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Riders enjoy pro wrestling spectacle on special train in Chiba Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Pro wrestlers fight each other in a special promotion aboard a JR Kururi Line train in Chiba Prefecture on Sunday.

CHIBA — About 50 passengers on a special JR Kururi Line train running in the southern part of Chiba Prefecture on Sunday were treated to a powerful spectacle of real professional wrestlers throwing down, accompanied by commentary.

The unusual event was arranged to promote the attractiveness of the line, which has been in the red due to low ridership. The Chiba branch of East Japan Railway Co. planned the event, which included 17 wrestlers from the Big Japan Pro Wrestling and Niigata Pro Wrestling organizations.

The stunt bouts took place in a chartered two-car train making an about 90-minute round trip between Kisarazu and Kururi.

The wrestlers performed such techniques as the Power Bomb Return, a technique of lifting an opponent up and then throwing him down onto the floor, and the Kubi Yonnoji Gatame (a figure-four leg-lock of the neck), in which nearly 10 wrestlers line up to use it.

The wrestlers fought each other with unrestricted energy, displaying techniques that can only be used in the narrow confines of a train carriage, cheered on by passengers and the play-by-play over the train’s PA system.

A 45-year-old company employee from Niigata, who has been a fan of professional wrestling for 30 years, said, “Compared to watching professional wrestling matches fought in the ring, watching those right in front of me on a train seat was so much more powerful.”