything they’ve got right now, and that’s good. It was fun. Next is Kyoraku Kyomei!”

I was a little taken aback when Itoh said “ドMなんだよね、私たち”, but there’s only one way to translate that, isn’t there? :sweat_smile:

In the second part of their comments, there was some stuff I initially wasn’t sure about, but I think I more or less got it?

Yamashita: “The other semifinal today was Daydream vs Kyoraku Kyomei. Whichever team wins, it’s bad news for us. I think the one I’m weakest against came out on top. I don’t know what Daydream is going to do, but…”

Itoh: “Daydream is straightforward. But Kyoraku Kyomei always throws screwballs, and we’re not good at that. Just a bit tricky.”

Yamashita: “In the ring at the end… we’ve known each other for a long time, so it felt like a casual conversation, but when we meet each other’s eyes, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to lose to Misao, or to Nakajima, either. I want us to win the tournament as a tag team, and I want to win the tag belts.”

Itoh: “I want to win them, too.”

Yamashita: “It’s not just my personal feelings; I want to join forces with Itoh and win in the finals, too. If we’re together, I think no matter how strong Kyoraku Kyomei is now, we’ll be able to beat them.”

Itoh: “Well, if we beat Kyoraku Kyomei… hero and kaiju, right? And now we’ll have a monster and a monster with belts. With this, I think we’ll be able to gain some momentum. So I want to beat them. I’ll do my best.”

Yamashita: “I’m going to put everything I have into this.”

Itoh: “I won’t lose.”

The first half of Rika and Miu’s comments went fine:

Tatsumi: “Miu… I’m sorry.”

Miu: “I’m sorry, too. I couldn’t get there in time.”

Tatsumi: “No, I was the one who wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. But I think I was way too confident that there was no way we’d lose.”

Then Miu said, “そうですね。カシン…加える、進む?” I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on here :sweat_smile:.

Miu: “Yeah. You overestimated yourself. Add it up, move on?”

Tatsumi: “No. I was overconfident, but I’m making this a moment to reflect.”

This last chunk was where they lost me:


“I still want our tag team to get more and more interesting. Will you pursue a different dream with me?”


Miu: “Yes, while showing Daydream.”


Tatsumi: “I’d like to keep dreaming.”

And that’s it for that show!

I did watch the PPV, but am not going to do any translations for it because almost nothing in it was transcribed, and my listening comprehension is definitely not up to the task, haha. Plus it would be a lot of work! I do really enjoy 2-count and 1-count fall matches, though, so it was a fun albeit fairly inconsequential show.

I’m a little worried by the increase in PPVs on Wrestle Universe this year, but I’m hoping it’s only for shows with unusual circumstances (like the no-audience TJPW show where PPV buys replaced ticket sales, and the Mutoh show which is a gigantic crossover event with a bunch of other companies). I’m a bit surprised that Stardom’s business model there is even sustainable, because I definitely could not afford to buy that many PPVs for any company :sweat_smile:.

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I think “bunch of guts” is giving the wrong impression here, since 根性の塊 for a couple of reasons doesn’t have anything to do with like, a glob of entrails. :sweat_smile:
About the 塊 part, it would appear that “embodiment (of something)” / “personification” would be the sense used here, per weblio:

4 (「…のかたまり」の形で)その傾向が極端であるもの。「うその―」「欲の―のような人間」

They’re embodying 根性, rather than being a lump of it.

It maybe didn’t make it into the transcript, and it doesn’t really matter, but for what it’s worth she does specify “it’s the winner of the main event’s job” (rather than just “winner”). Without it the English sounds a little bit like maybe she’s predicting they’ll win the tournament or something (not to the point that anyone would actually be confused, but hey).

This is similarly really picky and not impactful but from an English perspective “last time” sounds a little weird here I feel like, since they’ve had matches since that championship match (that she’s won). “that time” or similar seems like it would be more natural.

Maybe “half-baked” or something like that rather than “abstract”? I feel like she’s razzing them for the vagueness of their (apparent) retort to “ヒーローと怪獣” of “根性と根性”, like abstract but with the implication that like, they shoulda thought it through more and filled in the details.

I wonder if one way to get away with translating “根性と根性” would be to go with “sprit of determination” above and then “sprit and determination” here. But maybe that’s too tricksy… “guts and guts” sounds so weird and makes it sound like they’re using the relatively well-known loanword ガッツ, but I suppose it may still be better and sound snappier than alternatives I can think of.

For the “We’ll crush your assumptions.” I think they mean like, everyone’s / the general assumptions.

Especially good example of the Shoko Nakajima “I am done talking in a backstage promo and am self-conscious about it” expression in there

She’s actively trying to form her thought into words here so it maybe ends up a little weird in the transcript, but I believe what she’s trying to say is like – Moka and Juria both share a karate background and additionally they both have the same sense of backbone that Miyu feels when she wrestles them.
So like, the 燃えるところ about the match-up for Miyu mean both the 空手って意味 and the 2人と向き合うと同じバックボーンがあるって意味.
So looking at your translation it seems like you parsed it ok.

It seems like the transcript dropped Itoh’s line before the ドM part: “それがね…なんかさ…燃えちゃうよね”

The 化け物と化け物 are Max and Heidi - it’s “currently we have” rather than “now we’ll have”

I suspected from the katakana that Miu had misinterpreted what Rika said (an always delightful element of Japanese is that if you don’t know what a word means you can’t speak aloud the kanji now can you?), but it took looking at the quote tweets to figure out what exactly was going on:

加進カシン, ね?

Miu has not understood 過信, and is asking if she means 加進 (which doesn’t appear to be a word)

(The quote tweets also made a lot of unrelated jokes about ケンドー・カシン)

Seems like they kept you fine :smile:

If I have a specific note I suppose it’s about the connotation of the last line - I found a source where a musician proclaimed to the crowd 「2023年、20周年をお前たちと一緒に夢を見ていきたいです! いい夢を見よう」.
I feel like with the 見ていきたい there’s more of a sense of like, wanting to go execute something awesome and thereby experience the dream. Whereas “keep dreaming” feels more like, focusing on the wanting. I dunno what a good option is though.

It does seem like wrestling streaming services are ramping up the PPV count huh… I’m of two minds too since I think promotions could very likely wring more money out of me (and probably deserve to for the most part in terms of what the shows are worth), but I feel like a short time restriction isn’t enough for me to spend extra money at least when I can’t watch them literally live because of time zones (I still haven’t bought a Stardom PPV even though those are the ones I’m most interested in), and I also wouldn’t feel great about a long time restriction if I’m also subscribed to a streaming service… AEW got me to spend the most money on PPVs, but it’s not like their lack of a service is preferable… I dunno, it sounds like non-wrestling streaming services are in a weird spot right now too in terms of valuation of what’s on offer, so I wonder if more experimentation is in the future. if they go by what will get me individually to spend way too much money, apparently they should pivot to blu ray

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週刊プロレス No.2209 (from October 2022)

Tetsuya Naito’s column is about his trip to wrestle in the UK, his first outside of Japan since the pandemic. He reports not seeing masks after arriving at the airport to the point of the pandemic being forgotten about, and not putting one on himself to fit in. It was also the first time a crowd could join in on the “de Japon” call since 2020 when he beat KENTA to become double champ. He had stuff to say in English prepared but didn’t follow his catchphrase’s advice and 焦ってしました and forgot it all. An LIJらしい detail is that Hiromu and SANADA were also on the tour and apparently were in the same hotel but they didn’t take the same flight or contact each other outside of the arena.
The column also talks about Intonio Inoki - he was struck by a moment showing Inoki’s fame when a cabbie in the UK heard he was Japanese and asked if he heard Antonio Inoki died, and was shocked when Naito told him he’s actually a wrestler for the promotion Inoki started. He says although he briefly met Inoki once or twice, he was still a “TVの中の人” to him. He also though that his dad is a big Inoki fan and used to tell him to always use さん when talking about Sadaharu Oh (a baseball star), Shigeo Nagashima (a baseball star), and Antonio Inoki, so Inoki is indirectly the reason Naito stood in a wrestling ring, since he likely wouldn’t have become a wrestler if his dad wasn’t a fan.

