Wrestling with Japan

First of all, I’m talking about American WWE style wrestling, not Sumo. Think Hulk Hogan, The Rock, or John Cena. Not Akebono, or Hakuho.

Wrestling is quite popular in Japan, and has been since the end of World War II. Every year, the main promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) holds an event called Best of the Super Juniors, which features mostly younger wrestlers with smaller builds competing to win the Junior Heavyweight Championship via a round-robin tournament.

As luck would have it our favorite wrestler, Ricochet, is competing in this tournament and he has a couple of matches in Tokyo.

Here is the intro video giving some basic information about the wrestlers: 

 

You may notice that some of the Japanese wrestlers are more flamboyant than their American counterparts. The best example of this is Jushin Thunder Liger (translated to Beast-God Thunder Liger), a very popular wrestler who has been in the ring for almost 30 years, and still manages to put on a good show for fans. He’s a famous and beloved wrestler in Japan, and not only has the best name and costume, but the best theme song as well: 

There were some great exhibition matches for heavyweight Japanese wrestlers such as Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and Kenny Omega (an American wrestler nicknamed “The Cleaner” who comes out with a broom and trash can. He’s great.), as well as some intense official tournament matches.

But, none more intense than Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay. Not only was it a phenomenal wrestling match, but one of the most impressive demonstrations of human physicality and athleticism I’ve ever seen. The crowd loved it. I’ve never seen Japanese people get so excited.

Here is the match in full HD. Quick note: a wrestler loses if their shoulders are pinned for a 3-count, or they “tap out,” or are out of the ring for 20 seconds. 

 

We took some pictures during the event, but only a few turned out well; here they are:IMG_1151.JPGThis was the view about 20 mins before the match from where we were sitting. There’s not really a bad seat in the house.

IMG_1163.JPGWrestlers Beretta and Bobby Fish grappling on the corner ropes.

IMG_1171.JPGWrestler Hirooki Goto’s awesome outfit.

IMG_1176.JPGWrestler Kazuchika Okada basks in the glory.

IMG_1191.JPGA luchador from Mexico, Volador Jr. comes out with a light-up jacket.

IMG_1202.JPGJushin Thunder Liger in all his glory.

IMG_1218.JPGWill Ospreay representing British wrestling.

IMG_1227.JPGAnd our guy Ricochet, after showing off his Tag Team Championship belt.

It really was a great experience, and we may try and see similar events in the future.

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5 Responses to Wrestling with Japan

  1. Robert w. Goldfarb says:

    The scope of your interests–ramen to restlying–is phenomenal. You are ingesting your Japanese experience. I will watch the match when I get to my computer. Your blogs are a joy to me and Bubby. Keep me coming. P

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. Leda says:

    I love this post!! Is Ricochet from the US? I’m assuming you didn’t eat, or you would have mentioned it (haha). Miss you guys!!
    xoxoxo, Aunt Leda

    Like

    • Onionknight says:

      Yes, Ricochet is from America. Kentucky, specifically.

      Actually, we did eat nearby before the event, but the post was already really long, so I decided to post that part later.

      Like

  3. deb92024 says:

    Thank goodness you’re living a refined life in Japan!

    Like

  4. Shanna Bryant says:

    The Thunder Beast guy is totally awesome. Glad to see you were raised up right!

    Like

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