A couple of days ago news broke that New Japan Pro Wrestling President and CEO Harold Meij would be resigning from his position this month, with NJPW USA CEO Takami Ohbari taking his place at the tail end of October.
According to the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Meij brought great mainstream publicity to NJPW since becoming President two years ago, but many in the company felt like the attention was more on him rather than the company itself. He also promised to bring NJPW $200 million in revenue, a task that became much harder once the COVID-19 pandemic forced a temporary shutdown in operations and diminished the profits of live-gates.
The report also notes that losing a television deal in the United States was another reason for Meij’s departure. NJPW used to air on AXS TV but left the network towards the end of last year following Anthem Entertainment’s (parent company to IMPACT Wrestling) majority buyout of the station. Speculation is that if NJPW decided to work with IMPACT they may have remained on U.S. TV.
The loss of top company stars, specifically Kenny Omega, was another component that hurt Meij’s chances as President, which include NJPW deciding not to partner up/work with AEW. Whether the two companies are more likely to work together now due to Meij’s departure remains to be seen.