New Japan Pro-Wrestling heads into 2020 without a TV deal, after AXS’s dealings with IMPACT led to a falling out between the two partners. According to a report by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, new AXS owner Anthem Entertainment was willing to continue NJPW’s contract through the planned 2021 end date, but only with a catch. “IMPACT and AXS basically said that you can stay on the station if we get a working relationship going and New Japan turned down the working relationship.”
Dave continues that New Japan thought they’d have a year of buffer space with which to build an American audience with touring and find a new partner once their current deal expires. Because of the business relationship falling apart early, New Japan is now seeking out other partnerships in the US. Dave states that their ROH deal isn’t dead, but they’re hesitant to send talent to their shows in recent times. As for the other big fish in America, this situation may be why Chris Jericho and Hiroshi Tanahashi have brought the AEW title into their Wrestle Kingdom build, although that’s all rumor at this juncture.
What is clear is that US fans looking for New Japan content will have to subscribe to NJPW World, as they’ll have no TV deal for a good while. For the full comments from Dave, you can listen to a clip from Observer radio in the video embedded below: