Saturday, February 11, 2012

SMASH to close Mar. 14

TAJIRI, Masakazu Sakai
Yesterday TAJIRI and partner Masakazu Sakai held a press conference to announce that SMASH will close on Mar. 14. SMASH was formed almost two years ago out of the ashes of HUSTLE. Sakai was president of HUSTLE. There was also supposed to be an MMA company but nothing came of it. There is a dojo but I assume that will close too. And they had an amateur MMA partnership with DEEP. So why is SMASH closing? In a statement posted on the SMASH website, Sakai said that after last year's earthquake, he had a change of heart and decided that owning a wrestling company was meaningless. He says he has been thinking about closing SMASH for a few months and made his decision recently. Of course no one believes this reason. Sakai insists there is no financial problems. One plausible reason that has surfaced is the two disagreed about the creative direction of SMASH. TAJIRI wanted to bring in fewer gaijin wrestlers and train and develop young talent. Sakai liked the gaijin and the WWE style storylines that came with them. Regardless, the decision seems to have surprised TAJIRI and one would think he is very annoyed with Sakai. Kana certainly took advantage of the opportunity to shine in the SMASH joshi division. But she freelances already and will continue to do that. Wrestler under contract to SMASH will be free agents. Don't know what Syuri will do as she worked for HUSTLE before SMASH. But I expect Makoto to return to Ice Ribbon. I'm sure you will all miss the SMASH press conferences.

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