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

Thank you so much for all of your help as always! I hope I’ll eventually get to a point where there’s not so much completely unknown grammar in everything, haha. But all of this not only helps me with Japanese, but also helps me appreciate the wrestling stories a little more, too :blush:


I saw Shinsuke Nakamura last night. I was wearing one of his logo tees, and got a big bear hug from him after the match! I love the way he makes sure his fans get a personal experience from him every time! This is the second time it’s happened to me.


Any advice on how to start getting into it? I’ve seen YouTube videos on Japanese wrestling and it looks to fun and I love the stories. I was really getting into Kagetsu’s story but I’m a little late to the party for that. Is it easy to just start watching the next time a wrestling match airs? Or is there a fair amount of research I should be doing first before trying to get involved?


I got into it by just starting to watch matches after I read a few articles about a few stories that intrigued me! It can be a bit hard to dive in cold from no experience if you don’t already have a base of understanding, because there are lots of rules and conventions you won’t understand, but if you keep watching, you’ll gradually pick things up! And you can always reference the first few posts in this thread, haha.

If you already have a wrestler you’re interested in (good choice, btw), I recommend starting with some of her matches! I was also a little late to the party with Kagetsu (she retired just a few months after I started watching Stardom :pensive:), but she left behind quite the body of work, so there’s a lot out there! You could try getting a Stardom subscription for a month and go looking for some of the matches you heard about in her story (or search on youtube for them and see if Stardom uploaded any of them). It’s not a period of Stardom I’m especially well-versed on, unfortunately, so I can’t recommend anything off the top of my head :sweat_smile:.

I do think that just diving in and watching a show is a great place to start! Stardom actually just had a big show that they aired on youtube for free! I wasn’t able to watch it, but their big shows have a reputation of almost always knocking it out of the park, so you could check it out and see if anything catches your interest!

If you have particular questions, feel free to ask them here! We can try to clarify things :blush:


New Japan Pro-wrestling is a great place to start, too. It’s on a pay system now, though, but I forget which channel. Maybe someone can remind me. There’s also the NJPW site, much of which is also a paid site. Well worth it, though, if you can get it.

I learned my first Japanese words from NJPW when it was on AXSTV a few years ago. I learned 目 and 耳 from Naito, counters from Okada, and some other things from Tanahashi. That’s when I decided to start learning Japanese.


Honestly, as much as I’ve liked some past stuff NJPW has done, I can’t really recommend their product as it is currently. The pandemic has really screwed up a lot of their booking plans. The match quality is still good, but the stories have suffered, in my opinion. I’m still watching, hoping they’ll turn things around again, but if the current NJPW had been my introduction to wrestling, I’m not sure I would have stayed :sweat_smile:.

I think out of the two companies, Stardom is a better choice to get into currently, especially if you already have an interest in one of the wrestlers. Even without actively wrestling there anymore, Kagetsu has left quite the impact on the company.

One of the coolest things about wrestling, in my opinion, is that everything that happened in the past has echoes. When I watch present-day DDT, I can still see echoes of the Golden Lovers in everything, despite neither wrestler having been part of the company in years. It’s one of the most beautiful things about the medium, this idea that your art, as beautiful and as transitory as it often is, can still leave such a deep impact on everything that comes after it.


I haven’t seen it since it went to pay service, and that’s been a while, so I can’t comment about their present work. But before that, I loved it.


Yeah, some of NJPW’s past stuff was so good, it quite literally transformed me from hating wrestling to becoming completely obsessed with it, haha! It was specifically the Golden Lovers story that got me interested, which has now gone on to span 3+ companies, at this point, though we’re still waiting for their next chapter to truly kick off :smiling_face_with_tear:.

I think as a company, NJPW still has it in them to tell good stories, and there are still really bright moments (I really loved Hiromu vs Minoru Suzuki last night), so I’m hoping they’ll find their way back to that same level of quality eventually.

