Rumours around All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling forming a working relationship have swirled ever since Hiroshi Tanahashi declared he wanted a shot at the AEW World Championship if he defeated Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 14. Jericho even entered the Tokyo Dome with the title around his waist, and AEW star Jon Moxley is the current IWGP United States Champion.
Despite both Jericho and Moxley wrestling in New Japan, Dave Meltzer confirmed on Wrestling Observer Radio that they will not be working the Japanese promotion’s Wrestle Dynasty show at Madison Square Garden in August.
Despite this, Cody Rhodes did say in a recent interview on Wrestling Observer Radio that AEW was “open for business” in regards to working with NJPW. He elaborated that AEW wants to have the best professional wrestlers in the world, and because of that, they have to keep their minds open to establishing a relationship with New Japan. He did admit, however, that at the moment both promotions were focussing upon themselves, but people backstage in both AEW and NJPW still have each other’s phone numbers and have remained in contact.
Cody said: “I don’t know what the future holds on that. I know they focus on their brand and we focus on ours, but I’ll take a phrase from Nick Jackson. We’re open for business. If the best wrestlers are out there, we want to make sure the best wrestlers are part of what we’re doing…If you’re truly going to live the spirit of All Elite Wrestling then you’ve got to to keep your mind and your eyes and your ears open to all that’s out there.”
He later added: “Nothing is forbidden. Everyone’s still got each other’s phone numbers and everyone’s still in contact. I don’t think the bad blood is as bad as reported.”