By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling held a press conference today to announce the formation of New Japan Pro Wrestling of America. The company announced the following three phase plan:
-Phase One: Discovering new wrestlers in markets outside Japan and developing talent through the LA Dojo.
-Phase Two: run events in the U.S., including at Madison Square Garden and Dallas this year, both independently, and with the assistance of other promotions.
-Phase Three: establish a company within the U.S., and be ingrained in the everyday fabric when it comes to fans’ wrestling consciousness.
NJPW CEO Takami Ohbari stated that the plan is to run 2,000 seat venues with the hope of running roughly 25 shows in 2020, and noted that there would not be a reduction in the number of shows held in Japan. He also stated that they intend to continue working with AXS TV, which is now owned by Anthem, Impact Wrestling’s parent company. Read the full press conference recap at NJPW1972.com.
Powell’s POV: Madison Square Garden and Dallas were specifically mentioned as places the company intends to run, and it was noted that they will do so both independently and with the help of other promotions. There was no actual mention of ROH nor Impact Wrestling in the press conference recap. The expansion plan is an interesting approach and it appears they intend to increase the number of U.S. based talent while also sending some talent to the United States for these tours. One can only hope they will increase the marketing of these shows. They can get away with simply announcing shows in some cities, but they will need to do more promotion to draw fans in other cities or when they return to certain cities and the first-time thrill is gone.