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Match Writing Aid: Japanese Shows

OHAI! I’m Justin Taylor aka Angry Justin about everywhere I go.

Before anybody decides to rage because I’m “telling you how to do something” or you think I’m trying to “make you agree with me,” know that you’re an idiot and this post is not for you.

If you’re writing a match for a Japanese audience such as at the Tokyo Dome and you’re not familiar with Japanese wrestling, then this is the post for you. I was asked to write this so that Japanese shows can be both realistic as far as presentation goes, and be kept somewhat uniform.

So, here we go!

About the Fans
First off, the Japanese wrestling fan is much more subdued than your average wrestling fan. It’s in their culture. They’re not gonna be hooting and hollering and chanting your favorite catchphrases and popping for every little spot. The vast majority of the time the biggest reaction you’re going to get is hushed “oohs” and “ahhs” and polite applause. Culturally, they feel like anything more would be interrupting, and thus rude.

There will be very few people who most of them have any real interest in, as most of the roster hasn’t competed in Japan. They won’t shit on them, and they’ll cheer the athletics (so much as they do), but they’re only going to be emotionally invested in the people who they know. Off the top of my head a few of the only type of people who should be getting any big reactions would be a character who is a movie star, a long reigning World Champion and a legacy, and someone who has, say, 20 years in the business including multiple world titles and tours of Japan.

It should also be said that there won’t be a lot of jeering or booing. The heels are gonna get cheered based on athletics, and heel antics will be met mostly with a straight face. You have to reeeeally be a shitbag to get them booing you over there.

They will pop for the bigger spots and sequences in matches, especially in the lead up to the finish. However, don’t get it twisted, they’re not gonna be hangin’ off the rafters going bananas. They just aren’t. The bigger/better/more spectacular/harder hitting/more dangerous a spot is, the more they will pop. But still, they’ll keep it subdued for the most part.

Also, they’re not generally super keen on multi-man matches or gimmick matches. They’ll watch and applaud when necessary, but this is a real sport to them and they see a bunch of fuckery as what it is, fuckery. Gimmicks and clusterfucks are just not done over there. So, if you’re doing one of those matches, keep in mind the audience and don’t write it like they’re going insane for your spotfest gimmick match, because they aren’t.

On Ring Entrances
Unlike the Western way of having the announcer introduce each wrestler as he enters, in Japan both fighters or teams will enter to their music with whatever entourage they may or may not have. Once inside the ring they will do introductions, there will be a Japanese translator echoing the English announcing, but I wouldn’t try to write that in. Streamers come in the bigger matches at the point that each man is introduced and the ring attendees are quick to get it the fuck out of there and stuffed under the ring. If there is a title on the line it is presented next, and in most cases both parties will pose for pictures with the title belt held between them by the referee or a representative.

On Segments
Don’t do an in-ring. Just don’t. Unless you speak Japanese, it’s fucking stupid. It’d be a guy standing in front of sixty-thousand people speaking a language they don’t understand, and while they’d give the same polite applause, they wouldn’t know or give a shit what you’re saying. If you need to say something, say it backstage with an interviewer in segments that will go out to the PPV audience but not be seen by the audience in attendance. If this is confusing to you, ask in the comments below, and I’ll try to explain it better.

Hope this helps.

Justin Taylor
@Defiance4u
http://defiancewrestling.com


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