NJPW Tells Karl Anderson the NEVER Openweight Title Will Be Vacated if He Works WWE's Crown Jewel

While many of Triple H's surprise WWE returns have been warmly received by fans, not everyone was pleased by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson's WWE return. That's because when Anderson and Gallows made their surprise return to WWE, Anderson was the current NEVER Openweight Champion, which you can understand resulted in a few questions. It was thought that he would still compete in an upcoming match for the NEVER Openweight Title, but since then he has said he's not going and he has been booked for a match at Crown Jewel. Now NJPW has released a statement that states if Anderson doesn't show up to their scheduled event in Osaka and works Crown Jewel instead, the NEVER Openweight Title will be vacated (via Fightful).

Anderson, Hikuleo, and NJPW have been going back and forth with social media posts, so there are some who assumed this was a work. Then The OC was booked in a match at Crown Jewel, which takes place the same day as NJPW's event and it would not be possible for Anderson to appear at both due to their locations. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but you can find NJPW's full statement below.

"Thank you for supporting New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

NJPW had announced Anderson's match with Hikuleo for the NEVER Openweight Championship on October 4. Despite comments from Doc Gallows to the contrary in Anderson's video, the booking was made through the appropriate channels, and with Anderson's expressed approval.

However, after the match's announcement, both Gallows and Anderson would appear on the October 10 edition of WWE's "Monday Night Raw" broadcast. This led to WWE announcing a match featuring both men for their Saudi Arabia event on November 5, in direct conflict with Anderson's prior commitment.

NJPW has for the past several days attempted to negotiate with Anderson, but has not been met with a response. Should Anderson decide to renege on his scheduled championship match, he will be required to vacate the NEVER Openweight Championship and return the title belt to NJPW immediately.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling holds its champions to the highest standards of professionalism, and sincerely apologies to fans for any disappointment or inconvenience caused by this matter."