WRITE THAT DOWN! A Professional Wrestling Podcast w/ Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper

Learn the REAL history of pro wrestling inside Japan and out with legendary writer and broadcast personality Fumi Saito and Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Justin Knipper!

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Episodes

Sunday Jun 23, 2024

Join us this week as we dive deep into the illustrious career of Kenta Kobashi, one of pro wrestling's greatest babyfaces. Hosted by Japan’s leading pro wrestling author, Fumi Saito, we explore Kobashi's journey from a
00:00:00 Introduction
00:01:56 Early Struggles and Beginnings
00:21:25 Tradition and Discipline
00:24:47 Neon Orange Tights Origins
00:26:26 Transition and Evolution
00:28:39 Resilience and Determination
00:29:02 Changing Dynamics
00:31:19 "Ganbaru Spirit"
00:32:22 Main Event Spotlight
00:34:34 Tag Team Dynamics
00:34:46 Dominance in Tag Team Wrestling
00:38:15 Formation of Faction G.E.T.
00:40:33 Triple Crown Champion Legacy
00:45:13 Pro Wrestling NOAH Formation
00:48:13 Dream Matches and Cross-Promotion
00:49:24 Decade-Long Rivalry with Misawa
00:53:42 Emotional Return Post-Cancer
00:55:27 Battling Through Injuries
00:58:24 Transition to New Era in Wrestling
01:01:03 Legacy and Influence Post-Retirement

Friday Jun 21, 2024

In this special episode of Write That Down, hosts Justin Nipper and Fumi Saito delve into the storied career of Japanese wrestling legend Jumbo Tsuruta. While originally scheduled to release the third part of their Rikki Choshi series, they instead present an extensive two-hour supercut focusing on Tsuruta's impressive journey.
Listeners will explore Tsuruta's transition from an Olympic wrestler to a revered figure in All Japan Pro Wrestling. The episode covers his early days training in Amarillo, Texas, his immediate impact upon returning to Japan, and his memorable matches against wrestling giants like Dory Funk Jr., Jack Briscoe, and Harley Race. Additionally, the hosts discuss Tsuruta's evolution from a golden rookie to a seasoned veteran, highlighting his pivotal role in shaping the careers of future wrestling stars.
As the episode unfolds, fans will gain insight into Tsuruta's wrestling style, his relationship with contemporaries, and his legacy within the sport. This comprehensive profile is a must-listen for anyone interested in the history and development of Japanese professional wrestling.
Don't forget to subscribe to the Fight Game Media Network podcast on Spotify, Apple, or your preferred platform, and check out Justin Knipper book on Amazon for a detailed guide to New Japan Strong matches.

Monday Jun 03, 2024

In this riveting episode of Write That Down! join Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper for an enlightening conversation with Madusa Micelli, the trailblazing professional female wrestler. From her humble beginnings to her journey to Tokyo, Madusa unfolds an inspiring story marked by resilience, adaptability, and a lifelong passion for wrestling. Discover how she transitioned from nursing to wrestling, built an exceptional career, and broke the glass ceiling in this male-dominated sport.
Relive her struggles and triumphs in the vibrant world of Japanese wrestling. Get a firsthand account of her intense training sessions, dramatic showdowns in the ring, and the cultural shocks she experienced. Listen to how she forged relationships with legends of the Japanese wrestling scene, and how these experiences shaped her personally and professionally.
Delve into the evolution of women's wrestling through Madusa's insightful perspective. Engage in a thought-provoking discussion on the drastic changes and potential future of female wrestling. Gain a diverse understanding of the wrestling world, from its adrenaline rushes to the roadblocks faced on the path to glory. Also, explore the prospects of universal wrestling broadcasting for an immersive global audience experience.
Finally, get an exclusive teaser of Madusa's upcoming book 'The Woman Who Would Be King', and her latest movie 'Champion'. Through this episode, listeners receive a rare glimpse into the life of an iconic and resilient personality whose experiences span a thrilling career in wrestling and beyond.

Saturday Jun 01, 2024

Welcome to a special episode featuring a heartfelt reunion with wrestling legend Sean Waltman (aka X-Pac aka 123 Kid aka Syxx) and co-host Mr. Fumi Saito, all the way from Tokyo. Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of Sean's wrestling career, from his early days training under Malenko in Florida to his transformative experiences in Minnesota and beyond.
Listen in as Sean reminisces about his time in Japan with Universal Wrestling, sharing the ring with iconic luchadores, and his unforgettable tours with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Discover the stories behind his pivotal moments in the WWE, including his legendary run as the 1-2-3 Kid and his eventual return as X-Pac.
We also touch on the dynamics of the wrestling world, the evolution of televised wrestling, and the enduring friendships formed along the way. Don't miss this candid conversation filled with nostalgia, insights, and the passion that has defined Sean Waltman's illustrious career.
 
