Jake Lee Is Leaving AJPW And Others May Be Behind Him

While it's uncommon to see this sort of practice in the American wrestling scene, historically, wrestling promotions of all sorts have experienced an exodus of talent, for a variety of reasons. Several promotions started from exodus', such as AAA in 1992, after booker Antonio Pena and top star Konnan left CMLL to found AAA, and Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2001 when Mitsuharu Misawa and others left All Japan Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately for All Japan, they may be on the verge of experiencing another exodus, led by another top star.

Tokyo Sports is reporting that former All Japan Triple Crown Champion Jake Lee is expected to announce his departure from the promotion at a scheduled press conference tomorrow. He is not expected to be alone either, as Tokyo Sports suggested several unnamed All Japan stars would be joining him in leaving the promotion. The press conference comes after Lee announced his decision to the All Japan lockerroom and officials earlier today.

The report also noted that Lee, who began wrestling in All Japan back in 2011, had first approached the promotion about leaving back in September. All Japan officials had reportedly tried to talk Lee out of it, but the 33-year-old wrestler held firm. There is no word, as of now, what Lee's next move will be, though he expressed a desire earlier in the year to compete in New Japan's G1 Climax, an idea endorsed by New Japan star Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Should other All Japan stars decide to join Lee, this would mark the fifth major exodus in the history of All Japan, following the aforementioned 2000 exodus, as well as ones in 1990, 2003 (primarily involving foreign wrestlers), and most recently in 2013, which led to the formation of promotion Wrestle-1.