Saturday, September 30, 2023

How a Wrestling Writer Can Help Your Promotion Succeed

In today's digital world, it is more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence. Wrestling promotions are no exception. A strong online presence can help promotions to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. Wrestling fans are all over the world, and wrestling writers play a vital role in connecting fans with promotions. By providing high-quality content about your promotion, a wrestling writer can help you reach new fans and grow your brand.

If a wrestling writer is well-respected and has a lot of experience, they can build relationships with potential fans and partners. This is because the wrestling writer is seen as a trusted source of information for wrestling fans. If you can develop a relationship with the wrestling writer, you can build trust with potential fans and partners. This can lead to increased ticket sales, TV deals, merchandise sales, and sponsorship opportunities.

A wrestling writer can help to generate positive publicity for your promotion by writing about news and information related to your promotion, including who is on your roster and why people should care. This would help raise your promotion's profile and attract new fans.

A wrestling writer can promote your upcoming shows, DVD's, etc. by writing about them on their platform and also sharing the information with their followers on social media. This would help to increase attendance at your events, streaming consumption, and sales of your merchandise.

A wrestling writer having their own platform is especially beneficial for a promotion. When the writer publishes content about the promotion on their platform, they are exposing their followers to the promotion's brand. This can lead to new fans becoming aware of the promotion.

If you are a wrestling promoter, you can invest in building a strong online presence by hiring a wrestling writer to create high-quality content about your promotion. By investing in building a strong online presence, you can help your promotion to achieve its goals and grow its business. One of the main goals for your promotion should be to increase how much money it makes. The key to doing that is knowing what style of advertising will make your fans be willing to spend money. Not only will good advertising enable you to keep your current fans, but it also draws new fans, increasing the amount of money your promotion makes.

A strong online presence is essential for wrestling promotions in today's digital world. By hiring a wrestling writer to produce high-quality content, promotions can increase their visibility, form relationships with fans and new partners, be the recipient of positive publicity, and have their events and merchandise promoted.

If you are a wrestling promoter, I encourage you to invest in building a strong online presence. It is one of the best things you can do for your business.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Reading/Writing English, and the Japanese Student

Reading comprehension is one of the easier skills for a student to improve. In fact, I have experienced times when it was easier for a student to understand simple English than katakana when I was trying to explain the meaning of a word to them! Writing in English is something that will take time and practice for the student to develop, but like English, it's one of the easier skills for them to improve.

Students should be encouraged to read English for 30 minutes every day, with it being suggested that they read something that is related to their interests- this is to keep the student motivated while reading.

If the student wants to develop English writing skills, activities such as freewriting, journaling, writing stories, or writing essays will interest them. Before the student starts, make sure that they understand the difference between English and Japanese writing systems, as well as basic grammar and vocabulary.

When providing feedback on the student’s writing, be constructive and helpful, focusing on helping them identify and correct their mistakes- this will help the student improve as an English writer. It is also important to show interest in what the student wrote about and to ask questions about the topic. When someone writes something, it takes time and effort, whether they are they are new to a language or a native. Knowing that this time and effort is appreciated will increase their motivation to continue writing. This is why you should put more focus on providing positive reinforcement than correcting students’ mistakes.

Since the students reading and writing skills will probably improve faster than their listening skills, be prepared for the student to feel discouraged. If this happens, make sure they know that this is common when a Japanese student is learning English and that if they are patient, their listening skills will slowly improve. When a student is feeling discouraged, a phrase that will help to motivate them is “Never give up”, which is very popular with Japanese people in Japan. The culture of Japan emphasizes perseverance and hard work, with Japanese people being taught from a young age to never give up on their goals, no matter how difficult they may seem. This is reflected in the Japanese language, which has many words and phrases that express the importance of perseverance, such as gambaru (to persevere) and ganbatte (do your best).

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The History of Professional Wrestling in Canada

Many people consider Canada to be one of the best places to visit, one reason being its pro-wrestling scene. Professional wrestling has a long and rich history in Canada, dating back to the early 20th century. The first known wrestling promotion in Canada was the Vancouver-based Carl Berch Promotions, which ran shows in 1905. It was followed by many other promotions that also ran shows for a short period of time. The first promotion to run shows in Canada for a long period of time was Maple Leaf Wrestling, which was founded in 1930 and ran shows until 1984. Maple Leaf Wrestling was the most popular promotion in Canada and it joined the NWA in 1949, representing the organization well as it was able to draw 16,000 fans. Maple Leaf Wrestling helped to launch the careers of wrestlers who became well known in the industry, such as Wladek Kowalski (who later become known as Killer Kowalski), Raymond Rougeau, and Rocky Johnson, three wrestlers who later went on to have successful careers in WWE. And speaking of WWE, from 1983 to 1984, Maple Leaf Wrestling was co-promoted by Jack Tunney, who in 1984 began the role that he is best known for- figurehead President of WWE (known as WWF at the time).

This was a result of Jack Tunney removing Maple Leaf Wrestling from the NWA and aligning himself with WWE, along with controlling interest of Maple Leaf Wrestling being transferred from the Tunney family to WWE. Although Jack Tunney's role as President was merely a character role, in real life he was given the position in WWE of head of Canadian tours.

Another wrestling promotion that is a significant part of Canada's history is the Calgary-based Stampede Wrestling, which was co-founded by Stu Hart. Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, and Dynamite Kid became standout talents on the Canadian wrestling scene during their time wrestling in Stampede in the early 1980s, and WWE signed all three of them in 1984. Stampede featured more wrestlers later that decade who also had big success, including Owen Hart and Brian Pillman.

Throughout the 1980s, WWE consistently introduced the world to Canadian wrestlers. Along with the aforementioned Bret Hart, WWE also featured Owen Hart (as Blue Blazer), Roddy Piper, and Earthquake. In the 1990s and 2000s, Canadian wrestlers continued to very successful in the industry, with Chris Jericho, Edge, and Christian being amongst the most popular ones.

Other Canadian wrestlers in history who are notable internationally include Kenny Omega, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Natalya, Trish Stratus, Santino Marella, Robert Roode, Kyle O'Reilly, Jinder Mahal, Maryse, Luna Vachon, and Sarah Stock. Special mention should also be given to the successful wrestling promoters that Canada has produced. Along with Stu Hart and Jack Tunney, other Canadians in the wrestling industry who have promoted include Impact Wrestling President Scott D'Amore, former Stampede Wrestling promoter Bruce Hart, and former WWE promoter Gino Brito.

Today in Canada, although Maple Leaf Wrestling and Stampede are no longer active, there are many promotions to continue to provide fans with live wrestling entertainment and give wrestlers a platform to show Canada what they have to offer. The promotions include International Wrestling Syndicate, Smash Wrestling, Border City Wrestling, Great North Wrestling, North Shore Pro Wrestling, and Canadian Wrestling's Elite. Many promotions in Canada also make their events available via streaming.

