By the end of this year, All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) is going to be down three major players. Zeus, Naoya Nomura, and the now, Koji Iwamoto will all leave All Japan Pro Wrestling by year’s end.
— 岩本 煌史【KOJI IWAMOTO】 (@k_i_prowrestler) December 6, 2021
Koji Iwamoto is considered the former ace of the AJPW junior division. If not the ace of that division since the days of the late Atsushi Aoki and a wrestler who was prominent with the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. A championship that he held four separate times in his career. After his last reign, Iwamoto decided to pursue opportunities as an open-weight wrestler for AJPW. Most notably teaming with Ryuki Honda in the recent Real World Tag League.
The day after Real World Tag League, Koji Iwamoto announced his departure from All Japan Pro Wrestling. Koji Iwamoto has been with the company since 2016. His tag work with Jake Lee in 2019 in the Sweeper faction was prominent during his run as well. Koji Iwamoto is also a former two-time All Asia Tag Team Champion.
Koji Iwamoto recently did an interview in which he remarked that this isn’t about retirement, and is more of a temporary leave of absence in 2022. He is one of three wrestlers leaving AJPW in the upcoming December 16th show. With Koji Iwamoto’s last match being with Black Menso-re going to against Nextream’s Atsuki Aoyagi and Rising HAYATO.
Koji Iwamoto leaving All Japan Pro Wrestling- A Synopsis.
Koji Iwamoto leaving AJPW is a major deal for many different reasons. His departure marks a major hit to the junior division of All Japan Pro Wrestling as AJPW is left without a top figure. It could be assumed passing of the torch could happen in his upcoming tag match. Another thing to note is that this isn’t retirement. If Iwamoto does return to Wrestling, he would be a top free agent anywhere in the wrestling world going into 2022 or even 2023 if he takes the year off.
What is unknown is what the future holds for Koji Iwamoto. Either continuing his work in junior divisions elsewhere to become a heavyweight in different promotions such as NJPW, NOAH, Dragon Gate, or many more different promotions that could fix his expertise. Or even return to All Japan Pro Wrestling down the line after the break. The only thing that is certain is that December 16th will be a very emotional night for All Japan Pro Wrestling fans.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch All Japan Pro Wrestling on AJPW.TV.