There’s a 新連載 column called それぞれの闘魂伝 that would appear to be a series of interviews about Antonio Inoki with people connected to him in some way. The first interviewee is… Shinsuke Nakamura!
He describes first meeting Antonio Inoki around when he was going to the LA Dojo, and sparring with him. It sounds like Inoki could still go pretty well at the time, and was never going to give up so the sparring match went on a very long time. Also, it sounds like while sparring Inoki had a tendency to dig in elbows and fingers into weak points like bellies and noses and… buttholes. But Nakamura was warned about that and dodged. Nakamura recounts a time when addressing a group of training wrestlers, Inoki said something along the lines of to never let your guard down, and demonstrated by suddenly slapping a wrestler. And then tried it on Nakamura too, but Nakamura anticipated it and dodged, but he could tell that made Inoki grumpy so next time he stuck out a cheek.
A memorable post-match incident involving Nakamura and Inoki was a November 2004 event where apparently a fan poll by ring announcer Kero Tanaka’s camp in New Japan set the main event as the first singles match between Nakamura and Tanahashi, but for some reason Inoki’s camp nixed that and replaced it with a boring miscellaneous tag match. And at the end of the show Inoki gave Nakamura 鉄拳制裁 and attacked him. I don’t fully understand the details and I assume some portion of it is kayfabe, but it sounds like Nakamura says Inoki told him he had to do it to push the Dome show, but Nakamura felt internally that it was Inoki’s fault in the first place for booking a boring match at the event. And then in 2006 Inoki left NJPW while Nakamura still had those mixed feelings about him.
He describes his feelings now that Inoki has passed as like, hearing parent who you had a falling out with has died. He says he wouldn’t have the unique pro-wrestling career he’s been able to have without Inoki, and when he pictures Inoki’s face now he also remembers his brash young self that Inoki helped form.

There’s a long interview with Giulia on the occasion of her 5 Star GP tournament victory in Stardom.
The first question posed to her is what match stood out to her other than the block final against Suzu Suzuki, and Giulia says her three losses at the start of the tournament stood out the most, and if she had to pick one, it would be the match against Hazuki. Giulia says when she joined Stardom, everybody, both the fans and the wrestlers, hated her guts, and Hazuki stoked those flames (e.g. calling Giulia before a scheduled match “葉月の望まない相手”) and then quickly after retired. But she was honestly glad to see Hazuki return since it meant those feelings could be worked out in a wrestling match when they wouldn’t ever be otherwise. And she feels that this match in the tournament made her appreciate Hazuki’s own love of wrestling more, and Giulia thinks maybe she got a good rival out of the deal and looks forward to their next singles match.
Then the topic turns to the match with Suzu. Giulia was crying a lot already before the match – she says that Suzu is so much like a beloved little sister to her (すずは、本当に血がつながってるって思えるくらい、愛おしい妹だなって思った), that she was extremely touched by seeing her after all her recent successes enter the ring to her entrance music and be accepted by Stardom’s fans.
Their being able to fight in such a big venue was also notable, and the only words they exchanged after the bell rang as the match ended were Giulia looking up at the ceiling: 「でかいな」 「ね」. From an audience of 30-50 people to now 2500. But Giulia wants to fight her next in front of even more people (say, I wonder if she managed it the other day?).
Suzu was also crying a lot before the match. Giulia can imagine the many mixed emotions Suzu’s been feeling, and can feel it more as well from reading Shupro and reading Suzu’s comments about her that way (like she quotes Suzu as talking about needing to put on a face like she hated Giulia after she left but really she loves her). Seeing Suzu’s expression in the ring as the bell rang 私も感情がめちゃくちゃ、ぐちゃぐちゃだった. She thinks the match was enough to wipe clean Suzu’s grudge, and from here they can proceed with normal competitiveness as fellow pro wrestlers. She wants to have important singles matches with Suzu and also try tagging with her :eyes:.
About the final against Tam Nakano, Gilia says she laughed when she heard it was Tam she’d have to fight, and the excitement and nervousness of fighting her at a time like this quickly took hold, with her shaking under her entrance gown and worrying about if they would surpass their hair vs. hair match. But she needn’t have worried, as it was such an intense match that she was completely spent and didn’t even have enough energy to travel home, instead getting a hotel, putting ice in the futon and just sleeping. She wants to ask Tam for the room fare.
She reports her thoughts when receiving the Avalanche Tiger Suplex during the match as being “あ、死んだ” and then 「ここでくたばるわけにはいかない、コイツにやられてたまるか!!」 and she especially pushed through because after her neck injury last year she needed to probe that she could get up again and bear it and be fine. “根性、根性、根性”
They talk about the special kind of trust she has with Tam for them to put on a match like that, and Giulia remarks on how the match level in Stardom has noticeably increased, and with it the number of dangerous moves. She says she wants to get better at the technical side of wrestling to be able to entertain the crowd without relying so much on moves like that - but Tam’s special, with her it’s 死ぬか生きるか!(笑)
About the red belt challenge she won via the tournament, Giulia says that she and Syuri were a great tag team, and she definitely took something away from Syuri, but Syuri also got something from her, since she went on to win the red belt and start God’s Eye and all that. Giulia compares Syuri’s run with the belt as being like “最強のロボット” - Syuri comes away looking strong and she racks up great matches and strong defenses, but does she even really talk to her opponents? Giulia doesn’t know what this 朱世界 means in the end. Giulia says Syuri’s strength is certain, and it’s extraordinary, but that she thinks a top champion should convey more than simply strength.
The interviewer makes the connection from that to matches like Himeka’s challenge against Syuri and how that awakened some additional confidence in Himeka, and suggests that, given how Giulia awakened something like that in Starlight Kid by trying to tear off her mask, Giulia’s saying as champion Syuri should do more of that kind of thing to push their opponents forward? But Giulia walks it back a bit saying that it’s just her personal opinion of being a champion, and there’s surely as many kinds of champion as there are people.
Giulia says Syuri is a great person and extraordinarily nice, but that can be a weakness too, and Giulia knows Syuri very well and knows she has her own ways of thinking about people, about life, about anything, etc. And so that’s why the fact that Syuri’s championship reign has just shown strength rankles with Giulia. She’s noticed that Syuri’s opponents come out looking the other end like “同じじゃがいも” and Syuri’s victory promos are like ワンパターン or リップサービス - she always says the same kind of thing about having a great match and fighting again. “この飽き飽きする世界が朱世界なのか?”
Giulia thinks the red belt is weighing heavy on Syuri, so she’ll take it off her. She’s said the injury last year was a setback, but really she hasn’t lost a step, as she’s been doing what she needed to do all this time, like raising up Mai Sakurai and having Stardom’s first hardcore match, so she wants you to look forward to the result of the title match.

