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(NJPW) is a Japanese professional wrestling
promotion Promotion may refer to: Marketing * Promotion (marketing), one of the four marketing mix elements, comprising any type of marketing communication used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or i ...
based in
Nakano, Tokyo is a Special wards of Tokyo, special ward in Tokyo, Japan. The English translation of its Japanese self-designation is Nakano City.Antonio Inoki Muhammad Hussain Inoki (born on February 20, 1943) is a Japanese retired professional wrestler, martial artist Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law en ...
, the promotion was sold to
Yuke's Yuke's Co. Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer based in Osaka. It was established on 26 February 1993 by Yukinori Taniguchi. The company is best known for their development of the ''WWE 2K, WWE'' video game series, until the release of ''WWE ...
, who later sold it to
Bushiroad is a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden ...
in 2012.
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi
and Amuse, Inc. own minority shares of the company. Naoki Sugabayashi has served as the promotion's Chairman since September 2013, while Takami Ohbari has served as the President of the promotion since October 2020. Owing to its TV program aired on
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi
, NJPW is the largest and longest-running professional wrestling promotion in Japan. It was affiliated with the
National Wrestling Alliance The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former governing body operating via its parent company Lightning One, Inc. Founded in 1948, the NWA began as a governing body for a group of independent pr ...
at various points in its history. NJPW has had agreements with various
MMA Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact combat sport A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one ...

MMA
and
professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reas ...
s around the world, including
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company that is primarily known for professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving ...
,
All Elite Wrestling All Elite Wrestling, LLC (AEW) is an American founded in 2019. Its inception was announced by and his son , with the former acting as the promotion's lead investor, and the latter being the founder, president and CEO of the company. Professio ...
,
World Championship Wrestling World Championship Wrestling, Inc. (WCW) was an American professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people ...
,
American Wrestling Association The American Wrestling Association (AWA) was an American professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of peopl ...
,
World Class Championship Wrestling World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), later known as the World Class Wrestling Association (WCWA) (1986–1991) was an American professional wrestling promotion headquartered in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Originally owned by promoter Ed ...
,
Impact Wrestling Impact Wrestling (stylized as ''IMPACT! Wrestling'') is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment. Founded by Jeff Jarrett, Jeff and Jerry Jarrett in 2002, ...
,
WAR War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
,
UWFi Union of Professional Wrestling Force International, better known as UWF International, U-Inter, or simply UWFi, was a shoot style Shoot wrestling is a combat sport that has its origins in Japan's professional wrestling circuit of the 1970s. Pro ...
,
Ring of Honor Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC, operating as Ring of Honor (ROH), is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Ring of Honor was originally founde ...

Ring of Honor
,
Pride Fighting Championships Pride Fighting Championships (Pride or Pride FC, founded as KRS-Pride) was a Japanese mixed martial arts promotion company. Its inaugural event was held at the Tokyo Dome on October 11, 1997. Pride held more than sixty mixed martial arts eve ...
, and
Jersey All Pro Wrestling Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) is a inactive Independent circuit, independent wrestling Professional wrestling promotion, promotion based in New Jersey, United States. History 1997 Jersey All Pro Wrestling was an independent wrestling promotion ...
. NJPW's biggest event is the
January 4 Tokyo Dome Show The January 4 Tokyo Dome Show is a professional wrestling event produced annually on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), a Japan-based professional wrestling promotion. NJPW has promoted events in the venue every Januar ...
, held each year since 1992 and currently promoted under the Wrestle Kingdom banner. The promotion is currently owned by Japanese card game company
Bushiroad is a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden ...
, which parlayed its entry to the world of professional wrestling into a best-selling trading card game, ''King of Pro Wrestling'', and appearances from NJPW stars in its various franchises.


