At a joint press conference for Pro Wrestling NOAH and DDT Pro Wrestling, freshly minted champions Jun Akiyama and Keiji Mutoh each committed themselves to their respective organsiations.
Akiyama signed a one year deal with DDT, where as Mutoh signed a two year contract with NOAH, which he noted will take him up to his 60th birthday.
In addition to becoming a full time roster member, it was confirmed that Akiyama would take on the role of Head Coach of DDT’s training school, having previously acted as a Guest Coach only.
Of his new appointment, Akiyama expressed his excitement and desire to build new wrestlers from scratch:
The wrestlers have learned stuff already previously, so I want to enhance the things that they already do well. But I do want to raise someone from scratch too, so I look forward to the upcoming auditions.
Having said that I won’t go completely old school with thousands of bumps and squats when I train them.
Akiyama had been due to serve as a coach at the WWE Performance Centre prior to travel restrictions coming into place due to the global pandemic.
When asked about that, the new KO-D Openweight Champion noted that this is now an impossibility due to his contract with DDT and that we was enjoying his work in the DDT Dojo.
On the subject of his next opponent, it was confirmed that Kazusada Higuchi, whom Akiyama called out after his title win, would challenge for the belt on the March 28th Korakuen Hall show.
For Mutoh, it was announced that Kaito Kiyomiya would be first in line for a title shot, having stormed the ring following Mutoh’s shock victory over Go Shiozaki.
On the subject of being a Japanese Grand Slam winner, having won top honours in All Japan, New Japan and NOAH, Mutoh commented:
I’m not particularly hyped about being a Grand Slammer, because I’m not the first guy to have done it; there were guys like Sasaki and Takayama.
It is a dream come true though.
The press conference also featured comments from DDT’s Yuki Ueno and NOAH’s Kenoh, the other singles heavyweight titlists within their respective promotions.
Kenoh confirmed his upcoming GHC National Championship match with Kendo Kashin, whilst Ueno threw down the gauntlet for any prospective challenger looking to step up.
With thanks to DDT/TJPW English Update for the transcription.