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Cup of coffee in the big time: Time for NJPW to ‘grow a pair’ and do full American tour?

If you ask Cody Rhodes, the key to New Japan Pro Wrestling making more inroads in America is simply to be more present.

On July 7, New Japan Pro Wrestling returns to America with the G1 Special in San Francisco. The event, which airs on AXS TV is headlined by Rhodes vs. Kenny Omega in a rematch.

During a media call Monday, Cageside Seats asked Cody what he felt the best way for NJPW to expand in America.

“The next time you come over, if you’re NJPW, you should make a tour of it,” Cody said. “When I say a tour, I mean, let’s hit Los Angeles, let’s hit New York, let’s grow a pair -- which they have -- and make a run of all the ‘A’ markets and see how you do. That might be the first step into seeing what you can do consistently in the United States.

“I think, next time, make a tour of it. They won’t, but it’d be really cool if they did. It may take some time, but I think if you hit all the ‘A’ markets you’re going to sell out or come close to it everywhere you go. And I think it’s also real important that you give them New Japan Pro Wrestling, don’t dress it up with something that they might be comfortable with ... you don’t have to decorate it with American stars. What’s got them to where they are is the Japanese talent and Japanese stars.

“Don’t do enough market research that you change your product.”

Talk about any promotion trying to make strides in America, and the specter of WWE is inevitably raised.

WWE is known, fairly or not in 2018, for petty tactics to hinder other promotions from getting above a certain level in the country.

Cody, however, sees this era of wrestling differently. Rather than throw back to the old days of the Monday Night Wars or the territory days, it’s about the positive aspect of so much wrestling at the fans’ fingertips.

“I don’t consider this an era of competition as much as I consider it an era of choice,” Cody said. “Look at competition and where it got us. We ran WCW out of business, we destroyed an entire region in the US in terms of their love of wrestling and WWE has had to rebuild it. I’m from Georgia, I felt the fallout of a company losing in a competition before. I don’t think it’s about competition anymore, I think it’s about choice. I hope to see more efforts made to cross those bridges.”

It’s an idealistic view, but one pro wrestling is better off following.

Let’s close tonight by making everyone comfortable with the world’s future. John Cena is going to get his vasectomy reversed so he and Nikki Bella may create our savior.

You can follow me on Twitter @BrentBrookhouse.

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