Tama Tonga Reportedly Working Without Contract with NJPW
As noted before, Tama Tonga’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling was set to expire in early 2023. WWE had shown interest in signing Tonga to a potential contract with the company once his current contract with NJPW expired.
Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that Tonga’s contract with NJPW expired several months ago and he has been working without a contract in the company.
It was reported that while WWE had shown interest in potentially signing Tonga once he officially became a free agent, Tonga was among the recent free agents who were affected by WWE’s unofficial hiring freeze and them stopping contact with him over it. It was also reported that those spoken to stated that high level WWE officials are still interested in Tonga.
Tonga’s future in NJPW is currently not known following his NEVER Openweight Championship loss to David Finlay and stretcher job angle at this past Wednesday’s Wrestling Dontaku 2023 event.
Dorian Roldán Comments on AAA’s Partnerships with AEW & NWA
A recent episode of The Business of the Business podcast had Lucha Libre AAA Director Dorian Roldán as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Roldán’s thoughts on AAA’s current working relationship with AEW and his belief that all of the issues between the two companies have been resolved.
“As everybody knows, in December when Dragon Lee was presented in WWE and all that stuff, there was a kind of — AEW was not so comfortable and even Konnan has been talking how was the conversation with Tony Khan about it. But right now I think we have solved all the issues. We are super, super respectful so we understand really well how was the position with AEW with the all the things happening with the Mexican market and with the Mexican talent. But for us, they are our partners, we are going to protect their interests. We are super happy working with them. I think they are giving a great window to the roster, to the Mexican roster as RUSH and Komander, Hijo del Vikingo so, I think, yes, right now, we are in a really good moment and momentum with AEW.”
Roldán also gave his thoughts about AAA’s current working relationship with the National Wrestling Alliance.
“I think it was great, you know? (Roldan said about AAA & NWA’s The World is a Vampire show) It was in March. We started to have conversations with Billy Corgan and his team almost last year and it was the first show that happened in the festival and with the whole concert watching next to us, it was fantastic. It was good chemistry and everybody, Billy, ourselves, we were super happy with it and I think it was a good experiment. Let’s see what happens at least — for the next step, we are having discussions of how we can give follow up to this. I know that Billy has been in Australia having all sorts of awesome matches over there with the NWA and a local promotion but I think that it could be possibilities to expand this, maybe to America, maybe to another territory with the AAA brand.
No, of course not (we’re not done working together). We are super happy, we’re working really well together and as a company, we try to have open reaches with all the other companies.”
Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com
Misc. Wrestling News & Notes
Trinity filed a trademark for “Trinity” on May 3rd for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Trinity also filed a trademark for “Trinity Fatu” on the same day for merchandise-related purposes.
A new wrestling-based book titled The Last Real World Champion: The Legend of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is currently scheduled to be released on September 13th, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that this upcoming book is being written by wrestling historian Tim Hornbaker and will be published by ECW Press.
DDT Pro Wrestling recently announced that a mystery person will be making their official debut for the company at their May 21st event in Tokyo, Japan. It was announced that this mystery person is a former WWE wrestler who won many championships in the company and would be challenging for DDT Universal Championship at their event. In an interesting note, this mystery person is currently rumored to be Matt Cardona, former Zack Ryder in WWE based on Cardona sharing DDT’s tweet on the Major Wrestling Figures Podcast group page on Facebook.
This past Wednesday’s Wrestling Dontaku 2023 event for New Japan Pro Wrestling featured Jon Moxley making a surprise video appearance. Following Kazuchika Okada, Tomohirio Ishii, and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeating Strong Style to become the new NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Championship, Shota Umino came out and confronted Okada. Umino stated that he wanted to challenge for Okada’s new 6-Man Tag titles at NJPW’s Dominion 2023 event next month. This led to Moxley making a surprise appearance on the video screen stating that he will be reuniting with his “son” Umino and joining his team at the upcoming event.
Sports Illustrated recently released an in-depth article focusing on this past Wednesday being the ten-year anniversary of the debut of Bullet Club and its rise and popularity in wrestling over the decade.
In a recent interview with the Comedy Store Wrestling podcast, Rocky Romero gave his thoughts about Mercedes Mone’s impact in NJPW and Stardom and also stated that NJPW’s door is open to others who are also unhappy over their careers in WWE. Romero stated “New Japan is in a weird spot because the pandemic hurt them. They’re a live event business more than anything. The pandemic happened, touring went out the window. It was important for the company to take care of their own, so nobody got fired or released. Everyone was taken care of and survived. Now, they’re just starting to get back on their feet. Mercedes was a big investment, obviously, going forward and testing the waters of where they were in the States and worldwide when you take a big talent on like that. Now, we’re starting to feel comfortable again. Long story is, basically, if because Vince is back and there are people who are unhappy in WWE, there very well could be a possibility of somebody coming over, being fed up with it and just walking away. New Japan’s door will be open if that happens, for sure.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
Thursday’s Champion Carnival 2023 event for All Japan Pro Wrestling in Tokyo, Japan featured T-Hawk defeating Kenta Miyahara to be declared as the winner of A Block for this year’s Champion Carnival tournament. As a result of his win, T-Hawk will be facing off against Shotaro Ashino in the finals of this year’s tournament on May 7th in Tokyo.
Thursday’s Majestic 2023 event for Pro Wrestling NOAH in Tokyo, Japan featured Timothy Thatcher & Saxon Huxley defeating Takashi Sugiura & Shuhei Taniguchi to be crowned the new GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
Impact Wrestling recently announced that they will be debuting a new weekly digital series called Joe Hendry’s Food Fight. It was announced that episodes for this new upcoming series will air ever Wednesday on Impact Plus and Impact’s YouTube Ultimate Insiders.
Impact also announced a new match for the card of their Under Siege 2023 event on May 26th in London, Ontario, Canada:
- #1 Contender for Impact World Championship Six-Way match – Moose vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Yuya Uemura vs. Alex Shelley vs. Frankie Kazarian