Latest “Tokyo Sports” rumors are making press and it seems that 5-6 key wrestlers in Pro Wrestling NOAH will be freelance as of January 2013. Two of which mentioned are Jun Akiyama and Go Shiozaki.
An interview with Kenta Kobashi was released today and stated that he has shown intentions of becoming freelance wrestler when he returns.
Akira Taue (President), Naomichi Marufuji (Vice President), Takashi Sugiura, Takeshi Morishima, and KENTA will be remaining with the promotion as the leading names.
The speculated names to be leaving are the before mentioned Kobashi, Shiozaki, Akiyama along with Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki. Sort of based on the notion of those who are closest to Kobashi and Akiyama.
RUMORS are not fact, let’s points this out now, but is not far from the truth with all the problems surrounding NOAH.
Money issues, problems paying wrestlers for time in the ring, and other controversies at this time.
UPDATE 8am CST
Well here is some more information, Akira Taue took charge to announce before the show that there is indeed “contract negotiations” going on at this time.
Kenta Kobashi wants to announce something from his own mouth at upcoming Ryogoku show on December 9th.
But clearly, Taue said under negotiations in regards to the other “5” or so mentioned.
This is a very unsettling time for a lot of fans of NOAH, and this has to be a PR disaster for NOAH and Taue to have to deal with.
Honestly, I told a number of people earlier year that if someone happens in NOAH by the end of the year, please don’t come to me shocked by what transpires.
Rumors have be circulating pretty much freely since the death of Misawa in 2009, and NOAH has slowly been losing the glue that has been holding them together.
Ryu Nakata and Jun Akiyama have been reported in the past of having issues, especially with his friends like Makoto Hashi & Akitoshi Saito being let go of their actual contracts abruptly by the promotion. Saito has fared a little better than most after being placed on a freelance contract, but it seems a lot of that stemmed from Akiyama making a huge deal out of it.
A few think that Akiyama will still compete for NOAH, but if the truth lies on the difference between Akiyama and Nakata, well then that might sever the relationship completely.
Akiyama can easily find a home back in All Japan for the time being, and Aoki & Kanemaru will surely follow suit, if this is all so that is to say.
Kobashi can clearly just move to a freelance contract, as he only works so many dates a year, it sort of makes sense that him being on a full contract is kind of pointless in a way.
Go Shiozaki is kind of the shocker amongst the names, but with Misawa not there he has looked up to Akiyama for guidance.
This does not mean that NOAH will not exist, but it definitely puts a damper on things. Marufuji, KENTA, Morishima, and Sugiura we be the new leaders of the promotion as the mainstays.
I kind of didn’t want to post this, but I feel it should be said if anything but to invoke some thought.
This in a way is nothing more than history repeating itself.
Mitsuharu Misawa forced the split from AJPW with NOAH due to different thoughts on how the promotion should be handled going forward, so he forms NOAH and causes one of the biggest ripples of all time in Japanese Pro Wrestling history.
Take us 9 years later, and Misawa passed away.
The same backstage politics are now showing up in NOAH following the passing of Misawa like that after Baba passed and All Japan they didn’t have their foundational leader.
That caused the split to begin with. Pro Wrestling is not without their own faults, as much as we want to fans and support a promotion with our full love and support, we can never control what is happening backstage with a promotion.
It is a pretty true statement that history repeats istself, and things are are all apparently coming full circle in NOAH.