As we previously noted, New Japan Pro Wrestling has hired Harold Meij as its new President (which you can find here), making him the first non-Japanese President in the company’s history. Meij recently was interviewed by Nikkei.com and spoke in-depth about taking the position, as well as the future and growth of the promotion. Below are some highlights, translated c/o @reasonjp on Twitter.
Why He Took The Position, Why He Sees Potential In NJPW
“The two big factors were whether I wanted to do it and whether there was potential there. The last 5…6 years, pro wrestling has really grown and lots of concepts are becoming reality. There’s a lot of possibility I think.
In Takara Tomy, we operated under three tentpoles; goods, brand awareness and accessibility. In terms of quality of the product, NJPW far exceeds the biggest wrestling company in the world, WWE. The moves, the drama, the talent, even how attractive the talent is. There’s a lot of strong points that appeal regardless of age, gender or other demographics. So the goods part is down. All we have to do to really take off is improve brand awareness and acessibility.”
His Goals For The Company In The Coming Years
“I want to get to 10 billion Yen in sales in three years, at least. The Sumo Association pulls in 12 billion in revenue and that’s just domestic so it would be a failure if we’re not at that level. Long term, I want us to trouble WWE. If you’ll just look at our product, you’ll see that’s not out of the question.
Japan represents 10% of global economy. Language, culture, business style are all big hurdles to growing that. The Japanese sense of duty doesn’t translate to a foreign contract driven culture. It hurts Japanese companies in acquisitions and negotiations. For me, I don’t have problems of culture or language. I can do business anywhere. And I can become the model of marketing sports content worldwide.”
EA’s Take: Dude is dropping bombs like he’s Rafi from The League and you have to love his enthusiasm if you’re a New Japan fan. Unless for some reason you’re against NJPW trying to grow and if that’s the case, you’re “S.O.L” as they say. I find this a bit ironic after I brought up how expanding to Japan could become a problem for WWE earlier in the day (you can find that here) and while I think Meij’s goals are pretty lofty given the timeframe he’s put on it, they’re not unattainable should they keep taking the steps that they already have been. I think some of his WWE comments are a little outlandish, but it gets people talking, that’s for sure. At the same time, he makes a lot of great, fact-driven points as well (such as the language and culture barriers preventing growth in the past) and also has a history of bringing success to other Japanese companies. Does he necessarily understand “the business”? Who’s to say, but he understands BUSINESS.
WWE News: SmackDown Live Event Results From Tucson, Arizona (9/22/18)
Before heading into the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado this coming Tuesday, WWE’s SmackDown Live roster hit up Tucson, Arizona for a Live Event.
Fans who attended got some great action including NXT’s Nikki Cross in a 6-Woman Tag Team match, Shinsuke Nakamura defended the United States Championship in a Triple Threat, as well as Samoa Joe challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Title in the main event. Below are the results:
- SmackDown Tag Titles: The New Day retained over SAnitY
- Harper defeated Tye Dillinger
- R-Truth defeated Shelton Benjamin
- Rusev defeated Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
- SmackDown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch retained over Charlotte Flair
- Asuka, Naomi & Nikki Cross defeated Carmella & The IIconics
- United States Title Triple Threat: Shinsuke Nakamura retained over Jeff Hardy & Randy Orton
- WWE Title: AJ Styles retained over Samoa Joe
Results c/o Gerweck
Thank you @CarmellaWWE for seeing my sign & making my night! This is why #MellaIsMoney 🤑 wish I got a picture with you but I’m just thankful for this moment! Also you’re new hair color is 😍🙌🏼 #WWETucson pic.twitter.com/h8cvTvPmx8
— Kenz (@dwts_lover) September 23, 2018
— Suellen ⚡ (@suh_ellenb) September 23, 2018
— 🇺🇸Paul L🇺🇸 (@TruPharaoh) September 23, 2018
WWE News: NXT Live Event Results From Largo, Florida (9/22/18)
After spending Friday night in Sanford, Florida for an event that featured the debut of Matt Riddle, WWE’s NXT continued their weekend run of shows last night in Largo, Florida.
While Riddle was not in action last night, the card still featured some other great NXT Superstars as Johnny Gargano met The Velveteen Dream in the main event, Lars Sullivan went one-on-one with Keith Lee, on top of 205 Live Superstar Tony Nese facing off against ‘The Top One Percent’ EC3. Below are the results:
- EC3 defeated Tony Nese
- Reina Gonzalez defeated Xia Li
- War Raiders defeated Humberto Carrillo & Raul Mendonza
- Babatunde defeated Brennan Williams
- Heavy Machinery & Jessie Elaban defeated The Forgotten Sons & Lacey Evans
- Lars Sullivan defeated Keith Lee
- Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir & Shayna Baszler defeated Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane
- Johnny Gargano defeated The Velveteen Dream
Results c/o LordsOfPain
— Kyle Feeley (@ScorpioKyle) September 22, 2018
THANK YOU #NXTLargo
Always had our Backs since Day 1 when we COME and WE LOVE YA ✊🏻
— Otis Dozovic (@WWEDozovic) September 23, 2018
— Chef Shane Ibey (@ChefShaneIbey) September 23, 2018
NJPW News: Results From Today’s Destruction In Kobe (9/23/18)
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Road To Destruction tour came to a close today with Destruction In Kobe, as the promotion will be heading to the United States next Sunday for Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach, California.
Today’s event at Kobe Hall was loaded with action as Best Friends were in action against the Killer Elite Squad, the Semi-Finals of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title tournament, plus Hiroshi Tanahashi squared off against Kazuchika Okada in a preliminary for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at the Tokyo Dome. Below are the results:
- Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura went to a Time Limit Draw
- SHO & YOH defeated Ren Narita & Shota Umino
- Tiger Mask & Jyushin Thunder Liger defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
- Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima defeated Ayato Yoshida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
- Best Friends defeated Killer Elite Squad
- Jay White, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toa Henare, David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- EVIL, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito defeated TAKA Michinoku, Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Tournament Semi-Finals: KUSHIDA defeated BUSHI
- IWGP Heavyweight Title Preliminary: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada
Results c/o NJPW1972
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 23, 2018
#njdest 神戸大会！第8試合はIWGP Jr.ヘビー級王座決定トーナメント1回戦、@KUSHIDA_0904 VS @BUSHI_njpw ！
視聴＆登録▷https://t.co/NxJKtVK94f#njdest #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/yulpRGDEve
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 23, 2018