On January 6th, New Japan said goodbye to Jushin Thunder Liger. By wrestling at the Tokyo Dome on both the 4th and 5th Liger had made sure that during his thirty-five-year career (and he wasn’t far off hitting thirty-six) he’d wrestled in five decades. According to Cagematch, those five decades included 4205 matches (and let’s be honest, they’ll have missed a few) 113 of which took place in 2019. During that time, he arguably redefined the role of the Junior Heavyweight, becoming a star recognisable to anyone who has ever shared even a passing interest in the world of pro-wrestling.Continue reading
When you strip it down to its bare bones, Maki Itoh’s journey through the world of wrestling has been a desperate quest for acceptance. She entered this weird and wonderful form of entertainment feeling like idol had rejected her, chewing her up and spitting her out. To recover, she sought to prove herself in a different medium, one that bore similarities but allowed Itoh to be a lot more, well, Itoh.Continue reading
While most of the wrestling world’s attention was on the Tokyo Dome, or at the very least the NOAH show next door, there was a small group of around a hundred who were swimming against the current. For just a twenty-minute train ride away in Itabashi Green Hall, Miyako Matsumoto and Chris Brookes were taking part in a one-match card which was, well, a little bit different from what was going on in the echoey confines of the Dome.Continue reading
A quick note before I get started, I am going to be cutting down on the number of shows I review this year. I’ll still be doing a decent amount, but I want to write about some other things, and it’s hard to do that when you’re trying to keep up to date on multiple promotions. With companies like Stardom, I’ll pick and choose the exciting or noteworthy events while I wouldn’t expect in-depth reviews of every New Japan tournament (cheerio, Tag League). It’s a small change, but one I thought was worth mentioning.
Anyway, today I am going to have a look at Stardom’s second show of the year, which ended on an angle that saw them give the hornet’s nest a boot before 2020 had properly woken up.Continue reading
It’s the day after Wrestle Kingdom, and all through the house, everyone is stirring because New Japan had another fucking show. I didn’t go to this one because I nipped over to Osaka instead, but New Year Dash always throws a few curveballs our way and had a certain Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement ceremony, so I was going to watch it one way or another.Continue reading
My final wrestling show of the trip was once again in the Tokyo Dome where, on a stacked card, there was only really one match I cared about. It was time for Tetsuya Naito to fulfil his Destino, and if he didn’t, well, I’d be writing someone a very strongly worded letter.Continue reading
With Tokyo Joshi finished, it was time to go to the second most important show of the day. January 4th at the Tokyo Dome is a New Japan tradition, and even if they were running two dates there this year, there was something extra special about the first. Watching Wrestle Kingdom a few years ago got me into Japanese wrestling and, well, have a look around this site if you want to know how important that was to me. So, let’s find out what New Japan gave me on my first trip to their biggest show of the year.Continue reading
January 4th might be Tokyo Dome day, but it’s quickly becoming Tokyo Joshi day too. Before making my way to Wrestle Kingdom, I wandered into Korakuen for the final time on this trip to watch a show with one hell of a card. Could it live up to it? Time to find out.
As has been the norm for reviews from this holiday, don’t expect too much in-depth detail. I don’t take notes and it’s much harder to write long reviews off of memory alone.Continue reading
On the 3rd of January 2020, I equalled the number of wrestling shows that I went to in 2019. That’s primarily because I was saving money to come here, but still, it’s a step up. It was my third trip to Korakuen since I’d arrived in Japan that smashed in the equaliser and it was to see DDT all on their lonesome without the help of those scary boys in Big Japan. I was looking for laughs and good wrestling, did they deliver? Let’s find out.Continue reading
January the second was Stardom time! Wrestle Kingdom may have been the initial inspiration for this trip, but let’s not beat around the bush, I was just as excited about watching Stardom. I’ve fallen in love with this company over the last year and having reviewed every show (I think, I certainly didn’t miss many) of 2019, being at their first of 2020 was a no-brainer. I was sober and fully with it, so I’ll be returning to the traditional structure. However, don’t expect any great analysis of the matches themselves because I was not taking notes.Continue reading