Recently, Daniel Bryan was interviewed prior to Wrestlemania talking about a bunch of things from his thoughts on Roman Reigns to old Nintendo games. But one thing he mentioned was the fact that he pitched a match between him & IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. At first, when I heard this, I immediately laughed it off as something ridiculous. WWE would never be up for something like this; so I dismissed it. But after thinking about it, I started to ask myself “Well, why wouldn’t they?”. Of course the obvious answer is that it would go against their stance of having a self-contained ecosystem. Then I started to think about reasons why they should do it.
For one, it creates buzz for both companies because it would be the two biggest wrestling companies in the world putting on a co-promoted matchup. It gives off a big fight feel that would be a must see for not just NJPW & WWE fans, but all wrestling fans. Similar to how Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a must see for all sports fans. It’s a spectacle that would draw a lot of attention from wrestling media and mainstream media alike, which is something WWE so desperately tries to attain.
Another incentive would be that it would drive people to get the WWE Network. The great thing about the WWE Network is that it doesn’t have to abide by any ratings statistics, network broadcasting regulations, or advertising. The reason why the current WWE product is PG is because NBC wants it to be PG to attract advertisers. With the WWE Network, goes out the window because WWE owns it. That’s why they are able to put on the new line up of adult based shows because they don’t need to worry about scaring away advertisers. Of course if the match did happen it would have to be simulcasted on both the WWE Network & New Japan World but that’s not really an issue since one would be in English & the other would be in Japanese.
WWE is looking for ways for people to buy the network. Yes they already have 1.3 million subscriptions but that’s going to drop off throughout the year unless they do something big. This could be their opportunity to really get people talking about WWE and the WWE Network during the already very slow Wrestlemania Offseason. Of course the booking would be an issue but I think both companies could come up with a non-finish that satisfies both parties. Hell, maybe they can take it a step further put on an entire card of WWE vs. NJPW matches. This sounds like a wrestling fan’s dream but given the circumstances WWE is in, I don’t think this would be an unlikely idea for them at all.
– Jeremy G.