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

I think “we decided we’re ready” is completely fine for 覚悟が決まりました in a vacuum. A slight flavor thing I’d point out in context though, is after that line from Raku, the crowd goes “おぉ?”, while after Aino says 勝てると信じてます they go “おぉ!” and applaud.
Given the context of like, when a wrestler shows up in this fashion after the main event, you know they’re there to challenge for the belt but you’re still excitedly waiting for them to say it outright, those reactions lead me to the conclusion that 覚悟が決まりました doesn’t make explicit the implied challenge. They’ve decided their resolve for something, and Raku hands the microphone to Aino to keep explaining exactly what it is they’re resolved to do. Conceivably still at that point the 覚悟 that was 決まりました’d coulda been like, the 覚悟 to retire or something.
So the slight nitpick is “we decided we’re ready!” rather than something like “we’ve decided…” might give away the game a little too soon! Not that that suspense is as important in a transcript anyway though…

A couple other quick nitpicks with Aino’s line – I would personally go with “pushed me forward” rather than “given me a push” just because of the wrestling connotations with the latter, and probably “if Raku’s with me, we can beat” rather than “together with Raku, I can beat” just because figuring out pronouns to use is always painful but “we” seems most right to me here because she’s emphasizing their togetherness.

“I want to show the belt” might sound a little more natural here than “I want the belt to see”

yep!

yep!

The one thing I’d say here is I don’t think the かんじ is the challenger’s feelings so much as like, their vibe. I’d say Akai is saying that in other circumstances she might get mad and attack if someone challenged her in such a… Raku-ish manner. But TJPW makes her nicer so she was able to accept that Rakuishness.

I would put it more as like – she’s clarifying that it’s not that (ABCと思ってないのね) she wants to challenge for the belts relying on Aino’s strength, but rather that (XYZと思います) she wants to challenge as equals, with both of them contributing an equal amount.

Yours makes it sound a little like she wants Aino to tone it down and be less powerful when the match comes. I’d say it’s rather a clarification of mindset with regard to the challenge.

She seems genuinely a bit touched by the last part of Raku’s comments although there’s a brief cut so maybe she was just about to corpse…
image
hey, they’re wearing each other’s shirts. Cute!

I would say the その気持ち is the stuff Raku just expressed – Aino is touched to hear (just now in the comments) Raku express her feelings about wanting to challenge for the belts together as equals.

One minor thing here I’d say, is in the original she says “そんならく” rather than just Raku, and that そんな I would say colors what she’s saying as in like, she’s talking about the aspect of Raku where she doesn’t say very much but what she says is sincere and touching (that Aino was describing in the last sentences). I would maybe tweak this to be “In that way, every word…” rather than just “every word…” to try to represent that.

I went with “pushes forward” in an earlier nitpick and I think it would sound a little more natural here.

I think DeepL did ok. She felt 申し訳ない and ありがたい about AA Cannon’s 器の大きさness, which seems to mean like, being willing to put up with stuff, and plus there was a bit of something else they felt, which they complete the sentence for eachother, they were fired up.

“there was something that set me on fire” doesn’t really pass my English language reader’s not-sounding-strange test. :sweat_smile:

I think you got there. Weblio has this among other definitions for 固まる - “考えなどに柔軟さがなくなり、進歩・発展が止まる。” and if your パソコンが固まった it seems it フリーズした.

I would probably tweak “I was frozen” to “I froze for a moment” or “I was frozen at first” or something. “I was frozen” on its own sounds slightly odd to me in English for some reason but I guess I don’t really have a clear justification so maybe I’m overthinking it.

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週刊プロレス No.2202 (from early September, the end of the N-1 Victory)

In Kenoh’s column, he complains that Kazuyuki Fujita is no longer a 野獣 but a 家獣, and also complains about Hideki Suzuki’s comments in the last issue, but his comments lack 説得力 since he lost to both and he yells at the interviewer for mentioning it. He may not have won the N-1 but he’s glad he was in it and he’s still calling out both Keiji Mutoh and Great Muta for a title match.

Great O-Khan is interviewed following the G1 Climax, and he says losing was the goal all along, and United Empires’ busier schedules than the winner is proof that it was the wise path, with preparations now complete for a revolution (and someone from United Empire will definitely win next time).
He criticizes FTR for not defending the IWGP tag belts.
He says Shupro not giving him a standout award for his G1 performance like they did last year is just because they’re stingy and jealous, as he’s being recognized by two veterans in upcoming matches, as he’ll team with Great Muta, and he has a singles match against Yuji Nagata for Nagata’s 30th anniversary. He says he doesn’t know how Nagata is as an amateur wrestling coach, but when it comes to raising pupils and 後輩, Nagata completely sucks. They all turn out evil! Which goes to show there’s a putrid core to Nagata’s (amateur) wrestling and no one should learn from him. The joke being, of course, Great O-Khan was trained by Nagata. The interviewer acknowledges Nagata’s trainees do seem to often turn out heels after excursion… and says under his breath that it would be really annoying if anyone else turns up who refers to themselves as 余.

In Hiroshi Tanahashi’s column, they talk about that G1 special show that was outside (but under a roof) and they talk about things like how in the pre-dome era, shows sometimes got rained out, or joking how if it had been windy the shupro guys’ papers would have scattered and they would have needed to talk longer to stretch out this column and fill the lost space. Odds and ends like that.
The bit they run with the longest, is they both get enamored with the idea of somehow wrangling an outdoor show with Mt. Fuji in the background, and Tanahashi hitting a high fly flow at sunrise. Surely a magazine cover worthy vista if ever there was one.
Also, for some reason Tanahashi promises that next time there’s an outdoors show (there are none currently planned), he’ll debut short tights. The interviewer is skeptical.

In Giulia’s column, she talks about Rina Yamashita following her surprise appearance in Stardom. Giulia walks through their history: Rina was the reason Giulia got into pro wrestling (as a fan) and she got power from her hero Rina’s matches when she was exhausted going to cosmetics school while working at a cabaret club. Come to think of it, this is really similar to how I talk about Nakamura and weirdly, probably would have been roughly around the same time too since we’re the same age and she debuted more than a year after I fully got into wrestling. Go figure!
She says her last singles match with Rina was in 2019 half a year before Giulia left Ice Ribbon, and it was a match she’ll never forget because Rina told her not to use words like 憧れ because if you step in the ring, it’s タイマン, and she intended to heed that and made it a fight, but after the match Rina “ファン時代の頃のように、私をお姫様抱っこしてきた” and Giulia remembers she felt a profound mix of emotions from the pain of losing to embarassment and joy and made a strange face. She swore then to someday defeat Rina, but then she went to Stardom and now much later here we are with a match set where they tag together.
… I actually never got around to canceling my Ice Ribbon channel subscription it’s not much money and… it seemed mean with the year they’ve had so I went and watched this match! It’s really good - fully a one-on-one fight between equals like she describes, but you can tell I think they’re enjoying themselves. Alas, however, I forgot that the Ice Ribbon channel videos cut away the second someone wins, and so I did not get to see what that お姫様抱っこ business was about, and the closest to the 変顔 I saw that she described was in the backstage video in the digest version.

