New Japan Pro Wrestling has seen extensive growth into America over the past several years, and their owner thinks he understands the WWE's business strategy.
NJPW owner Takaaki Kidani spoke out on Twitter about the WWE expanding their international presence. Chris Charlton translated some of the statements.
"WWE strategy 1: raise roughly 2 billion Yen from the network to create a network of global territories and tie up talent. It's very possible WWE purchase a promotion in Japan. WWE are shoring up their network because of cable cutters and prevalence of streaming, meaning declining TV ratings. The cable TV structure as is will collapse in the US within 3-5 years," said Kidani.
WWE has let many familiar talents walk away in recent years, while signing dozens of new talents. Kidani says he knows why.
"There are many reasons for WWE to create local territories. It cuts cost just to send talent on international tours and not the whole infrastructure. WWE are only functionally profitable in the U.S., Canada and U.K. They have TV elsewhere but that's all. By creating territories, they're able to actually create products with awareness of cultural differences and characteristics of markets. WWE have had difficulty in creating new stars. By going to local territories and broadcasting them, they can create network stars. WWE are taking big gambles, in IT for one." Kidani said.
While NJPW is widely considered the #2 promotion in the world, it's not crazy to think they could work with WWE.
"This isn't the platform to discuss NJPW strategy fully, but we will announce something soon. We are entering a phase where you are either with WWE or against them. WWE have a lot of weaknesses and time is not on their side," said Kidani.