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

I’m glad you watched part of it, haha! If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out the single light tube deathmatch I linked in the match recommendations post at the beginning of this thread (I should add more to that list :sweat_smile:)! It’s not a “real” deathmatch, since the goal is not to break the light tube, but it’s really tense and entertaining nonetheless!

And Pokotan’s head coming off is a bit of a running joke in his matches, haha. There’s a small thrill in that moment because the fans enjoy getting a glimpse of whichever wrestler happens to be playing him, so I think they do it on purpose. Of course, everyone treats it as if it never happened because it breaks kayfabe, but the crowd reacts to it every time nonetheless.

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I did see the light tube match! There’s some phenomenal acting/choreographing talent that goes into a lot of this stuff. I get worried I’m going to break one of those by just touching it, haha.

Is it customary for the mascot to lose too, or does it vary? Cause I’ve gotta say, it’s cruel to put up a mascot and not have them win. I don’t care about the normal guy in this context! :stuck_out_tongue:

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It definitely varies, haha! The video stops before this part, but after Chris beats Pokotan with such cruelty, Yoshihiko the blow-up doll shows up in the balcony and then leaps down from there and attacks Chris. So the horrible man gets his comeuppance! Yoshihiko and Chris then went on to have a fantastic singles match that I’ll absolutely link if they upload it. I love unconventional matches like that because they really take a lot of skill to do, and they’re so creative! DDT is fun because it’s a company where Pokotan and Yoshihiko and such can absolutely win titles and get their big moments. Even though they often lose, they’ll get their occasional chance to shine, too :blush:

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思える is potential for 思う, and も is often like, “even”, emphasizing or broadening the range encompassed, so
三味線とも思える taken literally be like, “you could even think it was a shamisen.” Or worded more simply, “like a shamisen.”
It seems like a shamisen is played pretty quickly with a bit of a rapid-fire staccato rhythm from the clacking of the bachi, so the 弱気発言 were 連発していた’d in that kind of a way.
So I agree with your friend you got the idea! I think it would be very difficult to phrase it in a natural way in English and keep the shamisen simile…

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Wrestle Kingdom 16 thoughts

I did end up enjoying Wrestle Kingdom! Especially the first night.
I managed to watch it without staying up late, seeing spoilers, or getting too drunk, by watching the preliminary matches on the morning of the 4th with breakfast, the midcard in the afternoon with lunch (hawaiian barbecue!) and the last few matches in the late evening with beer. Not a bad way to do it!
I thought Shibata’s match (Ren Narita impressed me and Shibata is wild), the tag championship match, El Desperado / Takahashi (a good example of a very good match despite not really having wild giffable moments like some of their others), the Stardom match, and the KENTA/Tanahashi No DQ match (ouch! And a super high fly flow!) were all major highlights.
And I honestly loved the main event of the first night. I think all I’m really looking for in a wrestling match story is being able to tie it to like, big broad emotional beats, and Takagi embodying “it’s 2022 and we’ve got a new belt and we gotta move forward even if things kind of suck” vs. Okada “let’s just pretend all of this never happened and go back to how it was before” felt big and archetypal in a way I was able to get drawn up in. And Okada’s doing Rainmakers again! And Takagi immediately broke out of every Money Clip!

I would certainly have been happier if Takagi had won - but I do think there’s some smart poetry in having Okada take that moment in the Dome to say goodbye to the old belt and accept the new one (waaaay better outcome ultimately than if he had stuck to reinstating the old, I think). And I mean – I started watching NJPW in 2017, so on some level “Okada’s IWGP Champion” can’t help but inspire a little bit of silly “all is right with the world” style hope. I can’t really imagine in practice it will rival that out-of-this-world championship run of his back then and revitalize my interest in the promotion, but it’s easy “I want to believe” territory for sure.
As for the Ospreay match… at least he’s a full-on heel I guess? I felt nothing.

A big drawback I thought though is can they really not figure out anything else to do with non-Ospreay United Empire members beyond “special” singles matches that they lose for the second year in a row?
I would have liked to see maybe like, one of them fight Ishii instead of EVIL for the NEVER belt or something. Or if only they had another championship to contend for… something with a cool lineage and history and the IWGP name… like something that might be fought for between continents or something…

Stardom thoughts

I felt a bit bad because the year-ending Stardom shows got put to the side for Wrestle Kingdom, but it’s really only because JANUARY 4TH is such a big important date that it’s fun to make a giant deal about, and I know the show will immediately be up. Whereas I don’t keep up with Stardom’s schedule enough to avoid twitter until the show gets posted, so I knew all the results by the time I got around to watching Dream Queendom.
It was still really really good though! I might have to try to make the effort to make their shows into an event for myself down the line, because I thought it deserved it as much or more than Wrestle Kingdom. I especially really liked Tam asking for the belt after the match only to tie it around Saya’s waist and all of the main event.
I haven’t seen too much actual shows since then, but the news is interesting! The new additions to Donna del Mondo I wasn’t expecting, but are intriguing! I think I remember Mirai impressing me the first TJP show I watched, and I know of Thekla a little from Ice Ribbon and saw her talk about watching Female Prisoner Scorpion with Giulia and singing the theme song on the road with her which sounds like a grand old time .

Momo’s heel turn at Osaka Super Wars is also interesting! I hope it works out for her! She always seemed kind of pissed off in the ring and so far at least it seems like she’s having fun in the role so hopefully that’s promising. And the change probably gives Utami Hayashishita a position of authority to have even without the belt, so that makes sense.

Kinda weird how many character turns in Stardom are based around convoluted Oedotai stipulations though. In kayfabe do they have any incentive to not just keep converting people to the dark side?? Seems like it’s worked out great for them so far!

週刊プロレス No. 2157
I didn’t get an e-mail about new issues arriving for a few weeks - I guess because of the new year, and I think the magazine itself might have taken a week off in there too as this is called a 合併号 spanning two weeks on the listed date (although it’s the same size as normal). So without the incentive to keep up with the subscription, I put off reading this for a while until this week the two next issues arrived at once. It’s also a pretty routine issues, and feels like old news after the year-end shows, so I didn’t read it as closely as maybe I should have, but here it is!