History


Formation and early history (1972–2000)

The promotion was founded by
Antonio Inoki Muhammad Hussain Inoki (born on February 20, 1943) is a Japanese retired professional wrestler, martial artist Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law en ...
on January 13, 1972 after his departure from the
Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance The was the first professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'matches', held by touring companies called Pr ...
promotion. The first NJPW event, titled ''Opening Series'', took place on March 6, 1972, in the Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, to a crowd of 5,000. The following year, NJPW signed a television deal with NET TV, now known as
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi
. The company launched its own governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP); and in 1983,
Hulk Hogan Terry Eugene Bollea (, born August 11, 1953), better known by his ring name A ring name is a type of stage name used by an athlete such as a Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, Mixed martial arts, mixed martial artist, or Boxing, ...

Hulk Hogan
became the first ever
IWGP Heavyweight Champion The was a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character ...
by defeating Inoki. However, this championship was later abandoned and the current version of the
championship {{multiple issues, {{cleanup reorganize, date=October 2012 {{Unreferenced, date=May 2010 In sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and ...

championship
was established in 1987. Inoki would serve as the president of the promotion until 1989, when he was succeeded by
Seiji Sakaguchi is a retired Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat ...
. On April 24, 1989, NJPW hosted Battle Satellite, its first show in the
Tokyo Dome is a stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Construction on the stadium began on May 16, 1985, and it opened on March 17, 1988. It was built on the site of the Velodrome, adjacent to the predecessor ballpark, Korakuen Stadium. It has a maximum total ...

Tokyo Dome
. The promotion was a member of the
National Wrestling Alliance The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former governing body operating via its parent company Lightning One, Inc. Founded in 1948, the NWA began as a governing body for a group of independent pr ...
(NWA) from 1975 to 1985 and once more from 1992 to 1993. NJPW was briefly reaffiliated with the NWA in the late 2000s to the early 2010s as well. On January 4, 1992, NJPW partnered with
World Championship Wrestling World Championship Wrestling, Inc. (WCW) was an American professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people ...
(WCW) to produce Super Warriors, the first ever
January 4 Tokyo Dome Show The January 4 Tokyo Dome Show is a professional wrestling event produced annually on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), a Japan-based professional wrestling promotion. NJPW has promoted events in the venue every Januar ...
, an event that would become an annual tradition for NJPW and is considered their biggest event of the year and comparable to
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company that is primarily known for professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving ...
's
WrestleMania WrestleMania is a professional wrestling event produced annually between mid-March and mid-April by WWE, an American professional wrestling promotion based in Stamford, Connecticut. WWE first produced the event in WrestleMania 1, 1985 and has s ...

WrestleMania
event. In April 1995, NJPW and WCW held the two-day
Collision in Korea In , a collision is any event in which two or more bodies exert s on each other in a relatively short time. Although the most common use of the word ''collision'' refers to incidents in which two or more objects collide with great force, the sci ...
event at the
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium occupying an area of on Rŭngrado, Rungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea. It opened on 1 May 1989, with its first major event being the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. It is ...

Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
in
Pyongyang Pyongyang (, , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Pyongyang
,
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It borders China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Yalu (Amnok) and Tu ...

North Korea
. The event was the first professional wrestling event held in North Korea and holds the record for most attended wrestling event of all time, with 355,000 people packing the stadium over the two days.


Inokism and Inoki's departure (2000–2007)

In the early 2000s, the burgeoning popularity of
mixed martial arts Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact combat sport based on strike (attack), striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from var ...

mixed martial arts
(MMA) in Japan was noticed by Inoki, who wanted to integrate elements of
shoot wrestling Shoot wrestling is a combat sport A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one combat. In many combat sports, a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the o ...
to make the company appear more realistic. The company would partner with martial arts organization
K-1 K-1 is a martial arts Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; combat sport, competition; physical, mental, and spiritual develop ...

