Rumors of WWE doing an Asian/possible Japan tournament. Dec 27, 2016 18:23:37 GMT -5
Post by corndog on Dec 27, 2016 18:23:37 GMT -5
As far as "Vince being crushed in Japan if he tried expanding for a war with New Japan"- no. No, that would not happen. At all.
WORST CASE scenario, the situation for WWE with a Japan expansion would be...well, the reverse of the claims New Japan is planning to expand into North America next year. In both cases, it's the same basic story: They have a lot of big competition there, but it's countered because on a star by star basic, enough New Japan stars are popular enough person to person to make New Japan at least on par with Ring of Honor in the US, even if they don't have any realistic chance of competing with WWE Stateside. New Japan can't be number one, but they can absolutely be number TWO."
That worst case isn't even likely, since WWE has always been very popular touring Japan and Japanese fans DO want to see WWE as well as their own promotions. Not only would WWE be able to thrive in Japan, but the most likely way for any other puro company to get in the game to compete with New Japan there would be "WWE announces a working agreement with that puro promotion and will send some WWE or NXT names on one or two tours at a time".
The biggest problem WWE will have in Japan will be the potential issues with Japanese culture, and how a Japanese or Asian brand could blur the lines and take away WWE's benefits to get the top puro or joshi standouts like they do now. Japanese stars signing for WWE if they go Stateside is one thing, but signing with WWE and staying in Japan most of the time would be a far, far different problem with company loyalty into play. It'd be more likely that only smaller names sign to be on the Japanese brand, and that may likely lead to the catch-22 of "any big name puro/joshi standouts who WWE would want as the stars of a Japanese brand would almost certainly demand "I won't compete against my home promotion- I won't sign with NXT Japan and demand to be assigned to the US or UK" as a condition of signing.
New Japan is obviously trying to build their brand in the US. As you said, they aren't trying to beat Vince in the states, they are just trying to reach a new audience and could, as you said, easily obtain a US fanbase comparable to ROH(if it isn't there already).
This is the big difference between Vince and New Japan, Vince is never satisfied with second. The WWE has been doing occasional shows in Japan for decades and as we have seen with NXT, they just got done touring there. I don't think NJPW has ever really had a problem with this, since they rarely, if ever, compete with shows they are running. They have a pretty strong unspoken no-compete clause.
But if he decides to run a full time brand in Japan, that would break that "agreement" and would certainly end up running shows against New Japan/NOAH/Dragon Gate. Also, I am sure he would try to raid talent from those organizations. NJPW is already aware of the WWE trying to build Japanese talent and are finally starting to sign talent to multi-year deals. So I am willing to bet NJPW would have no problem running shows against them, just to show them this isn't going to fly in their country. Their chairman is fully aware of Vince's tactics and has even gone on record to say Vince doesn't work with people to help them, he does it to help himself.
As you said, WWE's biggest problem would be cultural and I think booking would be part of that. There is demand for WWE events in Japan, which is why the tours there are usually very successful. But doing a tour once/twice a year is different than running a year round show. Up until the last couple of year, even NJPW struggled to draw for the big shows once every month or two, what makes you think WWE could? At the end of the day, it's going to incredibly hard for WWE to have a program in Japan that makes money, even if that just means making more money on the Network and losing it at the gate.