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New Japan’s US show could be ending... are they headed to ROH TV?

When Tony Khan finally gave us some answers about ROH TV, the weekly television/streaming show associated with the Ring of Honor brand he purchased from Sinclair Broadcasting in early 2022, he hinted he’d be able to tell us more about the rebooted show after New Japan Pro-Wrestling held their Wrestle Kingdom 17 event.

The main portion of WK 17 is in the books, and we haven’t heard anything official yet. But there are some interesting dots to connect.

Around Christmas, NJPW President Takami Ohbari tweeted that the company’s United States based show Strong would “rebuilt next year.” Now, Hiroshi Tanahashi has written in his latest blog post that Strong will be coming to an end with the “Nemesis” taping today (Jan. 7) in Hollywood.

High-Fly: The Official Blog of Hiroshi Tanahashi

#NJPWSTRONG, which has been going on for over two years, will come to an end with this recording. It seems that overseas tournaments will be announced in a different form in the future. [Translation via Google]

Strong is produced predominantly with talent based out of New Japan’s Los Angeles Dojo, and has its own storylines and set of championships. It debuted in August of 2020, and often utilized talent who likely would have worked dates in Japan if it weren’t for the pandemic — including AEW wrestlers like Wheeler Yuta and Eddie Kingston.

Nothing’s confirmed but you can see why there’s a belief talent and angles which might have played out on Strong could be part of the rebooted ROH TV.

It would make sense. In addition to their relation with Khan & AEW, NJPW was a long-time partner of ROH’s under two previous owners. While TK’s promised to dedicate less AEW television time to Ring of Honor stories going forward, there will likely still be some cross-promotion. Any mentions on TBS, TNT or AEW’s social media channels of New Japan talent appearing on ROH TV would be a step up from New Japan having to promote a self-produced show on their own.

For Khan & ROH, a chance to see up-and-coming Young Lions and the occasional star from Japan could attract customers who were otherwise on the fence about subscribing to the HonorClub streaming service (where ROH TV is supposed to debut sometime early this year) to see The Briscoes, Brian Cage or Athena.

While this would provide some answers about ROH TV and NJPW’s US plans, it would also raise a ton of questions and potential issues. What happens to the Strong titles? Would New Japan talent interact with the ROH roster on a regular basis, or be featured in stand-alone tournaments like the New Japan Cup USA? Is this how Mercedes Moné ends up appearing on a TK-produced show?

Before we worry too much about those things however, we better wait to see if this speculation is correct.

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