K-1
and begin to insert wrestlers into MMA fights, with the goal of pushing NJPW in a more realistic direction and to make it appear as an actual sport. The company's new management was criticized by critics and fans, and the combination of MMA and professional wrestling was dubbed "Inokism". Inoki later departed NJPW in 2005 after selling his share of the company to
Yuke's Yuke's Co. Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer based in Osaka. It was established on 26 February 1993 by Yukinori Taniguchi. The company is best known for their development of the ''WWE 2K, WWE'' video game series, until the release of ''WWE ...
, and began his own promotion, the
Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) was a Japanese professional wrestling and mixed martial arts promotion founded by Antonio Inoki in 2007. History Antonio Inoki left New Japan Pro-Wrestling, a promotion he founded in 1972, to start the IGF. The first IGF show was held on J ...
(IGF), in 2007. After his departure, Inoki's son-in-law Simon took over the company, before Naoki Sugabayashi was appointed president in 2007 after Simon also left NJPW to join Antonio in IGF. After the departure of the Inoki family, the company began to reintegrate its prior
puroresu is the predominant style of professional wrestling that has developed in Japan. The term comes from the Gairaigo, Japanese pronunciation of , which is shortened to puroresu. The term became popular among English language, English-speaking fans ...
style of wrestling.


Resurgence and expansion (2007–2020)

Also in 2007, NJPW hosted its first ever
pay-per-view Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of or service that enables a viewer to pay to watch individual events via private telecast. Events can be purchased through a platform using their , an automated telephone system, or through a live . There has been ...
(PPV) event
Wrestle Kingdom I (sequentially known as Wrestle Kingdom I) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event co-produced by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) Professional wrestling promotion, promotions, which took place at ...
. The promotion debuted a new series called
NEVER Never may refer to: Songs *Never (Heart song), "Never" (Heart song), 1985 *Never (Jaheim song), "Never" (Jaheim song), 2008 *Never (Keyshia Cole song), "Never" (Keyshia Cole song), 2005 *Never (Kristine W song), "Never" (Kristine W song), 2008 *Ne ...
in August 2010, designed to be a series of events spotlighting younger up-and-coming New Japan talent and feature more outsider participation in the promotion. The final NEVER event was held in November 2012. On January 4, 2011, New Japan officially announced the NJPW Invasion Tour 2011: Attack on East Coast, the promotion's first tour of the United States to be held in May 2011. The tour featured shows in
Rahway, New Jersey Rahway is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...
on May 13,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
on May 14 and
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
on May 15, as well as cross-promotion with American independent group
Jersey All Pro Wrestling Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) is a inactive Independent circuit, independent wrestling Professional wrestling promotion, promotion based in New Jersey, United States. History 1997 Jersey All Pro Wrestling was an independent wrestling promotion ...
(JAPW). As part of the tour, NJPW introduced a new title, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On January 31, 2012,
Yuke's Yuke's Co. Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer based in Osaka. It was established on 26 February 1993 by Yukinori Taniguchi. The company is best known for their development of the ''WWE 2K, WWE'' video game series, until the release of ''WWE ...
announced that it had sold all shares of New Japan Pro-Wrestling to card game company Bushiroad for ¥500 million ( $6.5 million). New Japan aired its first internet
pay-per-view Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of or service that enables a viewer to pay to watch individual events via private telecast. Events can be purchased through a platform using their , an automated telephone system, or through a live . There has been ...
, the fourth day of the , on August 5, 2012. The October 8, 2012,
King of Pro-Wrestling King of Pro-Wrestling is an annual professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). The event has been held every October since King of Pro-Wrestling (2012), 2012 and aired domestically as a pay-per-view (PPV). The event al ...
pay-per-view marked the first time viewers outside Japan were able to order a pay-per-view by the promotion through
Ustream IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream) is an American live video streaming Livestreaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. It is often referred to simply as streaming, but this abbreviated term is amb ...
. On October 5, 2012, New Japan announced the creation of the NEVER Openweight Championship, which would be contested for on the NEVER series. A two-day tournament to determine the inaugural champion was held between November 15 and 19, 2012. In February 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with
Ring of Honor Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC, operating as Ring of Honor (ROH), is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Ring of Honor was originally founde ...

