So you’ve may have heard of New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) but you may not really know about it. It has, in a short period of time, become popular among casual wrestling fans here in the United States in a short amount of time. There have been matches that New Japan has had that has recently captivated the attention of the casual American wrestling fan. There are two matches that stick out in my mind that have taken place in the last year. The first being Ricochet vs Will Osperay and then Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada. These matches are considered classic matches in wrestling history!
Let me make it known that New Japan has been around since 1972 and was founded by Antonio Inoki. Some of the greatest superstars of wrestling have been in a New Japan ring. Men from my childhood like The Great Muta, Masahiro Chono, Jushin “Thunder” Liger (who is still active), and Kensuke Sasake who are all Japanese wrestlers but there are also a plethora of wrestlers that made their name in America that have wrestled for New Japan. Men like Andre the Giant, Owen Hart and Kurt Angle just to name a few. (for the younger fans reading this, Daniel Brian, Neville and Finn Balor have been a part of New Japan also.)
The thing that I as a wrestling fan loves about the New Japan style is that you don’t have to know storylines or watch promos to understand what is going on in the ring. The matches may be a little longer than what one may be used to on American television, however, the story that is told in the ring by these athletes transcends the language barrier (for those of us that do not speak Japanese.)
The man formerly known as C.J. Parker, went to New Japan and reinvented himself and has a large female fanbase in Japan. Those of us that grew up during the Attitude Era may remember a man by the name of Prince Albert. He journeyed to Japan to become The Giant Bernard and became a huge star. (No pun intended.) Wrestlers like Michael Elgin that are big names on the indie scene are wrestlers in New Japan.
The versatility in styles that you see in New Japan are second to none. There are all types of matches on every card. For a little under ten dollars a month you can watch New Japan on demand and watch a ton of wrestling and not have to watch commercials and just do what wrestling fans want to do……Watch wrestling and enjoy it!
Author – Brandon E. Lewis @Wrestle_Tech
Editor – Rene Martinez @WrestleTalkCast