Next up is more Giulia, since it’s her column, also about the 5 Star GP.
She talks about Mai Sakurai’s growth - with a 4-7-1 record she didn’t meet her extremely ambitious 10-2-0 goal, but taking into consideration also that she advanced through from the preliminary tournament it’s an impressive record nonethless! Albeit not impressive enough to save Giulia and Hideki Suzuki from joining her in triple dogeza in a future edition of this column once they have the opportunity to take a picture. Giulia reports that talking to Mai, she was most excited about her chaotic match with Risa Sera where they both got counted out - Giulia got the impression that it was like when someone discovers something new that they’re really into and enthusiastic about. Giulia says since pro-wrestling is nescessarily something taught to you at first, there comes a moment when you break out of the shell and realize how free pro-wrestling can be: プロレスってこんなに自由でいいんだ, and she thinks wrestling Risa Sera gave Mai Sakurai that moment.
About Maihime’s first singles match against each other getting best bout, Giulia says 「この2人はプライベートでも大親友。そんな彼女らが恵まれた肉体と肉体をぶっつけ合った超パワー対決は、白熱の展開だった。」 and says that the wrestlers aren’t informed of those post-tournament Stardom awards before the ceremony, so their reaction shown is real.

Kenoh’s column is about Antonio Inoki. He calls him a 日本プロレス界の神 and an MMAのパイオニア and praises in particular that he プロレスを背負って、世間と勝負してた and did so many things that penetrated through to the public eye that 「日本でプロレスってジャンルが市民権を得てるのは猪木さんのおかげだ」. Kenoh gets going strong and says he’ll follow Inoki’s lead and spread peace through pro wrestling by becoming a 国会議員 and wrestling in Russia. To which the interviewer can only reply 「け、拳王さん…。」
Talking about Inoki’s catchphrases like 「1,2,3、ダーッ!」 and 「元気ですか⁉」 Kenoh acknowledges that his own catchphrase, 「クソヤローども、オレについて来い」 isn’t really something you can say outside of a pro wrestling context, so he should work to come up with something that can penetrate further into general society the way that Inoki’s did.

This issue has a really big cool feature on wrestlers’ last matches, since retirement matches have been a big subject recently what with Mutoh’s whole tour.
Naturally, the first piece of the feature is an interview with Atsushi Onita, who has so far returned from retirement 7 times. All the copy around the interview is deadpan very funny, like saying ”引退試合の特集となればやはり大仁田厚に話を聞かないわけにはいかない” or the headline advertising “大仁田厚が語る「詐欺ではない」理由.”
Onita says it’s definitely 申し訳ない but he’s surprised when people tell him it’s been 7 times since he doesn’t keep careful count. The first retirement was because of a knee injury, and they talk about how in the 昭和のプロレス界, “taking a break” or “recovering from injury” weren’t really options, it was either you keep wrestling or you retire (yikes), there wasn’t the expectation that wrestlers could freely bow out to heal up like there is now. But it’s thanks to demand (需要) from his fans, the 邪道信者, that he’s able to unretire and still have people come to see him.
Onita’s an amusing interviewee. The interviewer brings up the full year retirement tour he had in 1995 FMW and how there were presumably people upset when that retirement ended up temporary, and Onita responds with some kind of non-sequiter about how he saw on the ネットニュース that New Japan is trying a new way of accepting applicants or something like that. He says people say he commits retirement fraud, and if you say it’s fraud maybe it’s fraud, but he feels what makes it different is he doesn’t go in being like “I’m gonna commit fraud.”
The interviewer mentions that this serial unretirement wouldn’t be possible in other pro sports, and Onita spins it into a speech about how the beauty of pro wrestling is it’s breadth of possibility, since as long as you have a mat you can wrestle absolutely anywhere, unlike pro baseball where you need a stadium.
Onita claims for his retirement in 1995 he considered the Tokyo Dome but went with 川崎球場, apparently to preserve FMW’s indie image - 川崎球場 was rugged enough to be just right: “便所が臭いくらいが丁度いいかな”

Next in the feature there’s a list of notable retirement matches:

  • Antonio Inoki’s was at the Tokyo Dome in on 4.4.1998, against Don Frye, with appearances including from Muhammad Ali, and Inoki reading a poem called 道. Afterward he pushed his vision of wrestling including founding UFO in 1998 and IGF in 2007, attempted a political return in 2013, and his condition worsened since 2018 until his death in 2022.
  • Riki Choshu announced his retirement in 1997 and had his last match, a sorta gauntlet match against various wrestlers, at the 1.4.1998 Tokyo Dome show. A memorable moment in the retirement road was his protege Kensuke Sasaki delivering the 介錯 via lariat. After his retirement, he returned to wrestling about a year and a half later due to a challenge from Atsushi Onita, founded WJ, returned to New Japan (hey yeah he was on those Dome shows I watched), freelanced, and retired again in 2019. Now he’s putting energy into the entertainment industry.
  • Genichiro Tenryu’s retirement match was in 2015 at 両国国技館 against Kazuchika Okada and it won best bout that year. Wow! After retiring he’s done talk shows and the like and revived the Tenryu Project in 2021, but his physical condition continues to fluctuate.
  • Terry Funk, perhaps the most beloved foreign wrestler in Japan ever, started talking about wanting a retirement match in Japan in the future in 1980, and in 1983, after a “Terry Funk Sayonara Series” in All Japan he had a fabulous, emotional retirment match in front of 13600 fans and his teary-eyed family, declaring “フォーエバー。さよなら、さよなら.” After his retirement, 1 year later, he returned to active wrestling in All Japan after he seconded Giant Baba and Dory Funk and got bloodied by Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody.
  • Akira Maeda retired in 1998 with a (shoot-style? MMA-influenced pro-wrestling? don’t ask me) match against Alexander Karelin in RINGS. After retiring, RINGS folded in 2002 and he continued to promote MMA off and on, like Big Mouth Loud in 2005 or THE OUTSIDER in 2008.
  • Nobuhiko Takada retired in November 2002 at a PRIDE show at the Tokyo Dome and I don’t know enough about shootstyle promotions to convey more about it. After retirmenet he led PRIDE, including the successor event RIZIN, and goes on TV as a celebrity sometimes.
  • Kenta Kobashi retired at a packed 日本武道館, exceeding expectations even in his retirement match. After retirement he entered his “second youth” and promoted his own Fortune Dream shows, along with training, speeches, and match commentary.

Next is a page talking about retirement in 女子プロレス with some less detailed examples (like Yuzuki Aikawa, Natsuki Taiyou, Dynamite Kansai, Kagetsu, etc.). It talks about how AJW had a rule where your career was restricted to the age of 25, and how that quietly started to fall away when ace Bull Nakano turned 25 and kept going. The summary suggests I think that the crop of wrestlers starting their careers in 1985-1988 joined out of idolizing the Crush Gals and so were made up of especially committed athletes, and so wrestlers from specifically that generation tend to have long careers, while wrestlers immediately before and immediately after tended to have very short ones. Compared to men’s wrestling, women’s wrestling also tends to have far fewer cases of long fadeouts and serial unretirers, as wrestlers for the most part tend to move on once retired.

