HERO was launched in February 2010, and at the time they were known as “DEAF JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING HERO”, due to the fact that their goal was to create events that would serve as a bridge between the hearing impaired and people who are not hearing impaired. In August 2016, the promotion’s name was changed to “HERO: Barrier-Free Pro-Wrestling”, with their target audience become not only the hearing impaired but also the visually impaired, people who use wheelchairs, and pro-wrestling fans in general.
HERO’s roster includes hearing-impaired wrestlers who compete in matches with the other wrestlers, which shows that HERO’s, “barrier-free” attitude even extends to the ring. HERO events also feature familiar faces, such as former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami, former ZERO1 United National Heavyweight Champion Shogun Okamoto, former AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champions Hiroshi Yamato and Ryuji Hijikata, and Wild Bear, who has appeared in ZERO1 and FMW.
HERO: Barrier-Free Pro-Wrestling’s next event will be on Saturday, July 30 at Shinkiba 1st Ring in Tokyo with a 6:45 pm start time. The card will be as follows:
Shigeo Kato (WBC Champion)
Tomonori Chiba (WBC Champion)
Mitsuya Nagai (former All Asia Tag Team Champion)
Mineo Fujita (former NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champion)
Makoto (former ICExInfinity Champion)
There are also two other matches scheduled. HERO events feature a sign language interpreter, subtitles on the venue monitor, and a live commentary radio that is rented out free of charge to visually impaired customers. Wheelchair users are supported as well.
HERO is operated by GPS Promotion, and tickets for this event can be purchased directly from them here.
MORE ABOUT SHINKIBA 1ST RING
A small venue that opened in 2001, Shinkiba 1st Ring is favored by fans who prefer watching pro-wrestling in a small, relaxed (as far as pro-wrestling shows go) atmosphere. Wrestling promotions of all sizes have events at Shinkiba 1st Ring, and martial arts events also take place there. Shinkiba 1st Ring is located in Koto City, a comparatively quieter and less crowded part of Tokyo, known for its rich waterfront and abundant greenery. Tokyo Olympic events took place in Koto City last year.