The coronavirus pandemic has hit the pro wrestling world hard, causing canceled events, infections within companies, and restricted ticket sales. At a press conference on August 27, nine joshi wrestling promotions announced their new strategy for surviving these difficult times: they’re forming an alliance called Women’s Pro Wrestling Assemble, and they’re putting on a supershow.
Assemble isn’t the end or merging of any existing joshi promotions, but a team-up of Sendai Girls, Marvelous, Oz Academy, Pure-J, Seadlinnng, T-Hearts (a new group led by Yumiko Hotta), Wave, Stardom, and Ice Ribbon. That’s a who’s who of joshi wrestling organizations, and so was the press conference, attended by Chigusa Nagayo, Takumi Iroha, Mayumi Ozaki, Yumiko Hotta, freelancer Asuka, Dump Matsumoto, Meiko Satomura, Chihiro Hashimoto, Yoshiko, Command Bolshoi, Mari Manji, and Akira Hokuto. Hokuto, who presented Assemble’s announcements, specified that her involvement doesn’t mean she’s returning to the ring, but that she’ll “support this project as a retired joshi wrestler.”
— VENY????朱崇花 (@asuka10272140) August 27, 2020
Assemble’s first event will take place on October 1 at Tokyo’s Ueno Park, a supershow made up of matches from the promotions represented at the press conference (Sendai Girls, Marvelous, Pure-J, Seadlinnng, T-Hearts, and Oz Academy.) Wave, Ice Ribbon, and Stardom won’t participate in this show, may take part in future Assemble events. The show also won’t feature any inter-promotional action, but will be made up of matches from each participating company, serving more as a sampler of the joshi wrestling scene than a platform for dream matches.
Tickets to the October 1 event are available to purchase from each of the participating companies, along with information about the show’s anti-coronavirus safety measures. Assemble will require that audience members wear masks at the show, and get their temperature checked and disinfect their hands before entering the venue. Smoking and throwing streamers are banned and the seating chart is socially distanced.
So far Assemble hasn’t announced if or how its supershow can be watched remotely and/or internationally, but since Marvelous and Sendai Girls have streaming services and other promotions in Assemble use Nico Pro, it’s definitely possible that fans will be able to watch the Ueno Park action from their couches.