00:00:19
Welcome
00:13:58
Minnesota Wrestling Scene
00:20:53
Diesel’s Rise to Stardom
00:26:22
Universal Pro Wrestling
00:31:32
Future Superstars’ Beginnings
00:35:26
Healing and Reflecting in Burbank
00:35:35
WWE Negotiations
00:43:54
The Evolution of Television
00:50:31
The Strong WWE Tour Lineup
00:53:37
Madusa vs. Bull Nakano
00:57:47
Wrestling Tours Around the World
01:00:40
Writing a Memoir
01:03:05
Reflecting on Personal Growth
01:04:20
Fond Memories of Wrestling in Mexico
01:06:56
Future Wrestling Plans
01:08:59
Social Media Detox

Thursday May 23, 2024

In an engrossing episode, wrestler Debbie Malenko takes us through her extraordinary wrestling journey. From her debut at the Malenko Wrestling School to exploring the world of Japanese women's wrestling, Debbie shares her challenges, lessons, and triumphs. Discover how a young American wrestler navigates the intricate and demanding world of professional wrestling, embracing diverse cultural experiences and defying barriers.
Experience Debbie's life in the famous All Japan Women's building, the thrill of her 300-night wrestling schedule, and her secret training routines. Engage in an intriguing reflection on her tag-team dynamics, the adoption of ‘Malenko’ in her ring name, and how her signature moves came into the spotlight. Find out how she cleverly breaks down cultural and language barriers and pays homage to the ancient art of wrestling.
The episode offers a unique exploration of the back-stages and larger-than-life figures of the wrestling universe. It delves into the evolution of Japanese women's wrestling in the 90s, drawing attention to renowned figures and elaborating upon distinctive styles. The conversation also highlights how the digital shift has shaped the sport and paints a vivid socio-economic picture of Japan's bubble economy era.
Filled with nostalgia, this enthralling episode is an invaluable peek into the wrestling world. It advises aspiring wrestlers and offers riveting conversations for enthusiasts. Tune in for a fascinating exploration of wrestling as a sport and art form, where Debbie Malenko masterfully guides you through her adventure in Japanese women's wrestling.

Monday May 13, 2024

Jump into the riveting world of celebrities stepping into the pro wrestling thrilling arena in this illuminating episode of Write That Down! Hosted by Wrestling Historians, Justin Knipper and Mr. Fumi Saito, we dive deep into the transformative impact of celebrities' involvement in professional wrestling. From Bad Bunny to Mike Tyson, discover how this trend has evolved and how fans' perception of celebrities in the sport has changed over the years.
Explore the fascinating career of Bam Bam Bigelow and his significant role in shaping the wrestling industry. Unravel Bigelow's unique wrestling style and his ability to work across language barriers, making him a beloved name in the sport both in America and Japan. Learn about the financial success and the lasting impact of Bigelow, and how his improvisational style has shaped the participation of other wrestling celebrities.
Dive into the mysterious five-year existence of the wrestling company 'Hustle' and its impact on the industry. Listen to engaging conversations about Naoya Ogawa's stint in HUSTLE, his rivalry with Shinya Hashimoto, and how even heroes like Nobuhiko Takada left a significant impression after acting in comical characters for the Hustle company.
Explore the increasing popularity of non-wrestling personalities in the wrestling scene, as we map MMA's rise in Japan and the involvement of heavyweight champions in wrestling matches. Understand the changing fan perceptions of non-wrestler involvement and how superstar personalities are influencing wrestling's popularity in mainstream culture.
Finally, explore the journey of Yuzupon, from starting as a one-time deal for a reality TV show to becoming a three-time Tokyo Sports Wrestler of the Year and her intriguing transformation into a bodybuilder. Understand the shifting landscape of wrestling, and its increasing intersection with mainstream fame and social media, as wrestlers chart out new paths for their careers, from YouTube celebrities to TV show appearances.
Whether you're a wrestling fan or someone fascinated by the intersections of sports and celebrities, this episode promises intriguing insights and engaging discussions. So, tune in and join the conversation on X and Facebook with your thoughts or suggestions.

Tuesday May 07, 2024

We give you a rare inside-look at the world of wrestling from the eyes of a seasoned journalist who has been tracking and shaping the industry for over four decades. We delve into insightful discussions about the influence of Japanese wrestling, debunking numerous baseless rumors floating on social media and readjusting unfair narratives from the likes of Kenny Omega or Tony Khan. Get ready to explore the connections between prominent industry figures and the groundless rumors they often find themselves tangled in.
This episode blows wide open the ill-defined allegations that often plague various figures in wrestling and shines a spotlight on the enigmatic world of the wrestling industry. Featuring an emphasis on the relationship and intricate interactions of Rossy Ogawa, one of the industry's stalwarts, expect some thought-provoking yield from this conversation.
We wade through the murky waters of wrestling journalism, exposing the unfortunate landscape marred by misinformation and ignorance fueled by social media. Also, we explore the clash between Japanese and Western wrestling fans, exposing the gaps in cultural knowledge and variances in perspective that often hamper international coverage of wrestling.
Be prepared to understand the nuances of talent ‘poaching’ and navigate challenging discussions around public perceptions and reputation defense on emerging public platforms. As we close the episode, we also discuss the grittier realities of the wrestling industry and emphasize the importance of rigorous fact-checking in an era ripe with misinformation.
Take a trip down memory lane as we break down the remarkable journey of Rossy Ogawa, the founder of the All Japan Women's Division, and his pivotal role in shaping the women's professional wrestling scene. Experience the unraveling of Rossy's unwavering determination to create a win-win culture in the industry, shedding light on the rise of Stardom, the challenges it faced, and the reputation it has built over the last 40 years.
Gain insights into Rossy's final business challenge: fostering a new wave of talent utilizing a dojo-style training module under distinguished coaches like Nanae Takahashi. We also look back at the unsuccessful business dealings between AEW and Stardom that led to a fallout. Despite these rifts, the undying spirit of the wrestling fraternity remains strong, as symbolized by Hana Kimura’s memorial show.
The episode further delves into the transformative influence of renowned journalist Dave Meltzer on wrestling journalism. From his innovative star system that revolutionized the industry to the shift towards digital platforms, this conversation covers it all. Also, enjoy anecdotes around significant personalities like Harold Sakata and tackle the unique challenges that summer wrestling tournaments present in Japan.
Brimming with wrestling history and insights, this episode is a must-listen for every fan and enthusiast looking to enrich their knowledge. Stay tuned!
 
