WWE raids NJPW talent

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Brandon Howard
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WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Brandon Howard » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:51 pm

Jan 4, afternoon JST - Before the Tokyo Dome show begins, Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows give notice to New Japan that they are leaving the company

Jan 4, afternoon EST - Court Bauer of MLW breaks the news that Styles, Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows are leaving for WWE.

Jan 4, evening EST - On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer confirms the news. Ring of Honor removes Styles from advertising for future shows.

Jan 5, evening JST - At NJPW New Year Dash in Korakuen Hall, Kenny Omega and Styles beat Nakamura and YOSHI-HASHI when Omega pins Nakamura. After, Omega and the rest of the Bullet Club (including Anderson and Gallows) turn on Styles, "firing" him from the Bullet Club. Omega says he's going after IC champ Nakamura. Styles sells the beat down and emotionally bows before leaving the ring.

Jan 5, morning EST - On WOR, Meltzer suggests Styles is done with ROH dates and will take no new indie bookings. Anderson and Gallows will make good on future dates they have with ROH. (Help me find what those dates are?) Meltzer suggests WWE would have to spend too much money on Styles and Nakamura for them to only be used in NXT.

Jan 5 - WWE Network launches in Japan, as well as Germany.

From Joe Lanza's review of NJPW New Year Dash: http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2016/01/05/nyd-draft/
Coming off one of the best Wrestle Kingdom events of all time, news broke Monday that several New Japan wrestlers, specifically AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and, most surprisingly, Shinsuke Nakamura, had given notice.

The obvious speculation is that all four men (and possibly a few others that haven’t yet been reported on, as we’ve heard the name Rocky Romero whispered to us specifically) are potentially headed to NXT. AJ Styles has been pulled from all of his upcoming ROH dates, but as I type this Anderson, Gallows, and Nakamura (who is booked for the Anniversary show in Las Vegas) are still scheduled to work their remaining ROH shots. Styles & Gallows had been working New Japan without a contract. Anderson is under NJPW contract until January 31. Dave Meltzer reported (and our source confirmed) that Nakamura wouldn’t be leaving NJPW immediately, and there are rumors that while he has in fact given notice, that he is still in negotiations to stay with New Japan. He is presumably under the same one year deal as everybody else with a contract, as New Japan still uses the traditional one year deals that expire each January. Re-signing is generally a formality, particularly for natives, but in a quickly changing landscape (read: NXT as a worldwide touring brand, and WWE Network launching in Japan on January 5), New Japan may want to rethink that strategy, as it makes things far too easy for a company like WWE to perform a raid.

Our source indicated that the four gave notice the day of WK10, moments before the show.

“Gedo & Jado dropped their jaws.”

This means Wrestle Kingdom was booked and formatted with no knowledge of the exiting talent (reports are that the WK booking was not changed), and with the way New Japan typically books long term, that very likely original plans needed to be scrapped for the February dual New Beginning shows. This also meant that the booking for the annual January 5th New Year Dash show was likely tweaked as well, since that show typically features angles to set up New Beginning. New Japan didn’t announce a single match for the card until moments before the show.
Jan 6 -




New Japan has a show at Korakuen Hall on January 30, which could potentially be Nakamura's last appearance in New Japan. Nakamura continues to be advertised on cards for the January 17-24 Fantasticamania tour. (http://www.njpw.co.jp/english/match/)

http://pwinsider.com/article/98852/wwe- ... e.html?p=1
"PWInsider.com has also confimed that WWE has been in discussions with another NJPW performer, Roppongi Vice member Rocky Romero about a potential deal with the company as well. Romero has been down to the WWE Performance Center numerous times in 2015 helping with training. It's unknown whether his potential deal is to come in as a performer or work as a Coach."

WWE.com posts a story acknowledging the rumors. The story doesn't break anything new, though. Paul Levesque "declined to comment".
http://www.wwe.com/inside/are-aj-styles ... e-28508549

Finn Balor teases fans with his "they should've been here by now" photo, at the door of the WWE Performance Center:
Last edited by Brandon Howard on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by NoLoudNoise » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:00 pm

I believe Anderson/Gallows were advertised 1/22 and 1/23 for ROH, but not the PPV in February

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by DXvsNWO » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:16 pm

NoLoudNoise wrote:I believe Anderson/Gallows were advertised 1/22 and 1/23 for ROH, but not the PPV in February
They're definitely on those two shows in January, which are in Asheville, North Carolina & Atlanta, Georgia, respectively.

Now, in regards to the PPV, Kevin Kelly mentioned on commentary during the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Title Match at Wrestle Kingdom X that they would be at the 14th Anniversary Show, but they haven't been officially announced yet. It should be noted that Anderson & Gallows were announced pretty late in the game for the 13th Anniversary Show last year, so they could still be announced (that was the show that Gallows missed due to weather grounding his flight).
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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by mlev76 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:18 pm

Brandon Howard wrote: Meltzer suggests WWE would have to spend too much money on Styles and Nakamura for them to only be used in NXT.
I have to imagine that not only is this true, but the flip side is as well. Namely, why would either Styles or Nakamura leave their top spots in NJPW for secondary brand spots in NXT? The comparison would likely be made to Balor, but Balor was not regularly one of the primary main eventers on the big shows in New Japan. It may have been a downgrade for him to make the switch. For Nakamura or Styles, it's a big step down.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:49 pm

For Styles it makes all the sense in the world. He went to Japan to increase his value to WWE, clearly he's done that and now he can stay in America, stay close to his family and not fly over to Japan all the time. At the end of the day we have to remember that not everyone is a mark for their spot or themselves, this is a job for them. Would you want a job where you have to be away from your family for weeks at a time or one where you get paid better to be closer to them?

