Several STARDOM talents could be following Ogawa out the door.
Following STARDOM and Bushiroad’s announcement on February 5th that STARDOM founder and executive producer Rossy Ogawa’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect, multiple reports indicated that multiple talents had either requested or were considering leaving the promotion, with Ogawa confirming his intention to start a new promotion whilst speaking to Tokyo Sports.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is now reporting that many STARDOM talents are under contract through March, whilst Mayu Iwatani’s deal is more long-term due to her upcoming movie. Additionally, Meltzer revealed that Bushiroad made attempts to re-sign their talent to longer deals, however many have refused.
“Most of the Stardom talent is under contract through March. IWGP women’s champion Mayu Iwatani is known to have a longer contract due to Stardom being involved with the theatrical release of the movie on her life later this year. There are others since Bushiroad has attempted to sign all the talent to longer deals, but many of them refused. Iwatani is the biggest star that Stardom has locked down long-term.”-WON
The reports regarding STARDOM talent potentially following Ogawa sparked fears of a possible mass exodus, with newly appointed President Taro Okada stating to Tokyo Sports that the company may be unable to continue to operate should enough talent decide to leave.
These fears now seem to have subsided, however, as Meltzer noted that a lot of the underneath talent within the promotion have accepted Bushiroad’s latest proposals to re-sign.
“There won’t be a mass exodus because Bushiroad had been offering a lot of the talent contracts, and a lot of the underneath talent have signed these deals.”-WON
As for those that are seeking to leave the promotion, Meltzer also reported that Bushiroad has informed talent that they’d need to have given their notice by February 9th in order to adjust their booking for the upcoming departures.
“Bushiroad told all wrestlers and employees that if they wanted to leave, they would have to give notice by 2/9, so that they can get the booking in order and championships in order for the future.”-WON
The fallout of Ogawa’s contract termination is likely to be a story that will dominate the headlines of Joshi wrestling for the foreseeable future, and with multiple contracts seemingly up within the next two months, it’ll be interesting to see who’ll be sticking around.
As always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on the future of STARDOM and Rossy Ogawa’s new promotion as soon as we hear more.