Wrestle It Out

These Japanese wrestling photos tell a very homoerotic story

The world of pro wrestling is certainly a fascinating one, and it didn’t even take us watching a nearly-nude Zac Efron in The Iron Claw to tell us that. In these cage matches, sweaty men roll around on each other until one is declared the winner, and if that’s not enough of a selling point, I don’t know what to tell you.

In this fanbase, it’s common to follow certain wrestling stars and become familiar with their (fictional) backstories: take, for instance, the incredible tale of the Golden Lovers, the Japanese pro-wrestling tag team that used queer identity to bring some added spiciness to the ring.

The Lovers aren’t the only ones using this tactic, either: in Japan, the wrestling promotion DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) is responsible for putting on some of the wildest, funniest, and horniest shows in the pro wrestling world. And on Twitter, American audiences are just starting to get wise to the manifold pleasures of wrestling superstars like Yuki “Sexy” Lino, Danshoku Dino, and Yukio Sakaguchi. These men have brawn, brains, and wit in the ring: not only is it not enough to simply beat a component in a match, the DDT standard is to put on a real show, complete with campy humiliation tactics.

In many of these photos, the wrestlers get up close and personal in a way that can only be described as…romantic? I mean, everybody’s idea of romance is different, and these wrestling matches definitely fit the bill for many of us. Even if English-speaking audiences can’t fully grasp the plot of the match itself, we can enjoy the flamboyance and wild body language of these passionate performances.

Take the case of Danshoku Dino, a wrestler who’s been playing an ultra-sexy “bear” type for DDT for a number of years. Dino knew that before he entered the ring, he needed to create a persona that was going to excite and enthrall audiences. So he created one: a super sexy, super silly persona who relies on gay stereotypes for comedy, a choice that’s garnered some criticism in the past few years.

Whether wrestlers are playing gay for fun or leaning into the homoeroticism of the sport itself, the result is completely bombastic to behold. Take, for instance, Yuki Lino, a wrestler who often wears jockstraps (sometimes rainbow!) in the ring and “makes” his opponents eat him out.

Basically, it’s no wonder that we’re suddenly obsessed with Japanese pro wrestling. The theatrics! The chutzpah! The Kidoairaku of it all!

If American wrestling was more like this, it would have WAY more fans.

We can’t get enough!

Brb, we’ll be watching wrestling for the rest of our lives.

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