But in the meantime, we thankfully live in a world where there is no shortage of good wrestling :blush:


Those two were so wholesome!! I absolutely loved that they were insistent on being called Lover’s despite the audience trying to call them Brothers originally. It was such a beautiful story arch. Were they the same company as Kagetsu? Because, if so, it just seems like I subconsciously have a favorite

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No, Kagetsu was with Stardom, which only does women’s wrestling, though, in a fun twist of fate, the company that owns New Japan Pro Wrestling, Bushiroad, now owns Stardom (they acquired them at the end of 2019, right around when Kagetsu retired), so technically now NJPW and Stardom are under the same umbrella, though the actual products are still kept pretty separate. They have their own streaming services, and the wrestlers don’t usually appear on the other company’s show (though, for the past few years, Stardom has gotten a few matches at Wrestle Kingdom, NJPW’s biggest show).

In Japan, most companies do only men’s wrestling or women’s wrestling (unlike in America or Mexico, where companies often have male wrestlers and female wrestlers on the same roster), though there are some very notable exceptions. ChocoPro, Ganbare, and DDT (where the Golden Lovers got their start!) all have both men and women on the roster and do a fair amount of intergender wrestling (where men and women wrestle each other).

Though, Kenny Omega is a huge fan of joshi wrestling (it’s one of his biggest inspirations), and he does really like Stardom. He definitely watches them and has friends who have worked there, including Riho, who is one of his favorite tag partners :blush:.

Oh, also, one current Stardom wrestler, Saya Kamitani, really idolizes Kota Ibushi! She uses one of his finishers, the phoenix splash, and also refers to herself as the “golden phoenix”, which I believe also references Ibushi.

Usually with wrestling, if you look deep enough, haha, you can find connections somewhere!

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oh wow, this is so cool. I’ve found something to fill the time in between NPB seasons :slight_smile:


I can recommend Stardom! It’s where Kagetsu wrestled, and it’s the biggest women’s wrestling promotion in Japan right now, currently doing very well in both quality and popularity!

Nowadays, promotions all tend to have streaming services, so it’s really easy to get access to all their shows. Stardom-world is ¥920 a month and has… I think prettty much everything from the 10 years Stardom’s been running. Including all new shows! (Albeit with a delay of a few days usually before they’re posted).

So I think getting into it is just about building up enough interest to make that monetary jump. If there’s one match on a show that can make you think “heck, I’d be willing to try this out to see that match!” then hopefully that show’s other matches (or the service’s backcatalog) will give you other interesting threads to check out!
And if not, oh well, at least you’ll have satisfied your curiosity!

Looking around Stardom’s youtube page and twitter account could be a free way to see a bit of what’s going on and get interested. And before I got into wrestling there was a long period where I just occasionally googled looking for matches of a wrestler I knew I liked and kept slightly aware of what they were doing - so I think that’s a totally fine way of going about things!

Stardom’s next major show is a two-day show on March 26 and March 27 called Stardom World Climax 2022. I’m really excited for it!
The New Blood event mentioned above is I think more of a rookie-oriented exhibition type thing, with matches mainly featuring new wrestlers. World Climax is going to be much more of an extravaganza with full commentary (not guaranteed as far as I know, but I wouldn’t be shocked if english commentary was included, as they’ve done that for a big show or two in the past), championship matches, all the stars, returns, feuds, betrayals probably, etc.!
Here’s the card for Day 1, here’s the card for Day 2.
A match on that show I’d maybe highlight especially is KAIRI vs. Starlight Kid - it’s Kairi’s return match after a long absence (she wrestled in WWE for a while). Since it’s her first match back in the promotion, there’s no prior context you need to know other than that. And her opponent, Starlight Kid, just had a major rise in popularity when she joined Kagetsu’s old faction, Oedotai.
They’re also both incredible wrestlers, so it should be a really cool blend of Stardom’s past and present!

