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Sunday, April 11, 2021

[Kyushu Pro Wrestling] See, "Monday Night Vai! #2" on 5/3 LIVE!

Kyushu Pro Wresting presents, "Monday Night Vai! #2" on May 3 at Acros Fukuoka Event Hall (1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka), with the venue opening at 6:30 PM and the event starting at 7:00 PM). Kyushu Pro Wrestling is an NPO (Non Profit Organization) that gives back to their community and also provides their community with exciting wrestling action. Its roster features a mix of talents who are familiar faces to fans of Japanese wrestling in general and talents who are popular with pro-wrestling fans in Kyushu.



With a level of popularity that gained the attention of Japan's public broadcaster NHK World last year, Kyushu Pro Wrestling routinely draws great crowds to the Arcos Fukuoka Event Hall. Last year's annual Kinniku Seimon Barai event drew 793 fans, Kyushu Pro Wrestling's largest attendance at the Arcos Fukuoka Event Hall to date. Note that this is an attendance number during a pandemic in an event hall with a maximum capcity of 900.

With that said, only half of the seats in the venue will be available, due to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. So don't wait- get your tickets now! They are available from Kyushu Pro Wrestling at 092-400-9938 (let them know if you are using the fan club ticket discount benefit), Three O'clock (at 092-732-1688 or www.3pm-net.com), Lawson Ticket, Ticket Pia, And Eplus.

Front row seats are 6,000 yen, S seats are 5,000 yen, A seats are 4,000 yen, and B seats are 3,000 yen.
NOTE: There are no parent-child pair seats / student seats...Prices increase by 500 yen the day of the event...Preschoolers can attend for free (sitting on their parents knees, etc.)

If you will be unable to be in Fukuoka on May 3, you can see, "Monday Night Vai! #2" LIVE courtesy of The Official Kyushu Pro Wrestling Channel at 19:00 Japan time! You can use a time zone converter to find out what time that is in your area to make sure that you don't miss any of the live pro-wrestling action.

[Official Kyushu Pro Wrestling Channel][Preview] Kinniku Seimon Barai 2020

The Official Kyushu Pro Wrestling Channel presents the Hakata Hana Midori Cup 1DAY Tag Tournament: Kinniku Seimon Barai 2020. Matches in this video are as follows:

Hana Midori 1DAY Tag Tournament 2020 First Round match
Kenichiro Arai (former Open The Twin Gate Champion)
Minoru Fujita (former Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)
vs.
Alejandro
Mentai Kid

Hana Midori 1DAY Tag Tournament 2020 First Round match
Genkai (former Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)
Kengo Mashimo (former BJW Tag Team Champion)
vs.
Batten Blabla
Naoki Sakurajima (former Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)

Hana Midori 1DAY Tag Tournament 2020 Semi Final match
The winner of Kenichiro Arai/Minoru Fujita vs. Alejandro/Mentai Kid
vs.
Genki Horiguchi (Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)
Susumu Yokosuka (Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)

Hana Midori 1DAY Tag Tournament 2020 Semi Final match
The winner of Genkai/Kengo Mashimo vs. Batten Blabla/Naoki Sakurajima
vs.
Asosan (former Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)
Hitamaru Sasaki (former Kyushu Pro Tag Team Champion)

Kuma Arashi
vs.
Kodai Nozaki

Hana Midori 1DAY Tag Tournament 2020 Final match

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Kyushu Pro Wrestling

While most Japan-based pro-wrestling companies focus their efforts on Tokyo and other cities on Honshu island, there is a company that has been growing on the third largest of Japan's main islands- Kyushu. Beginning in 2007, Kyushu Pro Wrestling is an NPO (Non Profit Organization) that gives back to their community. Led by Kyushi Pro Wrestling Chairman Ryota Chikuzen (a 23-year veteran of the ring who has wrestled for companies such as NJPW and AJPW in Japan and AAA in Mexico), wrestlers from the company visit facilities for the elderly and provide pro-wrestling and martial arts classes to youths.



