NJPW President Takami Ohbari: We Cannot Stick To Outdated Ideas Of Male Only Wrestling

NJPW President comments on the growing women's division in NJPW.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling has welcomed more women's wrestling onto its programming over the years with STARDOM matches taking place at Wrestle Kingdom events, NJPW and STARDOM co-events, and NJPW STRONG having its own women's title.

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Speaking to Monthly Puroresu, NJPW President Takami Ohbari discussed the growing position women in NJPW.

"Many traditions in Japanese pro-wrestling derive from professional sumo wrestling. There are no women wrestler in Japanese professional sumo. On the other hand, the ratio of men and women participants in the Olympics is almost 5:5," he said. "The world has changed and the speed of change has been exponential. We cannot stick to the outdated ideas of male-only professional wrestling. We often say that professional wrestling is a mirror reflecting the world. All wrestlers and all matches should be appreciated, and any wrestlers should be provided fair opportunities in the ring regardless of gender or anything else. If we can maximize the business value of that, then so much the better."

Ohbari continued, "I think this will be realized in the US first, and then in Japan. In the last few years since STARDOM has become one of Bushiroad’s group companies, I think Japanese pro wrestling fans’ way of thinking is getting closer to a global standard. The first time we had STARDOM wrestlers participate in our Tokyo Dome show, we faced major criticism from fans and our partners in and outside the company. But now, it is taken for granted."

In November 2022, NJPW and STARDOM co-promoted Historic X-Over with KAIRI vs. Mayu Iwatani for the IWGP Women's Title headlining the show.

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