So I think a good way to go could be to pay attention just enough to see clips of World Climax and the kinds of stuff that happened on it, and see if that sounds like something you would have liked to watch. And then if so (or if you’re already curious enough) give stardom world a shot (in April, perhaps – I think they probably bill on the first of the month regardless of when you join) and catch it when it’s uploaded, or the next major show (I’d say the output is very roughly ~1 big show a month, ~5-10 smaller shows).

At some point tournament season will roll around and if you’re already bought in but don’t know many of the wrestlers, that can be a great introduction for the ones you don’t know. But that’s for another time…

Hope that helps!

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Hi! I always recommend Wrestle Universe (WRESTLE UNIVERSE | Watch DDT, Pro-Wrestling NOAH, Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling, Ganbare Pro-Wrestling, Rojo Pro-Wresstling (Pro-Wrestling in Public)) to someone who wants to get into Japanese pro wrestling. I believe the first month is free and then it’s only 900 yen per month to watch four different promotions. You’ll get access to all of the promotions under the CyberFight umbrella: Pro Wrestling NOAH, Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) Pro Wrestling, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling (TJPW) and Ganbare. They’re four promotions that are pretty different in style so I’m sure you’ll find something you like!

If you do end up trying out a subscription, I would start with CyberFight Festival 2021. Each promotion on Wrestle Universe is featured and you can get a feel for what each company has to offer. It’s a really good show from top to bottom.

Here’s what I’d say about each promotion’s style plus what show I’d recommend starting with.

DDT: If you’ve ever seen YouTube videos of people wrestling in the street/in a train/in a theme park, or a guy wrestling a doll or some other inanimate object, that’s more than likely DDT. I really love them because they have a great mix of sports-centric wrestling and variety/comedy style stuff. There are some extremely talented people in DDT! There’s also the Pheromones, they are a bit scary at first but I’ve grown to tolerate and appreciate them. There is a big show this weekend on March 20 called Judgment that includes a lot of big matches that will tie up a lot of story lines. I think that would be a good jumping-off point. You can also watch their last big show, which was Never Mind in Yoyogi, that aired on 12/26. Lastly, the Super Encount series has 3 short episodes that feature street wrestling, so if you’re looking for non traditional, fun wrestling I suggest checking out those shows too.

Ganbare: This is the smallest of the promotions you can find on Wrestle Universe, but it is also my favorite! The whole roster is really charming, talented and engaging. All of the matches hit hard and are full of energy. This might also be the most difficult promotion to get into, though, because there’s not a whole lot of English content. However, their recent show, Bad Communication 2022, was the first one to have English commentary! And it was a great show, so that’s what I’d recommend if you want to see what Ganbare has to offer.

TJPW: A Joshi pro wrestling promotion that has picked up a lot of popularity in the past year. Maki Itoh is popular internationally, and there’s also a member of idol group SKE48 on their roster. I’m not as well versed in this promotion as the first two, but I’ll stick with my formula of recommending a big show. There is one this weekend on March 19, and their last one was Positive Chain 2022, which I believe included the finale of their tag team tournament. There’s also a recent show they filmed at a swimming pool that was really fun.

NOAH: My biggest blind spot of the CyberFight promotions. They offer mostly sports-centric, traditional Japanese puroresu. I would love to see more of them if I had the time. If i were to start watching today I’d probably go with their most recent show with English commentary, which was on 3/13.