And of course, Kyushu Pro Wrestling also provides their community with exciting wrestling action. Its roster features a mix of talents who are familiar faces to fans of Japanese wrestling in general and talents who are popular with pro-wrestling fans in Kyushu such as:


Minoru Fujita (former BJW Death Match Heavyweight Champion)


Kenichiro Arai (Dragon Gate star)


Genkai (current Kyushu Pro Champion, has held the Championship a record three times, with his second reign being the second-longest reign in Kyushu Pro Wrestling history)


Mentai Kid (former Kyushu Pro Champion, and the longest-reigning Kyushu Pro Champion in the title's history)

Naoki Sakurajima (most recognized from his appearances in ZERO1 and AJPW)



Batten Blabla (most recognized from his appearances in DDT, BJW, and Dragon Gate)


Kodai Nozaki (most recognized from his appearances in BJW, ZERO1, and FMW)


Gabai Ji-chan (former DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion)


Junji Tanaka (most recognized from his appearances in BJW, NOAH, ZERO1, and FMW)


Asosan (former Kyushu Pro Champion)


Ryota Chikuzen (founder of Kyushu Pro Wrestling and the first Kyushu Pro Wrestling Champion)

Kyushu Pro Wrestling is very popular with fans in Kyushu- in 2018, their 10th anniversary show drew 2,210 fans. The event included names from outside of Kyushu Pro Wrestling, such as former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion TAKA Michinoku and former Open The Brave Gate Champion CIMA.

Now, Kyushu Pro Wrestling wants the entire world to know about them and what they have to offer. April 5th marked the debut of "Monday Night Vai!", Kyushu Pro Wrestling's new show that can be seen LIVE on YouTube.



New episodes will be broadcast the first Monday of each month at 19:00, Japan time. You can use a time zone converter to find out what time that is in your area to make sure that you don't miss any of the live pro-wrestling action.

"Monday Night Vai!" made its debut in a big way, as this month's episode includes appearances by talent from Michinoku Pro Wrestling. The matches are as follows:

Kuma Arashi
vs.
Kodai Nozaki

Three Way match
The Great Sasuke (founder of Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Legend, original holder of the J-Crown)
vs.
Gabai Ji-chan (former DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion)
vs.
Batten Blabla

Alejandro
vs.
Naoki Sakurajima

Genkai
Hitamaru Sasaki
Minoru Fujita (former Yokohama Shopping Street Six Man Tag Team Champion)
vs.
GAINA (Michinoku Pro Wrestling star)
Jinsei Shinzaki (Commissioner of Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Legend)
Taro Nohashi (Michinoku Pro Wrestling star)

Thursday, April 1, 2021

[Michinoku Pro][PREVIEW] 2021 Tokyo Tournament-One Sword Cut- 06/04/21

On Friday, June 4, 6:00 PM start time, Michinoku Pro makes its return to Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, the Madison Square Garden of Japan!



The Michinoku Pro roster features legends in the pro-wrestling industry, including The Great Sasuke- the founder of Michinoku Pro, a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion; and the original holder of the J-Crown, a unification of eight different titles from eight different companies (which included WWE and New Japan).



The Great Sasuke has been very successful in Michinoku Pro competition as well. He is a 3-time former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, and has also won titles in tag-team competition, holding the Tohoku Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions.



When The Great Sasuke isn't seeing singles action, he is usually teaming with Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei as the Sasuke-led, "Muno Taiyo" faction. Braham Shu & Kei are wild and unpredictable, and also should never be underestimated.



They are the fourth longest-reigning UWA World Tag Team Champions in pro-wrestling history, and have been co-holders of the Tohoku Tag Team Championship on four separate occasions, more times than any other team in the history of the Championship.



I previously have written about the history and value of the Tohoku & UWA World Tag Team Championship.



Along with legends, the Michinoku Pro roster also features young futures of the company, many of them products of the Michinoku Pro Dojo. Rui Hyūgaji is the current Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, and is in his third reign. Hyūgaji is the second longest-reigning Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion in Michinoku Pro history, and at the rate that he's currently going, may surpass the record of 550 days by the end of the year (Hyūgaji won the Championship on November 1, 2020).



However, a group of young wrestlers now collectively consider themselves to be the new generation of Michinoku Pro and strive to replace Rui Hyūgaji at the top of the Michinoku Pro mountain.



