There is renewed interest regarding a potential working relationship between All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Harold Meij stepped down as President of NJPW on October 23rd. AEW President Tony Khan spoke to Dave Meltzer last month about the departure. When asked if he thinks Meij’s departure could improve relations between the promotions, Khan said he was not sure yet, but “my initial gut feeling is it could be good.”
Since then, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a cameo appearance on AEW Dynamite at the Chris Jericho 30th anniversary special, Tama Tonga saying he wants to work with FTR and the Lucha Bros and more comments from Tony Khan about the situation.
Earlier this week, Tony Khan told TSN that a talent exchange has been been somewhat one-sided so far. “We’ve sent people there and I haven’t really had people from New Japan show up on my TV yet. I’d like to see more of a two-sided relationship there because I’m honestly one of the easiest people to work with in wrestling. We’ve worked with NWA, we’ve worked with AAA and we’ve sent people to New Japan. I think with Harold being gone, I don’t know if it’s going to be easier, but I have a feeling it might be.”
Dave Meltzer noted in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that NJPW talent is interested in working with AEW. However, management still has bad feelings about AEW taking so many of their top stars like Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks.
As of this writing, there are no AEW wrestlers scheduled to compete at Wrestle Kingdom in January. Things could change over the next month, but a full-blown partnership remains elusive. Both companies stand to benefit from working together, so hopefully whatever differences exist can be put aside in order to deliver some historic moments for wrestling fans in 2021.