DDT and NOAH have their own English language Twitter accounts:
DDT: DDTProEng (offers translations for live shows)
NOAH: NOAHglobal
And, as a bonus, if you want DDT/TJPW show translations for shows prior to this year, check out Twitter account DDTPro_Eng (this was an unofficial account run by someone who used to be employed by CyberFight)

Anyway this is probably way more info than you need! I promise I’m not paid by CyberFight. But I do think the site and each individual promotion are worth checking out. If you have questions about anything let me know :slight_smile:

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Oh nice, another CyberFight fan!! I also recommended Wrestle Universe at the start of this thread because it’s my favorite service as well :blush:. I linked some of my favorite DDT, TJPW, and NOAH matches at the start, and I feel pretty good about the variety in the DDT section, though the TJPW section needs some more recommendations, and the NOAH stuff is heavily centered around my favorite wrestlers in the company haha so it could probably use more, too. Feel free to add GanPro matches to the match recommendations section! I’ve only seen a few of their shows, so they’re my biggest blind spot as far as CyberFight goes.

I actually tried translating stuff from DDT shows on my own at the beginning of the year before they hired another translator, so I talked about some of their recent shows and storylines earlier in this thread (along with translation questions) :sweat_smile:. After they got regular translation again, I redirected my efforts to TJPW, which is actually my favorite company, though it’s sadly a lot harder to follow now. When I’m done reading their latest press conference, I’ll make a post with some highlights from it and information on big storylines. It’s actually a great time to get into TJPW and DDT, because both of them have really big shows coming up this week.

Though part of the problem with getting into wrestling is that there’s just so much content out there. And everyone has their favorite companies, haha, which can make it difficult to find a place to start! That’s why I recommend if you already have a performer or a story you’re interested in, it’s a good idea to just follow your heart. You can always branch out later :blush:

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I finished translating the main press conference going into TJPW’s March 19 show at Ryogoku Kokugikan! This was over 5,800 characters, which was pretty exhausting, but I did manage to get through it! They did another (shorter) press conference specifically for the TJPW vs GanPro match, which I’m still trying to finish before the show.

Firstly, though, I just want to commend TJPW for doing an amazing job with the posters advertising all of the matches on this show. I don’t have a convenient compilation of the Japanese versions to link, but here’s a thread of all of the English versions. Each match has a completely different feeling, and that really comes across in the design here.

The main press conference is recapped here (it originally aired here in video form, though I haven’t watched it). I feel like most of this was actually pretty straightforward? I had less trouble reading it, at least.

Some highlights:

I didn’t know that Shoko Nakajima and Miyu Yamashita debuted in a dark match at a DDT show at Ryogoku Kokugikan before TJPW even existed! It’s pretty amazing for them to go from that to main eventing a show at the same venue.

I really liked how Shoko described Miyu here. I think it really conveyed the inevitability and totality of Miyu from the perspective of everyone else on the roster. Shoko said that Miyu has always been the heart of everything, at the very top. Shoko then went on to say: “私流に言うと、怪獣の目の前にずっと立ちふさがってる、さらに大きな怪獣みたいな存在です。” I had a little trouble parsing this, especially trying to keep the meaning and also make it read smoothly in English, haha. My best attempt was: “In my manner of speaking, she’s like an even bigger kaiju that is standing right in front of the kaiju all the time.” (Shoko is a pretty big tokusatsu nerd who loves kaiju movies and models her own character after a kaiju). She said that no matter how much she won, no matter how much she thought she could rival her, whenever she thought she had finally surpassed Miyu, Miyu would easily overturn that with her strength.

Shoko also said that she’s entering the 10th year of her career, and in the time that she’s been part of TJPW, the roster has gotten very deep, and her 後輩(こうはい) are gaining tremendous ground, so it’s getting harder and harder to get the chance to main event a big show. So that she doesn’t lose her nerve, she’s telling herself that this is her final chance. (This part scared me at first because I thought she was going to announce that she planned on retiring soon :sweat_smile:).

両国国技館(りょうごくこくぎかん) is a venue that means a lot to most of the roster, and that’s a recurring theme here. Miyu refers to it as “デビューした日からずっと思い続けてきた夢の場所”, the place of her dreams that she has been thinking about since the day of her debut.

