Karl Anderson made his return to WWE, but he didn’t tie up all of his loose ends outside the company prior to that. He is still the NEVER Openweight Champion in NJPW, but a scheduled title defense ran into one of WWE’s biggest shows. Now he won’t be competing at the upcoming NJPW event.

The OC is set to wrestle at November 5th’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia against The Judgement Day, but Anderson was already booked. He was slated to defend the NEVER Openweight Title against Hikuleo at NJPW Battle Autumn on the same day. In fact, NJPW recently released a statement that said that Anderson will have to relinquish the title. Anderson stated that he will not relinquish the title and will defend it in his own time.

However, as revealed by a statement on their website, New Japan confirmed that despite “extensive efforts,” the match has been canceled.

Despite extensive efforts by New Japan Pro-Wrestling to negotiate with Karl Anderson regarding his scheduled match in Osaka at Battle Autumn on November 5, NJPW officials have still been met with no response, and have been left with no other option but to cancel the planned NEVER Openweight Championship match.


We apologise to fans who had been looking forward to watching Anderson wrestle.

After a challenge from Yujiro Takahashi, and at the direct request of Hikuleo, Osaka will now see a non-title special singles match between Yujiro Takahashi and Hikuleo.

NJPW holds its champions to the highest standard of professionalism. We deeply apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by this matter.

After apologizing for Anderson not being on the show, adding that they hold their champions “to the highest standard of professionalism.” Hikuleo will now face Yujiro Takahashi in a non-title match instead.

It is certainly unfortunate the two couldn’t reach a deal. We’ll have to see when Anderson competes for NJPW again.

Are you sad about this? Sound off in the comments!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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