What does it take to realize a dream? That answer lies in the willingness of the dreamer. What are you willing to endure to make your dream a reality? Come inside and learn of a group of courageous young people finding out exactly what it takes to find their respective places in the universe.
I’m Brian Andrews. Let’s get started.
Welcome, everybody. My name is, of course, Brian Andrews, and I have a special treat for you this week. While I am primarily known for my infinite wisdom and insight into the WWE and the Universe surrounding it, my tastes in professional wrestling do indeed stretch a bit further than what the McMahon family offers on a week to week basis.
This week we’re going to dig into something I came across fairly recently, a documentary that is powerful in it’s presentation, and captivating in it’s content. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to join me on a journey across the Pacific, to a place that has a slightly different definition of the term “sports entertainment”. My little Padawans, this week, we travel to the land of the rising sun, Japan.
You may have noticed the emphasis on the word “sports” above. That is no mistake. In Japan, the value of professional wrestling is not in the pageantry, or the characters, but in the competition. The length in which you are willing to go to defeat your enemy is something that has never been lost in Japanese culture, or by extension, it’s entertainment. Whether your enemy is another country, a failing industry, the person standing across from you in the arena of battle, or even your own fear of inadequacy, the Japanese are a people that value the strong and courageous. They place value in those with the strength and courage to find the value in themselves to be victorious.
Since the largest contingency of my readers are smarks and wannabe know-it-alls (r/SquaredCircle), I feel it unnecessary to mention the larger name promotions and wrestlers from Japan. That’s not what this is about anyways. I would, however, like to direct your attention to a small promotion that only lived for a decade, but has given me direct influence on who I am as a person, and how I exist as a fictional character.
We can fight the power. We can fight forever.
We are liberty!
We are violent!
We are freak-out!
We are…….. GAEA JAPAN!!!!
7. 不本意のスピリット (Spirit of the [un]Willing)
The match shown above is from Gaea’s first show, Memorial First Gong. It features the company’s founder, Chigusa Nagayo, in a bloody and brutal affair that would rival the most extreme wrestling you would see on mainstream American television.
For the uninformed, Chigusa Nagayo was one half of the most popular Japanese tag team of all-time, The Crush Gals. Nagayo and her partner Lioness Asuka’s popularity was astounding. They had multiple runs as the WWWA World Tag Team Champions, and even had several top 10 singles in Japan. To call their popularity Hulk Hogan-esque would be an insult to these wonderful ladies. They were over in ways that Hogan could only dream about, and that is no exaggeration. After The Crush Gals split, Chigusa Nagayo would go on to win the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship, before leaving professional wrestling at the mandatory retirement age of 26.
Retirement was not enough to keep Chigusa Nagayo idle for long. In 1995, she formed Gaea Japan: a group of wrestlers comprised of Nagayo, other veteran wrestlers, and the rookies that they trained. The promotion was an instant success, and gained recognition. In the year 2000, the BBC presented a documentary on this captivating organization, and the young women who would sacrifice anything and everything to be a part of it.
I would insist, if you have the time, to watch this documentary in it’s entirety. This, younglings, is the very spirit of professional wrestling. If any of you out there were wondering what it’s like to train to be a wrestler, or rather, what it’s like to chase your dream, then you need to study this film.
I sometimes feel like, in our Western society, that there isn’t enough discipline. I feel like we have it too easy. I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, but I’m sure there is a large percentage of you reading this article and watching that film thinking that these young women are being brutalized. Some of you may think that Chigusa and the others are being too hard on the young ones. Let me tell you this: If there is something that you want to do in this life, then you must be willing accept what that might mean. I’ve been to wrestling school here in the states, but after watching that film, I think I need to go back.
The amount of physicality that these young women endure in one day was more than I had to deal with in a week’s worth of classes. Perhaps I went to a “soft” school, but I doubt there is an American equivalent to what I witnessed. My hat goes off to Takeuchi Saika, and all the Gaea Girls that went through that camp.
That is something that is missing in mainstream professional wrestling today: the warrior’s spirit. How can I believe that the WWE or TNA for that matter really showcases the best wrestlers in the world, when you have guys like Jack Swagger passing out in a Camel Clutch after less than ten minutes of competition?
Here is one more from my main lady overseas, you aren’t required to watch this (although you would be doing yourself a grave disservice not to), but check the time on the video. We need to bring in some of this spirit to our American television. We are now entering the next era of WWE programming, it is a perfect time to get some of these guys built up to the point where we can watch them wrestle and actually believe they are competing again.
I mean, our WWE World Heavyweight Champion is Brock Lesnar. Brock LESNAR. Who do we have that would even stand a chance? No amount of Bo-lief can stop The Beast, and I don’t care how big the “Roman” Empire grows, he too will fall as easily as John Cena when put up against The (Current) Big Thing.
With all that said, thank you for coming on this trip with me. I am Brian Andrews typing LIVE here in the Temple of Infinitude, signing off.