Also, although Impact Wrestling was founded in the United States, in 2017 it was purchased by Canadian multinational media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment and now has shows in the country regularly. This year's Impact Wrestling events in Canada have included Slammiversary, which is one of the company's “Big Four” pay-per-view events and took place in Windsor.

Canadian wrestling has had a significant impact on the global wrestling scene. Canadian wrestlers have won world championships in all of the major promotions, and they have helped to shape the style of wrestling that is seen around the world today. With 94% of Canadians having access to the internet at home, the Canadian promotions of today have an advantage that the promotions before them did not. In the past, promotions were limited to television or radio stations in their local area, while the promotions of today can publicize their events outside of that area, and can even stream their events on the internet and make them accessible to a global audience. Streaming will only become more popular in the near future, so right now is a great time to have a promotion in Canada and online, as the promotions will grow even more in visibility, show attendance, and streaming consumption, as they create new history on top of Canada's already-rich wrestling history for many years to come.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Archive Interview: Cassidy Riley

(originally published 9/25/05)

Cassidy Riley is currently employed by TNA. Beginning October 1, you will be able to see Cassidy Riley and the rest of the stars of TNA on SpikeTV on Saturday nights!

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: I have been involved in wrestling for 10 years.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: I was a huge fan just like everyone else as a child and thought that it would be the coolest thing in the world to actually be able to do that for a living.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: I trained in Mississippi and Louisiana. I started with an indie guy named Freddie Grapp, but he didn't have a ring so what he taught me was limited. I then met Lolly Griffen who was running a promotion called Deep South and had TV in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. He trained us (there were 3 of us) and gave us our first spot on TV.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: I guess just the fraternity-like connection with the boys, you really become like family. I also enjoy entertaining people and life on the road. So I guess there is no one thing, but rather 3 things. (laughs)

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I can go either way, right now I guess I am a tweener on TNA.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: I am the only member of the "Flock" so I guess you can say that I am the number one flocker!

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: .I thought that I had a good match with Chris Candido on the pre-show of Final Resolution.

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: Probably that match with Chris Candido just because I am glad I got that chance to dance with him in the ring. He was a great guy and a true pro in there, God rest his soul.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: I would like to wrestle Shawn Michaels.

Q: How much of a boost do you think TNA will receive from being on SpikeTV? Do you think that we are far from seeing Monday Night Wars II: TNA iMPACT vs. WWE RAW?

A: I think that it will get a huge boost by the Spike deal. It may sound funny but we are actually still a big secret, there are people who haven't heard of us yet. I think that being on a network that is in 88 million homes can only help ..ALOT. They are already doing more for us than FOX Sports ever did, they are actually promoting us and advertising us, even on RAW. Will we see Monday Night Wars again...I hope so, it will only be good for the wrestling business. Is TNA ready for that right now? Probably not, but we are growing, and progressing on a very rapid and positive scale. In 6 months or a year I think that we will be able to head-to-head with them.

Q: When you worked for WWE and WCW, you were used as an enhancement talent. Do you think that WWE would have benefited financially if they would have pushed you as at least a midcarder, as TNA is doing?

A: Who knows. I would like to think that they would, but in reality I probably wasn't ready then. I think I could be an asset to any company that I work for now. I have grown and matured in and out of the ring since then.

Q: If WCW had given you creative control, what would you have done differently? Do you think that they would still be here today if you had been at the helm?

A: I don't think that I would have wanted that job. That would be too much pressure. If guys like Eric Bischoff couldn't do it I think it would have been hard for anyone. The main thing that I would have done different would be keep out all the guys like Jay Leno who had no business in a wrestling ring, but their thought was to get as much main stream publicity as possible, I just don't agree with it, it could have been done different and still had then involved in some other fashion, just not wrestling.

Q: Which was your favorite version of The Hot Shots tag team- the original version with Air Paris, or the TNA version with Chase Stevens?

A: I love both of those guys. I think that Chase and I could have really made an impact together if things would have worked out. I am proud of him and Andy they have done well.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Just work out, and try to stay in shape. I hang out with my dog Mali-Mae, she is a boston terrier and she is the queen of the house. I take her on road trips sometimes. I also spend time with my wife since I am on the road alot, I cook her dinner when I am home and try to help out around the house like a good husband.

Q: You have taken your knowledge and experience within the pro-wrestling industry and put it to use as a trainer at a school with Chase Stevens. How does your school differ from others? Also, has it produced any talent that you predict big things for in the future?

A: Right now we have slowed down some we lost our building we were using but I think we will be back in full force in the next few months. We have just been crazy busy lately and haven't had time to find a new building. We still train on days we wrestle in Nashville area before the shows. No big stars yet. So many guys can't take it. We are hard on them and don't give a free ride to anyone, we expect alot from our students and in return we give them a good knowledge of the business. Alot of guys just aren't mentally and physically prepared for it. It is not tennis, if you show up be ready, and we don't ask anything of then we aren't willing to do ourselves.

Q: In what way do you think that you would be best utilized in TNA?

A: I am excited about my new alliance with Raven. I think that he will teach me alot.

Q: What is your long-term goal in the business?

A: To make my mark on the business and just be the best wrestler and entertainer that I can be.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Cassidy Riley. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

AJ Styles Should Be the Wrestler to End Roman Reigns' WWE Universal Championship Reign

Roman Reigns has been WWE Universal Champion for over 1,000 days, and while it's possible that he will continue to be champion into 2025 with a reign of at least 1,585 days (Bruno Sammartino had the longest reign as WWE Champion in history at 2,803 days), this is the only WWE championship reign in the 21st century that has lasted this long. So it is likely that it will end sooner than later. And while Reigns has successfully defended the WWE Universal Championship at Premium Live Events against many top names, there is a top name that has not yet been a part of that title shot conversation and should be the one to end this historical championship tenure, and that person is AJ Styles.

Not only is AJ Styles one of the most popular and talented wrestlers in the world, but he has proven himself over and over again by dominating in major companies internationally. Styles is a two-time former WWE Champion, a two-time former Impact World Champion, a two-time former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and a former RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion.

Whether AJ Styles is a face or a heel, whether he is in the title scene or using his wrestling skills and performing ability to make other stars, Styles has maintained his popularity ever since he began wrestling for WWE in 2016 and would be the perfect talent to go against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at a Premium Live Event. They faced each other at a WWE Saturday Night's Main Event show in September 2022 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada, and the match was well received by the fans in attendance. Surely a WWE Universal Championship match between the two would appeal to a Premium Live Event audience as well and generate a lot of excitement, making it a great way to crown a new Champion.

We have seen AJ Styles interact with members of Roman Reigns' Bloodline faction many times this month, which culminated in him being attacked by Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa and taken to the hospital. Upon Styles' return, he will likely be looking for revenge, which could lead to him facing Reigns in a big match. A credible challenger, Styles would be taken seriously by fans as being the one who could possibly become the next WWE Universal Champion. His victory would be a fresh start for WWE, and it would give fans something new to cheer about. Also, in Styles' runs as WWE Champion, he was a solid draw- there is no doubt that he would also draw good crowds as WWE Universal Champion.

