Fave 5 Japanese Pro Wrestling (Puroresu – プロレス) Promotions
Puroresu (プロレス) is the popular term for the predominant style or genre of professional wrestling that has developed in Japan. The term comes from the Japanese pronunciation of “professional wrestling” (プロフェッショナル・レスリング), which is shortened to puroresu. In this sense, puroresu could be transliterated as pro-wres. The term became popular among English-speaking fans due to Hisaharu Tanabe’s activities in the online Usenet community. Growing out of origins in the traditional American style of wrestling, it has become an entity in itself. Japanese pro wrestling is distinct in its psychology and presentation of the sport. It is treated as a legitimate fight, with fewer theatrics; the stories told in Japanese matches are about a fighter’s spirit and perseverance. In strong style, the style most typically associated with puroresu, full contact martial arts strikes and shoot submission holds are implemented.
The first Japanese to involve himself in catch wrestling, the basis of traditional professional wrestling, was former sumo wrestler Sorakichi Matsuda. There were subsequent attempts before and after World War II to popularize the sport in Japan, but these generally failed until the advent of its first big star, Rikidōzan, in 1951, who became known as the “father” of the sport. Rikidōzan brought the sport to tremendous popularity with his Japanese Wrestling Association (JWA) until his murder in 1963. Following his death, Puroresu thrived, creating a variety of personalities, promotions and styles. It has also created a mass of other cultural icons in Japan including: Giant Baba, Antonio Inoki, Keiji Mutoh/The Great Muta, Mitsuharu Misawa, and Kenta Kobashi. Throughout the years, a number of promotions have opened and closed, but a few have persisted to remain the most popular and thriving companies: New Japan Pro Wrestling is currently considered by many as the top promotion with All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah as viable competition. Japan also has countless shows on the independent circuit, which still sees great success despite their inability to compete with bigger promotions.
A Fresh start for All Japan Pro-Wrestling – AJPW’s re-branding – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-5QRqyJOYY
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