January 15, 2019
Genichiro Tenryu held a public press conference at the Aristrist Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan to officially announce the return of Wrestle and Romance (WAR) to the professional wrestling landscape. Tenryu stated that while wrestling in Japan has received much exposure in recent years due to online steaming services and international tours, he feels that the “strong style” that once defined Japanese pro-wrestling has been lost as companies look to appeal more to Western audiences. Not only will the newest incarnation of WAR represent the “strong style” of wrestling but it will incorporate elements of “shoot style”, which defined and influenced many pro-wrestling companies during the late 1980s and 1990s, and was a direct precursor to the mixed martial arts boom in the mid-90s.
Tenryu introduced a partnership with the UWF and representative, Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Fujiwara appeared with the old UWF Heavyweight Championship and revealed that he would be working alongside Tenryu to help introduce the “newest generation of fans” to the classic stylings of Japanese professional wrestling. The UWF Heavyweight Title would be restored and coveted as WAR’s top prize, only to be defended and challenged under “UWF Rules” – that is, by knockout, submission, doctor/referee order stop or judges decision. In addition to the UWF Heavyweight Title, Tenryu confirmed the return of the J-Crown Championship, the top junior heavyweight title, and the WAR World Six Man Tag Team Championship. Both the J-Crown and the six man tag titles will be decided in upcoming tournaments.
Fujiwara, however, announced that the champion who best represents the philosophy of the UWF is none other than Hideki Suzuki. Suzuki was then brought on stage to accept the title belt from Fujiwara and Tenryu. Suzuki commented briefly that he was very honored to hold and defend such a prestigious championship, and that he would do his best to help elevate WAR as a promotion. However, before he could continue, Suzuki was interrupted by commotion in the back of the conference room...with the arrival of Minoru Suzuki and his Suzuki-gun stable, which includes Yukio Sakaguchi, Hikaru Sato, Shinya Aoki and Keisuke Okuda. Minoru stormed the stage and confronted both Hideki and Fujiwara. He said he felt “betrayed” by Fujiwara for not considering him for the UWF Heavyweight Title, considering their history with the UWF and Fujiwara-gumi. Minoru said that the belt belonged to him by right, and he will not stop until the belt is his.
Tenryu intervened and made it clear that a 16-man “UWF Rules” tournament would take place to establish the top contender to the UWF Heavyweight Title. Tenryu said that Minoru would have to fight for a chance at the title, along with 15 other men, which will include legends such as Jun Akiyama and Yuji Nagata, as well as top foreign names Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher, among others. Tenryu said another short press conference will be held in the coming days regarding the tournament but for now, Minoru would have to wait his turn and if he or his Suzuki-goons did anything “uncharacteristic” of the new promotion, he would have no problem removing him from the tournament.
Tenryu ended the conference by revealing the full roster of talent contracted to WAR (see above). In addition, Tenryu and Fujiwara have brought on Katsuyori Shibata and Josh Barnett to serve as trainers and mentors, and to help with the transition in style.