Ring of Honor
(ROH), which saw the promotion return to North America the following May to present two supershows; Global Wars in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
and
War of the Worlds ''The War of the Worlds'' is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells, first serialised in 1897 by ''Pearson's Magazine'' in the UK and by ''Cosmopolitan (magazine), Cosmopolitan'' magazine in the US. The novel's first appearance ...
in New York City. During the tour, New Japan wrestlers also took part in an event held by
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the At ...

Canadian
promotion
Border City Wrestling Border City Wrestling (BCW) is an independent professional wrestling promotion based in Windsor, Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's ...
(BCW). A year later, NJPW and ROH announced another tour together to produce four more supershows; War of the Worlds '15 on May 12 and 13 in Philadelphia and
Global Wars '15 Global Wars '15 was a two-day professional wrestling supershow co-produced by the American Ring of Honor (ROH) and Japanese New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) Professional wrestling promotion, promotions. The events took place on May 15 and 16, 2015, at ...
on May 15 and 16 in Toronto. In June 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with the new American
Global Force Wrestling Global Force Wrestling is an American inactive professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between pe ...
(GFW) organization helmed by
Jeff Jarrett Jeffrey Leonard Jarrett (born July 14, 1967) is an American professional wrestler Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typical ...

Jeff Jarrett
. In November 2014, GFW announced that it would be broadcasting NJPW's
Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome was a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers w ...
on pay-per-view in the United States as a four-hour event. Also in November 2014, the American
AXS TV AXS TV (pronounced "access") is an United States, American specialty television channel. Majority-owned by Anthem Sports & Entertainment, it is devoted primarily to live music programming, entertainment, and combat sports—including mixed martial ...
network announced it had acquired rights to rebroadcast a series of thirteen episodes of NJPW matches from
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi
. The series premiered on January 16, 2015, airing weekly on Fridays. Averaging 200,000 viewers per episode, the show was considered a success, leading to AXS TV and TV Asahi signing a multi-year deal to continue airing the show. In June 2016, the show was also acquired by the Canadian
Fight Network Fight Network is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and a ...
. On December 1, 2014, NJPW and TV Asahi announced
NJPW World , also referred to as New Japan Pro-Wrestling World and New Japan World, is a subscription-based video streaming service owned by the Japanese professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion (also federation or fed) is a company ...
, a new worldwide streaming site for the promotion's events. On July 18, 2015, NJPW announced the "New IWGP Conception", a global expansion strategy centered on their international partnerships with
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre Co., Ltd. (CMLL; , "World Wrestling Council") is a ''lucha libre Lucha libre (, meaning "freestyle wrestling" or literally translated as "free fight") is the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling ...
(CMLL), GFW, ROH,
Revolution Pro Wrestling Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro/RPW) is a British professional wrestling Professional wrestling promotion, promotion founded on August 26, 2012 by Andy Quildan after separating from International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom. Revolution Pro Wre ...
(RPW),
Westside Xtreme Wrestling Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) is a professional wrestling promotion based in Essen, Germany. wXw has been one of the leading professional wrestling promotions in Germany, and most of its events have been held in the Ruhr, Ruhr district, primarily ...
(wXw), and the
National Wrestling Alliance The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former governing body operating via its parent company Lightning One, Inc. Founded in 1948, the NWA began as a governing body for a group of independent pr ...
(NWA) as well as holding more shows in
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
, and
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
. Also announced was the
Lion's Gate Project Lion's Gate is the Farm team#Professional wrestling, developmental branch of professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), which holds events under the banner of Lion's Gate Project. The branch was officially announced on July 18 ...
, which would feature NJPW rookies as well as up-and-coming outsiders working trial matches in an effort to earn a spot in the promotion. Finally, it was announced that there were plans to take the company public with a listing on the stock market within three to five years. On December 21, 2015, NJPW announced the creation of its seventh active title and the first six-man tag team championship in the promotion's history, the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. On January 5, 2016, NJPW announced a partnership with the Amuse talent agency with the goal of making the promotion's wrestlers internationally recognized stars in the vein of
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972), also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor, producer, retired Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, and former American football and Canadian football player. Regarded as one o ...
. In March 2017, NJPW partnered with the
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
-based Fale Dojo, a pro wrestling training facility run by NJPW performer
Bad Luck Fale Simi Taitoko Fale (born 8 January 1982) is a Tongan New Zealander Professional wrestling, professional wrestler and former rugby union player. He currently works for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) as . In NJPW, he is a List of NEVER Openweight 6 ...
. NJPW will utilize the partnership as an opportunity to scout talent from
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Eart ...

