WWE and NJPW could be set for an extraordinary exclusive talent-sharing partnership, with talks reportedly underway.
In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that WWE President Nick Khan has been in talks with NJPW regarding an exclusive partnership with WWE which would prevent the company from working with AEW or IMPACT.
“In what could end up being among the biggest wrestling stories of the year, or a non-story, depending on the end result, Nick Khan has been in talks with New Japan Pro Wrestling about WWE being the exclusive American partner with the promotion.”
Meltzer goes on to say how NJPW talent, such as KENTA, Yuji Nagata, Rocky Romero and Ren Narita have worked in AEW, while Jon Moxley is currently a champion for New Japan while IMPACT had NJPW stars as their Tag Team Champions until recently in Juice Robinson and David Finlay, while El Phantasmo and Satoshi Kojima have also worked with the company. Chris Bey and TJP have also gone the other way, competing in NJPW.
However, the potential deal, if it went ahead, would see WWE stars working in NJPW and, presumably, vice-versa.
“Obviously there are a million questions regarding such a deal if it was to happen, and there are no indications where talks are at past they date back to late March or early April. But it would include WWE sending talent and WWE top stars being allowed to work in New Japan if talks go anywhere.”
Meltzer goes on to note how Khan, who has been spearheading the talks, is looking to change the idea that it’s WWE vs. everyone else in terms of the Forbidden Door.
“With Khan, the former isolationist attitude of WWE vs. everyone is changing with the idea WWE is part of the wrestling landscape and not separate from the pro wrestling landscape. Obviously it’s also to keep New Japan, which pre-pandemic was the third strongest company in the world, away from working with other companies which could strengthen the opposition and also be a factor with WWE gunning for the same talent as other companies because there is a percentage of younger talent that grew up on watching New Japan either via tape or YouTube where working there is a much bigger part of their career goals than the prior generation, and AEW talent has been willing to allow its talent to work outside its walls and Impact would allow talent to work with other promotions.”
Inside The Ropes will keep you updated on the situation if and when it develops.