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NJPW News: New NJPW President Talks Future Of Company, Growth

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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.

 

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WWE Results: SmackDown In Amsterdam, Update On Big Cass (5/19/18)

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As it was noted earlier, the WWE Superstars of SmackDown Live were in Amsterdam, Netherlands tonight as the company’s European Tour rolls into its final few days. It was reported that Big Cass may have suffered a leg injury (which you can check out here), as he was badly limping through a tag team match where he paired with The Miz to take on Tye Dillinger and Daniel Bryan.

Since then, it has now come out from numerous fans who had attended previous events on the tour that Cass has been limping at every show. This is to sell the beat down given to him by Bryan this past Tuesday on SmackDown. Below are results from tonight’s show in Amsterdam:

  • SmackDown Tag Title Triple Threat: The Bludgeon Brothers retained over The New Day & The Usos
  • NXT Champion Aleister Black defeated SAnitY’s Alexander Wolfe
  • Charlotte Flair, Asuka & Naomi defeated Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose & Lana
  • Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas defeated Sin Cara
  • Daniel Bryan & Tye Dillinger defeated The Miz & Big Cass
  • United States Title: Jeff Hardy retained over Rusev
  • SmackDown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch defeated Carmella by DQ
  • AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated The Bar & Shinsuke Nakamura

Results c/o WrestlingInc

 

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Impact News: Did Impact Bounce Back In Viewership?

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This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling featured a tag team main event of Austin Aries and Matt Sydal losing to Pentagon Jr. and Fantasma, as well as the crowning of New Impact Tag Team Champions, the team of Z&E. This episode brought in 326,000 viewers which is up from last week’s 295,000 viewers, an increase of 10.5%.

This is a great sign that things are on the upswing for Impact after two weeks in a row of low viewership numbers. This is also the highest for the month of May. Impact was ranked #108 on the top 150 this week while last week was ranked #133. Once again this week, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation topped the Top 150 list for the 18-49 demographic.

Below is breakdown of Impact’s weekly ratings for 2018:

January 4th Episode: 309,000 viewers
January 11th Episode: 276,000 viewers
January 18th Episode: 309,000 viewers
January 25th Episode: 310,000 viewers (Genesis episode)
February 1st Episode: 319,000 viewers (Reboot)
February 8th Episode: 294,000 viewers
February 15th Episode: 300,000 viewers
February 22nd Episode: 262,000 viewers
March 1st Episode: 365,000 viewers
March 8th Episode: 325,000 (Crossroads episode)
March 15th Episode: 350,000 viewers
March 22nd Episode: 362,000 viewers
March 29th Episode: 399,000 viewers
April 5th Episode: 294,000 viewers
April 12th Episode: 381,000 viewers
April 19th Episode: 373,000 viewers
April 26th Episode: 308,000 viewers (post-Redemption episode)
May 3rd Episode: 299,000 viewers
May 10th Episode: 295,000 viewers
May 17th Episode: 326,000 viewers

2017 Total: 16.147 million viewers
2017 Average: 311,000 viewers per episode

Source: Showbuzz Daily

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WWE Rumors: Possible Injury To Big Cass

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It hasn’t been very long since WWE Superstar Big Cass made his return on SmackDown Live back in April. The seven footer had been off since the previous Summer recovering from a torn ACL, but was thrust immediately into a feud with Daniel Bryan upon his comeback.

As it’s been noted, the WWE’s tour of Europe continues this weekend and tonight, the Superstars of SmackDown Live were in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Cass was in tag team action with The Miz to face Bryan and Tye Dillinger and it looks as if the big man has suffered another leg injury:

At this time, there are very little details on what happened or when the possible injury occurred.

EA’s Take: As always, I’m a little weary of any and everything at first. Initially, I had only seen the second video which shows Cass walking out under his own power at the very end. My first questions were; Did they work the leg during the match or is he simply just selling? Then I saw the first video and it quelled those questions for me. Cass was visibly frustrated, slamming his hand on the mat in anger, therefore something is definitely not right. Some are jumping to the conclusion that he may have re-injured his knee, however to me I’m wondering if perhaps it’s a foot/ankle injury just based off how he walked. Personally, I’m hoping it’s just minor.

 

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