Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SMASH closes...sort of

My years of experience covering the Japanese wrestling scene tells me that when promoters announce that a company is closing, it's best to approach it with skepticism. Last month's announcement of SMASH's closing seemed particularly curious when company president Sakai said that he was closing SMASH because he thought it was beneath him morally to own a wrestling company. Of course no one believed him and then rumours started to surface about the real reason. It turns out that Sakai and TAJIRI were butting heads over the direction of SMASH. Sakai wanted to use older established wrestlers and TAJIRI wanted to develop younger wrestlers. Supposedly TAJIRI already has a new backer and will announce the establishment of the new company in April. Then it was announced on Monday that Sakai would have an announcement after today's show. And of course there was an earthquake in Japan this morning that I'm sure made everyone at the show jittery. So I was not surprised that Sakai left the door open for a new version of SMASH. He said that SMASH Chapter 1 has closed and Chapter 2 will soon open. The rumour that I have seen is that Sakai will merge with legendary veteran Genchiro Tenyru and his Tenyru Project. Tenyru did work for SMASH a couple of times. But I expect TAJIRI's announcement in April and it is already rumoured that SMASH ace KUSHIDA will come with him.

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