Of course, there is the question of whether AJ Styles wants another run as a main event champion. It may mean more days on the road, more appearances, and ultimately, more time away from his family. So perhaps Styles is satisfied with the championship success that he has already had. But if Styles does want to once again become, "The Face That Runs the Place" and, "The Champ That Runs the Camp", now would be the perfect time to lead to that.

And as for the fans who want to see Cody Rhodes finish his story or LA Knight create a new story of his own, keep in mind that those two stories can be told with AJ Styles. AJ Styles vs. Cody Rhodes is a match that we have never seen before- although we have seen AJ Styles vs. Dusty Rhodes in Impact Wrestling, and that match could be alluded to in a buildup to AJ Styles vs. Cody Rhodes.

And when LA Knight was in NXT and made a return in 2022 after being taken out of action by Grayson Waller, AJ Styles introduced Knight as being one of his friends; but other the two of them being involved in a, "Triple Threat" match with Austin Theory at a WWE Live event earlier this year, Styles and Knight haven't crossed paths since. A match for the WWE Universal Championship would be an opportunity for it to happen again.

Whether it's for a long-term reign or to elevate someone, the case remains that AJ Styles being the wrestler to end Roman Reigns WWE Universal Championship reign would be a Phenomenal choice.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Archive Interview: Annie Social

(originally published 10/26/05)

Currently working for Women's Extreme Wrestling, JAPW, and many other promotions, Annie Social speaks her mind and does what she wants. Don't like it? Annie Social couldn't care less!

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: I've been involved for about three years.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: It looked like fun. I've always been a fan of violent sports.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: I am currently training with Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere at the PWU Animal House in Philly.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: It's an outlet for me, like extreme anger management.

Q: One of the promotions that you currently work for is Women's Extreme Wrestling, which presents itself as an alternative form of pro-wrestling, and has a target audience of 21 and older. Do you prefer working for this style of promotion, or do you prefer working for family-oriented promotions?

A: I'll work wherever the industry will have me. I love being in the ring, especially on the mic.

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I like working as a heel. It's a lot more true to life for me. I'm a pretty mean girl when you piss me off.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: I'm Annie Social. I'm an outcast. I have no friends because I don't want any. I only fight for one side and that's my side. I believe society as a whole are a bunch of assholes and I don't care to have any part in it.

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: Me vs. Mick Foley back in '97, awesome hell in a cell match.....nah just kiddin.....I had a great time working against the Sandman with the Backseat Boyz.....that wasn't exactly my match but it was still awesome. Honestly, I think the best is yet to come.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: I'd like to work with Mercedes Martinez or Sumie Sakai. They're both great wrestlers so it would be an honor to work with either of them.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I don't really have any spare time. I'm usually be either at work or at the gym. But if I had spare time I'd probably acquire some kind of odd skill like professional lumberjacking and axe throwing.

Q: What is your long-term goal in the business?

A: World Champion of everything bitch!!! Nah, I'll take this business as far as it will take me. I love it and I plan on being around for a long time.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Annie Social. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Angel Orsini: Still Going Strong After 27 Years

Angel Orsini is a veteran wrestler who has been in the business for 27 years. Making her debut in 1996, Orsini has since then wrestled in many notable promotions around the world, including ECW, AJW, ASW, National Wrestling Alliance United Kingdom Hammerlock, and WEW, where she held the WEW World Championship and WEW World Tag Team Championship.

In 2005, I interviewed Angel Orsini for World Wrestling Optimum, a website that I was running at the time. At that point, she was wrestling in many independent promotions in the United States (as Riptide). She told me that she wanted to be in the business for at least five more years before she retired or became a trainer.

Fast forward to 2023, and Angel Orsini is still going strong in the ring. Since the interview, she has wrestled for many more promotions, including JCW, AWA W1, and WSU, where she held the WSU World Championship. Today, Orsini continues to wrestle in independent promotions nationwide, as well as continues to be a championship contender. On October 15, she will be wrestling in California for Native Ways Ent (NWE), where she will face NWE Women's Champion Jade Deville. A dominating competitor in the ring, Deville, will be defending her championship against one of her toughest challenges when she wrestles Orsini.

On October 21, Angel Orsini will be competing in the New York-based New Evolution Wrestling (NEW), where she will go against NEW Women's Champion Vanity in another attempt to claim the championship. They previously faced each other in a match this past June for the then-vacant championship. Vanity was the winner, but in this rematch, Orsini believes the result will be different. "I'm looking to continue to slay all day." she has confidently stated.

I recently reached out to Angel Orsini to get an update on her career. Orsini said that she's currently working with Gary Wolfe, who tag teamed as Pitbull #1 in ECW with Pitbull #2 Anthony Durante. Together, they became ECW World Tag Team Champions. "I'm a Pitbull one of the most iconic ECW Teams," Orsini said. "and we're not just a tag team but we're a trio we have Chris Annino with us and we are growing. I'm excited to see where our Team can go." One of Annino's trainers was Susan Green, who appeared in Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1970s, and WWE in the 1980s.

When asked about her thoughts on the current state of women's wrestling, Angel Orsini's response was very positive. "It's great to see so many talented women wrestling and that women are main eventing pay per views! I hope it stays that way and women get more opportunities to main event and produce and be CEO of sports entertainment companies."

Regarding her advice to aspiring wrestlers, Angel Orsini says, "My advice is to go to a good wrestling school where people have been on TV for wrestling and do what they tell you. Be quiet and listen, absorb as much as possible and practice every opportunity you can. Take care of your body. Stay away from drugs including steroids, spend time meditating and learn yoga because being flexible will protect you from injury."

It's clear that streaming will play a big role in the future of wrestling, and Angel Orsini will be joining the streaming world when she launches a streaming TV channel, which Orsini will be announcing via press release soon. Also, on September 30, she will be co-hosting the New England Hall of Fame Inductions with Chris Annino and Broadway Joe. "Chris & I co-founded the HOF so it's exciting to see such a big turnout for the event."

Speaking/Listening to English, and the Japanese Student

During a class or lesson, the student(s) should talk 70% of the time, with the teacher encouraging the student by praising their efforts, and asking them questions that require the student to give longer answers. As a student becomes more familiar and comfortable with the English language, it often will become easy it will be to motivate them to speak, especially if the topic is something personal to them, such as their interests, their job, or the city that they live in.

Listening is a different story- this is the most difficult skill for a student to develop. One of the most effective ways for a student to improve their listening skills is to listen to English for one hour every day, and it should be something that is related to their interests so that they stay motivated. Sometimes during the one hour, the student should practice shadowing, choosing a part that is about 20 seconds long, listening to the part repeatedly until they are comfortable, and then repeating that part while they hear it. As for what they will be listening to, you can provide students with transcripts of audio or video recordings, or you can record yourself reading aloud and then have students listen and repeat.

