In an unexpected press conference late Sunday night, New Japan Pro-Wrestling officially announced the arrival of a brand new subsidiary called New Japan of America.
CEO Takami Obari, Chairman Sugabayashi and Katsuyori Shibata, head of the U.S. dojo, were all on hand to break down the company’s business plan heading forward, including the announcement of the major markets they will be focusing on for upcoming live events.
While more details will be made available in the days to come, what we know at this time is that New Japan officials had planned out three “phases” of western expansion. The first was to establish the U.S. dojo and scout talent, and the second phase was to begin running events throughout the country in collaboration with other business relationships – notably Ring of Honor and CMLL.
The third phase, which is what New Japan looks to be heading into now, is to “establish a subsidiary in the U.S. to be fully established in the market and engage with fans.”
There looks to be five regions in which they will be running live events going forward, which will be streamed on NJPW World when available. They include the west coast, the midwest, the east coast, the southeast, and Texas.
While New Japan is still working out their touring schedule for 2020, they did announce that many of the tours would be taking place during off-periods in Japan (which means they’ll be bringing in top talent as much as possible while growing the U.S. roster), and that there could be “as many as double the 2019 slate of 12-13 events”.
The other piece of potentially important news is that Obari announced that New Japan would continue to work with AXS TV for television distribution in the U.S. for “the foreseeable future”. This was a concern for many as Impact Wrestling’s parent company Anthem recently purchased the network, leaving that relationship as a bit of an unknown factor going forward.