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NOAH office boss – Misawa was going to retire at the end of the year

By Zach Arnold | June 15, 2009

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Ryu Nakata, the legendary All Japan Pro-Wrestling ring announcer and officer manager who transferred over to NOAH when Mitsuharu Misawa formed the company in 2000, addressed the media in Tokyo on Monday. Nakata, who did not make the trip to Hiroshima on the latest NOAH tour, told the press that Misawa was ready to retire from wrestling.

Nakata disclosed that Misawa, along with his 42-year old wife Mayumi, were discussing retirement plans in the locker room of the building NOAH was having a show at on the 9th in Shizuoka (Numazu). According to Nakata, Misawa realized that he could no longer wrestle and that it was time for him to get out of the business by the end of the year so that he could be an entrepreneur in another field. Tetsuya Sano, a famous Japanese blogger who is a friend of ours, attended the NOAH show in Shizuoka and said that in a 6-man tag match that Misawa was involved in, he wrestled maybe two or three minutes of the match and looked to be in very bad shape.

Nakata said that there was discussion of having a ‘sayonara tour’ for Misawa. Approaching his 47th birthday, Nakata noted that Misawa never cut any corners in matches and gave a full effort despite his badly broken-down body. Nakata admitted that Misawa had shoulder and waist injuries, plus years of spinal cord and body damage from all the bumps he’s taken in the ring. He regretted that Misawa didn’t quit 2 or 3 years ago. However, Misawa kept going because Kenta Kobashi was suffering severe injuries (which made his body the same age as an 80-year old man) and renal cancer, along with Jun Akiyama (labeled “No. 3”) having chronic health problems.

There will be a private funeral held by the end of this week.

G+, the cable channel for Nippon TV, will air a Misawa special soon. Samurai TV, which taped NOAH’s Hiroshima show on the 13th, will air the show on the 17th at 11 PM JST. The show will be marketed as “Misawa’s last match” and there will be interviews from wrestlers on the broadcast.

Dave Walsh has further commentary on the meaning of Misawa’s in-ring death.

TV schedule

Topics: Japan, Media, Pro-Wrestling, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “NOAH office boss – Misawa was going to retire at the end of the year”

  1. PuroFan says:

    This is a really sad time for me as a wrestling fan. It feels like once Kobashi and Muto retire the wrestling scene in Japan will seem pretty empty. Muto is in much better shape than Kobashi, but I’m not sure how long these two can carry the torch. I’m sure they are asking themselves the same question after Misawa’s tragic passing.

  2. Fluyid says:

    Trump Buys RAW(R)

    STAMFORD, Conn., June 16 /PRNewswire/ — World Wrestling Entertainment(R) announced the sale of its ratings juggernaut, Monday Night RAW (R), on USA Network to Donald Trump. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Commenting on the deal WWE(R) Chairman Vince McMahon stated, “This was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

    “The Monday Night RAW franchise has been one of the top cable franchises since its launch 17 years ago,” said Donald Trump. “I’m going to do things on the show that have never been done or seen before. As my first act as owner, I am doing something unprecedented. I am giving back to the people who have been loyal all these years. For the first time in more than 838 episodes of RAW, next week’s show will be live and commercial free.”

    Mr. Trump will be making his first live appearance as the new owner of the RAW franchise this Monday. The episode will run commercial-free on USA Network at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT on Monday, June 22nd.

    “Donald Trump is one of the most entertaining personalities with one of the sharpest business minds of our time. He’s always had the Midas touch, which will only add to the level of excitement for the loyal fans of WWE Monday Night Raw,” said Chris McCumber EVP Marketing, Digital and Brand Strategy for USA Network.

  3. Fluyid says:

    Will Trump look to cross-promote MMA and pro wrestling?

  4. The Gaijin says:

    Trump will do ANYTHING for press (I think it’s safe to say that this is a “work”?)…pathetic.

  5. Fluyid says:

    Is it? I don’t follow RAW, but I saw the newswire press release. If so, I’ve been had, but not for the first time. 🙁

  6. liger05 says:

    Knowing he was ready to retire makes it so much worse. The tv specials should be amazing!!

  7. Mark says:

    Since there is no actual “Raw Brand” and everything is under the singular WWE banner in the non-kayfabe world, this is a work.

    I think it’s a pretty desperate move, they’re going back to the one guy who got them their last huge buyrate in hopes he can save their sagging PPV numbers. And in true WWE creative team fashion, he is not a wrestler. He’ll probably stay until Summerslam where they will have some kind of McMahon-backed wrestler vs. Trump-backed wrestler match for control of Raw. Yawn.

    I have no idea what can save the Puro industry. They’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. The last hope seems to be if Go can pull an Inoki and use his mentor’s memory for stardom. Go is no Inoki, though.

  8. The Gaijin says:


    I honestly don’t watch any WWE, so I can’t say for sure – but I highly, highly doubt it’s legit. Hasn’t Trump actively involved himself in “angles” several times? And I don’t think there’s really any way to sell the “flagship show”, for the reasons Mark listed above.

    Something like this totally smells like an “angle” to garner pub.

  9. kjh says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into Nakata’s claims that Misawa was about ready to retire. It’s very possible that when push came to shove that at the end of the year he would have decided to postpone his retirement if he felt his company still needed him to continue wrestling to help draw on the road and continue running shows at Budokan. Very rarely do people in wrestling follow through on their retirement claims and stay retired.

  10. mattio says:

    It’s depressing to learn that the hard hitting style and brutalizing moves that made those Misawa matches so fun to watch took decades off his life and nearly crippled his peers. We were cheering on men literally destroying themselves for our entertainment.

  11. Mark says:

    Yeah, that’s the downside of pro wrestling fandom. Either your favorites take painkillers to be able to do their job until they OD, they’re taking steroids until their heart gives out to get work, they take so many shots to the head they destroy their brains, or they’re cripples in their 40s. I’m sure lots of MMA fighters are going to be severely brain damaged as they get older, but they’ll live far more comfortable lives than pro wrestlers.


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