https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-zasfz-13a0b29b?utm_campaign=w_share_ep&utm_medium=dlink&utm_source=w_share X: @fumihikodayo X: @justinmknipper Email: thisiswritethatdown@gmail.com

Thursday May 02, 2024

Welcome to this intriguing episode of "Write That Down" with Fumi Saito, where we delve deep into the profound influence of Lucha Libre on Japanese Pro Wrestling. From the 1930s till now, this episode provides an in-depth look at the fascinating history, traditions, and techniques adopted from Mexican wrestling.
Hear captivating stories about pioneers like Masahiko Kimura, younger wrestlers like Shinsuke Nakamura and Yujiro Takahashi, and female wrestling champions like Manami Toyotas and our very own Hana Kimura. Discover how each of these iconic figures brought back fresh ideas and innovative moves from Mexico, significantly shaping the wrestling landscape of Japan for decades.
This enriching narrative also explores the overlooked aspect of Japanese wrestling's influence in Mexico and vice versa, with a spotlight on iconic matches from Bret Hart's Mexico stint to the WWE ring. Learn about the cultural significance of masks, rule breaker vs good guy dynamics, mythologies, weight divisions and much more. A pivotal part of our tale revolves around Ultimo Dragon’s transformative journey, who creatively merged both wrestling cultures, bringing a unique highlight to the sport.
Uncover the rise of Michinoku Pro Wrestling, key contributions of Great Sasuke and explore the visionary birth and growth of independent wrestling companies in Northern Japan. The episode also discusses the trials and triumphs of these companies, influence of Lucha Libre and it's role in opening doors for the younger talent.
Join us, as we finally delve into the 90s era of lucha libre in Japanese wrestling, focusing on the training of prominent figures like Kazuchika Okada. An enticing journey into the past, present, and future of Japanese Pro Wrestling, especially for the history lovers and wrestling enthusiasts!
(This episode first aired in May 2021)

The NWA in Japan

Tuesday Apr 30, 2024

Tuesday Apr 30, 2024

Dive into a fascinating exploration of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Championship’s rich history and significance in Japan in this riveting podcast episode. Revisit an epic timeline that stretches from the late 1950s to the early 2000s, featuring legendary wrestling icons like Lou Thesz, Ric Flair, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, and Jack Brisco.
Understand the profound impact the NWA Championship had, not only in the United States but also on the Japanese wrestling scene. Gain insight into renowned title matches, thrilling rivalries, and the altering dynamics of wrestling scenes over the years. Learn how Japan's wrestling scene profoundly contributed to the NWA title's global appeal and influence.
Explore the era of Dory Funk Jr.'s reign as the NWA Champion and the indispensable role the Funks played in carving the trajectory of Japanese wrestling history. Get a glimpse of the interesting power shifts during Giant Baba's establishment of All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972, illuminating the intricate dynamics of the wrestling world. For dedicated wrestling fans and ardent researchers, this episode unveils deep insights into the backstage works of wrestling promotions, alliances, and industry dynamics.
This episode takes listeners through the significant evolution the NWA underwent as wrestling shifted focus. Discover how the organization navigated through the changing wrestling landscape, grappling with its identity and reputation, and ultimately its impact on Japan's wrestling industry. Despite its challenges, the NWA remains a distinctive figure in wrestling history due to its vital role in shaping the global wrestling scene.
Trace the convoluted journey of the NWA World Title, navigating through the maze of American and Japanese wrestling history to its current place in the larger wrestling universe. Discover the influential times when the NWA World Title shifted hands, examine legendary bouts, and delve into hall-of-fame careers, shaping the title's legacy. Finally, the episode reflects on the evolution of wrestling consumption and technology's role, discussing how these changes influence the title’s prestige in the booming global market.(This episode first aired in August 2022)

Wednesday Apr 17, 2024

This episode offers a comprehensive analysis of Rossy Ogawa's newly announced wrestling company called MARIGOLD. Gain first-hand information about the company, its wrestlers, and upcoming events, while also exploring various speculations and rumors in this fascinating discourse on the current state of the wrestling industry.
Discover the nuances of the speculated Giulia-Rossy link and learn about the possible appearances of renowned WWE superstars in MARIGOLD. Understand the economic implications of the company's launch on the wrestling industry and compare it with the American and Japanese wrestling landscapes. Find out how renowned wrestling talents internationally are joining MARIGOLD and the excitement this move has generated among fans.
Get insights into the surprising collaborations MARIGOLD is engaging in, like the debut of ActWres Girls, who have finally found their place in the wrestling world. Meet renowned wrestlers joining the ranks of MARIGOLD, like Utami Hayashishita, MIRAI, and Mai Sakurai. This, and much more, in this riveting episode packed full of wrestling knowledge and interesting encounters.
Also, uncover the intriguing journey of Rossy Ogawa in the wrestling business, get to know his visionary ideas for MARIGOLD, and track major milestones in his career like the foundation and sale of Stardom. Learn about the player dynamics, understand the vision Rossy holds for MARIGOLD, and also uncover the calculated steps Rossy is taking to etch a mark on the global women's wrestling landscape.
Don't be left out of the loop! Join us as we take you right into the heart of the wrestling industry, shedding light on the exciting happenings taking place within MARIGOLD.

