Naruki Doi wants to explore his options while continuing to work with Dragongate.
Naruki Doi, Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling opted to become a freelancer. He was under an exclusive full-time deal, but both parties agreed that he can continue working for the promotion as a freelancer.
He stated that he wants to test himself and see what’s out there for him. His first freelance match for Dragongate is scheduled for November 6th.
Ryo Saito, General Manager of the promotion, spoke to Tokyo Sports for an interview about the situation at hand. He said the talks have been smooth and this is not a negative story. Saito added that they respect the wrestlers and do not want to hold them down via a contract for any reason.
As for Doi, we have had smooth discussions and this announcement is not a negative story at all. However, while there are members who have been with the company for a long time, there will be people who will leave as the company continues for the next five to ten years, as we move forward with generational changes. It is upsetting to have that part of the company’s business focused on, and if it is said that this is a transitional period, then perhaps that is true.
Of course we respect the wrestlers’ wishes, and we do not tie them down by contract for any reason, but we are flexible enough to review the contract if they so desire. The younger generation is growing, so I want them to genuinely enjoy Dragon Gate, and I don’t want the fans to think of it as something to worry about.
As announced today in Kobe, Naruki Doi has altered his contract status from full time to exclusive freelancer.
— Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling (Official English) (@DragonGateEN) September 23, 2022
Doi is taking the month of October to focus on health issues. The 41-year-old has been working with Dragongate since 2004.