In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, NJPW President Harold Meij spoke about the companies intention regarding upcoming events and AEW. During his interview, he shares on AEW’s likelihood of being a partner with All Elite Wrestling in the future. He also shares how NJPW plans to provide fans a little wrestling escape during these trying times.
We’ve thought about what we could do to boost morale of all our fans, and hence the ‘Together Project’ was launched. This project seeks to use our streaming service, NJPW World, to stream original content on a regular basis. This includes creating and streaming programs such as live talk shows by the wrestlers, never-before-seen matches, interviews, and the addition of wrestler commentary and point of view to their own matches, all with the goal to give fans unique content in these trying times.
We were encouraged to see our first live talk session reaching the sixth-highest trend on Twitter, and this content has also been made available in English, giving our international fanbase the chance to see another side of our Japanese talent.
Since the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic one question asked was the future of Wrestle Dynasty. As far as Meji is concerned at this time, the event will still take place as planned.
We are still absolutely planning to hold our first-ever Wrestle Dynasty event at Madison Square Garden in August to showcase the very best wrestling NJPW can offer to our fans in the USA. The slogan of the event, ‘We built a Kingdom. Join our Dynasty,’ celebrates the community spirit that has built NJPW into what it is, and that is a fervor and passion that we feel will make Wrestle Dynasty a tremendous success after we overcome the current crisis.
MSG is the ‘Holy Grail’ of wrestling venues, and our first event there in April 2019 was a big success. Our biggest event of the year, which brings the best we have to offer and culminates that year, is our annual January 4 Wrestle Kingdom event in Japan. We wanted to create and deliver a similar experience for our US fans, and therefore have established the Wrestle Dynasty brand whereby we promise to give our US fans the very best we have to offer as a similar one-time annual big event each year.
The discussion then moves to a potential relationship with AEW. With Jericho and Moxley either holding or having held titles in the company, the question of whether he would work out an agreement with AEW.
Throughout our 50-year history we have had numerous relationships with other wrestling promotions. Japanese mentality is one of loyalty. We work under a long-term principle that, ‘Once in, you’re in for a lifetime.’ AEW has made tremendous inroads and is establishing their unique brand of wrestling with their vision of what wrestling should be. We continue to watch with interest how AEW continues to evolve their brand.
While he has neither confirmed or denied considering with them, Meji is paying attention. As Meij discusses upcoming NJPW events and a potential working relationship with AEW it is important. The promotion is aware of the situation and is considering how they can still grow at a difficult time.