Next there’s a page laying out ways other than an official retirement match that a pro wrestling career can end, with examples: sudden death (Rikidozan, Giant Baba, Shinya Hashimoto, Mitsuharu Misawa), a retirement ceremony (Jumbo Tsuruta, Stan Hansen, Masakatsu Funaki – temporarily, Kensuke Sasaki), and fading out without an official end (Toshiaki Kawada, Masahiro Chono).

The history column talks about how the Four Pillars era of AJPW used the catchphrase 「明るく楽しく、激しいプロレス」 and generally kept competition bloodless and decisive: 「ノー流血、ノー両リン」 and the columnist uses that as an introduction to talk about a time when AJPW was decidedly not like that: the feud between Destroyer and Abdullah the Butcher across 1975 and 1976 (for example, this match - it doesn’t look as horrifically bloody as I was expecting but I mean it’s an Abdullah the Butcher match so be warned about that), when it sounds like Destroyer was second in popularity in AJPW behind Giant Baba, before Jumbo Tsuruta debuted. There’s some anecdotes from Destroyer about causing a stir while filming variety shows after matches like that and his mask still being bloody no matter how much he washed it. (with, in an odd coincidence for me, a mention of Akiko Wada as an example of a show regular shocked by that – I just saw her as a cool tall biker in Stray Cat Rock from 1970)

I didn’t really take any pictures this issue, so here’s a few from Wrestle Princess why not.

In Genichiro Tenryu’s column, he talks about AJPW’s 50th anniversary show at 日本武道館 which it sounds like had lots of hardcore AJPW fans in attendance. It sounds like he wants AJPW to remember its roots and offer AJPW-like wrestling, and he likes Kento Miyahara as a star people will come to see (although he’s not full-on 生え抜き since it sounds like he started in Kensuke Office), but the combination of the younger Aoyagi getting the junior belt, a prospect from a college wrestling team making his pro debut, and the Saito brothers returning from travel, make Tenryu express concern that new stars may be pushed too fast - that’s not very AJPW-ish after all.
He also talks about Tatsumi Fujinami’s 50th career debut anniversary match scheduled against Hiroshi Tanahashi, and is impressed by Fujinami’s resiliency and continued name value as a 昭和 pro wrestler. Fujinami’s son, LEONA is also a pro wrestler, so the father is modeling a career for the son to look up to as well. Tenryu wants Fujinami to go until he can’t anymore, he can probably at least get to 55 years, right?
In an insert Tenryu talks about Keiji Muto and speculates that for his retirement at the Tokyo Dome, Shinsuke Nakamura might be the right fit for the opponent (close!).

The costume column is aout Juria Nagano from TJPW. Because of her karate experience, her costume is based on the themes ”和” and ”空手” but she had it made pro wrestlerish (like with eye-catching red instead of white) rather than just straightforwardly wearing karate gear. There’s a black belt in the costume, and the fabric hanging off of it in the front is apparently the kind of thing also on dojo gear in karate, and she always steadied her nerves by holding onto it, so it’s in her costume now too. She asked for 和っぽい flowers in the fabric design but she doesn’t know what kind they are. She only wears the arm cover on one arm now since it got in the way but she doesn’t have any particular reason why she picked the left arm.
It sounds like she’s still actively working as a real nurse too, so the nurse uniform in the entrance gear is earned. Apparently she changes her hair by season, like putting blue in to evoke the sea in summer, etc.

Hideki Suzuki’s column is about Antonio Inoki. He says he wouldn’t be a pro wrestler if Inoki hadn’t started IGF, since they didn’t have an orthodox entrance exam and he wouldn’t have been the type to persistently try one of those (side note: I’m reading a book about Tanahashi that talked about him only passing the New Japan entrance exam on his third try after hanging outside of shows and angling as persistently as possible for additional chances). It sounds like Suzuki’s a bit grumpy about the more shallow tribute actions shown for Inoki, like Yoshi-Tatsu wearing black trunks and doing a 卍固め.
Suzuki mentions there’s apparently 仁王像 modeled after Inoki at 池上本門寺 (also the resting place of Rikidozan).

In the Editor’s Eye column, they talk about a Big Japan wrestler, Hideyoshi Kamitani, who apparently used the word 妖怪 to describe himself and now has the nickname 妖怪超人. The editor compares him favorably to Kitaro from ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 (Shigeru Mizuki’s extremely famous yokai manga), for it sounds like, his blend of deathmatch and non-deathmatch styles, similar to how Kitaro portrayed positively yokai and humanity co-existing.

The end of the magazine column interviews Masahiro Chono, particularly about the early 2000s period where it sounds like Chono was in a position of power in New Japan and Inoki still owned the company. It sounds like Inoki’s influence particularly made itself known in the cards for Dome shows, and it sounds like Chono compares elements like Joan Laurer (Chyna) wrestling Chono as like Chono and the others being like “ok we’re gonna have a 和食 menu this time” and then Inoki and his interest in MMA coming over and being like “I’ve got an Italian chef so let’s put that in there too” and the overall theme of the shows ending up muddled. Chono says that New Japan doesn’t have a connection to the MMA-inflected “Inokiism” anymore but that’s a good thing since those were called the dark ages, and each generation rejects the previous one’s style in some way. And 闘魂 and strong style are still at the top of New Japan. The times when there needed to be a New Japan Dojo graduate to succeed the top spot in the promotion are past. Chono says "闘魂アントニオ猪木"は永久欠番として残してほしい, and New Japan should forge a new path forward and not try to chase or replace that legacy.
Side language note: I came across another new to me euphemism for death here: “猪木は帰らぬ人となってしまった。”


Finished TJPW’s February 4 VOD show! This one was a short one! I got a bit scared when I saw who was in the main event after the last time Miyu and Itoh closed out a show… :sweat_smile:

The main event was a double preview match: Moka, Miyu & Itoh vs Arisu, Shoko & Misao. And it ended up going to a rare (for TJPW) time limit draw! Pretty strong sign for the rookies!

The shupro transcript for the post-match stuff was a bit frustrating, haha. A lot of it they had clumped in one weird block, and some stuff got left out.

Something I was a bit confused by was this second sentence of Miyu’s here: “だけど、それとは別でそれ以上に享楽共鳴を倒して121000000が今年こそ優勝してタッグベルトを狙いにいくから.” This part lost me a bit: “それとは別でそれ以上に”.

(After the match, Yamashita takes the mic.)

Yamashita: “There isn’t much time left before Korakuen, so I’ll tell you that I’m really happy that I get to face the two of you in the tournament final. But, besides that and more importantly, One to Million is going to beat Kyoraku Kyomei and win the tournament this year, and we’re gonna aim for the tag belts. So let’s fight each other with all our might. We will definitely win!”

Moka: “We couldn’t settle it in the match, so things feel a little uncertain, but I’ll win at Korakuen!”

