Back at the end of October, we attended our second live wrestling show, NJPW’s King of Pro Wrestling (KOPW).
KOPW is a much larger, more important show than then Best of the Super Jrs, with their biggest stars, larger arena, and higher stakes. This show takes place in Tokyo’s Royogoku Kokugigan Hall, which is where major Sumo matches are held. The seating on the lower level of the arena is made up of unique box-seats called masu. These seats fit up to four people (you are expected to share) and you sit, or lounge as if you are on the floor.
Here is the view from our seats about 30 mins before the show:
Here is a panorama, showing the rest of the arena. It’s a really nice building, and there’s not a bad seat in the house really:
Because of all the flashing lights, and rapid movement our old cameras weren’t really able to pick up the wrestlers, so instead I will show you pictures that someone else took.
NOTE: Again, these are not our pictures, but the person who took them had a similar angle to us.
The anime character, Tiger Mask made his real-world debut. People started freaking out because they realized that under the mask (he never took it off) was Kota Ibushi, a world famous wrestler who used to work for NJPW last year. He turned down a six-figure WWE contract so he could wrestle as a cartoon character in an exhibition match. He’s an interesting guy.
One of the Young Bucks, a sibling tag team.
Our favorite guy, Ricochet!
BUSHI, with the best masks in the biz:
Hiroshi Tanahashi and SANADA go at it:
Our other favorite guy Tetsuya Naito (and BUSHI’s mask) looks on:
Katsuyori Shibata retains his title belt:
Kenny Omega, our uh… other, other favorite guy taunts his opponent:
The main star of NJPW, Kazuchika Okada, aka “The Rainmaker,” arrives:
And retains his title belt:
All in all, it was a great show. Going to the sumo arena was interesting, and experiencing the masu seats was unique, but uncomfortable.