JAPANESE WRESTLING

Not Just the Fourth Pillar: The Essential Akira Taue

Few things in wrestling fandom grind my gears as much as Akira Taue slander. If you only have a cursory knowledge of Akira Taue, then you might know him as “The Fourth Pillar.” For much of the last two decades, there has been a general assumption among most fans of…

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Akira Taue Toshiaki Kawada AJPW

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Violento Jack vs. Tomoya Hirata Showcased the Present of Deathmatch Wrestling

Since its birth in 2009, Japanese indie deathmatch promotion Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS has been quietly making a case for being the best deathmatch promotion in the world. Home to legends like Jun Kasai, Takashi Sasaki and recent breakout star Toru Sugiura, as well as frequent stomping grounds of in-demand freelancers…

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Tomoya Hirata Violento Jack

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FanFyte’s Best of the Month: November 2021

We’re a bit into December now—dogs are wearing sweaters, people are arguing about whether nor not egg nog is good (it’s good!), and sites like ours are gearing up for a barrage of end of the year retrospective articles. We have plenty of those forthcoming, covering a wide spread of…

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eddie kingston daniel garcia

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HARASHIMA and Kazusada Higuchi Kicked Off the D-oh Grand Prix with a Bang

For my money, DDT is the best promotion running in Japan today. Their mix of high-level main event wrestling combined with its famous undercard silliness makes it one of the most consistently entertaining promotions in the entire world. Its roster is filled to bursting with some of the most talented…

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The Kento Miyahara/Jake Lee Generation: On AJPW’s Top Feud

This coming Saturday, 10/16/2021, All Japan Pro Wrestling will hold Champions Night II, which will bring back to the forefront, for the Triple Crown Championship, challenger Kento Miyahara vs. champion Jake Lee. The history of any pro wrestling promotion worth its salt can be traced by the rivalries that define…

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WRESTLING

The Unreality of Gatoh Move

There is a sequence in the episode 53 of Gatoh Move’s weekly #ChocoPro series where Mei Suruga attempts to pin Ryo Mizunami using one of the metal shutters that closes over the glass of the repurposed dentist’s office that is the promotion’s home in Ichigaya, Tokyo. As the referee counts…

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NJPW G1 Climax 30 Nights 3-4 Review: Breath Heavily with the Switchblade

Previously on NJPW G1 Climax 30, many real-life things about wrestling are terrible, but Ishii and Suzuki, Naito and Tanahashi, and a bunch of other wrestlers still tore the house down on the first two nights of the tournament. New Japan Pro Wrestling hit Hokkaido on September 23-24, 2020, for…

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NJPW G1 Climax 30 Nights 1-2 Review: The Most G1derful Time of the Year

G1 Climax 30, New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s sixth out of seven tournaments so far this year, begins with two nights in Osaka. These September 19-20 G1 shows don’t totally avoid the worst things about wrestling in 2020, but they deliver, soundtracked by organic crowd noise, some of New Japan’s most…

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When NJPW Ignores #SpeakingOut Allegations Against Wrestlers, How Can Fans Respond?

Recently, I wrote about New Japan Pro Wrestling’s choice to ignore allegations made about Chase Owens and Will Ospreay during Speaking Out, with a focus on Ospreay’s situation since it’s less straightforward, he just started wrestling for NJPW again after months of pandemic-induced time on the bench, and he seems…

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Welcomed with Open Arms: The Importance of NJPW Ignoring Allegations Against International Talent

As the 2020 G1 Climax approached, fans wondered how New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s annual heavyweight tournament would look in the time of a global pandemic. Travel restrictions in place because of COVID-19 had kept members of the NJPW roster who lived outside of Japan from entering the country for months,…

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NJPW New Japan Road 9/5-6 Review: A Classic Bushi And Hiromu Mess Around

After one of the most fun major wrestling shows of the coronavirus era, New Japan Pro Wrestling scales things way down for two nights in Chiba. The September 5-6 New Japan Road shows feature the first four matches of a four-team tournament for the junior tag titles, plus wrestlers giving…

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NJPW Summer Struggle In Jingu Review: Deliver Us From Evil

Previously on New Japan Pro Wrestling: two shows that were not all that fun. This time on New Japan Pro Wrestling: the opposite! Take me out of the ballgame (field where they’re having a wrestling show) Summer Struggle in Jingu was easily the most fun NJPW show of the coronavirus…

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NJPW Summer Struggle 8/26-27 Review: The One With KOPW

After a tournament to crown new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions in Japan and one to decide the new number one contender to the IWGP U.S. Championship in the States, New Japan Pro Wrestling returns with yet another, weirder tournament that was bizarre in unexpected ways, but still isn’t…

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Women’s Pro Wrestling Assemble Unites Joshi Promotions For A Supershow

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…

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NJPW Summer Struggle 8/6-9 Review: A Better Tomorrow

In the cacophony of questions about New Japan Pro Wrestling after Evil joined Bullet Club, one of the quieter ones was “Wait, what’s going to happen to the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championships?” The four-and-a-half-year-old trios titles were arguably NJPW’s least important— often all but ignored for months at a time.…

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NJPW Summer Struggle 7/31 Review: The Strongest 52-Year-Olds

New Japan Pro Wrestling continued to struggle its way through our pandemic summer this Friday with a show that featured a Minoru Suzuki vs. Yuji Nagata main event, while the roster’s other beef continued to marinate. But before we get into that, let’s go over the big developments NJPW announced…

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The Title Belt As Phallic Symbol: NJPW Summer Struggle 7/26-27/20 Review

After a lackluster Sengoku Lord, New Japan Pro Wrestling returned to Korakuen Hall for the first two nights of Summer Struggle, the mostly relatably named wrestling tour of the year. These July 26 and 27 NJPW shows start us down the ROAD TO THE BASEBALL FIELD, with tag matches furthering…

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Dick Togo Wears A White Suit: NJPW Sengoku Lord 2020 Review

The main event of NJPW‘s Sengoku Lord in Nagoya was set up with betrayal, shock, and screaming over blasting organ music. But despite the dramatic hook and high stakes for Evil vs. Hiromu, the July 25 event is one of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s weaker big shows. There are highlights,…

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Highway to Hell: NJPW New Japan Road 7/20/2020

After a Dominion that broke everyone’s hearts and brains, NJPW‘s July 20 New Japan Road event introduces fans to the company’s new normal. It’s New Japan’s first show under the reign of the King of Darkness and the first episode of what could be called regular NJPW TV of the…

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NJPW Review: New Japan Cup Final and Dominion 2020

Before we get into the matches and developments from New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s 2020 New Japan Cup Final and Dominion shows, let’s take a moment to think back to another time. It’s July 3. You’re taking a break from the bleakness of Corona-world to escape into the drama of the…

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