NJPW Announces Plan To Incorporate Women Into US Product

BushiRoad is looking to the future

NJPW President Takami Ohbari and BushiRoad Chairman Takaaki Kidani spoke at a recent press conference about NJPW's upcoming plans, and had very good news for American fans of NJPW's sister promotion, World Wonder Ring Stardom: The women's wrestling promotion will be incorporated into NJPW's North American expansion.

The announcement comes in the wake of NJPW and Stardom announcing a co-branded event in November, and is a boon to fans of both promotions. NJPW fans — especially those in the United States — have been clamoring for female talent on the shows for years, while Stardom fans have wanted to see collaboration without NJPW swallowing the popular all-female promotion whole. With a strong pool of independent wrestlers to draw from in the United States, having Stardom wrestlers compete at "NJPW of America" shows would give female talent more opportunities to be seen by Stardom decision makers and fans, as well as more opportunities for Stardom itself to be seen abroad.

Founded in 2010, Stardom was purchased by NJPW's parent company, BushiRoad, in October 2019. Since the purchase, Stardom has been featured more and more on NJPW's yearly Wrestle Kingdom events, starting with dark matches prior to the 2020 Wrestle Kingdom event and culminating in Stardom airing matches at September's Wrestle Grand Slam events, and then Wrestle Kingdom 16, which saw Stardom wrestlers Tam Nakano, Saya Kamitani, Mayu Iwatani, and Starlight Kid featured in a tag team match on Night 2's main card. At the recent AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door event, the AEW Women's World Championship match was presented as being vaguely AEW vs. Stardom, as challenger Toni Storm is a former World of Stardom Champion.

The move to integrate the two promotions without reducing one to a "division," as opposed to its own company, is similar to the way the CyberAgent company is running its CyberFight subsidiary, which is comprised of the popular promotions Pro Wrestling NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, and Ganbare Pro Wrestling.