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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Joshi Puroresu - Japanese Women's Wrestling

    Whether it's the classic days of AJPW Women's Pro Wrestling and Aja Kong, or the more contemporary fare offered by the likes of Stardom, I know that there's some fans of Joshi out there. So here's a thread to cover the women of Japanese Wrestling.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    One of my absolute favorite styles, from the days of AJW (no P, Pete!) to the modern day.

    I've got a huge love for some of the 80s stuff, especially anything involving Dump Matsumoto, one of my all time favorites.

    The 90s stuff holds up as some of the most hard hitting, incredible stuff ever. Aja Kong is right at the forefront but you've got to talk about the likes of Bull Nakano, Dynamite Kansai, and the all time great Manami Toyota of course. And again, that's really just scratching the surface. If you want to see one of the best matches of all time, look no further:



    Don't know much about the 00s to be honest, as joshi hit some snags in that period, but in the 10s there's been a tremendous amount of great stuff. I particularly recommend the work of two women who are contenders for best wrestler in the world right now, regardless of gender, Io Shirai and Meiko Satomura.

    Stardom is the company that is going strongest over there right now, though there are surprisingly large number of women's promotions running at any given time. The ongoing top feud in the company right now is Io Shirai's Queen's Quest stable taking on Kagetsu's nefarious Oedo Tai group. Kagetsu is another awesome current talent that I definitely recommend getting into, if you can.

    My other favorite current group is the Satomura run promotion, Sendai Girls, which features not only Satomura herself but a still going strong Aja Kong, and one of the most promising young talents in the world, Chihiro Hashimoto. Lots of great stuff to see, for sure!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    One of my absolute favorite styles, from the days of AJW (no P, Pete!) to the modern day.
    It's a dull fact but I don't think I have ever seen it as initials before. Have only ever seen it written out in full. And presumably in some Japanese script that wouldn't have meant a lot to me.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Believe me, it always threw me as well because it seems to just completely skip a word! It could be an Americanization to distinguish from All Japan in the tape trader days. No idea, honestly!

  5. #5
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Anything with Toyota/Nakano/Hokuto is an automatic great match if it is a big show.

    I'm not as big into Joshi as I probably should be, but I will say this. If you watch stuff from teh 90s, you'll realize just as influential they were to the wrestling industry as a whole:


    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Also, I have never seen mats that look as fucking hard as those 90s AJW mats. They look like there's fucking marble under the tarps most of the time.

  7. #7
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    Speaking more contemporary, has anyone seen the STARDOM main from Dream Slam a few weeks ago? Sounds like a pretty lengthy tag match, was wondering how it went.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    The exploding bat match? I haven't seen it yet but I am planning to check it out soon! I don't really have any idea what that's going to look like, or why they're doing an FMW tribute gimmick match out of nowhere, but pretty much anything with Io Shirai and Kagetsu is likely to be good!

    I really do dig the Queen's Quest vs. Oedo Tai storyline. The recent development for earlier this year is Oedo Tai lost a match which stipulated they had to lose one of their members, and that member was Tam Nakano, a young wrestler who was getting really popular. She's come over to the face side as a result and has ended up opposing Oedo Tai over time. It's been fun to watch Nakano, who originally left Oedo Tai under good terms, slowly be forced to confront the fact that her former friends are a lot less fun when they're on the other side of the ring from you.

  9. #9
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I haven't been following Stardom much this year, so thanks for the synopsis on the storyline. Sounds like a good one taking place.

    I've seen gifs of the recent Shirai / Kagetsu match online and those spots have looked impressive. It definitely looks like a must-see match.

    I also read that Konami is now an official full-time member of the Stardom roster, so I'm guessing they'll have huge plans for her in the company.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    I think I've only seen Konami once but I admit I didn't really get a big impression off of her at the time.

    My favorite joshi match of the year so far actually comes from Sendai Girls, which has really cemented itself in my mind as the #2 women's promotion in the world over the past couple years, at least in terms of quality. The match is the legendary Meiko Satomura vs. Ayako Hamada, and it's a doozy. I'd rank it top 10 of the year so far on my personal list, and my favorite match from Japan this year, with all respect to the hyped New Japan matches.



    A sad post-note to that match is that earlier this month Hamada was arrested for drug related charges, and all companies in Japan cut ties with her pretty much right away. I don't know what kind of crime the charges are linked to, but Japan is very serious about drug offenses so this might be the end for Hamada, which completely sucks.

  11. #11
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    There are rumors popping up again that Io Shirai has apparently been offered another WWE contract, pending another physical examination. I guess the issues she had last year (some heart condition?) has been dealt with.

    There's also some rumors saying that Shirai wasn't the only Stardom talent that the WWE reached out to. I know that Toni Storm is signed to a WWE contract already, so if there's more women that the WWE is targeting, that's going to be a significant blow to the company. I don't know how to feel about that. I'm happy that some of these women are getting very well-deserved chances at gaining huge exposure worldwide, but it seems to be at the expense of a company's livelihood.

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    It's a case of "I'll believe it when I see it" with Io. I definitely believe WWE is interested again, but her injury history might turn them away again when they take a close look.