Kento Miyahara in AJPW is interviewed ahead of his tournament-won title challenge against Voodoo Murders-flavor Suwama at AJPW’s anniversary year 日本武道館 show. He sees Suwama as a representative of a particular era, and feels he needs to win to represent not just any one era like Mutoh-era All Japan, or Suwama-era All Japan, but the past, present, and the future.
His strongest 武道館 memory is annoyance at not being included in the group photo at the end of NJPW/AJPW/NOAH All Together there in 2011, as he was just a newbie in a battle royale, so he’s going to channel that into making up for it and winning there.
Said picture is included, and it’s a fun game of who you can recognize! Although my poor shot of it increases the difficulty I’m sure… I’m right in the middle of 2011 in those old NJPW videos I’m watching for that Nakamura book, and so that helps! I never would have recognized Go Shiozaki otherwise! I also had no idea SANADA used to be All Japan. Beyond obvious ones, I think I can spot KUSHIDA, All Japan era Mutoh, Ibushi, the top of Prince Devitt’s head, Taguchi, Bad Luck Fale, Muhammad Yone, and all in a group on the right, Naito with young lion era EVIL, Hiromu, and El Desperado (my picture cut off Despy, sorry! I’m pretty confident it’s him anyway…)

Then there’s an interview with Suwama, and a comedian guy, Bibiru Ooki, who’s gonna be involved as an ambassador for the show, and who has a Jumbo Tsuruta impression apparently. Ooki says someone once asked him for - not his own but rather - Jumbo Tsuruta’s signature, because Tsuruta had died and so Ooki was at least someone doing Jumbo Tsuruta things in the public eye so it was the closest the fan could hope for.

There’s a teacher/student interview with Taka Michinoku and Maika on the occasion of Taka’s 30th career anniversary. Taka says his mentorship of Maika wasn’t the longest but was one of the deepest that he’s had. Although she’s signed to Stardom and not affiliated with Taka’s promotion Just Tap Out any more, she felt a sort of responsibility to spread JTO’s reputation by being successful elsewhere. However so far while signed to Stardom she hasn’t won a singles championship - she won the Future of Stardom Championship and Artist of Stardom Championship while she was still signed to JTO. Taka says he thought her title shot against Saya Kamitani recently in her hometown was gonna be it, but alas… You and me both, man.
They talk about a New Blood match coming up with confusing faction allegiances, as it’s sort of JTO vs. Stardom, as it’s Tomoka Inaba and Aoi from JTO vs. Maika and MIRAI from Stardom, but Maika’s former JTO, and Inaba recently joined God’s Eye which is the faction MIRAI’s in but she used to be in DDM with Maika… anyway – Maika’s precendent of having won belts in Stardom while being part of JTO bodes well for the promising Inaba.
They talk about Taka’s anniversary show and it sounds like Maika would have been open to being involved but I don’t think it came together. She wants to have a singles match against Taka again some day, as they had one before and she lost - Taka says he’s never lost a mixed-gender singles match before so he’s hesitant, but someday.
NOTE: I was wrong about when that fourway match was scheduled for (or conceivably it changed) as it happened on Taka’s anniversary show, so I must have misinterpreted that part of the discussion. I also forgot to mention some stuff about Maika’s Michinoku Driver.

There’s a match report on Hikaru Shida defending the Regina di Wave championship against Emi Sakura on AEW Dark Elevation and I thought it looked neat so I watched it! It is neat! Boy, Excalibur + an uninformed heel wrestler is a real mixed bag of a commentary team though.

There’s a page of (probably not paid) promotion for a a comedian’s book: 有田哲平のプロレス哲学. It sounds like it’s probably about incidents throughout his life where lessons learned from being a fan of pro-wrestling came into play somehow. It sounds like it may well not be particularly interesting to someone not familiar with the author and not interested in hearing about his life… but I confess I have bought this book just because I was ordering that New Japan history book anyway…

The history column is about the 1972 first arrival in Japan of The Sheik (the original, not the Iron), who was 46 at the time, and made a big splash against Seiji Sakaguchi, despite losing all three falls (albeit at least one due to violent disqualification). The author then talks about how Abdullah the Butcher and Tiger Jeet Singh were both relative newcomers and took this in as a sort of 悪の young lion, essentially adopting The Sheik’s entire deal as their own to be extremely successful heels in Japan, but the author says there’s no pro wrestler who starts out entirely free from パクリ, and if anything it’s those two’s good fortune that The Sheik never came to Japan until he was 46 and so it would be a fresh act in their prime.

Apparently Michinoku Pro held a 駐車場プロレス show in the rain. What exotic locale will they think of next!
Apparently the specific parking lot is the Michinoku Pro Dojo’s parking lot, which surprised me because the pictures included are very green, but I googled it and It seems like Michinoku Pro is just in the middle of the woods (picture from google maps but it looks like more or less the same parking lot in the magazine pictures). I regret making fun of the idea now, it seems like probably a weird fun time.

It looks like Hikari Noa had ridiculously nice weather in London! And nearly missed her flight home.

Rina Yamashita’s cool, huh.

warning: cool

The topic for Keiji Mutoh’s column is factions! He says roughly it makes sense that there’s factions in pro wrestling since tag matches are unique to wrestling, the match count is very high compared to other sports and the like, and you can’t succeed alone in pro wrestling. He says in Japan the tag matches build to the single matches, but in America it’s the opposite because there’s the singles match and then your buddies run in to help and it escalates to larger matches (which seem like maybe a bit dated of an impression to me, but hey that does certainly happen more often in American wrestling)
The first faction he joined was nWo and he forgets if Great Muta or Keiji Mutoh joined first (interviewer says Muta). He expresses some surprise that the only factions he’s been in in his long career are nWo and BATT… but remembers M’s Alliance (which the interviewer acknowledges is forgotten about recently).
Speaking of BATT, Mutoh says that originally, the name was picked by NJPW’s PR department, and the acronym’s English meaning made no sense, so Don Frye came up with a new final English name, meaning 「垣根を超えた悪ガキども」, which was… “Bad Ass Translate Trading.”
… I laughed for a long time imagining the conversations that must have happened at the time leading Mutoh decades later to think that that finalized name was native-speaker written and approved.
The interviewer asks Mutoh why Don Frye joined BATT anyway when he was in the opposing Team 2000, but Mutoh essentially says “why the hell would I remember that! w”

This picture of Mochizuki punching Kenoh isn’t graphic, but somehow… my brain reads it as body horror.
It’s like a really goofy looking version of the defibrillator scene from The Thing.
blurring it, I guess??

The short industry column talks with a couple of SKE48 members about Yuki Arai, the idol from their group who wrestles in TJPW.
One says she was surprised to see Arai’s impressive stage presence when she’s known her for years and it clashes with the “living off of Uber Eats” vibe she remembers. The other says she would give pro-wrestling a try if Arai called her for help, and mentions a tv show called 豆腐プロレス that I guess involved idols doing wrestling? and she got a fear of getting too muscular from pro wrestling because of that but she insists in a hypothetical way that if and only if Arai needed her pro wrestling help she’d train and give it a shot.

The end of the magazine column talks about how Kaito Kiyomiya won the N-1 Victory, but in an amusingly shuproish fashion, the column focuses instead entirely on the semifinalist, Hideki Suzuki, as if we didn’t already have plenty of opportunities to talk to and about him in this magazine.

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週刊プロレス No.2203 (from early September)

The cover this issue featuring Suzu Suzuki and Saya Kamitani is particularly good.

I like the melodrama of this picture of Meltear and the caption.

Giulia’s column is about Natsupoi, who betrayed Giulia midmatch to leave DDM and be a tag team with Tam. Giulia refers to an interview with Natsupoi where she said she didn’t want to be seen as just 綺麗, instead wanting to show the kind of ドロドロした女の闘い where everyone ends up in emotional and physical tatters that Tam’s especially good at. Giulia is confused since if people were seeing her as just 綺麗 wouldn’t that have been because of her own actions? And Tam and Natsupoi have been throwing around the word 革命 a lot as a team but Giulia thinks that’s the kind of thing onlookers should say after you do the amazing thing, not something you self-designate beforehand. They want to Reiwa’s answer to Beauty Pair and release a CD, well Giulia says がんばれ and if they do ジュリアにもサンプルくれよ. Giulia wonders how serious Natsupoi is about the ドロドロness vs. 綺麗ness when she’s talking about her favorite pasta and stuff. “なつぽいの根っこに、きったねぇ感情は本当にあるのか?”
She says she knows better than anyone Natsupoi’s a great wrestler and she still thinks of her as a trusted ally, so she asks Natsupoi to quickly wipe that away so she can bare her teeth like Tam.

