Mathew returns to opinion pieces! This time he tackles a topic that pops up far more often than it should. Let’s see what he has to say about Joshi.
Back in the saddle now with one of the topics that have been coming up as of late and that is, of course, the fans wanting New Japan Pro Wrestling to have a Joshi division (women’s division).
People have been asking this a lot lately and some people think it would benefit their product, especially for those for the western audience but with how NJPW is. It seems like they won’t budge with that since they’re already stacked as it is to the point where they would hardly be used. Plus, the cameramen would just be too focused on ass shots like they do with most of the females that they wouldn’t be focused on the wrestling. Sure, it would be great for exposure to be on one of the biggest promotions in Japan to have more eyes on the women but let me ask you this.
Would you rather just have a couple of women take up one spot on the card or would you rather watch them have their own show?
Or better yet, how about I just ask a different question.
Why don’t you just support Joshi wrestling without men?
The Joshi market is big in Japan and they have been for many years. In 1968, AJW or All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling was formed and it was known as one of the greatest promotions for the longest time as they would dominate the market from the ’60s all the way to the ’90s. That’s nearly thirty years they were a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, they would close their doors in 2005 due to money issues and among other things but, they were known as one of the longest-running promotions around for 37 years, only behind both NJPW and AJPW.
Despite AJW gone, there’s still plenty of promotions around that are still incredibly popular. We got Stardom that has been more globally known compared to the others, Pro Wrestling WAVE, Sendai Girls, Ice Ribbon, Gatoh Move, OZ Academy, Tokyo Joshi Pro, Marvelous, World Women Pro-Wrestling Diana, Pure-J, Actwres girl’Z, and SEAdLINNNG.
These are the promotions that focus on all women and very rare that men will be involved and even then, they’re not really needed either. Some of them even have streaming services that you can subscribe too, along with some posting their matches on Youtube for free. Another way to watch is if you do have Samurai TV or Nico Nico. Hell, some shows would be fully uploaded once they’re done broadcasting and they will be easy to find online once that happens.
Ice Ribbon: https://t.co/bLD7QKza2c
Gatoh Move: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2HtPsU4U7TNSv2mSbPkj0w
These are the ones that I’m aware of with streaming services along with some that can be accessed, but the others can be found and if you want, I highly recommend that people can read this article for a basic idea to Joshi wrestling. It has a list of promotions, where to watch them, a brief explanation to what Joshi is, it’s a great read and I’ll post the link down below for you guys to read.
The point that I’m trying to get at is that New Japan doesn’t need a Joshi division because they’re already a big company without the need of it and why cram something in there when you can just watch a whole show dedicated to just the women of the art and actually be really good at it? There was one tweet I found that can sum it up pretty nicely. “No matter how good of a pro wrestler you *think* you are, there are at least 3 tiny Japanese women you’ve never heard of that can blow your ass out of the water” and you know what? He’s right.
I love Joshi wrestling and that’s one of the things I do cover on here and the ones I don’t fully cover, I make sure I make some time to watch them because I love how they wrestle in the ring and it’s just as good as the men, if not better. I really hoped that I helped you to the first step into this journey and if people can try to find different products to follow in the UK or United States, then I’m sure you can do the same for the Japanese wrestling scene. There’s plenty to watch if you just open up your horizons and it’s okay to follow different promotions in Japan. It’s not like Gedo is going to come to your house and break your legs if you do.