Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
All Japan Pro Wrestling
The promotion was founded by Shohei "Giant" Baba and the Momota brothers, sons of Rikidozan. Baba, a former pro baseball pitcher, joined the JWA in 1960. In October, 1972, he left the JWA and formed his own group, AJPW. His group continues to promote today, with a television show on Nippon TV. Their first card was on October 21, 1972 at Machida City Gym in Tokyo, Japan.
Baba passed away in January 1999, leaving the promotion in the hands of top star Mitsuharu Misawa. Misawa, disheartened with Motoko Baba's proposed direction for the company, left the group on May 28th 2000 to form a new group, Pro Wrestling NOAH. Misawa took many top wrestlers from the All Japan group.
AJPW currently promotes the following championship belts:
- AJPW Triple Crown - AJPW Double Tag Titles - PWF Jr. Heavyweight Title - All Asia Tag Team Titles
Titles previously promoted by the company include the PWF (World) Heavyweight Title, NWA International Heavyweight Title, NWA United National Title (the three constituent belts of the Triple Crown), and the All Asia Heavyweight Title.
In the thirty two years since its inception, AJPW has featured many legends of the squared circle on their shows. These include:
Following her husband's death in January 1999, Motoko Baba inherited control of the company. Mitsuharu Misawa had been serving as company President and chief booker, but the two frequently clashed over how the promotion should be run, and in May 2000 Misawa and almost all the roster of Japanese wrestlers quit the company to start Pro Wrestling NOAH with Baba's original business partners the Momota brothers. Mrs. Baba responded by bringing Gen'ichiro Tenryu back into the company, 10 years after he quit under similar circumstances to Misawa.
In 2001, at the end of a year long cross promotional angle with New Japan Pro Wrestling, three of New Japan's top stars, Keiji Mutoh, Satoshi Kojima and Kendo Ka Shin , defected to All Japan. Muto was rewarded by Mrs. Baba with the job of company President, and eventually all the Baba family stock was transferred to Muto.
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