Super World of Sports
AcronymSWS
FoundedApril 1990
Defunct1992
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan

Super World of Sports, more commonly known as SWS, was a Japanese professional wrestling promotion from 1990 to 1992. Its motto was "Straight and Strong".

History

Formation

In April 1990, Genichiro Tenryu, one of the top stars of All Japan Pro Wrestling, left the company to become a spokesmodel for Megane Super, at the time one of the best-known makers of eyeglasses in Japan. But the company instead used him as the launching pad for a new pro-wrestling circuit, which Megane Super executive Hachiro Tanaka named Super World of Sports.

With his backing, Megane Super began throwing money offers around to build up their roster. Yoshiaki Yatsu, Ashura Hara, Shunji Takano, The Great Kabuki, Hiromichi Fuyuki, Tatsumi "Koki" Kitahara, Masao Orihara, Isao Takagi (the future Arashi), and referee Hiroyuki Umino joined in from All-Japan. But SWS would attract New Japan Pro-Wrestling talent as well, including George Takano (the former Cobra), Naoki Sano, Hisakatsu Oya, Akira Katayama, former superstar yokozuna (grand champion in sumo wrestling) Koji Kitao, and Stampede Wrestling powerhouse Dino Ventura (605 lb bench press) who had extraordinary MMA and technical wrestling skills. Because of this, fans, wrestlers, and administrators of other Japanese promotions criticized SWS as being a "money puroresu" (Megane Super being the money mark) because of the way wrestlers flocked to it. The feeling was compounded when in October, SWS signed a working relationship contract with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation, for interpromotional purposes.

Working relationship with the WWF

The SWS/WWF co-promotion produced several cards, including two shows at the Tokyo Dome. The events took place on March 30, 1991, and December 12, 1991[1] (The March show saw a near-shoot between former sumos Kitao and Earthquake; Kitao was fired for subsequently cutting a shoot promo exposing the business afterwards). SWS also had a small agreement with two smaller Japanese federations, Gran Hamada's Universal Lucha Libre and Yoshiaki Fujiwara's Fujiwara Gumi (shoot-style wrestling), which provided alternative matches and opponents to the cards.

SWS's peak coincided with the general Japanese economic downturn of the early 1990s. As Megane Super began withdrawing its support, the company began running fewer cards, and in May 1992 Yatsu withdrew. On June 19 1992, SWS held its final card at Nagasaki International Gym. The promotion's talent split into the following federations: Yatsu's SPWF; Tenryu's new promotion, WAR, including Hara, Fuyuki, Kitahara; NOW, including Kendo Nagasaki, and PWC, including the Takano brothers and Takagi.

Wrestlers

Main roster

Unlike many wrestling promotions, SWS had a wrestling roster that was divided into three stables, reminiscent of the sumo heya system. Revolution was mostly AJPW alumni, Palaestra was mostly NJPW alumni, and Geki Dojo were neutrals led by a heel manager, KY Wakamatsu.

Visiting wrestlers

SWS championships

SWS never had a Heavyweight Championship.

SWS Junior Heavyweight Championship

Wrestler: Times: Date: Location: Notes:
Naoki Sano 1 December 12, 1991 Tokyo, Japan Won a tournament to become the SWS/Japanese representative and then defeated WWF representative Rick Martel to become the first champion.
Title retired June 19, 1992 Title retired when SWS closed.

SWS Tag Team Championship

Wrestlers: Times: Date: Location: Notes:
King Haku and Yoshiaki Yatsu 1 February 14, 1992 Kyoto, Japan Defeated Ashura Hara and Genichiro Tenryu in a tournament final to become the first champions.
George and Shunji Takano 1 April 16, 1992 Minamiashigara, Japan
The Natural Disasters
(Earthquake and Typhoon)
1 April 17, 1992 Yokohama, Japan [2]
King Haku and Yoshiaki Yatsu 2 April 18, 1992 Tokyo, Japan
Title retired June 19, 1992 Title retired when SWS closed.

See also

References

  1. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  2. ^ Hoops, Brian (April 17, 2020). "Daily pro wrestling (04/17): WCW Spring Stampede 1994". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved April 17, 2020.