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New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America Inc.
ShinNihon USA logo.png
The logo of New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America
Acronym NJoA
NJPW of America
Trading name New Japan Pro Wrestling of America
Type Subsidiary
Industry Professional wrestling
Sports entertainment
Streaming media
Founded October 21, 2019
Style Strong Style
Puroresu
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people Kaname Tezuka
(COO)
Michiaki Nishizawa
(CFO)
Naoki Sugabayashi
(Chairman)
Takami Obari
(CEO)
Products
Television
Publishing
Films
Music
Merchandise
Streaming network service
Parent New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Divisions Tokon Shop Global
Website Official Website

New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America Inc., operating as New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America (NJoA) and sometimes referred to as NJPW of America or simply New Japan of America, is an American professional wrestling brand founded on October 21, 2019 by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), as its American subsidiary.

NJPW began producing events in the United States independently in 2016. Following the financial success of the events, NJPW established its American subsidiary in October 2019, with operations beginning in November, with a plan to establish in the American market.

History[]

Background (2016–2019)[]

In December 2016, Pro Wrestling Insider reported that New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) was planning to hold the first two nights of the 2017 G1 Climax in the United States with New England-based wrestling personality George Carroll and wrestler Rocky Romero reportedly doing the ground work for the dates in Long Beach, California.[1][2] On January 4, 2017, during Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, NJPW officially announced the shows for July 1 and 2, 2017, taking place at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. These shows, however, would not be part of the G1 Climax, but would instead serve as a prelude to the tournament, which takes place between July 17 and August 13.[3][4] The shows would mark the first time NJPW presented shows in the United States independently, as opposed to partnering up with an American promotion.[5] NJPW had previously partnered with Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) for the NJPW Invasion Tour 2011 and since 2014 they have been partnered with Ring of Honor (ROH), co-producing shows annually in North America.[6][7]

After announcing the Long Beach shows, NJPW went public with their plan of an American expansion, which included establishing a subsidiary and running extended tours in the United States with California as the base, while also establishing a dojo for training Americans in Los Angeles, run by Rocky Romero. The full-scale running of the American market was set to launch in 2018.[8][9] According to Takaaki Kidani, the plan was a direct response to WWE taking four wrestlers, including AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, from NJPW in January 2016.[10] On May 12, during the third night of the NJPW and ROH co-produced War of the Worlds tour in New York City, it was announced that NJPW would hold a tournament to crown the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion during the G1 Special in USA weekend.[11][12] NJPW would open their Dojo in Los Angeles on March 24, with Katsuyori Shibata serving as head trainer and ROH wrestler Scorpio Sky serving as assistant trainer.[13] During this time NJPW began selling out their events in the United States such as the G1 Special in USA[14] and Strong Style Evolved,[15] leading NJPW to promote the G1 Special in San Francisco in the Cow Palace, which was a financial success.[16][17] This led to NJPW regularly promoting shows in the United States between 2017 and 2019 in various states through the East Coast and West Coast, with NJPW hosting the first day of the 2019 G1 Climax and the 2019 Super J-Cup.[18][19] NJPW would also promote the first non-WWE promoted professional wrestling event held in the Madison Square Garden with Ring of Honor and the second non-WWE professional wrestling event to sell 10,000 tickets, which also sold out.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

Formation and establishment (2019–Present)[]

On October 21, NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced the creation of their American subsidiary named "New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America", based in California.[32] It was announced that the subsidiary would begin operations in November.[32] NJPW established a plan to expand into the United States and international market, which would begin with developing talent through the LA Dojo and running extended tours in the United States, including events at the Madison Square Garden.[32] NJPW also confirmed that they would continue their television deal with AXS TV.[32] However, on December 27, NJPW ended its television deal with AXS TV.[33]

Since February 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NJPW and other wrestling promotions began to cancel or postpone their shows in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus. Various wrestlers such as David Finlay, El Phantasmo, KENTA, the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), Jay White, Juice Robinson, Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Robbie Eagles were unable to work on NJPW events due to travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[34] 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.[35] On June 19, NJPW held a weekly series called Lion's Break Collision that aired throughout the month of July, with the series airing on NJPW's internet streaming service NJPW World and digital network FITE TV worldwide.[34] Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States, the shows were held in closed doors without a live audience, with only essential personnel in the arena.[34] On July 31, during an online press conference, NJPW of America CEO Takami Obari announced a new weekly series NJPW Strong, and the New Japan Cup USA, the American version of the New Japan Cup, to be held between August 7 and August 21, featuring the foreign talent working in NJPW, with the winner receiving an opportunity for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.[36][34]