It is very common for a student who is very new to the English language to make claims such as, “There is something wrong with your voice/accent”, “You talk too fast”, and even confusing ones such as, “Your voice is too clear”. So, don’t be surprised if you hear these statements, this is merely a display of their difficulty with listening comprehension. As the student becomes more used to hearing English being spoken, their listening comprehension will slowly improve. In the meantime, if the student’s English level is very low, sometimes it would be best to speak to the student in short sentences using simple English.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

How to Get Started in Independent Wrestling

Some aspiring pro-wrestlers don’t have their sights focused on a major promotion. They don’t care about making as much money as possible- they simply want to wrestle. If that's you, independent wrestling is a great way to start your career as a professional wrestler. It offers the opportunity to train and perform in front of live audiences while developing your skills, to network with promoters/other wrestlers, and to build a relationship with fans.

If you are interested in getting started in independent wrestling, the first thing you need to do is find a wrestling school. If you are serious about being a pro-wrestler, you need guidance and training from a reputable wrestling school. There are people all over the world who claim to be a qualified trainer that can help you reach your goal. However, most of them are trainers whose biggest success in the business has been representing their own promotion (which draws 25 people per show) as champion. Even worse, the closest some trainers have been to a pro-wrestling ring has been when they played the newest pro-wrestling video game.

A useful tip is to look at a school’s rate of success. People enroll in training programs because they want to succeed in their chosen career. If a school doesn’t have former students who have worked in either a major promotion or wrestled internationally (or if the trainer themselves has not), then its training may be of poor quality..

Wrestling training is rigorous and demanding, but it is essential if you want to be a successful professional wrestler. Wrestling training will teach you the fundamentals of wrestling, such as how to bump, and how to take & perform wrestling moves. After your training is completed, it will be time to seriously decide what your gimmick will be. It should be something that will help set you apart from the other wrestlers and make you memorable to fans.

The next step will be getting booked on shows. Most likely the school that you trained at will play a role in you getting your first match(es), either on a show of a promotion that is connected to the school or elsewhere. Most promoters don't use new wrestlers unless a veteran wrestler vouches for them. After you have been booked on some shows, you will be able to get bookings on your own. Contact promotions, and let them you what promotion(s) you have wrestled in, and show them pictures of yourself and video of you wrestling, and including a video of you doing a promo wouldn't hurt.

Once your wrestling career is well underway, promoting yourself on social media and/or via a website is very important if you want promotions to contact you first to book you, and once you get fans, if you want them to know where they can see you wrestle so they will buy tickets for the show.

Be patient during your career, because it takes times to become known on the independent wrestling scene. If you experience dry spells, don't get discouraged. The wrestling industry is very competitive and there are many more wrestlers than there are shows to get booked on. So, even if a promotion books you for a show, there is no guarantee that they will book you on a regular basis. This will affect you financially and perhaps even emotionally, making it hard to stay motivated and and to keep believing in yourself when you're not getting booked on shows. It's important to remember that dry spells are a normal part of the industry and that you should keep promoting yourself.

Also, always be professional. Show up to training on time, and continue to be punctual when your career begins, being reliable and always showing up on time for events. And be respectful to both your fans and fellow wrestlers. Have a positive attitude and be willing to learn from people in the industry who have more experience than you.

Getting started in independent wrestling is not easy, but it is a rewarding experience. If you are willing to put in the hard work and dedication, you can achieve your dream of becoming a professional wrestler. And even if the independent scene is currently as far as you are interested in going in the industry, independent wrestling is a great way to learn and ropes and qualify you for a potential career in a major promotion in the future.

How to Teach Vocabulary to Japanese Students

When teaching vocabulary, start with words that are used often in English, as these will be the most useful for the student. And when possible, use visuals. For example, pictures, flashcards, or videos. As they learn new vocabulary words, give the student many opportunities to practice using them.

Encourage the student to use newly learned words in sentences that are about something they know. For example, if they want to remember the word “tall”, they could write a sentence like, “One of the teachers I know is tall.”

Suggest that the student make a vocabulary journal/notebook. They could use it to write new words and their definitions, and perhaps add a picture as well. The student could also write sentences or short stories involving the new words.

Also, research has proven that online games can be used as an effective English learning tool. A 2014 study reported that low-level English learners in Iran who learned new words from an online game performed better on a test than the study participants who did not have access to the online game.

I wrote blog posts about good vocabulary games that your students may enjoy:

Common vocabulary mistakes that Japanese students make include getting confused between similar words, pronouncing words incorrectly, and using them incorrectly.

Pronunciation is one of the most important parts of the English language because no matter how many vocabulary words someone knows, they are useless if the speaker is not understood. When teaching a student how to pronounce a word, it’s very helpful to write out how the word sounds, so that they can get an image of the sound in their mind, which will make it easier for them to pronounce the word. For example, if the student is having difficulty pronouncing “rural”, write this:

Rural = RUR + UHL

And then help the student pronounce each part separately. When they can, then combine both parts into one word, with them repeating after you.

“First part ‘RUR’, second part, ‘UHL’…RUR UHL…RURUHL!”

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The History of BJW: Japan's Longest-Running Hardcore / Deathmatch Wrestling Promotion

BJW (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling) was founded in 1995 by former NWA Americas Heavyweight Champion Great Kojika and former AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Kendo Nagasaki. There were many promotions created in Japan during that decade, but BJW stood out from the traditional style of Japanese promotions, as it featured a hardcore (better known in Japan as deathmatch)-style product.

In BJW's early years, not every card featured hardcore action, and the ones that did would feature only one hardcore match. That changed in July 1998, when the company began having more than one hardcore match on a card, and the BJW Death Match Heavyweight Championship was established that next month. For three years, the talent on BJW events had been showing that they were very skilled wrestlers, displaying psychology from the opening bell to the end of the match, ring presence and quick-thinking being included in matches, with every move being executed for a reason. So when the focus on hardcore wrestling increased, it blended together with technical wrestling, adding to the action and creating a unique and exciting style of wrestling.

As BJW continued to focus on the hardcore style into the 2000s, wrestlers including Ryuji Ito, Abdullah Kobayashi, and Jaki Numazawa began to be recognized on the hardcore / deathmatch scene for their exceptional proficiency as wrestlers of that style. They were amongst the top draws on the BJW roster and helped increase the company's popularity. It was in 2009 when, with the company able to draw 1,256 fans to the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo (Japan's Madison Square Garden) and having a television show on Fighting Samurai TV in Japan as well as a strong reputation as a deathmatch company, BJW was ready to branch out to the international market.

The BJW English website made its debut in the early part of 2009, making BJW one of the first Japanese wrestling companies to make a website to attract the English market outside of Japan. One of its features was Big Japan Shop, which had many BJW products available for purchase, including DVDs. Knowing that I could help the company connect with the English market, I reached out to BJW, and began writing a column for the website, as well as became an Administrator for their Facebook page.

