The big news out of NJPW earlier this week was the company’s decision to make a move at the top. President and CEO of NJPW Harold Meij resigned, and plans to leave the company next month. The current CEO of NJPW of America, Takami Ohbari, is set to replace him.
It was reported the move came because of numerous reasons including: losing TV in the States, not reaching a promised $200 million in revenue, losing American talent, Meij getting a bit too much of the spotlight in Japan, and finally, NJPW not connecting with AEW. You can read more on that story here.
In regards to AEW, the question now is could the two sides reconnect? In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, AEW President Tony Khan commented on the change, and considering it possibly a good thing.
“I’m not sure yet,” Khan responded to Meij resigning. “But my initial gut feeling is it could be good.”
Back in late 2018, NJPW was made aware of the formation of AEW, which also meant the exits of some of its talent. The Young Bucks, Adam “Hangman” Page, and Cody tried early on to have meetings to get the companies working together, but were denied. Those wrestlers ? along with Kenny Omega ? all lost their matches at Wrestle Kingdom 13, and all were eventually pulled from New Year Dash the next night.
During that time, NJPW reportedly only saw Omega as someone they truly couldn’t lose, nor did they think he would go, since he lived in Japan. Omega was said to have been showing his hand though as he insisted on dropping the title to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Around that time, NJPW and ROH were getting set for the sold-out Madison Square Garden show that was initially going to be headlined by Omega and Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
AEW was obviously a new company with no track record, and despite having two different significant TV deals in the works, it was thought a company run by wrestlers wouldn’t pan out. Also, NJPW apparently felt like Tony Khan should have made the trip to Japan and spoke with them about working out a partnership.
NJPW is currently running its G1 Climax 30 tournament, which continues on Monday. AEW is about a month out from its next PPV, Full Gear, on November 7.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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