Former All Japan Pro Wrestling President Mitsuharu Misawa held a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, today to announce the formation of his own wrestling company.
Accompanied by several stars that left the promotion with him, including Triple Crown Heavyweight champion Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori, Misawa announced he hopes to start up business in August, but believes October would be a more realistic goal.
Misawa told gathered reporters that he hopes to run his first show in the early part of August. Misawa said he’d like to debut at Tokyo’s “Differ Ariake” wrestling complex which he hopes to make the home base for his promotion.
Misawa stated the reason why he left All Japan was because All Japan owner Motoko Baba was interfering in his duties as a matchmaker and booker. He wanted to advance the style of wrestling in All Japan and take it away from its conservative booking style but felt continually stifled by Baba’s meddlesome actions.
When asked about his new group running shows with another small Japanese promotion, Misawa downplayed the idea, saying it would be better to try and establish his promotion and roster of talent on their own.
Misawa hinted at possibly working All Japan’s upcoming tour in July, stating that tour was booked well ahead of his departure. Misawa wasn’t clear on whether Kobashi would work the tour, enabling him to drop he Triple Crown title to someone in the promotion.
Aside from Kobashi, Akiyama and Omori, Misawa was flanked by the rest of his roster of talent, including Akira Taue, Mitsuo Momota, All Japan World Junior Heavyweight champion Yoshinari Ogawa, All Asian Tag Team champions Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue, Kentaro Shiga, Yoshihiro Takayama and Daisuke Ikeda. Retired All Japan star Mighty Inoue will serve as Misawa’s senior referee.
The status of Masa Fuchi is currently unknown as he is in Fukuoka looking after his father who is ill. Al Japan star Hiroshi Hase, who in between working sporadic dates for All Japan is a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, has made it known that he would work for Misawa if asked. Also rumoured to be leaving very soon is Maunakea Mossman.
Meanwhile across town, All Japan owner Motoko Baba held a press conference of her own, stating that her company would survive despite the defection of 27 wrestlers and referees. She said that the bulk of the promotion’s foreign talent, including Steve Williams, Johnny Ace, Johnny Smith, Too Cold Scorpio and Mike Barton (AKA Bart Gunn) would work All Japan’s next tour, which runs from July 1 to July 23. She also said long-time Al Japan star Stan Hansen would work the July 23 show at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Hall.
— With files from Masanori Horie
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- June 19, 2000: Misawa knocks All-Japan off TV
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