AEW Partners With Two Japanese Pro Wrestling Promotions

AEW confirmed this weekend that it has launched a new partnership with DDT Pro-Wrestling, one of Japan's more well-known wrestling promotions, that will enable wrestlers from DDT to compete in the US on AEW programming. Christopher Daniels, AEW's vice president of Talent Relations, broke the news at the Judgement 2022 event. Michal Nakazawa then confirmed that Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling (TJPW) will also be involved in the new partnership. AEW and DDT have dabbled with a relationship before, most notably by bringing over Konosuke Takeshita for a few matches last year.

DDT played a major role in the development of wrestlers such as AEW's Kenny Omega and New Japan's Kota Ibushi, though its reputation is widely known for being comedic. The promotion also owns the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, which became a popular meme on the independent scene in the 2010s given that anyone (and anything, numerous inanimate objects have been champion) can hold the championship at any time. 

The new agreements with DDT and TJPW are just the latest in a number of partnerships AEW has built with various promotions, which includes numerous crossovers with New Japan and Impact Wrestling. One of the biggest promotions that didn't team with AEW in its early years was Ring of Honor which, ironically, wound up getting bought by AEW president Tony Khan earlier this year. Khan confirmed on Busted Open Radio earlier this week that he's still running ROH's Supercard of Honor event on April 1 despite it directly conflicting with AEW Rampage that same night. The show is headlined by Jonathan Gresham vs. Bandido to unify the two ROH World Championships.

"I haven't had the chance to talk about it publicly, but I thought it would be great to address it with you guys today. I had not scheduled this pay-per-view, Ring of Honor Supercard, but I really think it's important for me because they sold tickets and made a commitment to the fans to still do the show," Khan said. "I see it as a transitional show in many ways and I'm really excited about it. It's the first show under new management and a transition show for....I will relaunch what I hope to be a really great new Ring of Honor television product, a weekly series, wherever it does air or stream. And this is a great opportunity to put our own stamp on it."