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by AndyItwaru » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:00 pm

I think its a great move for styles if he goes because at his age it would really make sense to work a toned down style. I was wondering if the schedule would wreck him but from what I understand he's been taking crazy dates on the indys so maybe its not the big deal I thought it was. If I was Bushi Road Id open my check book for nakamura, they really cant afford to lose him right now. Doc and Gallows, whatever people think of them, have really run out of things to do anyway and I think pairing them up with Balor on NXT or the main roster would be a good move, especially since we're in full on gang wars 1997 redux mode right now.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Brandon Howard » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:46 pm

More rumors from someone on Wreddit that Rocky Romero, Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga are negotiating with WWE also.


The official Bullet Club Twitter tweet this out earlier
"Keep a couple of them #BalorClub shirts handy we might be needing them. @wwebalor"
The tweet has been deleted: https://twitter.com/BulletClubNJPW/stat ... 5973211137

My speculation: Supposing Dave is right and Nakamura and Styles were too expensive to be signed without immediate plans to use them on the main roster (and that one or more of them were indeed scheduled as surprises for the Royal Rumble), I suppose it's possible that Nakamura and Styles could be headed for the main roster while the rest of the Bullet Club could go to NXT. This would make sense in the sense that the Bullet Club could join Finn Balor in some form, and it's even consistent even with New Japan storylines, as Styles was kicked out of the Bullet Club last night, explaining why he wouldn't be with the rest of the Bullet Club in NXT. I also would be very surprised if Vince McMahon could ever be sold on the idea of debuting "someone else's" stable on the main roster in 2016. So it makes sense that if the Bullet Club (or Balor Club, or whatever they call it) debuts in WWE, it'd be primarily with the NXT brand.
Last edited by Brandon Howard on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:48 pm

TNA was a bigger player in this than is being reported.

Really.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:50 pm

Brandon Howard wrote:More rumors from someone Wreddit that Rocky Romero, Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga are negotiating with WWE also.


The official Bullet Club Twitter tweet this out earlier
"Keep a couple of them #BalorClub shirts handy we might be needing them. @wwebalor"
The tweet has been deleted: https://twitter.com/BulletClubNJPW/stat ... 5973211137

My speculation: Supposing Dave is right and Nakamura and Styles were too expensive to be signed without immediate plans to use them on the main roster (and that one or more of them were indeed scheduled as surprises for the Royal Rumble), I suppose it's possible that Nakamura and Styles could be headed for the main roster while the rest of the Bullet Club could go to NXT. This would make sense in the sense that the Bullet Club could join Finn Balor in some form, and it's even consistent even with New Japan storylines, as Styles was kicked out of the Bullet Club last night, explaining why he wouldn't be with the rest of the Bullet Club in NXT. I also would be very surprised if Vince McMahon could ever be sold on the idea of debuting "someone else's" stable on the main roster in 2016. So it makes sense that if the Bullet Club (or Balor Club, or whatever they call it) debuts in WWE, it'd be primarily with the NXT brand.
They could tell Vince "Balor Club" is totally a WWE idea and he wouldn't know the difference.

Only half joking. Vince didn't nap yesterday to catch New Year Dash.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by GuestTimekeeper » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:50 pm

If Nakamura or Styles shows up at the Rumble, what are the odds that the majority of the audience would care? WWE would have to start running video packages soon to get people excited, right?

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by DETROIT_KEJB » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:56 pm

Debuting Nakamura in the Rumble would be Invasion level wrong.

Styles would be ok. I'm guessing most in the crowd would be familiar with him.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by rwa2play » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:04 pm

mlev76 wrote:
Brandon Howard wrote: Meltzer suggests WWE would have to spend too much money on Styles and Nakamura for them to only be used in NXT.
I have to imagine that not only is this true, but the flip side is as well. Namely, why would either Styles or Nakamura leave their top spots in NJPW for secondary brand spots in NXT? The comparison would likely be made to Balor, but Balor was not regularly one of the primary main eventers on the big shows in New Japan. It may have been a downgrade for him to make the switch. For Nakamura or Styles, it's a big step down.
Hmmm...considering the lack of name talent, Styles for a match at WM?

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Joe Lanza
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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:05 pm

Nak won't be with WWE in time for the Rumble. That would be difficult even if he had finished up last night, which he didn't.

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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by rwa2play » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:06 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:TNA was a bigger player in this than is being reported.

Really.
Guessing they need a name for their debut on POP tonight; so why not see if AJ would return?

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Brandon Howard
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Re: WWE raids NJPW talent

Post by Brandon Howard » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:12 pm

GuestTimekeeper wrote:If Nakamura or Styles shows up at the Rumble, what are the odds that the majority of the audience would care? WWE would have to start running video packages soon to get people excited, right?
It's a good question. The Rumble crowd though will be one of the most hardcore of the year. I'd think most there in the building in Orlando (many of whom will have traveled from great distances to be there) will be familiar with Styles. I think he'd get a good pop.

Nakamura, I'm not sure. But as Joe points out, it's a moot point as it doesn't look like he's finishing up with New Japan that fast.

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