Puro Report (10/2/2023 — 16/2/2024):

Written by Eli Conroy-de Voss.

A very small week this time around. We had one title change, a few big matches and some very profound moments. Almost all of them were inside of New Japan. Hopefully the rest of the scene picks up a little over the coming months.

New Japan Pro Wrestling:

NJPW’s New Beginning in Osaka show proved to be a very impressive one. Okada continued his road to departure, picking up a final victory over long time rival Hiroshi Tanahashi, while Will Ospreay completed his final match in New Japan, being pinned by David Finlay in the violent United Empire vs Bullet Club War Dogs steel cage match. He received heavy ovation in the aftermath. SHO has captured the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship, not by winning it, but by physically stealing it from El Desperado ahead of their match on the 23rd. In response to this, Desperado added another condition for their match: should SHO lose, he will have to leave House of Torture and join him in Strong Style. Chase Owens and KENTA are now IWGP Tag Team Champions, defeating Hikuleo and El Phantasmo at the same event, while Zack Sabre Jr picked up a big victory in his highly acclaimed rematch against Bryan Danielson. All in all, a rather impressive event. New Beginning in Osaka is slowly approaching, but in the meantime we are very much in Fantasticamania season, with many of CMLL’s finest spending some time in the land of the rising sun.

All Japan Pro Wrestling:

In an unfortunate turn of events, one half of the reigning AJPW Tag Team Champions, Rei Saito, has been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and will be forced to miss his upcoming title defence of the 25th, meaning the belts will be left vacant. Rei was also scheduled to face Katsuhiko Nakajima for the Triple Crown Championship, but his brother Jun will now fill in in his place. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.


In somewhat sadder news, former KO-D Openweight Champion and professional MMA fighter, Yukio Sakaguchi announced he would be retiring from pro wrestling in the near future. He claimed that it wasn’t due to a lack of emotion or physical ability — he simply felt the timing was right — and asked everyone to focus on the newer generation instead of himself. His last match will occur on February 7. Sakaguchi and Eruption stablemate Hideki Okatani also lost the All Asia Tag titles to Toy Kojima and Atsushi Onita. When Sakaguchi retires, Okatani will be the only member of Eruption left in the group.


Finally, before we move onto the women, Josh Barnett has returned to Japan with a very exciting proposal. After the success of his yearly Bloodsport events for GCW, the former UFC Champion has joined forces with Pancrase founder Minoru Suzuki to bring the event to Japan. “Bloodsport Bushido” will be hosted on the 22nd of June, and so far that is all we know, but given the people involved and the usual strength of these events this should be a very fun time.


Marvelous will be running the AAAW Tag League between February and April this year and as well as the already announced stars like Mio Momono, Ryo Mizunami, Takumi Iroha and more, a surprise participant has just been unveiled. Sadie Gibbs has made her return to the country after a number of years away, partnering with Ai Houzan to secure their first victory in the competition. Yuna Manase has stepped down from her position as “Ganbare Manager” so she can appear as a wrestle for the March 9th Ganbare Joshi show as a wrestler.

Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling:

After already being absent since late last year, TJPW announced that Hikari Noa would be absent in the near future as well. No direct reason has been given, but we wish her the best anyway.

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