Then Itoh said: “今日はオマエらに合わせてあげたというか、まあ後楽園は楽しみにしといて。伊藤たちが必ず超えるから.” That first part gave me so much trouble! I interpreted it one way, then came back and completely changed it haha. I still am not quite sure what she’s saying? :sweat_smile:

Itoh: “We let you be an even match for us today, which is to say that you better look forward to Korakuen. We’ll surely beat you.” (to the crowd) “You guys want it, don’t you? You want me to do the thing at the end of the show?”

(She calls out to the audience and does the "Who’s the cutest in the world?” “Itoh-chan!” call and response. Then her music starts to play.)

I think I understood Shoko’s part here, but struggled a bit with, well, figuring out exactly how hard to go with my translation :sweat_smile:. Her tone seemed pretty intense, so I tried to match how that sounded?

“場内に伊藤の曲が流れるも中島が「バカか! 引き分けって言ってんだろ!」とストップ。引き揚げる121000000ともかに中島は「フザけんな! 世界一かわいい伊藤ちゃん? こっちは世界一大きい中島ちゃんなんだよ! 後楽園覚悟しとけよ! 2人に勝つことしか考えてない! 覚えておけ!」とマイク.”

Nakajima: “Are you stupid? They said it was a draw! Stop the music!” (to One to Million and Moka, who are on their way out) “You’re full of shit! Itoh-chan, the cutest in the world? Well, I’m Nakajima-chan, the biggest in the world! You better brace yourselves for Korakuen! The only thing on my mind is beating you two assholes! And don’t you fucking forget it!”

Then Misao said, “山下さんはもう先にベルトの話してたし、伊藤ちゃんは私たちのやり方に合わせたとか言ってたけど要は余裕ぶっこいている.” A lot here I wasn’t quite sure about, haha.

Misao: “Yamashita-san was already talking about the belts, and Itoh-chan said that she has adjusted to our way of doing things, but my point is that they’re getting complacent. And when they’re in that state, that’s our chance. Especially for me. We didn’t even show half of what we can do today. The more complacent they are, the better it is for us. Kyoraku Kyomei will definitely win the tournament!”

Arisu: “Moka-san, I will definitely beat you!”

The three of them put their hands together and closed the show with a rousing “Hurrah!”

In Itoh, Miyu, and Moka’s comments, I’m not quite sure exactly what Miyu is saying here at the start: “引き分けが一番あれだし。今日3人でやって決めきれなかったのはメチャクチャ悔しい。引き分けが一番嫌なので、やり場のない気持ちというか.”

Itoh: "Well, that’s frustrating.

Yamashita: “I’m disappointed. A draw is the most, it’s—It’s really frustrating that the three of us couldn’t get a more conclusive result. A draw is the worst. I feel like I don’t have an outlet.”

Itoh: “Today was just a taste.”

Yamashita: “So it seems.”

Itoh: “We didn’t lose. We just tasted it today.”

Yamashita: “I think I saw Kyoraku Kyomei’s strength.”

Then Miyu said, “逆に後楽園で私たちが勝てるヒントには申し訳ないけどなっちゃったかな。そこでしっかり合わせる力を私たちも持っているので.” I don’t think I quite understood what she was saying here, haha.

“On the other hand, I’m sorry for the hint that we’ll be able to win at Korakuen, but it might happen. Because we clearly have the ability to match up well there, too. But putting today’s match aside, our goal is to win the tournament and challenge for the tag belts, then take them.”

Itoh: “That’s our goal: winning the tournament and taking the belts. We’re definitely winning!”

Yamashita: “We can’t move forward unless we surpass Kyoraku Kyomei, so I want to beat them soundly.”

Moka: “Arisu-chan and I will be facing each other in a singles match at Korakuen, so it feels bad that we didn’t get a win today. Arisu-chan has amazing momentum, but I want to beat her at Korakuen with even greater momentum.”

Itoh: “Let’s win together!”

Yamashita: “Let’s win!”

I think I more or less got the other team’s?

Nakajima: “It was a draw, but it was a forward-looking draw. We couldn’t settle it here, which is to say, I’m looking forward to settling it at Korakuen. That’s how it is!”

Misao: “That’s right!”

Arisu: “That’s true!”

Misao: “There are things that we haven’t shown at all yet, and Kyoraku Kyomei’s power is still far from being at its peak. The other side is getting complacent, but we still have a lot we wanna do, and we’re gonna win at Korakuen. Arisu, you did your best at the end. You were almost there.”

Arisu: “Ideally I’d have won, but as Nakajima-san said, we didn’t lose. So we’ll win at Korakuen!”

Nakajima: “We’re going to win!”

Misao: “We’re going to win!”

Arisu: “We’re going to win!”

And that’s it for this one!

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Seems okay to me.

I went back and forth on it a bit too, but in the end I think what she says in the video is オマエらに戦い方に合わせてあげたというか as in like, (roughly and over literally) “we matched how we fought to you (since you needed it)” which I’d say generally matches the sentiment of what you put.

A small inconsequential note, but I feel like 超える when they’re talking about the tournament is sort of like “advance” as in like, what’s being 超える’d is the loser’s place in the tournament. Rather than like, the person themselves per se like when 超える is used in all those generational wall metaphors and such.

She is certainly adopting an intense tone, but I don’t think I would put too much swearing in the translation, if only to avoid a fansub feeling (note: a link to that one proZD sketch - probably better to have headphones on for it…). I wouldn’t say she’s being totally over-the-top with the intensity (The way Asuka turns the dial up to 20 in her Japanese promos in WWE since it’s for an English-speaking audience would definitely be over the top for me) - and I’d say what she’s saying here to is exactly the kind of thing a group of generic goons in a Yakuza game would say before a fight starts. Which is the kind of brash posturing that’s part and parcel for pro wrestlers (even if it’s comparatively less common in TJPW…).
フザけんな!, 覚悟しとけよ!, 覚えておけ! are all pretty stock fighting words I’d say (so it’s not like she’s saying anything infused with more personal contempt than that).

Maybe dropping two of the three swears or something like that would bring the level down to “intense but not distractingly so”

(Then again Shoko has demonstrated a certain enthusiasm for English swearing…)

She’s referring back here to when Itoh said オマエらに戦い方に合わせてあげたというか in the earlier part you asked about.

Seems like 余裕ぶっこいている is roughly just like, acting/displayling like you’ve got a lot of 余裕 in a bad way.
余裕’s sort of like complacency/acting like you have nothing to worry about, but in like kind of a smug, arrogant sort of way I would say here, since it’s negative and intensified.
My take would be like, “simply put, they’re being cocky.”

I don’t know that she’s necessarily like, cutting off a not fully formed thought with the 引き分けが一番あれだし。 - I would probably say it’s more like, “A draw is the most blah outcome.” Like the あれ is a vague, negative standin word.

I think she’s saying that the match showed signs that they’re going to win - like the match/how it went down became (なっちゃったかな) a 逆に後楽園で私たちが勝てるヒント. And I think the 申し訳ない is just because it’s braggy to say that.

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Thank you!!

I feel like I can blame Yomichan for leading me down this path with フザけんな. These are the only three definitions it gave :joy_cat:

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Well, it’s not wrong! :sweat_smile:
“stock language for extremely agressive and rude situations” is still awfully aggressive and rude after all! Outside of a wrestling ring or a video game, at the very least…

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Got a bit distracted this week, but I did finish the first half of TJPW’s February 11 Korakuen show!

