Based on the initial internet response, it's clear most people took Akira Hokuto's victory to mean that Manami Toyota had accepted WWE's offer and would be leaving us. That actually was not the case. It came right down to the wire, but she wound up accepting a new four year contract extension. She got some nice perks, such as a 20% bonus on every PPV appearance and house shows off, plus a massive pay increase that now makes her the eighth highest paid person in the company. It's a great contract for her, but I felt we couldn't afford to lose her. I think she's worth it.
The decision to put the title on Hokuto was made independently of Toyota's negotiations. It actually was the plan from before the Grand Prix tournament that Hokuto won even started, much less WWE reaching out to Manami. As fantastic as Toyota has been as the flag bearer for Renaissance, it felt like the time was right to make a title switch. I believe the title and the brand are in good hands with Hokuto, and Toyota will remain a central figure on Renaissance regardless of if she's a champion or not.
Hall of Champions:
World Women's Champion:
January 11th, 2004 from Manami Toyota at Dream Slam in Tokyo, Japan
((This was formerly the WWWA World Championship, the top title in All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling. The title was renamed the WCW World Women's Championship upon WCW buying AJW, and its title lineage was kept intact.))
Previous Champions (since January 2002):
Manami Toyota: October 5th, 2002-January 11th, 2004 (463 days)
Etsuko Mita: January 9th, 2002-October 5th, 2002 (269 days)
World Women's Tag Team Champions:
Our Generation (Melissa Anderson and Nattie Neidhart)
January 11th, 2004 from Devil Kong at Dream Slam in Tokyo, Japan
Previous Champions (since July 2003):
Devil Kong (Aja Kong and Devil Masami): July 6th, 2003-January 11th, 2004 (189 days)
Grand Prix tournament (held every October):
(From 1985-2000 this was a tournament held in All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling. The tournament was revived in 2003 by WCW and the Renaissance brand after purchasing AJW.)
Akira Hokuto (x2)
Kaoru Ito (x2)
Manami Toyota (x4)
Manami Toyota (x3)
Aja Kong (x2)
Manami Toyota (x2)
Prediction Score (out of a possible 8 points):
Cro Cop Rules: 5
James The Animator: 3
Originally Posted by JMike
Who's in Zero One besides guys like Hashimoto, Minoru, Wright and Adams? I know Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka are always in Zero One too, but anyone else? Nice new logo btw
Aside from the ones you've mentioned, other guys they have that jump out at me are Shibata and Ken Shamrock as more top of the line, and a few that could work with cruiserweights like Ikuto Hidaka, Chad Collyer and Wataru Inoue. I'm also intrigued by Claudio Castagnoli and Genki Horiguchi, but they're only under touring deals.
All credit for the graphical overhaul of 2004, logo included, goes to K-Nection!
Originally Posted by Hashasheen
Edit: Also, ZERO-1? Really? After they've picked up several ex-WCW guys? Obviously it's down to AI, but you'd think an in-game Shinya Hashimoto wouldn't want to make his promotion look even more dependent on WCW starpower.
On the other hand, maybe he's interested in booking as many name brand gaijins as he can get his hands on.