NJPW Returning to USA; Establishing California “Territory”

NJPW Strong Style Evolved is coming to the United States…

New Japan Pro Wrestling is returning to the United States on Sunday, March 25, 2018. The promotion announced their return show during Sunday’s Power Struggle event.

The company has stated they plan on opening a “territory” of sorts beginning in California. The show in March appears to be the next step in that direction.

NJPW American Expansion Update

NJPW owner, Takaaki Kidani, spoke with reporters earlier this year regarding the promotion’s plans to expand into the United States and other English speaking markets. Author of the book, “Lion’s Pride”, Chris Charlton, translated the interview.

On NJPW California Local Product

“[A North American New Japan offshoot] would be a localized product. If in Japan it’s 75/25 Japanese, then 75/25 American would be the best mix I think. For the New Japan product we run now, there’s still video. The plan would be to have California as a base and run tours in a similar way to how we run things here, with a few shows further afield.

On NJPW Talent Touring with NJPW USA

“For the Japanese talent, there are all sorts of options. Some guys may want to tour there. Some guys may want to spend half the year there. Still others may want to take two years or so and move out there. There are a lot of ways around that and I’m open to opinion from the wrestlers.

“If we establish a territory in California, we’ll be able to produce more content cheaply. It has to be localized. If you look at WWE with their show business base, they really only have a strong business in the U.K., Canada and America. They sell their programming elsewhere, sure, but they need to actually be doing business in those areas. I said this on Twitter, but why do you think they’re pushing people to the network? It’s because they know cable isn’t going to be around forever and they have to make up that loss. That’s why they established a U.K. champion and set up that tournament. [ … ]

On What the NJPW Talent Thing About This

“I have talked with the talent about this, but at that point it was less concrete than it is now. The plan is for thing to really get going in 2018.”

Will Chris Jericho Be at NJPW Strong Style Evolved?

While it is too early to speculate on matches for the event, one has to wonder if Chris Jericho will play a role. At the moment, he is only believed to have signed on for the Tokyo Dome show but Jericho won’t let that information get out if he doesn’t want it to.

Jericho has also signed a deal with Ring of Honor to be a part of his cruise so his commitment to non-WWE wrestling products looks to be a long-term deal.