Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to your username, along with other benefits. Anti-spam check. Do not fill this in!==History== ===Formation and early history=== The promotion was founded by [[Antonio Inoki]] on January 13, 1972. The first NJPW event, titled ''Opening Series'', took place on March 6, 1972, in the Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, to a crowd of 5,000. The following year, NJPW signed a television deal with NET TV, now known as TV Asahi. The company was overseen by its governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix. In 1983, [[Hulk Hogan]] became the first ever [[IWGP Heavyweight Championship (original version)|IWGP Heavyweight Champion]] by defeating Inoki. However, this championship was later abandoned and the current version of the [[IWGP Heavyweight Championship|championship]] was established in 1987. Inoki would serve as the president of the promotion until 1989, when he was replaced by [[Seiji Sakaguchi]]. On April 24, 1989, NJPW hosted Battle Satellite, its first show in the Tokyo Dome. The promotion was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) from 1975 to 1985 and once more from 1992 to 1993. NJPW was briefly reaffiliated with the NWA in the late 2000s to the early 2010s as well. On January 4, 1992, NJPW partnered with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to produce WCW/New Japan Supershow II, the first ever [[January 4 Tokyo Dome Show]], an event that would become an annual tradition for NJPW and is considered their biggest event of the year and comparable to WWE's WrestleMania event. In April 1995, NJPW and WCW held the two-day [[Collision in Korea]] event at the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. The event is the first professional wrestling event held in North Korea and also holds the record for most attended wrestling event of all time, with 355,000 people packing the stadium over the two days. ===Decline and Inoki's departure=== In the early 2000s, the burgeoning popularity of mixed martial arts in Japan was noticed by Inoki, who wanted to integrate elements of shoot wrestling to make the company appear more realistic. The company would partner with martial arts organization K-1 and begin to insert wrestlers into MMA fights, with the goal of pushing NJPW in a more realistic direction and to make it appear as an actual sport. The company's new management was criticized by critics and fans, and the combination of MMA and professional wrestling was dubbed "Inokism". Inoki later departed NJPW in 2005 after selling his share of the company to Yuke's, and began his own promotion, the [[Inoki Genome Federation]] (IGF), in 2007. After his departure, Inoki's son-in-law Simon took over the company, before Naoki Sugabayashi was appointed president in 2007 after Simon also left NJPW to join Antonio in IGF. After the departure of the Inoki family, the company began to reintegrate its prior [[puroresu]] style of wrestling. ===Resurgence and expansion=== Also in 2007, NJPW hosted its first ever pay-per-view (PPV) event [[Wrestle Kingdom I]]. The promotion debuted a new series called [[NEVER]] in August 2010, designed to be a series of events spotlighting younger up-and-coming New Japan talent and feature more outsider participation in the promotion. The final NEVER event was held in November 2012. On January 4, 2011, officially announced the NJPW Invasion Tour 2011: Attack on East Coast, the promotion's first tour of the United States to be held in May 2011. The tour featured shows in Rahway, New Jersey on May 13, New York City on May 14 and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 15, as well as cross-promotion with American promotion JAPW. As part of the tour, NJPW introduced a new title, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On January 31, 2012, Yuke's announced that it had sold all shares of to card game company Bushiroad for ¥500 million (6.5 million) of dollars or (4.4 million) of euros. New Japan aired its first internet pay-per-view, the fourth day of the [[G1 Climax#2012|2012 G1 Climax]], on August 5, 2012. The October 8, 2012, King of Pro-Wrestling pay-per-view marked the first time viewers outside Japan were able to order a pay-per-view by the promotion through Ustream. On October 5, 2012, New Japan announced the creation of the NEVER Openweight Championship, which would be contested for on the NEVER series. A two-day tournament to determine the inaugural champion was held between November 15 and 19, 2012. In February 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with ROH, which saw the promotion return to North America the following May to present two supershows; Global Wars in Toronto and War of the Worlds in New York City. During the tour, New Japan wrestlers also took part in an event held by Canadian promotion Border City Wrestling (BCW). A year later, NJPW and ROH announced another tour together to produce four more supershows; War of the Worlds '15 on May 12 and 13 in Philadelphia and Global Wars '15 on May 15 and 16 in Toronto. In June 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with the new American GFW organization helmed by Jeff Jarrett. In November 2014, GFW announced that it would be broadcasting NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome on pay-per-view in the United States as a four-hour event. Also in November 2014, the American AXS TV network announced it had acquired rights to rebroadcast a series of thirteen episodes of NJPW matches from TV Asahi. The series premiered on January 16, 2015, airing weekly on Fridays. Averaging 200,000 viewers per episode, the show was considered a success, leading to AXS TV and TV Asahi signing a multi-year deal to continue airing the show In June 2016, the show was also acquired by the Canadian Fight Network. On December 1, 2014, NJPW and TV Asahi announced [[NJPW World]], a new worldwide streaming site for the promotion's events. On July 18, 2015, NJPW announced the "New IWGP Conception", a global expansion strategy centered on their international partnerships with CMLL, GFW, NWA, ROH, RPW, and wXw as well as holding more shows in Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan. Also announced was the Lionsgate Keikaku ("Lionsgate Plan"), which would feature up-and-coming outsiders working trial matches in an effort to earn a spot in the promotion. Finally, it was announced that there were plans to take the company public with a listing on the stock market within three to five years. On December 21, 2015, NJPW announced the creation of its seventh active title and the first six-man tag team championship in the promotion's history, the [[NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship]]. On January 5, 2016, NJPW announced a partnership with the Amuse talent agency with the goal of making the promotion's wrestlers internationally recognized stars in the vein of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. In March 2017, NJPW partnered with the New Zealand-based Fale Dojo, a pro wrestling training facility run by NJPW performer [[Bad Luck Fale]]. NJPW utilized the partnership as an opportunity to scout talent from Oceania until 2020 when it become their New Zealand-based dojo with Fale serving as a head trainer. The following month on April 24, 2017, it was announced that NJPW would co-present the Japanese qualifiers for What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW)'s Pro Wrestling World Cup tournament. On May 12, 2017, during the third night of the [[War of the Worlds (2017)|War of the Worlds]] tour, co-produced by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Ring of Honor (ROH), NJPW United States Ambassador George Carroll announced the creation of the IWGP United States Championship. The following day, NJPW revealed the title's official name as the [[IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship]]. On May 16, NJPW held a press conference to announce plans to establish a subsidiary company, including a dojo, in the United States. A Los Angeles office is scheduled to be opened before the end of 2017, with a dojo to be opened at the start of 2018. NJPW's second American event was [[Strong Style Evolved]] and took place on March 25, 2018, in Long Beach. In November 2017, NJPW signed a television deal with Discovery Communications, which would see the company's programming brought to 70 million Indian homes through DSport. In January 2018, NJPW announced its inaugural [[Fallout Down Under]] tour, a four-show tour of Australia spanning from February 16–19. In March 2018, NJPW opened the New Japan LA Dojo, with [[Katsuyori Shibata]] serving as a head trainer and ROH wrestler Scorpio Sky serving as an assistant trainer. On May 13, 2018, New Japan hired its first foreign President, Dutch businessman [[Harold Meij]]. On July 6, it was announced the [[Lion's Break Project]] a counterpart of the Lion's Gate Project shows in Japan, which would feature NJPW [[Young Lions]] trained in the USA dojo. In February 2019, NJPW re-established its partnership with the NWA and entered into a new partnership with The Crash Lucha Libre. On October 21, NJPW announced the creation of its American subsidiary named [[New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America]], based in California, with the goal of expanding in the American market. On December 27, NJPW ended its television deal with AXS TV. On February 10, 2020, NJPW established its own dojo in New Zealand with tryouts taking place on May 9 and 10. ====Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic==== On February 26, 2020, following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus outbreak, NJPW canceled the events between March 1 and March 15 including the promotion's Anniversary Event and the first and the second round of [[New Japan Cup#2020|New Japan Cup]]. On March 23, NJPW also canceled the 2020 [[Sakura Genesis]] event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 31. On April 8, NJPW canceled more events from April 11 through May 4, leading to the cancelation of both nights of 2020 [[Wrestling Dontaku]] and would also cancel the whole [[Best of the Super Juniors]] tournament as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 6. During this time, NJPW wrestlers and staff created the ''NJPW Together'' project in order to do bring content to NJPW World with interviews and old archived matches. On May 6, NJPW announced that their [[Wrestle Dynasty]] event would be postponed to 2021, due to the effects of the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On June 8, during an online press conference, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced that the promotion would start to held shows on June 15, starting with the ''Together Project Special'' and the return of the 2020 New Japan Cup between June 16 and July 11, with all shows being held behind closed doors. It was also that the finals of the New Japan Cup and the [[Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall (2020)|Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall]] would be the first shows to allow fans into the arena, but only a third of the venue's normal capacity, after the Japanese Government lifted some restrictions on many regions in Japan. On September 29, it was announced that Harold Meij would resign as President and CEO and would departing the promotion in October, being replaced by NJoA's CEO Takami Obari. On October 6, it was announced that the [[Best of the Super Juniors|2020 Best of the Super Juniors]] would be resumed alongside the [[World Tag League#2020|2020 World Tag League]], due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, with the tounaments taking place between November 15 until December 11. With both tournaments consisting of ten nights, taking place on alternate days opposed to each other with the exceptions being the first round on November 15, final round on December 6 and the finals on December 11. On November 8, during a press conference, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi revealed that since July 11, NJPW had promoted 54 live events, with an combined attendance of 72,706 paid fans, due to their guidelines, there were no positive cases, arising as a result of its live events. 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