Major news with significant ramifications follows: Dave Meltzer has reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that, as things stand, New Japan Pro Wrestling has ruled out a working relationship with All Elite Wrestling while maintaining the existing relationship with Ring Of Honor.
This, we can infer, is the result of the planned discussions between the three parties that reportedly followed Wrestle Kingdom. The events of New Year's Dash render this unsurprising; the Elite were wholly absent from the show, which resonated as a mission statement for the future of a company untempered by the ascent AEW group. Standing alone, New Japan went all in on the push of in-house prospect Jay White.
To quote Bad Luck Fale, January 5 was very much New Japan saying "F*ck 'em."
To editorialise, this is quite the ballsy move: by ruling out AEW, depending on Kenny Omega's next destination, the company has effectively ruled out the man who has raised New Japan's profile in the west to an extent that allowed them to expand into it. New Japan have removed piles of money from the table, perhaps out of preemptive concern for a risky political situation.
By affording the Elite such creative freedom - Omega petitioned for a reunion and storyline with Golden Lover Kota Ibushi, for instance - New Japan have perhaps recognised that they have indirectly shaped the successful image of their competition, and are now looking after their own interests.
Suddenly, this new wrestling war has presented us with a new battle.