Written by MATCHA-PR
If you'd like to see a New Japan Pro-Wrestling match in person, check out this article! The writer will tell you about her first experience attending a wrestling match, and give you all the information required to enjoy this experience.
Written by MATCHA-PR
If you're a pro wrestling fan, then you owe it to yourself to see a live match at least once.
Hi everybody, my name is Hilary and I'm a Canadian who writes English content for MATCHA's website. In today's article, as a representative for wrestling fans, I'll be giving you a full report on what I experienced when I attended a New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) event right here in Tokyo!
For those interested in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling world, by all means, check out the following link before reading today's article.
The event I attended was the BEST OF THE SUPER Juniors 24, held on June 3rd, 2017 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. It's a large event that's held only once a year, and put on by New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the country's largest wrestling promotion company.
Consisting of pavilion number one and number two, the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was built for the 1964 summer olympics, and various events, athletic and otherwise, are held here every year.
Wrestling matches are mainly held in gymnasium number two. Inside the facility, the seating surrounds the arena floor area, offering good sightlines regardless of where you sit.
The closest station to the venue is JR Harajuku Station or Tokyo Metro's Meiji-Jingumae 'Harajuku' Station. However, please note that if you stop at and exit from JR Toei Subway's Yoyogi Station, you'll have a long walk to get to the gymnasium.
Same day tickets for events of this nature can be purchased at the walk-up ticket counter. Tickets can often sell out quickly, so if there's a match you'd really like to see, we highly recommend purchasing your ticket ahead of time. Today, many of the seats were already sold out.
To learn more about how to get tickets, please refer to the section on how to buy tickets in the following article.
Fans from various countries including the US, New Zealand and the Philippines, have also come to watch Japanese wrestling. The New Zealanders in the photo above became fans five years ago, and they told me that the New Japan Pro-Wrestling circuit has many international wrestlers and is filled with superstars galore.
When I spoke with some of the other fans who were visiting Japan, some mentioned the team called Bullet Club, which has a strong base of non-Japanese wrestlers, while others said that among Japanese wrestlers they especially liked Tetsuya Naito. In particular, it seems that junior heavyweight class wrestlers are popular among international fans.
Next, I ventured over to the wrestling goods shop and saw tons of interesting goods lined up. There were T-shirts, caps, and other clothing, a cushion in the shape of a champion belt, and miscellaneous goods, just to name some of the items I saw.
The one item that my eyes kept wandering back to, was this change purse in the shape of Jushin Thunder Liger's mask. It doesn't get any cuter than this!
This Los Ingobernables de Japón cap also looks pretty cool!
At the goods shop they also take into consideration the fact that some fans don't speak Japanese and might not know what to buy, so English speaking staff will be more than happy to help you out. All prices listed on the merchandise include tax, and the shop is open during the intermission and after all the wrestling matches are finished.
After buying your souvenirs, all you need to do is take your seat and wait for the festivities to begin. Venues sometimes have large video screens showing famous bouts from the past and CM-type promotions of the wrestlers headlining the event you're about to see.
These "young lion" wrestlers are giving it everything they've got!
Watching wrestling on TV or on the internet can be a lot of fun, but nothing beats watching a match in person. This was my first time to see a New Japan Pro-Wrestling event, but beginning with the opening match unfolding right in front of me, the experience clearly went beyond anything I had ever imagined!
Kenny Omega (right) holds out an umbrella in an attempt to help Marty Scurll (left), who looks like he's about to be taken down onto the mat.
This is star wrestler "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada. When these stars make their initial entrance, you can feel yourself getting excited.
The one wrestler I was especially cheering for was a fellow Canadian by the name of Kenny Omega. On this day, Kenny Omega and his partner competed against superstar Kazuchika Okada and his partner in a two-on-two tag team match.
I was so lucky to be able to see such a star-studded match.
Will Ospreay's powerful kick!
KUSHIDA comes out hard from the corner using his deadly technique called 'Back to the future'.
Finally the main event! The championship bout of BEST OF THE SUPER Juniors 24, featured Will Ospreay versus KUSHIDA.
Charging toward the outside of the ring while doing flips, and mounting an attack while using the rope as a spring board, these wrestlers employed superhuman-like movements one after the other. This was one match where I couldn't take my eyes off the action even for an instant!
KUSHIDA rejoicing in his victory with all the fans
After the three count it was all over. When KUSHIDA was announced as the winner of the BEST OF THE SUPER Juniors 24, the inside of the gymnasium was sheer pandemonium! The fans jumped for joy and as the victory run began, KUSHIDA's fans congratulated him as he passed by.
For me, this was one amazing experience that I'll never forget.
Fans are encouraged to enjoy the event freely, but let's keep some good manners to make this experience even more fun for everyone.
1. While a match is in progress, please don't leave your seat or stand up on your chair (exception: when a free-for-all occurs outside the ring).
2. If a free-for-all occurs and the wrestlers start coming in your direction, please follow arena staff instructions.
3. Videotaping and audio recording inside the gymnasium is strictly prohibited (but taking photos is ok).
4. Cheering is encouraged. If you're too shy to cheer, then, by all means, clap.
5. Shouting at and yelling obscenities at a wrestler, and doing something that might offend or interfere with another fan's enjoyment of the match is strongly discouraged.
If you're interested in learning more, watch this video (Japanese) featuring wrestlers asking fans to cooperate and have good manners.
Watching a wrestling event in person, packs a hundred times more power and enjoyment than watching it on TV!
For those who have yet to see a live match, how about making your wrestling fan debut right here in Japan during your next visit?
For information on upcoming matches and events, please refer to the official homepage or Facebook page.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling Facebook Page (Japanese)
Sponsored by New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co.,Ltd.