There’s an interview with Kaito Kiyomiya following his N-1 Victory uh, victory in NOAH.
It focuses a lot on how he’s coming into his own in terms of finding his own style of movement in the ring, and how he’s accepted passed-down moves from Keiji Mutoh. For example, he hit the Shining Wizard in the tournament normally sometimes (and was looking for opportunities to hit it in matches he lost), but he also innovated a modified Shining Wizard of his own in the match against Masakatsu Funaki, and won the tournament final using that modified Shining Wizard (which involves a head grab – kind of unhelpful comparison included below). He asks shupro for help naming the move, and it sounds like there’s a hashtag where you could tweet suggestions: #清宮海斗シャイニング技名
He sees the challenge against Kenoh as a generational battle and he sees it as his only shot to win that responsibility-laden top ace spot in the company.

Kenoh goes on a real tear in his column!
He was angry in a press conference and he’s angry now that shupro and the media are carrying this Kaito Kiyomiya “スーパースター化ストーリー”, saying it’s purely a money incentive and NOAH and ABEMA must be paying shupro to sweeten the narrative.
He complains about the magazine cover with the tagline 「清宮海斗は驀進します!!」, since it’s only because Kenoh himself didn’t advance that Kiyomiya was able to advance so it should be 「清宮海斗は驀進させます!!」and besides, there’s no way Kiyomiya can even read the kanji in 驀進!!!
The interviewer says “驀進します!!” is a quote from Keiji Mutoh following his his G1 Climax victory in 1995, so there’s resonance. Kenoh says well that just goes to show the Shupro staff are Mutoh fans who had to make up for Kiyomiya stammering and saying nothing of note after his victory so they had to pull from Mutoh to fill in the gap since Kiyomiya doesn’t even know what 驀進 means in the first place so it’s not like he could come up with that himself.
Kenoh complains that Kiyomiya’s blond hair is ripping him off and says if he wants to inherit Mutoh’s legacy so badly he should shave his head, grow a goatee, and be sure not to skimp on the eyebrows.
Kenoh says Kiyomiya just isn’t at Mutoh’s level yet, more like the level of a school play. He lacks ダーティーさ and 女もくどけねぇよな (the interviewer interjects that on that front Kenoh hasn’t been especially successful himself…).
Kenoh also says Kiyomiya’s new Shining Wizard sucks. All 2988 “(満員)” クソヤロー in attendance must have been thinking “that got a three count⁈”
Kenoh says it doesn’t matter how beautiful the story is, he’ll take a Shining Wizard in the ring and still crush Kiyomiya and take the Mutoh succession story for himself.

There’s a page from a press conference with Mutoh and Chono announcing Mutoh’s final retirement match will be at the Tokyo Dome in February. It doesn’t look like there’s any details included, but he’s going to try to bring in lots of people from all over. He compares his ideal retirement to the end of the manga あしたのジョー.

There’s also a page from a press conference about the finale for Tatsumi Fujinami’s 50th career debut anniversary tour (which appears to still not be a retirement somehow) where he’ll face Hiroshi Tanahashi in a singles match for the first time in 20 years.
Is it just me or does Tanahashi’s hair look especially… Tanahashi-y here?

In Naito’s column he talks about his first show with crowd cheering allowed again. It’s funny, I remember at the start of the pandemic picturing the return of crowd cheering coming with like, a big celebratory Shupro cover and stuff, but now I feel similarly to how Naito expresses it here, of trepidation wondering how it will go, being touched people remember the cheers, and wondering how it will be once crowd cheers and full capacity are allowed, while knowing other wrestlers who have gone overseas have gotten that experience already.

There’s a big feature on Jun Akiyama (hey, topical!) on the occasion of a 30th career anniversary show in his honor. Parts of this I didn’t follow well enough to reproduce since I’m far from a Jun Akiyama expert. But he’s teaming with Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Tetsuya Endo against Yuji Nagata, Konosuke Takeshita, and Shunma Katsumata. He says that out of active wrestlers, Nagata and Kanemaru are top ones that spring to mind when it comes to wrestlers who have influenced his career trajectory, and Takeshita and Endo have both accepted moves from him.
He says he doesn’t have a set idea of what pro-wrestling should be to him, possibly because he wasn’t a pro wrestling fan growing up and so didn’t enter it without preconceived notions. To him the “professional” part of professional wrestling is very important, and ultimately it’s just about going on there and putting on the best show for the audience paying to watch you.
Asked which of the 四天王 most influenced him, he first mentions Toshiaki Kawada for fighting style and match awareness and such. Then he talks about the Pro mentality he got from Misawa and Kobashi, saying that you simply never heard from either of them that they were in pain. The one time he heard 「きつい」from Misawa was about half a year before his death, so he must have been suffering much more than he let on, but the mindset was you had to go out there, and you should just assure yourself you’re imagining any pain. Once a wrestler (Makoto Oishi) broke a hip bone so by that mindset Akiyama got mad at him and told him he was imagining it, but, you know, his hip was broken so he wasn’t imagining it. Along similar lines Akiyama says he has trouble taping small injuries, because he knows that if his opponent had a taped up body part, he would target it as a weakpoint, so it feels like doing the same would be showing weakness, and his body is likely worse for wear for it. It’s a mentality that no senpai directly told him to have, but he learned it from watching them, and that’s perpetuated still.
He also took up cigar smoking from Giant Baba’s influence - he asked Baba once why he smoked cigars, and Baba answered 「吸って、フーッと煙が出ると、嫌なことまで一緒に吐き出せるような気がするんだよ」and many years later in his 40s he thought about Baba and gave it a shot and found it was indeed relaxing as Baba described, and he just thinks Giant Baba was very cool. Cigars have significantly risen in price though.
There’s a page then about specifically his relationship with Yuji Nagata - it sounds like they met in high school as they were both involved with amateur wrestling, but went their separate ways, and then Nagata debuted as a pro wrestler to little fanfare, but Jun Akiyama debuted alongside Kenta Kobashi at Korakuen three days later as a pretty big deal. It sounds like New Japan’s answer to that debut for All Japan was Manabu Nakanishi (who wrestled in the olympics), and Nagata’s touched that Akiyama followed along with his career and not just Nakanishi’s, although the two were always for different companies and Nagata’s current activities in AJPW have still missed Akiyama since he’s in DDT now.
A specific match mentioned as a famous one involving both of them, was this 闘魂vs王道 themed match in 2001 with Shinya Hashimoto and Mitsuharu Misawa at the opening show for Zero-1, after which they kept in touch to the point of even suggesting one second for the other at a match, even though that wouldn’t really have flown with their companies.
I watched the match, and holy crap yeah! It’s great! Really cool dynamic with the four of them throughout and I love Hashimoto getting mad at Akiyama to the point of just continually chopping at him. I’ve never seen a promotion use dutch angles in their camera work like that before… I guess it really was 2001

There’s a nice match report of the final まっする show. It says there may be a revival if things come together someday, but for now that’s it.

There’s a match report from the 3rd anniversary show of a promotion called OSW - Osaka Style Wrestling. It seems like it’s Osaka Style in the sense that it broadcasts from Tokyo. I’m not sure what this tells me about Osaka.

