The Real 2017 WIP Climax in Korakuen Hall August 29, 2017
On June 24, 2017, it was announced that AKB48 would follow up their Japanese TV Academy award-winning late-night drama Tofu Pro Wrestling with an actual pro wrestling event featuring the cast of the show and the new additions to the roster who appeared in the drama’s final episode. This raised a very big question, can these idols pull off a live wrestling event? After all, the matches in the drama were most likely highly edited to make the action look good. With a live, there are no second chances when blowing a move or a spot, especially in a small venue like Korakuen Hall, where it’s possible to see every mistake easily.
The YouTube series Road to WIP CLIMAX did not exactly instill a lot of confidence that the members involved in this particular event could pull it off even with the expert training they went through. Still, for curiosities sake, I decided to look at this event. The least that could happen is that I could watch a complete train wreck of a show, which would not be any different from watching a WCW pay-per-view during their downfall.
WIP Roster Members
AKB48: Kato Rena, Kizaki Yuria, Shimada Haruka, Mukaichi Mion, Yumoto Ami, Yokoyama Yui
SKE48: Suda Akari, Takayanagi Akane, Furuhata Nao, Matsui Jurina, Matsumura Kaori
NMB48: Kinoshita Momoka, Shiroma Miru
HKT48: Miyawaki Sakura
NGT48: Kato Minami, Nakai Rika, Yamada Noe
New roster members
Iwatate Saho, Oya Shizuka, Oda Erina, Kawamoto Saya, Komiyama Haruka, Sato Akari, Takita Kayoko, Tatsuya Makiho, Taniguchi Megu, Nakanishi Chiyori, Hirose Natsuki, Fukuoka Seina, Ma Chia-ling, Miyazaki Miho
The only thing missing from this list is which gym the new members are affiliated with from the drama. Not that it matters, but it would have helped continuity-wise as a transition from the drama to this entire live event setting. Thankfully their affiliations were announced during their ring intros, so that was nice.