Shingo Takagi has an interview about winning MVP, looking back on his year (I forgot how the first half of the year was mostly down for him, but it certainly bounced back in the latter half), and the upcoming fight with NOAH.

In Tanahshi’s column looking back on 2021, he forgets who he fought on January 4th in the Tokyo Dome, and the interviewer also has to look it up before remembering it was O-Khan. Ouch.

Kenoh talks about Kiyomiya in his column, and says that it was good for Kiyomiya that Mutoh came back when he did because it forced the domesticated, coddled-as-a-future-ace Kiyomiya to fend for himself more and come back stronger. He says though that he needs to find something distinctive - the wrestlers that really stick in people’s minds have imitatable poses (Like say… Kenoh’s!) and catchphrases and moves and stuff. Nothing like that comes to mind yet for Kiyomiya.

Giulia looks back on 2021 as well. The hair vs. hair match was really this year? That feels way longer ago to me for some reason… Her column’s gonna continue at least into next year, so that’s nice.

Here’s a fun game: guess what the people in this ad are supposed to be reacting to! I bet you can’t!

Answer

A horse race.

宇宙大戦 16 meanwhile looks like it was a hell of a thing!

I’m blurring this one because it’s lewd

image

I think this is a Drive My Car reference
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A memorial service was held for the 58th anniversary of Rikidozan’s death.
Something I genuinely really appreciate about wrestling is that masked wrestlers still wear their masks even on the most solemn of occasions.

The costume column is about Stardom’s recent very tall newcomer, Lady C!
She’s a former home-ec teacher, and after her sudden debut led to other plans falling through, she’s ended up making her costumes herself! Inspirations include the anime アイドリッシュセブン, and WWE wrestler Sasha Banks.

There’s an ad for a book about sociological lessons seen through the lens of wrestling.

The business column at the back is from an interview with a NJPW official. He kayfabes an interesting response to people complaining online about House of Torture’s constant interference:
「。。。リングは選手が命がけで戦っている世界。リングの中は神聖な場所。そこはレフェリーが裁いているし、対戦相手が倒すべきだし、背広組は託すしかない。それは新日本の大事なポリシーだと思います」

In a couple of places in the magazine I saw the word 収束 in reference to コロナ as a thing that was tentatively happening or might happen soon. That seems… optimistic, in retrospect.

Oh - P.S., but I don’t remember much language-wise from Wrestle Kingdom, except I learned the word for folding chair from the US championship match! パイプ椅子! Surprised that hadn’t come up for me before, honestly… It’s one of those interesting words where the English word and the Japanese word both latched onto a completely different distinctive feature about the thing in question, which is fun.

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I finished translating the recap for DDT’s January 22 show! Some really good stuff in this one, and also some confusing stuff, at least for my current level of skill :sweat_smile:.

They actually uploaded the match that was most interesting to me from this show! This is Chris Brookes & Saki Akai vs Soma Takao & Maya Yukihi. Saki and Maya’s feud is the main point of this match, which I’ve already spent a lot of time talking about. Something interesting happened at the end of this that I didn’t even notice until I was doing the translation. There’s no commentary (English or Japanese) for this one, sorry!

The story they’re telling with Maya and Saki is actually probably my favorite feud in wrestling at the moment. I love how every single time they fight, it drags out more and more deeply hidden feelings from Maya.

This time, after the match, Maya reveals that she had dreamed of winning the Rookie of the Year Award the year she debuted, but then she broke a bone, broke her heart, and couldn’t achieve her wild dream. She went on to watch Saki Akai win the Rookie of the Year Award, after Saki got the job with DDT that Maya had been unable to get. Once again, Saki had everything she wanted.

And here was the line that stopped me in my tracks while I was translating: “そして新人賞という技で今日負けました。” In this match, not only did Maya lose, she specifically lost to the move that Saki had named the Rookie of the Year Award.

Moments like that really show the true beauty of wrestling as a storytelling medium, I feel.

In other news, Minoru Fujita has actually got me rooting for Daisuke Sasaki to win their upcoming title match, because Fujita is acting extremely overconfident, and Sasaki is acting extremely pathetic. Fujita also pulled out what I believe are some gambling metaphors? I had a hard time figuring out how to translate them, because I don’t understand gambling even in English, haha, and he seems to be invoking a concept that we don’t really have an equivalent for.

Fujita said, “今日の勝利で確変にまた入ったので。あとは後楽園で次の当たりを待つだけ。” The first sentence immediately threw me off because I couldn’t figure out what he meant with 確変(かくへん). Yomichan gave me the extremely helpful definition of “stochastic variable” or “random variable”, and my monolingual dictionary didn’t have anything for it. Google told me that it’s an abbreviation of 確率変動, so I went to the wikipedia page in the hopes of finding an English version of the article to help me understand the concept, but had no luck.

I have absolutely no idea how to actually translate it, haha, but I think I understand his metaphor, at least. This site had a short description that gave me the gist. Basically, when a machine goes into the 確率変動(かくりつへんどう) state, the probability of winning a jackpot is increased. Fujita is saying that with today’s victory, he has once again entered this state, so therefore he is more likely to win the “jackpot” in Korakuen Hall.

In any case, I was proud of myself for figuring all of that out!

The other thing that threw me off was a couple of Danshoku Dieno’s lines. Here’s part of what he said: “そのタイミングがなぜ今なのか? 逆に問おう。何で決められなきゃいけないんだ。決めた瞬間が一歩目だ。それが今だ。タッグリーグ? 優勝だけが優れた価値観だという思い込みこそひっくり返してやる。まずは世界の青木真也をシングルマッチのタイトル戦で破れば、飯野の偉大な一歩目になる。”

There were too many new verb forms for me in this: “何で決められなきゃいけないんだ。” I tried my best to figure it out, and ended up interpreting it as essentially, “If nothing can be decided, it’s pointless.” Basically, Dieno started out asking why now is the time (for him to declare that Yuki Iino is aiming for the top in DDT), then flipped the question, saying that making the decision/setting the match is the first step.

The other line that I kind of got a bit lost in was this one: “優勝だけが優れた価値観だという思い込みこそひっくり返してやる。” I ended up translating it as basically “I’m going to overturn the assumption that winning it is the only thing that matters.” But the sentence was a little long for me, so there were parts that I couldn’t quite figure out how to break down. My translation was in line with Dramatic DDT’s, so I felt like I probably at least got it in the ballpark, haha!

