There’s no doubt that WWE is the worldwide leader in Sports Entertainment, and we simply can’t get enough of John Cena, Braun Strowman and the rest of Vince McMahon’s eclectic gang of real-life super heroes. That said, a number of alternative promotions have risen in stature as pro wrestling has again entered the mainstream zeitgeist, thanks to streaming services and online communities of fans exposing new talent to a wider audience.

Wrestling’s explosion in popularity, particularly enjoyed by a boost in attendance at smaller independent shows, has whetted fans appetites to seek out the greatest ring action from around the world. With spectacular moves, and a hard-hitting style, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is one such outfit that has been gaining major ground on the world stage, culminating in its G1 Supercard show, a co-promotion in partnership with Ring of Honor at Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2019. But while NJPW is starting to gain a sizable following in the United States currently, the organization has been a major pro wrestling force in Japan for decades. 

The basic rules of a pro wrestling match vary little from promotion to promotion, and the presentation that each group uses can differ vastly from WWE. In the case of New Japan Pro Wrestling, keeping up with the twists and turns between the ropes involves an understanding of how NJPW shows are run. Here, we present a guide to accessing the tremendous characters and confrontations of NJPW.

Learn even more about New Japan Professional Wrestling here and here