Akiyama will move down from president to general manager, a first in All Japan corporate history. He chose this position because he wants to stay close to the wrestlers and keep an eye on the roster. An official announcement will take place in Korakuen Hall on October 10th.
— 全日本プロレス (English) (@alljapan_eng) July 10, 2019
An article by Tokyo Sports has revealed that Jun Akiyama has resigned from his role as president of All Japan Pro Wrestling. He will be replaced by Tsuyoki Fukuda. Akiyama made shareholders aware of his decision on July 8th and the change will go into effect after the October 10th Korakuen Hall event. Akiyama is quoted as saying “I’ve been working hard for 5 years, so I’d like to focus on the fight in the ring instead of following the numbers.”
After his tenure as president of AJPW, Akiyama will move to the position of General Manager of All Japan, overseeing the changes and taking charge of directing the talents. Akiyama commented during the press conference held by AJPW today, that the reason for this decision was because he felt he had got rid of the fighters. Additionally, Takao Omori has left his position as director to accompany Akiyama in the task of supervising the new talents.
Akiyama has written a message to the fans through his official Twitter account, thanking them for the support received during 5 years of hard work and that they will continue looking towards the future.
Speaking to Tokyo Sports, Akiyama commented the following: “The negative image we had of AJPW has dissipated and we have remained in a very active state, we have achieved many achievements: not only have we maintained the quality of our athletes’ training and their performance in the ring, but also in the management After five years of hard work, I would like to focus on work on quadrilaterals instead of dealing with numbers.”
For his part, Fukuda has also had statements about the future of All Japan, showing himself ambitious in his intentions: “I want us to be the first or second in Japan, although I think our quality is the best there is, I trust the level of our talents, we will be able to increase the number of people who see us all over the country.”
Jun Akiyama became president in July 2014. Previously, the company was close to disappearing after the mandate of Nobuo Shiraishi, who bought AJPW with his companies, Speed Partners and Red Wall, becoming the owner of AJPW. During his stage, All Japan achieved historical lows of attendance at his events. In addition, the notable clashes with several talents and important figures led to the departure of Keiji Mutoh (former president) and training of WRESTLE-1.
Among other changes, Shiraishi renamed the parent company of AJPW as Zen Nihon Puroresu Systems, a decision that was reversed after its departure. Shiraishi had the help of other presidents such as Masayuki Uchida or Akebono, apart from temporarily taking over the position.
After his departure in 2014, Akiyama focused the company’s focus on creating new stars and restructuring All Japan on them, leading to the development of talents such as Kento Miyahara, Naoya Nomura or Jake Lee. Withdrawal from customers also turned upwards, and certain achievements were made in rebuilding royal road mats. On the other hand, putting on a manager and a leading player, and a pair of straws was a heavy burden.
Akiyama was the overseer in this turbulent period, in response to the tough questions being asked of the company he rationalised the roster, moved to a pay per appearance pay scheme and relocated to Yokohama.
There were understandably departures because of this, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Go Shiozaki for instance, but it put the company on a firmer financial footing and allowed for more cross promotion with other companies. It also cleared out the top of the card to allow wrestlers like Miyahara to shine.
All pics courtesy of AJPW