A couple weeks ago there was a major story about WWE executive Nick Khan engaging in talks with New Japan Pro Wrestling about an exclusive partnership between the two promotions. Before pro wrestling fans could ruminate for too long about Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns stepping through the Forbidden Door to battle Kazuchika Okada in the Tokyo Dome, however, some follow-up details to the story made a deal between NJPW and WWE seem less likely to happen.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed a new detail that makes it sound like NJPW is more likely to go into business with AEW than WWE. Meltzer revealed that before abruptly retiring from pro wrestling, NJPW star Lio Rush was given permission to sign an American contract with AEW:
“New Japan gave AEW the okay to sign him...Originally the nature of the New Japan contract was that he could work for AEW, he could work for MLW, he could do indies, but New Japan would have the first priority, and New Japan also would have the right to turn stuff down...”
“But in fact, they gave him permission to sign an American contract with AEW. Which also I think is very important politically. Because the fact that New Japan would give someone who they have under contract the okay to sign with AEW tells me that New Japan at this point today believes that they are going to be in business with AEW, and not WWE. So that’s actually a pretty important part of this story too.”
Do you think Meltzer’s conclusion is reasonable, or are you still holding out hope for dream matches between your favorite WWE and NJPW stars?