Sidenote: the Pheromones won second place for Best Tag Team in the Net Pro Wrestling Awards for 2021 (unlike shupro’s awards and many other wrestling awards, these ones are voted on by fans, so they aren’t kayfabed). I was kind of surprised by that! I think they won an indie award, too, so they’re clearly pretty popular in Japan.

I always enjoy the Net Pro Wrestling Awards because I feel like they can be revealing. It was interesting seeing that AEW has climbed the ranks for best promotion and made it to number 5, despite the relative lack of media coverage in Japan. It also made me happy to see Hiragana Muscle at 10 (and 4 on the list of best shows)! I’m glad to see Stardom and TJPW doing pretty well, too. Both of them beat AJPW and Dragon Gate. NJPW still has the lead, but the gap between them and NOAH seems to be narrowing, and NOAH was right on their tail this year…

There are a handful of miscellaneous other matches I want to share that just got uploaded to youtube, but there are enough of them, I thought I better save them for another post!

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A little language support, if it helps, but you really are doing well I think!

決められなきゃいけない - a contraction of 決められなくてはいけない, one of the many “if not X, that’s no good” forms that’s a main way to convey “must” in Japanese. So, “must decide.”
The intense amount of grammar involved and difference from how you’d say it in English means that’s one form that takes a long time to ingrain!
The 何で at the beginning is like a “what gives?!” and makes the phrase into a question.
The んだ is a contracted のだ that’s kind of hard to describe but I think here like, ties in with なんで and makes it clearer that he’s asking about the expectation behind 決められなくてはいけない.

So he’s doing the 問う’ing he suggested in the previous sentence:
“Why does it have to be decided?”
or maybe Englishing it up to match his tone, something like “Who says it’s gotta be decided already?”

I think your translation was just fine but here’s the breakdown:
優勝だけ - only winning
優れた価値観 - superior values
優勝だけが優れた価値観だ - only winning is superior values (like, might makes right - if you win you’re better, period)
優勝だけが優れた価値観だという思い込み - the assumption that only winning is superior values
こそ - (emphasis on that noun phrase specifically)
ひっくり返してやる - I will overturn (it).

So your translation is good!
It loses the emphasis from the こそ but you could throw a “specifically” in there.
Or rearrange it a bit like “the assumption that winning is all that matters is exactly what I’m here to disprove.” or something like that perhaps.

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I’ve been meaning to share some more links to favorite matches, since there have been some good ones uploaded lately!

First of all, here is the best match from DDT’s empty arena 路上 show at the 東京ドーム on October 31 from last year. The premise of this show is that five teams of wrestlers are competing to try to win 500万円. Each team contributes money to the pot, and the last team left standing at the end wins it all.

This match featured my two favorite teams: DDT’s The37Kamiina faction (Konosuke Takeshita, current KO-D champ, Shunma Katsumata, Yuki Ueno, and Mao) vs a team of four wrestlers from TJPW (current Princess of Princess champ Miyu Yamashita, International Princess champ Hikari Noa, Maki Itoh, and Hyper Misao). Naturally, I was rooting for the TJPW team, haha! The match has Japanese commentary, and you even get to see TJPW’s entrance, complete with Miyu’s music.

There are a lot of really great exchanges in this. Part of what’s compelling about it is we get to see some people mix it up who usually don’t get a chance to face each other. There’s a teaser for DDT’s young ace Takeshita vs TJPW’s ace Miyu, for example. And aspiring deathmatch wrestler Hikari gets to dip her toes a little bit more into hardcore wrestling (though nothing in this match is especially intense). This match is also where Misao’s feud with Shunma started! I shared the singles match that resulted from that already.

I was also happy to see that DDT uploaded Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo’s last singles match from July 15, 2019! As I mentioned before, I still haven’t seen this one (it was the main event of the same show that the single light tube deathmatch was on), but this match was extremely well-received. I don’t have enough background on the lead-up to this to explain the specific story, but the KO-D title is on the line, and Endo is the champion, with Takeshita challenging him. The video has Japanese commentary.

TJPW is in the middle of a tag tournament right now, and so far it has been a blast! I have way too many favorite tag teams in this company, so I’m always rooting for everyone, but I think my favorite in this tournament is Asuka and Kamiyu (Yuki Kamifuku). Asuka is a freelancer, not a TJPW regular, but she and Kamiyu befriended each other by becoming drinking buddies, haha.

The best match in the tournament so far, I think, is Asuka and Kamiyu vs Miyu and Itoh (who each hold the top singles title in TJPW and the International title respectively) on January 29. This match doesn’t have any commentary, but it does, for some reason, have their entrances? Maybe they realized that Kamiyu and Asuka’s entrance is absolutely essential.

This is a tournament match, so it’s pretty high stakes: whoever loses this will be eliminated from the tournament, and whoever wins will advance for a chance to win a shot at the tag titles. Additionally, in wrestling, if you pin a champion, that usually gives you a pretty strong claim to challenge for their title… So if Kamiyu and Asuka can manage to pull off the win and pin either of their opponents, not only will they advance in the tournament, but they’ll probably get a shot for a singles title, too.

Here’s another fun match from the same tournament on the same day: Rika Tatsumi (in white) and Miu Watanabe (in pink) vs Shoko Nakajima (fur costume) and Hyper Misao (in green). Shoko and Misao are both very much tricksters, haha, but I always root for them anyway. They’re a fun team because Misao calls herself a hero protecting love and justice in TJPW, and Shoko is always billed as the “147cm Big Kaiju.” But who said heroes and kaiju can’t be friends?

Rika and Miu are actually former tag team champs, and Misao’s last team (with Sakisama…) was who they won the titles from. Misao had turned heel and joined up with Sakisama in the first place because she loved Rika, but she wasn’t strong enough to convince Rika to tag with her. But in the end, ultimately Rika’s love for her is what snapped her out of it and caused her to leave Sakisama.

One of the continuing threads in any match containing Misao vs Rika is the fact that Misao loves Rika, but has also never been able to beat her. That tension is in this match as well.

