NJPW President, Harold Meij, recently spoke with Emily Pratt on a variety of subjects. Perhaps most notably, Meij addressed the criticism some of had lately of NJPW becoming “westernized”.
“What is the Westernization of wrestling? I don’t know. It’s for the fans to decide what that is,” Meij said. “But I can tell you, if it’s the definition that I have, which might be very much different from yours or anyone else’s out there – it’s their own definition, I think – but if it’s my definition of what I think Westernization of wrestling is, then we’re trying to do the exact opposite.”
“We are New Japan Pro Wrestling,” Meij continued. “So I’m trying to bring the Japanese way, the Japanese way of wrestling, to the global audience. And this has to do much more with the philosophy that we talked about earlier, but also our traditions. It has to do with the way we bring and educate, if you will, our wrestlers… We have great talent. We have great matches.”
Harold Meij On Why People Watch Wrestling
Meij also gave some interesting insight into why he believes people like watching wrestling matches.
“As an individual, there are times in your life when you have to fight,” Meij said. And I don’t mean literally fight, but, you know, you have to fight for a cause or fight to protect your family, or yourself, or your opinions, or for your job or your work or whatever you’re doing, but you have to fight.”
“But when I see people physically fighting and overcoming struggles,” he continued. “Like a lot of the wrestlers have, they put a lot of time in it, they overcome a lot of injuries or personal sacrifices or personal, how do you say, struggles, within the wrestling world, and when you see them give it their everything in their match, it actually gives you as a spectator strength and courage to do more than what you might not have done in the past. And I get that from a lot of the fans, that they say the same thing. They say that’s one of the reasons why wrestling is so attractive to them.”
The full interview can be read here.