NJPW Director of US Operations George Carroll spoke with WrestleZone.com about a myriad of topics including the plans for the touring schedule, NJPW’s relationship with ROH, and the Long Beach shows & their fanbase. Here are some of the notable takeaways:
On what’s next for NJPW’s United States expansion:
GC: This is going to be a global branding thing. I can’t go into too many details. We are very protective of what gets out there. Trust me, I’ve gone a little crazy with how stuff gets out and it’s easy to pinpoint how that stuff gets out when you know how protective we are with information. What’s next short term? As it has been laid out there. There are plans to open a dojo and an official LA office that will function for business and meetings. Which is insane at this time. First quarter of next year we should have some updates just based on the marketing team and when they want stuff to get out. I know that is very vague but we just can’t get too deep into it. There is a game plan in place and we don’t want to jump two steps ahead, fall down and have to pick ourselves up. We are being very strategic in how everything is getting out.
NH: Will NJPW’s United States tour in 2018 be limited to California and the west coast?
GC: Maybe. How about that? Maybe. You might be onto something and you might not be. Again, we’re being very protective with everything.
On whether Ring of Honor has said anything to him about their United States expansion plans:
GC: No. In fact I have personal dealings with the offices of Ring of Honor about things and everything has been great. They haven’t been anything but supportive of us and were there in Long Beach. We are here to support them. The relationship is great and it’s better for the business if that relationship stays strong. Not just for the promotions but for the talent.
On the influence Japanese wrestling fans had on American wrestling fans at their G-1 shows in Long Beach:
GC: I am appreciative and blown away by how respectful these fans were both of those nights. They came in expecting to get an authentic New Japan show and that’s exactly what they got. In return they treated themselves with respect. In retrospect I know the fans were really upset that they couldn’t throw streamers because that’s such a huge part of it but they were completely happy. They were completely respectful. It was mind blowing to me that by night two they were quiet like a Japanese audience would be. They reacted when there was something to react to. There was no hijacking going on. Having gone to PWG, ROH or WWE shows you see that stuff happen and there was none of that here. Again, to any of those fans out there listening, myself and the whole staff really appreciate what you did.