Notes on the talks between WWE and NJPW
WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan was not the first one in the company to bring up a possible working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, according to an update from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
It was reported last week that Khan has been in talks with NJPW officials about WWE possibly becoming the official American partner for the Japanese organization. The talks reportedly date back to late March or early April. It was later revealed that Daniel Bryan possibly working some NJPW dates was a big topic of discussion in the negotiations.
In an update, the Observer reports that people close to the negotiations say that this was not Khan’s idea at first, but he has been WWE’s point man in the talks as of late. There are those who believe Khan was recommended to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon to pursue the potential deal.
It was noted that the deal discussed is more likely related to WWE NXT, and not a situation where top NJPW stars would be brought to WWE to lose to top WWE stars, and vice-versa, or some of the wild speculation from social media over the past week.
Regarding Bryan, this new report says he was absolutely part of the early talks between WWE and NJPW, but that has not been the case as of late, at least not as the major aspect of the talks. One source noted that Bryan’s potential involvement has not been a part of any recent discussions.
NJPW officials will not agree to any deal unless they feel like it’s extremely beneficial to them. It was noted that WWE has tried to talk to them in the past and the talks have gotten nowhere, but the real difference here is that Khan has never been involved until now.
It was also said that these talks could very well get about as far as WWE’s talks to purchase Pro Wrestling NOAH, Stardom, Big Japan, Dragon Gate and AAA did, which all ended with no deal in place.
NJPW currently has working relationships with AEW, Impact Wrestling and AAA, and an exclusive deal with WWE would prevent AEW and Impact from working with the top Japanese promotion. AEW President Tony Khan recently cut his Twitter promo on Nick and the WWE-NJPW talks, and speculation is that Tony would not have cut that promo if he thought a WWE-NJPW deal was happening any time soon.
Stay tuned for more.