NJPW President Takami Ohbari has recently talked business, revealing why NJPW has been willing to work with other promotions.
NJPW competitors have recently appeared on IMPACT and AEW programming. According to Ohbari, Anybody who is good enough will be given the opportunity to compete in NJPW.
In an interview shared by NJPW1972.com, Ohbari explained that a “linear approach to business” is no longer sufficient. The executive noted his belief that pro-wrestling is star-driven, so the athletes come first.
Ohbari also noted that wrestling relies on fan support, so if there’s a match that fans want to see, he’ll try his best to make them a reality.
Here are the full quotes:
“Well, I think that (talent sharing) is something that doesn’t just apply to STRONG but NJPW at large. For me to say ‘NJPW is doing business with company X, so you need to go over there and wrestle’, that’s backward to me. I will say this until I’m blue in the face: this is a star driven business, and the wrestlers are the focus. So if our wrestlers say ‘I want to wrestle that guy’ ‘I want to test myself against that guy’ ‘I want to show that I’m better than that guy’. Then it becomes our job as a company to do what we can to back them, make it happen and make it successful.
“We’re in the dream business. Presenting them, and making them real. Having a linear approach to business, that only restricts us and it stops fans getting invested.
“When you look at things overseas right now, especially in the US, there are a lot of wrestlers who want to come to Japan, and can’t, right? Even if you get into the country, you have to quarantine. But STRONG is there for those guys. That is authentic, genuine New Japan Pro-Wrestling. If you want to be in NJPW, and you’re good enough, this door is open: come in, come do what you can do, and we’ll make sure the world can watch it. That goes for the fans too; if there’s a match you guys want to see, we’ll do what we can to make it happen.”
KENTA appeared on AEW Dynamite in February, building towards his IWGP US Championship match with Jon Moxley. The eventual title bout took place on NJPW STRONG, the Japanese promotion’s US-based show.
The current IMPACT Tag Team Champions are NJPW stars David Finlay and Juice Robinson, and Bullet Club’s El Phantasmo is set to appear on the show next week.
Following the recent NJPW talent sharing, WWE is reportedly willing to form more partnerships with other wrestling promotions. You can read about WWE’s interesting partnership plans here.