Big Change To Karl Anderson's Upcoming IWGP NEVER Openweight Title Defense

For a brief moment following New Japan Pro-Wrestling's retweet of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallow's return to WWE, it appeared as though both companies might be to form some working relationship between one another — or at least one that would allow Anderson to fulfill any outstanding NJPW dates he might have as the reigning NEVER Openweight Champion Karl Anderson. Then the Good Brothers were announced as part of a match at WWE Crown Jewel, taking place on the very same day as NJPW's "Battle Autumn," where Anderson had previously been announced to defend his title against Hikuleo, and suddenly all bets were off and a lot of confusion was on. 

Adding to the speculation as to what exactly is going on, Anderson hit Twitter this afternoon to tweet out the follow message: "ATTENTION:::::!!!!!!! OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE GREATEST NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION ON THE FACT THAT NJPW BOOKED ME WITHOUT GOING THRU MY BOOKING AGENT, LUKE GALLOWS.......SO WITH THAT SAID .....We gotta little problem. Signed, WWE's The OC 's Karl 'Bright Lights' Anderson."

In an accompanying video, Gallows and Anderson both claimed that NJPW had booked Anderson's title defense at "Battle Autumn" without going through Gallows, leading to Anderson being double-booked. Declaring that he and Gallows would show up in New Japan on their own time, Anderson stated that the match with Hikuleo was off.

Whether Anderson's message was a way to ungracefully exit New Japan or was simply meant to explain his absence from "Battle Autumn," leading to a rescheduled match with Hikuleo down the line is a mystery. Gallows and Anderson were reportedly supposed to be allowed to finish up NJPW commitments through Wrestle Kingdom at the beginning of next year, but it remains to be seen if that is still the case. 

You will be able to see the Good Brothers involved at Crown Jewel though, as they team with AJ Styles to take on The Judgment Day in six-man action.

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