As BJW's popularity continued to increase, American networks were interested in the BJW product, and it caught the attention of the American wrestling scene as well. In 2011, CZW reached out to me expressing interest in working with BJW. In the early-2000s, BJW and CZW had a working relationship that ultimately fell apart. But the CZW of 2011 was under new management, and a working relationship with CZW would be a good opportunity for BJW to include American hardcore wrestlers in its events in Japan as well as potentially increase its footprint in the United States. I helped bring BJW together with CZW to form a new working relationship, which led to BJW having its first event in the United States.

By 2012, BJW slowly began to focus on its Japan audience again. Its English website was no longer being updated (although I continued doing the Bout Review column and other BJW-related writing on my blog), and it went back to its roots, reminding fans in Japan that although BJW is excellent at presenting hardcore wrestling, that isn't the only style of wrestling that its great at. BJW introduced the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship, created to spotlight the type of wrestler who does not focus on the hardcore style of wrestling, and giving the wrestlers of its strong style division (Strong BJ) a championship of its own. With the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship a part of BJW's main event scene along with the BJW Death Match Heavyweight Championship, the company can claim that it has some of the best world-class wrestlers, of both the strong style and hardcore styles.

Today, Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi, Takuya Nomura, Daichi Hashimoto, Yasufumi Nakanoue, and Yuya Aoki are amongst the main eventers of the Strong BJ division. Ryuji Ito, Abdullah Kobayashi, and Jaki Numazawa continue to the represent the Death Match divison well, and have been joined by others including Kankuro Hoshino, Masaya Takahashi, and Yuki Ishikawa. Some wrestlers have managed to make an impression in both divisions, such as Hideyoshi Kamitani.

With both divisions being equally impressive, it's fair to say that the Strong BJ division is more popular, due to it being more mainstream. There would be more American networks willing to air that division's style of matches. However, the hardcore matches of BJW's Death Match division are no less exciting. Some of its most popular match types are, "Weapon Bringing Death", "Fluorescent Lighttubes Death", and "Barbed Wire Board Death".

Strong BJ and Death Match are not the only divisions that BJW features. With wrestlers from both divisions, the BJW Tag Team division is considered by many fans to be one of the top tag team divisions in Japan. Kazuki Hashimoto, Kaji Tomato, Kota Sekifuda, and Tatsuhiko Yoshino are some of the wrestlers who are a part of the BJW Junior Heavyweight division, which many fans feel is competitive with the Strong BJ division. There is also a six man tag team division, where the BJW Yokohama Shopping Street Six Man Tag Team Championship is defended.

BJW is a unique and important promotion that has had a significant impact on the world of pro-wrestling. The company's focus on hardcore wrestling has helped to popularize the style around the world and is a popular destination for fans of it. Also, many wrestlers who are very familiar to North American wrestling fans have passed through BJW's doors, such as WALTER (currently wrestling for WWE as Gunther), Zack Sabre Jr., Adam Cole, Chris Hero, former WCW Light Heavyweight Champion Jushin Thunder Liger, Tomohiro Ishii, and Tommy End (currently wrestling for AEW as Malakai Black).

In recent years, BJW has resumed branching out to the international market, providing information in English, exporting DVDs overseas, and now also has a streaming service, as it attempts to grow its large fanbase even more as BJW likely will continue to provide wrestling fans with exciting action for many years to come.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Endeavor-WWE Deal: A Comparison to Turner Broadcasting System-Jim Crockett Promotions

In April 2023, Endeavor announced that it would acquire WWE in a deal worth $9.3 billion. This deal became official on September 12, 2023 and is the largest ever acquisition of a wrestling company. Endeavor has merged WWE with Zuffa, which was the parent company of UFC, to form media conglomerate TKO Group Holdings. Vince McMahon represents WWE as Chairman of TKO Group Holdings

The Endeavor-WWE deal is big news and it marks a new era in the pro-wrestling industry for the 21st century. It's very similar to another landmark deal that took place in wrestling in the 20th century: Turner Broadcasting System-Jim Crockett Promotions.

In 1988, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) acquired Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) for $9 million and rebranded it to World Championship Wrestling. This deal was one of the largest acquisitions of a wrestling company during that century. Former owner Jim Crockett Jr. became a consultant in WCW.

There are other similarities between the Endeavor-WWE deal and the TBS-JCP deal. Both deals were between a media conglomerate and a wrestling company, with both deals being a way for the media conglomerate to expand its reach into the wrestling market.

However, there is a notable difference between the two deals. While TBS was not experienced in the combat sports industry prior to its deal with JCP, Endeavor has owned UFC, the largest MMA company in the world, since 2016. So, Endeavor has a lot of experience in marketing and promoting combat sports events at a high level. That combat sports experience combined with the company's resources is likely to make its deal with WWE even more successful than the TBS-JCP deal was. And not only will Endeavor be able to help WWE grow and reach new audiences, but one of those audiences may include the MMA audience. According to digital strategy consulting company Gitnux, WWE has been watched by over 36 million viewers in 180 countries. Meanwhile, researchers estimate that there are more than 300 million MMA fans worldwide. Endeavor could help turn many of them into WWE fans as well.

I'm curious to see what changes will take place in WWE, as in all new ownerships, there is change. TBS' ownership of JCP/WCW saw many people be given new executive roles over the years, such as Jim Herd, Kip Allen Frey, Bill Watts, and Eric Bischoff, with Bischoff's executive role leading to WCW becoming a major competitor to WWE in the 1990s. With WWE already a succesful company with talented employees behind the scenes, will this new ownership lead to new hires who can help take WWE to even greater heights?

Also, a subsiduary of Endeavor is digital video broadcasting and technology company Endeavor Streaming, which has a history of managing WWE Network. Endeavor Streaming can help WWE prepare for the future of wrestling in the age of streaming.

No matter what path this new Endeavor-WWE deal takes, it can't be argued that it will impact the wrestling industry more than any other deal that has come before it.

Basic Grammar Concepts in English to Teach Japanese Students

Grammar is the set of rules that govern how words are combined to form sentences. It is considered an important part of learning a language.

The basic grammar concepts in English are:

Parts of speech: The different types of words in the English language. There are eight parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections.

Sentence structure: Sentences are made up of a subject (the person or thing that is doing the action) and a predicate (the action that is being done).

Verb tenses: These are used to indicate when an action takes place (past, present, or future).

Pronouns: These are words that are used in place of nouns. The four types of pronouns are personal, possessive, relative, and interrogative.

Adjectives: These are words that describe nouns.

Adverbs: These are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

Conjunctions: These are words that connect words or phrases.

Prepositions: These are words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in the sentence.

Here are examples of how the different parts of speech are used in sentences:

Nouns: They are used to name people, places, things, and ideas. For example, "The dog looked around."

Verbs: They are used to describe actions or states of being. For example, "The cat ran."

Adjectives: They are used to describe nouns. For example, "The big cat ran."