The premiere episode of NJPW Strong was held on August 7 and was broadcasted live from NJPW's L.A. Dojo on NJPW World.[37] The event was held behind closed doors with essential staff and personnel due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States.[38] Afterwards, NJoA established a working relationship with American promotions Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) and Major League Wrestling (MLW) and United Wrestling Network (UWN), with both promotions talent featuring on NJPW Strong.[39][40] On June 20, NJPW announced their return show to the United States with fans, with event being named Resurgence, taking place on August 14 at the The Torch in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. NJPW's last show with a live audience was The New Beginning in USA in Atlanta, Georgia on February 1, 2020 at the Coca-Cola Roxy before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the United States.[41][42]

Roster[]

BC.png
 Chris Bey
     
Chris Bey
Suzukigun.png
Chaos.png
ShinNihon USA logo.png
 Fred Rosser
     
Fred Rosser
 The DKC
     
The DKC
 Kevin Knight
     
Kevin Knight
 Buddy Matthews
     
Buddy Matthews
TeamFilthy.png
UE.png

Broadcasters[]

Domestic:

  • The Roku Channel (2021–present, United States, United Kingdom and Canada broadcasted World Pro Wrestling Returns and major shows, dubbed with English commentary)
  • AXS TV (2022–present, United States, broadcasted World Pro Wrestling Returns and major shows, dubbed with English commentary)

Worldwide:

  • New Japan Pro Wrestling World (streaming service, broadcasting most shows live, as well as on-demand classic, documentary and anime content, as well as content from other promotions)
  • FITE TV (2019–present, streaming service, broadcasting most NJPW big shows live, as well as on-demand classic)

Programming[]

Program Original release Original network Notes
NJPW Strong August 1, 2020–present NJPW World
FITE TV
NJoA's flagship program.
Lion's Break Collision July 3, 2020 - July 24, 2020 Lion's Break's flagship program.

Championships[]

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship KENTAIWGPUS1.jpg KENTA 1 November 6, 2021 83+ Osaka
Strong Openweight Championship LawlorSOC.jpg Tom Lawlor 1 April 23, 2021 280+ Port Hueneme, California

Tournaments[]

Tournament Last winner(s) Last held Type Created Notes
New Japan Cup USA Tom Lawlor April 24, 2021 Openweight 2020 Single-elimination tournament
Lion's Break Crown Clark Connors October 9, 2020 Openweight 2020 Single-elimination tournament
Super J-Cup El Phantasmo December 12, 2020 Junior heavyweight 2020 Sporadic single-elimination tournament featuring top junior heavyweights from all over the world. The tournament has been hosted by other promotions than NJPW as well.
Tag Team Turbulence The Good Brothers
(Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson)
July 30, 2021 Tag team 2021 Single-elimination tag team tournament

Events[]

Marquee events[]

References[]

