New Japan Pro Wrestling, the top pro wrestling promotion in Japan has announced plans for US expansion next year.
NJPW owner Takaaki Kidani’s comments on their planned US expansion were posted on their website today:
The third tentpole was global strategy, and New Japan’s advance into America. Both Los Angeles G1 Special cards on July 1st and 2nd sold out in the span of two hours. Due to fan demand, extra seating was made available, and these tickets sold out in two minutes. To give an idea of the size of the Long Beach Convention Center to the Japanese media, Kidani likened it to the Ota Gymnasium, and surmised that ‘personally, I think we can run in buildings twice that size’.
In terms of longer term strategy in the US, Kidani talked about plans to start a functioning US subsidiary next year, as well as a dojo based in America, and the IWGP US title announced at ROH’s War of the Worlds event this past weekend.
In analysing NJPW’s prospects in the US, Kidani stated that the company’s unique strengths are ‘presenting the best in ring wrestling in the world, a long history, and an original product not available anywhere else.’ Kidani also stated a desire to sell American cable networks on NJPW content.
With this mindset, Kidani stated he wanted the New Japan product to be presented ‘as is’ to American fans, giving them a unique experience. In regards to developing new stars, he said that we live in an era where ‘stars can be born in an instant’. With the goal of growing American business, Kidani talked about working with American promotions in order to nurture new talent, and bringing a Japanese style of touring promotion to a US territory.