NJPW News: NJPW returning to Long Beach in 2018
What's the story?
New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced that it will be returning to the United States for another show in March 2018.
In case you didn't know...
NJPW is arguably the hottest professional wrestling product on the planet today. The Japanese company has experienced incredible international growth over the past four years, largely spurred on by the success of current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and the merchandise machine that is Bullet Club.
In July 2017, NJPW held its first shows in the United States. The G1 Special events took place in Long Beach, California, and were considered a success from all sides. Tickets sold out in less than two hours, Okada successfully defended his championship against Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega was crowned the first (and only to date) IWGP United States Champion.
Fans widely expected NJPW to return to the US in 2018.
The heart of the matter
Those fans have been proved correct. Prior to the intermission of this evening's Power Struggle event, it was announced that NJPW will return to Long Beach for an event on March 25, 2018.
The show, seemingly titled 'Strong Style Evolve', will take place in the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. The Pyramid is a 5,000 seater venue, and is currently home to the Long Beach State 49ers basketball teams, both male and female. It also hosts the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
No further details have been announced for the show yet.
Power Struggle is currently taking place, with many matches being set up for Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4. Roppongi 3K won the Super Junior Tag Tournament before being challenged by The Young Bucks, potentially for a Tokyo Dome match.
Five months sit between now and Strong Style Evolve, and the landscape of New Japan Pro Wrestling will undoubtedly be different by the time the Long Beach show comes around. Questions will certainly be asked about the event, but it is yet another statement of intent from the hottest professional wrestling promotion on the planet.
The NJPW world takeover continues. Is there any debate as to Okada, Omega, Naito and company being at the top of the pro wrestling pyramid today? WWE may well be the biggest promotion on the planet, but New Japan is more and more becoming the place to perform.
It will be fascinating to see who makes the return trip to Long Beach in 2018. Rumours will almost certainly begin to swirl regarding Neville, Austin Aries and other big names. Ticket information will be availble soon, but for now let the fantasy booking begin.