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> One person noted that Harold Meij wanted at the time to go directly to Khan. Khan didn’t come and who, for reasons having nothing to do with the wrestling industry, has never been to Japan and may never come to Japan. Things got worse due to legal threats made against AEW and Omega, which put relations at a terrible level, to the point neither side wanted to acknowledge the other. Those in AEW were frustrated with the idea that there was a fan base that no matter what, had this mentality that New Japan could do no wrong but they had seen a very different side of the company. It was easy for both sides to be bitter, AEW due to the snub, New Japan due to the taking of the talent, with the idea they don’t need the other, since both have done well on their own.
> Jericho and Tanahashi pushed hard to break through the stubbornness and we know many people on both sides who want it to happen. That bad blood has been difficult for both sides to get through even though a partnership would help both, especially since New Japan needs something now that it doesn’t have as far as exposure of talent on television for its upcoming expansion. But for AEW, then it becomes tricky as they could be viewed as a competitor. But there are also ways to work together for mutual benefit and interest levels.
> Khan decided against plugging anything related to Jericho vs. Tanahashi or the Tokyo Dome show on its television or social media because he felt that was of no benefit to AEW. Yet, after the Tokyo Dome, on AEW, Jericho and the announcers talked about how Jericho and Moxley had big wins over the past week at the Tokyo Dome, a step that just a week earlier wouldn’t have been allowed. However, Moxley was not mentioned as winning the U.S. title, which is a Khan ruling with the idea that on Dynamite, the only titles he wants mentioned are AEW titles. If you note, Omega has stopped being called AAA champion, although that may be acknowledged going forward on Dark and he could defend it there, but won’t on Dynamite or PPV. Pentagon Jr. & Fenix are never mentioned as AAA tag champs in AEW even though those titles were defended in the past on AEW PPV shows.
> If New Japan talent was pushed on AEW television, you could argue that AEW, as No. 2, would be giving a boost to No. 3 in the U.S. Market. But there is question how NJPW can draw regularly with smaller shows and no television in the U.S. The recent San Jose show was a great sign, outdrawing NXT and having a far greater atmosphere and a much stronger show in a major NXT market.
> New Japan is still thinking house show business, but that’s yesterday’s business model for a major company.
> Running house shows with 1,000 to 2,000 fans won't get them a television deal. While there were reasons beyond All In that got AEW its TV deal, since Kevin Reilly and Khan started talking about it in April 2018 and All In wasn't until September, the success of All In was part of being able to pull off the deal. The idea was that single show indicated the potential popularity, atmosphere and a quality of product they proved they could put together. Plus, getting paying television in the U.S. is very difficult. NJPW got on only because Adam Swift grew up reading the Observer and trading for Japanese tapes, ended up as an executive for AXS. Impact got on only because its parent company bought a television station to get them on. ROH is on because it is owned by a television network. MLW has a television deal but is on the lowest rated prime time station and not available in much of the country. Even with Billy Corgan behind the NWA, he's had years and been unable to get a deal, which is where producing pilot episodes for YouTube became the new step.
> While New Japan has grown every year under Meij, his own words saying the goal was to triple revenue has not come close and can’t come close without huge TV rights fees. TV-Asahi, the company’s partner, already rebuffed attempts to get an increase in rights fees. The U.S. market isn't going to pay serious money for an unproven on a big television stage wrestling product unless it's either WWE, or someone who proves ahead to time to have real mainstream potential.
> Nothing was announced for next January. Meij had said that two Domes in a row would not be an annual thing, but gave the impression it could happen again. The general feeling is that it was very successful and will happen again, but they need the right attraction like the tournament over two days this year. Not announcing means they've left their options open for one show or two without making a public commitment. New Japan certainly has the overall talent depth to mix-and-match top guys, elevate some guys, but the kind of big debut like Jericho, or to a lesser extent Moxley, that pushes growth with New Japan World, looks much harder to come by with WWE contracts being so much higher and longer lasting, and AEW being the new alternative for people who, for whatever reason, don't want to be in WWE.
> The dates are harder next year because 1/4 and 1/5 are a Sunday and a Monday. 1/3 is the traditional Rice Bowl (Japanese college football, as in American style football championship game), so they can never get a show on 1/3. The idea of doing it the second week of the year breaks tradition, and the Tokyo Dome is already booked straight from 1/10 to 1/19 next year, so it would be impossible.
> The traditional biggest WWE house show of the year saw the first major title change on a house show in more than two years. Andrade beat Rey Mysterio to win the U.S. title on the 12/26 Madison Square Garden show before 12,000 fans, the smallest crowd I can recall for the annual Christmas week event.
> The last time a WWE major title (basically not the comedy 24/7 title that constantly changes hands) changed hands on a house show was July 17, 2017, when A.J. Styles beat Kevin Owens for the U.S. title, also in Madison Square Garden. Before that, the NXT title changed hands twice at house shows in 2016, with Samoa Joe beating Finn Balor in Lowell, MA and Shinsuke Nakamura beating Joe in Osaka, although the latter was taped for the NXT television show. Prior to that, the tag team titles changed hands at a house show in Oakland on January 15, 2012, when Primo & Epico beat Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne, but that was an unplanned job as Bourne had failed a drug test and had to drop the title due to a suspension. It’s a good thing to do this on occasion, but it would be good also that it was somewhere other than MSG at times.
> The title change wasn’t a change of plans. Andrade was planned for the title, which is why he lost twice to Humberto Carrillo, to get Carrillo into the U.S. title chase. That was planned several weeks back but the NXT angle with A.J. Styles led to some changes and Carrillo lost steam, so they went with Mysterio. It also appears, at least by this week, that on the Raw side, there is an idea to do more things at house shows, such as the Randy Orton knee injury angle on the 12/29 show in Hershey, PA. The idea was to have Mysterio lose to set up Andrade to defend against babyface on the way up, and move Mysterio into the program with Owens & Samoa Joe against Seth Rollins & The AOP.