Photo Credit: WrestleZone & New Japan Pro Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wednesday On Thursday (10/11) Power Struggle

The Thrill Is Gone: Real Life Power Struggle At NJPW

Before June’s Dominion event in Osaka, new president Harold Meij delivered an awkward address to the New Japan fans. He said multiple times that New Japan Pro Wrestling was about to go to “new levels,” but was unclear on what that meant. By the end of the show, nearly all of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s champions were white Gaijins. Now it is being reported by the Wrestling Observer, on more than one occasion, that Harold Meij has put more westerners in the NJPW power structure, and those new hires are causing serious friction within the company.

The main focus is new NJPW General Manager Michael Craven. Craven has apparently been talking down to many wrestlers, and his lack of experience in the wrestling business has led to a series of faux pas. The Observer reports that despite a high moral during this summer’s G1 Climax, the autumn mood in NJPW has been “weird.”

It’s possible this backstage tension has inspired the current angles on NJPW’s TV Project. Kenny Omega is playing a cocky foreigner, and his matches with Cody have led to many NJPW stalwarts to question whether these western-influenced matches are robbing NJPW of its identity. Also NJPW booker Gedo has aligned himself with Jay White and the foreign Firing Squad, casting aside Kazuchika Okada, much in the way that NJPW has cast aside their long-time Japanese superstars in favor of English-speaking foreigners.

As we head toward a contentious January, where almost the entirety of The Elite will see their contracts due to expire, its looking like more NJPW talent may be jumping over to WWE. New Japan is said to be a far less fun environment, and without the financial compensation of WWE, there is increasingly less reason to stay there. The road to Wrestle Kingdom 13 looks tumultuous at best.

Super Jr. Tag League Set To Kick Off With New Format

New Japan Pro Wrestling will spend their Road To Power Struggle tour focusing on the 2018 Super Jr. Tag League. This will be the eighth Super Jr. Tag Tournament. The participants are as follows:

  • Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  • Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi)
  • ACH & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin
  • The Firing Squad (Taiji Ishimori & Robbie Eagles)
  • Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr.

This year’s tournament will differ from past years. Usually a single elimination tournament, this year the tournament will be contested under round robin rules. The winners will receive an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 13.

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