Monday Apr 08, 2024

Revisit the fascinating career of pro wrestling legend, Haku, in today's scintillating discussion. Tracing his origins from the tranquil island of Tonga to his presence in the sports entertainment industry, delve deep into Haku's incredible evolution as a fighter and a wrestler.This episode shines a spotlight on his early wrestling days in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the transformational years in Japan as a Sumo wrestler, to his rise to stardom in America's wrestling circles.
Haku's journey was not without setbacks, though, yet his tenacity kept him striving. After an abrupt exit from the world of Sumo, he found himself back in Tonga where fate propelled him towards Giant Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling. The episode further takes you on a tour of Haku's memorable matches, thrilling audiences worldwide with his in-ring violence and 'tough-guy' persona. Tune in to discover more about his tag-team collaborations, particularly with the Barbarian.
Through this episode, gain insight into Haku's mastery on the wrestling mat and his subtle charisma off it. Explore his long-held prominence in the wrestling world, and soak up the details of his career milestones. Still a formidable figure in sports entertainment, Haku's legacy continues to inspire upcoming wrestlers, his humble demeanor resonating with fans globally. This is an absolute must-listen for those passionate about wrestling history and the influential stars who have ruggedly shaped it.

Monday Mar 25, 2024

In this illuminating episode, we embark on a deep dive into the sensational journey of Bull Nakano, the first female Japanese wrestler inducted into the prestigious WWE Hall of Fame. Well known for marking an undeniable imprint on women's wrestling globally, we explore Nakano's rise to stardom and her substantial contribution in shifting perceptions of the sport.
We journey back to the '80s and '90s, chronicling the growth and evolution of women's wrestling in Japan while highlighting the tremendous achievements of the Crush Gals. In this spotlight, we focus on Nakano's pivotal role in attracting male audiences to the sport, "changing the narrative," as the kids say.
Our episode puts Nakano's glorious career front and center, starting with her impressive first wrestling match which made a transformative impact on the sport. We delve into the intricate details of her wrestling career, including ground-breaking matches, winning the Red Belt WWWA Champion title at an early age, and leading new wrestling factions.
Apart from her extraordinary wrestling prowess, Nakano's talents weren't limited to the ring. Her charisma and unique style maintained a long-lasting imprint on the wrestling scene in both Japan and the United States. From being the face of several promotions to headlining over 300 shows annually, Nakano's era in wrestling was undeniably phenomenal.
The episode sets the stage for exploring Nakano's journey from All Japan Women's Wrestling to WWE. We delve into Nakano's riveting rivalries, significant retirements, memorable wins, and world tours that shaped the sport. The episode also touches on Nakano's surprising shift to pursue professional golfing and her exciting comeback to the wrestling scene.
We round off the episode with an exciting discussion about Nakano's long-deserved induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and her enduring legacy as a pioneer in the wrestling industry. Packed with fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and insights, this episode is a must-listen for wrestling enthusiasts and those intrigued by the fascinating world of women's pro wrestling.

Saturday Mar 09, 2024

This week Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper offer up a thorough review of the film, 'Iron Claw - The Von Erich Family Story.' They highlight the movie's retelling of tragic tales plus the vital historical moments that may have been left out of the film, and the challenges of recreating events from wrestling history. Discover how the film captures significant events, including fatal accidents and victories that shaped the Von Erich's wrestling legacy. Their analysis covers major characters from the World Class territory in Dallas who played a large role in the Von Erich family story, talking Bruiser Brody, Chris Adams, and Gino Hernandez, among others.
Fumi & Justin's review acknowledges the film's remarkable reconstruction of the Dallas Sportatorium as well as its authentic soundtrack, capturing the late '70s and early '80s era charm. It's not just a wrestling movie, but an emotional story about family, tragedy, and survival. It is a testament to the passion for the sport and the legacy of the wrestling family, the Von Erichs. Today's show offers a unique perspective on the remarkable, yet tragically brief, careers, the controversies, and the unique elements of the Von Erichs' story not generally covered in mainstream media.
The two also uncover lesser-known details of the story, like Kerry Von Erich's resilience in the face of adversity, his reputation as an instant sensation as fan favorite "Texas Tornado" in WWF. They also explored the Von Erichs' stint in New Japan and their global tours during their WWE tenure, their friendship with other superstar wrestlers, and their tragic family saga. The film  demystifies the backstage world of wrestling which culminates in a bittersweet reunion in the afterlife – a metaphorical representation of the family's long-awaited peace. Despite the heartbreaking history, Fumi & Justin's discussion ends on a positive note, encouraging listeners to watch this eye-opening depiction of the Von Erichs' legacy.
(AI + JK)

