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    Tuesday, November 1, 2016

    Pro Wrestling NOAH Is Now Under New Management

                     NOAH's Current GHC Heavyweight Champion, Katsuhiko Nakajima

    As if 2016 wasn't crazy enough when it comes to wrestling management (the WWE/EVOLVE relationship and TNA's ensuing takeover drama), things just got more interesting on the Eastern corner of wrestling circles with the surprising announcement that Pro Wrestling NOAH was recently purchased. But if you're thinking it's NJPW or parent owner, Bushiroad, who are involved in the purchase, think again.

    Per Enuhito, the legitimate source of news in all things puroresu, via Tokyo Sports, an IT company in Japan called Estbee is the new owner of the ailing company, who now has ownership on all related brands and properties, as well as the roster itself. What makes things interesting is the fact that the point person is former AJPW president Masayuki Uchida, who contacted NOAH ace and one-half of the GHC Tag Team Champions, Naomichi Marufuji, which effectively led to the deal.

    For those who may not remember who Uchida is, we actually covered his involvement is an installment of Cafe Puro almost a year ago.

    To say the least, there are many ways to look at this major news:

    1. One can say that this is a redemption of sorts for Uchida, he himself being a victim of a badly managed takeover in the form of Speed Partners' purchase of AJPW years ago. This led to the departure of Keiji Mutoh as president and the subsequent forming of Wrestle-1. As Uchida himself knows how a badly mismanaged takeover can damage a promotion, hopefully he will be able to make the transition of ownership as smooth as possible for Marufuji and Pro Wrestling NOAH. Speaking of NOAH...

    2. Given the downward spiral of the once-glorious promotion, with founder Mitsuharu Misawa's death, the retirement of Kenta Kobashi, the end of their TV deal, the departure of many talents, failure to develop young stars, money and attendance issues, and even Yakuza scandals, the purchase of NOAH by another company was inevitable. Only time will tell whether or not this would lead to good things (Bushiroad owning NJPW) or not (Speed Partners almost ruining AJPW). One thing is for sure: it doesn't hurt to have some sort of equity infused to a struggling company with an established brand.

    3. This brings us to the relationship between NJPW and NOAH. It's no secret that these two companies have long been in a mutually beneficial relationship for years. And these days, NJPW has been deeply involved in NOAH's storyline and booking (Jado's booking and NJPW talents' involvement). What the purchase means for the established relationship is unknown, but NOAH is wise to look at the last time a company takeover ruined a business relationship between two companies. Yes, we're looking at you once again, Speed Partners.

    What do you think about the unexpeted turn of events? Do you think NOAH now has a second lease in life via the purchase? Sound off in the comments!

    Photo from Pro Wrestling NOAH's official website
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    Item Reviewed: Pro Wrestling NOAH Is Now Under New Management Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lance Tan Ong
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