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Attending Japanese women’s pro wrestling live for the first time ever – and having an absolute blast

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

Several of our writers here at SoraNews24 are big fans of pro wrestling, and they aren’t afraid to show it. They’ll dress up like famous wrestlers, uncover underground wrestling rings, and even test wrestling moves (and stretchy jeans) in the office. Unfortunately, there’s been a bit of gap in our knowledge of wrestling in Japan, which our reporter Kouhey, who is a big fan of all kinds of combat sports, recently realized: He’d never been to see women’s wrestling.

Up until recently, Kouhey himself couldn’t say he knew much about women’s wrestling. He’d seen it occasionally on TV but had never really taken the time to learn about it. But after going down a rabbit hole of videos on YouTube, he found himself with a desire to see it live–so he went to an event and learned why it’s some of the best entertainment out there.

The event he went to was the Marvelous 7th Anniversary Tournament, which was held at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on May 3. “Marvelous” is the name of a female wrestling organization based out of Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture, just east of Tokyo. It was founded by Chigusa Nagayo, a member of the legendary pro wrestling duo Crush Girls, which was active in the heyday of Showa-era women’s wrestling.

Kouhey has been to Korakuen Hall numerous times to watch various martial arts competitions, but never wrestling events. In fact, he’d never seen pro wrestling live in his life, which was probably because, for a long while, he’d only been interested in strike-based combat sports. Since this would be his first live wrestling event, he was pretty excited.

Sadly, though the event opened at 10:45, Kouhey had appointments in the morning that he couldn’t get out of, so he didn’t arrive at Korakuen Hall until about 12 p.m.


The place was packed, with nearly every seat taken. Since Kouhey hadn’t known much about women’s pro wrestling–only really about the famous wrestlers of the past–he had assumed that it was in decline, but he was clearly wrong.

Kouhey had purchased a “Designated A-level Section Social Seat” for 8,800 yen, so he was just three rows away from the front. The matches took place right before his very eyes, and amazingly enough, Chigusa Nagayo herself was standing ringside, working a camera.


The fourth match was just about to begin when Kouhey arrived at the hall. He was excited to see two pro wrestlers from the golden age of women’s wrestling in the ring: Jaguar Yokota and Kyoko Inoue.


Their opponents were the tag-team duo Magenta, featuring up-and-coming Marvelous wrestlers Riko Kawabata and Maria.


The youngsters and the legends were going head to head. As soon as the match began, the electricity in the room amplified.


The space was filled with the smashing of moves unleashed and the cheers of the crowd. The two ladies in the audience beside Kouhey were cheering so loud they were almost screaming. The crowd’s response when they did aerial techniques was insane. The enthusiasm of the fans was off the charts! You can’t compare the experience to watching it through a TV screen.

In the end, after a long battle, the youngsters lost to the legends.


The promo in between was just as entertaining. Honestly, the whole affair was incredibly fun. It only took one match for Kouhey to see the appeal of a live wrestling show. Compared to a live martial arts competition, the energy in the room and of the crowd was very different.


The next match, the fifth, featured the ace of Marvelous, Takumi Iroha, and when she entered the venue, the crowd went wild. The cheers from the women in the audience were especially loud. Kouhey thought it was awesome.


Her opponent was Sayaka Unagi, another highly popular wrestler, and this match was heated.


In the end, Takumi Iroha won, but after that, a wrestler named Mayumi Ozaki from OZ, another wrestling faction, infiltrated the event and attacked her.


Kouhey has seen this kind of thing on TV multiple times, but when it happens right before your eyes, you get a whole other sense of anticipation. The crowd watched their exchange in tense quiet, and Nagayo also observed the goings-on with sharp eyes.


Before Kouhey knew it, the final match for the championship belt had come. It was a one-on-one match between the reigning champion Chikayo Nagashima and Marvelous wrestler Mio Momono.


The two competitors in the previous match had both been over 170 centimeters in height, but these two were both around 150 centimeters (about 4 foot 9 inches), so it was a low-weight-class match. Kouhey had no idea what the background between these wrestlers was, or what kind of fight would ensue, but before he could think too hard about it, it turned into an all-out brawl.


And of course, some awesome aerial techniques were executed as well.


The fight even leaked into the stands, driving up the excitement even more.


And at the end of the dramatic life or death struggle…


Challenger Mio Momono emerged as the victor!


The entire audience was on their feet. Even Kouhey, who had no context to draw from or much knowledge on the matter, jumped up and was screaming at the top of his lungs, congratulating Mio. Nagayo was also emotional at the sight of her favorite pupil taking the title.


Kouhey can’t recommend the experience enough. And just to reiterate–he knew almost nothing about it when he decided to attend. That didn’t stop him from feeling so much emotion at the event, and afterward, he was inspired to go home and learn more about the current state of women’s pro wrestling. Just one live event was enough to make him a fan!

“If you have the chance, you must go!” Kouhey said. “You won’t regret it!”

There you have it–if you’ve never experienced women’s pro wrestling before, it comes highly recommended by one of our reporters! By the way, Kouhey also recommends attending a martial arts competition live as well. They have a totally different vibe, of course, but they’re just as cool to watch!

Related: Marvelous

Photos © SoraNews24

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© SoraNews24

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It's amazing what you will do to entertain yourself when there is nothing much else around, eh?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

After this event they will go watch the small boat races.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I appreciate they do this without their hair in cornrows. Not for realistic fighting but then that was never the point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great show...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Pantomime for the low I.Q and those that never grew up. I mean, it’s so silly.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

To be the woman,you got to.beat the woman,just a wrestling phrase,I am no way advocate violence against women

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Girl on top event ,will always bring out the pervs

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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