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LDP to open discussion on medical regulation of Japanese fight business

By Zach Arnold | June 17, 2009

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I have to read up on the details of what is going to happen and I promise to write an article on it soon, but Hiroshi Hase (former pro-wrestler) and others in the LDP have invited the major players in pro-wrestling (Ryu Nakata of NOAH, New Japan’s President, a famous medical trainer, Keiji Mutoh, and a fifth person) to a political committee meeting to talk about Mitsuharu Misawa’s death. One person is being quoted in the press as saying that Misawa’s death is now a turning point.

Update (6/18): There was a press conference today with Hiroshi Hase, Keiji Mutoh, and Ryu Nakata. Several people were called today to talk with politicians about what the situation is for health and safety in the business and what should be done next.

Meanwhile, Akitoshi Saito (the wrestler who gave Misawa the back-drop) and his family in Aichi prefecture are receiving threats and abuse from fans. There are public calls from NOAH employees to stop the harassment.

Topics: Japan, Media, Pro-Wrestling, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “LDP to open discussion on medical regulation of Japanese fight business”

  1. natureboy says:

    Sadly, even if they do create some sort of union I doubt it will affect the American Pro Wrestling circuit. At least not until someone dies on another morbidly titled WWE PPV.

  2. Chuck says:

    And they couldn’t do this after when Fukuda died at the hands of Katsuyori Shibata? Or when Johnny Smith suffered a stroke in an All Japan ring? Or when Giant Ochaia (spelling?) died when in a dojo? Or when Hayabusa broke his neck after slipping on the middle rope attempting a moonsault? Then again, that was because of a wet middle rope, so that could have happened regardless.

  3. PizzaChef says:

    natureboy: Considering what happened to Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and Chris Benoit they will NOT create a union. Vince will never let that happen under any circumstance.

    Only way that a CHANCE of a union is created is if a competitor kicks Vince McMahon’s ass on a weekly basis for a long time AND the promoter of that group treats his talent well and encourages them to make a union.

  4. Mark says:

    I don’t care what happens or what country we’re talking about, there will never be regulation of professional wrestling. It’s a shady, insular business run by a bunch of con-men with a bunch of workers who can easily be swayed out of forming a union by being threatened with not getting work. The government (Japanese or American) believing they’re going to get more than empty promises to do better with drug testing or safety issues are the real marks.

    And it’s not just Vince McMahon not allowing a union in. TNA wouldn’t allow one, ROH wouldn’t allow one, WCW in their time didn’t allow one, no promoter would. They’re all scumbags, it’s not exclusive to Vince McMahon, although he is the worst.

  5. Dave says:

    I don’t get blaming Saito for it. The move looks to be a rather textbook NOAH head drop suplex. If anything it was Misawa’s body that was the reason. The years of abuse, damage, etc.

  6. Tradtion Rules says:

    Its already been confirmed that Misawa was in horrible shape physically. The police should investigate these threats and prosecute anyone they find guilty.

    Harassing Saito and, especially his family, will not bring back Misawa.

    The iron of all this is when Misawa departed All Japan, one of his major points was better pay for the wrestlers and health benefits.

    I know they did receive better pay, but what about the health benefits?

  7. Chuck says:

    I know that Misawa spear-headed the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance (along with the help of a ton of other feds) with the aim to help each other out in the competitive wrestling market (sorry that sounded a little too much like a press release) and to start up a retired wrestlers’ pension fund, which would be the prototype for a wrestlers’ union. All that happened with it was a few small wrestling shows with the GPWA name attached to them. I don’t even know if this is still around.

  8. Black Dog says:

    I think Japan is a nation that will take the lead in dealing with this matter; unfortunately it takes the death of such a living legend to galvanize people to action.

    In America, it used to be that state athletic commissions would govern wrestling the same way they do boxing: you had to undergo a medical exam to get a license. Certain people have put the blame on Vince McMahon for rebranding wrestling as entertainment in the 80’s as a means to get out from under commission regulations and taxes. Very shrewd move, if it is true.

    In any case, I doubt the states are interested in getting involved, because of the cost to taxpayers more than anything.

    In Japan, there is a different mindset, and I hope some progress can be made.

    I’m glad I was not the only one to notice that Misawa was not in the best of shape. Recent shows saw him more overweight than usual, and very slow in the ring. And I have to say it, a number of wrestlers in NOAH are past the age when they should consider retirement. There are others in different organizations as well.

    Again I hope there is movement forward; and for those who have targeted Saito, that is classless and disgusting. The man must feel worse than anyone, apart from Misawa’s family right now. Anyone who’s threatened or abused him should take a good look at themselves in the mirror; I hope they don’t like what they see.

    RIP, Misawa…Blessed Be.


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