And finally, Pro Wrestling NOAH uploaded Go Shiozaki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima from the January 1 show! I’ve talked about their previous match before. I think I still like their last one a little better than this one, but this one was still very good. This match has Japanese commentary! It’s also a NOAH match, so it’s a little more intense than a lot of the others I post, so just keep that in mind. It doesn’t get bloody, but they don’t pull their kicks.

This time, Nakajima is the champion, and Go is the challenger. There are a few things at stake here beyond the title, too. The deeper subtext, of course, is the shadow of their old tag team relationship, with Go clearly still longs for. He actually tried to make it a condition of the match that if he won, Nakajima would have to reform Axiz and tag with him again.

During Go’s absence (he took most of 2021 off to get surgery), Nakajima was tag champions with another partner, got betrayed by that partner, lost his hair in a cage match against that partner, won the N-1 tournament for the second time in a row, and then finally won the belt that he had been unable to win from Go in 2020.

As soon as he won the title, Nakajima stole Go’s catchphrase and proclaimed, “I am NOAH” (only Nakajima’s version was in Japanese). And sure enough, a couple months later, Go made his return and immediately challenged him for his belt. This time, it was more than just a fight between two ex-partners: it was a fight over who had claim to represent the company as a whole. They decided that whoever lost the match would lose the right to call himself NOAH.

I think that’s enough for now! I’m going to try to add some of these (and some others I’ve shared) to the match recommendations post at the top of this thread, since I’ve been slacking on that front :sweat_smile:.

Finished translating another DDT recap! This one was for the 1.29 show, which is the start of DDT’s Ultimate Tag League.

The biggest thing to happen in the show, though, was Daisuke Sasaki vs Minoru Fujita for the DDT Extreme title (and its aftermath). I did have to laugh, though, when I translated the match description and tried to figure out what it meant when it said that Sasaki hit a トラースキック. DeepL thought this was a “trash kick”. Which sounds like exactly the type of move that Sasaki would do. But I had some doubts, haha, so I googled the word and ended up on the Japanese wikipedia page for it, and found out that it is actually a thrust kick! That makes a lot more sense.

Sasaki managed to barely pull off the victory. After the match, Fujita shook his hand and embraced him, but Fujita’s friends from ChocoPro stopped him. Fujita prepared to leave the ring with them, but then Sasaki called out to him and asked him to join his faction, Damnation T.A!

Something I found interesting is the recap described this as a ラブコール . A love call! It doesn’t seem to necessarily have a romantic connotation, though two of the three definitions in my monolingual dictionary were about lovers or courtship between animals. Made for a bit of a tricky translation choice, haha.

Fujita actually said a pretty romantic line in response to this: “こうなったら言葉はいらないよな。藤田ミノルをすべてオマエに預けるよ”. He said that he leaves all of Minoru Fujita with Sasaki. Then the two of them shook hands, and that was that! Fujita is in Damnation T.A now! I’m amused by this development because Fujita is also in Pencil Army in ChocoPro, and I truthfully cannot imagine two factions that are more different in tone than those two.

As usual, some of Sasaki’s lines tripped me up a little. He said: “こんなにすんなりいくとは思わなかった。ようやく3人目が揃った。DDTの生ぬるいヤツら、俺とMJポー、藤田ミノルで、破壊と混沌をもたらしてやる”. That last line was tough because I was pretty sure that he was referring to himself, MJ Paul, and Fujita as the DDTの生ぬるいヤツら (DDT’s weakest bastards?), but I wasn’t 100% sure because it’s a pretty strong statement to say about yourself and your faction after you just defended your title and added a new member, haha!

The line that really confused me was this line of his from backstage: “DDTのヤツら、なめたことばっかりしやがって。俺たちがメチャクチャしたら、放置してるオマエらを地獄の底に落としてやる”. I tried several times to figure out exactly what he was trying to say here, but couldn’t really grasp it.

An interviewer asked Sasaki why he recruited Fujita, and he said “この人の底知れぬ人間性、下の方に広がる懐の深さ”. The first half is pretty straightforward, “his bottomless humanity,” but the second half threw me off. Yomichan says that 懐の深い means broad-minded, but 懐 can also be a pocket or a purse, so is there possibly a double meaning here where Sasaki could either be talking about the depth of his feelings/mind or saying he has deep pockets? 下の方 seems to mean essentially “down there”, which maybe makes the deep pockets meaning more likely, haha, but I could see the double meaning being used for comedic effect. Or maybe I am completely off base? With wrestlers, I never rule out the possibility that it could just be a dick joke.

On last note on this sudden unexpected scumbag romance: I really liked what Fujita said in his comments when he was asked about his time in the hospital. I commented several weeks ago on a line I liked where he talked about going to the neighborhood of hell and back. And after the match with Sasaki, he said, “俺を地獄から救ってくれたのは、もしかしたらこちらのカリスマ、佐々木大輔かもしれない”. “Maybe it was Charisma, Daisuke Sasaki, who saved me from hell.”

The Tag League matches on this show were also fun, though no one said anything especially interesting in their comments this time, haha!

I did enjoy this comment from Eruption, which sadly wasn’t transcribed on the results page, so I could only really understand the part quoted in the tweet. Yukio Sakaguchi told Okatani, Eruption’s new rookie member, not to attach “san” to Jun Akiyama’s name because he’s an enemy. Okatani seems to have minded him, though I’m sure it’s a bit of a struggle for him, because he used to be in Akiyama’s faction Junretsu before they disbanded.

The other major news coming out of this show is that the TV personality LiLiCo is going to have her retirement match in DDT (she’d wrestled for them before, but apparently injured herself outside of the ring years ago and couldn’t really wrestle anymore). I really liked the word 心残(こころのこ)り, “regret”. The recap described her request to wrestle one more match as a 要望(ようぼう), and I feel like that’s one word where the English gloss (“request,” “demand for”) doesn’t quite capture the nuance. My monolingual dictionary defined it as “実現を強く望むこと”. LiLiCo requested that her opponent be a man, preferably a handsome one.

They also announced which AEW wrestler will be coming to DDT for the anniversary show, and as I expected, it was Michael Nakazawa! I’m positive they wanted Kenny, but it just doesn’t seem to be quite feasible now, considering his injuries and the travel restrictions in place. The video Nak sent absolutely teased that it would be Kenny at first, though. I smiled at the end of it when he did Kenny’s usual sign-off “goodbye and goodnight, bang”, except in Japanese.

