New Japan Pro Wrestling

Wrestling from an International Perspective


New Japan Pro Wrestling has been a staple of Japanese wrestling for 50 years. Founded in 1972 by pro wrestler and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki, it has grown to not only be Japan’s top pro wrestling promotion but has achieved international success. Selling out arenas across the globe and creating stars like Shinsuke Nakamura, Kenny Omega, Minoru Suzuki, and Hiroshi Tanahshi among others. Their Burning Spirit show on September 25th showcased the stars of NJPW immensee talent once again. 


 At Burning Spirit, the villainous Bullet Club faction looked to continue their dominant year but it did not go according to plan. While members Jay White and Taiji Ishimori defeated former members turned rivals Guerrillas of Destiny and NEVER Openweight Champion and Club member Karl Anderson retained against New Japan;s greatest star Hiroshi Tanahashi, the Bullet Club was defeated in three other matches during the night. After Anderson’s victory, the Club attacked Tanahashi post match but was stopped by Tama Tonga and his brother Hikuleo, who had been a BC member up until this point. Hikuleo leaving the Bullet Club weakens the faction leading up to the Royal Quest event in October. We also saw the recently reunited faction TMDK pick up a trio win against Kazuchika Okada and GBH


The United Empire faction fared much better in the night. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and Empire members Francesco Akira and TJP retained their belts against Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi. The main event saw Empire leader Will Ospreay retain his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship against David Finlay. Ospreay’s celebration was cut short as he was challenged by two of his former rivals, Zack Sabre Jr and Tetsuya Naito. Naito and Sabre will duke it out at the Royal Quest show on October 1st and 2nd in London for the right to face Ospreay for the gold


New Japan also revealed exciting details regarding their IWGP Women’s Championship inaugural tournament. Most Japanese promotions are separated by gender into male and joshi (women’s) promotions. NJPW’s joshi sister company, World Wonder Ring Stardom, is an exceptional promotion with many hard hitting and incredible athletes in their ranks. The promotions’ parent company, Bushiroad, announced that the new belt could be defended in both Stardom and New Japan Pro Wrestling and fans are eager to see who will enter the tournament. The first match will see Alpha Female, the dominant woman from Germany, take on Ava White. The winner will face KAIRI, who received a bye in the tournament, in the semifinals. The finals will be held at the Historic X-Over event on November 20th hosted by both Stardom and NJPW.


You can watch NJPW and Stardom shows on their NJPW World and Stardom World streaming service, the Roku Channel, AXS TV, and Fite TV.