Gatoh Move always gives the impression of being an AU Ice Ribbon: Similliar yet different. Wish I had the will to watch it (and everything else, really)
It's a given since Emi Sakura founded both promotions, but Ice Ribbon looked a good amount like what Gatoh Move does now apart from a few things, including the wrestling in small room idea. Then she left the promotion, created Gatoh Move, and IR(or Neoplus who owns them) starts doing a lot more with it. It's late night and I feel I'm missing some pieces of information but that's the simple way to put it. Kyuri, Kurumi, Tsukushi, Riho, Kotori, Tsukasa, Hikaru Shida, and Miyako and more were trained by Sakura in that time in Ice Ribbon. Of course, Riho and Kotori and Sayaka Obihiro(I think was trained in Ice Ribbon) went with Sakura in Gatoh Move, and workers turned freelance that were in Sakura era IR like Shida, Makoto and Aoi Kizuki work there as well.
I hated it forever but there's this weird toleration I have for it most times now. Not completely grown on me, don't think it ever will, but I stomach it down more than I used to.
Stardom also never did anything to me, so it's kinda annoying (though understandable) that it's the only thing people talk about. What I saw wasn't bad but hardly above and beyond everything else. They also probably have more belts than people on the roster.
The weird trick with Stardom is something I realised earlier this year while watching a Shinkiba show or whatever: At its core, it's not an awful promotion. Like the smaller show can be ok or even kinda solid, but there's a lot of scattered shit laid out that ruins it. The repetition, bland cards, the shitty shitty plate of foreigners they bring in, too many belts, the weird way things are just hot shotted and rushed, and nothing there at all to try and even smoke and mirrors it up besides hoping Io or Kairi can carry the foreigners to something, no real angles or stories or character arcs or characters to make up for it. And while the smaller shows have those issues at least scattered or sometimes absent, the Korakuen Hall shows bring it all together and REALLY fucks with any liking that could be had with the promotion, to the point where they're honestly the worst part of Stardom. The only two half decent Korakuen show I've seen in full that I can think of was the Cinderella Tournament last year and the December show with Io/Mayu. The others just range from this strange imbalance of meh, average, or terrible(good lord that 5 Star GP show). This year is not as bad as last year which was horrendous, but I cant recommend a single full show to anybody and say "oh man, go through this shit here" from recent times except the 2 I've named.
Its discussion frequency makes sense, though. They had a good amount of it before but the Act/Yoshiko incident sparked it for good. plus, all of their Korakuen shows air on Samurai, do 8-12 of those a year, everyone new starts out on puro with pro shot shows and matches(casual puro fans dont care about smaller shows shot in hardcam only), it gets out a lot more eyes since they're the only ones getting that frequency on TV except OZ, fill the promotion with western workers(this has been a Rossy move for years but it goes rampant in 2016 especially), start a streaming service directly aimed at western fans with English subs. It sucks since the promotion really isn't even a decent one on the grand scale but ehh, but life ain't fair so it's fine to just enjoy how much better your opinions are than their's
Also, fuck Io's title reign already, i can't help but repeat that
Speaking of too many belts, Sendai Girls has 3 belts for 5 home wrestlers - two veterans, two rookies and a super rookie. That's 2 belts more than they need. And having outsiders holding the tag belts only leads to millions and millions of Shida/Syuri vs Chisako+someone else (because they NEED a home talent in a title match).
Well, it's 2 championships in the company not 3, but yeah. There was almost a whole 10 month period where the tag titles were vacated and never addressed after DASH's sister retired while they were holding the titles. That was basically the giveaway of how pointless it was to tag belts around. Having a main singles belt is fine, especially with some handicaps involved.
I can't comment on Tokyo Joshi Pro since all I know about it is how bad Saki Akai was years ago lol
She's gotten better over the years, you can tell there's more focus into improving in her than there was a few years ago. Her singles match with Yumi Ohka in Yokohama in November was good, and so was her match with Rika Tatsumi in Tokyo Joshi Pro recently.
Originally Posted by -Sambo Italiano-
I have to concur. I just got into it after seeing a clip of the Mayu Iwatani vs Io Shirai match and I've absolutely loved it.
I don't know why they have matches with kids though.
Girls as young as preteen being involved in joshi is essentially the pull that made it a very popular niche in the first place. AJW, the once sole joshi promotion, that also marketed the promotion to school girls, picked out young Japanese girls to be apart of the promotion and when they reached a certain age(25 iirc), they had to retire, and there was no alternative to go to until the late 80s came along. It was in hindsight a stupid rule for many reasons and things outside of AJW starting making their names which led to the rule being dropped(and the target audience would start shifting), and would sort of curse joshi's future with a lot of young workers retiring early(though they have their various reasons), but that was the time and that was their marketing to their audience. Nowadays it's just whatever. Stardom has always picked up preteens and single digit workers(HARUKA aka "that little girl Kenny Omega wrestling was from there) to train and Ice Ribbon is/was the same way. Girls like Riho and Kurumi would start out at 10 or so and rank up over time as 11 and 7 year pros respectively as of now.