Kingdom (professional wrestling)
|Founder(s)||Former UWFi Wrestlers|
Kingdom, was a professional wrestling company in Japan from 1997 to 1998. It was essentially a continuation of UWF International, having most of its former roster: Nobuhiko Takada, Yoji Anjo, Kazushi Sakuraba, Daijiro Matsui, Naoki Sano, Masahito Kakihara, Yoshihiro Takayama, Kenichi Yamamoto and Hiromitsu Kanehara.
Kingdom did not draw the huge crowds UWF International did in its heyday, and most of its major cards were at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which could seat 2,000 fans on average. Kingdom attempted to rectify this by inviting talent from other promotions, including Battlarts, but it did not have much effect. In the eyes of the Japanese fans the era of shoot-style wrestling was invalid.
Kingdom went out of business in March 1998. Takada, who had given up on the concept in mid-1997 and began competing for the PRIDE martial arts circuit, Sano, Matsui, and Sakuraba formed Takada Dojo, a stable associated with PRIDE; Yamamoto and Kanehara jumped to RINGS; Kakihara and Takayama joined All Japan Pro Wrestling as free agents; and Anjo dabbled in the K-1 kickboxing circuit, slipping into obscurity due to his bad record and later reappearing in All Japan Pro Wrestling and Dream Stage Entertainment's HUSTLE pro wrestling organization as "Commander ANJOE".
A former trainee of the Kingdom dojo, Hidetada Irie, who debuted in 1999, formed a promotion called Kingdom Ehrgeiz, with himself as the top star. The promotion, however, is very obscure and rarely draws above 100 fans in the few cards it periodically holds.
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