Report: Backstage News On AEW-NJPW Working Relationship

The forbidden door is well and truly open

The relationship between All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling appeared to grow on last night's edition of Dynamite as NJPW star KENTA made his AEW debut and attacked Jon Moxley. The Bullet Club member's appearance came less than one week after Moxley appeared on NJPW Strong and kickstarted their feud over the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. 

Following KENTA's appearance at Beach Break, Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that AEW and NJPW have established a working relationship. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the departure of Harold Meij from NJPW were reportedly key to the deal being struck. 

Moxley has remained IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion throughout the pandemic and Meltzer noted New Japan didn't want to strip The Maestro Of Mayhem of the title. International travel restrictions meant any title defence would have to take place in the United States, though, and a deal had to be struck with Tony Khan first.  

In regards to Harold Meij, he was perceived as a major stumbling block to any final agreement between the two companies but his departure opened the door to a possible working relationship. AEW previously approached NJPW about a working relationship when Meij was president, but the Japanese promotion blew off the idea because they thought AEW would likely fail.

Meltzer noted there will be further collaboration between New Japan and AEW once the COVID-19 pandemic is over and international travel restrictions have been lifted, adding, "I know people who can't wait to go back to Japan, put it that way." 


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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Cultaholic's resident newshound.