Adverbs: They are used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. For example, "The cat ran very fast."

Pronouns: They are used in place of nouns. For example, "She ran."

Conjunctions: They are used to connect words or phrases. For example, "The dog and the cat ran."

Prepositions: They are used to show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in the sentence. For example, "The cat ran under the chair."

When teaching grammar to a Japanese student, keep in mind that their native language has a different grammar system, which will make it difficult for them to learn English grammar. To make things easier for both you and the student, start with the basics, and use visuals if possible, presenting pictures that show the difference between a noun and a verb. Give them many opportunities to practice using grammar, and most importantly, be patient.

Common grammar mistakes that students make include getting confused between nouns and verbs, using incorrect verb tenses, using incorrect pronouns, and using adjectives/adverbs incorrectly.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

[PREVIEW] The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling [DVD]

World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) is one of the most influential wrestling promotions of all time, and The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling is a documentary that tells its story- the rise and fall of the promotion, as well as the tragedies that befell the Von Erich family, who were some of WCCW's most popular wrestlers.

This documentary that is a part of this 2-disc DVD set features many interviews, including ones from the WCCW days with Fritz Von Erich and Kerry Von Erich, and modern interviews with Kevin Von Erich, Michael Hayes, and many other members of the pro-wrestling industry as they look back at a promotion that was both successful and tragic. It also features rare footage of WCCW matches and promos, as it explores how WCCW became popular, why it experienced its downfall, and the impact of the Von Erich family on WCCW, as well as the deaths of Kerry, David, Chris, and Mike Von Erich. Gino Hernandez' death is discussed as well.

Although it wasn't mentioned in the documentary, I think one of the most important parts of WCCW's legacy is the Texas Heavyweight Championship, which was one of the most prestigious championships in the promotion's history, and the first top championship in WCCW. I have written a detailed history of it, which you can read here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Why Teach English to Japanese Students, and Methods to Use

There are many reasons to teach English to Japanese students. The most important one is that the Japanese economy is increasingly globalized, expanding exports, imports, and foreign production. Many Japanese companies now do business with companies all over the world, and English is the language of international business. For this reason, there is a growing demand for English skills in the Japanese workplace. Japanese workers who are fluent in English will have a competitive advantage in the job market. Learning English can also enhance the student's personal development helping them to become more confident, independent, and open-minded.

A second reason is that not only is English a universal language of business but it is also the international language of science and technology. Researchers who want to communicate their latest findings to the scientific and technological communities globally publish their journals in English. People who are fluent in English have easy access to this information.

A third reason is that many popular movies, songs, and TV shows are in English. Someone who is fluent in English can easily enjoy these forms of entertainment without needing subtitles.

There are many teaching methods that are effective for Japanese students:

Direct Instruction: This method involves the teacher providing clear and concise instruction to the student.

Communicative Language Teaching: This method focuses on using English for communication. Many people in the teaching industry consider this method the best because it allows a student to practice using English in real-world situations.

Project-Based Learning (PBL): This method involves a student working on long-term projects that require them to use English, challenging them and allowing them to apply their knowledge in a real-world context.

Task-Based Learning (TBL): This method focuses on completing tasks using language, which motivates a student and allows them to use their creativity.

The best way to choose the right teaching method for a student is to consider their individual needs and learning styles. A young student may need direct instruction, while an older student may benefit more from communicative language teaching. Some students learn best by listening, while others learn best by reading/writing. Also, it’s a good idea to choose a teaching method that is relevant to the student’s interests- this will keep them motivated.

No matter what method you choose, it’s very important to be patient with the student and offer them encouragement, because learning a new language takes time and effort.

How Independent Promotions Using Streaming Services Could Impact Major Promotions

Last month, I looked at the future of wrestling in the age of streaming, and the potential strategies that promotions could utilize to reach new audiences. This time, I will look at how independent promotions using streaming services could impact major promotions.

Independent wrestling promotions present shows that often include talent that is not familiar to the majority of the wrestling audience. This helps to keep the interest of wrestling fans, who are always interested in seeing something new. That former WWE / AEW / WOW / Impact Wrestling talent who was booked to be in the main event was the one who drew fans to the show to check out the promotion for the first time, but it's the "new faces" on the midcard that turn them into fans of the promotion. This has led to independent promotions becoming more popular, especially in recent years.

Streaming services are also having a big impact on the wrestling industry. They allow fans to watch wrestling on demand, without having to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite package. This has made it easier for fans to discover new wrestling promotions and wrestlers that are based all over the world, including Yanagase Pro Wrestling in Japan and the top stars on the Singapore independent wrestling scene. These streaming services include TwitCasting, TrillerTV, Premier Streaming Network (PSN), YouTube, and Title Match Network.

The increase in popularity of independent wrestling and streaming services is having a mixed impact on the major wrestling promotions. On the one hand, it is forcing them to adapt to the changing landscape. They are now competing with promotions that feature comparatively fresh talent and are able to offer a unique and usually more personalized experience. On the other hand, the major promotions still have many fans, a strong brand identity, rosters featuring top talent, and other quality employees both on-camera and behind the scenes. These promotions are well-positioned to weather the storm and emerge as leaders in the new wrestling landscape.

Still, one way that the increase in popularity of independent wrestling and streaming services could impact major wrestling promotions is that it could lead to talent leaving major promotions to go to independent promotions. As independent wrestling becomes more popular and promotions make more money, wrestlers may have more opportunities to make a living. This could lead to some of the top wrestlers leaving the major promotions to wrestle in independent promotions. Of course, it's unlikely that the independent promotions will be able to offer the six-figure (and sometimes higher) salaries that major promotions do, but some wrestlers prioritize the freedom that independent promotions offer over money.

A second way is that major promotions could lose viewers to independent promotions. If fans can watch wrestling on demand, they may be less likely to watch major wrestling promotions that air on traditional television. Currently, TwitCasting has over 33 million registered users worldwide, TrillerTV has more than ten million users and four million registered sports and entertainment fans, subscriptions to independent wrestling channels on YouTube total at least four million, Title Match Network has more than 2 million subscribers, and Premier Sports Network is a relatively new streaming service and is increasing in popularity. Currently, there are an estimated 3.5 billion video streamer users worldwide, and that number is expected to increase to 4.6 billion by 2027. This could lead to a decline in viewership and revenue for the major promotions.

A third way is that major promotions could be forced to change their content and presentation in order to compete with independent promotions. This could lead to major promotions changing their hiring strategies regarding writers, as they seek to make their shows more unique, exciting, and interesting.

A fifth way is that major promotions could partner with streaming services in order to reach a wider audience and generate new revenue streams. Many major promotions worldwide are already doing this, and it's a safe bet that others will follow suit as independent promotions reap the benefits of utilizing streaming and further rise in popularity.

