Last month, we launched the Wrestling With Words/Puro In The Rough Korakuen Hall Tracker. The goal of this tracker to show the attendance numbers in the most used building for professional wrestling in Japan but also present what the trends would be for Japanese wrestling through charts and to show which wrestling shows fans in Tokyo decide to spend their money on.
For the record, here is the data that I collected for the month of February and these numbers are cross referenced with what Weekly Pro Wrestling Magazine reported and each promotion claimed on their website.
Compared to last month, New Japan only had 4 shows in this shortened month but their attendance dipped down below the 1,300 level for the first time this year with the February 27th show they co promoted with Ring of Honor.
NOAH the Reborn continues the trend of having attendances in the 600 fans range.
The most alarming number from February is that Stardom had the 2nd lowest drawing Korakuen Hall show in the promotion’s history with Io Shirai defending the World of Stardom Title against Shayna Baslzer. The lowest show they drew was August 23, 2015 with Kairi Hojo vs Chelsea main evented as part of their 5 * Grand Prix Tournament. At the time, Meiko Satomura defeated Hojo for the World of Stardom Title the month before and was not included in the tournament. This February show is more alarming as the top four singles champions (Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, Toni Storm and Mayu Iwatani) defended their respective titles.
In terms of total numbers, New Japan is dominating again but it is down 2,064 fans from last month with their two Ring of Honor shows included. As of February, New Japan has already drawn 14,044 fans. The gap is enormous compared to the second most in totals as DDT as drawn 4,550 at the close of the month.
Keiji Muto’s PRO-WRESTLING MASTERS only ran one show but had 1589 which is much higher than his recent WRESTLE-1 shows in Korakuen. The last time WRESTLE-1 had an attendance close to that number was September 21, 2015 for their 2nd Anniversary Tour Show.
The monthly average is still in it’s infancy for the year but I decided to separate this for only the promotions that run Korakuen Hall monthly as you see above.
Dragon Gate is averaging 1850 because they have drawn the same identical number for two months. There has been questions about the attendance numbers from Dragon Gate but they are the leader in the clubhouse in monthly average. It could be quite possible that Dragon Gate is actually drawing the full amount that they can without breaking fire code but it is also a possibility that they are just claiming sellouts.
Again, NOAH’s attraction has dipped to averaging 716 fans which is last among the promotions and a sign that the landscape has completely changed as NOAH was probably the most popular promotion in Tokyo a decade ago as they will sellout Budokan Hall (a place they would claimed a sellout of 16-17,000 on a regular basis) but can put half a house in Korakuen Hall.