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THE PULSE, Summer 2022

2 years ago

THE PULSE, Summer 2022

By: Mavs Gillis

Weʼre coming into our third year as a publication, three years and weʼve seen our sport through iterations we could have never imagined. For most of us though, there’s one aspect we have all missed out on: being there in person. Yes, we love our streaming services, and our handy online guides— but it doesn’t match being there live. Experiencing the crowd clapping to the beat of the theme music. Screaming out your favoriteʼs name. Being a part of a collective “ohhhhhhhhhhhhh” as a shocking comeback unfolds before our eyes. All of that live is what we crave.

We can all agree it’s fantastic to see wrestlers getting back and forth between Japan and the rest of the world, but the rest of us have been stuck in an epic chin lock — Red Shoes has checked our arm twice and is watching to see if it will drop for the final time. The real Forbidden Door has become the customs desk at Narita and Haneda airports. Two and a half years with border restrictions just staring at each other like Go Shiozaki and Kazuyuki Fujita.

On June 10th the Japanese government announced that tourism could resume under a guided tour situation. There’s almost as many stipulations as a foreigner to enter Japan on these tours as there would be on a DDT pay-per-view (maybe even more).

Upon receiving the details of how to apply to get back into Japan, I came to the conclusion I would have a better shot at winning the King Of Pro Wrestling trophy from Shingo Takagi in a Nova Scotia Strap Match where we’re connected at the ankle by a 10-foot rope. (It’s at the ankle because that creates a trip hazard as if it was on a fishing boat, hence Nova Scotia Strap Match.)

The other problem at the end of the day with these tours — I don’t know how many guided tours are making their way to Korakuen Hall, Ribera Steakhouse and Haoming Mask. Weʼre stuck, is what it really feels like. A collective pause in our fandom and in our lives. We’re stuck… The ones that got over there a lot. The ones that had their trip booked. The ones that always
dreamt of going.

The thing to remember is, weʼre not alone. I know we all would have loved to have pulled a Chris Brookes in being there and saying “I ainʼt leaving.” Yes, there have been Dusty finishes in thinking when the ability to return would have happened but as always, card subject to change. Thereʼs a resiliency in our fandom. If youʼre frustrated, if youʼre angered, if youʼre at
your breaking point, take what weʼve watched, take what we lived and use it. If you feel like giving up, get to the ropes.

If youʼre on the mat, pump your legs to get that shoulder up. If youʼre outside the ring and hearing Makato Abe nearing the 20, roll back in to break the count. If you got to tag out, tag out, but be on the apron, slapping the buckle, getting your composure and be ready to get back in like a house on fire for the hot tag. Keep the fight. Make a bunch of noise. Weʼve gone this far, weʼve got to finish it.

The World of Stardom champion, Syuri, is one of those who know how to fight to the finish. We have an exclusive Q&A with her all about making her name from MMA to the world of pro wrestling, leaving a legacy. When we talk legacy in womenʼs wrestling in Japan, thereʼs a name that sticks out around the world: Bull Nakano, and I hope you canʼt
wait to read Fumi Saitoʼs retrospective on her career and impact in this world.

Speaking of world impact, the AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door made exactly that, a world impact. Where do we go from here, the Forbidden Universe? Before we go to orbit, we have a full look back on the night that changed the game.

Itʼs all for inspiration, itʼs all to motivate, itʼs all to make you go for it. Letʼs keep getting after it…

This foreword first appeared in Monthly Puroresu Issue #9.

Written by:

I've been a local sports broadcaster in Halifax, Nova Scotia for more than eight years. You might have also heard me on New Japan Pro-Wrestling broadcasts as one of a handful who have worked as an English announcer. When Thom reached out to me about doing the first Monthly Puroresu magazine, I gave him two thumbs up – and have kicked off every issue since with a column that serves as a foreword.