Simon Inoki is an executive for IGF (Inoki Genome Federation), which was founded by Japanese legend and WWE Hall Of Fame inductee, Antoni Inoki. IGF features a mix of pro wrestling and MMA on its events. Names such as Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Josh Barnett and Mirko Cro Cop have all competed for them. Simon took time out from his very busy schedule to answer these questions.
Japanese wrestling is gaining momentum in the West, is staging an event in the States or beyond in the pipeline?
Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to do an event in the USA, although we will have one outside of Japan this year but in another country. However, we are working on broadcasting our IGF events in the USA.
iPPV has been the way for many to see you, are there plans for getting on PPV in the West?
No PPV deal as yet but we are working on a broadcast deal right now.
IGF attracts a lot of big name talent, is there anyone in particular you’d want or are after to appear?
We are always on the hunt for big names as you have said. Talent from organisations such as WWE, TNA, and the UFC etc would all be under consideration, we are always looking for fighters and pro wrestlers who we consider to have the talent. We also are interested in fighters or wrestlers who have yet to be discovered yet and signed to a major organization as well.
Who do you consider the breakout stars are of IGF and why?
Wang Bin is the only Chinese pro wrestler in the world and is still only 21, Daichi Hashimoto is young and is the son of the legendary Shinya Hashimoto, Atsushi Sawada who fights and wrestles with a passion and seems to be popular the fans these days. Give them a few more years and they will probably make it to the top.
Will you ever co-promote with any other promotions again?
Maybe! We want to and we are open to the idea, however, other Japanese organizations are gearing towards more entertainment pro wrestling rather than actual fighting. They seem to be hesitant doing events with us mainly because they are afraid that the wrestlers will end up shooting, haha!
Do you watch any other promotions, if so who?
Yes, I do watch other promotions. Whenever I get the chance In Japan, I go to watch New Japan, All Japan, Zero-1, Wrestle-1 and many other independent companies. In the USA: WWE, TNA, UFC, Bellator, King Of The Cage etc. In China: M-1 Global and One FC. I just like to see what others are doing, checking their fans, the reaction, marketing, the matches, the wrestlers, see if there are some good ideas or hints, check out their merchandise sections etc. You can learn a lot good and bad from watching other promotions.
Anything else you’d like to say?
IGF is always welcome for new talents from both MMA and pro wrestling. If you want to see the real “strong style” pro wrestling, like the old UWF style or exciting fights like in the early years of the UFC and Pride with openweight MMA matches, then come check us out.
Thanks to Simon for his time and answering the questions. If you’re interested in IGF, then check out the website-http://www.igf.jp/.