NJPW Owner: “We Are Entering a Phase Where You Are Either With WWE or Against Them”

The owner of New Japan Pro Wrestling Takaaki Kidani issued a statement during this weekends’ Road to Tokyo Dome events regarding WWE’s recent talent acquisition strategy and how NJPW will be ‘fighting back,’ you can read the full transcript below:

“WWE strategy 1: raise roughly 2 billion Yen from the network to create a network of global territories and tie up talent. It’s very possible WWE purchase a promotion in Japan. WWE are shoring up their network because of cable cutters and prevalence of streaming, meaning declining TV ratings. The cable TV structure as is will collapse in the US within 3-5 years. There are many reasons for WWE to create local territories. It cuts cost just to send talent on international tours and not the whole infrastructure. WWE are only functionally profitable in the U.S., Canada and U.K. They have TV elsewhere but that’s all. By creating territories, they’re able to actually create products with awareness of cultural differences and characteristics of markets. WWE have had difficulty in creating new stars. By going to local territories and broadcasting them, they can create network stars. WWE are taking big gambles, in IT for one. This isn’t the platform to discuss NJPW strategy fully but we will announce something soon. We are entering a phase where you are either with WWE or against them. WWE have a lot of weaknesses and time is not on their side.”

(Credit to Co-host of the Japanese Audio Wrestling podcast Chris Charlton for the translation)