For some reason, this translation felt easier than usual? However, Miyu and Itoh’s (very long and moderately chaotic) part is still yet to come, so if I’m going to get utterly confused by something, I suspect it’ll happen then :smiling_face_with_tear:.

First up, Himawari vs Wakana! I really like both of the rookies, so this one was fun! It was nice to see Wakana get her first win!

Wakana’s comments:

Uehara: “HIMAWARI is in my same class and it was a true battle, but right now I’m just so happy to get my first victory! I’d been feeling super frustrated ever since Yume Pro Wrestling, and now that I finally got a win, I’m really, really happy. When I train with my senpais, I realize just how far I have to go, so I’m striving to practice even more and work hard so that I can become a wrestler who’s able to challenge for belts and aim for the top someday. Please keep supporting me!”

(You got your first win about a month after your debut, did it feel like a long time?)

“I think it was pretty soon after I debuted, but I started when the Yume Pro Wrestling project began, and I felt a lot of frustration at that time, so I wanted to continue wrestling. So I think there was a period of frustration, and when I think about that, it maybe felt like a long time. But we’re getting more and more juniors, so I think I have to really apply myself and work diligently from now on.”

Himawari’s comments:

HIMAWARI: “I’m ashamed of myself. I’m disappointed, I guess. I’m weak-spirited, or however you want to put it. I’ve been wrestling for three months, and I’ve been losing the whole time, but today’s loss is the most frustrating, and it’s pathetic that I tapped out. Argh! But I can’t keep moping over it! I’m going to take today’s loss as encouragement to train my body, and next time, I want to also strengthen my heart so that I’m strong enough not to give up even if I’m put in a Sleeper or something like that. Thank you so much. I’m going to keep doing my best, so please support me!”

Nao, Kamiyu, and Mahiro faced Raku, Neko, and Kaya in a fun little match! Unfortunately shupro did not bother to transcribe the comments for this one, so all I have are the twitter captions:

Kamiyu & crew:

Kakuta: “That was fun, but I wonder if we could have done more.”

Kamifuku: “We should have tried to act more cute and charged up.”

Kiryu: “I wanted to enter riding a horse.”

Kamifuku: (interrupting) “Shut up! Don’t put the idea out there, I’ll kill you! …Kidding! I’m sorry. I love you.”

Feels like I’m lacking a bit of context here, haha :sweat_smile:. Or I guess Kamiyu might just be being Kamiyu?

Raku & crew:

Raku: “They overwhelmed us right from the get-go.”

Neko: “Getting to do the Onyanpo and the Oyasumi Express with Raku-san was a lot of fun.”

Toribami: “I had fun doing the Oyasumi Express, too.”

Arisu vs Moka was great! I was so thrilled for Arisu getting her first singles win! Both of them have honestly shaped up to be pretty great wrestlers, and it’s awesome how far they’ve both come.

Arisu’s comments:

Endo: “I won! I finally got my first singles win. But I don’t feel like I’ve ‘surpassed’ anything. From here, I’m going to keep winning more and more and become a better pro wrestler!”

(Uehara got her first win in the opening match)

“When she came backstage, she said, ‘You have to do your best!’ and that gave me strength.”

(You faced the match with a lot of fighting spirit)

“Of course.”

(The finisher you won with?)

“There was a part of me that absolutely had to win with the Camel Clutch, so I was persistent with it. I feel like I just barely got it.”

(Your goals for the future?)

“Well, I got my first win, but I’m not going to be satisfied with just this. I want to keep getting stronger and win more matches.”

(Will you report to Reika Saiki?)

“Of course! Needless to say, I’m going to tell her as soon as possible.”

(Getting your first victory two years after your debut, and from your senpai, is that something special?)

“Yes, it is. This whole time, I’ve never been able to get a win. Last year, I was only able to win because I had Suzume-san at my side, so being able to win by myself, that’s huge for me.”

Moka’s comments:

Miyamoto: “It’s really disappointing. Arisu-chan has really been putting in the work and doing her best, and I know because we’ve been training together, so I’d wondered why she still hadn’t gotten her first win. But in the end… this is how it goes. I really didn’t want to lose, and I really, really wanted to win. I’m truly disappointed, but I will work even harder from now on so that I can get revenge.”

Pom vs Arai made me laugh, haha. I do wish Pom had won, though. She’s so funny, and I think she has particularly come into her own over the past year. She’s also a wrestler who I’ve appreciated more and more as I’ve been doing these translations, I think.

Most of Arai’s comments went alright?

Arai: “This was my first singles match since last August, so I wondered how much I’d be able to do on my own. My opponent was a bit of an otaku,” (laughs) “so it was really difficult, but I was able to win. Looking toward the singles match with Aja-san, I hope I can keep this momentum.”

(Was it also good publicity?)

“Yes, I think so. The song that Pom-san prepared for me was SKE48 Team KII’s new song. It was the first showing in Kanto. Thank you!” (laughs)

I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by “ありそうでなかったので、ちょっと緊張しましたね,” though :sweat_smile:.

(Was this your first time dancing by yourself in the ring?)

“Yes, it was my first time!” (laughs) “It felt so unlikely, so I was a bit nervous.”

Got a tiny bit tripped up at the beginning of the next part, too. The second sentence here confused me a bit: “有明だけじゃなくて、来週もタッグでやらせていただくんですけど。3月に向けてとかじゃなくて、しっかりこの試合を大事に向かっていきたいし.”

(Concerning the match with Aja)

“Not only is there Ariake, but I’ll also be facing her next week in a tag match. Instead of looking toward March, it’s vital that I face this match properly, so that’s what I want to do. It’s not often that you get to fight Aja-san multiple times in such a short span of time, so I want her to really see what I can do.”

(You want to show your growth?)

“Yes, that’s right. Last time, it had been five months since my debut, and because it had only been five months, I wasn’t scared of anything. I think I had that kind of strength, but the things that I can do and how I move have changed. If I’ve only changed a little, I don’t think she’ll be convinced, so I want to show everything that I can do now.”

Pom’s comments:

Pom: “I’m her senpai, and I’m an otaku, and I thought I’d show my spirit, but… it turns out that Arai-chan has grown up like super fast. That is what I was able to deduce, so I have no choice but to give her my seal of approval. There’s no question about it, surely. I think the crowd was super happy to see Arai-chan give a live performance, so in that sense it was probably definitely a win for Pom. But look, Pom’s heart was broken just like this penlight. She said she hates me!”

The visiting Janai Kai teamed up with Hikari vs Yuki Aino and Rika. Janai Kai is a lot of fun! I think I’d seen a bit of her before, but not enough to really form a strong opinion, but I’m really looking forward to her International title challenge now.

Janai and Hikari’s comments were a mix of Japanese and English (I had some help from Mr. Haku):

Noa: (in Japanese) “This is Janai Kai, who came to TJPW. Her next match will be a title match on February 18 in Nagoya, and I’m really happy that I could fight alongside a wrestler who’s preparing for a match like that, and that we won. I’m really looking forward to the International title match. Thank you for coming to TJPW!” (In English) “Thank you!”

(What was your impression of the match?)

