KENTA showed up at the end of Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite to attack Jon Moxley. He will also team with Kenny Omega on next week’s episode in a Lights Out match with Moxley and Lance Archer.
This was an indication that AEW and NJPW have some type of working relationship.
Dave Meltzer confirmed this on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio. He stated that the COVID-19 pandemic “likely sped things up” towards building that relationship. The only way to get Moxley on NJPW programming taped in the United States was to make a deal as AEW, which previously wouldn’t allow him to wrestle televised shows in the United States.
NJPW reportedly wanted to meet with Tony Khan, which didn’t happen at first, so instead, they sent Chris Harrington at one point. The Young Bucks were also interested in making the deal.
It boils down to how New Japan didn’t know how successful AEW when they first started and turned them down initially. When they needed Moxley back as he was IWGP US Heavyweight Champion, they reached out to AEW and made a deal.
The departure of former NJPW President Harold Meij also likely led to them working together.