The history column this week would be incomprehensible to me if I hadn’t coincidentally been reading about the incident it’s providing background for just the other day. I’ve noticed watching those older NJPW shows, that they almost always have an interviewer present in the ring for the start of the post-match promo, and knowing that + that post-match promos in general weren’t always nearly as common as they are now, I was curious to try to find out when the present day format of the winning wrestler just talking got solidifed - especially since Wrestle Kingdom V ends with Tanahashi just talking and it’s way, way more natural than the always stilted interview format from the other shows I was watching, so I was wondering if maybe Tanahashi’s charisma was partly to thank for the current format.
Anyway, I didn’t actually manage to find that out, but the wikipedia page for in-ring promos included a description of a famous incident in the 1980s, when Rusher Kimura, who was in the middle of a bitter feud I think related to 国際プロレス folding and getting absorbed into New Japan, opened his answer to an in-ring reporter’s question with 「こんばんは」 the surprising politeness of which caused the crowd to laugh, and for jokes to be cracked about it forever after.
The columnist, Nagare, says I think that Kimura’s stiltedness may have been due to having just returned to Tokyo after training in a remote location for a while, and he shares a story where they shared a taxi once and Kimura kindly and politely offered Nagare the front seat, as Kimura would be smoking and didn’t want to bother anyone. So it also just shows Kimura’s polite and considerate personality shining through. And anyway, it sounds like the incident was beneficial for his career in the end.

The “Champ Talk” column features a promo from Tam Nakano, freshly crowned Goddess of Stardom Champion with Natsupoi, and she says this tag team with Natsupoi feels great and is keeping her going in pro wrestling. As Giulia mentioned, they want to be Reiwa’s Beauty Pair and sing and hold a solo live Budokan show, and she wants to inspire the hearts of all girls, everywhere. She says she didn’t feel comfortable as a leader, but gets huge strength from Natsupoi, like before their title match she wondered 「大丈夫かな?」 and Natsupoi squeezed her hand and said 「大丈夫だよ」. So together they can accomplish their cosmic-scale goals.

There’s a pair of interviews with Miu Watanabe and Suzume about Suzume’s upcoming challenge for Mius’ International Princess Championship in TJPW.
Watanabe considers them both the same generation, although either way you slice it one is 1 higher than the other, but it evens out (Suzume is a year older, but debuted a year later). Miu says she won a tag championship a long time ago but many people probably don’t remember since tag belts don’t leave as much of an impression as singles belts do. She hasn’t been overseas but sees others like Hikari Noa return to fanfare and wants to try it too, but there’s a catch - 英語がホントにダメなんです. She says she got bad grades in English in high school and grew to dislike her teacher and resolved to get a job without needing English… but oops, here we are! So she wants to apologize to the teacher in retrospect. She says though that overseas fans respond well to her drawings, so 最悪絵-based communication is one 逃げ道…じゃなくて可能性 at her disposal.
The interviewer unfairly asks her to close out the interview in English, which she does:

え、えーとですね…アイ・アム・ミウワタナベ。アイ・ベリー・ベリー・ガンバル・ジャパニーズ!日本語入っちゃった(笑)。えーと、マイ…ファイト!…ファイト?私、頑張る!これできっと大丈夫です!

English really oughtta absorb ganbaru as a loan word to make this kind of thing easier huh
Suzume also hasn’t been overseas, and also insists she’s hopeless at English, like worse than everybody else, but notes that she isn’t sure but sometimes seeing Watanabe give English promos backstage makes her think maybe she could do a little better than that. The magazine does not make her try.
The number one thing to worry about for Suzume fighting Miu is of course the fact that she can easily be picked up and whirled around. So she just has to think really hard and come up with a way of making sure that doesn’t happen and she can win.

In Genichiro Tenryu’s column, he talks about AJPW’s 50th anniversary show. He thinks Kento Miyahara challenging Suwama is an exciting battle of generations and AJPW’s identity, as Suwama is 生え抜き and led the company for a long time, while Miyahara is an outside wrestler (having started in Kensuke Sasaki’s Kensuke Office promotion) but has self-confidence from being a very big deal in AJPW for a while as well, so it’s a compelling storyline. He thinks though that Suwama should drop the Voodoo Murders revival thing, since it’s unnecessary and just distracts from that compelling dynamic. He wants to see AJPW avoid trying to be NJPW and protect its unique 老舗ののれん atmosphere, which it sounds like involves fans less looking for 殺伐 and more a 独特のあたたかさ and passion for pro-wrestling.
He says if Giant Baba were alive, he’d say 「もう50年かぁ」with a cigar in his mouth, before getting agitated during the matches and drinking 10 cups of coffee.
Apparently Tenryu is hospitalized for a spinal injury - he says the recovery path is set and he’ll be in front of everyone again soon.
He also talks a little bit about Kazuchika Okada and says he must be feeling a ton of responsibility as leading the company and a new dad to boot. He says he’s pretty much a complete package but if there’s anything to work on it would be that his speaking is plain (he’s not wrong) and so he recommends that Okada watch rakugo and theater and such in his time off to practice exciting communication.

The costume column is with one Pom Harajuku from TJPW. The main こだわり with her costume are the plaid pattern and asymmetry. I never noticed there was a giant P for Pom on her top hidden in plain sight! When she last updated her costume, she kept certain elements and the basic concept, originally inspired by the kind of clothes that might be sold at ラフォーレ in Harajuku, but otherwise completely changed everything at once, and she plans to do that next time too, sometime around the end of the year. She also definitely wins the award for fanciest pose.
On a mildly interesting note, her hair and shoes are different in the close-up pictures compared to the main picture. I wonder why those would be taken on different days? Maybe the main one is stock?

Hideki Suzuki in his column talks about the IWGP Women’s Championship that’s been announced. It’s been a bit 賛否両論 reception-wise, with the interviewer raising the point that one arguably point against it is Stardom already has tons of belts. Suzuki says if it were him winning the tournament, he’d unify it with another belt like AJPW when they made the Triple Crown. He says in general criticism is well and good but the promotion shouldn’t listen to outside commentators too much - it’s not like live musicians have their fans pick the setlist, or baseball federation managers have fans pick game orders. So if they have a direction they want to go in and work to achieve it, it’s all good.
He says he has a recommended wrestler for the tournament: 氷結. This appears to be a joke reference to some stuff he did in Ice Ribbon, where I think the joke was that 氷結 sounds like an Ice-related sumo wrestler’s name, so there was a 3-way match with him and a sumo wrestler he brought in and called 氷結, and then there were some 氷結相撲 matches he did (similarly joked about when he interviewed Tsukasa Fujimoto in the column a while back).

There’s a Michael Nakazawa report on AEW All Out 2022! Oh boy!
There’s breathless coverage mainly focusing very heavily on The Elite winning the Trios championship… with a little box in the corner saying that 3 days later Tony Khan stripped CM Punk and The Elite of their championships, “理由は特に語られなかった。”
Amazing.

The short magazine staff column follows a train of thought from the author’s musings on a trip out to an AJPW show, through relating various incidents in their life where they experienced power harassment (before it was commonly called that), such as when a boss made them clean up a mess, or yelled at them for picking up a lunch that was the same as it always was, or threw things at them when they apologized on the phone.
The author says this is just idle musing on a day when there wasn’t any particular material for a column, and it doesn’t come across like they’re like, subtweeting anybody in particular, but who knows.

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So spoilers for the NJPW x Stardom show but Kenny Omega is challenging Ospreay for the title at Wrestle Kingdom. The reason I bring this up is during Kenny’s promo I actually found myself picking out a fair few Japanese words. I find his Japanese really easy to follow for some reason. Not sure if it’s just me or if that’s a common thing with him

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His two AEW matches were wonderful!! He’s really doing a lot to cement his reputation of being my favorite old man in wrestling.

I’m happy to see Takeshita getting an AEW contract (on top of his existing DDT one) and getting to live out his dreams, though I’m also a bit worried about him, because he’s following in Kota Ibushi’s path there, after Kota had that dual DDT/NJPW contract in 2015. Unfortunately for Kota, it ended up super burning him out physically and mentally… I hope things go better for Takeshita, though I think AEW’s schedule being a lot lighter than NJPW’s should help with that.

