When it comes to pro wrestling, the US-based WWE, the largest pro-wrestling company in the world, quickly comes to your mind. While in Japan, wrestling draws thousands of fans to venues across the country. Now let’s take a look at two biggest companies in pro wrestling of Japan.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Among 12 major wrestling companies in Japan, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is the biggest one.
Founded in 1972, NJPW is a 5 billion dollar revenue company that hosts annual biggest show, Wrestle Kingdom, at the Tokyo Dome. The 1993 version of the event, Fantastic Story in the Tokyo Dome, atracted 63,500 fans, which records the largest number for a pro wrestling event at the Tokyo Dome.
NJPW also has a presence outside of Japan. From 2014 to 2019, NJPW aired on American TV network AXS TV with 200,000 viewers each week with their Japanese-style pro-wrestling brand. Although the program is no longer shown, American interest in NJPW still exists. In addition to NJPW videos available for sale on Amazon, they also have their own streaming service, NJPW World, which is available to fans worldwide and now has about 100,000 subscribers.
Among more than 20 small/medium-sized wrestling companies in Japan, Michinoku Pro is the most successful.
Founded in 1993, Michinoku Pro has most of their events in the Tōhoku region but they are popular in other areas of the country as well. Their DVDs are sold in stores nationwide. Michinoku Pro usually has events in Tokyo, especially in Shin-Kiba 1st Ring venue.
Michinoku Pro has also put more focus on the Korakuen Hall, which is known as a place where a lot of historical moments of Japanese pro wrestling have occurred. Their event on December 13 last year at Korakuen Hall had a sellout, standing room only attendance of 1,890, which is the highest reported attendance at the Hall for a pro-wrestling event since April 2015.