It's been a wild few weeks for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
After announcing the start of their new promotion, All Elite Wrestling, Cody Rhodes, Matt and Nick Jackson and Adam Page all wrestled for the final time under their current contracts in New Japan at WrestleKingdom 13. On top of that both Kenny Omega and Kushida have reportedly left the company, with one rumored to join The Elite in All Elite Wrestling while the other is rumored to be headed to WWE. On top of all of that, Chris Jericho announced he was joining AEW at the end of Tuesday's fan rally in Jacksonville, which could jeopardize his future involvement in New Japan.
Harold Meij, the president of NJPW, released a statement on Wednesday addressing the companies recent departures, as well as where New Japan stands in the pro wrestling landscape going forward. Check out his statement below (translated into English via Chris Charlton).
"Is New Japan OK?' Yes it is. 'Is this the beginning of the end?' Twitter's getting ahead of itself "More promotions (AEW) in the market is proof of a healthy sector with more people watching. A billion dollar market is turning into 1.3, 1.5 billion. It's not a tiny space with everyone fighting over scraps anymore. I used to be in charge of a 1.8 billion dollar business. Not the entire industry, a company worth that much. And forgive me for saying, I did pretty well. And New Japan has a great structure, our people have a lot of skill and know how, and our wrestlers are great.
"Talent will come and go. That's life. Half of Japanese people have had more than one occupation. More overseas. There are different life stages, priorities change. What counts is that while here, people shine as bright as possible and produce the best product possible for us. Our job as a business in New Japan is to make sure our wrestlers are not spending their life worrying about ticket sales, living expense, feeding their family, or injury. They need to be able to focus on the ring.
"I often see talk along the lines of 'Since Meij came in, they're only looking at international, they don't care about Japan.' That couldn't be more wrong. New Japan has gotten to the stage that the world has taken notice of it and we can do these things abroad. I'm not pushing the company international; if anything it's the other way round. I'm doing my job as a professional to fulfill very strong demand. I didn't get this job because I'm foreign. International business is one string to my bow. There's a lot more I can do, and a lot more I have to do in Japan. I have done, and am doing a lot, more than you can see, to increase revenue.
"This is a Japanese company. I want to bring that Japanese excellence, that New Japan-ism, as is, unchanged, to fans in Japan and all over the world. For now, don't worry. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy Fantasticamania."0comments
Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported earlier in the week that New Japan was choosing to continue its current talent-sharing deal with Ring of Honor over All Elite Wrestling, but followed that up later in the week by saying the company might reconsider if it means they can keep Omega under contract.