All-Japan Pro Wrestling

ajpw-logoFounded in 1972, All-Japan Pro Wrestling is considered the #2 promotion in Japan trailing only New Japan. The promotion was founded by Japanese legend Shohei “Giant” Baba and the Momota brothers, who also are the sons of the legendary Rikidozan. Baba also established the Pacific Wrestling Federation (PWF) as the governing body for all future titles in All-Japan.  They also were a member of the NWA until the late 1980s when the NWA collapsed, and soon after the promotion combined it’s 3 titles-the NWA United National Championship, the PWF Heavyweight Championship and the NWA International Heavyweight Championship-into it’s Heavyweight Championship now known as the prestigious Triple Crown. In the ’90s AJPW was it’s own entity and carved it’s own identity, and was successful until Baba’s death in January 1999. After he died, wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa-then the top wrestler in the promotion-was chosen to replace Baba and work alongside Baba’s widow Motoko. 16 months and a very nasty feud later, Misawa left the promotion and started a mass exodus from the promotion, taking almost all the wrestlers on the roster with him to form what is now known as Pro Wrestling NOAH. All-Japan then briefly worked with New Japan until Keiji Muto defected from New Japan to All-Japan, bringing top names Kendo Ka Shin & Satoshi Kojima with him. Muto then was appointed president of All-Japan, a position he still holds today. The PWF remains part of the promotion, it is headed by former wrestler and politician Hiroshi Hase, who gained a lot of attention for wrestling while serving in the Japanese Diet (the Japanese equivalent of the US Congress).
A handful of wrestlers were either kicked out of the promotion or suspended indefinitely in June 2011 following the 5/29/2011 event in which wrestler Super Hate (Nobukazu Hirai) became ill after his match and suffered a stroke. It was revealed that it was possibly caused by an altercation with Voodoo Murders stable leader TARU, which led to TARU as well as VM members KONO, Minoru & MAZADA being indefinitely suspended by the promotion and the faction being disbanded. It also resulted in Keiji Muto stepping down as President and accepting responsibility for what happened. Muto was replaced by Representative President Masayuki Uchida.
All-Japan currently has 4 titles: The Triple Crown, All-Japan Unified World Tag Team Championship, All-Japan World Jr. Heavyweight Championship, All-Asia Tag Team Championship. A 5th title, F-1 Tag Team Championship, is contested for occasionally but not recognized by the promotion as an official All-Japan title. They run 4 annual tournaments: Champions Carnival (singles), Junior Heavyweight League (singles), World’s Strongest Tag League (tag teams, sometimes also called Real World Tag League), Jr. Tag League (tag teams).

Current active talent in promotion:
Giant Baba (Deceased)
Ryota Hama (浜亮太 / Hama Akira it is thick)
Kaz Hayashi (カズ・ハヤシ / ([kazu] [hayashi])
Shuji Kondo (近藤 修司 / Osamu Osamu Kondo)
Keiji Muto (武藤敬司 / Osamu Satoshi Buto)
Osamu Nishimura (西村修 / Nishimura Osamu) (Inactive; Returns 8/13/2011)
Masanobu Fuchi (渕 正信 / Masanobu Fuchi)
Akira Raijin (雷陣明 / Thunder position discernment) (Competing in TNA Wrestling as KIYOSHI)
Seiya Sanada (真田聖也 / Masaya Sanada)
Manabu Soya (征矢学 / Conquering arrow study)
Suwama (諏訪魔 / Suwa demon)
TARU (TARU) (Inactive)
Super Hate (スーパー・ヘイト/Super [heito]) (Inactive-injured)
Joe Doering (ジョー・ドーリング / Jaw [doringu]) (gaijin)
Zodiac (ゾディアック / Zodiac) (gaijin)
Minoru (稔 / Minoru)
Toshizo (歳三 / Year three) (No longer with promotion)
Taiyō Kea (太陽ケア / Solar CARE) (gaijin)
Minoru Suzuki (鈴木みのる / Minoru Suzuki) (Independent/Freelancer)
NOSAWA Rongai (NOSAWA論外 / NOSAWA irrelevance) (Independent/Freelancer)
Yoshihiro Takayama (高山善廣 / Alpine virtue 廣) (Independent/Freelancer) (Currently not with promotion)
Akebono (曙 / Dawn) (Independent/Freelancer)
Hiroshi Yamato (大和ヒロシ / Yamato [hiroshi])
KONO (KONO) (Now competing again as Masayuki Kono as of 7/1/2011) (Inactive-injured)
Masakatsu Funaki (船木誠勝 / Boat wooden genuine victory)
Hiroshi Hase (馳 浩 / 馳 Hiroshi) (Retired as wrestler; Current chairman of PWF, the governing body for titles in AJPW)
Nobutaka Araya (荒谷望誉 / It is rough valley gazing/hoping honor) (Retired)
The Great Muta (グレート・ムタ / Great [muta]) (alternate gimmick used occasionally by Keiji Muto)
Kokushi Muso (黒師無双 / Black teacher hit and miss) (alternate gimmick used occasionally by Keiji Muto)
Yasufumi Nakanoue (中之上靖文 / Kiyoshi sentence on medium 之)
Soshun (曹 駿)
Takumi Soya (征矢 匠 / Conquering arrow craftsman/teacher) (Inactive-injured; Returns 8/13/2011)
Lee Che Gyong (New wrestler; Debuts 8/17/2011)
Rene Dupree (レネ・デュプリ / [rene] [deyupuri]) (gaijin)
Big Daddy Voodoo (ビッグ・ダディ・ブードゥー / Big [dadei] [budou]) (gaijin)
Lance Cado (ランス・ケイド / Lance [keido] (gaijin) (Deceased)
Charlie Haas (チャーリー・ハース選手プロフィール / [chiyari] hearse) (gaijin)
FUJITA (FUJITA) (Minoru Fujita) (Independent/Freelancer; Appears occasionally)
Dark Oz (ダーク・オズ / Darkness [ozu]) (Primarily competes in Mexico; Appears occasionally)
Dark Cuervo (ダーク・クエルボ / Darkness [kuerobo]) (Primarily competes in Mexico; Appears occasionally)
Kyohei Wada (和田京平 / Wada capital flat) (Referee) (No longer with promotion)
Bomber Saito (ボンバー斉藤 / Bonn bar Saito) (Referee)
Daichi Murayama (村山大値 / Murayama large value) (Referee)
Daisuke Kamihayashi (神林 大介 / Kamihayashi large mediating/helping) (Referee)
Fumihito Kihara (木原文人 / Kihara civilian) (Ring Announcer)
Makoto Abe (阿部誠 / Abe sincerity) (Ring Announcer)

Titles & History:
Triple Crown
All-Japan World Tag Team Championship
All-Japan World Jr. Heavyweight Championship
All-Asia Tag Team Championship
F-1 Tag Team Championship (Comedy title, not officially part of All-Japan)

The promotion’s official websites (in Japanese) can be accessed via the following URL: (YouTube Channel)