Janai: “Oh, it was very… very, very hot, very fast-paced. They don’t play games. So, I loved it.”

(You have a title match coming up next week in Nagoya, against Miu Watanabe for the International Princess Championship. Are you prepared, what have you got for this match coming up?)

“Yes, I have been studying her, I’ve been studying Miu, and I’m well-prepared. This is a dream of mine, to be here, so I have a lot on my mind, I’ve been through a lot to be here, so I’m ready.”

I got most of Yuki and Rika’s comments, though I got tripped up by one thing at the beginning. Rika was back on her usual nonsense, haha, and she made me laugh.

Aino: “She’s scary; she really got me.”

Tatsumi: “Are you alright?”

Aino: “No, I’m not okay!” (laughs)

Then Aino said, “めっちゃ何回も頭チカチカしたもん.” I couldn’t quite figure out how to translate this! :sweat_smile:

“There were so many times my head started pounding. It was intense.”

Tatsumi: “Nice to meet you, Janai-chan.”

Aino: “I thought ‘Kick Demon’ was just a nickname. There really are a lot of people with amazing kicks in TJPW. Like Yama-chan. And now a new formidable foe has arrived. Oh, it’s frustrating! I want to fight her again; I want to get revenge.”

Tatsumi: “Yeah, she basically got an upset victory, right? Let’s do it again, okay? I won’t say one more time. I hope she comes to Japan again.”

Aino: “Come back! Let us get revenge!”

Tatsumi: “I think I became friends with Janai-chan, too. So come to Japan anytime.”

Aino: “You became friends?”

Tatsumi: “Yes!”

Aino: “If I’m aiming to befriend someone, I don’t strangle them.”

Tatsumi: “That was a baptism.”

Aino: “Hahaha”

Tatsumi: “It’s a ritual to become friends. Since I performed it, I think we’re friends now.”

Aino: “If she hasn’t grown to hate Rika-san, I think she’ll come.”

Tatsumi: “No problem!”

Aino: “Revenge!”

The semi-main was Yuka and Mizuki vs the Idolmaster collab team of Miu and Suzume (quick sidenote: I did not realize that Andreza Giant Panda was part of the Idolmaster collab until he appeared?? Absolutely incredible. Genuinely looking forward to him making an appearance at Grand Princess, haha). This match was fun albeit shockingly inconsequential, considering who it involved.

I think I got the first half of Yuka and Mizuki’s comments:

Sakazaki: “I’m back!”

Mizuki: “Welcome back!”

Sakazaki: “I’m home!”

Mizuki: “I’ve been waiting! I saw Yuka-chi doing her best over there, and I…”

Sakazaki: “I was watching you, too.”

Mizuki: “I had a lot of matches that were a bit different from usual, but that’s a huge advantage. I’ve had some singles matches, too, so that’s an asset… I’ll be facing Yuka-chi, so I have to be prepared.”

Sakazaki: “Wow!”

Mizuki: “But she’s been shining even more, so I had to work harder.”

Sakazaki: “Really? Thank you. Even looking at it from the outside, I think our organization is good, too. We have tournaments and all that. Even in ordinary non-title matches that aren’t part of a tournament, everyone really puts their all into it. It’s really important to treat each individual match as if it’s something important, and I think this comes across when viewed from an objective standpoint. Being away from TJPW, I felt even more that it’s a good organization.”

Mizuki: “Yeah?”

Sakazaki: “We want to collaborate (with Idolmaster), too. We’re waiting!”

The beginning of the next part was a bit tricky. I wasn’t quite sure how to translate this question, even though I feel like I grasped the meaning: “お互いタイトルマッチへのスイッチは入っている状態?”

(Have you both flipped the switch and entered the state you’ll be in for your title match?)

“No, I haven’t. I’m happy just to have fun being with her now, but to be honest… I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that motivation all the way to Ariake.”

Mizuki: “But it really hurt a lot last time.”

Sakazaki: “No, no, not now.”

Mizuki: “In any case, it was fun teaming up with you today.”

Sakazaki: “It was too much fun.”

Ah… some hints of MagiRabbi angst on the horizon…


Miu’s and Suzume’s comments were straightforward enough!

Miu: “We faced MagiRabbi. Yuka-san was back after being away for a while, so I was really fired up, but… we lost. MagiRabbi is strong as always.”

Suzume: “I’m really happy that I was able to face MagiRabbi in Yuka-san’s ‘welcome back’ match, and that I could team with Miu-san while we’re doing the Idolmaster collab. I’m so, so happy.”

Miu: “Idolmaster is doing a huge show at the Tokyo Dome today. Since we’re right next door, I was hoping that Idolmaster fans might also come support us today. The (collab goods) will be available for sale until the day after tomorrow, so I thought maybe we could get the Idolmaster fans into TJPW as well.”

And that’s everything before the main! According to smartcat, I’m 61% done, so I dunno if I’ll be able to finish the rest before the next show, but I’ll try?

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Just Kamiyu! In a quote tweet she ascribes it to being shocked at Kiryu’s bizarre infeasible suggestion after being silent for so long.
The 殺すぞ and the switch to immediately retracting it is very casual and Kamiyu-ish.

I wonder if there’s a good stock filler for translating this kind of question format a little more naturally - it seems like it would come up a lot. Maybe “Can you comment on (…)?”
(I suppose it doesn’t really matter though - they’re truncated from the original questions for the transcript anyway)

This sounded kind of weird to me out of context, and from the Japanese I guessed that Pom had otaku’d actively over Arai (which… yep)

Looking into だったりして, though, it sounds like it’s got a sense of like, “maybe / perhaps.”

So I think maybe:

My opponent was maybe a little bit of an otaku.” (laughs) “It was really difficult,

could be more accurate and sound a little more natural in English (since it’s a small joke about downplaying Pom’s very overt behavior)

Yeah this just seems like one of those phrases that’s hard to describe directly in English…

I’ve thought sometimes about how “そういうことある?” seems like it’s one of those where there’s a nonstandard but nearly direct equivalent via slang, “that’s a thing?”
and I feel like this is the same sort of ある, so I’d describe ありそうでなかった roughly directly as like, “didn’t seem like something that would be a thing”

“It was so unexpected” I feel like would be completely fine as a natural gloss though.

I think it seems fine.

I think I would say more something like maybe “there were so many times I was seeing stars” (although that’s not quite literally what it means), just since チカチカ feels like it would be more like, a sharp pain like flickering on and off, like, daze-inducing sort of pain more so than a dull throb.
Aino got kicked in the head a lot that match, so I would relate what she’s describing to the feeling of just having been kicked in the head.

Maybe “have you both entered title match mode?” or something like that?

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Finished the whole second chunk of the show somehow? I guess I’m getting faster, haha. They did just do two pressers the night before the next show that I definitely won’t be finishing anytime soon, though…

Yeah, these are tricky! I was sort of stylistically taking a leaf from Mr. Haku’s book, I guess—if I remember correctly, he always truncated them in his translations as well. I have a really hard time hearing the actual questions, haha, so I’m a bit hesitant to extrapolate the parts I don’t catch, even if it probably doesn’t matter. There’s probably a better way to format them on the blog as well, but I’ve sort of just been borrowing from the style of the transcripts because it’s easier…

As far as the actual show goes, I really liked the tag tournament final! It’s definitely going in my list of favorite matches once I get around to doing a write-up for it and finding some photos. I was cheering pretty hard for Shoko and Misao, so I was sad when they lost, but I am happy for Itoh and Miyu as well. Miyu finally broke her tournament curse, haha.

