from puroresufan.com director Stuart:
Bushiroad, the new owners of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, today held a live presentation to announce some details on the future direction of the company. Here are the main things revealed at the event:
- “WRESTLE KINGDOM 7 IN TOKYO DOME” has already been confirmed for 1/4/13. They seem to have dropped the Roman numeral numbers for various concepts such as this so it’s listed as 7 instead of VII.
- The “G1 CLIMAX 22″ was also announced with two dates revealed: 8/3 Korakuen Hall and 8/12 Sumo Hall (the final).
- The yearly Sumo Hall event in October has been given a “more intelligible name” and from now on will be called “KING OF PRO WRESTLING IN RYOGOKU”, named after a new card game Bushiroad will be releasing.
- The historic “G1 TAG LEAGUE” name is so more and the concept will be renamed to the “WORLD TAG LEAGUE” while the end-of-year tour will be called “ROAD TO TOKYO DOME” to make it more of a coherent lead-in to the January super-show.
- Other minor tours will be renamed such as the January/February series becoming “NEW YEAR GOLDEN ROAD”.
- The most intriguing one is that something called the “WORLD WAR LEAGUE” will begin in Spring 2013, hinting at something new, possibly international based and a replacement for the New Japan Cup?
- New Japan will begin to produce a new 60 minute show on BS Asahi with the tentative name of “WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS”.
- New Japan will begin to produce a new late-night radio show on AM1422 with the tenative name of “NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING RADIO”.
- TOKYO MX will beging to rebroadcast the famous “Tiger Mask” anime with the idea it could reach young kids who would then become interested in New Japan, where of course the fourth generation of Tiger Mask has wrestled for years now.
- As mentioned, Bushiroad will release a new trading card game called “KING OF PRO WRESTLING”, a release that has been planned for some time, even before the company bought out New Japan. The first booster pack is scheduled to come out around the time of the 10/8 Sumo Hall show and players will be able to discover combos with tag teams and many other cool features.
- The well known Good Smile Company have began making a brand new range of New Japan figures and the president of the company, Aki Takanori, had some banter with wrestlers present today – such as being politely asked by Tenzan to make his head smaller than on usual Tenzan action figures! Kojima wants people to be able to press a button and hear his voice.
- New Japan wrestlers will begin to use the power of Twitter more, to communicate with fans. Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi can now be found @tanahashi1_100. Others are already on Twitter such as Nagata, Naito, Devitt, Nakamura, Captain New Japan, and Kanemoto.
- Sumo legend Akebono will return to New Japan from the summer and by the sounds of it will make New Japan his main home from that point onwards. He said he is looking forward to returning and dying New Japan the colour of Akebono.
The ultimate aim of New Japan under Bushiroad seems clear – to become bigger, better, and more accessible to new fans. And not just Japanese fans as it is clear that Bushiroad wants to make New Japan more of an international company and expand beyond the comfort zone of Japan. The renaming of shows/tours, the release of card games and action figures, the rebroadcast of Tiger Mask… all point towards a new direction for New Japan with new names and ideas, without changing the traditional feel of the company too much.
Here's a full list of upcoming events -
『NJPW40th Anniversary tour キズナロード』
●『G1 CLIMAX 22』
『NJPW40th Aniversary tour ボルテージロード』
『NJPW 40th Aniversary tour ワールドタッグリーグ戦』
『レッスルキングダム7 in 東京ドーム』