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Old 05-26-2012, 10:42 PM
The Liar The Liar is offline
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Default The lack of Japanese wrestlers in WWE

As most internet wrestling fans know, the country of Japan has been home to some of the world's best wrestlers for generations. Promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling showcase some of the most impressive in-ring action anywhere on earth. Along with Mexico, Japan is one of the two hotbeds for fast-paced, high-flying wrestling. Because of this, one would assume that WWE would be eager to get their hands on Japanese talent, but that hasn't been the case. The only one they have right now is Yoshi Tatsu, who is just a jobber who isn't going anywhere. We also have Lord Tensai, who is just a white guy playing a Japanese gimmick.

One reason I find this puzzling is because they have a good amount of Mexican talent (Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Hunico, etc.), some of which have their roots in the luche libre style of wrestling. The main explanation I hear for this is that the US has a huge Hispanic population that is important to market towards, and on top of that WWE has been becoming more popular in Mexico. However, I still don't think that explains the lack of Japanese superstars. In the past five years we have seen the WWE indulge in many international talents: Indian, Russian, Irish, British, South African, etc. Some have worked wonderfully while others haven't.

I will end this long post with two questions:

1) Why do you think the WWE doesn't pursue signing Japanese wrestlers?

2) If the cruiserweight division were to come back, would we begin seeing more Japanese wrestlers in
  #2  
Old 05-26-2012, 10:58 PM
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Because Japanese wrestlers, more often than not, wrestle a style that is not going to fly in the WWE.

Actually, first I should qualify this; that's really why you won't see established Japanese stars in the WWE. If you're looking for the same stars you'd find in New Japan and All Japan, you won't, because you have to train them all over again to work against their typical, puro style.

Do you know who Okato is? That's your current IWGP champion; for all intents and purposes, he's the guy in Japan, though I'm sure you could make an argument for Tanahashi, and it's a good one. Okato had a brief run in TNA as Okada, Samoa Joe's buddy for... Some reason. It didn't work out, because Okato's style wasn't going to work in TNA. Sure, he could have wrestled Kurt Angle, and maybe the MCMG, because they know how to work that style. Put him in the ring with Rob Terry, or Mr. Anderson? It's an absolute disaster, and most of the time for Okada, it was. He's not the only one; plenty of guys have had this trouble.

But what if you were to train a Japanese wrestler into the WWE style, you ask? Here's the problem;

1. Why would a Japanese star come to the WWE, when he can work in his home country, make sizable bank, have less of a schedule, more time off, and be treated like a god in your own home?

2. Do you remember Kenzo Suzuki? Kenzo was a really bad worker to begin with; he got worse when he couldn't communicate with the guy he's working with. That will be the norm, it will not be the rarity.

Hope we put that topic to bed, now
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2012, 11:38 PM
JaylisJayP JaylisJayP is offline
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The truth is it has very little to do with style and everything to do with mic skills. If you can't get a guy over, he won't sell, and nobody cares if he can do a few things in the ring they've seen before.

The only thing that sells is loving or hating a guy based on his character...which is mostly shaped by his mic skills and actions, not by his wrestling.

All the wrestling fans in the world hate to hear it and will swear it's everything that's wrong with WWE, but it's the truth.

Bottom line, WWE doesn't pursue more Japanese wrestlers because they won't draw and won't be worth the investment.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2012, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaylisJayP View Post
The truth is it has very little to do with style and everything to do with mic skills. If you can't get a guy over, he won't sell, and nobody cares if he can do a few things in the ring they've seen before.

The only thing that sells is loving or hating a guy based on his character...which is mostly shaped by his mic skills and actions, not by his wrestling.

All the wrestling fans in the world hate to hear it and will swear it's everything that's wrong with WWE, but it's the truth.

Bottom line, WWE doesn't pursue more Japanese wrestlers because they won't draw and won't be worth the investment.
Mic skills are a part of it; it explains why there won't be big stars. What you're answering right now is why a Japanese wrestler won't be on the level of Cena and Punk and the like. Even then, though, the WWE is always looking for good wrestlers. You can't have enough guys on the roster that know how to work. I'm explaining why you won't see many Japanese wrestlers in the WWE, at all.