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper took an in-depth look into the life and career of Rossy Ogawa, a prominent figure in the world of Japanese professional wrestling, and his journey in Stardom. Delving into Rossy Ogawa's rich history from the '70s to today, they celebrated his prolific contribution to shaping budding talents into widely acclaimed wrestling superstars. This includes the epoch-making period of Crush Girls, a testament to Ogawa's unique vision and business acumen.
The discussion takes on a dramatic twist, shifting focus towards the split between Ogawa and his brainchild, Stardom, now under the aegis of Bushiroad. Dispelling misconceptions, the two clarify Ogawa's objectives, which centered on nurturing raw talent over recreating a Stardom replica. This deep dive offers an unseen perspective into the wrestling industry, highlighting the complex dynamics, internal conflicts, and the crucial role of respect and integrity.
The episode (or journey) also covered Ogawa's awe-inspiring legacy, dating back to the Beauty Pair era of 1987, as we examine his astounding creation of popular wrestling figures and iconic gimmicks. We also capture the excitement engulfing his latest venture—a fresh wrestling company with an unwavering commitment to discovering and molding raw talent into main event stars.
This exploration doesn't stop at celebrating successes. We delve into the controversies and tough decisions that have accompanied Ogawa's departure from Stardom. Shedding light on the implications of these events on the wrestlers, fans, and the future of professional wrestling, we offer an intricate picture of the challenges and changes reshaping the women's' world of pro wrestling.
The episode also finishes with a scrutinization of WWE's legacy, evaluating wrestling fandom's tenacity, and indulging in speculative discussions about the uncertain yet exciting future of professional wrestling. Immersed in the world of wrestling, this episode offers a kaleidoscopic perspective on the significant shifts within the industry and their far-reaching impacts.

Friday Feb 16, 2024

On the latest episode, Fumi & Justin casted light on the much talked-about and rather controversial match between Kota Ibushi and Naomichi Marufuji at Pro Wrestling NOAH last month.
In their discussion, Fumi & Justin discussed the pushing boundaries of the wrestling narrative. They debunked criticisms and emphasized the emotional & human aspects of the sport, far beyond the digital avatar-like performances of some wrestling today. They also explored how setbacks and missed shots are part and parcel of the wrestling narrative, rather than mere "botches" in match.
Fumi & Justin also delved deeper into the importance of subtlety and unexpected plot twists in wrestling narrative, while drawing comparisons between Western and Japanese audience responses, expectations, and the ever-evolving nature of public opinion in pro wrestling.
Additionally: Where will NJPW's Kazuchika Okada go? Will the living legend go to AEW? How about WWE? Fumi & Justin broke down the possibilities and the logic necessary to make sense of Okada and what he wants for his career in the future. 
Finally, the two paid tribute to the late Killer Khan, touching upon his early foray into sumo wrestling, his significant contributions to Japanese wrestling, and his private life post-retirement. Khan’s persistent dedication to his sport and the mystery shrouding his retirement solidify his status as an irreplaceable icon.

Tuesday Jan 30, 2024

Join our final and rather captivating discussion about Keiji Muto's phenomenal legacy in the world of professional wrestling. This episode dives into Muto's multifaceted career, dissecting the various aspects of his work, comparable to a saga like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. We discuss Muto's significant gimmick match with Atsushi Onita, giving an insight into the onset of the dark age of Japanese wrestling.
We delve deeper into the dynamics of professional wrestling, from power struggles within the industry, the subtleties of the sport, to the influence of television broadcasting. Explore how the 'Muto-Onita' paradox affected the credibility of wrestling and how promoters compromised traditional norms to increase viewership under the pressure of MMA and K-1 industries.
Unravel the fascinating socio-cultural dynamics at play within professional wrestling, from the influence of trends to the blurring of reality and ring lines. The episode also touches upon the Bob Sapp phenomenon and the similarity between his rise and Japanese wrestling's dark age. Ultimately, this episode represents much more than a simple wrestling chat, providing a comprehensive socio-cultural discourse based on pro-wrestling.
The Impact of Media Evolution on Professional Wrestling: Keiji Muto's Transformative Journey
Explore the intertwining worlds of professional wrestling and evolving media patterns in this episode. We investigate how the shift in media accessibility, particularly with the advent of internet streaming, sparked a renaissance in wrestling. Focusing on iconic figures like Keiji Muto, we evaluate how these dynamic shifts in media culture influenced the style and presentation of wrestling.
Discover the captivating story of Keiji Muto, the first television hero of wrestling, who became a cultural icon during a period of media transformation. Reflect on the consequences of the MMA rise on wrestling and the symbolic victories wrestling acquired to counter it. We further explore the wrestling careers of Muto's contemporaries, their influence on modern wrestling, and remember Misawa, a luminary who tragically passed in the ring, symbolising the close of wrestling's dark age.
The Tremendous Influence of Wrestling Greats: Keiji Muto, Terry Funk, Stan Hansen
Immerse yourself in the remarkable world of Keiji Muto, analyzing the profound influence he had on wrestling's intricate dynamics. Despite the physical toll of wrestling, Muto has endured over the years, leaving a monumental impact on wrestling. We also delve into the resonating effects of Terry Funk and Stan Hansen, shedding light on the role they played in the evolution of professional wrestling. Discover how they adapted their style to appeal to a new generation of fans.
Join us as we explore how wrestling transcends language barriers for universal enjoyment and delve into lesser-known wrestling history facts, like the naming errors committed by WCW. This episode is a comprehensive exploration into the legacy of these wrestling legends and their significance in the wrestling world.
[Written by AI. Neat, huh? — Justin]

