JAPAN TAKES A DOUBLE BLOW
Zero-1 MAX Terminated from the AWA;
Masato Tanka stripped of the World Title.
AWA Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. has officially terminated it’s sanctioning and relationship with Zero-1 MAX / Hustle / First on Stage. “The professional wrestling industry in Japan has changed dramatically over the last few years and is in economic turmoil, with only a few promoters succeeding at capturing an audience to an overexposed business”, stated AWA President & CEO Dale R. Gagne. “Zero-1 MAX has become a mere shadow of it’s former self with diminishing audiences,
income and lack of touring talent”. Gagne stated the decision was well thought out and difficult however, “we gave them every opportunity to succeed by becoming a part of our company and brand. The audience in Japan simply won’t continue supporting a business unwilling to change”. The AWA has subsequently been in negotiations with a high-profile, nostalgic concert promoter to produce arena events in Japan and other markets in Europe.
“Laughable has been the internet rumors that Zero-1 “owns” the AWA World Championship”, continued Gagne. “Although they own a replica version of the title belt, no one owns or controls the title except for the AWA itself”. The AWA has served notice to Zero-1 MAX promoter Yoshi Nakamura and has warned him not to disrespect his wrestlers by referring to them as fake Champions. They have been advised to remove the AWA name from their entire promotion as to not confuse fans with future major AWA events in Japan. Gagne was very specific when commenting on Zero-1 being associated again with the NWA. “If the NWA wants to be affiliated with a sinking ship, that’s their decision to make”, stated Gagne. “Our relationship with Zero-1 was being accommodated by Steve Corino, who recently quit the promotion. Watch for Zero-1 to become involved again with the NWA at their match on December 13th. Who would blame them? They have no where else to go”. Keep visiting www.awastars.com for the developing story.
First off, my take on the AWA discontinuing their sanctioning is probably a legal precaution. And in reality, the 3 strongest members of the AWA; Mid-Atlantic, Hawaii, and Zero One all offer a greater product then anything else being produced by the AWA. However, there has been a lot of interest in the National Wrestling Alliance fan forums about this opportunity.
Zero One is a former member, under Antonio Inoki. Inoki transfered his membership twice in the past decade, once from Zero One, to New Japan and now from New Japan to Inoki Genome Federation. A source of mine told me that there is some interest in a few of the former AWA territories.