3 reasons New Japan would benefit from a relationship with Impact and 2 reasons they would not
- With New Japan's relationship with Ring of Honor nearing its end, there is a great opportunity to reconcile with Impact Wrestling.
Some big news in the pro wrestling world has recently surfaced. The majority owners of Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA), Anthem Entertainment, purchased the AXS TV network from the previous owner Mark Cuban. On the surface this isn't that big of a deal -- AXS is simply the television station that broadcasts some weekly New Japan content in the United States. They own no stake in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and have no say in any of their day-to-day operations. However, one thing Anthem, and by extension Impact, now has the right to do, is choose the commentary team for the AXS broadcast (if they make a change at all) and how the product, in certain aspects, is presented on the network that they own.
Chances are that little, or nothing at all will actually change. A few key members of the team that produced the AXS episodes of NJPW are no longer with the company but that is not likely something that most fans will notice as it translates to television.
One thing that this could lead to, in the near (or more likely, somewhat distant) future, is a renewal of the partnership, or relationship, that Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling shared from 2008 until 2011. The TNA (now Impact) relationship involved a lot of interaction with New Japan's yearly Tokyo Dome event, WrestleKingdom, as well as TNA wrestlers holding New Japan championships. It was going rather well and the relationship seemed to be blooming, but things crashed down after some miscommunication (or lack of communication at all) between the two promotions.
Among other things, one big reason that New Japan severed ties with TNA Wrestling was the treatment of future star Kazuchika Okada, who spent some time in TNA on his global excursion. Another major reason was their use of New Japan's IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, which changed hands on a couple of occasions without the consent of New Japan.
To say the least, it was a very rocky relationship, but as most wrestling fans know, it's pretty darn difficult to fully burn a bridge in professional wrestling. If the money is right, and the deal is favorable for all involved, bridges can indeed be mended.
5. Impact has an amazing talent roster
One reason that New Japan would benefit from rekindling their relationship with Impact Wrestling is the fact that Impact has one of the best talent rosters in professional wrestling today. The company often flies under the radar because of their low profile on television (which may be growing with the move to AXS) as well as the negative connotation that the brand has had over the years, but they have been producing a pretty high-quality TV show, and PPV events, for a few years now. This has increased their attractiveness in the eyes of many companies, and they have garnered a number of relationships over the last few years, with smaller companies.
A relationship between the two companies would be more beneficial for the much smaller Impact but in terms of professional wrestling, the matches that could come from the two companies combining would be absolutely insane. The smaller X-Division guys like Ace Austin, Desmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel, and Petey Williams, among others, would be great in clashes with New Japan's Junior Heavyweight stars. The heavyweights, such as Moose, Willie Mack, Rhino, Eddie Edwards, Brian Cage, Ethan Page, and others would be amazing going up against New Japan's hard-hitters.
New Japan already has a crowded roster, but a partnership could help them do more varied special events both in the United States and in Japan, plus it gives them a better outlet into Canada, which is a great market for professional wrestling.