Author Topic: The Fans/Popularity  (Read 2100 times)

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Behold The Lion

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The Fans/Popularity
« on: June 20, 2008, 11:14:30 PM »
I didn't really know where to post this topic for discussion, but I think this forum is probably the best. If not, I'm very sorry.

Looking back on the old matches, I noticed that the "school girls" or fans were a lot louder and seemed a lot more into the matches of the old days. This really comes to mind when I came across a match involing Dump and Bull versus the Bomb Angels. The fans were electric and had chants going every two minutes and it was just pandamonium. The same could be said for Chigusa matches and even a match I saw between Devil Masami and Monster Ripper.

Going a little future into the future, Aja Kong vs. Megumi Kudo, the fans were almost as loud for that match and seemed ginuinely into the whole thing, and seemed to really care about it. But then, just a little further in the future during the ARSION days and beyond, it seems like not only have the crowds drown down a bit, but the arenas are smaller and smaller and everything seems to be much lower scale.

Maybe I have no been exposed to enough, I'm really not sure, but could anybody explain to me what the cause for this apparent downfall in fan appreciation/excitement/popularity/whatever is and perhaps when it really took into affect and if perhaps there are promotions who still sell out the big houses and get these kinds of wild ovations. It'd be much appreciated.

Offline Coffee

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Re: The Fans/Popularity
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 07:26:32 PM »
i cannot speak in behalf of everyone when it comes to why the sudden downfall but if you're looking for hot crowds, it would be great for you to check out matches at SENDAI
the crowd there is most of the time cheering loudly for their locals

Offline ohtanisjacket

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Re: The Fans/Popularity
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 09:17:51 PM »
The Joshi boom ended with the Tokyo Dome show in '94. This show always gets talked up as having a big gate and being a wild success, but it ran far too long & most people missed their train. That pissed a lot of fans off. Joshi's peak was probably 1993. After that, crowd numbers began to wilt away year by year. The schoolgirls stopped caring when Dump & Chigusa retired & AJW lost its afternoon timeslot (on a Saturday, I think.) Eventually it got a late timeslot (outside of golden time) and the Matsunagas tried to focus on the home video market instead, which led to problems with Fuji TV. Eventually they went belly up as the Japanese economy went into a recession.

Behold The Lion

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Re: The Fans/Popularity
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 07:50:54 PM »
Thank you so much! That was exactly the information I was looking for. I'm definitely going to check out SENDAI.

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Re: The Fans/Popularity
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 09:01:01 PM »
The Joshi boom ended with the Tokyo Dome show in '94. This show always gets talked up as having a big gate and being a wild success, but it ran far too long & most people missed their train. That pissed a lot of fans off.

Really?  I didn't know that.  I think that the schoolgirls just got older and moved on to other stuff, so the promotion leaned more towards the older audience.  Nothing wrong with that idea, but then other promotions like GAEA and JWP came along, and since they didn't have age restrictions (like Zenjo did until the 90s), the older, but still capable stars went to those promotions, and so did their fans.  The Matsunagas made some really crappy business decisions outside of wrestling, and that's what caused Zenjo to bleed dry, and a lot of wrestlers became freelancers because they weren't getting paid like they should.

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Offline ohtanisjacket

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Re: The Fans/Popularity
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 10:59:52 PM »
AJW had dropoffs after The Beauty Pair split up and again when Chigusa retired. That's pretty understandable, but in the early 90s a lot of smaller promotions sprung up & drew pretty well, so AJW cashed in on that fanbase by working with Hamada's UWF group. Hamada had wanted JWP to turn into a UWF style mixed promotion, but the workers were against it. So it's kinda ironic that AJW drew a male fanbase through their working relationship with UWF. I'm pretty convinced that the Matsunagas were already in debt at the time, so waiting for another Chigusa would've meant missing out on a piece of the pie. They relied pretty heavily on the male promotions being successful & those promotions fucked up in the 90s. In the 80s, whenever they were on the verge of bankruptcy, they found a new way to draw. In the 90s they got a little fat & pretty lazy. In the case of AJW, I don't think they lost a lot of fans to JWP or GAEA. The business decisions the Matsunagas made weren't so stupid. It was the banks that fucked everything up. And the government, too, I suppose. But, yeah, they had a hard time drawing after Big Egg Universe. Some other shows like DreamSlam left people stranded in Yokohama, but that was considered a great show. Big Egg Universe was a mess.