On October 10, a noteworthy event took place as NJPW and STARDOM came together for a collaborative business strategy presentation at Tokyo’s Hikosen Theater. The presentation brought exciting developments for fans, promising a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year, both domestically and internationally. Below find some of the Major Takeways of the presentation.
First we will Start with NJPW.
A strong rebound after the Pandemic:
NJPW’s segment of the presentation commenced with a retrospective look at the past four years of business operations during the pandemic. In 2019, the company achieved its highest revenue, with a substantial 5.4 billion Yen, primarily derived from “in venue” sources such as ticket sales and in-person merchandise. However, due to the pandemic’s impact, there was a shift towards “out of venue” business, including content licensing, pay-per-view sales, and various digital platforms.
As fans have gradually returned to live venues, NJPW’s 2023 revenue has reached an impressive 5.3 billion Yen, nearing 98% of the 2019 peak. The focus for the upcoming year is to further enhance in-venue business, and the forecasts indicate the potential for record-breaking revenues in 2024.
A focus on Youth:
The spotlight was firmly on the emerging talent in NJPW, as the Best of the Super Jr. tournament witnessed impressive performances from rising stars like Clark Connors and Kevin Knight. Meanwhile, Master Wato secured his first tournament victory, marking a significant milestone in his career.
G1 Climax 33 introduced a fresh wave of participants, with standout performances from the trio known as the “Reiwa Three Musketeers.” Additionally, Yuya Uemura, who had just returned from his excursion, made a notable appearance at Destruction in Ryogoku.
The likes of Yuto Nakashima, Oskar Leube, and Boltin Oleg are on the cusp of making significant strides in their careers, while Kosei Fujita has recently graduated and embarked on a global wrestling tour. Ryohei Oiwa, on the other hand, is currently on excursion with Pro-Wrestling NOAH, adding to the diverse journeys of NJPW’s new generation of talent.
New markets, big matches:
In the remainder of 2023, NJPW has an exciting lineup of 34 events on the horizon. The company aims to close the year on a high note with a series of 31 events in Japan, complemented by three international shows in London, Las Vegas, and Texas. These events collectively build anticipation for Wrestle Kingdom 18, which recently unveiled its main event featuring Tetsuya Naito and SANADA. With strong ticket sales and fan enthusiasm, Wrestle Kingdom Week promises to be an elaborate celebration, transforming the entire Tokyo Dome area with an array of Wrestle Kingdom signage and more.
Looking ahead to 2024, NJPW has a much-anticipated tour planned for the Hokkaido region. Although the vibrant city of Sapporo typically hosts NJPW events a couple of weekends each year, a comprehensive tour of the northern island was originally slated for the summer of 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID pandemic. Now, in 2024, fans can look forward to an extensive tour of Hokkaido, marking the first of its kind in 11 years.
Now some information from STARDOM’s side.
Growth in fans:
STARDOM star off with showing some of their growth in fans and revenue. Since 2019, STARDOM has been on an impressive growth trajectory, notably reaching a profit of 1.5 billion yen in 2013. The “STARDOM official” YouTube channel has garnered nearly one million subscribers, with the majority of their viewership hailing from Asian countries like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In September 2023 alone, the channel recorded over 120 million views. The presentation also highlights a significant year-on-year increase in live event attendance, with an estimated 110,000 attendees in 2023 and already exceeding 80,000 attendees this year. Also this year, STARDOM hosted a total of 141 shows, marking a substantial increase compared to the 70 shows in 2018 and 115 shows in the previous year.
Events Planned for reminder of this year and early next year:
Additionally, STARDOM have unveiled six new pay-per-view events for the remainder of the year, including:
Goddess of Stardom Tag League Opening Round at Ota Ward Gymnasium on October 15th. Tachikawa Stage Garden on October 29th. Goddess of Stardom Tag League Finals at Nagaoka on November 12th. Edion Arena Osaka Daiichi on November 18th. Aichi Dolphins Arena on December 2nd. Ryogoku Sumo Hall on December 29th (Presumably Dream Queendom).
On January 4th, STARDOM is set to host an Ittenyon show at Tokyo Dome City Hall, coinciding with Wrestle Kingdom earlier in the day. The highlight of this show will be an IWGP Women’s Championship match, and STARDOM will not be featured at the Tokyo Dome this year. Which for some fans especially western fans more used to a product with both Male and Female wrestlers may come as taking a step backwards. However there maybe reasons involved such as running seprate shows may benefit both promotions and generate more buzz and revenue. The other factor could be since NJPW switched back to 1 day Wrestle Kingdom, there may just not be enough room on the card for everyone and the NJPW roster is not excatly small either. However fans of wrestling shows featuring both Male and Female stars don fear and keep on reading this artical.
NJPW & STARDOM International plans:
STARDOM officially announced that they will be in Thailand on October 21 and 22, and in Singapore on November 24 and 26, both part of the Bushiroad Expo. Natsupoi is asked where she would like to go overseas, considering Iwatani and Giulia have previously, saying either would be fine. She starts speaking Korean when asked to do an advertisement for Stardom in Thailand.
In addition, something many fans of NJPW & STARDOM or Japanese wrestling as a whole, have wanted to see is more expansion outside of Japan and perhaps in other Asian and Pacific region markets. Well here is some good news if you are on of these fans, while NJPW has expanded its reach into the United States and Europe, with upcoming events like Fighting Spirit Unleashed and Lonestar Shootout in the US this fall, and Royal Quest III set to hit London this weekend. There has been a sense that certain parts of Asia have been left underserved. However, exciting news is on the horizon as NJPW is gearing up for an event in Taipei, with additional details soon to be revealed.
Furthermore, as NJPW and STARDOM both seek to establish a stronger presence in various parts of Asia, they have announced the creation of the Asia Pacific Pro-Wrestling Alliance, aimed at fostering connections among wrestling promotions across the continent. Promotions like Taiwan’s PUZZLE, DFW in China, SETUP from Thailand, Grapplemax in Singapore, and more to come, are expected to engage in promising collaborations and open up exciting possibilities in the months and years ahead. This initiative has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth of professional wrestling in the Asian market as a whole.
More NJPW & STARDOM:
Rounding out the presentation was more discussion of the alliance between New Japan and STARDOM. January 12 2024 will see the two companies combine for a special collaborative booster pack for the popular ReBirth For You trading card game.
Lastly as hinted at ealier, more exciting news for fans of NJPW and STARDOM as a follow-up to the highly successful Historic X-Over event from 2022 is in the planning stages. The second cross-over event, tentatively titled Historic X-Over 2, is currently in development. Keep an eye out for further updates and details!
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