Wednesday Jan 24, 2024

In this episode of 'Write That Down,' we trace the transformative journey of legendary wrestler Keiji Muto and his profound influence in shaping the landscape of professional wrestling. Joined by industry experts Justin Knipper and Fumi Saito, we explore significant events and eras of wrestling in Japan, moving from the 'Dark Age' in the new millennium to significant career transitions propelled by Muto's unique international perspective.
Explore with us the dramatic changes wrestling underwent at the turn of the 21st century, impacted by the advent of MMA-style combat sports and coping with the widespread Y2K fear. This episode chronicles Muto's compelling career oscillations, highlighting his resilience in times of flagging physical health and his enduring spirit resulting in an impressive comeback to a drastically changed wrestling landscape.
We delve deep into the intricacies of Japanese professional wrestling, spotlighting the pivotal influence of audience reactions, power shifts, and the complexities of blending business and personal relationships within the industry. We narrate Muto's pioneering approach to his craft, charting his era in America, his engagement with multiple Japanese wrestling companies, and his impactful roles reiterated through his captivating wrestling personas.
This episode also potently addresses Keiji Muto's lasting impact on modern wrestling. We delve into the foundations of Muto's timeless techniques, particularly the Shining Wizard, and discuss how Muto’s fresh perspectives breathed innovation into the wrestling ring. A must-listen for all wrestling enthusiasts seeking insight into the continuous evolution of Japanese professional wrestling and the dynamic career and enduring legacy of Keiji Muto.

Saturday Jan 20, 2024

Part Two of our series on all-things Keiji Muto is here. On today’s episode, we picked up from part one and covered: New Japan, the NWA title & WCW 1991–1996:
-The Fujinami vs. Flair NWA title changes in Japan & USA
-The Great Muta vs. Masahiro Chono for the NWA title, Jan. 4 1993
-Muta vs. Antonio Inoki during Inoki’s retirement tour, Wrestling Dontaku 1994
-Muta vs. Jushin Liger, 1996
-Keiji Muto and Hiroshi Hase vs. The Steiner Brothers, Jan. 4 1994
-Briefly on the UWFi feud, matches with Nobuhiko Takada, ’95–96
-nWo Japan & Team 2000, 1997–1999 -Work (and troubles) with WCW in 2000
-Muto’s return to Japan at Inoki BOM-BA-YE Dec. 31 2000, the debut of bald Muto, teamed with old rival Nobuhiko Takada against Don Frye & Ken Shamrock at special New Year’s event on NTV

Wednesday Jan 17, 2024

This episode of Write That Down! is about all-things Keiji Muto. The 58-year-old legend captured Pro Wrestling NOAH’s GHC title at their Destination iPPV held in Tokyo Budokan in February '21. In part one, Fumi and Justin discussed:
 
-Pro Wrestling NOAH: Destination 2021: Muto wins GHC
-Muto's NJPW debut in ’84 vs Masahiro Chono
-His first excursions to USA and Puerto Rico + training with Hiro Matsuda in FL
-’87 and his return to NJPW
-’88–’89 The Great Muta is born: Muto in WCCW, NWA, & Gary Hart
-’90–’95 Muto/Muta rises to icon status in NJPW

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Today, the two took a closer look at the origins of All Japan Pro Wrestling's Triple Crown, which has a somewhat complex history compared with other Japanese pro wrestling titles throughout history. Listen to Fumi & Justin talk about the history of how the International, PWF & UN championships came to be, and later on how they became joined together until today.
(Airdate: 4/13/23)
フミ&ジャスティンは、本日は全日本プロレスの三冠王座の成り立ちについて、フミ&ジャスティンが迫りました。インターナショナル選手権、PWF選手権、UN選手権がどのように誕生し、その後どのように統合されて今日に至ったのか、フミ&ジャスティンのトークをお聞きください。

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Fumi & Justin return to complete their Championship Origin series, wrapping it with a talk on the origin of NOAH's GHC Heavyweight title. From the ashes of All Japan came the Ark and the GHC Heavyweight Championship, and Fumi & Justin went over what led to the GHC title coming to fruition and how it relates to the AJPW Triple Crown championship.
(Airdate: 4/23/23)
フミ&ジャスティンは、NOAHのGHCヘビー級王座の起源についてのトークで締めくくりました。全日本の灰の中から方舟とGHCヘビー級王座が誕生し、フミ&ジャスティンはGHC王座がどのような経緯で誕生したのか、そしてそれがAJPW三冠王座とどのような関係があるのかを説明しました。

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Sean Waltman joined Fumi & Justin for the latest edition the show. Waltman talks about the upcoming autobiography he’s working on, plus his memories of UWA Japan, early ’90s Minnesota times with Fumi, the Monday Night Wars, his relationship with HHH, his time in WWE & WCW and tons more!
(Airdate 2/9/23)

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

From working in AJW Japan early on in her career to her legendary matches vs. Bull Nakano in the WWF to her current position as producer at NWA, Madusa joins Fumi Saito and Justin Knipper to talk a variety of topics ahead of Madusa’s upcoming book release this spring.
(Airdate 2/2/23)

