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Josh Barnett’s long-term future remains in Japanese professional wrestling

By Zach Arnold | April 28, 2010

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With his California licensing situation in limbo, Josh Barnett will continue to proceed his career in professional wrestling. He is scheduled to be in a ‘ranking match’ against Yoshihiro Takyama on May 9th at Osaka Prefectural Gym. Barnett is reportedly being groomed to be the top ace of the organization.

The headlining story going into the IGF (Inoki Genome Federation) event is the debut of former Sumo wrestler Shinichi Wakakirin. Wakakirin was busted last year for marijuana in Japan and was dismissed from Sumo.

The announcement of Wakakirin’s debut was made today in Tokyo at a presser featuring Wakakirin and Antonio Inoki. Inoki was on his way back to New York after the media session.

IGF 5/9 Osaka Prefectural Gym (5 PM start)

Topics: Japan, Media, Pro-Wrestling, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Josh Barnett’s long-term future remains in Japanese professional wrestling”

  1. Chuck says:

    Well that’s an……interesting card. An old timers’ tag team match and Bob Sapp vs. Necro Butcher?! I have GOT to see this!

  2. David M says:

    Any time Zach can find an excuse to post a pro-wrestling story, he runs with it.

    Josh Barnett will never fight again in the United States. Fin.

  3. cutch says:

    from cagepotato

    “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I signed the contract, the fight will be against Josh Barnett, but it’ll be at Impact MMA, a new event in Australia…
    If I win I’ll sign with Strikeforce, I’m so thrilled that I said everything wrong (laughs),” the heavyweight explains.

  4. Black Dog says:

    Big problem with IGF is that Barnett is all Inoki really has. Sawada has been getting a push, and he’s been around since the IGF’s inception. He’s a tough kid, got some skill and some charisma. Unfortunately, that’s the only young gun I see in the promotion.

    Barnett’s the face of the promotion, and if Inoki is paying him good money to fight once every month or two, then it’s good for him. He makes money, stays in shape (with or without rhoids, I don’t know) and cools his heels until the s–t dies down.

    Another problem: most of these guys are past their primes as fighters, MMA’ers, wrestlers, etc. Taka Kunou is a judo fighter, and a very good one, but he does not excite in any way.

    Predator is nothing more than a Bruiser Brody knockoff, and while I’m glad Necro is finally making some money (I’d hope), he’s not much of a wrestler.

    Ogawa has been close to Inoki for years, and while he’s a former judo champ, the key word is “former.”

    Another problem: it’s still all about Inoki. His likeness is on all the promotional posters, the website is mostly about him, and his appearances in the ring tend to often be the only excitement.

    Hate to say that, because I think IGF has potential. Get rid of the oldsters, push Sawada and some more young fellows, and build from the ground up, and it would work. Barnett would be that mountain for all of them to climb.


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