Stardom 9th Anniversary Show (19/1/20) Review

Image
Our champion. Credit: Stardom

On their 9th birthday Stardom did something they’d never done before and packed Korkauen Hall right up to the balcony. That famous old venue was bursting at the seams, and it was a beautiful sight. Yes, you can point to the advertising power of Bushiroad, but a card headlined by Mayu vs Momo is one of the biggest Stardom can deliver, and it had the crowd it deserved. Now, it was down to the wrestlers to impress.

Continue reading

Stardom High Speed Grand (11-12/1/20) Prix Review

Image
Credit: Stardom

Stardom has decided to blow away the January blues with a little tournament. The High Speed Grand Prix is a five-person round-robin where the two people with the most points will face-off in the final with the winner challenging for Riho’s title. It seemed like the perfect slab of wrestling to follow along with, and the three matches reviewed below came from the two Osaka shows on January 11th plus the Shizuoka show from the 12th.

Continue reading

Maki Itoh vs Thunder Rosa: The Quest For Acceptance

Itoh falls. Credit: TJPW

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

Miyako Matsumoto vs Chris Brookes: Genius Through Chaos

Satisfaction through agony. Credit: Gake No Fuchi

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

Stardom New Year Stars (3/1/20) Review

Image
Friendships mended. Credit: Stardom

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

NJPW New Year Dash (6/1/20) Review

The big goodbye. Credit: NJPW

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

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom (4/1/20) Review

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Credit: NJPW

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

TJPW Tokyo Joshi Pro '20 (4/1/20) Review

A moment of respect. Credit: TJPW

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

DDT New Year Special 2020! (3/1/20) Review

New belt boys. Credit: DDT

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

Stardom New Years Stars (2/1/20) Review

Image
Credit: Stardom

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