New Japan Pro Wrestling was one of two wrestling promotions (the other being All Japan Pro Wrestling
) to split off from the JWA in the 1970s
. Founded by Antonio Inoki in 1972, it competed with AJPW for supremacy in the wrestling field. Despite floundering during the 1990s
due to AJPW's dominance, NJPW is currently the largest wrestling promotion in Japan and one of the largest in the world.
From its creation in 1972 until 1986, NJPW was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance
, although All Japan was able to block most Western talent from working in New Japan; the main holdouts were Andre The Giant
, Hulk Hogan
, and Stan Hansen
(who eventually jumped to AJPW, becoming the highest paid wrestler in Japan in the process). Traditionally, New Japan was the least "Westernized" of the two major league promotions, working a more realistic, submission and kick-based style based on Eastern martial arts. While more of a "sports entertainment" approach is used by NJPW compared to its counterpart in AJPW, the company is also known for openly engaging in working agreements with various MMA and pro wrestling promotions around the world, including: World Wrestling Entertainment
, World Championship Wrestling
, Ring of Honor
, PRIDE Fighting Championships, Pro Wrestling NOAH
and various other MMA and pro wrestling promotions.note
Their biggest yearly show is the January 4th Tokyo Dome show, equivalent to Japan's WrestleMania
Tropes associated with New Japan Pro Wrestling:
- Ax Crazy: Takashi Iizuka.
- Big Van Vader
- Akira Maeda and Koji Kitao were real-life examples.
- The Bad Guy Wins: This was Masahiro Chono's calling card.
- Bad Intentions.
- No Remorse Corps did this to Apollo 55.
- Bash Brothers: Gedo and Jado.
- Boring, but Practical: The cross armbar (juji-gatame) is the most basic finisher in strong-style, as it has proved to be a very effective move in MMA and other martial arts.
- Boring Invincible Hero: Antonio Inoki.
- A common complaint leveled at Hiroshi Tanahashi.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Many over time, most recently Tetsuya Naitō.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Not as prominent as Dragon Gate, but long haired pretty boys make up a portion of the roster.
- Confusion Fu: Shinsuke Nakamura.
- Creator Breakdown: This certainly happened to Antonio Inoki near the end of his run.
- Creator Killer: During the MMA rise, Antonio Inoki became obsessed with adding legitimacy to his company, so he started to bring MMA fighters to New Japan to book them victories over the stablished roster and send New Japan wrestlers to compete in MMA (getting from little to average level of success). This decision enforced his exit from an almost-dying New Japan few years after. Nonetheless, he kept his philosophy in his Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye events and his late company Inoki Genome Federation.
- Delinquent Hair: TAKA Michinoku.
- Mr. Fanservice: Hiroshi Tanahashi's selling point.
- Kota Ibushi.
- Prince Devitt has become one of the most popular foreigners in any puro company, and not without good reason.
- Fake Nationality: Milano Collection A.T.
- Fat Bastard: Koji Kitao.
- Fingerless Gloves: Used by many wrestlers due to the MMA rise, specially the legit shoot-trained ones.
- The Giant: Many. Giant Silva, Giant Singh, Big Titan, and most recently Akebono and Giant Bernard.
- Hero Antagonist: Nobuhiko Takada during the UWF-i invasion. Although he posed as a heel in New Japan, he was the top face of his own company and had his own fanbase.
- Hero Killer: Naoya Ogawa. He beat Shinya Hashimoto to his retire.
- Jerkass: Minoru Suzuki.
- Akira Maeda is an older example.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Antonio Inoki.
- Lightning Bruiser: The other prerequisite for competing there, seemingly.
- Martial Arts Headband: Shinya Hashimoto.
- Scary Black Man: Bob Sapp.
- Start My Own
- Trope 2000: Masahiro Chono's Heel faction Team 2000, which was initially NWO Japan without the Great Muta.
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Shinya Hashimoto against any of his enemies, most notably Nobuhiko Takada and Naoya Ogawa.
- Ur Example: NJPW is credited with popularizing the junior/cruiserweight style of wrestling.
- Yakuza: Masahiro Chono's gimmick, at least in his begginings.