It comes up again during Rika Tatsumi and Miu Watanabe’s comments concerning their tag title match with the Magical Sugar Rabbits (Yuka Sakazaki and Mizuki). Rika talks about how she and Miu won the tag belts for the first time at DDT’s November 3, 2019 show at the same venue: "そのときに花道で見た景色がずっと忘れられなくて、そんな感動をまた未詩と一緒に味わいたい。” She’ll always remember the view she saw from the walkway, and she wants to feel that deep emotion again with Miu. (I’ll always remember that match, too, because it made me cry a lot, haha. Not because of Rika and Miu winning—well, actually it was because of Rika and Miu winning, but it was due to the fact that I was worried for what that meant for Misao :sweat_smile:).

The other major thing Rika says is that Mizuki is her favorite opponent, and she still has feelings for her (she’s had an unrequited crush on Mizuki for years), but she’s sure that if she wins the belt, it might cause Mizuki to hate her. This hasn’t changed her intent, though, and she’s prepared to be hated if she does win the belt.

Mizuki, meanwhile, responded to this part by saying “リカさん、私に嫌われるって。安心してください。私負けないので.” She told Rika to rest assured, because she isn’t going to lose.

Yuka also talked about how much the venue means to her, and to TJPW (she actually got so emotional, it moved her to tears). She said that she will defend her belt so that her best partner Mizuki can shine even more.

Mizuki said that MagiRabbi’s strength is the sheer amount of time that they spend together. Even when they don’t say a lot of words to each other, they’re always in perfect sync during their matches, and even their feelings have come to be in sync. Yuka said that she doesn’t think Miu and Rika have a very strong connection (I’d agree with this, though their matches are good technically), so there’s no way they can win against MagiRabbi’s bond.

The next part of the press conference is for Yuki Arai vs Maki Itoh for the International Princess title. Arai is pretty new to wrestling (she debuted just last year), but she’s had an incredible run already. She’s a huge celebrity outside of wrestling due to her work as an idol, but she’s also fantastic in the ring despite being inexperienced.

In this, she said that the reason why she challenged Itoh here is because when she made her debut, Itoh told her “何年かかっても潰しに来い”, basically to come crush her no matter how many years it takes. So Arai thinks that this time has come. It’s… a little bold of her, not going to lie! We’ll just have to see how this goes for her.

Itoh, characteristically, speaks with a lot of bravado, saying she wants to crush stars all over the world, together with this belt. She expects Arai to become another stepping stone for her. Actually, I did have a bit of a translation question here, though not about anything specific. Itoh talks about herself in the third person a lot, which is fairly normal for Japanese, but less so for English. I’ve struggled a bit with how to translate that, since I feel like it adds extra connotations in English if you translate it directly. However, since Itoh is pretty self-centered (and sometimes almost seems to consider her wrestling personality as a separate character in her own life), I’ve mostly just been keeping the third person references to her own self. But maybe there is something better I could be doing to convey how she’s speaking without altering the original meaning? Translation is hard :sweat_smile:.

I did get a little thrown off by this response of Itoh’s: “伊藤麻希は女はもちろん、男とも戦ってきたので・・・。荒井優希は伊藤麻希より体格が大きいんですけど、それでも全然その経験でものおじさせない。想定外の動きをされるかもしれないけど、そこでも対処できる自信があります。自分がやってきた経験は宝だから”. The part that confused me was specifically the sentence where she talks about how Arai is bigger than her, then I think she says that it doesn’t intimidate her (Itoh) at all? But it was a little hard to figure out the subject of that sentence, since my first thought was she was saying that Arai won’t let the experience intimidate her, but that doesn’t really make sense?

The last match covered in this press conference is the opening match, which is the debut match for TJPW’s newest rookie, Juria Nagano. Juria seems pretty cool! She became a karate world champion at a fairly young age, and has been practicing karate pretty much her whole life. She’s teaming up with Moka Miyamoto, one of TJPW’s rookies, who also has a karate background.

