There are big changes in STARDOM as founder Rossy Ogawa has been fired by Bushiroad with the suggestion he was poaching talent for elsewhere.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has offered more insight into Ogawa’s departure from the promotion. Meltzer noted that Ogawa was accused of attempting to poach talent to leave STARDOM although it is noted where this talent was expected to go.
The issues with Ogawa are said to have begun around nine months ago when Bushiroad began overruling some of his booking decisions to the dismay of both Ogawa and some talent. Bushiroad’s interference continued when Taro Okada replaced Katsuhiko Harada as Bushiroad Fight President in November 2023. Ogawa was said to believe he’d have complete autonomy over STARDOM when he sold the company but that clearly was not the case.
Ogawa was set to leave STARDOM on the 18th of February but Bushiroad made the decision to get ahead of the story and announced that he was fired two weeks earlier than had been agreed. STARDOM talent was told about the decision in a meeting following a show in Osaka.
Regarding talent, many are described as loyal to Ogawa who gave most of the women in the company their breaks. Most contracts expire in March and Meltzer cautions that there will be plenty of departures when that happens. The only exception is IWGP Women’s Champion Mayu Iwatani because a movie is coming out about her life.
Bushiroad Send Legal Threats To STARDOM Talent
Bushiroad is said to have issued legal threats to some talents in recent weeks as they were aware many were planning on leaving. This is where the issue of Giulia becomes involved as she will not be competing on NJPW’s Windy City Riot show in Chicago and instead said she was taking time off when her deal expires in March.
Bushiroad had known about talent leaving and some were given legal threats in recent weeks. Those who are leaving won’t be doing so until their contracts expire. This is part of the story of why Giulia will not be wrestling in Chicago and had said she was taking time off in March when her contract expires. Giulia has long been expected to go to WWE and many fans were surprised when it emerged AEW had not even approached the star about potentially joining them.
Meltzer also noted that Rossy Ogawa is not going to WWE.
Nothing has been mentioned explicitly in regards to the poaching of talent but AEW boss Tony Khan was pleased to see Ogawa go and sent out GIFS that referenced “corporate espionage” suggesting his company was not involved.