It’s time to bring back the Puroresu Press. After giving it a month off with my trip from Japan and being ill for a good majority of January we return. We have a few exciting news bits to bring to the table today and are excited to share them with all our readers here including news from Dragon Gate and MLW.
Dragon Gate and Major League Wrestling partnership!
We are going to start with some big news right out of the gate. Since this is one has myself and others excited. On February 3rd, MLW has announced that they have formed an alliance with Dragon Gate. It appears they’ll be working together to work something out in forms of a talent exchange. This program would likely include certain shows or tours, along with other future projects. Founder and CEO of MLW, Court Bauer had some comments to say about it. “The collaboration between MLW and Dragon Gate is a very special opportunity to produce unique events, showcase the spectacular talent and create a new canvas for Japanese and American cooperation,” as well as being excited about the future alliance.
This is a smart move for both promotions as it’ll keep more eyes on their respective products. We’ll also get to see some talent crossing over for possible dream matches and maybe storylines in the near future. There are no further details about the alliance between Dragon Gate and MLW but we’ll be sure to talk about them once we find out more.
All Japan Pro Wrestling Has A New Stable!
It appears as if we have a new faction formed in All Japan Pro Wrestling. A picture popped up on February 4th and it looks like it’s going to be lead by Zeus and it’ll be known as Purple Haze. The other members of this stable are Shigehiro Irie, Izanagi, UTAMARO, and Lucas Steele. While they had that announcement on the 4th, Zeus teamed up with two of them on January 26th during the main event and won. It was likely leading to this new stable. Evidently, Zeus already has plans.
Zeus has his goal set to win the Triple Crown Championship once again. While Lucas and Irie try to win the World Tag Team Champions, and Izanagi attempts to go for the Junior Heavyweight Championship. No idea what UTAMARO’s goal is but it could involve him going for the GAORA TV Championship. This is an interesting combo for the stable and it’s good that all of them have set goals in mind and could possibly happen in the future. Looking forward to seeing where this goes and be sure to check it out also.
Big Title Matches For NOAH!
Over the course of the next month, Pro Wrestling NOAH will be having some big title matches taking place. Two of these matches were announced on January 30th when all six of them fought in a tag match. This was also when Hideki Suzuki challenged Katsuhiko Nakajima in a special match after being left out when the title matches were made official. First up, on February 24th, Takashi Sugiura will be defending his GHC National Championship against the former GHC Heavyweight Champion, Kaito Kiyomiya. On March 8th, Go Shiozaki will defend his GHC Heavyweight Championship against The Last Disciple of Inoki, Kazuyuki Fujita.
For the final title match, it will take place at Dragon Gate on March 5th when one half of the GHC Tag Team Champions, Masaaki Mochizuki make an appearance on Dragon Gates show yesterday and said he will be putting a belt on the line but didn’t make a challenge to Naruki Doi. He would then reveal the GHC Tag title. Mochizuki said he had the okay from NOAH for him and Naomichi Marufuji to defend their titles next month and they will be defending them against R.E.D members, Diamante and Takashi Yoshida. All of these matches sound exciting. Be sure to watch them once they’re available since you don’t wanna miss them!
Fans Not Happy With New Stardom Management!?
An interesting bit of information became public recently and figured we’d shed some light on it. Before we begin, let me make myself clear by saying that I don’t fully take Dave Meltzer’s words seriously, especially with his information on certain things. On his Wrestling Observer Newsletter report, fans have been unhappy with Stardom’s new management ever since Bushiroad bought them a few months ago. They’re apparently not a fan of the new layout along with the increase of price in merchandise. This along with not being able to take free pictures with the talent, and most of them not coming out anymore as it’s just a select few before and after. It also looks like Bushiroad wants to give Stardom a bit of an NJPW feel with their shows. In particular, do to their competing at Korakuen Hall.
With the picture part of the show, I can confirm that this has happened as I did attend their shows on January 2nd and 4th, and they did only have a select few available for merch and pictures, which you weren’t able to take with them anymore. It is also hard to see how a lot are unhappy as they’ve also been having sold-out shows with big number increases when they’re at Korakuen Hall. Not sure if it’s something else, but it’s something to keep an eye on if you hear any more information.
Block Participants For BJW’s Strong Climb
We finish off this version of the press with the participants for Big Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual Strong Climb Tournament. There will be four blocks with five participants for each of them with the finalists facing off in a single-elimination match and the winner of the tournament will fight the BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion, Daichi Hashimoto. Here are our official participants.
~ Daichi Hashimoto
~ Ryuichi Kawakami
~ Akira Hyodo
~ T-Hawk [STRONG HEARTS]
~ Yoshiki Inamura [NOAH]
~ Daisuke Sekimoto
~ Kazuki Hashimoto
~ Kohei Sato [ZERO1]
~ Taishi Takizawa [2AW]
~ (to be announced)
~ Yuji Okabayashi
~ Ryota Hama
~ Hideyoshi Kamitani
~ Yuji Hino [ZERO1]
~ Quiet Storm [Free]
~ Takuya Nomura
~ Yasufumi Nakanoue
~ Kazumi Kikuta
~ Yuya Aoki
~ Jake Lee [AJPW]
This already looks like it’s going to be a fantastic tournament and looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds when they start in March.
That concludes this version of the Puroresu Press and thank you for taking the time out of your day to read. I hope some of these bits kept you curious or interested. Take care!