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Suwama: “Since Nakajima’s arrival, everyone is questioning what is going on”

5 months ago Designed by M. Ish | Monthly Puroresu

Designed by M. Ish | Monthly Puroresu

Suwama: “Since Nakajima’s arrival, everyone is questioning what is going on”

By: Lewis Carlan

For much of 2023, All Japan Pro-Wrestling was enjoying a resurgence in terms of putting on exciting shows in which they showcased the talents of ace Kento Miyahara, Yuma Aoyagi, Yuma Anzai, Atsuki Aoyagi and Rising HAYATO, to name a few. Major star Katsuhiko Nakajima joined the ranks of AJPW in November after a highly publicized departure from Pro Wrestling NOAH.

A partnership was struck with the WWE which sent NXT’s Charlie Dempsey to an AJPW ring. With a burst of media attention from the WWE working agreement, things were looking very good for AJPW. That all changed when numerous talents suddenly decided to walk away from the promotion.

At end of December, both Takao Omori & Yoshitatsu made their respective decisions to leave AJPW. Yoshitatsu made the announcement of his departure following his December 31st tag team match with Yuma Aoyagi at #ajpwMANIAX. Tatsu’s reasoning for leaving was that the wrestling he wanted to do is no longer available at AJPW and he was going on journey to find  it.  Three days later he joined the DDT Pro-Wrestling roster.

Following suit, top star Shuji Ishikawa and mainstay Black Menso-re both announced they would be leaving AJPW on January 31st. Ishikawa is a former Triple Crown Champion and five time World Tag Team Champion. He is one of AJPW’s top stars and his departure caught quite a bit of attention. Ishikawa was quickly announced for a Pro Wrestling NOAH show in February with more rumored NOAH appearances on the horizon. Fans began to wonder what was going on at All Japan Pro-Wrestling and why these talents were suddenly walking away from the company.

When Katsuhiko Nakajima left Pro Wrestling NOAH to be a freelancer and joined AJPW, it appeared AJPW had pulled off a major coup bringing in Nakajima. The Triple Crown Title was almost immediately put around the waist of Nakajima. While this appeared to be an excellent decision when it comes to in ring competition, behind the scenes seems to possibly be telling a different story on how the arrival of Nakajima has affected AJPW overall.

Tokyo Sports spoke with AJPW Executive Officer Suwama and he was asked about how things changed with the arrival of Katsuhiko Nakajima. As per Suwama on Nakajima:

“My first impression was that someone wanting to cause trouble had arrived. I had a feeling that there must have been a good reason why he decided to quit NOAH to come to All Japan. Since he arrived, everyone is questioning what is going on.”

When asked for an example, Suwama responded:

“He had had come to the office during the President’s Halloween Party, but on that day we also had a show in Hokkaido. I was thinking to myself ‘Why are the wrestlers having a party on a show day?’ I don’t understand it. I think the same can be said Nakajima’s ‘fighting spirit’ style.”

It was pointed out that the fans and wrestlers were wondering about that as well which prompted Suwama to state:

“It’s strange, right? I think he may be brainwashed, you know. To put it simply, I think that means there has to be a person pulling the strings. There’s people surrounding themselves around him, and I believe that’s where the confusion is.

Nakajima is sort of like a puppet in all this, and I believe that he is influencing the president. The goal of the puppet master? It seems as if they’re trying to take over All Japan, and Nakajima is the voice behind the movement.”

When he was told that the fans are concerned about the future of AJPW, Suwama didn’t hold back:

“These are strange circumstances. It’s my intention to resolve this matter as best as I can. I’m going to reveal who is behind all of this, and I’ll be meticulous about it. I have to protect All Japan, and I’m prepared to do it at any cost.”

Suwama talked about the departure of Shuji Ishikawa and how it is a major loss for AJPW:

“It’s a big loss for All Japan Pro-Wrestling. It’s a big shock for me too. I’m losing a friend and ally. At the end of last year, he had expressed his intention to stay, so I think he was very determined.”

Whether Katsuhiko Nakajima played any role in the departures of Shuji Ishikawa, Takao Omori, Yoshi Tatsu & Black Mensore is pure speculation. Suwuma hasn’t directly blamed Nakajima for the departures but one thing is for certain, he intends to find out exactly why this is happening.

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