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NJPW press conference notes: Returning to UK, G1 Special, NJPW x STARDOM

NJPW discussed numerous aspects of their business strategy in a press conference today.
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NJPW held a presentation and press conference today at the Hikosen Theater in Ueno to discuss numerous aspects of their business strategy for the remainder of 2022.

The event included lengthy remarks from company president Takami Ohbari, as well as appearances by Hiroshi Tanahashi, Great-O-Khan, Hiromu Takahashi, plus comments from parent company Bushiroad chairman Takaaki Kidani.

Here are the notable items from the presser: 

Return to the UK --

  • NJPW will return to the United Kingdom on an unspecified date in October, their first UK dates since Royal Quest in London in August 2019. 

G1 Special event --

  • The G1 Special show will be an outdoor card held in Roppongi Hills on August 20 in conjunction with media partner TV Asahi's Summer Station event.

NJPW x STARDOM --

  • There will be "around two" mixed tag team matches at the joint NJPW x STARDOM event on November 20, held under traditional mixed tag rules, with men facing men and women facing women.
  • Kidani said that "STARDOM has come into the BushiRroad group 2.5 years ago and has exploded in growth. Soon, much like overseas, the Japanese scene will be 'gender-less' and more integrated."
  • STARDOM talent will begin appearing on the NJPW Strong brand in the US.

Cheering --

  • Special sections will be set up with social distancing to allow cheering at events on September 5 and 6. 

G1 attendance --

  • Ohbari stated that 2019's G1 events sold 96,000 tickets, while the pandemic in 2020 saw that drop to 36,000. 2021 G1 attendance fell further to 28,000. 
  • Ohbari said that they have exceeded 30,000 tickets sold for this year's G1 already, with a goal of 50,000 set.

Talent & recruiting --

  • Both Ohbari and Kidani spoke about the need to change their approach to handling both older and younger talent n response to societal changes. 
  • Ohbari said that the company needs to create a path to allow for post-college talent to enter the company, as more than 80 percent of the population in Japan now attends a vocational school or higher education after primary school. 
  • Ohbari also said that they would like to create a path for older talent to transition to jobs within the company office after they retire from the ring. 
  • Kidani touted AZM and Starlight Kid from STARDOM as being great talent because they started training at a young age, and spoke of wanting to create a way for high school students to begin training in pro wrestling. 
  • Ohbari spoke about the need for the company's talent roster to get younger, with an emphasis on youth in recruiting, as they have more wrestlers in their 30s and 40s compared to ten years ago.

Oceania --

  • Ohbari spoke on the company's New Zealand dojo, and has plans to run events in Oceania, though no specific dates were mentioned. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi --

  • Tanahashi will be the face of a new protein line introduced by Bushiroad as part of their WellBe gym franchise and will consult on the brand as well. 

Hiromu Takahashi --

  • Hiromu touted a new series of Bushiroad ReBirth trading cards. 

Great-O-Khan --

  • O-Khan has new merchandise available designed by Ohbari's brother, and touted the Strong Spirits app.

Music festival --

  • There will be an NJPW music festival at an unspecified date this fall.

NFTs --

  • The company has plans to introduce NFTs, though no specifics were announced as to when.