This guide is designed to provide some quick insight into the world of Joshi wrestling and help a newcomer learn a little bit about each promotion and where to watch them. We have a comprehensive guide already done on World Wonder Ring Stardom so let’s kick this off with one of the other well known Joshi promotions
Product: A real workrate promotion Sendai Girls is focused on putting on great matches with the titles usually being props and at times going months at a time without being defended. There aren’t many storylines either outside of natural grudges between two performers but it’s one of the easiest promotions to watch with a real variety shown on their cards which are usually quick and easy to watch. The shows are built around the core group of Meiko Satomura, Chihiro Hashimoto, DASH Chisako, and Hiroyo Matsumoto
Champions: Sendai Girls World Championship (Chihiro Hashimoto), Sendai Girls Tag Team Championship (Reiwa Ultimate Powers DASH Chisako & Hiroyo Matsumoto), Sendai Girls Junior Championship (Manami)
Product: Similar to SG Marvelous is all about putting out good matches. Although it does a much better job of establishing grudges between people, Yoshiko and Takumi Iroha building to a match though tags for example. What sets the promotion apart is its homegrown talents Mikoto Shindo, Maria, and Mei Hoshizuki as well as it’s extremely talented ace Takumi Iroha battling each other and the top tier outsiders they usually book on shows.
Champions: No titles
Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling
Product: If storylines and compelling characters are what you want from wrestling then Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling is for you. Home to the infamous Maki Itoh it is a promotion where the in-ring wrestling is weaker than in other companies but the storylines and characters draw you in and make you invested. The company does have strong workers though with the likes of Miyu Yamashita, Yuka Sakazaki, and Natsumi Maki producing good work-rate matches.
Champions: Princess Of Princesses Championship (Yuka Sakazaki), International Princess Championship (Thunder Rosa), Princess Tag Team Championship (Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi)
Product: SEAdLINNNG’s product is shaped by its founder Nanae Takahashi. The matches are often filled with stiff strikes and big matches are made to feel like a real battle between competitors. Things are changed up with the high-speed matches where the unique rules – competitors must run the ropes twice or roll up and opponent for pins to count – make the matches very fun and stand out from the other matches on the card. Storylines are usually built around personal grudges like the Nanae vs Arisa Nakajima rivalry. It has a small home roster of four competitors which means the rest of the card is filled with talented outsiders and freelancers which makes every show fun.
Champions: SEAdLINNNG Beyond The Sea Championship (Arisa Nakajima), SEAdLINNNG Beyond The Sea Tag Team Championship (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Yoshiko)
Where To Watch: NicoPro, SEAdLINNNG Live PPVs
Product: Ice Ribbon is a promotion with a lot of variety on their shows. Their large roster features frantic youngsters like Suzu Suzuki, hosses like Satsuki Totoro, killers like Tsukushi, and whatever the heck Chairwoman Ram is. The wrestling is varied and no matter what you like there is something for you on an Ice Ribbon show and it’s typically done at a high level.
Champions: ICExInfinity Championship (Maya Yukihi), International Ribbon Tag Team Championship (The Dropkickers Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi), Triangle Ribbon Championship (Tae Honma)
Product: PURE-J is very dry wrestling that’s all about the in-ring work with wrestlers usually throwing stiff strikes. The shows are built around Hanako Nakamori and Leon as the top tier of the promotion and both are very talented in different ways.
Champions: PURE-J Openweight Championship (Hanako Nakamori), Daily Sports Tag Team Championship (Makoto & Moeka Haruhi)
Product: Gatoh Move is a wonderfully unique promotion of Emi Sakura‘s trainees that holds the majority of its shows in Ichigaya Chocolate Square. Its ring is a small mat placed against a wall with a small, intimate crowd in attendance. How the performers incorporate the wall and work around the setting is what makes this promotion so good. It helps that their roster is filled with talented performers and smart workers who continue to innovate where possible. GTMV is a promotion we’ve covered in some detail in the past including profiles on multiple roster members
Champions: Super Asia Championship (Vacant), Asia Dream Tag Team Championship (Tropikawild SAKI & Yuna Mizumori)
Pro Wrestling WAVE
Product: WAVE is another promotion dedicated to putting on the best matches possible. Ever since their reboot they haven’t been able to reach their previous heights with their own roster being small and thus lacking any really unique and outstanding performers as their top names are also used elsewhere. They currently have a feud going with Marvelous that has reignited the product and has begun pushing outsiders Miyuki Takase and Syuri at the top of the card which has helped deepen their main event scene.
Champions: Regina Di Wave (Nagisa Nozaki), WAVE Tag Team Championship (Sakura Hirota & Yuki Miyazaki)
Product: AgZ openly recruits entertainers and idols and turns them into wrestlers. The promotion most notably produced Tam Nakano and focuses moreso on character work with the entertainment coming primarily from the interplay between characters. This doesn’t mean that the actual wrestling is bad though AgZ houses some really good workers like Miyuki Takase, Riko Kawabata, and up until recently had Saori Anou. With Anou’s recent departure and Himeka Arita leaving the top of the card will need new names so it’ll be fun to jump into AgZ now to see who they push to the top.
Champions: AgZ Championship (Miyuki Takase)
Where To Watch: NicoPro, Actwres girl’z Net
Product: OZ Academy is a nostalgic promotion with several veterans from the last Joshi boom being used as regulars. The company often has really good undercard matches with these veterans being happy to stand and trade stiff shots with outsiders while the main event scene is dominated by the heel faction Ozaki-Gun and their rivalry with Beast Friends. Ozaki matches are an acquired taste and are full of heel shenanigans and interference but the rest of the card often has some great matches featuring people like AKINO and Sonoko Kato who don’t appear elsewhere.
Champions: OZ Academy Openweight Championship (Mayumi Ozaki), OZ Academy Tag Team Championships (MISSION 4K AKINO & Sonoko Kato)
Where To Watch: NicoPro
World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana
Product: Diana is a promotion that for some time didn’t air shows and was difficult to watch. While that’s improved as of late we’re still getting a feel for the promotion but so far it seems like a workrate promotion where there aren’t many storylines. Sareee was previously the main draw of the promotion but with her gone to WWE it is an interesting promotion that has veterans like Kyoko Inoue, Kaoru Ito, and Jaguar Yokota as well as young talents like Madeline, Haruka Umesaki, and Nanami who the promotion may build around in future, Madeline especially oozes charisma.
Where To Watch: NicoPro, Diana YouTube Channel (only occasional match uploads)