Stan Hansen: Lariat (Part Two)

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

This is a special classic edition of Write That Down! With an original airdate of April 6, 2021, Fumi & Justin went over Stan Hansen’s storied career in this special archive edition of Write That Down! The two went over Hansen vs. Bruno Sammartino at Shea Stadium & MSG before diving into his early years as a pro wrestler in 1973, when Hansen debuted in El Paso, Texas, and then his first tour of Japan in 1975 for Giant Baba’s AJPW, and later his background and relationship with Jumbo Tsuruta and Brusier Brody, among others.In part two, Fumi & Justin discussed Hansen winning the Triple Crown in 1989 in an unification match vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, plus his classic 1990s run with AJPW and giving the proverbial rub to younger legends like Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi until his retirement in 2001. Enjoy this mega cut of the original two part episode.
(Airdate 5/16/21)
ライト・ザット・ダウン」の特別クラシック版です!2021年4月6日のオリジナル放送で、フミとジャスティンがスタン・ハンセンの輝かしいキャリアを振り返る特別アーカイブ版「ライト・ザット・ダウン」!1973年にテキサス州エルパソでデビューしたハンセンのプロレスラーとしての初期、そして1975年にジャイアント馬場のAJPWで行われた初来日、さらにジャンボ鶴田やブルシエ・ブロディなどとの関係や経歴について掘り下げる前に、2人はシアスタジアムとMSGでのハンセン対ブルーノ・サンマルチノについて説明しました。パート2では、フミ&ジャスティンが1989年にジャンボ鶴田との統一戦で三冠を達成したハンセンについて、さらに1990年代にAJPWで活躍し、2001年に引退するまで三沢光晴、川田利明、小橋建太といった若手レジェンドに格言のような "揉み手 "を与えていた彼について語ります。この2部構成のオリジナル・エピソードのメガ・カットをお楽しみください。

Stan Hansen: Lariat (Part One)

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

This is a special classic edition of Write That Down! With an original airdate of April 6, 2021, Fumi & Justin went over Stan Hansen’s storied career in this special archive edition of Write That Down! The two went over Hansen vs. Bruno Sammartino at Shea Stadium & MSG before diving into his early years as a pro wrestler in 1973, when Hansen debuted in El Paso, Texas, and then his first tour of Japan in 1975 for Giant Baba’s AJPW, and later his background and relationship with Jumbo Tsuruta and Brusier Brody, among others.In part two, Fumi & Justin discussed Hansen winning the Triple Crown in 1989 in an unification match vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, plus his classic 1990s run with AJPW and giving the proverbial rub to younger legends like Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi until his retirement in 2001. 
(Airdate: 4/6/21)
ライト・ザット・ダウン」の特別クラシック版です!2021年4月6日のオリジナル放送で、フミとジャスティンがスタン・ハンセンの輝かしいキャリアを振り返る特別アーカイブ版「ライト・ザット・ダウン」!1973年にテキサス州エルパソでデビューしたハンセンのプロレスラーとしての初期、そして1975年にジャイアント馬場のAJPWで行われた初来日、さらにジャンボ鶴田やブルシエ・ブロディなどとの関係や経歴について掘り下げる前に、2人はシアスタジアムとMSGでのハンセン対ブルーノ・サンマルチノについて説明しました。パート2では、フミ&ジャスティンが1989年にジャンボ鶴田との統一戦で三冠を達成したハンセンについて、さらに1990年代にAJPWで活躍し、2001年に引退するまで三沢光晴、川田利明、小橋建太といった若手レジェンドに格言のような "揉み手 "を与えていた彼について語ります。この2部構成のオリジナル・エピソードのメガ・カットをお楽しみください。

Pro Wrestling & Print Media

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

On this week’s episode, Fumi & Justin talked about pro wrestling and its relationship to print media both in Japan and in the English-speaking West over the years.
(Airdate: 11/10/22)
今週のエピソードでは、フミとジャスティンが、長年にわたる日本と英語圏の欧米におけるプロレスと活字メディアとの関係について語りました。

