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Новo начало за All Japan Pro-Wrestling


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Днешният голям слух в японската преса:

Nothing is 100% confirmed at this point but it is being heavily rumored that as of July 1st, 2014 Jun Akiyama will either be named the new president of All Japan Pro Wrestling or if that does not happen he will take most of the roster with him and form a brand new company. Either way, major changes seem to be in store for one of the oldest wrestling promotions in the world.

Some background on what has lead to this:

Nobuo Shiraishi purchased All Japan in late 2012. Then several months later in June of 2013 a power sway happened and Shiraishi named himself the new president of All Japan. Keiji Muto and the then former president Masayuki Uchida were completely unable to fight the change due to being in Canada at the time so then when Muto returned to Japan he didn't return to All Japan but instead took more than half of AJPW's staff and roster and formed WRESTLE-1. Eversince then it has been a major struggle for Shiraishi to find the fan support that he needed to keep All Japan out of the red. No matter what All Japan would offer the problems would remain apparent. Even to the point where Motoko Baba, Giant Baba’s wife, demanded that the Triple Crown belts that her husband brought into the promotion be returned to the Baba family. Shiraishi also made it known that he had plans to change some things around, and that caused even more differences between the wrestlers and him. A new president was named earlier this year in Hirota Inoue, a move made to try and dissociate the owner Shiraishi from the main spotlight, but ultimately that did not change anything.

Inoue has not been fully active at his job for some time and due to this he has stepped down from the position as of June 1. All current All Japan contracts are set to expire on June 30th and it looks like Jun Akiyama could be taking charge and forming a new promotion out of the ashes of All Japan. Shiraishi owns All Japan and so unless a deal can be reached where Akiyama would gain control over All Japan, Akiyama intends to leave All Japan and form a brand new promotion. Akiyama is said to not only have the support of most of the All Japan wrestlers but also Motoko Baba's support (which means that should a new promotion be formed it would be able to use All Japan's championship belts, which are property of the Baba family).

July 12th at the BODYMAKER COLOSSEUM in Osaka is rumored to be the first show of the new All Japan under Akiyama or Akiyama's new promotion. Either way, come July 1st Akiyama will be in charge of a wrestling promotion. The question is will it be All Japan Pro Wrestling or will it be a brand new promotion?
Update: All Japan have now issued a statement announcing a press conference with Jun Akiyama is scheduled to take place in a few days.

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It's official. Jun Akiyama is new "All Japan" president. Today Jun Akiyama officially announced the establishment of a new company. All 13 All Japan contracted wrestlers and all 16 staff members will be part of this new company, along with the usual freelance wrestlers who have been wrestling for All Japan. So essentially it's the old All Japan with Akiyama as president but what is not clear yet is whether or not the new company will keep the name All Japan Pro Wrestling. The current AJPW owner Nobuo Shiraishi is said to be willing to give the name away.

The aim of the new promotion is to try and restore the confidence that has been damaged by Shiraishi's reign. Akiyama’s new venture will indeed be picking up everything that was being done by All Japan including the titles and even the scheduled events in the coming months. This includes the big show at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, a 6,000-7,000 seat arena, on August 30. All Japan will be carrying on as scheduled throughout this month including the Triple Crown match between Takao Omori and Jun Akiyama at the Korakuen Hall on June 15. The true start of the new "All Japan" will be the “2014 Summer Action Series” tour, which begins on July 12.

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  • 4 weeks later...


A press conference was held to officially announce that the new All Japan Pro-Wrestling is indeed a new company. All Japan is now branded as オールジャパン・プロレスリング (All Japan Pro-Wrestling in Katakana) whereas before it was branded as 全日本プロレス, which was Zen Nihon Pro-Wrestling or All Japan in English. The promotion will also be undergoing a new restructuring as well with Jun Akiyama taking over as President and Suwama also joining the Board of Directors.

Akiyama stated that his plan is to "convey the teachings of the late Giant Baba for a new generation". He also aims to make sure that everyone in the promotion can continue to work hard and give hope back to the fans. Akiyama also announced that Suwama has been appointed as the new Senior Managing Director as well as Motoko Baba, the late Giant Baba’s wife, will be joining the promotion once more as the senior advising director.

Akiyama stated that in June it was announced that he would be taking over as the president of the promotion and that a new company would be coming as of July 1st. All of the current wrestlers and most of the staff would be joining as well. The new company was officially registered as of July 1st and Akiyama was glad to present the new promotion to everyone today.

Akiyama, Suwama, Omori, Akebono, Go Shiozaki, KENSO (who was absent from the conference), Naoya Nomura, Kento Miyahara, Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Masanobu Fuchi, Atsushi Aoki, and SUSHI will all be a part of the new endeavor.

Akiyama also announced that two tv presidents will be added to the Board of Directors as well as Mikio Sasahara (Iwate Cable Television), who has been appointed as the Vice-President, and Kazufumi Yoshimura (Cable TV Yamagata). Yoshimura will though serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Akiyama mentioned that after extensive discussions with Nobuo Shiriashi, the owner of the previous All Japan Pro-Wrestling, who owns all the trademarks associated with the previous promotion as well as conflicts within the new. That an agreement has been made as of July 3rd for the new promotion to continue forward as of the past. What this means is that all the championship belts, series/tour names, as well as the future company name are allowed to be used. The new All Japan will work no differently from the All Japan of the past 40+ years.

Akiyama stated that today’s press conference is held today at Capitol Hotel Tokyu a place that Baba himself had much appreciation for. Akiyama said that there was no better place to hold this press conference and to publicly state the establishment of the new promotion as Baba once did himself many years ago. Almost as if it was destiny for this to happen.

Akiyama stated that at one time All Japan used to be one of the premiere promotions in Japan and his goal is to work hard to achieve that position once more. He said he has determination and confidence in the employees and wrestlers for many strong and positive changes to occur.

Suwama stated that his stance on “protecting All Japan” has not changed since the major turmoil occurred last year at this time. That he is still here and that he will be trying to alleviate as much burden from Akiyama’s shoulders as possible. His goal is to “restore confidence and trust" to the fans and to serve the promotion to the best of his ability.

The conference then closed out with Suwama, Motoko Baba, and Akiyama shaking hands to signify the official start of this new beginning of All Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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