Sanshiro Tagaki posted a sweet message about the match on twitter afterward. He described Nak as the closest man to Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi. So in a sense, Nak is sort of standing in for both of them, since they won’t be able to make it.

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I tried reading it before reading your comments about it to see what my impression would be, and I took it as the reverse - he’ll throw DDTの生ぬるいヤツら (something a little like the “tepid losers of DDT”) into confusion and destruction, with MJポー and 藤田ミノル.
It’s tricky because of the pauses and low amount of particles, and it looks in English a lot like the “a noun, that same thing phrased in a different way to describe a different aspect of it, does something” form – but come to think of it… I’m not sure that form works in Japanese the same way (although it might - I’ve never thought about it before).
But I checked the video (it’s in the post-match promo) to confirm - and it’s a lot clearer outside the transcript I think - the DDTの生ぬるいヤツら part is him addressing who he’s speaking to. He even has a bit after that clause in the transcript where he asks if a specific person is watching the camera.
So it’s like a “hey losers, me and my friends are gonna beat you up!” kind of comma, not a
“Some losers, me and my friends, are gonna beat you up!” kind of comma. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

It seems like clauses with pauses in between them being unexpectedly not as closely related as they look in text is probably a pretty common problem with post-match and backstage promos, since the wrestlers are exhausted when they give them!

This is almost wall-to-wall tough guy phrases that don’t have a much literal easy to translate meaning, but I think it’s maybe something like:
“You DDT lot are always doing dumbass stuff。If we’re a complete mess, (then even as that mess), we’ll drop all y’all ignoring us straight into hell.”
(the video had another dropped clause but I still had trouble with exactly what メチャクチャしたら was getting at, but that’s my best guess - like chastising the rest of DDT for underestimating them as ragtag weirdos maybe)

Well, one thing about 懐 is it’s not really pants pockets, it’s chest, and I think only means pockets (and by extension money) because of like, breast pockets, like of a kimono! Like, when Toshiro Mifune, say, walks around with hands in his kimono pockets, that’s 懐手:
image
(I assume he keeps his money somewhere in there too…)

I’d read it pretty literally I think as something maybe like, “his bottomless humanity, and empathy for the downtrodden. Also… he’s really good at wrestling.” - like 下の方 is I think the direction that the 懐の深さ is directed, and Fujita is accepting of those below (maybe partly why he’s willing to join Damnation?)
If there’s a pun, apparently it might be a sumo one? Since 懐が深い is apparently a good thing in Sumo meaning you’re hard to get a grip on or something, and that might be intended since hey it’s wrestling… but I dunno for sure. It might also just be a little silly and overwrought thing to say! With the much more direct third reason making a bit of a punchline that way.

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Thank you so much for such a detailed response! This is really helpful! And thank you for taking the time to actually read the recap and look at the footage!

Was this when he asked about Despy? haha. I heard his name when I watched, though naturally they wouldn’t include that part in the official recap. Chris Brookes got jealous and upset after this on twitter because not only did Sasaki steal Fujita from team ChocoPro, but he also stole Despy’s attention from Chris.

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Yeah I think so! I remember hearing the name Desperado I think but not knowing why he would be talking to El Desperado

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It has been a busy past couple weeks in the wrestling world (isn’t it always? :sweat_smile:). But the biggest news for me is that it looks like DDT actually has official translation going forward! Their official English account (which may or may not be run by Ash) started live translating the shows as well as translating all of the backstage comments, like Mr. Haku used to do!

I wanted to wait a few shows to see if they were doing live translation threads for all of them, and this does seem to be the case! I’ll update DDT’s description in the top post.

Since we have actual translation again, I’m probably going to stop trying to translate the DDT comments in the show recaps. However, we still don’t have translation for TJPW, and it’s unclear if the person taking over for DDT will be covering TJPW in the future. I have a friend who was translating TJPW for us, but she has gotten really swamped with other stuff and hasn’t had the time lately to keep up, so I offered to take over for her.

So, going forward, I’m going to be switching gears to TJPW! Maybe they’ll improve their official English coverage, too, and I’ll be rendered obsolete, but until then, I will try my best! As hard and occasionally frustrating as this can get, I’ve actually massively improved my vocabulary from translating the DDT recaps, so I want to keep doing this as long as I can.

Actually, @rodan, I don’t know if you know the answer to this, but I saw this tweet from shupromobile which seemed to suggest that shupro reports on all of the TJPW post-match comments. Unfortunately the actual details of the comments are locked behind a paywall, so I was unable to see what kind of information they have. If they have the full text of all of the comments, I’m definitely considering trying to get a subscription, but if they don’t, it’s probably not worth it for me at this point. :sweat_smile:

In other news, I finally updated the match recommendations post at the top of the thread! All of the matches I added have already been linked throughout the thread, with the exception of one that NOAH just uploaded recently:

I’m going to embed the link to this one because the title spoils the twist. The match is here. If you want to go in completely unspoiled, don’t look at the title or the thumbnail too closely. I don’t think this one has any commentary, Japanese or otherwise.

This is Go Shiozaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita on March 29, 2020. It’s Go’s first defense of the GHC Heavyweight Championship, which he had only just won before the entire world shut down.

This is the match that put NOAH on the map for me personally. It’s also an extremely avant garde match that is probably not to most people’s tastes, haha, but the bravery of it was what caught my attention.

This match happened at the beginning of the pandemic, right when Japan was in lockdown. Because of this, it happened in an empty Korakuen Hall, without a crowd. The lack of a crowd allowed them to get away with something that they would have never dared do if there had been one.

This match is infamous because it begins with a literal 30 minute staredown between the wrestlers. Keep in mind that the match has a 60 minute time limit (and if it ends in a draw, the champion retains his title). Personally I found it very compelling, but not everyone agrees.

This was quite the auspicious start to Go Shiozaki’s career-defining run in the company that really established him as their late-blooming ace.