I had a bit of help from Mr Haku on the post-match stuff, which cleared up a few of my questions. Here’s what I had for it:

Itoh: “We won! Thank you very much. We were finally, finally able to get results. …I’m happy, so happy.” (to the voices saying “congratulations!”) “Thank you! I will say, I…” (tearfully) “Seeing Shoko Nakajima’s look of frustration just now, I REALLY know how she feels. I’m going to do my best on behalf of Nakajima and Hyper Misao, and Juria Nagano, Moka Miyamoto, Hikari Noa, and Kakuta Nao as well. And Ariake! At Ariake, I will defeat Max the Impaler!”

Yamashita: “On twitter, you don’t really talk about One To Million all that much, but yesterday… what was it? 'I cover for your stupidity, so when I’m in a pinch, kick ‘em down.’ Saying stuff like that, it’s totally not fair! But let me just say this: It was really frustrating that Itoh and I couldn’t get results together for so long. But we are the best! When I’m with you, it’s fun to fight and it’s also fun to team up. That’s why I want the whole world to know how great we are, not just Japan. Again, I’m so, so happy to have won this trophy with you. You truly are the best business partner.”

Itoh: “Did you look that up in a dictionary? What have you been doing? Just a couple weeks ago, I told you that’s not what ‘business partner’ means. You know, I really respect and like you. But how do you really feel about me? If it’s strictly business, we can break up.”

Yamashita: “That’s why I said I love you! You care about this too much!”

Itoh: “Because you called me your business partner!”

Then Miyu said something really sweet that I wanted to make sure I got right. She said, “これだけは言わせて。ビジネスパートナーでも、いまもこれから先も私が何十年、何百年生きても、パートナーはお前だけなの。だからビジネスパートナーでもパートナーでも、そういう概念じゃないの。お前が最高なんだよ.”

Yamashita: “Let me just say this: Whether we’re business partners or not, now and forever, no matter how many decades or hundreds of years that I live, you are my only partner. So whether it’s ‘business partner’ or ‘partner’, you are the best one.”

Itoh: “OK, thank you. Let’s do our best at Ariake.”

I also wasn’t quite sure how to translate the thing Itoh coined when they closed the show (which also comes up in their comments). Here’s what shupro had for it: “最後は「ワン・トゥー」「ミリオン!」連呼から「OK! 1人より2人、2人なら100倍! うちらが…ワン・トゥー・ミリオン!」と伊藤が強引に締めた。”

They closed the show with: “One To—” “Million!” and then “Two people are better than one! A hundredfold times better! We are… One To Million!"

Itoh and Miyu’s comments have three videos :sweat_smile:… Here is the first:

Yamashita: “We did it!”

Itoh: “We won!”

Yamashita: “This is the first time we’ve gotten results.”

Itoh: “We’re able to get results on our own, but we couldn’t achieve anything at all as a team, until now.”

Yamashita: “This is my first time winning a tournament!”

Itoh: “Wait, are you kidding? No, that’s right. You’re always losing in the first round or something like that.”

Yamashita: “It’s frustrating that I haven’t been able to win a singles tournament, but after so many tries, I’m so happy to win my first tournament with Itoh.”

Itoh: “Yes. I’m happy, too, and I’m happy that you haven’t gotten tired of being next to me.”

Yamashita: “I’ll never get tired of you.”

Then Itoh said, “ありがとう。伊藤がデビューした頃はホントに仲悪かったんですよ。全然喋んなかったし。でもね、伊藤ね、いまも仲良くないと思ってるけど…全然試合できるもんね.” That last part I wasn’t quite sure about, haha.

Itoh: “Thank you. When I debuted, our relationship was really bad. We didn’t talk at all. Even now, I don’t think we’re really that close… our relationship is entirely in the ring.”

Yamashita: “We’re close! But we’re different in some ways. As a wrestler, I…”

Itoh: “We’re not friends. I understand.”

Yamashita: “As a wrestler, I was able to meet Itoh in the course of my career, and just for that alone, I’m so glad that I became a pro wrestler.”

Itoh: “I see.”

Yamashita: “I’m so glad that I could meet someone like you.”

Itoh: “Itoh is also glad. We can go even higher.”

Yamashita: “It’s not over yet. Since we won here, we can go for the tag belts, right?”

Itoh: “Yes? This is just a stop along the way. We’re going to defeat Max the Impaler and Heidi and wrap their belts around our waists.”

The second part was weirdly short:

(The champion team has a title defense set in the US, and if they lose the belts, you won’t be able to have a title match)

Yamashita: “What do you mean? No way, no way!”

Itoh: “We’re rooting for Max the Impaler and Heidi. So let’s have that fight at Ariake.”

Yamashita: “There’s no point if we don’t defeat Max and Heidi. We must win! We’re facing them.”

The third part made me genuinely laugh haha.

(Can you talk about your first time closing the show?)

Itoh: “It was kinda lame, huh?”

Yamashita: “I was surprised.”

Itoh: “I improvised.”

Yamashita: “It was incredible. Itoh is a genius.”

Then Itoh said, “アイドルやりよると、ああいう即興系すごいできるっちゃ。だからよく振られるけん、MC中とかに.” I couldn’t quite figure this out, haha.

Itoh: “As an idol, you get really good at improvising like that. That’s why you often get rejected, while MCing or something. Do you want to do it now?”

Yamashita: “What do you mean?”

Itoh: “What I said then. Let’s have everyone learn it.”

Yamashita: “Let’s do it.”

Itoh: “For now, when I say ‘One To’, everyone should say ‘Million!’ Everyone who’s here, please say it. Two people are better than one! A hundredfold better! We are, One To⁠—”

Media team: “…”

Yamashita: “Huh? Why didn’t anyone say anything? Even though there are ten people… this is the opposite of amazing.”

Itoh: “You gotta be kidding me. Were you really watching?”

Yamashita: “It’s strange.”

Itoh: “Why didn’t you say it?”

Yamashita: “This isn’t the time to laugh! Let’s try it one more time. You won’t have another chance. This is the last. Please humor us. We won the tournament today, so please let us be a bit self-indulgent.”

Itoh: “Let’s go! Two people are better than one! A hundredfold times better! We are, One To—!”

Media team: “…”

Yamashita: “…Million! That’s good enough! Let’s go home!”

Itoh: “No, really. Do it right!”

Yamashita: “Let us be selfish, we won!”

Itoh: “You’re really boring adults.”

Misao and Shoko’s comments:

Nakajima: “That’s it, huh? Well… I don’t think we were defeated in terms of strength. But they were so passionate, there was a lot of pressure, and it felt like we lost to them in tenacity. I’m simply frustrated today.”

Misao: “I don’t think we lost. The match result was a loss, but Kyoraku Kyomei… I don’t think we’ve lost any value as a tag team. We couldn’t win today’s match, but I don’t want to call it a loss. I think Kyoraku Kyomei will win from here on out. We didn’t win the tournament today, but we didn’t lose.”

And that’s it!

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