Shawn takes a look at the movement happening in Asia and what it mean for wrestling!
Late Wednesday 20 March 19, a lone tweet by a small wrestling promotion was sent out on twitter. To the casual reader, this tweet appears innocent enough. Many may agree that multinational partnerships are great. The creation of a women’s wrestling division in China is also a major step forward.
Would you be interested in a promotion that brought together Male and Female #wrestlers from @HKWF_Wrestling @ntwwrestling @GrappleMAX @SgProWrestling @MKWwrestling @pwrofficial @MYProWrestling under one banner? #UltimateWrestlingAsia #ComingSoon
— HKWF Wrestling (@HKWF_Wrestling) March 20, 2019
Analyzing the situation brings dark omens from the phantasmal claws of an overreaching mega corporation. Which is it? At this point noone knows for certain, but the evidence is stacking against the case of Regional cooperation. The impact it could make from either option will require two articles to understand the depth. So we start with the dark and dirty first. Proceeding in the direction this one tweet leads the Asian/Pacific regions into; only one of two options appear most likely to occur in the near future. Regardless of the choice, the appearance of today’s scene will forever be changed. After my analysis, the fan debate will rage in favor of the choice they prefer.
Mega Corp Power Move
The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been active in Asia since 2016. The WWE’s Chief Operations Officer Triple H has visited multiple times, meeting with independent promotions and government officials. While conducting a question and answer session, Triple H revealed future plans for WWE to expand the NXT brand. Triple H spoke about Asia “It’s the same grassroots territory feeder system that existed before – except now, not on a national level but on a global level. And all under the WWE banner.”
The WWE’s expansion plan was travelling at a liesurely pace, a tryout camp, a couple live events, and meetings took place, but no real attempt to take over. Then something happened and it wasn’t the starting of All Elite Wrestling. A group of former WWE talents filled the Asian markets (John Cena, Zeda Zhang, Ho Ho Lun, the Great Khali) promoting active partnerships.
Ho Ho Lun and Great Khali created wrestling promotions as Zeda went on tour building relationships. Still, this sounds innocent enough. It isn’t the actions above that concern me, it is the impact that could happen. Fans can point out that John Cena was working on a movie with Jackie Chan. That is not all he was doing though, he also made appearances discussing WWE’s expansion. And if it were just for a movie, why make appearances for the WWE in locations like Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan?
Taking a second look at the tweet, notice what promotions are included, their locations, and who was not included. Middle Kingdom Wrestling, Hong Kong Wrestling Federation, and New Taiwan Wrestling. Three of the four big boys outside of Japan and Australia. Middle Kingdom and Hong Kong Wrestling have had relationships with the WWE since 2016. That alone shifts the balance of power into Vince’s hands. The early risers Grapple Max Pro (Singapore), Singapore Pro Wrestling, Philippine Wrestling Revolution, Saigon, and Malaysia Pro Wrestling would create a second monopoly under the grasp of the McMahon family.
Yes, there are other promotions in Asia. However, such an alliance with WWE would strangle those promotions quickly. Asian wrestling promotions rely heavily on smaller Japanese promotions and free lance wrestlers for talent bookings.
The problem arises when such wrestlers can no longer participate in the WWE umbrella. That forces these wrestlers to fly from Japan directly to Thailand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and India. Saigon won’t be impacted immediately. It is a minor promotion relying on WWE videos for training. This move would enure Saigon Wrestling Club never grows outside of a small promotion. Considerably more expensive flights without the ability to wrestle in closer cities to build the funds to support their tours. This alone threatens the existence of these promotions. Most major independent promotions in Australia and New Zealand are partnered with Vince.
As usual, there will be some fans that applaud this move by the World Wrestling Entertainment. They would support placing all of professional wrestling under this banner regardless. These fans enjoy one type of wrestling and shun any other options. Other fans will respond with a sense of dread and hope that one little tweet won’t lead down this rabbit hole.
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.178 ~ 28TH JUNE 2022
New challengers, reunited friendships and the usual Junior division shenanigans! Hisame brings all the NOAH updates!
Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles
Masa Kitamiya had been saying for a long time that he and Michael Elgin, where looking for strong challengers, but lamented that none had come forward yet. The challengers they had been looking for came forward following Timothy Thatcher making Masa Kitamiya tap in Yokohama on the 24th June, and Hideki Suzuki challenged for the belts on their behalf. The title match will take place on the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.
Go Shiozaki and Shuhei Taniguchi, reunited?
