NJPW could be making a permanent change to their commentary booth.
As previously reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Don Callis is likely done as an announcer for NJPW due to his commitments to IMPACT Wrestling. Meltzer reported that NJPW would use a rotating cast for the color commentator job and that Lanny Poffo was also being considered for the role.
On the latest episode of The Genius Cast (via Pro Wrestling Stories), Poffo addressed the rumor that he would take over for Callis in NJPW.
"I’ll tell you what I know. Michael Craven from New Japan, I met him September 1st at All In," said Poffo. "He asked me if I would be interested in holding the microphone as a color commentator [for New Japan] and I responded, ‘Wow, that would be great!’ I love New Japan. I’ve never been to Japan. Can you imagine that? Of all the countries I’ve been, I’ve never been to Japan. That is on my bucket list!”
Poffo went on to clarify that he would only be auditioning for the job and that nothing is official. "It’s just an audition. I’m flying out October 23rd and I’m coming back November 4th. They bought me a ticket to Tokyo from Tampa and I’m going to get on that plane and do my very best to be an asset and not a liability. New Japan is a very exciting group of people and I feel very lucky to be invited. In the meantime, I’m retired, but I like to keep flexible and open for exciting opportunities like this!”
NJPW will be running their Road To Power Struggle events from Oct. 23 to Nov. 4. Power Struggle is scheduled to take place on Nov. 3. In Callis' absence, Rocky Romero has typically filled in alongside Kevin Kelly in the commentary booth.
The Genius also provided a poem for the occasion.
“The Genius comes to New Japan
So let your hearts rejoice
And bathe in the luxury
Of my poetic voice
My grooming is impeccable
My outfit is brand-new
Ichi, ni, san, shi, go,
Roku, shichi, hachi, kyuu, juu!”
Poffo recently appeared at All In, accompanying Jay Lethal, doing his Black Machismo gimmick, to the ring. He also popped up on Episode 101 of Being The Elite.