NJPW Issue Statement Regarding Karl Anderson
NJPW has issued a statement clarifying the status of Karl Anderson who found himself double booked in both Japan and on a WWE show on November 5th.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows recently made their shocking return to WWE to back up AJ Styles in his feud with The Judgment Day. The move was all the more surprising since both are active members of Bullet Club and Anderson is currently NJPW’s reigning NEVER Openweight Champion.
The Machine Gun was scheduled to defend the title against former Bullet Club member Hikuleo at NJPW’s Battle Autumn event in Osaka on November 5th. However, it was then announced on Raw that he and Gallows would be otherwise engaged.
They are now set to join Styles to face off with Finn Balor, Damien Priest, and Dominik Mysterio in a 6-Man Tag Team match at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on the same day.
NJPW has now issued a full statement on its website looking to clear up the situation as regards Anderson and the NEVER Openweight Championship:
“Thank you for supporting New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Early morning Japan time on October 20, NEVER Openweight Champion Karl Anderson posted a video on social media indicating that he would not be making his advertised commitment on November 5 in Osaka.
NJPW had announced Anderson’s match with Hikuleo for the NEVER Openweight Championship on October 4. Despite comments from Doc Gallows to the contrary in Anderson’s video, the booking was made through the appropriate channels, and with Anderson’s expressed approval.
However, after the match’s announcement, both Gallows and Anderson would appear on the October 10 edition of WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” broadcast. This led to WWE announcing a match featuring both men for their Saudi Arabia event on November 5, in direct conflict with Anderson’s prior commitment.
NJPW has for the past several days attempted to negotiate with Anderson, but has not been met with a response. Should Anderson decide to renege on his scheduled championship match, he will be required to vacate the NEVER Openweight Championship and return the title belt to NJPW immediately.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling holds its champions to the highest standards of professionalism, and sincerely apologises to fans for any disappointment or inconvenience caused by this matter.”
With Karl Anderson set to miss the scheduled title defence it looks almost certain now that he will be forced to vacate the title and will not return to NJPW while part of the WWE roster.