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joeg

Help me get into joshi

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I've never been able to get into joshi, but after the GME project I think I really need to give it a try as there seems to be a lot of great wrestling I've missed out on.  I think the main obstacle for me getting into joshi is the same as the obstacle for me enjoying women's MMA and women's boxing- I can't find women getting hurt in sports entertaining. Men getting hurt absolutely, sign me up for Sunday Ticket and a DAZN pass. But with women though there is something unsettling about it. I feel like this un easiness I feel has kept me from watching some of the greatest wrestling to ever happen and I want to try to stick my toe in, but don't know where to start. Any suggestions?

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If that's what's holding you back from watching Joshi, I don't see how things are going to change, particularly with the level of violence in some of the more acclaimed stuff. If you are still interested, I think tracking the narratives from 1990-95 is your best bet. It kind of depends on what you're into. If you like 80s wrestling, then it's worth starting in the 80s. If you're into modern wrestling, then I guess you should start with the modern stuff. The problem with the 80s stuff is that it's not very well chronicled. You won't be able to read up on it like you can with the early 90s stuff. If you're not looking to do a deep dive, then that's not a problem. If you want to follow the wrestlers' growth and development, then I think you should start with 1990, but there is quite a lot of violence in that era. 

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Haha OJ, his main obstacle getting into Joshi is being squeamish about female violence and you direct him to Aja Kong vs. Bull Nakano matches. :)

If you want to avoid the blood and guts stuff (or at least to start with) I'd start watching  the best of the early 80s stuff first. The AJW style was a bit slower and more mat-orientated back then. You'll see it gradually move towards the "classic" Joshi style (or at least from the typical Western fan viewpoint) over time.

The Ace of the promotion in 1980 is Jackie Sato, formerly one half of the Beauty Pair. Tomi Aoyoma is one half of the 'Queen Angels' with Lucy Kamaya, who had two long tag title reigns in 1978-80. Rimi Yokota (later known as Jaguar Yokota) is the 18/19 year old challenger pushing up the ranks. The top heel is Yumi Ikeshita who is part of the 'Black Pair', Devil Masami is one of her proteges who'd also be a big name later on. Check out these matches and see what you think:

Chino Sato vs. Rimi Yokota - 01/04/80

Jackie Sato vs. Tomi Aoyama - 01/04/80

Devil Masami vs. Jackie Sato - 11/27/80

Jackie Sato vs. Rimi Yokota - 12/16/80

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ARSION era Mariko Yoshida might be a good bet, with it being more of a stripped back approach where matwork was much more of a focus. 

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I say go different and try a month of the Stardom service. You get that back catalog with Io Shiari and Kairi Sane having great matches. They also subtitle promos and make it very English friendly which might help you invest enough into the characters to get over the violence obstacles. 

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I just find names that I recognize and find matches they're in. It may not necessarily be the ones you want (not available or what-not results in you substituting), but it still gives you an idea about their ability. The cool thing is how it branches out to discovering others.

I started 3-4 years ago getting acquainted with Kana/Asuka. From watching (and rewatching for context), you go from her to Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo. Which in turn takes you to pretty much the entire Stardom roster.

Go the "Jeff Johnson" route from The Distinguished Gentleman: the name(s) you know.

 

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If you want to go with STARDOM, check out any combination of matches between Io shirai, Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, and Meiko Satomura. Their best wrestlers right now I'd say are Momo Watanabe, Jungle Kyona, and Mayu Iwatani if you want more recent stuff.

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