And that’s all from me for now! Also, please feel free to add other match recommendations to that opening post! I’ve tried to add a diversity of different types of matches, but it still more or less reflects my own tastes :sweat_smile:. I’m happy with the DDT collection because I think it’s a good set of matches from the past decade or so that reflect the many sides of the company, but the other sections display my clear bias, haha.

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週刊プロレス No.2160
I think I’ve fallen behind every time the subscription skipped a week then delivered two at once. :sweat_smile: I did renew though so I’ll have to be sure to catch up.

Naito’s column discusses his general lack of new year’s spirit, this year’s zodiac themed mask (he always commissions one for the dome show but didn’t actually wear it last year to avoid tripping), and turning 40 this year.

Kenoh talks about the NOAH New Year show as a unifying success, and about how the recent status quo of NJPW with a dominant #1 position is bad for the business - referencing the WCW/WWF Monday Night Wars and AJPW/NJPW as the liveliest eras in recent memory for American wrestling and Japanese wrestling respectively.
Also he didn’t get to eat cake on his birthday - after the show all the restaurants were closed since it was new year’s so he had a サムライマック from McDonald’s.

Giulia in her column talks about the new DDM members!
She traveled and stayed with Thekla a lot in Ice Ribbon, and they were very close with Thekla being her first new friend in wrestling. When Thekla had to leave Japan due to visa issues, Giulia took her to the airport where they ate sushi before she left. Giulia describes her personality as very upfront about her opinions and very considerate and easy to talk to.
MIRAI is a lot more standoffish so far, but she wonders if she’ll under the influence of the ネアカ Thekla and Maika she’ll open up in time. Giulia and Syuri were impressed with her talent, her lariat, and her left-handedness (apparently 珍しい in pro-wrestling?)

The magazine apparently started in 1955 as a monthly spin off of a baseball magazine. I didn’t know that! Here’s the cover of the first issue:

204 votes seems like a very small sample size but this poll seems like probably a decent visual representation of the relative sizes of the mens’ promotions’ fanbases

In DDT, 魔苦・怒鳴門 (har har) that would be read マクドナルド was defeated with a 健太ッキーボム (har har)

2022 apparently marks 10 years since NJPW was bought by Bushiroad, and a Bushiroad rep talks about the state of it and Stardom. He says NJPW under Bushiroad is past the peak of its first phase and now they’ll need to recapture that excitement. Stardom’s growing well and they want to make the 5 Star GP into a brand as powerful as the G1 Climax.
Recovering from the pandemic era isn’t going to happen overnight so they’re settling in for gradual improvements rather than expecting a huge change (apparently the 2013 Wrestle Kingdom was the only marked leap in success from year-to-year, as it was headlined by Okada/Tanahashi and Nakamura/Sakuraba). Apparently last year they declared a goal for the pro-wrestling division of100億円 by 2023. This year they’re reiterating that goal… but for 2025 instead.
___
I watched a couple of shows since I last posted, as well!

Thoughts on Stardom Nagoya Supreme Fight

This time around I tried to make a concerted effort to make a big deal out of this show by noting when it was happening, and avoiding twitter or other spoilers as much as possible until it got uploaded to Stardom World - and it was mostly successful! I had a really good time watching it in one go with my full attention, although there were one or two matches I failed to completely avoid spoilers for, and I think I remember staying up a bit too late since I first noticed it was finally uploaded late into the evening.
I love wrestlers with weird movements and Donna Del Mondo, so the show suddenly made me a big Thekla fan! Hazuki and Koguma seem like a great tag team duo which Stardom doesn’t have too many of, and of course I really enjoyed Iwatani/Giulia.
And of course Prominence showing up and getting in Giulia’s face is an extremely exciting development to me! It’s also validates all this magazine reading I’ve been doing since I definitely wouldn’t have known who those people were if I hadn’t done that, but since I did I have tons of backstory and Sera and Suzuki showing up is pretty much the most interesting development possible.
I wonder what form it’ll end up taking? A couple matches at the big show at the end of march and done, or?
The only qualm I had was how negative they were in the all-but-direct references to Ice Ribbon. I wonder if that’s just par for the course making the promotion you’re performing at currently seem like the only important game in town, or if the troubles those in the group had with Ice Ribbon were more deep-seated then they would have previously have mentioned. But it’s wrestling, so who knows! Probably a bit of both, I suppose!

Thoughts on NOAH The New Year 2022

I went on Wrestle Universe to watch the NJPW/NOAH show then realized I’d actually probably be more interested in just watching NOAH’s big new year’s show instead, so I did!
I consistently have had trouble with big NOAH shows just because I’m not bought in enough yet on the promotion to give it that big show, it has all my attention feeling that it deserves, so it ends up something to watch while doing anki or eating, that kind of thing – but it’s a long enough show that it ends up lasting forever that way which unfairly makes it feel like it’s dragging on more and kind of exacerbates my not being fully bought in yet feeling, even though the show itself is plenty good.
I should potentially give the N-1 Victory another shot this year (without trying to keep up with so many tournaments like a couple years ago) since those tournaments often fill the role of buying me into the general status quo of a promotion.
In any case – in those cricumstances I was still very impressed with particularly Kenoh/Kiyomiya! I think I kinda love Kenoh as a wrestler, and the finish was certainly memorable (and hopefully planned that way!!) - as I think I remember one of the commentators putting it: “やっぱバースデーボーイ強い”
I was also impressed with the jr. heavyweight match - tag team members fighting each other always makes for easy compelling drama and HAYATA was a more sympathetic underdog than I would have expected.

You can probably check that one issue you have for the general pattern – I think what’s in the tweet is the kind of thing that’s usually at the end of their match recap sections. I don’t think it’s usually a full transcript or anything, just a description of what happened and then a “and backstage they had X to say” before the conclusion. Sometimes they’ll have a transcript of stuff wrestlers said but I think usually that’s for stuff like press conferences or similarly important occasions, not general shows. Could be wrong though! I almost never read the recaps :sweat_smile:

I’ve had hazy memories of seeing clips of that NOAH match and been wondering for a while who was in it since it was just before I started straying away from just NJPW in earnest so thanks for that! (my best guess would have been “Miyahara and Suwama??” thinking maybe it was AJPW…)

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Been a bit busy lately, but I’m back with some updates/questions!

