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The press conference all of Japan has been waiting for...

Throbbin Wood

League Member
Dec 5, 2009
TOKYO, JAPAN – Today was the day the Japanese wrestling media got back on it's toes and flocked to the former Rising Sun Wrestling Headquarters, now with a new crest at the front and a new name. Isamu League first opened up shop last Wednesday, bringing a major wrestling product back to the Japanese market ever since the closing of RSW in September 2008. The man behind “The IL,” as they've been pushing to be known as, happens to be the mastermind behind RSW's consecutive SWA Promotion of the Year Award winning campaigns in 2004 and 2005.

American-born Joey Clerk shook up Japanese wrestling's tradition and shocked and appalled many, but he had an award winning product that stamped his way into the Shootclub Hall of Fame, only to find his way out after the SWA Board of Directors found his content to be too graphic. Being stubborn, Joey went forward regardless of warning, and that was to be his last days as RSW's behind-the-scenes Promoter.

“I sat around too long,” Clerk said at the press conference today. “I wanted to take time off from the business and charge back up. When you have something as great as RSW was, and then it's taken from you, you don't know what to do right away. You don't want to do anything too soon because you put yourself out there, everybody sees you're hurting, you want to be somewhere else... So it was best for me to just fall off the planet for a few years.”

“They ran a storyline about me being linked to some murder,” Joey laughed. “That's about as real as having my younger brother [Sam] promoting the league when I was promoter the first few months, years, however long it was... I forgot a lot of the RSW stuff, actually. You'd be surprised at how limited my memory of the place is.”

“I hope to continue the spirit,” he said proudly. “This is The IL, it's going to be the past meeting the present. My booking will be the same as it's always been. Technical masterpieces, insanely gory deathmatches, I'll let the inmates run the asylum as long as they don't screw with me, and we're going to create something special.”

With Japanese billionaire and notorious socialite Goro Yamashi financially backing the upstart promotion, Joey's resources are endless. The IL may only have one competitor officially signed to their roster, but it's a name everyone knows – former New Era World Heavyweight Champion and SWIFT-fighter-on-the-side “Gentleman” Jonathan Marx.

“Marx is an excellent talent, always has been and always will,” Clerk said of Princeton, New Jersey's very own. “He's tearing up the MMA world right now in SWIFT. His last fight ended in controversy but I won't get into that here. All I know is that he's going to be joined by some impressive talent. He's a legend of the game, but he's never seen anything like what we're going to do here.”

There have been plenty of names swirling around the rumour mill. It wouldn't be a Clerk-run league if former SWA World Heavyweight Champion and “Mr. RSW” himself, Riddick, wasn't in the mix. It's no secret that Joey and Riddick are great friends. Riddick was bitter for years after Clerk had been banned from the SWA, and eventually got the same punishment for the same offences. He didn't make friends with the Board of Directors when he accused them of fixing the results for “200 Proof” Adam Edwards, but he gained a lot of respect from people all over the wrestling world.

“Is Riddick coming?” He restated the journalist's question with that trademark Joey smirk. “You're going to have to find out. Hey, I have until our first show in March. I'm not giving away all of the secrets now! I have over a month until then. I gotta keep you ****ers guessing until then!”

Former SWA United States Champion Nate Narwin is on the payroll, but is said to be on as a colour commentator. Narwin, the highly graphic superstar who got the same ban as Joey and Riddick, was booted from the SWA when his sexist comments were followed by opening a beer bottle with a woman's private parts in the middle of the ring during an Empire State Wrestling pay-per-view. There have been questions on whether the beer drinking, cigarette smoking wildman can be contained at the announce table, and if he might end up in a match.

“I personally think Narwin could wrestle for the next decade,” Joey said. “He was United States Champion and in the World Top 10 two years back. He's in his early 30's. The man has recovered from a life-threatening car accident and achieved so much afterward. He'll finally be allowed to say whatever he wants, but for now – he's hired on as a commentator. We don't have any plans for him to wrestle at this moment.”

There is one more man that hangs on everyone's mind - Hiero Takeuie, one of the greatest faces Joey Clerk ever had. The Tokyo native carried a cult following, winning a host of titles in RSW and being one of the biggest opponents to Joey's reign of terror. Fans recall his reckless style, putting his body on the line every time. In the world of wrestling, many guys claim to never tap and say that they would rather pass out first. Those words are always proven wrong. Hiero is remembered fondly for not only staying true to those words, but for never bragging about it after. Should Hiero step foot in The IL, a very emotional ovation is to be expected from the Japanese wrestling public.

“I haven't talked to Hiero in years,” Joey's voice lowered. “But I've been calling him. He hasn't picked up. I've been trying everything to reach him, so hopefully he picks up a newspaper or watches the television and sees this.”

There have been plenty of other rumoured names, but Joey said he wasn't going to address all of those people. But he had one warning shot for the world.

“We have the ability to do something special,” Joey stated confidently. “When our first edition of Lessons In Bloodshed airs in March, you will see. If anybody in the world... I don't care if you're a former World Champion, I don't care if you're a janitor... If you think you can step into the madness and piss in the wind, feel free to join us. We are the people's promotion, and nobody can take that away from us.”

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