A Beginner’s Guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling: 10 Matches for NJPW Newbies

Everyone has been talking about it. You’ve seen the internet blow-up over their five and six star matches, you’ve seen everyone wearing Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon t-shirts, and you’ve even heard WWE commentators talk about the likes of AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Gallows and Anderson being IWGP champions – so why haven’t you started watching New Japan Pro Wrestling? Is it because it’s on the other side of the globe? Maybe it’s not the style of wrestling you’re used to? Perhaps you’re worried you won’t recognise any of their stars? Or is it because you just have no idea where to start? Well, here’s where I come in to help. I know how daunting it can be delving into an entire new world of wrestling, and you might need a little bit of guidance through this strange Eastern promotion.

In this guide, I have provided ten matches for New Japan newbies to help get you into watching some of the best grappling on the planet. I’ve made my selections based not only on in-ring quality, but also on how accessible they are to new fans – each match features something that will be familiar to you, whether that be familiar faces that have had significant success in the west, English commentary to help you along the way, or that it’s easy to access online without setting up a paid subscription. I’ll also explain some of the traditions, unique quirks, and oddities that come along with this fantastic promotion. But that’s enough talk, let’s get down to some wrestling: here are 10 Matches for NJPW Newbies.

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Top 10 Candidates to Join Bullet Club

Bullet Club is the most popular stable in the wrestling world. Not since the late 90s have we seen a group completely take over the sport quite like this. Bullet Club shirts are the new NWO shirts, and too sweet is the new…too sweet.

The group has had some of the biggest stars in wrestling in its ranks over the last few years, including two of WWE’s biggest stars right now, but given the turnover of talent they’ve already experienced since their inception, and that the group currently contains some of the most highly scouted performers in the world, Bullet Club is always open to new recruits. But when the time comes to bring in some new bone soldiers, who should the Biz Cliz turn to? Well, I may have just who they are looking for. Here are my Top 10 Candidates to Join Bullet Club.

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Chris Jericho – The Greatest of All Time?

If you had asked me my thoughts on Chris Jericho before 2016, I probably would have responded, “Meh, he’s alright.”

I’ve never been much of a fan, but I’ve never really known why. When I was a child, I just didn’t take to Jericho and his weird hair, and that carried on as I got older. Have you ever thought a song sounded okay, but it was by a band you hated so you didn’t allow yourself to enjoy it? That’s how I felt with Jericho. Even when he was doing great things I couldn’t acknowledge to his brilliance. That is until this year. His current run is the lengthiest he’s had in years, and has arguably been the best work of his career. He’s one of, if not the most entertaining parts of WWE at the moment, and his impeccable work this year has made me realise how great he is, was, and always will be.

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10 Women’s Wrestling Matches You Need to See

As much as I adore wrestling, it has to be said that it does have its problems. Possibly the biggest drawback of all to this industry is its clear gender inequalities. As someone who’s focused the majority of their university studies on sexism, feminism, and representations of gender, it pains me that one of my biggest loves in life is plagued with unequal gender opportunities, and at times, overt sexism. Thankfully though, gone are the days of the Bra and Panties match, and bikini contests, as the major companies have finally realised that the fans aren’t actually watching their products for partial nudity and mild titillation, we’re watching for some good ol’ fashion wrasslin’.

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