An acquisition by New Japan Pro Wrestling’s parent company will see World Wonder Ring Stardom (“Stardom”) brought under the same umbrella with Bushiroad owning both pro wrestling entities.
News of the purchase was announced by Yahoo Japan with an official announcement made Thursday morning in Japan.
Stardom will be operated by a Bushiroad subsidiary company, Kix Road. The subsidiary also runs the ‘Knock Out’ kickboxing organization. On December 1st, Kix Road Co., Ltd will be re-named Bushiroad Fight Co., Ltd.
Yahoo reported that Bushiroad director Takaaki Kidani first displayed signs of interest in the fall of 2018. A meeting took place between Kidani and Stardom co-founder and owner Rossy Ogawa this past April and the deal was completed in August.
Kidani believes that Stardom’s annual revenue of approximately 200 million yen could grow to one billion by 2024.
Dave Meltzer has added that New Japan and Stardom will be operated separately with no crossover and both will maintain their individual streaming platforms. Meltzer reports that a weekly Stardom show will launch in January on BS NTV and Tokyo MX.
Stardom confirmed that Rossy Ogawa will stay on as the group’s Chief Executive Officer.
The promotion’s next major show will be on April 29, 2020, at Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium, which is the venue that hosted New Japan’s first card in 1972.
They will run Korakuen Hall 14 times in 2020, including back-to-back nights on August 8th and 9th.
There will be a 10th-anniversary card taking place in 2021.
All the wrestlers will also be placed under contract.
Stardom was launched in September 2010 by Ogawa, former wrestler Fuka Kakimoto, and Nanae Takahashi. Kakimoto was named general manager of the group who also trained upcoming talent and served as the promotion’s authority figure and ring announcer. She left Stardom in 2018 when she was expecting her first child. Takahashi would wrestle for the group until 2015 when she left the company and later founded the Seadlinnng company.
Stardom held its first event in January 2011 and in their third year of operation would run Sumo Hall.
The company has established itself as one of the top destinations for female talent in the world. Past stars of the company include WWE’s Kairi Sane and Io Shirai.
A press conference was held Thursday morning in Japan to announce the purchase.