In what could end up being among the biggest wrestling stories of the year, or a non-story, depending on the end result, Nick Khan has been in talks with New Japan Pro Wrestling about WWE being the exclusive American partner with the promotion.”
Dave also stated that:
“Right now, New Japan has been working with AEW (KENTA, Yuji Nagata, Rocky Romero, and Ren Narita plus Jon Moxley working New Japan Strong) and Impact (Juice Robinson, David Finlay, El Phantasmo, and Satoshi Kojima) and has had a relationship with CMLL and ROH, but things have slowed down with those companies since COVID. There are a million questions regarding such a deal if it was to happen, and there are no indications where talks are at past they date back to late March or early April.”
Now, do I believe any of this at this point in time? No, I don’t. The fact that New Japan has a “relationship” with AEW might be a reason why this ‘insight’ could be just mere speculation. It has also been said many times that Dave Meltzer says things that rarely pan out to be true.
I’m a big New Japan fan. I’ve loved them hard since my introduction to them in 2019 (yes, I know I was late to the game). But with the likes of their styles teaming up with WWE, I could see it working.
Social Media Rumblings
As I scrolled through various social media platforms, I saw many people saying, ‘well, AEW opened the forbidden door.’ False. It’s been opened before. WWE and ECW anyone?
Some of the other comments I’ve seen said things like, “oh, WWE is copying AEW,” forgetting the fact that WWE has worked with NJPW before. Another comment was that WWE wouldn’t want to put over the wrestlers from New Japan. Well, how would any of us know that? With the style of New Japan, would WWE risk what could be a beneficial relationship (if this is all true) to make themselves look better in the relationship? As WWE seems to be about making money with the recent deals that they have made, it begs the question: could this actually work?
To Be or Not to Be?
A thing that does concern me is the women’s division. There have been some highlights of the women’s division in WWE between the brands. However, I have been amongst some of the people who complained about how I’ve seen the same storylines over and over. Sure, we got Bianca Belair, Raquel Gonzalez, and Rhea Ripley as new champs, but it doesn’t change the lacklustre title run for Asuka or the fact that the storylines aren’t consistent with the talent across the brand.
New Japan doesn’t even have a women’s division, so would the women of WWE get lost in the shuffle because of this relationship? This is the bigger picture, so let me bring the picture down to size. What would a relationship between them look like? Would we get Okada having a drip vs. drip against Seth Rollins? Would Okada make it rain all over the millions of the WWE universe? Even better, would Toru Yano become the WWE Universal Champion, reminding Roman Reigns of the same sadness Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose) had to live through?
While I’m partially being sarcastic, there are some matchups I would absolutely love to see. One of these matches is John Cena against Hiroshi Tanahashi. I would love to see two long-time company men going at it in a wrestling ring, though I wouldn’t mind John vs, Okada either. Another matchup I’d love to see would be the Tribal Chief and the Usos (The Bloodline) entering into some form of rivalry with the Guerrillas of Destiny (GOD), Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa (Haku Dynasty). I think that would be a killer storyline.
As boring as I find Zack Sabre Jr, I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Daniel Bryan go at it. Both of them could get their technical skills going on in the ring. Others mentioned seeing Seth Rollins vs. Will Ospreay, but I think it’s mostly because of their little Twitter war of words some time ago. Though, saying that, I believe it would be an exciting matchup.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Naito go against Aleister Black as they both combine technical wrestling with striking during their matches. Cedric Alexander and Kota Ibushi have already shown what they could do together. However, I would love to also see Buddy Murphy go one on one with Ibushi.
Imagine Randy Orton getting bested by Toru Yano? Randy thinking he is going for an RKO and Yano putting his shoulders up like “ha, you thought?” The possibilities of what could happen and what could be in the cards are endless.
With all of that being said, could there really be any substance to the rumored relationship between WWE and New Japan? Most importantly, would a relationship between two vastly different companies work? It’s possible. However, it would need to make sense and make both companies look good. Being that this is mere speculation, who really knows?
It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out, though.