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Fumi and Justin began their profile series on “Mr. Puroresu” himself, Genichiro Tenryu. In Part One, they went over Tenryu starting sumo at 14, then transitioning to Giant Baba’s AJPW a decade later. They also detailed Tenryu’s early career in the US, teaming with Billy Robinson and Jumbo Tsuruta, Tenryu’s legendary rivalry with Riki Choshu and the importance of their 2/21/85 Osaka-Jo Hall match which Tenryu’s huge spike rise in popularity from this. They finished the show discussing his Tenryu’s UN Heavyweight title and the eventual formation of AJPW’s Triple Crown and his big-time singles matches vs. Jumbo and Stan Hansen before covering the rise and fall of SWS and later Tenryu’s WAR promotion. Additionally, at 16:00 into the show, Fumi and Justin spent about ten minutes talking about about Terry Funk’s recent health condition and how overblown it had gotten in the media.In Part 2, Fumi & Justin first talked about Tenryu’s involvement in the short-lived “straight and strong” SWS run by Megane Super executives and Tenryu taking after Baba and Inoki and becoming a wrestling promoter with WAR. They went over his return to AJPW in the late ’90s after the death of Giant Baba and his classics with Keiji Muto in All Japan, his work in the critically maligned HUSTLE and his retirement match in 2015 against NJPW’s Kazuchika Okada.
(Airdate 7/21)
フミとジャスティンが "ミスター・プロレス "天龍源一郎のプロフィール・シリーズをスタート。パート1では、天龍が14歳で相撲を始め、10年後にジャイアント馬場のAJPWに移籍したことを紹介。また、天龍のアメリカでの初期のキャリア、ビリー・ロビンソンやジャンボ鶴田とのコンビ、天龍と長州力との伝説的なライバル関係、そして天龍の人気が急上昇した85年2月21日の大阪城ホールでの試合の重要性についても詳しく説明しました。天龍のUNヘビー級王座とAJPWのトリプル・クラウン結成、そしてジャンボやスタン・ハンセンとの大物シングル・マッチについて語った後、SWSと後の天龍のWARプロモーションの栄枯盛衰をカバー。さらに16:00からは、フミとジャスティンがテリー・ファンクの最近の健康状態について、そしてそれがいかにメディアで大げさに取り上げられたかについて10分ほど語りました。パート2では、まずフミとジャスティンが、天龍がメガネスーパー幹部によって運営された短命に終わった "まっすぐで強い "SWSに参加したこと、そして天龍が馬場と猪木の後を継いでWARのプロレス・プロモーターになったことについて話しました。そしてジャイアント馬場亡き後、90年代後半にAJPWに復帰したこと、全日本で武藤敬司と古典的なコンビを組んだこと、酷評されたHUSTLEでの活躍、2015年にNJPWのオカダ・カズチカと引退試合を行ったこと。

The History of Korakuen Hall

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

On this week’s episode, Fumi & Justin talked about Tokyo’s mini-Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of puroresu, Korakuen Hall. Fumi shares his first experiences watching wrestling in the building before going over the history of the venue, what kinds of events have taken place in it over the years and its overall importance to both pro wrestling and boxing in Japan.
(Airdate 10/27/22)
今週のエピソードでは、フミとジャスティンが東京のミニマジソンスクエアガーデン、プロレスのメッカ、後楽園ホールについて語りました。フミはこのホールで初めてプロレスを観戦した経験を語り、その後、このホールの歴史、長年に渡ってどのようなイベントが行われてきたか、そして日本のプロレスとボクシングの両方にとって重要な場所であることを説明しました。

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Mitsuharu Misawa. Toshiaki Kawada. Kenta Kobashi. Akira Taue. These were All Japan’s “Big Four” during of the 1990s, the four most influential players of the decade. English-speaking fans in 2021 have more and more often been referring to these four wrestlers as AJPW’s “Four Pillars of Heaven,” and recently, the term “four pillars” has turned into hip new short-hand for “top four wrestlers.”What’s ironic about this is that “Four Pillars of Heaven” is actually a mistranslation of the word “shitennō” (四天王). In colloquial Japanese, they’re often referred to as the shitennō of AJPW. Shitennou is a common Japanese phrase to describe the top four people, places or things within a set context. In modern English, we often share our “Mt. Rushmores” of wrestlers, the top four of (fill in the blank); “shitennō” in Japanese works the same way.So, the phrase “Four Pillars of Heaven,” which is now an accepted addition to the pro wrestling lexicon, was actually born out of a mistranslation and misinterpretation of the the original kanji characters.Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper break this down in more detail while giving the overarching backstory behind Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi and Taue. They also discuss at length how important Stan Hansen was during this period, and how important his relationships with each AJPW shittenō were.
(Airdate 11/21)
三沢光晴 川田利明 小橋建太 田上明。これらは1990年代の全日本の「ビッグ4」であり、この10年間で最も影響力のあった4選手でした。2021年の英語圏のファンは、この4人をAJPWの "Four Pillars of Heaven "と呼ぶことが多くなり、最近では "Four Pillars "は "Top four wrestlers "の略語として使われるようになりました。皮肉なのは、"四天王 "が "四天王 "の誤訳だということ。口語ではAJPWの四天王。四天王とは、ある文脈の中で上位4人の人、場所、物事を表す一般的な日本語の表現です。現代英語では、レスラーの「Mt.つまり、プロレス用語として定着している「四天王」という言葉も、実は漢字の誤訳と誤読から生まれたものなのです。フミ斎藤&ジャスティン・ニッパーが、三沢、川田、小橋、田上の裏話を交えつつ、その詳細を解説。また、この時期、スタン・ハンセンがいかに重要な存在であったか、AJPWの各選手との関係がいかに重要であったかをじっくりと論じています。

Remembering Johnny Powers

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Fumi and Justin are back again to remember former NWF Heavyweight Champion, Johnny Powers, who passed at the end of last year. Powers was from the Northeast but ended up a bigger name in Japan because of his connection to the late Antonio Inoki. Learn where “the eagle belt” came from and more in this week’s special episode, “Remembering Johnny Powers.”
(Airdate 1/12/23)
今週のフミ&ジャスティンは、"キャプテン・レッドネック "ディック・マードックについて。早くからファンク・ファミリーとの強い絆を持ち、ブレーンバスターやカーフ・ブランディングを広めたマードックは、全米中にその名を轟かせ、その後キャリアの大半を過ごした日本で確固たる地位を築きました。JWAからIWE、AJPW、そしてNJPWでの約10年にわたるパフォーマー、ブッカーとしてのキャリアをフミ&ジャスティンが振り返ります。

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