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WWE Makes Working Agreement With NOAH

A new arc.

WWE.com

Per this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has confirmed what reads as a tentative working agreement between WWE and Pro Wrestling NOAH - the promotion created by Mitsuharu Misawa following the breakdown of his relationship with All Japan Pro Wrestling owner Motoko Baba in 2000.

You'd have to stretch back years prior to that year for evidence of WWE's last working agreement with a puroresu promotion; before monopolising the North American wrestling landscape, the WWF worked with New Japan Pro Wrestling throughout the 1980s, more or less a hangover from the WWWF days, in which the two companies exchanged talent within the paradigm of the territorial era. The WWF also worked alongside the Genichiro Tenryu-led SWS (Super World of Sports) league in the early 1990s, a relationship that begat more controversy than cash - infamously, a Tokyo Dome match between John 'Earthquake' Tenta and Koji Kitao ended in a shoot, with the latter denouncing the former as a "monkey in this fake wrestling circus".

The shoot-style practitioner, Hideo 'KENTA' Itami, returns to NOAH as the first realisation of this agreement for a show on August 29. Other details are scarce, though it should be noted that PWInsider broke news of a prospective WWE/All Japan relationship in 2012 that did not materialise.

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It should also be noted that this is a different time; WWE's talent scouting programme is a truly global endeavour under Triple H, who has also struck novel relationships in recent years with leagues such as EVOLVE, PROGRESS and ICW.

And, with the fertile Japanese scene producing a murderer's row of sublime talent in recent years, Trips may have one eye on the rise of New Japan Pro Wrestling...

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!