NJPW-Roku Deal Is Colossal for Wrestling Fans

Former NJPW champion Tetsuya Naito
Former NJPW Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito. PHOTO CREDIT: Troy Teague//Flickr

In the United States, we have been aware of alternative wrestling promotions such as Impact, CZW and AEW. Even NXT has blossomed into something special in its own regards. But in terms of international promotions, many aren’t aware of the amazing talent in places such as Japan and Mexico. These two countries have been on the forefront producing top stars that we all know and love. Eddie Guererro, Rey Mysterio, Kenny Omega and countless others have all come from overseas. That is all about to change as NJPW has signed a deal with Roku to bring its style to The States.

This is absolutely a colossal deal. It is the first time ever American fans will be able to view NJPW content every week. This move, and some others, blows open the so called “Forbidden Door” that WWE has silently put in place. Hopefully it never recloses.

We haven’t seen this kind of wrestling partnership since the “Territory Days.” Those ended in 1989 when television business mogul Ted Turner purchased Jim Crockett Promotions. That ultimately gave birth to WCW.

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But prior to that, different promotions such as the NWA, AWA and more shared talent. The goal was to co-promote each others talent with the goal of increasing viewership, and more importantly revenue. This system worked for decades creating and fostering talent such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.

With New Japan making this huge leap, it truly is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan.

NJPW produces a one hour weekly show and will periodically add more historical content . This effectively will educate millions of viewers on what the promotion is all about. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter hailed NJPW as the “Promotion of the Year” for the last 8 consecutive years. This comes from a mostly-credible publication founded by the highly infamous Dave Meltzer, but prestigious nonetheless. To reinforce that this is a big deal, NJPW sold out Madison Square Garden in just under 15 minutes back in 2019. So the fanbase is certainly there. 

This announcement also comes after high-demand from fans in North America and Europe alike who haven’t really had a chance to view the brand yet. It may take some time for the ball to get rolling in terms of financial success but this is without a doubt a step in the right direction. 

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