Backstage Details On Karl Anderson's Future With NJPW

Karl Anderson's last defense of his IWGP NEVER Openweight Championship was against Hiroshi Tanahashi during New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Burning Spirit event in September. Anderson was scheduled to put his title on the line again on November 5 at NJPW Battle Autumn against Hikuleo, but that match did not happen after Anderson signed with WWE and was quickly booked for a match at Crown Jewel.

Despite this, Anderson was not stripped of the NEVER Title (despite that being the standard response to a missed title defense in NJPW) and the match between the rivals has since been rescheduled. Now, there is an update regarding Anderson's status going forward.

Fightful Select is reporting that NJPW had prior knowledge that Anderson and his tag team partner Luke Gallows were making their way back to WWE in August. The gears were then reportedly set in motion in order to allow Anderson to "work dates around his WWE schedule and advance storylines" up until and after he defends his NEVER Openweight Championship at the World Tag League-Super Junior Tag League Finals on December 14.

Moreover, Fightful mentioned that Anderson has "always been penciled on and planning to work the Tokyo Dome show" on January 4, 2023. He and Gallows "had committed to working those dates before they left IMPACT Wrestling."

Anderson and Gallows made their return to WWE on the October 10 edition of "Raw" to provide some backup for A.J. Styles. They were released by the company in April of 2020 and wrestled for the likes of IMPACT, AEW, and NJPW during their time away from WWE.