Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Professional wrestling is vastly different around the world. Here in America, professional wrestling is heralded as entertainment and not a real sport. It is often akin to a “soap opera for men.” It has story lines, comedy, drama, tragedy and triumph. However, it also has athletic ability. Professional wrestling in America is a time honored tradition for some and is ridiculed by others. One either loves pro wrestling or one hates it. There is no middle ground. The professional wrestling fan comes in many colors and from diverse backgrounds. Some fans love it because of the gratuitous violence and bloodshed while other fans love the pure athleticism of it. Some fans love the chair shots, the ladder matches and the weapons matches while other fans love the high flying maneuvers, the different takedowns and the different wear down holds. However, a majority of the fans love both aspects of it.
Professional wrestling in Japan is entirely different than pro wrestling in North and Latin American. Japanese wrestling or puroresu, as it is known as there, is likened to a combat sport. Japanese pro wrestlers are all treated with respect by every Japanese fan as well. Puroresu is short for "purofesshonaru resuringu or “professional wrestling”. Puroresu combines intricate submission holds mixed with martial arts shoot style strikes and although there are very few gimmicks and story lines, the matches, like pro wrestling in America, have predetermined outcomes. Professional wrestling in Japan was never really popular until a man named Rikidozan put it on the map in 1951. He is the Japanese equivalent of Hulk Hogan because professional wrestling in America was never as main stream as it became when Hulk Hogan entered the WWE, then WWF, with his charisma and defeated the hated Iron Sheik for the World Title.
In puroresu, matches are won by: a (fôru), which is a pin fall, a (nokkauto), which is a knock-out or a failure to answer a ten count, a (ringu auto), which is a count out and another way to win the match in puroresu is by (gibappu), which means to “give up”. Another difference is that Japanese wrestling has a twenty count outside of the ring as opposed to the ten count in America.
It doesn’t matter what country you are from. Either hate pro wrestling or love it but everyone should at least respect every single wrestler that steps into the ring. They put their bodies on the line each and every night for the enjoyment and entertainment of the fans. Call them actors if you want but know that actors have stunt doubles to do the dirty work and wrestlers don’t. If you ever get a chance to meet a professional wrestler, make sure you thank them for all they do and go through for your entertainment.