Sukeban | Japanese Women’s Wrestling Takes LA

Nakajima Defeats Crush Yuu

Written by

Emma Raff

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Konami and Babyface

A crowd of 2000 people howl, the sound reverberating against the walls of LA’s historic Trinity Auditorium, as Japanese wrestler Crush Yuu knocks Nakajima to the ground, braided pigtails flailing. On the night of May 30th, the Japanese women’s professional wrestling league, Sukeban, held a series of fights in Los Angeles, headlining World Champion Nakajima and her opponent, Crush Yuu. The event, stop number three on a United States tour, featured renowned female wrestlers such as  Atomic Banshee, Queen of Hearts, and Babyface. 

Atomic Banshee

Nakajima successfully defended her championship title as legendary pro-wrestler Bull Nakano presided over the fight, drawing a pack of celebrities including music producer Diplo, actors Barbie Ferreira and Rowan Blanchard, musician Caroline Polachek, and former UFC heavyweight champion, Josh Barnett. Rapper Saweetie stepped into the ring as her new single “NANi,” blared through the speakers. 

Nakajima and Crush Yuu
Midnight Player and Stray Cat

Japanese writer and actor Kunichi Nomura was a spectacular ring announcer while Tokyo DJ Ecec scored the fight, and Ayumu Harada, a yo-yo master, performed before a delighted crowd. The event also included a delicious Japanese-style night market catered by an array of local restaurants.Perhaps one of the most alluring aspects of the night was the creativity of the wrestlers’ looks produced by make-up artist Kali Kennedy

Konami, Saki Bimi, and Queen of Hearts

Photographed by Atiba Jefferson and Mike Vitelli 

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Sukeban, Japanese Women’s Wrestling, event, party, Emma Raff