Oceania
. The following month on April 24, 2017, it was announced that NJPW would co-present the Japanese qualifiers for the Pro Wrestling World Cup tournament hosted by the British What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) promotion. On May 12, 2017, NJPW announced the creation of a new title: the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, with the inaugural champion to be crowned during the promotion's
G1 Special in USA G1 Special in USA was a two-day professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with esta ...
shows in
Long Beach, California Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is the list of United States cities by population, 42nd-most populous city in the United States, with a population of 466,742 as of 2020. A charter city, Long Beach is the List of citie ...
on July 1 and 2. Four days later, NJPW held a press conference to announce plans to establish a subsidiary company, including a dojo, in the United States. A
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
office was scheduled to be opened before the end of 2017, with a dojo scheduled to be opened at the start of 2018. NJPW's second American event, Strong Style Evolved, took place on March 25, 2018, also in Long Beach. In November 2017, NJPW signed a television deal with
Discovery Communications Discovery, Inc. is an American multinational mass media Factual television, factual television conglomerate (company), conglomerate based in New York City. Established in 1985, the company primarily operates a group of factual television, factual ...
, which would see the company's programming brought to 70 million
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n homes through
DSport Eurosport is an Indian sports channel, launched as DSport by Discovery Asia-Pacific on 6 February 2017. Eurosport telecasts a wide range of leagues and events from Discovery's European channel Eurosport. On 24 January Lex Sportel (the content pr ...

DSport
. In January 2018, NJPW announced the four-show Fallout Down Under tour, the promotion's inaugural tour of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
spanning from February 16–19. In March 2018, New Japan opened the NJPW LA Dojo with
Katsuyori Shibata is a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golde ...
serving as head trainer and ROH wrestler
Scorpio Sky Schuyler Andrews (born April 2, 1983), better known by the ring name A ring name is a type of stage name A stage name is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, comedians, singers, and musicians. Such titles are adopte ...
serving as assistant trainer. On May 13, 2018, New Japan hired its first foreign president, Dutch businessman Harold Meij. In February 2019, NJPW re-established their partnership with the NWA and entered into a new partnership with
The Crash Lucha Libre The Crash Lucha Libre, also referred to as simply The Crash, is a ''lucha libre Lucha libre (, meaning "freestyle wrestling" or literally translated as "free fight") is the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling Professional wrest ...
, both partnerships ended later in 2019. On October 21, 2019, NJPW announced the formation of a new American subsidiary of the company, named New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America. In 2019, they had run a record 13 shows in the United States, with plans to run double that in 2020. It was reported at the same time that NJPW and ROH had no joint shows planned for the future. On October 31, 2019, Super7 announced the first line of NJPW
action figures An action figure is a poseable character (arts), character toy figurine made most commonly of plastic, and often based upon characters from a film, comic book, military, video game or television program; fictional or historical. These figures are ...
.


Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020–present)

Amidst from the Japanese onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with recommendations from the Japanese Ministry of Health, NJPW decided to cancel all scheduled shows from March 1 through March 15. On March 10, NJPW announced that they were cancelling all shows through March 22, which meant that they cancelled the 2020 New Japan Cup as well.
World Wonder Ring Stardom World Wonder Ring Stardom, スターダム 女子プロレス, often referred to simply as Stardom (stylized as ST★RDOM), is a Japanese '' joshi puroresu'' or women's professional wrestling professional wrestling promotion, promotion based i ...