It was also nice to see Takagi come along with Takeshita and Jun to AEW, though I was disappointed they didn’t give him a match! Apparently they told him if he’d brought his gear, they would have let him wrestle, haha. So maybe next time!

Takagi gave Tony Khan one of his 大社長 shirts. This shirt was actually one of the first wrestling things I was actually able to read after I started learning Japanese.

I love them so much :pleading_face:. Raku tweeted this after their match, and it honestly completely floored me. Since twitter seems likely to go down at some point, she said: " 愛があれば大丈夫だ!" And then shared this image:

I was able to read it in the discord embed pretty much effortlessly, which always feels good!

This is incredible, haha! That’s our super rookie.

Kenoh’s column always cracks me up. I saw someone on twitter suggest that he face Orange Cassidy, and I think that might actually be my ultimate dream match for both wrestlers?

I remember hearing that detail about Miu struggling with high school English! Honestly, for someone who’s not at all confident in the language, she does a very admirable job of trying her best regardless, which I find genuinely inspiring.

As for her art, I love it so much, haha. This is what she drew during hers and Yuka's drawing competition at the fan club show. It made me laugh uncontrollably ahaha.

I totally think that Suzume is probably right about being able to do English promos better than Miu. It would be hard to find someone who is worse at them :sweat_smile:.

We might be on track for a new Pom costume coming up soon… :eyes:

Ah… oh dear…

That’s awesome about picking out a fair amount of words in his promo! I’ve also found Kenny’s Japanese to be a lot easier to follow (Chris Brookes’ is as well). I have a lot less trouble with his Japanese tweets than I do with Kota’s :sweat_smile:. I’m a bit spoiled lately, though, because my friend has been going through and translating loads of old Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi interviews, so I’ve just been reading his translations instead of attempting to read them in Japanese, haha. If anyone is interested in reading them, they’re here.

As far as Kenny vs Ospreay goes, well, I… can’t say I’m excited about the match. I’ve been afraid of that match happening since late 2019 :sweat:. Kenny is one of my top two favorite wrestlers, but I can’t stand Will Ospreay (mostly due to some of his actions in the past and how poorly he dealt with getting his past behavior called out during Speaking Out, plus the lack of any actual reckoning for his involvement in making the pro wrestling industry a worse place for women).

So on top of my general negativity towards NJPW these days for the labor issues stuff, that being the match makes me even less excited to see Kenny back doing anything in the company, though naturally I will watch the match anyway… :pensive:

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First off, I want to share the TJPW poster for イッテンヨン 2023! I just think it’s really neat!

It’s encouraging that Misao is in it, because I hope that means she isn’t retiring at the end of the year…

I got the November 20 TJPW show done in pretty good time! I got nervous when I saw the table for the contract signing at the beginning, but then both of the contract signings were half in English, haha!

The first contract signing (transcript here) was for Millie McKenzie vs Miyu Yamashita for the EVE Championship.

The main thing I had trouble with was Miyu’s line here in the first paragraph: “ミリーとはスペイン、イギリス、日本とターン・スパンで3回連続で闘うのは私の経験の中でも初めて.” I wasn’t confident that I understood what exactly she was saying :sweat_smile:.

Yamashita: “I was able to come back to Japan with a belt from EVE. Thank you very much! I’ve fought Millie in Spain, England, and now Japan. It’s the first time in my experience that I have fought three consecutive times in three different places. So I’m really excited, and just like me, she’s someone who comes right at you, so I have to defeat her soundly. This will be my first title defense, so I want to settle it in the TJPW ring.”

Millie: “Hello. Thank you for having me back in Japan. I’m very happy to be back here. And I’m excited to show you all how I’ve improved. I’m fighting for the Eve Championship, which is my home promotion in England. It’s my home promotion, therefore I have to bring the championship back home. Miyu is one of my best opponents. She has beat me, however, I have beat her. So, it’ll be a challenge, but I need to bring the championship back home.”

Namba: “You wrestled last month in Spain, and last week in England. What are your impressions based on the last two singles matches?”

Yamashita: “She’s very strong and can take a lot of punishment. She gets fired up when she fights. In that respect, I’m going to do my best to win by surpassing her in determination and the ability to take a hit.”

Millie: “Uh, very dangerous kicks. I have to watch her kicks. Very, very powerful. As I said, Miyu is one of my toughest opponents, and in Spain, I got the victory, however, in England, Miyu beat me. And that is not fair! I’m angry! So, this time, she will not win again.”

Namba: “Yamashita, if you successfully defend your title, you might have to go back to England for another title defense.”

Yamashita: “I think that by continuing to overcome big enemies in a Japanese ring as I hold the belt, I’ll be able to show you all something new, and I’ll show myself something new, too. Right now, I’m only thinking about beating the opponent in front of me, which is Millie. I want to be able to defeat the opponent who stands before me in the future.”

Namba: “Millie, do you want to win the belt and take it back to England?”

Millie: “It’s not a choice that I win this match. I HAVE to win this match. I have to bring the championship home, to where it belongs.”

The other contract signing (transcript here) was for Billie Starkz vs Yuka Sakazaki for the Princess of Princess championship.

Right off the bat, Yuka confused me, haha. I think I might’ve managed to figure it out after thinking it through? She said, “皆さん見ての通り、こんなにかわいいビリーが日本に来てくれて東京女子の歴史の中でも上位の出来事になると思うので目に焼き付けてください.”

Sakazaki: “As you can see, the super cute Billie has come all the way to Japan, and I think this show will end up being one of the top events in TJPW history, so please mark down the date.”

Billie: “I’m very excited to be here. I’m very excited about our match, too, and I can’t wait for the fight we’re going to have.”

Namba: “This is your first time facing each other, but have you watched tape of each other’s matches?”

Sakazaki: “Of course I have. She caught my eye because it’s not an exaggeration to say that she’s one of the most promising up-and-coming wrestlers in the American indies right now, and plus she’s really cute.”

Billie: “I’ve also watched tape of Yuka. She’s so impressive! I’m definitely into the fight when I’m going to be in the ring with her later. She’s very, very good at what she does, and I’m glad to be here on my first trip, wrestling one of the best that TJPW has to offer.”

Namba: “Sakazaki, is it difficult to defend the belt against a foreign wrestler?”

Sakazaki: “She’s someone from outside of TJPW and it’s our first time facing each other, so it’ll be difficult because she might not move how I expect her to and I can’t read her thoughts, but I’m also looking forward to that. I’m just curious.”

Namba: “Billie, you have faced Yamashita and Itoh. What do you think of the Japanese wrestling style?”

Billie: “The intensity is unmatched. That’s something I can’t find in America that I can find in Japanese women. They’re so powerful, and I love it, I love it so much. And I’m so happy that I get to experience it again, wrestling with Yuka. Thank you.”

The main event was Yuka & Miyu vs Millie & Billie, with Millie getting a pretty huge win over Miyu! It has been a few years since I’ve watched Millie wrestle (I saw a few of her matches back in like 2019, when she was pretty young herself), so it was nice to see her again.

The post-match was quite possibly the first one of these I felt I was able to fully understand as I watched it, haha, owing to the fact that almost all of it was in English :sweat_smile:.

Millie: “I won again! It’s Billie’s first time in Japan.”

Billie: “I’m so happy to be here.”

Millie: “Thank you again for having us. But, we love Japan so much, we’re gonna make sure we keep coming back here. So at Korakuen, we will both walk away as champions!”

Miyu: “I cannot speak English. So I will speak Japanese.” (in Japanese) “Next time, I absolutely will not lose! I will defeat you.”

Yuka: (in English) “Next match, exciting!”

Millie and Billie’s comments were also all in English! Here’s what they said:

Millie: “Like we said, I said we’d win, I said I’d beat Miyu Yamashita, and I did. And in her own country. She beat me in EVE. Not again, not again. This is just a taste of what’s to come. I’ve proved that I can do it now. We’ve proved that we can do it. So next week, we will win.”

