As documented by the NJPW website, the company will expand its international presence this November with the introduction of New Japan Pro Wrestling of America, a United States-based subsidiary that will host tours between Japanese events and sometimes even run at the same time as them.
The plans suggest that New Japan Pro Wrestling of America will have its own distinct roster, but it’s highly likely that there will be some crossover with NJPW’s main brand whenever possible.
The unexpected announcement was made at a press conference on Monday morning by NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi and New Japan of America CEO Takami Ohbari.
According to Ohbari, the expansion has been implemented through three key initiatives. First, the company has been signing non-Japanese talent and sending them to its Los Angeles dojo to hone their skills.
Second, the company has recently put on successful events in major American wrestling hotbeds, including Madison Square Garden in New York and venues in Dallas, in a bid to grow its audience in the country.
The creation of the new company marks the third and final phase of their plan, and the company’s intention is to make NJPW a household name in North America.
Ohbari says that the events will be small at first, but they hope to grow the brand over time.
“We are a live event company, and the first priority of a live event company is to run in more venues. Once people are in those venues, then we can fire them up and have them ready to spread the word to larger and larger audiences. First though, it’s about growing the number rather than the size of venues. The long term plan will absolutely be to run big venues on a regular basis.”
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The events are expected to air on the company’s streaming service NJPW World, or on demand. The American events could also air on AXS TV, which currently shows NJPW’s weekly television show.
The news comes after recent developments pertaining to WWE’s ambitions to launch its own brand in Japan. As The Inquisitr reported last week, the company recently tried to purchase the Japanese promotion NOAH with the aim of turning it into NXT Japan.
WWE reportedly tried to purchase Stardom earlier this year as well, which was acquired by New Japan Pro Wrestling’s parent company last week.