Ryusuke Taguchi recalls talk of junior heavyweights leaving NJPW after Yuke's acquisition in early 2000s

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/04/25/ryusuke-taguchi-recalls-talk-of-junior-heavyweights-leaving-njpw-after-yukes-acquisition-in-early-2000s/

In late 2005, the acquisition was formally announced. 

NJPW’s official website is releasing portions of an interview that was conducted with two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Ryusuke Taguchi. 

In the eighth installment of the series, he touched on the 2005-2006 stretch of his career. In late 2005, it was formally announced that Yuke’s acquired New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Yuke’s had controlling share prior to Bushiroad buying NJPW. 

It was mentioned by the interviewer that talents began to depart the company come contract renewal time in 2006. Taguchi recalled there being talks of junior heavyweights leaving and joining those who had opted to quit in a promotion called ‘Muga World Pro Wrestling’, which is now known as Dradition Pro-Wrestling. 

When it came time for Taguchi’s contract renewal, he put his deal on hold and eventually opted to stay with NJPW. In hindsight, he feels he made the right choice. 

There was talk that the people who quit at that time (after Yuke’s acquired NJPW) would later form a new organization (Muga World Pro Wrestling), and the junior wrestlers would join it. In fact, I put my contract for 2006 on hold for a time. 

That was a kind of fork in the road. I think it was a good thing that I put my contract on hold rather than leaving at the time of contract renewal (laughs). At that time, there were a lot of people who had left the company, and I was thinking positively. This is my chance, I’ll do my best in New Japan! I was positive about it. I thought that I, as a young man, could help boost the junior division.

New Japan is in the midst of their Wrestling Dontaku tour which will wrap up May 3rd. The match card for Wrestling Dontaku on 5/3 can be viewed here.