Despite the situation between Karl Anderson and NJPW appearing publicly tense, the company expects the WWE Raw star to work for them again in the future.
On the season premiere of WWE Raw on October 10th, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson shocked the world by making their returns to WWE despite the fact that Anderson is the currently reigning IWGP NEVER Openweight Champion. For weeks, Finn Balor had been asking AJ Styles to join The Judgment Day, but on October 10th, AJ Styles revealed Gallows and Anderson as his “family” who would even the odds against Balor’s group.
The next week, it was announced that Styles, Gallows, and Anderson would take on The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 5th. While the announcement made complete sense according to the show’s storyline, it created a conflict as Anderson was already scheduled to defend his NEVER Openweight Championship against Hikuleo at a NJPW show in Osaka the same day.
Karl Anderson posted a statement on social media clarifying that he would be in Saudi Arabia on November 5th, and in turn, NJPW publicly declared that he would be stripped of his championship if he did not fulfill his commitment to face Hikuleo.
While the situation seems tense to viewers following along on social media, a new report from Fightful Select reveals that everything may be more amicable than they appear. According to the report, there have always been plans for Karl Anderson to return to competition in NJPW following his re-signing with WWE. While Fightful could not provide an update on the title situation itself, they stated that WWE was fine with the idea of Anderson fulfilling future dates with NJPW.
In addition, the report notes that NJPW knew that Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows would be returning to WWE as far back as August, and that’s when a deal between the two companies was worked out. Sources familiar with the situation told Fightful that behind the scenes, everything seems fine between Karl Anderson, WWE, and NJPW.