Former WWE Star Offers To Take Karl Anderson’s Place For Upcoming NJPW Title Defence

NJPW Karl Anderson 2022

News surrounding Karl Anderson’s scheduled defence of the NEVER Openweight Championship at NJPW Battle Autumn has been tricky to dissect. Originally scheduled to face Hikuleo, that plan was quickly thrown into question when ‘The Machine Gun’ was double-booked for the day, added to the card of WWE Crown Jewel.

Anderson has since claimed that he won’t be defending the championship, citing NJPW’s failure to go through the appropriate methods of booking him. On the contrary, New Japan officials issued a statement that assured fans of Anderson’s appearance at Battle Autumn.

Threatened with being stripped of the championship if he fails to wrestle on the card, it appears Karl Anderson may not even have to wrestle his ex-Bullet Club brethren. Matt Cardona, a former colleague of Anderson’s, has tweeted his desire to take the spot, noting that he’s in need of another championship.

Karl Anderson Is Back With WWE

Karl Anderson, alongside his long-time tag team partner Luke Gallows, made the jump back to WWE with an appearance on the October 10 Monday Night Raw. Reuniting with AJ Styles in The OC, he’s been at war with the Finn Balor-led Judgement Day faction ever since, resulting in a six-man tag team match being made official for Crown Jewel.

This, as mentioned, falls on the same day as Battle Autumn, one of many dates believed to have been agreed to by Anderson and Gallows. In fact, it’s believed they were booked right through to Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. They’d previously returned to NJPW in the summer of 2021 through a working relationship with IMPACT Wrestling after five years away.

A recent Fightful Select report noted that Karl Anderson – and presumably Luke Gallows – is expected to be allowed to fulfil his NJPW commitments, though the immediate future of the NEVER Openweight Championship is up in the air. Relations between WWE, NJPW, and Anderson are said to be “fine”.