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Backstage News On Harold Meij Resigning From NJPW


Backstage News On Harold Meij Resigning From NJPW

NJPW announced earlier this week President and CEO of NJPW Harold Meij would be leaving the company next month. Takami Ohbari, current CEO of NJPW of America, is set to take his place.

On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, it was noted Meij had initially promised $200 million in revenue for NJPW, but with the pandemic hitting that obviously was a much tougher task to achieve. Even without the pandemic, NJPW would have needed “monster television deals” and bigger expansion into the U.S. to hit those numbers. Meij was somewhat hands-off with NJPW expanding in America as that was the focus of Ohbari.

Another reported reason for the change was losing TV in the States, NJPW had previously appeared regularly on AXS TV since the end of last year. Had they decided to work with Impact Wrestling — its parent company, Anthem, purchased majority interest in the channel — then NJPW likely would have stayed on AXS TV.

During his time there, Meij was said to have brought in great mainstream publicity for the company, but some felt the focus was too much on him, rather than the company itself. Meij also had his own fan club in Japan, which rubbed some people the wrong way. It was considered “mind boggling” someone outside of Japan would lead NJPW, but he had a great track record with toys, thanks to his work at Tomy in Japan, which is a big part of NJPW merchandise.

Dave Meltzer reported losing American talent — especially Kenny Omega — and not really connecting with AEW also hurt Meij. In regards to AEW, nobody knows if the two companies have a better chance of working together or not going forward.

NJPW is currently running its G1 Climax 30 tournament, the finals take place on October 18.