I appreciated Suzume (another one of the rookies, who will be one of their opponents) saying that she’s glad they can spend this precious time (of Juria’s debut) together, and she wants to crush Juria with love. She’s teaming up with Arisu Endo, another rookie. They’ve been wrestling as a team recently, and they’ve really started to click.

The part that tripped me up here was my lack of karate knowledge, haha! Juria described herself as a “空手の型の元世界チャンピオン”, a former world champion in karate kata. I don’t know enough about karate to know if this is an acceptable way to phrase this in English? Does anyone know a better way to word this? Juria also said that she has been “型を生かした早い手技を意識して練習しております” (“practicing fast hand techniques that make use of kata”?). I feel like I understand enough that the basic meaning comes across, but the karate particulars are lost on me and probably anyone else who might be reading my translation :sweat_smile:. Oh well, I tried my best!

That’s all for now! I’ll hopefully have another post tonight or tomorrow about the other press conference for the TJPW/GanPro match.

I was considering trying to write a proper card preview for the entire show (especially since a lot of the nuance is getting completely lost on most of the international fanbase who can’t understand the pressers or comments), but I’m not sure I’ll have the time, so this might just have to do. The guy who runs the Dramatic DDT blog was planning on writing up a preview for the show, so I guess stay tuned for that if he can get his post finished in time!

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I finished translating the other press conference for the GanPro vs TJPW match at TJPW’s Ryogoku show! Whew, that’s over 8,500 characters translated over a period of like five days! :sweat_smile:

Here’s the recap for this press conference, and here’s the video (which I also didn’t watch, though I did check one part at the end to make sure I was translating something correctly).

This press conference was a lot shorter, and honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect, going in, since I don’t know terribly a lot about Ganbare Pro. But it ended up really surprising me! Lots of great stuff in here.

Some highlights:

Something I just found out while translating this is that Yuna Manase and Nao Kakuta were both in Actwres girl’Z together! Yuna was Nao’s senpai there. I had also forgotten the fact that Yuna left TJPW and joined GanPro right around when Nao was coming to TJPW, which was a little over a year ago. So, there are some neat connections between the two of them.

This match was basically born because Yuna, representing GanPro, made a surprise appearance at TJPW’s last Korakuen show and requested a match at the Ryogoku show. Nao was the first TJPW wrestler to answer her challenge. She said in the presser that this was her first time putting TJPW’s name before her own name, referring to herself as “東京女子の角田奈穂”, since she was volunteering herself to represent TJPW in this match.

The other three TJPW wrestlers in the match seemed, well, chosen because they didn’t really have anything better to do at the show :sweat_smile:. But they did a pretty good job selling the match here, I thought.

Mahiro Kiryu confused me by bringing up mahjong in her comments! I don’t really know anything about the game, so I had a really hard time parsing what she said. She said: “私は麻雀が好きなんですけど、私たちは絶対に下りない。高打点上がり切って勝ちたい.” Lots going on in here, and lots of confusing things that don’t seem to have anything to do with wrestling! My best attempt at a translation was: “I like mahjong, but we definitely won’t fold. I want to win by getting a high score.” 打点 further confused me because my dictionary defined it as “runs batted in”. I was like, “wait, she’s talking about baseball now??” But when I searched for the word along with 麻雀 I did find a mahjong book with both words in the title, so I’m assuming she’s still talking about mahjong? In any case, I tried my best, haha.

Kaya Toribami, one of the newest TJPW rookies, had a really fun comment. She wrestles under the mask of a cassowary (I was actually one of the very first people on twitter who figured out what bird she was :blush:), which she refers to here as “一番世界一凶暴な鳥”, the most brutal bird in the world. Then she said, “強さを秘めてるので、そのマスクに恥じない人間になるために、ガンバレ☆プロレスの皆さん、東京女子と違う戦いを学ばせてもらいたい.” I struggled a little bit with the first part of this sentence, because I couldn’t quite pin down her meaning, but my best attempt was: “I have the strength inside, so in order to become a person who does not shy away from that mask, I want to learn how to fight differently from everyone in Ganbare Pro Wrestling and TJPW.”

