When I was first really getting into Japanese wrestling back in 2004, there were very limited options on how to watch it. You could get a DVD a month after the event happened for $10 or hope that someone uploaded the show on yousendit, but this was before Youtube or Google Drive or streaming, so it took a bit more effort (or a lot more money) to stay current with the greatest wrestling on Earth.
Luckily, we are now in 2018 and technology has come a long way. There are options online to watch almost every Joshi promotion, leaving fans with almost too many choices as to watch it all would be very time consuming. All the promotions with paid streaming services accept US credit cards (as they accepted mine) but I can’t promise they will take your card as it may have different rules when it comes to International purchases. If you are unable to purchase from any of the sites listed below, contact your bank. None of the links below are “affiliate” links, this page is designed to provide information, not make me money.
If you need assistance buying Joshi and Puro goods from Japan, including DVDs from promotions that may not air on anything (like REINA or PURE-J), read my post on how to buy products from Japan here.
I am not going to do, in this article, a full guide on how to sign up at each one as that would make this page super long. But if there is a service that I think needs some explaining on how to sign up, over the next few weeks I’ll write a guide for those services. Also, since the Yen to US Dollar conversion rate changes daily I am going to just list the price in Yen, however when considering both the cost of the service and the small fee many banks put on international purchases, when budgeting I’d recommend just doing 100 Yen = $1.00 in your head when calculating cost. Lets first look at the official streaming services!
Promotion: World Wonder Ring Stardom
Cost: 750 Yen a month
Update Frequency: At least once a week
Stardom World is my favorite Joshi streaming service as it not only uploads the most events per month but they upload every event the promotion has. Stardom World commits to have each weekend event uploaded by the following Friday, and most of the time they keep with that schedule unless they have a lot of shows one weekend or are on vacation. Their backlog is decent but not great, they occasionally will upload an older show but focus on adding recent events in a timely manner. Stardom World is also the only promotion streaming service that has the website in English and subtitles the wrestler promos in English as well, making it very user-friendly to English speakers. The only downside of Stardom World is no live events, but its still worth every penny to be able to not miss a single show.
The WAVE Network
Promotion: Pro Wrestling WAVE
Cost: 800 Yen a month
Update Frequency: Random, as low as once a month
There is no rhyme or reason to what they upload as some events are skipped, however they have been better about it so far in 2018 so hopefully it improves. The VQ also isn’t great, the worst of the streaming services. Still, its the only way to watch most WAVE shows so if you are a fan of WAVE its almost a requirement to have. They also very rarely add older shows but occasionally surprise subscribers with one.
Promotion: Tokyo Joshi Pro
Cost: 900 Yen a month
Update Frequency: About two or three times a month for Joshi events
If you are a fan of DDT (or one of their other brands) then having DDT Universe is a no-brainer as its a great deal, but since I only watch TJP that is the only portion of the service I care about. Like Stardom, DDT Universe uploads all Tokyo Joshi Pro events, and even better they also are sometimes shown Live (about once a month or so). It is also the most expensive streaming service with Joshi but just barely, which isn’t surprising since you are paying for other promotions as well. They do have a backlog of older events but its not the easiest site to navigate for that purpose since there isn’t a master list, so you either have to scroll through or do a search in Japanese for what you are looking for.
Marvelous on Fresh TV
Cost: 600 Yen a month
Update Frequency: An average of twice a month.
This is probably my second favorite streaming service, even if the production is lower than Stardom or TJP. Marvelous is a small promotion that before they had a streaming service was impossible to watch since they don’t have a TV deal and didn’t sell DVDs on their website. With the streaming service, they stream all of their events and upload them in a very timely fashion, usually within a week. The cost is low and since its the only way to watch the promotion its an easy buy for me, but it is likely more for hardcore fans.
Sendai Girls’ on Pivotshare
Promotion: Sendai Girls’
Cost: $5.99 a month
Update Frequency: Once a month?
Sendai Girls’ is the latest Joshi promotion to stream their events. As of the time of this update (July 22nd, 2018), only one event has been added under the paid service, which isn’t ideal. It took WAVE awhile to really get into the swing of things so hopefully Sendai Girls’ plans on more frequent updates soon. Still, the video is in great quality and the event is not split up into matches, making it easier to sit and watch. We’ll have to keep an eye on them to see if the service starts getting updated more or if it is just a failed experiment.
Diana Youtube Channel
Promotion: World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana
Update Frequency: About once a month
This is still a pretty new concept so we will see if they stick with it. Like Marvelous, Diana is a smaller promotion that doesn’t really air anywhere else. They started occasionally steaming recent individual matches on their Youtube channel, highlighting their bigger matches. Since it is free anyway, I’d recommend checking it out so you can see wrestlers like Sareee, Kaoru Ito, and Tomoko Watanabe in action.
Those are all the official Joshi wrestling streaming services, but unfortunately there are still plenty of other promotions that do not have a streaming service (yet). To watch those promotions, you have a few different options. First, you could purchase an online service that (probably illegally) streams live Japanese TV, including Samurai TV and GAORA which air Stardom and OZ Academy (plus sometimes other promotions such as SEAdLINNNG). There are many websites that do this, but here are two that I can recommend:
Devices to Watch: Android and Online
Cost: $28 a month (discounts for signing a longer contract)
Wrestling-related channels: Samurai TV and GAORA
I haven’t used this service but it comes well recommended. This website is the ideal choice if you want to watch Samurai TV or GAORA with an Android device as that is what the service is optimized for and from all accounts works very well.
Japan Net TV
Devices to Watch: Multiple Options
Cost: Varies, the service I have used is $23 a month (discounts for signing a longer contract)
Wrestling-related channels: Samurai TV and GAORA
For Japan Net TV, I have used the iSakuraPro service to watch on my computer which works with Windows PC and Mac. For that choice, the 40 channel option has both Samurai TV and GAORA.
For promotions that do not have a streaming service available globally, another option for Joshi viewing is watching events on Puroresu Dream!
Promotions: Ice Ribbon, SEAdLINNNG, OZ Academy, and YMZ
Puroresu Dream in a lot of ways is a one-stop shop for watching wrestling from Japan, as they not only provide downloads for promotions that don’t have a streaming service, but also directly link to the promotions that do. This is really the only way to watch promotions that air on Nico Pro without paying a dealer for it, so its an essential website to have bookmarked if you are a fan of Sendai Girls’ or Ice Ribbon. Puroresu Dream does a good job filling in the gaps for the promotions that don’t have a streaming service and for most events they provide both a streaming and download option. While I (and Puroresu Dream) encourage fans to purchase the streaming services for promotions they want to support, if they do not have one, this is the easiest place to get their shows.