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NJPW President On Their Relationship With AEW, Kenny Omega, Rumors, and More

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NJPW President Harold Meij spoke with FOX Sports for a new interview promoting the upcoming Wrestle Kingdom 14, where he discussed AEW and more. Highlights are below:

On rumors about NJPW coming out in the media: “There’s a lot of information out there, but also a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of rumours, misunderstandings, and that’s all part of wrestling as well. That’s what makes it so attractive at the same time. But it’s also important to make sure people do understand the history for example. Especially outside of Japan, I’ve seen that the fans thrive even more on speculation than the Japanese do. The Japanese are very fact-oriented; this is probably because of the education system. They’re much less prone to rumours – of course, everybody is, but I’m talking about the degree of speculation and the degree of rumours, and Japan is much less than it is overseas. One of the reasons is that we don’t give out enough English content yet. We do therefore get a lot of conflicting reactions from fans overseas than we do in Japan. We take both on board, but a lot of that is based on the unfortunate lack of information that we’re giving out yet.”

On the report that NJPW tried to keep Kenny Omega from entering Japan: “If you read the column that I write, I say in detail, this is the one time I believe I have to say something. There’s many others out there that I wouldn’t even react to, normally I wouldn’t react to something like this. But this was getting more traction and because as a company, you can’t react to every misunderstanding and or rumour. When some of them get to a certain stage, you know, I have to say something. We couldn’t even do it if we wanted to. We would never – why? He was a great contributor to our company for many years. He was our top foreign wrestler, the heavyweight champion for crying out loud. He’s still growing in his own way in his new role, and we wish him all the best. We would never do something like that.”

On their relationship with other promotions: “We’re always open to looking for partners, we already have several strong ones in the world. We definitely need to expand that. But the one thing that sets us apart is we carefully look at our partners. Once we partner with someone, it’s basically for life. It’s like a marriage. Japanese companies and Japanese culture in that sense is very loyal; it takes a while to get that loyalty, but once you get it, it doesn’t go away. It takes time but once we do it, we’re there for life.”


On possibly working with AEW: “We’re very open to working with anyone, we don’t exclude anyone. But it does take time to create that trust between companies. And right now AEW is still in the exploratory phase; they’re trying to establish themselves as a brand, what is that brand? They’re about one year in, and we’re starting to see what their brand is all about. Then we’ll have to see if that brand fits our brand of course. At this stage, they still have different styles than we do, and that’s the only thing. We’re looking at what their brand positioning is and whether it complements ours.”


On if the departure of The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Cody impacted the relationship between the AEW and NJPW:“No. It’s a business, at the end of the day. The wrestlers we hire, we work with on a contractual basis for a certain period of time. Obviously we would’ve loved to have kept having them here but I can understand that if there’s in their minds a bigger and better opportunity, well then that’s just a natural way for competition to move forward. It’s a natural thing. I do also believe the likes of AEW is good for the industry, because it puts a lot of new money into the industry, and a lot of people might be getting more interested in pro wrestling – people who might not have been interested if AEW hadn’t been established. So it can only be good for the industry.”

(h/t 411Mania)

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