After the recent news of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s US return in Long Beach selling out in just 20 minutes, Dave Meltzer spoke with Total Wrestling Magazine, in conjunction with ProWrestling.com, and below are some exclusive interview highlights:
On NJPW’s global expansion plans:
“I think there are a couple of things. I think the English language commentary on New Japan World has helped a lot. Being on AXS in the United States has helped a lot. I think Omega being the guy and having the kind of matches that he’s had helps a lot as well.
The thing that impressed me and this is actually an Australian thing. Was when Okada worked in Melbourne, and just how ridiculously over he was, it shocked me.”
On which talents will help with the NJPW expansion:
“Kenny Omega is obviously the guy that everybody talks about, but outside of Japan, The Young Bucks are very important. You know, [Chris] Jericho was obviously super important. But at the end of the day, Jericho is going to be back with WWE. I don’t know what his mentality is overall, but he’s going to work with a couple of top guys – maybe just Naito, maybe he’ll work with Okada and Tanahashi. Maybe he’ll work with Omega again. Only big shows and he should only work big shows.
He was extremely valuable for the Tokyo Dome, and the Tokyo Dome was extremely valuable for the company. So in that sense, Jericho was exceedingly valuable. A lot of people before were second-guessing, “Oh, they shouldn’t use a WWE guy that high on the card. It’s not even a main event WWE guy”. Whatever it was or whatever you wanna say, the numbers speak for themselves.”