Billie: “It was a lot, a lot. I was very overwhelmed with how much fight Yuka brought, with how tiny she is. She’s a fighter. But, I’m taking home the Princess of Princess Championship November 27, and there’s no question about that.”

(It’s always been your dream to wrestle in Japan. What did it feel like going out there?)

“Oh, it was amazing. It was everything I wanted it to be, and I feel like it can only get better from here. I just hope everybody enjoyed the show that I put on for them, because I truly enjoyed the experience I had.”

(So, you’re going 1-on-1 next time. Do you think you have her figured out through this match?)

“A little bit more than I did. It was a bit shocking, being in a ring. It’s much different than studying tape. But I think I have more knowledge going into the title match next week.”

(Millie, you seem to have Miyu scouted out very well, blocking her Skull Kick. So, your strategy actually worked in the match. Does that give you even more confidence going into the match next week?)

Millie: “Yeah, I think I definitely needed a confidence boost after losing the EVE match on my home turf. But, I lost to that kick, so that kick is not happening again, I’ll make sure of it, because that kick is very, very powerful, and I do not want that damage.”

Billie: “It’s deadly.”

Millie: “I know!”

In Miyu and Yuka’s comments, I was confused by what Miyu said at the start: “結果的に自分がやられて悔しい部分があるし、ジャーマンを食らうと動けなくなるので、その隙に攻め込まれてやられてしまったので、もっともっと蹴りでね。スパンが短いので見破られていた部分もあるので、時間はないけど焦らず勝てるようにやりたい.”

Yamashita: “Concerning the result, I’m frustrated that she got me. After I took that suplex, she used that opportunity to attack since I couldn’t move, so I did a lot of kicks. Because it was such a short span of time, there are some things I’ve overlooked, so even though I’m out of time, I want to win without being hasty. I teamed up with Yuka-chan for the first time in a long time.”

Sakazaki: “It’s not the first time, is it?”

Yamashita: “Isn’t it? Since Osaka.”

Sakazaki: “Oh, right.”

Yamashita: “I have a good memory! It’s the first time since Osaka. We worked well together. But we lost.”

Sakazaki: “We worked well together?”

Yamashita: “We did! That was fun. We lost, though.”

Then Yuka said, “やっぱり日本に来て結果を残そうとしているからエネルギーもすごいし、ここに懸けている部分がすごくて。なのでこちらも相乗効果で楽しく試合できたので、次の後楽園でお互いタイトルマッチあるけどやることやって、東京女子のプライドを賭けて.” I got a bit lost in that second sentence in particular, haha :sweat_smile:.

Sakazaki: “They have a lot of energy because they came to Japan with the desire to get results, so they’ve staked a lot on this. We had a fun match with synergy, so we’re going to do what we do and put our TJPW pride on the line in our title matches at the next Korakuen show. Yamashita’s representing EVE, though.”

I think I was able to understand everything in the second part?

(You finally faced Billie in person)

“Even though she’s just 17, she has a solid physique and good balance, and I could feel her momentum. She’s amazing now, but just think about how incredible she’ll be one, two, three, or four years from now as she gains experience.”

(Today was a tag match, but will the singles match be different?)

“Yes. I think there’s a different way of fighting in a singles match.”

(She blocked your Skull Kick)

Yamashita: “She did block it, but I still have things I haven’t revealed yet, so I’m going to defeat her without giving in.”

And there we go! I think that’s everything until the Korakuen show on the 27th? I’m actually taking next week off at work, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to make pretty good progress on that show and not fall too far behind!

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Well, I’d say kind of yes and no.
The bare facts behind what she’s describing is certainly this:


i.e. that she fought Millie McKenzie in Spain, then the UK, then Japan.

I don’t know that I would technically precisely agree with the translation
“It’s the first time in my experience that I have fought three consecutive times in three different places.”
however. After all, (although this is a bit unfair) technically if she was on tour with one other TJPW wrestler she probably technically fought them three consecutive times in three different places before!

I think something that dodges delineating more tightly what factors about it made it a first might be more precisely accurate, like “I’ve just had a span of three matches with Millie in three countries: Spain, the UK, and Japan… the first time I’ve experienced something like that!”
That’s a narrower statement than “first time I’ve fought three consecutive times in three different places”
but I would say it’s the whole chunk of “ミリーとはスペイン、イギリス、日本とターン・スパンで3回連続で闘うの” that’s a first in Miyu’s experiences, and it’s about her describing the specific especially strange situation and then remarking that it was novel, rather than precisely delineating the limits of her prior experience.

Also – I notice now from the cagematch result, that the 3rd match is actually later in the show!
So techically at this stage it’ll be a first for her to complete the span! The third match hasn’t happened yet! (a bigger problem with my translation than yours, admittedly)

Something about her phrasing in the video seems a little clearer to my ears, but I think she’s saying more like – this signing today, representing Billie’s arrival, is a momentous event in TJPW’s history, so remember it.

目に焼き付けてください seems more like, well, like “please burn it into your eyes” and she puts a 今日は in there too in the verbal version. So I think rather than even the match being the momentous part, so remember the match, it’s more like Billie being here is a big deal, so remember this.
(with the connection made in the transcript form a little less explicitly, but it’s how the clauses connect - as you can see Billie’s arrived, I think [it/this] will become a major event in TJPW history, so burn [it/this] into your eyes!)

I watched the match at 2x speed (which was oddly fun lol the speed actually helped a surprising amount to connect the dots on the physical story being told) and that strengthened my impression that the もっともっと蹴りでね ending is more like – the lesson learned. Like:
“XYZので, better kick her a bunch more huh”
In the match the german suplex Millie hits on Yamashita is quite late in the match, she gunned for it early on and clearly was not winning the match the way it was going, with Yamashita kicking her many times beforehand, and hitting it was what turned the tide, with Yamashita afterward only managing one successful kick and one blocked kick on her before Millie got the pin (and Yamashita is visibly less mobile in terms of ring control, lingering for a bit after a broken up pin where earlier in the match she would have been able to capitalize more quickly).
Which is to say the match bears out her report, that Millie capitalized on Yamashita’s fatigue and lack of mobility caused by eating that german suplex, and for next time Yamashita should press the kicks even harder to prevent that from happening again.

Also, I could definitely be wrong about this one, but It think I would maybe say the スパンが短い is about like, the span between matches, and that the 時間はない is about how there’s little time until the championship match next week. Like, perhaps roughly, there’s surely things she’s overlooked too, but although there’s no time anyway, she’s going to endeavor to not rush into the championship match and make sure to win it.

Something went wrong here, I think.

Rough truncated back and forth since the body language may help:
Yamashita says about teaming with Yuka, 久しぶり
image

Sakazaki says そうだね、初めてじゃない
image

Yamashita says (small head shake) 初めてじゃない, 大阪以来
image

Yuka: そうかな
image

I would parse this as roughly:
Miyu: “it’s been a long time.” (assertion)
Yuka: “yeah… isn’t it the first time ever?” (questioning assertion)
Miyu: “what, no! Just the first time since Osaka” (reinforcing original assertion)
Yuka: “Hmm I guess so” (acknowledging assertion might be true)

The:
初めてじゃない?
初めてじゃない.
part
I think got mixed up in yours. (Which I mean, is fair! :sweat_smile: especially without the transcript including tones)
The “It’s not the first time, is it?” seems like… it’s sort of trying to be both sense at once?

