What is happening with New Japan Pro Wrestling?

New Japan Pro Wrestling

On June 15, New Japan Pro Wrestling made its return after several months of inactivity due to COVID-19. Since their return, the booking in NJPW has seen a steady decline in terms of quality.

Ever since their return NJPW has become a more western type of product. The booking reflects this with the IWGP heavyweight championship matches having a lot of run-ins and interferences in them.

EVIL

EVIL’s IWGP heavyweight title reign was one of the worst reigns in the title’s long history. The match quality on his title reign was horrendous.

Most of EVIL’s title matches were long and with a lot of interferences from the outside by Dick Togo. The matches with Tetsuya Naito in particular were just boring.

Gedo’s insistence on EVIL being a main eventer is mind-blowing and for now, it feels EVIL will be IWGP heavyweight champion someday again.

The G1 CLIMAX

The G1 Climax is the most prestigious tournament in all wrestling. Some of the best matches of the last decade happened in this tournament.

This year’s edition of the G1 was probably one of the weakest in terms of in-ring quality in recent years. The finals in particular were a letdown, with the only memorable spot being Kota Ibushi’s 2.9999998 kick-out.

What followed Kota Ibushi’s G1 Climax victory was his briefcase defense against Jay White. To shock the entire world, Jay White defeated Kota Ibushi and took the briefcase for the first time ever.

Ibushi losing the briefcase made the entire G1 Climax pointless and probably buried the tournament.

Two Nights Wrestle Kingdom

For the second year, Wrestle Kingdom will be a two nights event. Because of having two nights, this means NJPW needs two main events and the solution to this was bizarre.

Ibushi helped Tetsuya Naito (current IWGP heavyweight and Intercontinental champion) from an attack from Jay White. The following day in a press conference Naito demanded to face Ibushi on the first night of Wrestle Kingdom.

All this feels complicated and overthought. NJPW needs to go back to a one night show, but financially it makes sense to run a second show considering the current financial situation of NJPW and the world in general.