If combat sports in Japan are cyclical than we are now at the beginning of what we can call a new cycle. Pride was born out of a puroresu boom in Japan and all things out of Japan indicate what was bound to happen again, a huge boom in professional wrestling.
The Tokyo Dome, Wrestle Kingdom 7 event was a huge success on all fronts. NJPW announced earlier that their January 4th show did over 100,000 pay per view buys, which in Japan is a monster number. Japanese viewers, for the most part, are not able to view this sort of content. Opening up content delivery via the internet has proved a huge success for the promotion. The first event saw 23,000, second saw 55,000 and the Tokyo Dome show saw over 100,000.
Dave Meltzer is reporting that the most recent show, New Beginnings, topped the 92,000 mark, which is a huge success for New Japan. The venue was sold out days before and turned away a reported 1000 fans looking to score tickets, yet another sign of their momentum.
Will NJPW be the catalyst that sparks a combat sports boom in Japan? Time will tell, but things look quite positive on that front…