A AEW and NJPW relationship has become official after this week’s episode of Dynamite. KENTA (WWE fans may remember him as Hideo Itami) won the inaugural New Japan Cup USA tournament back in 2020, with the winner receiving a match for the IWGP United States Championship. The current champion is Jon Moxley who was attacked by KENTA after the main event of Dynamite.
Dave Meltzer discussed the deal on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
“The deal is done and the two sides have a working relationship. The pandemic probably sped it up, but it also holds it back at the same time. The only way to get Moxley was to make a deal. When AEW first started, New Japan had no clue how successful they’d be, there are a lot of things about it.”
While the details are unclear, it is believed NJPW agreed a deal with AEW to tape the KENTA/Moxley match back in December in the US, which will air later this month, in return KENTA would show up on Dynamite. Due to the travel restrictions and quarantine preventing talents from both companies travelling back and forth, it’s unlikely there will anyone else other than KENTA crossing over, as it was only possible due to KENTA living in Orlando.
Lord Lewis Dictates: AEW are making some interesting deals, first with Impact Wrestling, now with NJPW. I’m excited to see how this will progress and if Impact and NJPW will bury the hatchet and all work together in some form or another. I’d expect to see some sort of Bullet Club vs The Elite in the future.