TNA established the New Japan relationship first with the Japan Highlight being the January 4, 2008 Wrestle Kingdom II show that featured TNA vs New Japan matches throughout the card, and led to a Spike TV Special and DVD release in the US. But the relationship, while valuable to both companies, is not exclusive. TNA stars have appeared for many Japan companies including Noah, All Japan, Dragon Gate, IGF, 01Max and recently Chris Daniels, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelly & Eric Young appeared for a new company in Japan, that unfortunately got off to a bad start drawing poor houses. When TNA booked the World X Cup New Japan stars were invited along with Dragon Gate Stars. In fact the initial interest was primarily in Dragon Gate stars alone. Tanahashi’s recent TNA appearances continue the New Japan relationship. TNA’s creative team likes Tanahashi, and it appears New Japan is using the TNA spots to position him for a future IWGP Title run.
But the relationship in Mexico is different. CMLL (EMLL) was a specific target for TNA. Part of the reason it chose CMLL over AAA may be tied to Konnan’s ongoing lawsuit against TNA and his booking position with AAA (BTW, there’s internal fighting in AAA between Konnan and AAA Management, specifically Antonio Pena’s son), but really the key has been CMLL’s position as “The WWE of Mexico”, and connection’s the company has with Mexico TV partners with whom TNA wanted to do business, and are. Unlike Japan where TNA stars work for nearly everyone, in Mexico TNA talent only works for CMLL with past recent appearances by Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, AJ Styles, & Jay Lethal. Volador, Jr. was brought in for the World X Cup with other CMLL stars, and the relationship continued with his recent TNA appearances, including this Sunday.
TNA obtained US Work Visas for the Japan and CMLL stars for the World X Cup so any of those wrestlers can easily return to TNA.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?