Ice Ribbon President discusses Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi Haruka’s forthcoming exits from the promotion

Ice Ribbon President Hajime Sato spoke about the forthcoming talent departures from the promotion and he's hoping to announce new talent soon

Photo Courtesy: Ice Ribbon

The President of Ice Ribbon speaks about the current happenings within his promotion.

In the coming months, the Ice Ribbon promotion in Japan will be losing Tsukushi Haruka due to her choosing to retire and they’ll be without Tsukasa Fujimoto on the in-ring front as she plans to take a leave of absence from in-ring competition.

Both talents are stepping away after Ice Ribbon’s May 4th show. The promotion’s President Hajime Sato spoke to Tokyo Sports about the news and expressed that it is a blow to lose both talents. He said the 24-year-old Haruka was the symbol of creating a diverse group of athletes and that Fujimoto is the driving force behind Ice Ribbon.

It is indeed a blow to lose Fujimoto and Tsukushi. I think Tsukushi was the symbol of creating a diverse group of athletes, and Fujimoto was the driving force behind Ice Ribbon, which has many different personalities. It is a blow for the management, but I think that is why it is interesting. How does it compare to now? It’s not that I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s interesting that I don’t know what’s going to happen. If we try to keep up the appearance of the past, there might be a piece missing there, but I don’t think there are any pieces missing.

Although he feels the promotion will not be the same after they leave, he is optimistic about the future. Sato hopes to announce a multitude of new talents and wants to introduce some of those talents on that May 4th show.

We are Ice Ribbon. It’s not the same as before, but I am excited about the new Ice Ribbon. I really hope to announce some people on May 4, but in the form of the end of the year, I think there will be about 7 or 8 people. On May 4, Tae Honma’s return will [take place]. So, are we that short as a lineup? We have Saori Anou and Rina Yamashita. On the contrary, the lineup is such that there may be an excess of people from the card.

On 3/20, after teaming with AEW’s Hikaru Shida, Fujimoto said she plans on working with Ice Ribbon behind-the-scenes while she is not active in the ring. President Sato said her role is a Public Relations position.

Basically, it’s public relations. And her ability to communicate will not suddenly disappear. [Why can’t I do it?] Coaching and training is difficult, but recruiting is [too]. And then there is the sales aspect. When I was with Dai Nippon Pro Wrestling, I had the frustrating experience of going around with Eiji Tosaka, but when Shinya Hashimoto came, he would take everything to ZERO1. If she goes there, people will say, ‘Here comes Tsukasa Fujimoto.’ I hope she will be active in that kind of situation.

This week, a new episode of POST Puroresu is coming out featuring WH Park and Karen Peterson. To catch up on past episodes of the series, click here.

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A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.