NJPW had a really great run on top of Hot Topic’s merchandise sales figures, but now we are starting to see definite proof that it was mostly thanks to The Elite. Now that The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Cody Rhodes have moved on it appears that NJPW’s popularity is slipping.
Jon Moxley is now with NJPW as well as AEW, but even that doesn’t seem to be helping them sell more tickets in Dallas for NJPW’s big July 6th show.
Dave Meltzer discussed this phenomenon during Wrestling Observer Radio where he made it very clear how NJPW is simply not viewed as the “cool brand” anymore. With All Elite Wrestling around it might be hard to reclaim that spot.
“I guess if there was no AEW then New Japan would be doing much better here. I think that a lot of the kinda cooling off of New Japan in this country is because AEW took its spot. If there was no AEW, New Japan would still be in that cool spot.”
“If they still had Kenny Omega they would be in that cool spot. Omega and Jericho both would be coming off of being in The Garden and it would have been a much bigger [Madison Square] Garden show than it was. You would have had Omega and Okada at The Garden which would have been one of the greatest matches of all time. So they’d probably have incredible momentum, but it didn’t happen. It’s not just Omega, it’s that AEW has kinda taken the spot.”
The book is not closed on this story yet. Because everything could change with one big match much like Okada vs Omega changed the game and global perception of NJPW in a lot of ways. However, they might still have some rebuilding to do if they want to remain competitive with AEW in that way.
It would be helpful if NJPW could work with AEW instead, but their relationship with ROH makes that impossible.
AEW is allowing certain stars to work for both companies, but NJPW has no agreement with The Elite. This could certainly help things if they can arrange a working relationship, but it might not be worth holding your breath right now.
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