On Thursday (Sept. 8), New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced the launch of a new brand. NJPW Tamashii will operate out of the company’s New Zealand dojo and focus on the Australasia market (Australia, New Zealand & neighboring islands):
New Japan Pro-Wrestling is excited to announce the November launch of NJPW TAMASHII, a new brand that will see the best of NJPW in Japan compete with the cream of NJPW’s New Zealand Dojo, as well as the best talents from Australasia.
Meaning ‘spirit’, or ‘soul’, TAMASHII is the logical continuation of the philosophy behind NJPW STRONG in the United States, which has seen established names from NJPW compete with brand new prospects emerging from NJPW’s LA Dojo, as well as the best from the local scene.
The first NJPW TAMASHII event will take place on November 11 in the Pioneer Recreation & Sport Center in Christchurch New Zealand. Sunday November 13 will see TAMASHII hit Liberty Hall in Sydney Australia.
It’s an extension of the strategy that saw the 2020 launch of NJPW Strong in the United States. That brand/show runs out of New Japan’s Los Angeles dojo, and runs shows across the country that feature talent based out of Southern California with stars from the company’s main roster from Japan.
If all that sounds familiar to WWE fans, it’s because it’s basically the plan Triple H has been talking about since at least 2018: regional training centers around the globe fueling a product that’s tailored to the local audience and preparing international talent to be successful players on Raw and SmackDown. NXT UK was a key component of Haitch’s strategy. It was abandoned when lost power last year, but retooling it into NXT Europe was one of The Game’s first moves after he regained control and added to his power this summer was to announce plans to expand it into NXT Europe.
Anything Trips & WWE do is obviously going to get more attention, and probably be at larger scale. But they won’t be blazing a new trail, because New Japan obviously has the same idea.