Recently TNA star Sanada was booked in a match at Sumo Hall in Japan against his mentor, the Great Muta. The match was originally advertised in Japan as an X-Division Championship match, and Sanada was supposed to go over and gain a major win, in order to boost the importance of TNA’s mid-card title.
When Austin Aries won the belt at the second-to-last round of Impact tapings, TNA told Wrestle-1 it would be fine for Sanada to “defend” the title, since the switch wouldn’t be happening on U.S. television for several weeks. American wrestling has a history of title changes at pre-tapes, and then the former champions continuing to defend at live events until the switch has been made “real” on TV. However, in the Japanese wrestling market this isn’t the case, so Wrestle-1 ended up getting calls and letters from a lot of upset fans accusing them of false advertising and, in general, not acknowledging the truth.
In the end, Wrestle-1 made an announcement prior to the show that Sanada has lost the X-Division championship, and as a result Great Muta ended up going over in the match. TNA was apparently not very happy that the Japanese company would “spoil” a title change, but it came down to their lack of understanding of the foreign wrestling culture.
Also, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Sanada is expected to remain in TNA for the next year.
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