    I too, as always, have mixed feelings about the news. On the one hand, I love Stardom and losing their #1 performer isn't good. On the other hand, if the last few years have taught us anything, it's that when WWE starts eating up all the talent it can find, new talent usually steps up and takes it's place. I remember thinking the indys would be depleted in a few years when this all started, but they're going stronger than ever in a lot of ways. Hopefully the same happens here. They're already got the likes of Kagetsu, Mayu Iwatani, Natsu Sumiri, Hana Kimura, AZM, and Tam Nakano available, and that's just to name a few of my favorites over there, and that's without even thinking of people that might come to Stardom from other joshi promotions.

    Plus, I can't deny I love the idea of Io Shirai vs. Asuka!!
    Last edited by mizfan; 05-29-2018 at 11:09 AM.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    That's certainly true. It's a bit like the old territory days, isn't it? Guys like JYD and Ron Garvin could be on top and draw money in places and then never really be 'the guy' when everything condensed into one or two big promotions. There's always enough starpower out there, it's just a case of people being in the right place and time to get the chance to showcase it. I think Cody is the biggest example of that we've had lately, but you could name any number of people who've flourished who either a) didn't do it in one company or another, such as Okada in TNA, or b) wouldn't ever get the chance to do it somewhere like the WWE because they'd be pigeon-holed.

    In short, the opportunity would be there for someone else and if they don't run with the ball, the next in line probably will.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    Yeah, and WWE becoming a talent collector means there is more motivation than ever to step up, because spots are a lot more available than they used to be and there's a good chance of making a real job of it once you get to the top of your promotion/region/whatever. I do wonder if the bubble will pop eventually, but we don't seem to be in danger at the moment.

    In other Joshi news, I did finally watch the Exploding Bat Death Match that Stardom did a little while back. Really enjoyed it, there was a lot of hot brawling but not much "death match" stuff, which is fine with me because I'm not into that Big Japan style where people really get carved up and covered in scars. The exploding bat itself is something they built up very well and only used a couple times, and sold like death when it happened. I'm sure it was gimmicked to hell to be safe, mostly just sparks, but it was a great visual and it did start a small fire at one point!!! Not the hands down best Stardom match of the year but a lot of fun, well worth checking out.


  15. #15
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    That's a crazy-looking picture. I had no idea Stardom did matches like these.

    It seems that the WWE really wants Shirai, so who knows if they're conveniently overlooking her past medical issues.

    I think that there is some truth to what both of you were discussing, about others stepping up when talent is depleted for whatever reason. My concern is mostly that women's wrestling is spread pretty thin here. There are way too many Joshi promotions here in Japan - every week it seems I discover a new one. And although I don't follow any of them, in my opinion the vast majority of them have pretty weak rosters. I honestly don't think there are many females that can step up to those roles.

    Who knows, maybe I'm wrong and some of those 13- or 14-year-old girls I saw wrestling in shows before suddenly flourish and there's a mid-90s renaissance of sorts in Japanese women's wrestling.

  16. #16
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    The new generation of talent coming through is one thing, but the other is just that a lot of people surprise you when they finally get put in the slot. It's only then that you find out what they can really do, it seems.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  17. #17
    The Brain
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    I think that kind of match is rare for Stardom. I'm not sure why they decided to bust it out, but I'm glad they did. It was something cool and different, and well executed to boot!

    I don't think there's anyone currently in joshi as good as Io Shirai, except maybe Meiko Satomura, but I do think there's a lot of high level talent if you know where to look. I think the person who ultimately steps into Io's shoes is going to be Chihiro Hashimoto, who works mostly out of Sendai Girls right now. She's only 25 but she is damn good. Lots of other top talent out there too, although I completely agree there are too many damn joshi promotions and they'd probably be better off if a few of them merged together.

  18. #18
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Here, watch. You get in depth out of wrestling stuff from Bull Nakano and Manami Toyota.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  19. #19
    The Brain
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    That looks like an awesome find indeed!

    Speaking of awesome, I have found a new bonafide MOTY contender. I consider this at least top 5 for the year so far in any style, let alone just for joshi or women. Highly, highly recommended!


  20. #20
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The video got taken down before I got a chance to see it

    Last night was Io Shirai's farewell match in Stardom, drawing over 1500 to Korakuen Hall. I'm sure the company will miss her but it seems they're in good hands with the talent they have right now.

  21. #21
    The Brain
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    Russian youtube to the rescue!

    Shirai vs. Satomura

    Really am sad to see her go, hopefully WWE understands they have one of the best wrestlers on the planet on hand with her.

  22. #22
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    There's rumblings that Meiko Satomura will be a part of this year's Mae Young Classic, along with the WWE-bound Io Shirai. That's pretty huge, and good for her to get that much-deserved exposure to that audience.

  23. #23
    The Brain
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    Man, that'd be very cool! Those two are very probably the two best female wrestlers in the world today. I kind of doubt Satomura will come into WWE full time but that's ok, I think she'll knock it out of the park regardless and hopefully raise the profile of Sendai Girls, which has been really good lately.

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