Although it's uncertain exactly how much growth independent promotions will experience as streaming becomes more popular, the combination of the two will likely have a significant impact. Major promotions will need to adapt to the changing landscape in order to continue to enjoy their current levels of success in the industry.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

The Differences Between Wrestling Fans in Tokyo and Osaka

Wrestling is popular in Japan, especially in Tokyo and Osaka. And it is a common belief that all Japanese wrestling fans act the same. Although there are passionate fans in both cities, there are some key differences between both fanbases.

Before we look at how both fanbases express their fandom, we must first look at how the people of Tokyo and Osaka are in general. People in Tokyo generally are usually reserved and not very expressive regarding who and what they like and dislike, and what they are thinking and feeling. Meanwhile, people in Osaka reside in a livelier atmosphere and generally are usually more talkative and expressive regarding their feelings- if they like something, they want people to know. And being that Osakans tend to act on feelings and are more entrepreneurial than Tokyoites, it's fair to say that people in Tokyo generally think things through more than people in Osaka. The way that Tokyoites and Osakans conduct themselves in daily life is reflected in how they conduct themselves as wrestling fans.

Tokyo wrestling fans are usually more into stats and history. They are also more likely to be fans of the traditional style of wrestling, with its emphasis on technical skill. Tokyo fans are also more likely to be quieter at events, being analytical of the wrestlers and the matches. To compare them to American fans and to use American wrestling terminology, Tokyo fans are similar to smarks. Meanwhile, Osaka wrestling fans are more passionate and vocal during an event as they show their support for the wrestlers, and they are more likely to be fans of the comedy wrestling style combined with fast-paced action. They are similar to marks. But in the end, Tokyo and Osaka fans are both passionate about the wrestling business. They come to the events to be entertained, and they always leave satisfied.

While wrestling fans in Tokyo and Osaka are generally different, both fanbases are important to the growth of wrestling in Japan, and they both contribute to the unique atmosphere of Japanese wrestling events, as they enjoy the action in their own ways.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Archive Interview: Amy Lee

(originally published 11/06/05)

Ms. Amy Lee has almost 2 decades of experience in the industry, and is most recognized for her work in Women's Extreme Wrestling, where she is a former WEW Champion.

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: May 1989. Broke in the business with Larry Sharpe and Dennis Coralluzzo

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: Love the charismatic atmosphere. It separates you from the "normal" side of society. It takes a very peculiar individual to tolerate the long hours of driving to shows, gathering of bookings and becoming an oddity for public display to all walks of life to watch.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: Dick Murdoch/Art Palmer. Dick Murdoch taught me the "selling" and psychology" of wrestling with a few painful lessons in wrestling. Art Palmer brought out my more aggressive personality and submission style of moves. The style I wrestle is "basic" yet very powerful and dominating.

Q: What influence does your martial arts experience have on your wrestling style?

A: Being able to handle myself with someone who wishes to take it further "shoot style" as well as create my matches in a "realistic" way. Almost like watching two people fighting for real inside a wrestling ring until one of us isn't standing.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: Cutting promos and creating a persona like no other. Most women try to look either "lucha" or "foo foo" I, on the other hand, am the odd duck of the group. Not too many wrestlers create a persona that is way out there or odd! My personality is very aggressive almost non-tolerable of anyone or anything. I am very quick minded as well as quick tongue to speak or reply to anyone. I learn this aspect of the business from the "old timers".

Q: One of the promotions that you currently work for is Women's Extreme Wrestling, which presents itself as an alternative form of pro-wrestling, and has a target audience of 21 and older. Do you prefer working for this style of promotion, or do you prefer working for family-oriented promotions?

A: WEW has its benefits. It allows me to show off more of the "hardcore" or "brawling" style like those of the 60's. Not too many promoters want their female wrestlers kicking the hell out of everyone. They go for the more "high flying" or "foo foo" aspect. The WEWE PPV's have helped me expand to other areas of the country. People recognize my "hard ass" ways.

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: Heel. You get to do everything that you ARE NOT suppose to do in society. We have been raised that "ladies" do not swear, fight nor cuss out people in public anyways. I get a kick out of how people will scream nasty comments to me until I walk through the crowd, then they back off and shut their mouths. Priceless! The problem with today's wrestling is the lack of story telling or psychology of the match. You do not need to do 50 spots in a match. Less is more. Communicate with the crowd by using facial expressions and how you execute your moves. Body language is the biggest "lack off" in a lot of the independent matches. A lot of times it is hard to determine the "face" or "heel" because of the lack of body language. When I enter the ring area, people are already booing me before I do any type of move because it is the way I carry myself and use my facial expressions.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: Biker Chic (genuine leather riding gear, etc.) a/k/a Big Bad Biker Mama or to better word a female Hells Angel!

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: I have had the privilege to work with some of the top independent women out there such as Riptide, Mercedes Martinez, Violet Flame and Ariel. You walk away learning something new each time. It's the old saying, "never too old to learn".

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: Mixture of submission/hardcore. It represents my "fighting" personality. Those type of matches are very aggressive and domineering to a certain degree. Sometimes you out smart yourself.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: Sumie Sakai. She is very energetic, aggressive and absolutely priceless! If not Sumie, then a hardcore style match in Japan with someone along the line of Bull Nakano.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Ride my Harley (yes I do own one it's not just a gimmick), raise ferrets and teaching self-defense at my dojo.

Q: What has been your proudest achievement in the business?

A: Being recognized as a "no ego" wrestler who is willing to do what it takes to make the match a success.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Amy Lee. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Independent Promotions in Japan with the Potential to Become More Popular

Pro wrestling has a long and rich history in Japan. From the promotions that were formed in the 1970s like NJPW and AJPW, to the promotions that were founded in the 1990s like BJW and Michinoku Pro, to the more recent promotions that were created like NOAH and ZERO1, Japan has always been a hotbed for pro wrestling.

While Japanese promotions of their level of popularity have been drawing much attention internationally, a number of new promotions have emerged. While some are better known than others, they are all flying under the radar by comparison, despite offering a unique and exciting alternative.

Here are some of the independent promotions in Japan that have the potential to become more popular:

Yanagase Pro Wrestling: I covered this promotion in detail recently. Based in Gifu, Yanagase Pro Wrestling has a great roster of versatile talent and also regularly brings in accomplished wrestlers from outside of the promotion.

Prominence: Based in Tokyo and shining out of the corona pandemic, Prominence is a promotion that mainly features women wrestlers and blends together hardcore wrestling, technical wrestling, and comedy.

Actwres girl'Z: Based in Tokyo, Actwres girl'Z has gone through many changes over the years, at one point being split into two rosters: Beginning and Colors, and now runs as one roster. No matter what format it uses, Actwres girl'Z always presents an entertaining product.

FREEDOMS: Based in Tokyo, FREEDOMS is best known for its hardcore matches, much like how BJW is. FREEDOMS is not as well-known internationally as BJW, but it is a great promotion. Many fans of hardcore wrestling consider FREEDOMS to be one of the best hardcore promotions in Japan, due to its innovative and high-risk matches featuring experienced talent.

