New Japan Pro Wrestling has been delivering some of the best wrestling on the planet for decades. The promotion has been attempting to expand into the United States in recent years, as evidenced by some of their recent shows in California. While NJPW could be losing the members of The Elite to WWE in early 2019, it appears that the promotion could strike back by taking some of their own talent. New reports suggest that NJPW is actually interested in bringing in multiple wrestlers who are currently signed to WWE. Each of the names that NJPW reportedly wants to bring back are definitely no strangers to the promotion, so could it be possible that these individuals will leave WWE next year?
According to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, New Japan is particularly interested in signing Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows. It is believed that each of these men signed 3-year deals with WWE back in 2016, which would make them all free agents in 2019. While it was noted that Gallows could very well end up going back to Japan, the report also noted that Nakamura and Anderson both moved to the United States upon joining WWE with their families and do not seem to interested in going through another move. However, it is still possible that any of these WWE personalities and maybe even a few others could be jumping ship in the very near future if New Japan wants them badly enough.
WWE made announced two major television deals earlier this year that stated that Raw would be remaining on the USA Network over the next few years while the SmackDown show moves to Fox starting in October of 2019. Both TV deals are said to be worth millions, but with SmackDown’s upcoming move to Fox, there are expected to be a few changes made to the program. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says that officials from Fox want WWE to make SmackDown more of a sports-oriented show in order for it to blend in with all of their other sports programs. This could bring on a big contrast from Vince McMahon’s typical “sports entertainment” style of storytelling. Nevertheless, the changes could already be underway.