On the GanPro side of things, there was a lot of spirit and passion, which the promotion is known for. Harukaze said that GanPro picked her up when she was a dropout and said that she was one of them, so she views them as family to her, and wants everyone to know and love their name.

I really loved Moeka Haruki’s entire comment. She said that Yuna Manase is the sun of GanPro. The sun produces many things, like heat, prisms, rainbows, etc. But Moeka wants people to look at her, too, besides just looking at the sun. “太陽ばっかり見てるんじゃないぞ! 太陽の後ろにある虹を見逃しちゃダメだぞ!” She also says that she looks forward to facing Nao, Neko, and “鳥ちゃんかな”, and she looks forward to cooking them in a delicious meal.

Then she made me do some more research, haha, and piggybacked on Mahiro’s mahjong metaphor :sweat_smile:. She said: “真弥、麻雀好きなのか。私も好きだ。ガンバレ☆プロレスは国士無双、十三年待ちだぞ.” Thankfully, this one ended up being pretty straightforward, though I was still a little unsure of what language to use in English. I think she said: “Ganbare Pro Wrestling has drawn a Thirteen Orphans, and the wait is on all thirteen titles.” 国士無双 is Thirteen Orphans, which is a mahjong hand (?). The things you have to learn about when translating wrestling!

Of course, the real star of all of these interactions was Yuna herself. Yuna has quite the fiery spirit, and this whole time, she was saying that she wanted a “熱い熱い試合”. She criticized the TJPW team for not being passionate enough during the press conference.

In response, Nao said that just because the TJPW aren’t showing it on the surface doesn’t mean they aren’t passionate. A blue flame burns hotter than a red flame, and “私たちは青く冷静に燃える炎です”, TJPW is the blue flame that burns with a cool composure.

Yuna said that she doesn’t understand scientific things, haha, but she knows that they’re both fire. She is fire, and everyone at TJPW is, too. She went on to say that while she was at TJPW, every time DDT had a Ryogoku show, she’d hear everyone at TJPW saying that they hope TJPW gets to go to Ryogoku someday (talking about this made her tear up). So when she heard about the Ryogoku show, she knew that she needed to participate.

This is something that has really stood out to me while reading these, just how much the Ryogoku Kokugikan venue means to all of these women. It’s to TJPW what the Budokan is to NOAH. I got into TJPW in late 2019, just a few months before DDT Ultimate Party on November 3, which took place at that venue. Ultimate Party was an absolutely gigantic show, and they somehow managed to include pretty much the entire TJPW roster.

DDT has run venues like that before, but for the TJPW wrestlers, it was absolutely incredible to them, especially since practically all of them got to be on that show (normally TJPW would only get a couple matches on a big DDT show, but here they were on matches all throughout, including the third to last match and the semi-main event). They continued to talk about it for over a year after that show happened.

I dunno, stuff like that probably seems really abstract if you aren’t already neck deep in this world, haha, but I’m so proud of them for finally reaching this point where they can perform on a stage this big. Here’s hoping that their March 19 show is only the beginning!

