Hiroshi Tanahashi plans to continue being on the road with NJPW, will be in office when company is in Tokyo

Photo Courtesy: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Tanahashi gives his first formal comments since becoming President of NJPW. 

On December 22nd, New Japan Pro-Wrestling pushed out announcements about changes to their company’s management. It was decided that President Takami Ohbari would be stepping down and replacing him will be eight-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. 

Tanahashi is now the President and Representative Director of New Japan. He gave his first formal comments at a press conference and stated that he’ll continue wrestling while serving in his executive role. 

I always carried a dream and ambition to be President as well as an active wrestler. I’m happy to be able to make that happen, and I’m grateful for all the kind words of support that I’ve gotten since my appointment. That’s also given me a lot of expectations that I have to live up to here on out. 

I have some key goals that I would like to meet in my time as the President. First of all, I want to sell out the Tokyo Dome. This has always been the goal for me. For a wrestler to walk down the ramp in front of a sold out Tokyo Dome crowd is something to be proud of forever, and something that will live with you for the rest of your career, as well as something the fans themselves will carry with them for a long time to come.

I also plan on having more title matches outside of major cities. In the 2000s when I worked with promotion and sales staff, the goal at first was to put 500 people in the buildings, and then 1,000 and then on and on. I feel that selling out the Tokyo Dome only becomes possible when the towns all around Japan are sold out as well. I want to unite all of Japan’s wrestling fans in their passion and carry that to the Tokyo Dome. 

I also want to further increase our work with sponsors. Our sponsors are the best tag partners that we have, and as an active wrestler as well as President, I’m in a completely unique position to strengthen that relationship. There is a lot that I want to do in this role, as well as a lot I know I still need to learn. I look forward to your support.

Tanahashi added that he plans to continue being on the road with New Japan, but when the company is in Tokyo, he’ll be in the office and focusing on the promotion side of his duties. 

Well, I plan on being on the road with NJPW, but when the company is in Tokyo, then I plan on being in the office. I do want to be heading up promotion as much as I can be, but we also have a lot of wrestlers on the roster. In between tours, training and preparing for the next matches is very important, but promotion is also crucial, and I’d like our wrestlers to take up that workload, absolutely.

NJPW1972.com went on to post their interview with Tanahashi to promote his World TV Title match against Zack Sabre Jr. at Wrestle Kingdom 18. 

As the conversation was ongoing, it was brought up that Keiji Muto started using the Shining Wizard finisher in place of the moonsault to protect his knees. Tanahashi said that every day, he’s been thinking about what he can do as a finish in place of the High Fly Flo.

Right, like using the Shining Wizard as a finish instead of the Moonsault (Tanahashi said about Muto changing his finisher to alleviate pressure on his knees). To be honest, I’ve been thinking every day about what I could do as a new finish.

In addition to Tanahashi’s bout against Zack Sabre Jr. at Wrestle Kingdom, he’ll be addressing the audience live at the Tokyo Dome. 

About Andrew Thompson 8606 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.