New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s United States brand, “NJPW Strong,” has been a meeting place for many of the best competitors in the United States since its inception back in 2020. While independent wrestling stars and New Japan regulars make up most of the shows, NJPW’s partnerships with both All Elite Wrestling and Impact Wrestling have led to talent from those companies competing on Strong, as well. And even when it’s not a direct loan of a competitor, the relationship New Japan has with both American promotions has proven beneficial in scoping out talent for NJPW in the West.
This was the case for Jake Something, who left Impact last spring. While Something never competed on “NJPW Strong” during his time with the company, he did inform Fightful Select that his debut for New Japan’s U.S. brand came after a recommendation from none other than NJPW star Jay White. The Bullet Club leader spent the first half of this year representing NJPW in Impact ahead of his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship victory over Kazuchicka Okada at NJPW Dominion in June. Given White’s status as the top foreign wrestler in the company, not to mention its reigning world champion, it’s unsurprising that Something has competed on “NJPW Strong” shows various times since his Impact departure, most recently battling Shingo Takagi at The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street on October 27.
Something also competed on “AEW Dark” a few times following his run in Impact, though he came out on the losing end of all three matches. However, Something has been thriving on the independent scene this year. The former Impact star is the current AAW World Champion, a title previously held by the likes of Josh Alexander, Mance Warner, and Eddie Kingston.