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MONTHLY PURORESU Special Edition ’23


Monthly Puroresu Special Edition 2023

Out of stock


Let’s be honest: The last few years of Japanese wrestling have been a whirlwind and an adventure for everyone. Monthly Puroresu first started during the lockdown when companies started to experiment with the idea of shows without fans, such as STARDOM’s No People Gate and Gatoh Move’s YouTube show ChocoPro. Later in the year, we saw the return of crowds in a limited capacity, with only clapping allowed.

It was an interesting time to be a wrestling fan, with interesting concepts and ways to hook our attention being developed from a variety of different companies, yet deep down we all know that the magic wasn’t there like it was before. Miyuki Takase had told me that one of the hardest parts of becoming a freelancer during this period was being unable to hear the crowd chant alongside her and feel their energy as she performed in the squared circle.

Three years on from the start of the pandemic, Monthly Puroresu sits on eleven numbered issues and crowds almost fully back to cheering and in much bigger capacities. Previously in The Pulse, Mavs Gillis wrote about the process of trying to enter Japan amidst the border restrictions, but with these limitations finally lifted for foreigners and a fanbase of eager wrestling fans ready to have their voices heard, a new post-pandemic era has dawned on puroresu as we explore the idea of freedom in this special edition.

We wanted to capture how performers express themselves to the world, their motivations, and what it’s like to be a star – as well as the people behind-the-scenes who make Japanese wrestling more accessible to a foreign audience.

If this were an album, we’d call it Learn To Fly – perfectly suited to Unagi Sayaka, who came to our interview draped in an American flag. She left STARDOM in the middle of 2022 to start the Gyan Era and work as a freelancer, making her debut at West Coast Pro’s Queen of Indies against Billie Starkz while carrying ambitions of wrestling all around the United States.

We also spoke with recently crowned Wonder of Stardom champion Mina Shirakawa – someone who finished one story inside the ring, started another, and found her calling as the leader of Club Venus while ending Saya Kamitani’s historic fifteen White Belt defences record. Mina was open about her ambitions with us, expressing her feelings about the title itself and what the future could hold for her newly established unit.

Back in March, we were lucky enough to visit the studio of Coelacanth Factory, who produce YouTube videos for Actwres girl’Z talents Nagisa Shiotsuki, Sakura Mizushima, Koara Fujimoto, and Kanamic – who speak in detail about their channel and as being performers in new era of AWG; their gear inspirations, training and unique entrance theatrics and much more. It’s a fantastic read even for those not so in-touch with the joshi puroresu world outside of STARDOM and TJPW.

Managers and translators have long played a key part of breaking the language barrier as Japanese wrestlers make their name abroad, helping them succeed in a tough American market for companies from yesteryear’s WCW to modern day GCW. In Region Break, our editor in chief looks at how critical these roles are and talks to a pair of today’s behind the scenes influencers.

The DDT Universal Champion MAO and Joey Janela switched places recently, with one going to Japan right as the other left his home country for the indies in America. Both men are DIY maniacs, and we were eager to get a look inside their wild ways of thinking. Janela, of course, carries some controversy… but he told us what “freedom” means in wrestling during the internet era, and how to make the most of it.

This special issue is a celebration of that freedom in the world of pro-wrestling; it can come in many forms, in different ways – but the one constant in it all is that everyone is unique and everyone has their own story to tell that can be expressed through wrestling. Now more than ever is a fantastic time to be a fan of puroresu, with so many options to watch and find what you like best. There’s a whole world out there ready to explore, and it’s been a blast chronicling the wrestlers who are out there learning to fly.

Introduction written by James Carlin

Additional information

Weight 5 oz
Dimensions 20 × 20 × 20 in