Like, I would put the two options (both used) for “初めてじゃない” as:
Isn’t it the first time?
and
It’s not the first time.
But “it’s not the first time, is it?” is like both of those combined. Which is a good attempt at a dodge! But I don’t think really an option.
Also, I think in the translation it got mixed up with “the first time in a long time” for 久しぶり as well: The translation “it’s the first time in a long time” → “it’s not the first time” → “isn’t it?” is confusing if you really try to disentangle it.
But Miyu didn’t assert “it’s the first time” she asserted it’s “久しぶり” so that entanglement with the phrase “the first time” isn’t there in the original. So it’s clearer in the original that 初めて is a contrastive assertion to 久しぶり and that therefore the meaning is “it’s the first time in a long time” → “isn’t it the first time, period?”

Incidentally, I think it’s possible they’re both wrong :sweat_smile:
If cagematch is to be believed, it seems like as far as I can tell they’ve teamed together in total around 15 times, and it seems like the one in Osaka had one or two since then:


The reporter’s chuckling so they may likely be joking, anyhow (and/or there could certainly be something I overlooked)

My only note is I would say I think the synergy is as in like – synergy with the visitors’ energy. I think it’s one of those cases were the なので shows how it connects despite the period put in - They X, so we also were able to synergize with that and X.

There’s a bit that I assume didn’t make it into the transcript where she says like, she does do tag matches but she tends to think of herself as a singles wrestler, so, well, [the answer translated].

That isn’t really a translation note, I was just amused that by omitting that the transcript appeared to make the question and answer “will the singles match be different than the tag match?” “yes. Singles matches are different than tag matches.” :grin:
BUT in thinking about that… I do wonder if maybe she’s talking about her opponent? Like it’s the first time she’s fought her, right? So maybe the 戦い方 are like, her opponents’ ones that she hasn’t shown?
Eh I dunno, it’s probably a reach as it wasn’t my first instinct listening and there doesn’t seem much to support it. It might just be a bland question :sweat_smile:

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TJPW sprung another contract signing on us, so there was one last thing to translate before November 27 after all :sweat_smile:! I ended up actually really loving this one! I think this might be one of my favorite things I’ve translated this year?

Unfortunately Raku had to pull out of the tag title match due to testing positive for covid, so Pom stepped up to fill in for her! The benefit of having a polycule… They did a contract signing for the new team configuration, and it was great! Lots of good stuff here! I got it done fast because I was pretty invested in it :sweat_smile:.

Here’s the official transcript, and here’s the video. Arai started us off:

Arai: “This will be our third defense, and I’m nervous because I’m still not used to this, but I want to show the strength I’ve gained from my previous defenses and use it to beat Yuki-san and Pom-san and defend my belt. The two of us are going to work together and do our best so that we can celebrate New Years Eve with these belts.”

In this next part, Akai’s first sentence gave me a bit of trouble: “一緒に京都大会に凱旋してメインを締めくくったあとに挑戦表明されて決定して、その時とカードはいろいろあって変わってしまったんですけど、挑戦者には変わりないので意識はまったく変わってないです.”

As did her last sentence: “ぽむ選手もこういう形で挑戦者になった以上はハプニング、アクシデントを味方につけるのがプロレスラーだと思うので、この状況の2人がプロレスラーとしての芯を見せてくれるのか楽しみにしています.”

Akai: “After the main event of our triumphant return show in Kyoto, the challengers declared their intent and the match was set. The card has changed since then, but the impression I get from the challengers hasn’t changed at all. Concerning Aino, I’ve been watching her now and then since her debut, but lately, when I watch her wrestle on Wrestle Universe, I feel like her ‘Burning’ catchphrase applied more to her old self than the present. I don’t feel like she’s as much of a threat when I watch her recent matches. Since she became a challenger in this way, I think Pom is someone who makes use of unforeseen events and accidents, so I’m looking forward to seeing the two of them show us what’s at their core as pro wrestlers.”

Yuki: “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to challenge with Raku, who declared our intent to challenge in the first place, but challenging for a belt just isn’t something you can do at any time, so I didn’t want to let the opportunity I had with Raku go to waste. So when I thought about Raku’s regret that she couldn’t be here, as well as my own feelings, I had to challenge now. And because Pom stepped up, we can challenge together with Raku’s feelings!” (Pom starts crying) “I’m grateful to Pom, and I’m also grateful to Akai-san and Yuki-chan for accepting our challenge. So, with the power of Raku, Pom, and Yuki, we will beat the champions! Please watch us!”

This next part from Pom honestly floored me. Most of it was also a very long, rambly sentence, haha, which I had a bit of trouble with! I think I got there? “すごく仲良しなんですけど、ユキさんはユキさんはぽむと仲良しで組んでて、うちが一緒にいっていいのかなって悩んでくれたと思うし、らくさんもぽむのことを考えてくれたりしたと思うし、ぽむは2人がそうやってぽむのことを考えてくれたりして、ベルトに挑戦しますってなって2人が巻いているところを見たかったし、ここにらくさんにいて欲しかったんですよ.”

Pom: (crying) “I know that Raku-san and Yuki-san were working hard together to challenge. We’re very good friends, but I think Yuki-san was worried about whether it was okay for us team together as close friends, and I think Raku-san was also thinking about me, and I was also thinking about the two of them, and I’m challenging for the belt that I wanted to see the two of them win, and I wanted Raku-san to be here! But since I’m here instead of her, I want to win the belt and divide it into three parts so that we can all wear it.” (crying) “That’s what I regret the most, that Raku-san isn’t here!” (crying) “I can’t say anything, so I have no choice but to do it, together with Yuki-san, and with Raku-san.” (crying)

Yuki: “Yeah, let’s do it together. Divide them into three parts?”

Pom: “Yes! I’m good at cutting cakes!” (crying) “I think I can do a good job.”

Yuki: “How about we stand back-to-back and wrap the belts around all of us that way?”

Pom: “No, no! I’ll split them neatly into three. So that we’ll all be equal.” (crying)

I’m usually of the opinion that most wrestling companies have too many belts, but this made me honestly wish that TJPW had trios titles so that the 三角関係(さんかくかんけい) could win them without having to cut the tag belts into three…

After that, Pom says… another long sentence that gave me trouble, haha! She said: “今までそういう機会がなくて、まだまだデビューしたばかりだからという年数にどこか甘えていたみたいなところがあったと思うんですけど、こういうチャンスも実力のうちと思うので、4周年にもなるし、ぽむちゃんも大人のレスラーだよというところを見せなさいと神様に言われたのかなと思った気がしたので、このチャンスを掴みたいと思います.”

Interviewer: “Pom, you’re challenging for a belt for the first time in your career, right?”

Pom: “Well, it’s my fourth anniversary. I hadn’t had an opportunity like this up until now, and in some respects I was taking advantage of the fact that it had only been a couple years since I debuted, but I think this chance is within my abilities. It’s my fourth anniversary, and I feel like God told me to show that I’m a grown-up wrestler, so I want to seize this opportunity.”

Interviewer: “Aino, how do you feel about Akai’s comment that she ‘doesn’t feel ‘Burning’’ from you?”

Yuki: “It’s really frustrating to be told that, but I don’t think my fighting style has changed, and I’m always doing my absolute best. But to be honest, there’s a part of me that feels like I don’t know what’s the best way for me to move forward right now. Part of me feels like I have to change something. I’ve never fought Akai-san. I’ve thought, ‘she’s a wrestler who’s strong and beautiful and attractive and gorgeous,’ and ‘I want to fight her someday’, but after she won the tag belts with Yuki-chan, it felt like this ‘gorgeous squared’ strongest tag team suddenly burst into existence. I think being gorgeous gives you the power to attract people, and it’s a power that is far away from me. So I’m thrilled to be able to fight opponents like that while I’m searching for what I’m lacking at the moment.”

I wasn’t quite sure how to translate the interviewer’s next question: “愛野選手はぽむ選手の気持ちを聞いて.”

I also think I figured out Yuki’s response, but the long sentence at the end was tough: “今までもぽむと組むことも結構あったので、やりやすいパートナーではあるんですけど、突拍子もないこととかしだした時に私は放置していたというか、自分もついていくことを諦めていたんですけど、今回、2人で挑戦するので、そういうところに自分も対応できるように頑張って、力を合わせて闘いたいなと思います.”