First of all, here’s a fun TJPW match:

This is Raku and Pom Harajuku vs Sakisama and Mei Saint-Michel from TJPW’s Korakuen show on February 11, 2022. I’m delighted to say that it has the entrances for both teams, as well as Japanese commentary! This was one of my favorite matches on this show.

This match is much lighter fare than a lot of what I’ve shared. Sakisama is one of the most powerful wrestlers in TJPW, and as the story goes, she met Mei in the woods while playing a flute, and Sakisama then decided to take Mei under her wing and train her to be a maid. They’re both members of NEO Biishiki-gun (NEO美威獅鬼軍), which is TJPW’s sole heel faction. They held the tag titles for a good chunk of last year, but lost them back in October. This match was their return to TJPW after a few months away.

Raku and Pom are, well, two of the weakest wrestlers on the TJPW roster, haha! Their matches tend to be more enjoyable for character moments/comedy than really athletic workrate performances, and neither of them have racked up many significant wins. Raku is an idol (she’s a member of the Up Up Girls, who sing at the beginning of every TJPW show), and she’s obsessed with trains. Her moveset includes sorcery, haha, which she uses to put her opponents literally to sleep by singing to them. Pom is very crafty and frequently silly.

In this match, the underdogs Pom and Raku essentially try their best to outwit and counter the beautiful and evil NEO Biishiki-gun. There are a lot of shenanigans! It’s a good example of the comedy side of TJPW, which is a major part of the company.

There have been quite a few TJPW shows in the past couple weeks! More than usual, which has been keeping me very busy. If you have a Wrestle Universe subscription, I highly recommend watching their pool show, which has a similar tone (and happened at the same pool) as the one DDT did in 2019 (also highly recommend this one). I doubt they’ll put this match on youtube, but it’s essentially like 45 minutes of people doing a bunch of very stupid but very entertaining things at a pool.

The first show I actually tried translating was their February 19 show (here’s the recap), which was just a normal house show. This one unfortunately taught me a bunch of covid-related vocabulary, because a large chunk of their roster had to miss the show either because they were sick, or had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive.

Mizuki closed out the show, and a few of her lines were a little confusing to me, haha! Here is what she said: “今日は欠場の人がいっぱいで不安だなって。こんなときこそ応援してくれるみんなも一致団結して。できることはきっちりやって。いつでも休んで、いつでも戻ってこれるくらいの世界にして。ずっと温かい、瑞希の好きな空間であってほしいから、みんなも一緒にいてください”.

The line that confused me the most was: “いつでも休んで、いつでも戻ってこれるくらいの世界にして。” I translated this as “We’re making the kind of world where you can rest whenever you want and come back whenever you want”. But I wasn’t exactly sure if that was correct?

My other question from this show was more of a translation flavor question. One line from Shoko Nakajima’s comment (or at least, the caption on twitter) was: “全力でやることが送り出すことだと思うし、こんなに強い相手と私は両国のタイトルマッチ前にシングルでしっかりやれたことが自分の糧にもなってると思うので”. I translated this as: “I think giving it all you got is a good way to see someone off, and having a tough singles match with a strong opponent before my title match in Ryogoku has also been good nourishment for me.” Yomichan tells me that 糧 means food or nourishment, and my Japanese dictionary said that it originally referred to food carried on trips. Because Shoko is a kaiju, I thought the food metaphor was fun, but if this adds connotations to her line that aren’t supposed to be there, then I want to change it, haha.

I also finished translating the February 23 show (recap here), which was a lot more exciting, and a lot less depressing! This show set up several new feuds for TJPW’s upcoming big Ryogoku show.

Something I found interesting was that Rika Tatsumi, who has had an unrequited crush on Mizuki for years, declared that she thought she might snatch away Mizuki along with Mizuki and Yuka’s tag titles, but she has learned that Mizuki and Yuka’s bond is inseparable, so she’s given up on that. We’ll see how long this lasts, haha!

One of the new developments in this show was they announced Hyper Misao vs DDT’s president Sanshiro Takagi for TJPW’s Ryogoku show on March 19. Takagi actually came out after Misao’s match and entered the ring, and she talked about how if he had been the Sanshiro Takagi of eight years ago, she would’ve been excited to face him, because seeing him in DDT in 2014 was one of the things that made her want to become a wrestler, but now he is just an ordinary manager who only cares about numbers. Misao then said, “3・19両国で、あなたにあこがれてプロレスラーになった女があなたに引導を渡すんですよ”.

引導(いんどう)(わた)す was a little tricky to translate! According to Yomichan, it means to perform the last rights over the deceased, or to give someone final notice, or to give someone the final word. I went with the first definition, here: “On March 19 in Ryogoku, the woman who admired you so much that she became a pro wrestler will be the one to perform your last rights.”

I thought Takagi’s response to this was pretty funny, though they didn’t include my favorite part in the recap. It was in the caption to his comment on twitter, though. They asked him about his shoulders (he’d gotten injured recently), and he said: “左肩は上がらないけど右肩は上がる。五十肩です。”五十“も数字だけど関係ない”. He commented that he has stiff shoulders, 五十肩, which also happens to contain 五十, which is, of course, 50! This was after Misao accused him of only caring about numbers, and he proceeded to talk about viewer numbers on Wrestle Universe, and then ”五十“肩, which is also a number. I laughed, anyway, haha!

There were a few words I tried to get a little more clarification on by googling, but couldn’t quite get a good handle on. One of them was メチャメチャ, which appeared in Takagi’s line here: “お互いにメチャメチャな試合をしようじゃないか”.

The other word was でたらめ, which appeared in Misao’s response: “一番でたらめなのはハイパーミサヲだ!” I could get a rough sense of it, but that was it, and the Japanese definition wasn’t too terribly helpful.

The other major note from this show was that Nodoka Tenma challenged her sister Yuki Aino to a singles match at Ryogoku. It’ll be their first and last time facing each other in a singles match, because Nodoka is retiring from wrestling shortly after (she’s retiring so that she can devote her energy to her farm).

In their post match comments (on twitter here), Shoko had one line that I couldn’t figure out. She said: “一つ心残りがあるとすれば、もうちょっとで合体がうまくいったのに”. I’m pretty sure she’s referring to a tag move she and Yuki and Nodoka have, where they get on each other’s shoulders (they didn’t quite manage to pull off the move in the match, since Raku’s sorcery put Nodoka to sleep before they could finish executing it).

