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December 17, 2016

NJPW Owner Talks WWE Global Expansion

Owner of Bushiroad and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Takaaki Kidani recently took to Twitter to talk a little bit about NJPW's strategy towards WWE's ever-growing global presence. Just this past week, WWE announced a brand new UK Championship and tournament that will help build their influence in England and its surrounding areas going forward. Kidani sees WWE is trying to build new global territories as another way to generate revenue and to tour internationally at a lower cost. Here are his tweets translated by Chris Charlton into English.

"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."

Kidani continues about WWE's attempt to cut costs and create new stars:

"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."

While keeping things vague, Kidani finishes with this bombshell:

"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."

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