  1. Johnson, Mike 2016-12-13. New Japan in United States update . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  2. Johnson, Mike 2016-12-29. New Japan in California update . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  3. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-01-04). Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  4. ja:【年間スケジュール発表!】6月11日大阪城ホール!『G1』両国3連戦! 現地時間・7月1日、2日にロサンゼルスで初のビッグマッチ!『G1 Special in USA』決定!! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-01-04). Archived from the original on 2017-01-04. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  5. Johnson, Mike 2017-01-04. New Japan to debut in United States this July . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  6. Meltzer, Dave 2010-10-03. New Japan Pro Wrestling comes to the U.S. . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on 2010-10-06. Retrieved on 2017-06-27.
  7. Meltzer, Dave 2017-01-15. ROH announces War of the Worlds tour dates with NJPW . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-06-27.
  8. Meltzer, Dave (April 10, 2017). "April 10, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 33 review, WWE financials, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 29–31. ISSN 1083-9593. 
  9. ja:戦略発表会で、木谷オーナーが「2020年の東京ドーム満員を目指す」とコメント!さらにアメリカへの“本格進出”、道場の設立も視野に!! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-05-16). Archived from the original on 2017-05-16. Retrieved on 2017-05-16.
  10. ja:新日本、7月のロス興行はWWEへ「反撃ののろし」 (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports (2017-01-05). Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  11. Meltzer, Dave 2017-05-12. ROH War of the Worlds PPV live results: Daniels vs. Cody vs. Lethal . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  12. Johnson, Mike 2017-05-12. New Japan announces new championship, unveils belt . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  13. Katsuyori Shibata to be Head Coach of New Japan Dojo in Los Angeles! . New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2018-03-05). Retrieved on 2018-03-09.
  14. Nason, Josh 2017-04-01. NJPW's two California U.S. shows, meet and greets sell out within hours . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
  15. Crockett, Paul 2018-01-29. NEW JAPAN SELLS OUT RETURN TO UNITED STATES IN 20 MINUTES . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2018-02-12.
  16. Reported success AXS TV . WrestleZone (2018-07-08). Retrieved on 2018-07-08.
  17. Bullet Club IMPLODES! HUGE New Japan INJURY! Cody Taking Time Off! on YouTube
  18. NJPW SUPER J-CUP TO TAKE PLACE IN UNITED STATES THIS AUGUST . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2019-06-10.
  19. FIRST NIGHT OF NJPW G1 CLIMAX 29 TAKING PLACE IN UNITED STATES . Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online (2019-01-04). Retrieved on 2019-01-04.
  20. HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE: ROH & NEW JAPAN SELL OUT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (in English). Pro Wrestling Insider (2018-08-10). Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  21. ROH & NJPW G1 SUPERCARD SELLS OUT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (in English). Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2018-08-10). Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  22. It’s official: ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard sells out Madison Square Garden “within minutes” (in English). Wrestle View. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  23. Ring of Honor-New Japan G1 Supercard Sells Out Madison Square Garden (in English). Sports Ilustrated. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  24. Ring of Honor-New Japan G1 Supercard Sells Out Madison Square Garden (in English). Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  25. ROH & New Japan tout the sellout of Madison Square Garden in New York City for their WrestleMania weekend show with Okada, Scurll (in English). Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2018-08-11.
  26. Jay Lethal Pitches Dream Match for 'G1 Supercard' at Madison Square Garden (in English). Comicbook. Retrieved on 2018-09-26.
  27. ROH and NJPW G1 event sells out Madison Square Garden (in English). Pro Wrestling.Net. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  28. ROH And NJPW Announce Madison Square Garden Event (in English). Pro Wrestling Sheet. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  29. POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE – Ring of Honor & NJPW sell out Madison Square Garden (in English). POST Wrestling. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  30. WWE news, rumors: ROH and NJPW sell out MSG; John Cena Super Show-Down match announced (in English). CBS Sports (2018-08-10). Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  31. WWE’s WrestleMania-week competition sells out MSG (in English). New York Post (2018-08-10). Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 NJPW of America launched: Press conference report . New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2019-10-21). Retrieved on 2019-10-21.
  33. NJPW NO LONGER AIRING ON AXS TV . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2019-12-27). Retrieved on 2019-12-27.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 NJPW STRONG Official Press Conference on YouTube
  35. Wrestle Dynasty postponed to 2021 【NJoA】【WD1】 . New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2020-05-07). Retrieved on 2020-05-07.
  36. Rose, Bryan date=July 31, 2020. NJPW ANNOUNCES DETAILS ON STRONG SHOW, NEW JAPAN CUP USA TOURNEY . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2020-07-31.
  37. 2020.08.07 NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 in the USA . New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Bushiroad (2020-08-07). Retrieved on 2020-08-11.
  38. Vishwakoti, Anish 2020-08-08. 8/7 NJPW Strong results: Anish V’s review of Kenta vs. Karl Fredericks, Jeff Cobb vs. Tanga Loa, David Finlay vs. Chase Owens, and Brody King vs. Tama Tonga in New Japan Cup USA first round matches . Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Last Row Media, LLC. Retrieved on 2020-08-11.
  39. ABOUT - United Wrestling Network . United Wrestling Network.
  40. Rose, Bryan 2020-11-02. NJPW HOLDING ONE-NIGHT SUPER J-CUP IN US, PARTICIPANTS SET . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2021-02-14.
  41. Error on call to Template:ref web: Parameters url and title (or script-title) must be specified' (in English). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2021-06-20). Retrieved on 2021-06-20.
  42. THE NEW BEGINNING USA . New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2020-02-01). Retrieved on 2020-02-02.
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