New Japan's parent company purchases World Wonder Ring Stardom

Originally published at

An acquisition by New Japan Pro Wrestling’s parent company will see World Wonder Ring Stardom (“Stardom”) brought under the same umbrella with Bushiroad owning both pro wrestling entities.

News of the purchase was announced by Yahoo Japan with an official announcement made Thursday morning in Japan.

Stardom will be operated by a Bushiroad subsidiary company, Kix Road. The subsidiary also runs the ‘Knock Out’ kickboxing organization. On December 1st, Kix Road Co., Ltd will be re-named Bushiroad Fight Co., Ltd.

Yahoo reported that Bushiroad director Takaaki Kidani first displayed signs of interest in the fall of 2018. A meeting took place between Kidani and Stardom co-founder and owner Rossy Ogawa this past April and the deal was completed in August.

Kidani believes that Stardom’s annual revenue of approximately 200 million yen could grow to one billion by 2024.

Dave Meltzer has added that New Japan and Stardom will be operated separately with no crossover and both will maintain their individual streaming platforms. Meltzer reports that a weekly Stardom show will launch in January on BS NTV and Tokyo MX.

Stardom confirmed that Rossy Ogawa will stay on as the group’s Chief Executive Officer.

The promotion’s next major show will be on April 29, 2020, at Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium, which is the venue that hosted New Japan’s first card in 1972.

They will run Korakuen Hall 14 times in 2020, including back-to-back nights on August 8th and 9th.

There will be a 10th-anniversary card taking place in 2021.

All the wrestlers will also be placed under contract.

Stardom was launched in September 2010 by Ogawa, former wrestler Fuka Kakimoto, and Nanae Takahashi. Kakimoto was named general manager of the group who also trained upcoming talent and served as the promotion’s authority figure and ring announcer. She left Stardom in 2018 when she was expecting her first child. Takahashi would wrestle for the group until 2015 when she left the company and later founded the Seadlinnng company.

Stardom held its first event in January 2011 and in their third year of operation would run Sumo Hall.

The company has established itself as one of the top destinations for female talent in the world. Past stars of the company include WWE’s Kairi Sane and Io Shirai.

A press conference was held Thursday morning in Japan to announce the purchase.


Really hoping a Japanese owned and operated company that attracts top talent will make life tougher for the inevitable disaster NXT Japan will end up being.


This makes me both excited and nervous. I am a big fan of Stardom and also the glory days of AJW. The prospect of a women’s promotion gaining a much larger public profile sounds really fantastic, and I think that Bushiroad has the capacity to maybe make this happen. There is some hesitancy to my excitement though. One of the things that I like about the Japanese wrestling scene is that there isn’t really any monolithic player that is trying to dominate ever layer and level of the market (the way that there is in the US). It would disappointing to see Bushiroad take on this kind of approach, and it would be bad for wrestling.

Could we eventually see Stardom shows on NJPW World?

A women’s match on Wrestle Kingdom in the near future? :thinking:

With this purchase it will be interesting to see if New Japan will start to have women’s wrestling on their cards and vice versa. As it would be cool to see mens and women’s intertwine between the two of them. I’m excited to see what happens next.

Everything I’ve seen suggests that the promotions and streaming services are going to remain completely separate. As a non-expert, the real upside seems to be that Stardom would have the opportunity to bust out of its niche business model. I don’t think that we will ever get back to the days of 10,000 children screaming while Chigusa Nagayo gets her hair chopped off by Dump Matsumoto, but I think that there is real potential for Stardom to shine under the spotlight of a more mainstream audience.