World Wonder Ring Stardom
, the sister company of NJPW also owned by
Bushiroad is a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden ...
, also made adjustments to their scheduled, cancelling shows from February 18 to March 14. Their March 8 show in
Korakuen Hall is an arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, t ...

Korakuen Hall
was held without any spectators in attendance, instead streaming live on their
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
channel. On March 23, NJPW would later cancel the 2020 Sakura Genesis event that was originally scheduled to take place in on March 31. On April 8, NJPW would cancel more events from April 11 through May 4, which mean both nights of 2020
Wrestling Dontaku is an annual professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character ...
were cancelled as well. On May 6, NJPW cancelled their annual
Best of the Super Juniors The Best of the Super Juniors (often abbreviated BOSJ) is an annual professional wrestling tournament On various occasions in professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling m ...
tournament. The next day, NJPW postponed their Wrestle Dynasty event to 2021, which was to take place in
Madison Square Garden Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or by its initials MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state Stat ...

Madison Square Garden
in New York. On June 9, NJPW announced their return with special show with mystery match card called ''Together Special'' on June 15 and the return of the New Japan Cup would now be held from June 16 until July 11, with the final being held at
Osaka-jō Hall is a multi-purpose arena located in the Kyōbashi, Osaka, Kyōbashi area of Osaka, Japan. The hall opened in 1983 and can seat up to 16,000 people. Built on a site area of 36,351 square meters, part of its form uses stone walls, modeled after t ...
in
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region The or the , lies in the southern-central region of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , ...

Osaka
alongside Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall being rescheduled to July 12. 175px, NJPW 50th Anniversary logo, introduced in late 2021 to celebrate the milestone. On September 29, NJPW announced that Meij would no longer be appointed president of the promotion and was replaced by Takami Ohbari on October 23, who is the current CEO of New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America. In 2020, NJPW partnered with
Game Changer Wrestling Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) is an independent professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion (also federation or fed) is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an assoc ...
(GCW) and
Major League Wrestling Major League Wrestling, commonly shortened to MLW, is an American professional wrestling promotion based in New Rochelle, New York. The promotion was founded in 2002 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by former WWE writer Court Bauer. The promotion ...
(MLW), with both promotions sending wrestlers to the
Super J-Cup The Super J-Cup is a professional wrestling tournament featuring Cruiserweight (professional wrestling), junior heavyweight wrestlers from all over the world. The tournament was originally conceived by Japanese wrestler Jushin Thunder Liger as a s ...
tournament. On July 31, NJPW announced a new weekly series titled ''
NJPW Strong ''NJPW Strong'' is a professional wrestling television series produced by Japanese professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). It airs every Friday at 10pm Eastern Time Zone, ET on NJPW's streaming service New Japan Pro-Wrestl ...
'', with its initial episodes to feature matches from the inaugural
New Japan Cup USA New Japan Cup USA is an annual professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with estab ...
tournament. As part of NJPW's expansion into the United States, the series would be produced by NJPW of America. In February 2021, it was reported that NJPW had entered into partnerships with
All Elite Wrestling All Elite Wrestling, LLC (AEW) is an American founded in 2019. Its inception was announced by and his son , with the former acting as the promotion's lead investor, and the latter being the founder, president and CEO of the company. Professio ...
(AEW) and
Impact Wrestling Impact Wrestling (stylized as ''IMPACT! Wrestling'') is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment. Founded by Jeff Jarrett, Jeff and Jerry Jarrett in 2002, ...
. On November 19, 2021 NJPW would re-established its relationship with
Pro Wrestling Noah (stylised as Pro Wrestling NOAH) is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion Promotion may refer to: Marketing * Promotion (marketing), one of the four marketing mix elements, comprising any type of marketing communication used to inform o ...
with Noah wrestlers being involved at the third night of NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 16 event.


