There’s nothing I love more than being awaken in the middle of the night by my phone buzzing like crazy. Usually when this happens, Voices of Wrestling co-owner Joe Lanza is live tweeting a random New Japan Pro Wrestling show or he’s engaging in an argument (whether heated or civic).

Eventually I push my dogs out of the way grab my phone and put it on “Do Not Disturb” and check it out in the morning. This morning’s argument stemmed from a tweet by Fighting Spirit Magazine/Figure Four Weekly contributor and friend of the site David Bixenspan:

Immediately Joe (on his personal account) responded “No.” and a number of other people chimed in with their thoughts including STRIGGA (one of the head men over at and a former WWE writer and a contributor to this very site Kevin Marshall:

Dozens of others chimed in but I wanted to focus on a few key highlights keeping up with the theme of exposure for women’s pro wrestling in Japan:

Eventually, Joe jumped back into the conversation and will be the kickoff to this article which aims not to take a stance or a side but provide information on the TV wrestling landscape in Japan.

I specifically want to target the idea of “nobody has great exposure in Japan.” How could this be true? Pro wrestling is huge in Japan, right? We see a flood of uploads from Eric Cholminski (@NJPWGaijinEric) and Jahmale Hepburn every week, all this wrestling airs on TV and yet nobody has great exposure? There’s an entire channel devoted to pro wrestling in Japan (Samurai TV) — how could they not have great exposure? When you study the program guide for Samurai TV, TV Asahi, GAORA and NTV G+ (the four major television stations in Japan showing pro wrestling), you’ll see exposure isn’t great for anyone. We’ll also make special note of the Joshi promotions which are at the center of this discussion.

First off looking at Samurai TV’s schedule in the month of March, we see very little first-run pro wrestling content on the network and even less live wrestling. The month of March features 39 first-run/”new” wrestling shows — 14 of which are live wrestling shows. The others are a collection of highlight shows “Breaking! Battle Men”, “NJPW Archive”, “Women’s Wrestle Review”, “NOAH Archive”, “NJPW Battle DX”, “All Woman Classics”, “Wrestling Nau” and of course, “This Week in WWE” which will air four times in March.

As far as first-run live shows here’s the breakdown by promotion (the majority of which air between 18:00-23:00 which is “6:00-11:00 p.m.” in Japan)

  • DDT:(March 14, March 29, March 30) 
  • Big Japan Pro Wrestling: 2 (March 10, March 26)
  • STARDOM: 2 (March 20, March 29)
  • NJPW:(March 8, March 31) 
  • Zero1: 1 (March 7)
  • Legend the Pro-Wrestling:(March 17)
  • Zero1 vs. W1: 1 (March 22)
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling: 1 (March 27) 
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH: 1 (March 28) 

Us english-speaking fans take for granted how easily we consume Puro these days, one look at Jahmale Hepburn’s DailyMotion page and we see a flood of content, all of these TV shows, spot show, etc. When it’s uploaded, we consume it and move on. It’s much harder than that for Eric Cholminski who wakes up at all times of the night to record these shows. I didn’t list the TV schedule here but there’s very little rhyme or reason to what airs, when, what’s live, what’s a re-run, etc. So seriously, next time you sit down and binge watch Puro on DailyMotion, think about the tremendous amount of work that goes into it. Samurai TV’s maniac schedule may be a reflection of their popularity. I won’t pretend to know the first thing about Japanese television but according to Cholminski  (who recently returned from a trip to Japan):

“It’s the weirdest thing — When I was over there I talked to so many people and none of them, I mean literally ZERO people I talked to had (Samurai TV). Baffling.”

Anyway, a ton of wrestling promotions receive exposure on Samurai TV including one of the promotions in question STARDOM which has more prime-time, first-run shows in the month than Zero1, Legend the Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH. Joshi promotions also received their very own highlight/clip show once in the month of March, contrasted to the numerous times throughout the month “New Japan Battle DX” aired. “Breaking! Battle Men” isn’t 100% as advertised as Joshi promotions are covered in this overall clip/highlight show.

New Japan Pro Wrestling also airs on TV Asahi which is a much larger network in Japan, making it the only promotion to have TV on a substantial network. The problem: “World Pro Wrestling” airs 3:15-3:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Not exactly prime time.

NTV’s G+ sports channel also shows a fair amount of wrestling but it’s almost exclusively classic matches, Pro Wrestling NOAH and, shockingly TNA. Lots and lots of TNA. NOAH will air three times in March and TNA will run 12 (!) times. NOAH makes up a lot of ground from only have one Samurai TV show in March but no other native promotions make much of a dent as far as live/new programming goes.

GAORA is a sports television network that also airs wrestling, most notably Dragon Gate (which airs numerous times throughout March) as well as Wrestle-1 (four airings in March), All Japan Pro Wrestling (one airing) and OZ Academy (a Joshi promotion which also has one airing in the month).

Again, I don’t want to take a stance on this argument though I’m sure we’ll discuss it on the next Voices of Wrestling podcast, just wanted to gather information for the future and share it with you guys. Take some time to thank Eric and Jahmale for providing easy-to-find, easy-to-access Puro on DailyMotion, those guys are miracle workers.