In the 1980s, Japanese female wrestlers, joshi puroresu (or joshi puro for short) were very popular. The most famous wrestler was Chigusa Nagayo, a wildly successful woman whose mainstream success still stands unmatched by any other professional female wrestler, before or since. Nagayo combined with Lioness Asuka to make the tag team “Crush Gals.” The Crush Gals had a long-running feud with Dump Matsumoto and her “Atrocious Alliance.” Matches between the teams regularly sold out arenas, and televised had some of the highest rated broadcasting in Japan.

In addition to complaining about pro wrestling, I sometimes participate in the sport. I’ve been an extremely part-time referee on various independent wrestling shows since 2007, making a grand total of one month’s rent in the process. But I don’t do it for the money, or for any hopes of full-time employment (especially after all the mean things I said about the senile old walkingfart who owns WWE). I do it for the experience — and goddamn is indie wrestling ever an experience.

7 Unexpected Realities of Being a Pro Wrestling Referee