Contracts

Up until the 1980s, NJPW signed its workers to multi-year contracts, before changing to a system where the promotion signed its wrestlers to one-year deals that expired at the end of every January. Following the departures of A.J. Styles and
Shinsuke Nakamura is a Japanese Professional wrestling, professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown (WWE brand), SmackDown brand, and is the current WWE Intercontinental Champion in his List of WWE Intercontinental Ch ...

Shinsuke Nakamura
, NJPW chairman
Takaaki Kidani is a Japanese businessman born in Kanazawa is the capital city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyc ...
announced in February 2016 that the promotion was returning to the multi-year contract system. The contracts forbid negotiations with other promotions. Any side contracts or agreements offered to wrestlers under NJPW contracts, need the promotion's approval before being signed. NJPW currently has partnerships with several promotions across the world.


Championships and accomplishments

The promotion has its own fictional governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix, shortened as IWGP. NJPW currently has nine titles: the IWGP World Heavyweight, IWGP United States Heavyweight, , IWGP Tag Team, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team, , NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team, and Strong Openweight Championships as well as the KOPW Trophy.


Current championships

As of , .


Defunct championships


Records


Events


Marquee events

*
Wrestle Kingdom The January 4 Tokyo Dome Show is a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers wit ...
* The New Beginning * NJPW Anniversary Show * Sakura Genesis *
Wrestling Dontaku is an annual professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character ...
*
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...
* Summer Struggle * Wrestle Dynasty * Wrestle Grand Slam *
Destruction Destruction refers to damage to an object, system, being or idea (as in legal damages and physical vandalism) beyond the capability to repair. Concepts * Destruktion, a term from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger * Destructive narcissism, a pat ...
* Fighting Spirit Unleashed *
King of Pro-Wrestling King of Pro-Wrestling is an annual professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). The event has been held every October since King of Pro-Wrestling (2012), 2012 and aired domestically as a pay-per-view (PPV). The event al ...
* Power Struggle


Collaborated events

*
Fantastica Mania ''Fantastica Mania'', sometimes spelled as ''Fantasticamania'', is a series of annual professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are pl ...
(with CMLL) * Global Wars UK (with RPW)


Developmental events

*
Lion's Gate Project Lion's Gate is the Farm team#Professional wrestling, developmental branch of professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), which holds events under the banner of Lion's Gate Project. The branch was officially announced on July 18 ...
* Lion's Break Project


Tournaments


Active


Inactive


Halls of fame


Greatest 18 Club

Ther Greatest 18 Club was New Japan's first hall of fame, being established in 1990 during Antonio Inoki's career 30th anniversary. Additionally, Lou Thesz also debuted a new Greatest 18 Club Championship, awarding it to
Riki Choshu , better known by his ring name A ring name is a type of stage name used by an athlete such as a Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, Mixed martial arts, mixed martial artist, or Boxing, boxer whose real name is considered unattractive, ...
.


Inductees


Greatest Wrestlers

The Greatest Wrestlers is New Japan's
hall of fame A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their in their field. In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums that enshrine the hono ...

hall of fame
, established in 2007 to honor wrestlers who have wrestled for the promotion. From 2007 to 2011, the inductions begin on March 6, the anniversary of the promotion's founding.


Inductees


Broadcasters

Domestic: *
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi
(1973–present, currently broadcasting weekly highlights show ''World Pro-Wrestling'' and live specials) *
Fighting TV Samurai Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometime ...
(1996–present, currently broadcasting live specials, retrospective shows and magazine show ''NJPW Battle DX'') *
AbemaTV AbemaTV (アベマティーヴィー, stylized as Abema) is a Japanese video streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, o ...
(2014–present, online linear television service, live-streaming episodes of ''World Pro-Wrestling'') International (former): *
Eurosport Eurosport is a pan-European television sports network and a subsidiary of Discovery, Inc., Discovery. Eurosport owns a wide range of rights across many sports but generally does not bid for premium priced rights such as those to major football ...

