Fighting World of Japan Pro Wrestling

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Logo of Riki Pro.

Fighting World of Japan Pro-Wrestling, frequently shortened to World Japan or WJ, and also known as "Riki Pro", was a professional wrestling promotion formed in Japan in 2003.

Riki Chōshū, one of New Japan Pro Wrestling's top stars who had come out of semi-retirement in 2000 left the New Japan promotion for the second time in the fall of 2002. With Kensuke Sasaki, Shiro Koshinaka, and referee Masao "Tiger" Hattori not renewing their contracts with New Japan in January 2003 as well, the four of them decided to develop their own promotion, World Japan. Yoshiaki Yatsu (who had been Chōshū's ally in New Japan, Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance, and All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1980s), was also brought in along with some of the talent of his small-time SPWF promotion. Other independent wrestlers and freelancers such as Genichiro Tenryu, Takao Ōmori, and Tomohiro Ishii came along as well. American Gaijin talent included established stars such as Vader, The Road Warriors, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Big Vito, as well as new stars such as Lex Lovett, Steve Madison, The Maximos, and The Shane Twins.

After an August 2003 "training accident" while training with Kenzo Suzuki at World Japan's dojo, Giant Ochiai suffered an acute subdural hematoma and died on August 8, 2003. Giant Ochiai's August 13 wake was attended by World Japan Management Director Katsuji Nagashima.

World Japan was ultimately viewed by Japanese fans as just another independent promotion in the saturated world of pro wrestling, so it wasn't able to make a dent in the major promotions' fanbases. Despite having tournaments to crown WMG (World Magma Greatest) champions in both the singles heavyweight and tag team divisions, these events didn't draw much interest. Eventually, the major talent (Sasaki, Tenryu, Koshinaka, Omori), went back to the major leagues, while World Japan continued operating on a part-time basis as Riki Chōshū's exclusive show. In December 2004, however, Chōshū himself appeared again on a New Japan card, indicating that his days of promoting World Japan had come to an end.

The failure of World Japan has put a strain on some relationships, especially the one with Kensuke Sasaki and Riki Chōshū. So much to the point when Chōshū returned to NJPW, Sasaki abruptly left, refusing to work with Chōshū at all, because of the problems the two developed over financial issues.

Championships[edit]

World Magma the Greatest Championship[edit]

Wrestler: Reigns: Date: Place: Notes:
Kensuke Sasaki 1 July 20, 2003 Tokyo, Japan Defeated Kenzo Suzuki in a tournament final to win the title; vacated title in December 2003 when he left the promotion[1]

World Magma the Greatest Tag Team Championship[edit]

Wrestlers: Reigns: Date: Place: Notes:
Riki Chōshū & Genichiro Tenryu 1 August 21, 2003 Osaka, Japan Defeated Shiro Koshinaka and Jinsei Shinzaki in a tournament final to win the title; vacated title in 2004 due to lack of defenses[2]
Kintaro Kanemura & Badboy Hido 1 August 19, 2004 Osaka, Japan Defeated Tomohiro Ishii and Kendo Kashin to win the vacant title; title vacated when team split up[2]
Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Badboy Hido (2) 1 April 16, 2005 Tokyo, Japan Defeated Kanemura and Ishii to win vacant title[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Magma the Greatest Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "World Magma the Greatest Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-12-30.