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Hiroshi Tanahashi named President & Representative Director of NJPW

Hiroshi Tanahashi’s X

He was New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s “Ace” for the better part of this century. Now Hiroshi Tanahashi is the promotion’s President.

The announcement was made on the company’s website on Friday night (Dec. 22) U.S. time. It covered several management changes that were decided on at a meeting of NJPW’s board of directors and shareholders that are effective Dec. 23, with the headline being Tanahashi taking over the role of “President and Representative Director” of New Japan.

Hitoshi Matsumoto, an executive at New Japan’s television partner TV Asahi (which also owns a 10% stake in NJPW), and Taro Okada, President & CEO of Bushiroad Fight (the subsidiary of New Japan’s parent company which runs the joshi promotion Stardom) were also named Directors. Okada’s position was specified as temporary.

Tanahashi replaces Takami Ohbari, who’s served as NJPW President since 2020. Another Director, Michiaki Nishizawa, is also stepping down.

What does it mean that the eight-time IWGP Heavyweight champion and reigning NEVER Six-Man Tag Team champ (with Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) will now be running things? Good question! The company will hold a press conference “concerning the changes” on Dec. 26.

Then at Jan. 4’s Wrestle Kingdom 18 in the Tokyo Dome, where Tanahashi is scheduled to challenge Zack Sabre, Jr. for the NJPW World Television title, the new President “will address the fans directly”.

For now, he posted a message on X which (according to Google translate) reads:

I have been appointed as the representative director and president of New Japan Pro Wrestling Co., Ltd. We will do our best to help you enjoy New Japan Pro Wrestling even more. I won’t get tired, so don’t worry, everyone.

We’ll share more as we have it. For now, I think one of Tanahashi’s fellow “new Three Musketeers” said it best...

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