Eurosport
(mid '90s–2007, Europe, dubbed episodes of ''World Pro-Wrestling'' and major shows for various continental markets) *
The Wrestling Channel The TWC Fight! logo used from 2006 to 2008 The Fight Network (formerly The Wrestling Channel, TWC and TWC Fight!) was a free-to-air digital satellite television sports channel in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Ireland, devoted to ai ...
(2002–2005, UK & Ireland, dubbed and undubbed broadcasts of major shows) *
AXS TV AXS TV (pronounced "access") is an United States, American specialty television channel. Majority-owned by Anthem Sports & Entertainment, it is devoted primarily to live music programming, entertainment, and combat sports—including mixed martial ...
(2014–19, United States, broadcast ''World Pro-Wrestling'' and major shows, dubbed with English commentary) *
1Sports 1Sports is an Indian sports channel owned by Lex Sportel vision pvt. ltd. launched after Discovery India took full control of their DSport channel. 1Sports broadcasts live sporting action from around the world that also includes India's Nationa ...
(2020, Indian Subcontinent, broadcast the AXS version of ''World Pro-Wrestling'') *
Fight Network Fight Network is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and a ...
(2016–2019, Canada, broadcasting the AXS version of ''World Pro-Wrestling'') *
J-One J-One is a French television channel dedicated to Asian anime and culture. It was launched on 4 October 2013. J-One broadcast animes in simulcast. Many of these are then broadcast with French dub on Game One. J-One was a Canal+ exclusive, until 2 ...
(May 2018 – 2020, France, dubbed with French commentary) International (current): * (2017–2020, 2021–present, Indian Subcontinent, broadcast the AXS TV version of ''World Pro-Wrestling'', Season 3–5) *
The Roku Channel Roku ( ) is a brand of hardware digital media player A digital media player (also sometimes known as a streaming device or streaming box) is a type of consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( a ...
(2021–present, United States, United Kingdom and Canada broadcast ''World Pro-Wrestling'' and major shows, dubbed with English commentary) * FX/MX (2019–present, South Korea, broadcasting the AXS TV version of ''World Pro-Wrestling'') Worldwide: *
NJPW World , also referred to as New Japan Pro-Wrestling World and New Japan World, is a subscription-based video streaming service owned by the Japanese professional wrestling promotion A professional wrestling promotion (also federation or fed) is a company ...
(streaming service, in partnership with TV Asahi, broadcasting most NJPW shows live, as well as on-demand classic, documentary and anime content, as well as content from other promotions, beginning with promotional partner CMLL's weekly Super Viernes shows) *
FITE TV Fite (stylized as FITE) is a digital video streaming service launched on May 20, 2012 that is dedicated to combat sports-related programming (including boxing Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing boxing glove, protect ...

FITE TV
(for
Wrestle Kingdom The January 4 Tokyo Dome Show is a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers wit ...
and
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...
LIVE)


Notes


See also

*
Professional wrestling in JapanProfessional wrestling in Japan has existed for many years. The first Japanese to involve himself in catch wrestling Catch wrestling (originally Catch-as-catch-can) is a classical hybrid grappling style and combat sport. It was developed by J. G ...
*
List of professional wrestling promotions in Japan This is a list of professional wrestling promotions in Japan which includes both national and independent puroresu and Puroresu#Female wrestling, joshi companies from the post-World War II, post-World War II period up to the present day. Major pro ...
*
Fire Pro Wrestling is a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character roles. T ...


References


External links

* *
World Pro Wrestling – NJPW official program
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It ...

TV Asahi

Puroresu.com: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Wrestling-Titles.com: New Japan Pro-Wrestling
{{authority control 1972 establishments in Japan Bushiroad Entertainment companies established in 1972 Mass media companies based in Tokyo Nakano, Tokyo National Wrestling Alliance members Organizations based in Tokyo Shinagawa Talent agencies based in Tokyo