They’re all tokusatsu fans, if you couldn’t tell from their name for their team, which is 東女特撮部, haha, so I’m pretty sure this is tokusatsu lingo, but I’m not overly familiar with the genre, so it was hard to translate. I went with: “If there’s one thing I regret, it’s that we came so close to being able to combine.” Nodoka also had a line that I didn’t quite get: “今日メチャクチャいける気がした”. The word メチャクチャ was tricky! At first I misread it as Misao’s メチャメチャ!

And that’s all that I have to say about TJPW, at least for now!

In other news, a new Japanese pro wrestling group just formed, NOMADS, which consists entirely of freelance joshi wrestlers (including Maya Yukihi, who I’ve talked about here before, Rina Yamashita, who might have also come up here, as well as Sumire Natsu, known mostly for her work in Stardom, and many others, like Asuka, who I have also talked about here before)! I really love to support women-run wrestling things, so I’m very excited for their future!

Something super exciting about NOMADS is that they managed to land none other than Mr. Haku as their translator! I’m thrilled that they got the best translator in the business, and that Mr. Haku is still staying in the industry (he actually just did commentary for Ganbare Pro’s first show with English commentary, which was a joy to watch). As he put it on twitter, he’s a good fit for NOMADS because he’s also freelance with no home.

The official twitter account for NOMADS is here. Their first event is on May 22. I’ll add them to the list of promotions at the beginning of this thread once we have more information about them!

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I think pretty much! But she’s addressing the fans and I think she’s requesting behavior of them (like if all those て’s were followed by ください, like the last one is). So it’s like, let’s please together make that kind of world (by being understanding as fans and not being mad when wrestlers have to drop out of shows, and warmly welcoming them when they return, presumably).

I watched the video of her comments for the lead-up, and I’m not exactly sure, but I think she was saying that it was a tough singles match (and she got hit hard in the chest) to the point she wanted to hold back and give up, but doing your best means giving it your all, and in the end seeing through (and winning) the tough match was more fuel for her fire, so to speak.
I don’t know exactly what the object of 引き止めたい and 送り出す but my best guess is they’re contrasting approaches - she could hold back or she could put it all out there. But I could certainly be wrong - I don’t think 送り出す would work like that outside of that context.
I found an explainer for 糧となる - it’s apparently a phrase meaning yeah, metaphorical nourishment!

These are both slangy words that are hard to describe… you’ll get a feel for them over time!
メチャメチャ is I believe just a variation on メチャクチャ (so your mistaking one for the other later is completely reasonable!). メチャクチャ can be kind of a rough, flexible filler word like fuck often is in English, and can mean like, all fucked up, completely a mess, totally out there, extremely (whatever), that kind of thing. I’d say maybe something like “one hell of a match” in this case but with a connotation that like, it’s probably not gonna be an orthodox catch-as-catch-can wrestling affair but something much messier…
でたらめ I think is like, junk, bullshit, that kind of thing. So they’re both being used to describe the kind of extravagantly silly and deliberately stupid they both specialize in.

合体 in this context would mean (as The Wu-Tang Clan often say) forming like voltron!


i.e. coming together to form one stronger whole the way giant robots often do in tokusatsu (Super Sentai particularly like to do this and seem to yell “○○, 合体!” before transformation sequences)it’s a fun move for them to have!

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Thank you as always for your help!

I’m pretty sure she’s referring to the fact that Marika is going to be retiring soon, so Shoko’s match with her here will probably be their last singles encounter. Shoko has mentioned that she doesn’t want Marika to leave, so I think that’s what she’s referring to with 引き止めたい. But I very well could be wrong, haha!

Thank you for this clarification! This makes a lot of sense, especially when comparing this with some of Mr. Haku’s translations in the past (he’s used phrases like “fucked up match” or “bullshit match”, and I’m guessing メチャメチャ or メチャクチャ or a similar word were used). Since this is TJPW (and DDT), I tend to opt for the more coarse words for my translations, haha, since that often seems to be the wrestlers’ intent. But it can be hard to know if more extreme wording is always justified or not. I’m glad my instinct here was a correct one!

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I agree! That context makes a lot of sense and totally solves what I was having trouble with.

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Just a quick note from TJPW’s February 26 show (the recap is here, though sadly it does not transcribe much of the comments, so I’ve had to try my best with the twitter captions, haha):

This is another house show, so there wasn’t a lot going on. I did learn about Ame-mura, though, thanks to Marika mentioning it in her comments. It seems like an interesting place!

My main question this time was about something Kamiyu said. She said “伊藤クラスになるとコロナ中もアップデートするんだよ”. My best attempt at translating this was “When it comes to Itoh’s class, you will be updated even during covid." But I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by this. The 外来語 threw me off! Haha.

As Kamiyu prompts Itoh to explain, Itoh tried making pasta for the first time while she was self-isolating, but she only had a frying pan, and when she tried making it in the frying pan, it got burned. Itoh posted photo evidence of this on twitter.

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I’m not exactly sure either… later in the story though, they talk about how the pasta Itoh burnt was from the government (I think rations provided to help quarantine), and even though she burnt the pasta, Itoh ate all of it, why? “お前らの税金をむだしないためだ!” and Kamiyu says “チャンピオンクラスになると国民のことまで考えるもねぇ”
Since the “クラスになると” part is the same there and the meaning is at least a bit clearer, I think it’s Kamiyu talking about Itoh’s class/status positively and showing an example that lives up to it - like updating people about what happened even while isolating with coronavirus is good and speaks to 伊藤クラス…
And hey, I found a yahoo answers that pretty well confirms that!

「私クラスになると」
自分を上に見た自慢する表現ですよね
同じく横文字表現なら
「私レベルになると」
とかですかね
日本語でいえば
「私ぐらいのXXになると」
XXに直接自慢する事柄を書きますかね
私ぐらいのお金持ちになると
とか
私ぐらいの美貌になると
とかね

If 私クラスになると is a 自慢する表現, it makes sense that 伊藤クラスになると would be uh, an 伊藤慢する表現… :sweat_smile:

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