MUSASHI has held the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship once before, and intends to become Champion again. Although Ayumu Gunji has yet to hold singles gold, he has been very successful on the tag-team scene, holding the Tohoku Tag Team Championship on two occasions (one of the occasions while teaming with Rui Hyūgaji), as well as the UWA World Tag Team Championship (also with Hyūgaji). With no title wins under their belts yet, Yasutaka Oosera, Koji Kawamura, and Yasuyoshi Ogasawara are hungry for championship victories, and are now willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

The action in Michinoku Pro is about to heat up, just in time for its return to Tokyo two weeks before the start of summer. But not only will this event be limited to only 713 seats, but Michinoku Pro will be appearing at Korakuen Hall only three times this year! So don't miss this event! Tickets will be available for advance sale on April 16 (Friday) at 10:00 AM via Michinoku Pro Wrestling Online Shop. On April 17, tickets will be available at Lawson Ticket, Ticket Pia, e +, Famiport, Pro Wrestling Shop Champion, and via Michinoku Pro Wrestling Telephone Reservation- 019 (687) 2431.

Special ringside seats are 7,000 yen (7,500 yen on the day), Ringside seats are 6,000 yen (6,500 yen on the day), Reserved seat A is 5,000 yen (5,500 yen on the day), and Reserved seat B is 4,500 yen (5,000 yen on the day).

In an important note, if you purchase a ticket from someplace other than the online shop, you will have to write your address, name, and phone number on the ticket stub in order to be able to enter the arena. This is a part of contact tracing procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Internet's Impact on Sports/Fitness Industry Influencers

Although I have been a writer in the pro-wrestling industry since the 1990's, it still amazes me how much of an impact the Internet has had on influencers and bloggers in the sports industry. I lived in New York most of my life, but thanks to the Internet I have been able to connect with and subsequently write for pro-wrestling companies across the United States and around the world. I went from contributing to The Official Website of the NWO and WCW.com in the 1990's and early-2000s to writing columns for many independent promotions that were based in various states. In 2004, I started working for the Michigan-based Ultimate Championship Wrestling as a publicist/columnist, and they were the biggest independent promotion in the state at that time. That next year, I started doing a column for 3PW, a Philadelphia-based promotion that had DVDs available for sale in stores nationwide. Working for 3PW put me in connection with the UK-based 1PW, who I worked as a columnist for. In 2007 I started working as a columnist for XCW, a Texas-based promotion that was seen nationally on MAVTV, had a national DVD deal, and also had PPV events.

Two years later I began working for Big Japan Pro-Wrestling as a columnist, six years before I moved to Japan. I am currently writing for Michinoku Pro Wrestling. Since the time that I began writing for them, Michinoku Pro had a sellout, standing room only event on December 13, 2019 at the Korakuen Hall. The Korakuen Hall is known as a place where many historical moments in the Japanese pro-wrestling scene have occurred. It's to Japan what Madison Square Garden is to the pro-wrestling scene in the United States. The event had an attendance of 1,890. That was the highest reported attendance at the Korakuen Hall to date for a pro-wrestling event since April 2015.

Many of these opportunities in the pro-wrestling industry became available to me as a result of the growth of social media, and the growth is going to continue. According to market and consumer data provider Statista.com, "In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025."

Looking at social media growth at specifically the sports industry in general, market research company GlobalWebIndex states that going on social media as a result of watching or following sports events had increased by 47% in 2016, and 22% of consumers now look for sports content on social media.

Influencers & bloggers in the fitness industry have experienced recent growth as well due to the coronavirus pandemic. News reporter Melissa Howell of Washington’s Top News (WTOP) recently covered this topic, looking at the fitness trends to watch this year. She notes that the top trend for 2021 is online training.

One of the influencers that this is positive news for is Heather Matthews, owner of HLM Fitness, an online company that focuses on helping women build their confidence enough to make good health decisions. Matthews is a very qualified fitness influencer- she is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, a NASM fitness nutrition Specialist, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association Lifestyle and Weight Mgmt Specialist. In an interview, she discussed her background and role in the industry.

With sports/fitness influencers & bloggers continuing to grow in 2021, it will be interesting to see how the landscape looks a year from now.