In a recent announcement, WWE has revealed that they are bringing their shows and events to Japan. They will stream their shows on a Japanese streaming platform and have even revealed some graphics to promote their events, hinting at a major title change that could potentially happen in the coming few weeks.
Shinsuke Nakamura has been with the Stamford-based promotion for a long time, and has his fair share of fans in Japan. At the moment, he is involved in a rivalry with World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, with them coming face to face once again on Fastlane in October.
World heavyweight title potentially to change hands at Fastlane
It was just recently reported that WWE has reached a new television deal in Japan. Both RAW and SmackDown would be available on the streaming platform ABEMA in Japan starting on October 3. This will be a huge deal for WWE fans in Japan, but it could also have some other implications for a current champion in the company.
WWE’s new television partner in Japan has released some new advertisements for the upcoming shows. And these graphics seemed to be way more interesting upon closer inspection of the placement of the superstars in the poster. Japanese superstar Shinsuke Nakamura is the focus of the poster for RAW, as he is featured in a key position comparable only to Roman Reigns on the SmackDown poster.
Shinsuke Nakamura has challenged World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to a Last Man Standing match at Fastlane. Since the event is being broadcasted in Japan as well, it could lead to The King of Strong Style finally besting The Visionary to capture the prestigious title.
WWE has played out the same tactic years ago, when they were shifting their focus to the Indian market back in 2017. Jinder Mahal was made the World Champion of the company, which brought in a considerable amount of fans from India. This time, WWE could be doing the same thing as they look forward to expanding their programs to the Japanese market. Seth Rollins’ back problems, now would be a fitting time to let him rest and have The King of Strong Style become the face of the company.
ABEMA deal to broadcast WWE programming in Japan
WWE announced on the morning of September 28 that they have entered a new broadcasting rights agreement with ABEMA, which is a free ad-supporting streaming platform in Japan.
As per the agreement, both weekly shows of RAW and SmackDown will be broadcasted for free in Japan, with Japanese commentary being available for the first time for the shows. Furthermore, all the PLEs will be available on the platform, with NXT being available on demand as per the agreement.
Japanese superstar Akira Tozawa also celebrated the news, announcing that the Japanese fans will now be able to watch all of WWE’s events moving forward. It will be interesting to see how this deal with ABEMA evolves in the following months.