New Japan Pro Wrestling plans to run 3 more events in the United States before the end of the year. It was reported earlier this week that the promotion planned to return to Long Beach on September 30th (Fighting Spirit Unleashed). They have now announced 2 more shows in Anaheim on November 10th and 11th.
The Anaheim shows will not feature the top-tier stars of NJPW, however. Rather the two shows will be deemed “Lion’s Break” events similar to the Lion’s Gate shows in Japan and feature trainees. Although not specifically mentioned, it’s possible the Lion’s Break shows could feature talent scouted at their Long Beach dojo camps earlier this year.
In total, NJPW will have run 5 shows in the United States by year’s end. They have also toured the UK, Australia, and Mexico this year. Many believe the increased focus on international expansion has come from their newly appointed President, Harold Meij.
Just announced! Get ready for more NJPW action coming Stateside!
Sep 30 in Long Beach – Fighting Spirit Unleashed!
— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) July 6, 2018
NJPW International Expansion
Meij told Japanese media his plans for the promotion include an emphasis on expanding from their traditional market.
“I want to expand the fan-base regardless of age, gender or nationality,” Meij explained. “New Japan has fantastic content, so it has the possibility of picking up popularity overseas. At the moment, there are some 100,000 registered members on our video streaming service ‘New Japan Pro-Wrestling World,’ and 40,000 of them live outside Japan. I would like to aim for the international market with things like videos in English or events for foreign tourists.”
New Japan Pro Wrestling is just outside of San Francisco tonight for their G1 Special. Earlier today there were slightly over 1000 tickets available for the event online. NJPW announced there were a small number of walk-up tickets available at the Cow Palace. Earlier reports had the building half sold-out but with it being the most expensive half of seats sold. It now looks as though it should be just under a sellout tonight.