Lulu Pencil probably shouldn’t be a wrestler. All those people who claim they could snap Kenny Omega over one knee would be telling the truth if they made the same claim about The Pencil. Her long, skinny frame does not look like it should be involved in physical sport, appearing much more suited to the world of a freelance writer, the job she does when she’s not prowling the mats of Ichigaya. However, Lulu Pencil is a wrestler, and an inspiring one at that.
For roughly a year into her career, we’re seeing Lulu turn into something genuinely special. Yes, she still doesn’t look like the oiled-up gods that most people picture when they hear the words pro-wrestling, but she’s come a hell of a long way since she tapped out umpteen times in a three-minute exhibition with Yunamon. In that time, the character of Lulu has evolved, seeing her go from someone who couldn’t execute the most basic of moves to a person who can last in the ring with the likes of Baliyan Akki and Emi Pencil.
But while I love that in-ring character and her desperate battle to earn that precious first victory, I’m even more in love with the one outside of it. Lulu, as I said, shouldn’t be a pro-wrestler, and she knows it. Take a look down her Twitter feed and you’ll quickly realise that she appreciates how ridiculous this is. ‘The fact that I can be a pro-wrestler proves the infinity possibilities of pro-wrestling.’ You get the impression that she still can’t believe this is all happening.
And yet it is. Lulu Pencil has done what so many fans like to pretend they could do. She has spotted something that she wants to be a part and pushed herself to do it. I may not have wrestled, but I am very confident in my assertion that it hurts, a lot, and yet Lulu has battled through that. She’s not only got to the stage where she’s a solid worker but has managed to build a career based on subverting and twisting the genre, unpicking its tropes and showing a lot more understanding of it than some of the supposed kings of work rate.
Sadly, that also means she’ll be largely dismissed as a ‘meme wrestler’, ignored by those who we’ve randomly decided are the arbitrators of what is good and what is bad. It’s a shame because in Lulu you have the living, breathing embodiment of what makes wrestling so brilliant. Anyone should be able to find a home in it, and thankfully, Emi Sakura understands that. I’m not sure how many wrestling schools Lulu Pencil could have turned up to and had the career she has, but damn am I glad it was Darejyo.
“I’m not strong, I may be weak, but I am a pro wrestler because of you! Because of ChocoPro! Thank you very much. Pro-wrestling is wonderful. Thank you for staying with me! Pro-wrestling is infinity!” – Lulu Pencil
I’ve spoken a million times about how much wrestling means to me. About how, despite its flaws and its horrors, it’s allowed me to carve out a little spot that I love. Watching Lulu Pencil, I see someone who has found that same thing. In this crazy, messed-up world, wrestling appears to give her something that she might not have found elsewhere. Watching her figure that out and fall in love with it is incredible and that’s what I want wrestling to be. It’s what it should be. And Lulu Pencil is living proof that it can be exactly what.
Thanks to their No Pay Wall initiative, all Gatoh Move and ChocoPro content is available for free on Gatoh Move’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2HtPsU4U7TNSv2mSbPkj0w