Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Professional wrestling in Japan
Puroresu is Japanese professional wrestling, as seen in FMW , New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Rikidozan is said to have started the Japanese puroresu industry by introducing the sport to Japan shortly after World War 2. Violent deathmatches are popular in some puroresu companies and they are a big part of this form of wrestling, together with matches involving dangerous moves that pose a risk of permanent injury.
Different from the lucha libre style in Mexico and the "American" style, puroresu uses very complex submission maneuvers as well as high-flying aerial attacks. Puroresu workers are also famous for "working stiff," i.e. not pulling their punches and kicks. Puroresu also differs from American pro wrestling in that the wrestlers are treated more like legitimate athletes than sports entertainers. During interviews, puroresu stars tend to speak normally rather than use catchphrases and other mannerisms associated with their gimmicks, much like interviews conducted with boxers and soccer players. Even the wrestlers with the most fanciful in-ring personalities carry out their interviews in a solemn tone.
Puroresu done by female wrestlers is called joshi puroresu (女子プロレス) and is distinguished from male puroresu. Female wrestling in Japan is usually handled by promotions that specialize in joshi puroresu, rather than divisions of otherwise male-dominated promotions as is the case in the United States. However, joshi puroresu promotions usually have agreements with male puroresu promotions such that they recognize each others' titles as legitimate, and may share cards.
A match can be won by fōru (fall; equivalent to pin fall), nokku auto (knockout; failing to answer a ten count), ringu auto (ring out; equivalent to count out), or gibu auto (give out; equivalent to submission). Fōru occurs when the wrestler holds both of his opponent's shoulders against the mat for a count of three. Unlike wrestling in North America, a 20 count is used in Japan when a wrestler leaves the ring instead of a 10 count.
A match is fought in a square ringu (ring) surrounded by three ropes, very similar to a boxing ring. Wrestlers often run into the ropes by themselves or throw the opponents against them, employing the ropes' elasticity for his next attack. This full use of the ropes is a unique characteristic of puroresu among other sports which also use boxing rings. Additionally, there are attacks that utilize the squareness of the ring, including climbing onto a corner and jumping off onto the opponent, or pushing the opponent out of the ring from the corner.
Other kinds of rings may be specified by individual rules. A ring may have barbed wires instead of a rope, or may have explosives set on the boundaries, just to name a few.
Foreign wrestlers in Japan
Several popular American professional wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, Big Van Vader, Bill Goldberg, Chris Benoit, Mick Foley, and others have wrestled in Japan. The now defunct World Championship Wrestling had a strong talent exchange deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling, that saw (amongst other things) a Japanese version of its popular nWo angle used by that federation.
- Japan Pro-Wrestling (Nihon Puroresu, JWA)
- International Pro Wrestling
- Tokyo Pro Wrestling (original)
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Universal Wrestling Federation
- Japan Pro-Wrestling (Japan Puroresu)
- Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW)
- UWF International
- Fujiwara Gumi
- Universal Lucha Libre
- Michinoku Pro Wrestling
- Pan Class
- IWA JAPAN
- Tokyo Pro Wrestling (new)
- Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW)
- Dramatic Dream Team (DDT)
- Pro Wrestling NOAH
- Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE
- Fighting World of Japan Pro Wrestling
- All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (Zenjo)
- Japan Women's Pro Wrestling
- GAEA JAPAN
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