Following their singles match in Yokohama this past week, a fire seems to have been lit between Shuhei Taniguchi and Go Shiozaki. The match was never originally meant to happen, but the card was changed at the last moment. During the match, Taniguchi (the monster is yet to awaken fully), fought Shiozaki in a way that convinced Shiozaki that Taniguchi had finally returned. No doubt Taniguchi’s seniors were pleased too as Taniguchi was even throwing lariats. After the match, Shiozaki hinted about tagging with Taniguchi again and they will do this on NOAH’s next event on July 2nd.
Kenoh and Satoshi Kojima came to a time out draw in Yokohama, and then Kojima’s sense of humor and Kenoh’s hidden one (he’s kind of like Toshiaki Kawada in this) came to the fore when Kojima tried to close out the show. Kenoh snatched the mic and told him this wasn’t New Japan and those who didn’t win, don’t close out the show. The mention of New Japan, made Kojima tell Kenoh to run off home and do 1000 squats. After a few minutes of snatching the mic between them and bickering “You go home!”, “No, you go home!” , Kenoh stalked backstage and did squats very loudly. Yokohama is a small venue and so anything loud (such as the NOAH Juniors fighting) can be heard by the audience, and Kenoh knew this and so everyone could hear him doing squats and counting loudly. Kojima went backstage and confronted Kenoh. Kojima acknowledged that he couldn’t beat Kenoh in a verbal argument, and they got into a physical fight.
Then it went slightly off the rails again, when Kenoh pulled out the platform truck that held the folding chairs, to which Kojima told him that if he broke any equipment, then he would have to pay for it. Kenoh said he didn’t care, Kojima said he knew he did…Kenoh was a “cheap bastard”. Kenoh stamped off, telling Kojima to go back to New Japan.
Sickness bug hits NOAH
A sickness bug hit NOAH over the N-Innovation and Yokohama Radiant Hall events when Daisuke Harada (for whom it is very unusual to be ill) and Alejandro came down with fevers, and Rene Dupree came down with gastroenteritis. The result of this was that Daisuke Harada was replaced by Xtreme Tiger (see below for more), Shuhei Taniguchi moved from the opener to the singles with Go Shiozaki and Atsushi Kotoge and Satoshi Kojima filled in. Kojima happily took part in working the N-INNOVATION and the opening match at that, he even appeared without the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kojima had a fight with Shuji Kondo, which was a continuation of a long dormant rivalry, while Atsushi Kotoge (who took part in the heavyweight Yokohama Night) and Kinya Okada managed to bruise the neck of Akitoshi Saito so much that he even put it on his official Twitter.
Seiki Yoshioka, Yuya Susumu & HAYATA
The Hiroshima Boys have fallen apart in a spectacular fashion.
Yuya Susumu attempted a reconciliation at the N-Innovation, but both before the match and after it, Seiki Yoshioka (who won the match) refused to shake hands. First time he attacked, the second time he just left the ring. Susumu (who I get the impression knows what both Yoshioka and HAYATA are like and how to handle them best) said that he would wait for Yoshioka to return, as he knew that he would eventually. This wasn’t Yoshioka’s last appearance of the evening, as when HAYATA defeated Hajime Ohara, in a match that HAYATA found Ohara had studied for, Yoshioka came to challenge for the GHC Junior. HAYATA, believing that he and Yoshioka were still friends, said he would be happy to put the belt on the line against him and went for a handshake. Yoshioka treated him the same way he had treated Susumu, with a swift kick.
Backstage, Yoshioka elaborated on his decision to leave STINGER. He had done this in order to challenge HAYATA. It was unavoidable, if he wanted to go to the top of the NOAH Juniors, then that road led through HAYATA. Title match has been set for the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.
Open The TriangleGate update & GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Challenge
As ever in the NOAH Juniors, things can get a little complicated.
To explain from the beginning. With Daisuke Harada falling ill with a fever and being unable to compete, DragonGate GM Ryo Saito advised that the Open The TriangleGate would be vacated and Perros Del Mal De Japon (NOSAWA Rongai, Eita and Kotaro Suzuki) would face the NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge, YO-HEY and Xtreme Tiger) for them. Perros won and once again became the champions. That same night, Yoshinari Ogawa crashed their backstage promo, and slapped Kotaro in the face. Ogawa was beaten down by all three and thrown in the ring, where Eita challenged Ogawa and Chris Ridgeway for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles (Nippon Budokan, 16th July). Chris Ridgeway says that they will defend their titles and take their Open The Triangle Gate titles.