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The main thing you do in mahjong is draw a tile and discard a tile - doing that over many rounds to construct a large winning hand where all 14 tiles contribute to a pattern in your hand worth some number of points.
You can see what everyone else is discarding, and everyone is working with the same pool of tiles, and there are a couple ways you can take tiles discarded by other players - the main one being to call “ロン” if someone discards a tile that would complete your hand - if that happens, you win the round and take all your won points directly from the player who discarded that winning tile.
Since someone else calling ロン on you is bad, if you know someone is waiting for a last tile to complete your hand (which you may well do, since a player in that situation will often call リーチ to risk a little more points to increase the value of their hand if/when they do go out), a cautious player may choose what to discard based 100% on avoiding discarding the tile they think that person wants. Like even if discarding a six of characters would make my hand better, uh oh, that could be the tile they’re waiting on - better discard this wind tile instead, I can see from the discards that it’s definitely safe. That kind of thing.
Apparently doing that is called オリる. So rather than playing cautiously, she’s going to risk it and go for maximum points - which in general means going for riskier, less likely combinations of tiles.
There’s no folding in riichi mahjong but good guess! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I think you got it, I’d just add that this is a ludicrous hand. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: You would have to be incredibly lucky and very bold to go for it (for the reward if it happens, of tons of points and, I’m sure, a victory you’ll remember basically forever) (speaking as an extremely casual player of course).
The reason being that in normal mahjong play, you’ll be sorting your tiles roughly into pairs and groups of three to maximize the chance that the next tile you draw will be able to contribute to your hand. This hand is very very unusual in that there are no pairs and no trios and all the tiles involved are the ones worst for making pairs and trios - so essentially have to be dealt a hand so terrible it becomes incredibly lucky, and completely forsake normal play, instead just waiting and hoping you draw the remaining tiles you need on your own (since any method other than that for getting cards requires on trios).
When in tenpai (one tile away from a winning hand), a normal wait is like… 1 to 3 possible tiles. So a 13-tile wait is completely wild, and should mean a very very good chance of going out successfully, especially since they’re all tiles people playing normally might be likely to discard. (you still have to wait though… so much of mahjong is just tense waiting. Ugh imagine if someone ron’d you while you were on a 13-tile wait… it hurts just thinking about it…)
I don’t really know the most correct English terminology myself, but hopefully that adds some color for you at least!

I’m looking forward to the show at that venue too! I think I’m gonna try to avoid spoilers and watch TJPW’s show this weekend, then do the same for Stardom’s shows there next weekend (or whenver they upload them anyway) too. Should be fun!


Thank you so much for all of your help as usual! I’m impressed that you can understand mahjong!

There are just a couple more things I want to link before the show, in case anyone is interested. The first is Dramatic DDT’s preview for the show, which explains the basic story behind all of the matches. It’s a lot of repeated information if you’ve been reading my posts, haha, but it’s a nice summary!

The second thing I wanted to link is a little bit heavier, but it offers some important context. Recently, Hyper Misao made a really personal tweet about her own past before she discovered wrestling (which saved her life). Here’s her original tweet in Japanese, and here’s her own translation of it in English (tw: mentions of attempted suicide). This is what the summary linked above was referring to. Mr. Haku also linked to his translation of a blog post Misao wrote a few years ago which has some additional context, if you don’t already know her story.

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No problem! It’s purely because of the Yakuza series games :sweat_smile: They’ve all got mahjong built in as a side activity so early on I gave a shot at figuring it out and now every time I play one some chunk of hours gets burned drawing tiles and hoping for tsumo… Once you wrap your head around it, and that it’s largely a game about waiting and resisting the urge to do anything other than waiting… it’s fun! And kind of addicting!
(Incidentally, sort of off-topic, but that series is very very “pro wrestling” in general. The mix of earnest, dramatic emotional storytelling plus enthusiastic ridiculousness and stylish kayfabe violence is extremely similar, and NJPW wrestlers even cameo in multiple games!)


Say – speaking of those posters (which I agree are great - those tipping me off about the show on twitter / the back of shupro + your posts definitely have helped me be prepared and excited for the show, so thanks by the way!), one TJPW question I did have…

Why is Sakaguchi Black Jack?


Not that I’m complaining of course! I’m definitely all for a pro-wrestling Black Jack… And he pulls it off better than Joe Shishido
Is the joke that his already black and white hair + upper class = Black Jack so he became that way when joining up with Sakisama et. al? I honestly barely recognize him, I’m just going off the listed name and hardly trusting it!

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