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NJPW обяви въвеждането на brand split!


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Credit to Stuart of Puroresufan.com and NJPW's official site,

New Japan today announced its form of brand extension (so that Naigai Times article earlier this year wasn't false at all), with the introduction of two new subsidary ventures, "WRESTLE LAND" and "LOCK UP". The idea of both brands is to present professional wrestling on a small scale in two very different ways, then attempt to draw out the strengths of each brand and implement them into the main ring. Vice-President Naoki Sugehayashi said it was time to challenge new ideas, and they plan to hold events for the brands during the off-tour season, with the first taking place right before "BEST OF THE SUPER JR. XIII". This isn't the first time New Japan has done something like this, as "LION'S ROAD" lasted a few shows, and Heisei Ishingun used to run some independent events. Sugehayashi said the these brands will attempt to better activate New Japan's product and also give wrestlers new experiences to motivate them.

The meaning of the new brands is to expand the market, and attract fans interested in the "color" of each of the ideas. "Sport" and "amusement" are the themes of the brands. "LOCK UP" will strictly emphasize the contents of each match and have very little going on before and after each fight. "WRESTLE LAND" will be a very colorful entertainment-based form of pro wrestling, with storylines, costumes, comedy, and other things to make fans smile. Sugehayashi said New Japan is taking a lesson from its past and using a "free wild way of thinking" to figure out a modern form of pro wrestling that can appeal to mainstream audiences and bring pro wrestling back into the limelight socially.

"LOCK UP" will be produced by site foreman Riki Choshu. Choshu said that his brand will feature wrestlers of New Japan, but also many independent wrestlers from Riki Pro (which, to me, this seems to be a new version of), Apache Army, Dragon Gate, Michinoku Pro, U-FILE (Kiyoshi Tamura's crew), and other places. You read that right, relations between New Japan and Dragon Gate are finally on the mend, following a falling out in 2000. Dragon Gate may work with both of the brands, but nothing concrete has been announced yet. In theme with Choshu's ideals, this will be a largely no nonsense show as mentioned, with wrestlers of many different styles given a chance to shine. Choshu said it will start with small halls, but he wants to expand into the territories. Choshu announced Kagetora vs. Lasse (both Ultimo Dragon students) as the first match, an offer match from Michinoku Pro. "LOCK UP" begins on 5/21 at Shin-Kiba 1st RING, with the second event on 6/25 and third on 7/29, both also at 1st RING.

NJPW "LOCK UP", 5/21/06

Shin-Kiba 1st RING

1. Kagetora(Michinoku Pro) vs. Rasse(Michinoku Pro)

Other participating wrestlers: Riki Choshu, Jado, Gedo, Tomohiro Ishii, Takashi Uwano, Kintaro Kanemura, BADBOY Hido, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, others

Tiger Mask was the spokesman of "WRESTLE LAND" and may be one of the producers (they didn't specify who is in charge of this). Tiger wants to show the true entertainment value and pleasure of pro wrestling with a "Professional Wrestling Happy Land" type product. Since he will be a "different" Tiger Mask compared to the one who defends the regular army in New Japan, he plans to unveil a new costume. The first show of this brand will take place at Shinjuku FACE on 5/13, with the second at the same building on 6/30, then an ambitious advance on Tokyo Differ Ariake for chapter three on 7/23. The main event of show one will be Tanahashi vs. Tiger Mask, and Tiger is calling for Tanahashi to appear as a special character on the day, like his one-time Masked Devilock masked character. Also on the show is a match that should fit right in with the theme, as comedy legends Gran Naniwa and Tsubo Genjin square off. There is talk of Great Sasuke appearing on this show, which would make sense as he and Tiger are close.


Shinjuku FACE

1. Gran Naniwa vs. Tsubo Genjin

2. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tiger Mask

Other participating wrestlers: Jado, Gedo, Super Strong Machine (not Black Strong Machine), others

Simon Inoki concluded the press conference by saying that this is part of a new marketting plan, and that by putting on two products of completely different styles, it will allow New Japan to evaluate many things. He is expecting both shows to be very interesting. Looking at the ticket prices and schedules, it looks like "WRESTLE LAND" will be the bigger of the two brands, as ticket prices are Korakuen Hall level (LOCK UP tickets are more Michinoku Pro level) and they are planning that show at Differ Ariake (although there are three configs there - 1,246, 691, and 300~400 - so they could run a small one).

Или ако трябва да го обясня накратко, New Japan отварят нещо като две нови федерации - едната за чист кеч, а другата за entertainment кеч. Тези федерации, или по-точно brand-ове, ще имат по няколко шоута на месец като в тях ще се бият кечисти от New Japan, както и други федерации. Вероятно повечето от главните звезди на федерацията няма да участват в brand split-a, а ще си се бият само в главното шоу. Напрактика, в момента NJPW се разделя на три части:

New Japan Pro Wrestling - както си беше досега, шоута на самата федерация. В нея се бият всички кечисти на федерацията;

Lock Up - чист кеч, част от кечистите на New Japan;

Wrestle Land - забавен кеч, част от кечистите на New Japan.

Целта на идеята е да се проучи какво харесва публиката и да се даде поле за изява на младите кечисти. Аз лично намирам идеята за добра, но сега остава да видим как ще бъде изпълнена.

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Ако просто бяха разделили компанията би било зле, но след като самата компания ще продължи съществуването си и просто ще има още два дяла аз напълно подкрепям идеята. Дано успеят да я реализират добре. :)



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