The Visual Style of New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Every company has its own visual look. Here, we take a closer look at what makes New Japan Pro Wrestling stand out amongst its rivals…

Here at, we watch a lot of wrestling (nowhere near enough, mind you!). We don’t stick to just one company, but instead choose to branch out and find enjoyment from a large number of different promotions (again, not enough!). One of the most fun parts of doing this, and sometimes most stressful, is coming across various different visual styles. Some are wonderful and keep you watching even when the matches are sometimes a little silly (Riptide Wrestling), whilst others can be rather bland and amateurish (countless independent promotions in America). There’s a whole range of different styles being used to show off professional wrestling, and each plays its part in helping, or sometimes negatively impacting, the promotions utilising them. New Japan Pro-Wrestling is no different.

As the excitement builds ahead of Wrestling Kingdom 12, we found ourselves looking at a lot of NJPW material online. During this time, we stumbled across a video that perfectly details NJPW‘s style, and why they make the visual decisions that they do. The video is displayed above, and is absolutely must-watch.

One thing that has always stood out for us, is how NJPW‘s visuals compliment the in-ring style implemented by its roster. The hard-hitting and technical wrestling is supported by a visual presentation that makes it appear like a real sport, and you find yourself able to sit back and enjoy what feels and looks like a major sporting event each time you turn on one of their shows.

Besides the multi-man matches that populate the bottom of their card, their singles matches, or tag team championship matches, always feel important. You buy into the battles taking place on your screen, and its often very easy to become engrossed in what you are watching. Someone coming from only watching WWE and it’s often over-produced TV product would perhaps look at an NJPW show and feel a little underwhelmed, but one can almost guarantee that same person will find themselves totally absorbed before the show is over. As the video above tells us, the visuals may appear simple, but the thinking that goes into them is anything but that.

NJPW are doing lots of things right, currently, but until you see their cinematography broken down as it is in Showbuckle‘s video, you don’t realise just how much of what they get right is down to their way they present their product on your television screen (or mobile device… hello, 2018!).


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