Marvelous: Based in Chiba, Marvelous is a small promotion that presents a high-quality product in all areas, from in-ring to production. The first Marvelous show I attended was in 2019, and I was thoroughly impressed.

OZ Academy: Based in Tokyo, OZ Academy frequently books some of the best freelance women wrestlers available on their shows. After former Sendai Girls World Champion Hiroyo Matsumoto participated in WWE Mae Young Classic 2018, her next appearance a little more than a week later was at an OZ Academy event.

YMZ : Based in Tokyo, YMZ blends action and comedy in its own unique way. Although YMZ is not a comedy wrestling promotion, it's one of the funniest promotions in the industry.

Deathmatch Innovative Element: Based in Tokyo, Deathmatch Innovative Element launched in 2021 and is one of the newer hardcore/deathmatch promotions in Japan, but it was founded by Toshiyuki Sakuda, who has been a part of the scene for nine years.

These are just a few of the many independent promotions in Japan. These promotions offer a variety of styles and experiences, and they are all worth checking out for fans of independent wrestling. Which can make one wonder- why are they not better known?

The main reason these promotions are not better known is lack of exposure, which lessens the chance of their product getting in front of potential fans. Adding to that, there are many other independent promotions vying for the attention of those same fans, which can make it difficult for promotions to stand out. However, that does not mean that standing out is an impossible task to accomplish.

Streaming services like YouTube and TwitCasting are growing so much that the number of video streaming users worldwide is expected to amount to 4.6 billion users by 2027, which makes it easier for independent promotions to reach a wider audience. And social media can be a powerful tool for independent promotions to connect with fans and promote their events. In the end, a promotion improving its presence and publicity are the keys to becoming more popular.

To become more popular, a promotion can create a strong and active social media presence, using it to connect with fans and promote its events. And there is a potentially lucrative English market that is still very untapped. Several major Japanese wrestling promotions now provide information in English, and if an independent promotion does the same and connects with the English markets inside and outside of Japan, it will help them grow in visibility, show attendance, and streaming consumption. The popularity of independent wrestling has been growing in recent years, which has created a larger audience for these promotions- the English market is a part of that audience. A publicist can be very useful in helping a promotion reach this audience and build its brand. A publicist can be a valuable asset for any promotion that is looking to grow its audience and reach new markets. By working with a publicist, a promotion can increase its visibility, reach, and impact.

Partnering with other independent promotions, and building relationships with wrestlers/promoters, to cross-promote events would help all promotions involved reach a wider audience and get the promotions’ products in front of more people. The promotions can also work together to create joint promotions or tours. Additionally, getting involved with a community's local events and charities can build goodwill and promote a promotion.

And of course, continuing to produce high-quality matches will capture the attention of fans after the product successfully gets in front of them. If the matches are good, people will keep coming back.

Also, the promotions I mentioned should not be afraid to try new things, even though Japan has a mixed attitude towards trying new things. Japanese culture is known for its respect for tradition and history, so people may be hesitant to change things that have been done a certain way for a long time. However, Japan is also a very innovative country, and there are many examples of Japanese companies and individuals who have been willing to take risks and try new things. The promotions I mentioned can find success by following the example of these innovators and not being afraid to experiment. By being willing to try new things, these promotions can break out of the mold and reach their true potential.

Even though the independent wrestling scene in Japan is constantly evolving with new promotions emerging, promotions that can overcome the challenges they face and effectively promote their product have the potential to become more popular. I believe that the promotions listed above have the potential to succeed, and I am excited to see what they achieve in the future.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

[PREVIEW] WRESTLING QUEENDOM Yokohama Beauty Kingdom VICTORY '95・3・26 Yokohama Arena [DVD]

AJW is one of the most important Japanese women's wrestling promotions in history, and the company presented Wrestling Queendom 1995 Victory on March 26, 1995 in front of 9,000 fans at Yokohama Arena

The matches that are a part of the WRESTLING QUEENDOM Yokohama Beauty Kingdom VICTORY '95・3・26 Yokohama Arena DVD are as follows:

Rie Tamada
Kumiko Maekawa

AJW Junior Championship
Candy Okutsu (AJW Junior Champion)
Chaparita ASARI (former AJW Junior Champion)

"Kickbox" match
Kaoru Ito
Noriko Tsunoda

"Best Two Out Of Three Falls" match
Lady Apache
Yakado Saka
Mariko Yoshida (Japanese Tag Team Champion)

UWA World Women's Tag Team Championship match
Las Cachorras Orientales
Etsuko Mita (UWA World Women's Tag Team Champion)
Mima Shimoda (UWA World Women's Tag Team Champion)
Suzuka Minami (former WWWA Tag Team Champion)
Tomoko Watanabe

Sakie Hasegawa (former AJW Champion)
Bison Kimura (former All Pacific Champion)

"Triangle match" for the vacant All Pacific Championship
Toshiyo Yamada (former All Pacific Champion)
Takako Inoue (former AJW Champion)
Reggie Bennett

Lioness Asuka (former WWWA World Champion)
Yumiko Hotta

WWF World Women's Championship match
Bull Nakano (WWF World Women's Champion)
Kyoko Inoue

WWWA World Championship match
Aja Kong (WWWA World Champion)
Manami Toyota

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Archive Interview: Brandi Alexander

(originally published 9/15/03)

Brandi Alexander is recognized by many fans from her appearance on the WCW-TV program "Thunder", where she defeated Miss Madness a.k.a. current WWE Women's Champion Molly Holly.

Brandi Alexander has also worked for WWE. However, she has been even more successful on the independent scene, where she has held the Appalachia Pro Cruiserweight Title, FWA World Women's Title, IWC Women's Title, WLW World League Women's Title, UCW Women's Title, CWA Women's Title, LAW International TV Title, CWA Continental Women's Title, CWA Ladies U.S. Title, Southern State's Women's Title, and the NEW Women's Title.

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: I have been wrestling for 10 yrs now.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: I watched wrestling all of my life, my hero was Sherri Martel. I wanted to be just like her.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: I trained at the Monster Factory in SO. Jersey, under Pretty Boy Larry Sharp and Glen Ruth.

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: A Heel mostly, I love getting the people behind the other gal.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: No nonsense.

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: My match with Miss Madness, a.k.a. Molly Holly

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: My fav match would be with Tigressa in Puerto Rico.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: Jacqueline and Trish Stratus.

Q: You have worked with WWE in the past, wrestling in a non-televised match for them. Are you interested in working for WWE full-time, or do you prefer working for WWE while still making yourself available to independent promotions?

A: I would love to work for the WWE on a full-time basis. I haven't given up yet. Molly has always put in a good word for me.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: In my spare time I'm usually spending time with my 3 yr. old son, Dylan and my 3 dogs.

Q: What has been your proudest achievement in the business?

A: Being able to wrestle on NATIONAL TV for the WCW.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Brandi Alexander. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.