Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance

Do not confuse this promotion with Riki Chōshū's Japan Pro-Wrestling promotion, which was spelled "Japan Puroresu" (ジャパンプロレス) instead of "Nihon Puroresu" (日本プロレス)

Nihon Puroresu Kyōkai (日本プロレス協会, Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance or Japan[ese] Wrestling Association) was the first professional wrestling promotion to be based in Japan. It operated from 1953 to 1973. Founded by Rikidozan when he established a territory that would represent the National Wrestling Alliance in Japan. In those early days, Japanese professional wrestlers came from out of the sumo or judo ranks; former sumotori usually used their shikona (Rikidozan, Azumafuji, Toyonobori, etc.) while former judokas usually used their real names or modifications of them (Masahiko Kimura, Michiaki Yoshimura, etc.)

After Rikidozan’s death in 1963, the company continued to operate as the nation’s premier (and only male) wrestling circuit until challenged in the late 1960's by International Pro Wrestling, which featured the first major World heavyweight championship based in Japan, the IWA title. The JWA's top stars, Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki left to form their own promotions (All Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, respectively) in 1972. With its top drawing cards gone, the JWA was therefore out of business the following year.

Championships based at JWA


This is not an exhaustive list, as JWA was the only Japanese promotion until 1966 and many wrestlers, both Japanese who competed for a brief time and then retired, or foreigners who came for a single tour, were booked.



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