Interviewer: “You listened to Pom’s feelings.”

Yuki: “Pom is someone who’s always doing outrageous things. That’s one of her good qualities, and it’s a part of her that I really love. I’ve teamed up with Pom quite a bit, so we’re easy partners, but when she’d start to do something crazy, I’d leave her alone, or rather I wouldn’t play along. But this time, since the two of us are challenging together, I’m going to try my best to respond to her and fight together.”

In Akai’s next response, I mostly had trouble with the tense and plurals/singulars and all of that :sweat_smile:. She said: “私は会見でもすごい緊張して始まる前に震えていたんですけど、リング上でのマイクの後や、会見後にプレッシャーに圧し潰され泣いたりとかはしていたんですけど、カメラの前でそこまで感情を出せたことがなかったので、いい度胸して十分強いと思います.”

Interviewer: “To the champions, you saw the team of challengers be moved to tears.”

Akai: “I’ve been so nervous at an interview that I was shaking before it started. I’ve cried after cutting a promo in the ring and after interviews when the pressure has gotten to me. But I’ve never been able to show that much emotion in front of a camera, so I think she has some nerve and plenty of strength. I can’t express myself that way, so she seems to have a very strong core.”

I wasn’t quite sure about Arai’s response here: “ぽむさんはよく闘うことが多くて、いつも追い詰められて怖いなと思ったんですけど、今日泣いている姿を見てもっと怖くなりました.”

Arai: “Pom has fought me a lot, and I thought she was scary because she always corners me, but after seeing her crying today, I’m even more afraid. She’s a little scary…”

Pom: “Huh?”

Akai: “We’re scared.”

Then Yuki says, “威嚇が成功した。ポケモンでそういうのあるから.” I’m guessing she’s talking about the new pokemon games, but I haven’t played them and wasn’t exactly sure what she was referring to, haha.

Yuki: “Your intimidation worked. There’s something like that in Pokemon.”

Interviewer: “Compared to the previously arranged opponents, will this team be easier to fight? Or will they be harder?”

Akai: “I was a bit wary of Raku because I’m not good at her kind of tempo, but Pom spilled her heart out today, and I think that’s phenomenal. So I’m not sure… but we’re champions, so we just have to accept their challenge and drive them back, and that’s how we build up our strength. What do you think?”

Arai: “Our opponent has changed, but what we do hasn’t.”

Akai: “Being challenged is the same either way, huh?”

Arai: “We will do our best at our own pace, just as we have been!”

And that’s it!

There’s so much I loved about this interview. I thought Akai’s point about Yuki not really embodying her “Burning” catchphrase lately was interesting, and that Yuki acknowledged that she’s sort of looking for a new direction (especially after her sister left…).

It was also really amazing how Pom crying basically completely changed Akai’s mind on her. I love it in wrestling when wrestlers cry, and I love it even more when that, specifically, is the thing that impresses a vet (I’ve already talked about Jun Akiyama with Kaito Kiyomiya in 2021… :sweat_smile:). Pom’s tears seemed to touch Akai here in a similar way that Kaito’s tears touched Jun back then. It seemed that Akai ended up more impressed with Pom than she did with Yuki!

The reason for Pom’s tears honestly floored me. Especially since this is her first title shot since she debuted, and we just passed her own debut anniversary, which are both pretty big deals! But despite all of that, her only concern is for Raku, and she’s really upset to be getting the title shot instead of her. She’s remarkably selfless.

There’s kind of a blend of genuine emotion here as well as some humor, which is very TJPW, haha. Pom used to always say on her birthday that she was turning 3 years old, and she sort of references here immaturity here.

But yeah, I thought they did a great job setting up this match with very real stakes despite the last-minute change. I’m not… especially optimistic for Pom and Yuki’s chances, but I will be cheering for them regardless!! :triumph:

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I think this is perhaps a transcription ミス.
I think she says 挑戦者ってことには変わりない
not 挑戦者には変わりない.
And the video version “ってこと” much more clearly means like, other things have changed but the fact that there’s challengers hasn’t. Rather than the transcript version which reads more like “the challengers haven’t changed” (which is obviously confusing in the situation). Akai stumbled over her phrasing a little bit there and then sped up to make up for it so perhaps the live transcriber just missed the ってこと.

I would disagree with attributing the ハプニング、アクシデントを味方につけるのが part to Pom here.
It’s not Pom who does that, it’s プロレスラーだ.
I’d say the train of thought is like, roughly “Since Pom became a challenger this way, well - I think it’s imperative for pro wrestlers to make opportunities out of accidents, so I’m looking forward to how both challengers show their core as pro wrestlers.” Like it’s an A + B = C type of structure I’d say. Point A is Pom became challenger by happenstance, point B is I think pro wrestlers as a rule / inherent part of being a pro wrestler must make good use of happenstance. Therefore C, I look forward to seeing what Pom (and Aino for reasons already mentioned) is made of as a pro wrestler.

I would disagree I think with the “but I think Yuki-san was worried about whether it was okay for us team together as close friends” part.
I would describe it I think more like – we’re still pre-card-change at this point, in Pom’s narrative, and she’s saying that Aino was thinking “ユキさんはぽむと仲良しで組んでて、うちが一緒にいっていいのかな” as in like – she may have been teaming with Raku but she was thinking about Pom and worrying about Pom being left out / thinking it would be better with Pom included, that kind of thing. So Pom’s saying she was touched by both of them thinking of her even as they were starting to challenge for the belts as a pair themselves.

For the first bit, I don’t know exactly what’s in the transcript, but I would say “Well, it’s my fourth anniversary.” is a bit off with the tone of the video, as she either feigns asking or genuinely asks for confirmation about the fourth anniversary in both directions around her.

It connects up a little I think with the next part in the train of thought:
今までそういう機会がなくて、まだまだデビューしたばかりだからという年数にどこか甘えていたみたいなところがあったと思うんですけど
where here, I would say it’s less like “I was taking advantage of the fact that it had only been a couple years since I debuted” – and more like, “A part of me was consoled by the number of years being low enough I could still feel like ‘I just debuted!’”
Like Pom’s saying her main mode up to now is not really tracking the years and not feeling bad about a lack of opportunities like title shots by still figuring “hey, I just started!” That kind of sense.

I’m probably be confused from the transcript too, but I guess it’s because it’s one of those “comment on X please” type of questions (with X in this case being “that stuff Pom said just now”), and he kind of peters out a bit. It sounds like maybe he finished it with どいう意味 and they maybe react because it’s a bit funny and makes it sound like he’s asking like, what was she talking about (if that is what he says), so he amends it to just like, ぽむ選手に対してど…
He’s definitely going for (and gets across) “comment on Pom (and that stuff she said) please” anyhow.

looks all right to me!

This was one of those lingering “I feel like it’s maybe this other way…” cases where then I look at the video and happily that suspicion is confirmed by extra words peppered in there! :sweat_smile:
She’s describing her general, regular reaction before and after 会見. I was suspicious that might be the case from the ていた business rather than ことがあった type stuff which would have been more exactly what you have in the translation…
… but she says いつも about both in the video! So yeah, suspicion confirmed, and she’s describing examples of her regular experiences around interviews/in-ring promos (rather than describing specific especially memorable examples)

Looks like there’s an ability called いかく that’s localized in English “Intimidate.” I wonder if “your Intimidate worked” or “your Intimidate ability worked” would be too much… certainly it fits a little better into her sentence in Japanese if that is what she was referring to. The way she says it does give me very familiar “I’m going to make this private joke about a phrase from a game even though I’m the only one here who’s played it and it will just be confusing” vibes :sweat_smile:

I agree! That press conference likely just convinced me to make sure to make time to watch the show!

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