Despite Perros show of unity, and Eita challenging for the GHC Junior Tag titles with Kotaro Suzuki as his partner, there are cracks appearing in Perros. In particular between NOSAWA and Kotaro, as once again NOSAWA interrupted him backstage and treated him as if he did not know how to act like a heel (Kotaro has been winding up the NOAH Juniors since his debut, which he went straight back to when he returned to NOAH) and mocked him for sounding like a babyface. Kotaro did not turn up in Dragon Gate the next day (Ryu Saito asked where he was), but he did for the title defense against Natural Vibes. Following this, NOSAWA nominated YAMATO to be the next challenger. YAMATO will come to NOAH to challenge for the belts on the 21st July alongside DragonKid and Kagetora.
Haoh leaves NOAH…and vanishes
Haoh lost the very first “Loser Leaves NOAH” match against Tadasuke and left NOAH. He has deleted his main Twitter account, but not that of his masked character, and has seemingly vanished. As far as I know he has not been booked anywhere else. Tadasuke is elated at Haoh’s departure saying he had no choice in kicking him out, but then again he didn’t care; Haoh stole his friends name and his hair, and had left Kongoh on his own accord. Tadasuke quipped that now Haoh wouldn’t have to see his face.
To promote the N-1, NOAH will be holding events in Nagoya, Sendai, Osaka and Hiroshima over the 23rd and 24th July. Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaito Kiyomiya and Go Shiozaki will be taking part each partner alternating between talk shows and lotteries on one date and autographs and photo sessions on the other.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior defeated Manabu Soya, and then declared war on the rest of Kongoh who he said he would take out one by one.
– Naomichi Marufuji joked on Twitter that since he cannot drink currently, he will offer the prize money for the drinking challenge to the host who could out drink everyone and that he was looking for a powerful wrestler to host his YouTube show.
– Kai Fujimura made the mistake of trying to attack Yoshinari Ogawa the moment the bell rang. I need not elaborate on the outcome.
– YO-HEY says he is growing a beard.
– Takashi Sugiura will be back in ZERO1 on the 18th July when The Bullet Yankees reunite, to take on Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa.
– Katsuhiko Nakajima has posted a video of himself having his hair curled with the comment that he would be returning to something that “has been a year since then”.
– Seiki Yoshioka has returned to his pre STINGER ring clothes.
– Naomichi Marufuji is aiming to return to the ring in August.
– Yoshiki Inamura had a rough N-Innovation evening. First of all he had to very gently remove a chair from an angry Kaito Kiyomiya who was going to use it on Shuji Kondo, had to move fans for a move that Eita didn’t do in order to confuse YO-HEY, and was then used as a weapon by NOSAWA Rongai.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS
- N-Innovation – Thursday 23rd June 2022, Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo
- Sunny Voyage 2022 – Friday 24th June, Yokohama Radiant Hall
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Satoshi Kojima
Challenger: Kenoh, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Masa Kitamiya & Michael Elgin
Challengers: Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
Challengers: Eita & Kotaro Suzuki, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
- Saturday, July 2nd
Venue: Fukushima Big Palette, Fukushima
Time: 18:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)
- Sunday, July 3rd
Venue: Yamagata Big Wing, Yamagata
Time: 17:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)
Donmai-Donmai (Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary)
– Mitsuharu Misawa said that Kotaro Suzuki and Go Shiozaki were a pair of nerds, and no matter how many times they asked him, the answer was “nope”, he would never be going on their “tour” of Akihabara.
With thanks to: Metal NOAH
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse.
Bandwagon Nerds #137: A Little Debut
After two weeks away, Patrick O’Dowd returns to the Bandwagon ready to talk all things Nerd…and he didn’t return alone. After listening to the Nerds discuss the disappointing reviews surrounding Disney’s Lightyear, Patrick decided to invite a very special guest and Disney target audience member, the Little O’Dowd! Making his podcasting debut, The Little O’Dowd shares his thoughts on Lightyear and Obi Wan Kenobi with Rey, PC Tunney, and Christopher Platt. Did Disney meet the pint-sized critics expectations? Plus, the Nerds discuss the much anticipated “Herogasim” episode of The Boys on Amazon. Finally in News around the Nerdosphere, the guys give their thoughts regarding some Marvel Studios News, a Jon Snow Game of Thrones sequel series and major studios’ reactions to the recent Roe v. Wade decision.
About Bandwagon Nerds
Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!
About the Chairshot Radio Network
Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.
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Listen on your favorite platform!
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