wrestling / News

More On Possible Reasons For Harold Meij’s NJPW Exit

October 1, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
King NJPW’s NJPW Logo New Japan Pro Wrestling, Harold Meij

As we reported earlier this week, Harold Meij is stepping down as the President and CEO of New Japan Pro Wrestling and will leave NJPW on October 23. He will be replaced by NJPW of America President Takami Ohbari. It was initially believed that one of the reasons he had left was because he had promised to bring in $100 million in revenue by the end of the year, something that wasn’t possible due to the pandemic.

According to the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, that number was actually $200 million and that may not have been the only possible reason for his departure. Dave Meltzer suggested that even without the pandemic, New Japan would have needed “monster television deals” to hit that number.

Meij also did not have any involvement with NJPW’s expansion into America, which was one of the things Ohbari was responsible for. The loss of television is believed to be one possible reason for Meij’s departure, as NJPW previously had a deal with AXS TV until the end of last year. If they had worked with Impact Wrestling, whose parent company Anthem has majority interest in AXS, it’s possible New Japan could have stayed on AXS TV.

Meij brought in a lot of publicity and the feeling among some backstage was that there was too much focus on him and not the company. Meij has his own fan club in Japan, which also bothered some people. It was thought to be “mind boggling” that someone outside of Japan would be in charge of a Japanese promotion, but Meij previously worked with toy company Tomy and did well there, and merchandise is a big part of the revenue for NJPW.

Meij’s reputation may have also taken a hit when the company lost American talent, especially Kenny Omega. They’ve also lost names like Harry Smith, Lance Archer, Cody and the Young Bucks over the years.