WWE In Talks With New Japan To Be Its “Exclusive American Partner” [Report]
WWE is apparently in talks with New Japan with a view to becoming the promotion’s exclusive American partner.
If there has been a buzzphrase in wrestling so far in 2021, then it is almost definitely forbidden door. The make-believe barrier that previously prevented major companies from working together. AEW proverbially kicked it open by working with Impact, as well as the NWA and New Japan. The AEW Champion Kenny Omega is even holding the Impact Title right now, not to mention AAA’s Mega Championship.
One of the main reasons wrestling promotions working together has been seen as being forbidden for so long is WWE. Ever since WWE bought its competition in 2001, Vince McMahon has seemingly been averse to rival promotions existing, let alone working with them. However, in light of its rivals starting to work together, Triple H has previously insisted WWE is open for business on that front.
A new report suggests Triple H wasn’t just saying this to keep up appearances. According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, WWE is actively trying to build a relationship with New Japan. Apparently, WWE president Nick Khan has been heading up the talks and they may have been going on since March of this year. The deal would see WWE become New Japan’s “exclusive American partner”.
The word exclusive is the key here. New Japan has been very open to working with American promotions throughout the pandemic and even before it. An AEW star is currently the New Japan US Champion, and it has previously run joint supershows with Ring of Honor. Should it enter into an agreement with WWE, its working relationship with AEW would likely have to come to an end.
Details surrounding the potential deal are scarce right now, especially when discussions are in such early stages that it might not even happen. Early indications are the deal would very much be a two-way street. WWE Superstars would go to Japan and work shows there, with New Japan sending wrestlers the other way. Perhaps Daniel Bryan’s attempts to convince WWE to let its stars work elsewhere while remaining under contract actually worked.