Karl Anderson finds himself in an unprecedented position in the world of professional wrestling. The current NEVER Openweight Champion returned to WWE earlier this month alongside partner Luke Gallows, aligning himself once again with AJ Styles in a fight against The Judgment Day. While Anderson and Gallows inked deals with WWE after they had wrapped their commitments with Impact Wrestling, both men still have dates scheduled with New Japan Pro Wrestling up until January. Anderson's presence at those bookings is especially crucial, because as mentioned, he actively reigns with one of NJPW's singles championships.
The Machine Gun was scheduled to put the NEVER Openweight Title on the line against Hikuleo at NJPW Battle Autumn in Osaka, Japan on November 5th. That show takes place on the same day as WWE Crown Jewel, a distant 5,200 miles from Saudi Arabia's Mrsool Park. With Anderson scheduled to team with Gallows and Styles at Crown Jewel to face The Judgment Day's Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio, he was forced to pull out of his title defense at Battle Autumn.
NJPW President Takami Ohbari told Tokyo Sports that he was "angry" at the double booking but did not comment on how he felt about Anderson electing to wrestle at WWE's show instead of New Japan's.
Even though Anderson will miss next month's title defense, it doesn't appear that he is going to vacate the NEVER Openweight Title. In his social media video where he announced that he would not be at Battle Autumn, the Bullet Club member seemingly teased that both he and Gallows will be back in NJPW soon.
"New Japan Pro-Wrestling, I love what you've done for the Good Brothers through these years. I am the greatest NEVER Openweight Champion of all time," Anderson added. "I only work when the lights are bright. November 5, we're not coming. We'll come on our time. The Machine Gun will tell you when I'm coming to defend my championship."
Anderson is currently in his second run with WWE. He first joined the promotion in 2016, regularly working alongside Gallows and occasionally Styles and Balor. In that run, Anderson and Gallows captured the Raw Tag Team Titles on two occasions. The two men have had success in Saudi Arabia before, as at 2019's Crown Jewel Anderson and Gallows won the WWE Tag Team World Cup.0comments