It's Time For An IMPACT Wrestling & NJPW Pay-Per-View
The saying time heals all wounds came true for IMPACT Wrestling. Years ago IMPACT Wrestling had a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately things turned sour between the two sides. Many have attributed this to a lack of real meaningful pushes of the Japanese stars on IMPACT Wrestling TV. One said star being Kazuchika Okada who is now regarded as one of the most successful wrestler's in NJPW history. In hindsight IMPACT Wrestling couldn't imagine the early star power that Okada would become. This was a big decision for NJPW to end it's working relationship with IMPACT.
During the years after it's brief stint with IMPACT, New Japan formed a solid relationship with Ring of Honor. A relationship that lasted all the way until the formation of All Elite Wrestling in 2019. The years of 2012-2019 produced some of the best matches between the two promotions. Everything peaked around 2014 when IMPACT Wrestling original AJ Styles left to join Ring of Honor. Styles would bounce back and forth between the states and Japan having many 5 star caliber matches. In New Japan a popular faction was taking off in the mainstream known as the Bullet Club. AJ Styles, Prince Devitt, Doc Gallows, & Karl Anderson among others would wreak havoc all over the pro wrestling scene. The Bullet Club can be best described as the modern day nWo who catapulted wrestling in the 1990's into the mainstream.
Years later when AJ Styles, Prince Devitt, Doc Gallows, & Karl Anderson would leave for the WWE, the Bullet Club would be under the leadership of Kenny Omega. During Omega's reign as leader of the Bullet Club The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Adam Cole, & Adam Page (The Elite) would make up the Bullet Club. When the Elite left to take a chance at a new start up based solely on the popularity & success of the Bullet Club to form All Elite Wrestling, soon after the working relationship with Ring of Honor would soon end.
During the same time AEW held it's first live show to over a million live viewers. IMPACT Wrestling's parent company Anthem would acquire AXS TV. AXS TV at the time was the United States television broadcast partner of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Shortly after the announcement of IMPACT Wrestling would soon broadcast it's flagship show on AXS TV in October of 2019. New Japan would announce it would not renew it's broadcasting rights with AXS TV. This came as a blow to those higher up within Anthem & IMPACT. The original idea floating around the time online was Anthem made this move in an effort to reconcile it's relationship between IMPACT & New Japan.
New Japan would no longer have a home with a major United States television partner. They would eventually make a deal with Roku to have a channel on their platform. Many saw this move by Anthem failed attempt to work out a deal with New Japan. This was another nail in the coffin of ever being able to have a working relationship between the two companies. However things would soon change. In April of 2020 Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson known together as the Good Brothers would join IMPACT Wrestling. During contract negotiations the Good Brothers were able to include into their contracts the ability to allow them to work events with New Japan once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted from being able to allow travel back to Japan. Many saw this as a potential sign that there may be a sign of hope of a possible working relationship. Towards the end of 2020, former Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega would win the All Elite Wrestling World Championship. This would lead his manager who at the time was co-executive vice president Don Callis, to bring Kenny Omega along with his AEW Championship over to IMPACT Wrestling. Kenny Omega would eventually win the IMPACT & TNA Championship from Rich Swann who was champion at the time. With IMPACT & AEW working together we would see New Japan open to amending it's relationship with IMPACT once again.
Many stars from New Japan would make their way over to IMPACT Wrestling programming. The team of FinJuice consisting of Juice Robinson & David Finlay Jr would end up winning the IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Championship. Guerrillas of Destiny which consists of Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, & Hikuleo would also have a brief run in IMPACT. Current leader of the Bullet Club as of this writing Jay White would also have a run with the stars of IMPACT Wrestling. Chris Bey & Ace Austin would become the first active IMPACT Wrestling roster members to join the Bullet Club. IMPACT Wrestling managed to pull off what many thought was impossible and established a working relationship. Since January 2022 NJPW has returned to AXS TV alongside IMPACT Wrestling becoming apart of the weekly television programming line-up.
Forbidden Door, a term frequently used in the wrestling world when we see rivals from other wrestling promotions working together. Earlier this year an actual Forbidden Door pay-per-view event was held inside the United Center in Chicago Illinois. AEW vs NJPW was the tag-line. We got to see the best from both sides battle against each other in a what most likely could be a yearly show between the two companies. Now this leads us to the potential New Japan vs IMPACT Wrestling pay-per-view event. The relationship between the two is stronger than ever and in the eyes of many much more successful story-line wise than AEW vs NJPW. If the two sides can draft out a plan then we can most likely see this happening sometime in 2023. Next Month New Japan is having its biggest show of the year with that being Wrestle Kingdom. We may very well see the seeds being planted between an eventual rivalry of NJPW vs IMPACT Wrestling. The loyal fans of IMPACT Wrestling have seen the slow yet methodical rebuilding of IMPACT as both a wrestling promotion and brand. The slow and steady approach is what is making IMPACT Wrestling the most consistent Wrestling on TV. The fans are returning although the way fans consume wrestling is different from years ago. IMPACT is touring again, gaining traction in social media growth metrics and overall brand awareness. We here at Indy Pro Wrestling would love to see the co-branded event of NJPW vs IMPACT Wrestling. We feel that the time is ready to give the fans what they want.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Indy Pro Wrestling since 2017 when we were exclusively just a Facebook page and YouTube Channel. We launched this website in the summer of 2018 the day after IMPACT Wrestling Slammiversary. Since then we are proud to announce that this post is our milestone 3,000th post! We are also proud the announce we have had over 5 Million website hits since 2018. Thank you to all who are reading this. Thank you! We continue to be the only news source for wrestling fans without running ads on our website. Our mission is to provide content without the hassle or obstruction of paid ads.
Once again thank you!
-Carlos Astorga - Owner of Indy Pro Wrestling.