When Wrestlemania was broadcast live,
it was early in the morning in Japan. This year’s Wrestlemania featured two Japanese challengers in title matches, so it attracted way more attention in Japan than it usually does. Of course, Japanese fans were hoping that Asuka and Nakamura would take the belts, and the results were a little disappointing. Asuka’s match was fantastic, though, wasn’t it? She and Charlotte had great chemistry, and they showed off some moves we’d never seen before. I’d say it’s a very satisfying match. But the result was disappointing to all the Japanese fans who really expected to see Asuka win the belt. As for Nakamura’s match, he’s a top-notch performer and he always brings his A game to his entrance. So I was looking forward to seeing him come in, and it didn’t disappoint. The match itself, though… Well, I think a lot of you saw it. The popular opinion here seems to be that their New Japan match was way better. It’s hard to say exactly what was different about the New Japan and WWE matches. But again, most people here think the New Japan one was way more satisfying. Personally, I think the match was… So-so Either way, Nakamura lost, which is too bad. The moment the match ended, I felt like it fell flat, and didn’t have much impact. But right as I was thinking that,
well, you-know-what happened. The post-match was satisfying for fans in Japan, in its own way. That went over pretty well with the folks here. It was actually the first time she’d ever seen WWE. But it got a good reaction from her! It was the sort of response I’d expect from someone seeing WWE for the first time. Wrestlemania’s a hugely ambitious show, with a strong focus on performance. She seemed to be moved by all that the moment she saw it. “Whoa!” she said, “amazing!” So it was off to a good start. She paid close attention to the matches, and I got the impression she was really taken with their movements. WWE puts a lot of focus on character, which makes it easy for someone like Ito, who hasn’t seen it before, to get into it. She figured out who she wanted to cheer for as she went along, and had fun getting wrapped up in it. We finished off by watching the Nakamura match, and the post-match really caught her off guard. All in all, I’d say she probably enjoyed it! Welcome to the WWE Universe, Maki Ito! In Japan, we pronounce it “jif.” It’s a sticky subject, huh? This is an issue that has lots of people nervous in Japan these days. There are some promotions that are completely fine with fans taking videos of their shows. They even encourage posting them on social media, like, “go ahead, please show this to people!”
(SNS=Social Media) It’s essentially free publicity for them. That’s the good side of it. It lets them promote themselves through their fans. So there are some promotions that are cool with it, but… The real problem is copyright. Because of issues with Japanese copyright law, most promotions don’t allow it. If they allow it, it’s free publicity; but if the fans put up too much, it becomes a copyright problem. Every promotion in Japan approaches it differently. It’s a hot-button issue that every promotion in Japan is puzzling over these days. Of course, having a lot of gifs or videos available online is a huge plus for the people who watch them. But the problem is, if you can get everything for free, promotions aren’t going to be able to sell their video content. So I think there does need to be some degree of regulation. It’s tough. Sometimes you want to see part of a match, and sometimes you don’t. Like if a match’s finish gets put up online right after it happens, like five seconds later,
that could be good, but it could be disappointing. I dunno, it’s a tough issue to address. There she is!