You're explaining why there won't be stars; I'm explaining the lack of wrestlers, period. Yes, there's a difference
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:44 PM
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Guys like Hakushi, Taka Michinoku and Tajiri all had mild success in the WWE. Sure, they had great matches, but I think it was ultimately the language barrier that limited them rather than their styles. If you can't be good on the stick, then you can only do so much before your character becomes somewhat stagnant. I still hold onto that hope that some day a Japanese wrestler who is highly skilled in the ring and on the mic in both Japanese and English will show up in the WWE. That would be something different to see. Until then? Yoshi Tatsu aka Funaki #2 is what we're stuck with. It sucks for him considering how he wasn't getting anywhere in his homeland and now he's going nowhere on foreign land. Enhancement talent for life.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:42 AM
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I always had an idea for pushing a dominant asian wrestler to the top. Have u ever seen the movie Bloodsport? I always thought Chong Li would make an awesome wrestling heel. he'd have to have the right build of course something that a guy like tatsu is lacking. Also he wouldn't need to have mic skills as he would have a mouthpiece.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by I'd Wear Pippa Middleton Like A Feedbag View Post
Because Japanese wrestlers, more often than not, wrestle a style that is not going to fly in the WWE.
This guy knows what he's talking about. Anyway, we have a Japanese mega-star in the WWE - Lord Tensai ;-) Anyway, on a more serious note, Japanese and Mexican wrestlers find it difficult to go from their wrestling culture where the style is so different, to learning traditional North American styles. When Sin Cara debuted it was abit of a fail because he kept botching. Not entirely his fault, he just found it extremely hard to learn a knew style, plus very few of his opponents were familiar with what he was doing in the ring, providing a very difficult level of unpredictability that makes in-ring chemistry very difficult to establish. To fix the problem they brought in Hunico who was trained in both traditional Mexican and American pro-wrestling. It's easier to bring in Mexican wrestlers from the southern border than it is to relocate a Japanese wrestler from the other side of the globe at a high risk that they won't get over due to language barriers, difficult style to incorporate, etc.

Not to say that Japanese wrestlers have never been over with the 'Western' wrestling companies such as WWE, there have been a number of successful Japanese wrestlers over the years, but it's a risky move financially bringing in someone that may not be able to get over or work well with your talents.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mrfantastic111 View Post
This guy knows what he's talking about. Anyway, we have a Japanese mega-star in the WWE - Lord Tensai ;-) Anyway, on a more serious note, Japanese and Mexican wrestlers find it difficult to go from their wrestling culture where the style is so different, to learning traditional North American styles. When Sin Cara debuted it was abit of a fail because he kept botching. Not entirely his fault, he just found it extremely hard to learn a knew style, plus very few of his opponents were familiar with what he was doing in the ring, providing a very difficult level of unpredictability that makes in-ring chemistry very difficult to establish. To fix the problem they brought in Hunico who was trained in both traditional Mexican and American pro-wrestling. It's easier to bring in Mexican wrestlers from the southern border than it is to relocate a Japanese wrestler from the other side of the globe at a high risk that they won't get over due to language barriers, difficult style to incorporate, etc.

Not to say that Japanese wrestlers have never been over with the 'Western' wrestling companies such as WWE, there have been a number of successful Japanese wrestlers over the years, but it's a risky move financially bringing in someone that may not be able to get over or work well with your talents.

Plus (correct me if I'm wrong), the Japanese see wrestling more on an athletic scale and not the "entertainment" aspect that WWE spoon-feeds us (it's seen more as a sport instead of sports entertainment). I remember watching Allen Coage (Bad News Brown) on a pay-per-view in the early 90's that took place in Japan where it was more focus on the actual (paraphrasing the commentators here) "athletic aspect of wrestling and not what (you're) used to seeing on American television/this is shoot wrestling and not the WWF."
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:16 AM
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1) Why do you think the WWE doesn't pursue signing Japanese wrestlers?

Because Japanese wrestlers would have to learn to wrestle the WWE style. Which is a croc of shit, but this is what Vince does, makes guys change their ways to fit his vision of how they should wrestle. Secondly, as most Japanese speak Japanese, they would not connect with the fans if they cannot communicate with them.

2) If the cruiserweight division were to come back, would we begin seeing more Japanese wrestlers in.
Maybe, but would not expect them to get massively over, they would be just high spot merchants like the majority of the cruiserweigjhts
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:44 AM
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Traditionally, the problem has been Vince not knowing how to get them over as anything other than comedy jobbers for life as opposed to utilizing actual gimmicks or talents that play to their strengths.

Case in point, Hakushi - The gimmick was excellent, the skills undoubted and the matches he had with Bret explosive but within months he was floundering in a face tag team with Barry Horowitz. Part of the problem was they put him with "Shinja" or Sato from the Orient Express. It needed Mr. Fuji who had only recently left... or even better, a Cornette. Shinja didn't work and Hakushi suffered, much as how Sakamoto doesn't work with Tensai. The 2nd problem was that while the gimmick was excellent, once he had exhausted Bret and Kid as opponents there was nowhere storyline for it to go because of the face/heel divide. Owen would have been an awesome opponent, as would have Davey Boy with their Japanese experience... but they were normally on the same side of the fence.

It was a reason Muta never went to WWE, he knew that he would never be portrayed as a serious threat, more a mysterious sidekick to someone else like Yokozuna. When he declined, they created Kwang. Later they used Tajiri in that role but again, he became comedy jobber for life (though his stuff with Regal was gold)

There have been plenty of Japanese talents who could have made the transition, Matsato Tanaka, Tenzan or Kensuke Sasaki could have come in as that Bolo/Chong Li type character, steamrollering everyone. Heyman could have managed him... but Vince couldn't get it... so we end up with Choppy Choppy, EEEEVILLL and Yoshi Tatsu.

Today no self respecting Puoresu will go near WWE because they know they will end up a laughing stock back home.

WCW had the right idea for a time, treat them as special attractions, dangerous but not invincible. Chono was perhaps the best example, he main evented for them for over a year.
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