There are reports out that Harold Meij, President of New Japan Pro Wrestling, has banned swearing in English promos and has also banned usage of the middle finger from the product as a whole.

The WON states this was undertake as part of a plan to help market the product overseas. Uncle Dave reports that New Japan wants more international sponsors, then heavy swearing inside the ring and in promos, those of Juice Robinson were especially mentioned, are going to have to go. Furthermore, many of those who usually curse up a storm have been privately spoken to and asked to do their best to clean things up as sponsorships in new markets are going to require a product that's suitable for all ages.

In all honesty, I've been expecting to read something like this for some time now. If New Japan wants to grow and become more of an international force that brings in WWE level money, then certain changes and sacrifices are going to have to be made to accommodate sponsors and audiences. As you might expect, this has been met with criticism from some fans, primarily American fans who feel that cursing is edgy and all that kinda stuff.

If New Japan does continue to grow in the coming months and years, don't be surprised if the brutality and dangerous spots common to the product are toned down as well. After all, if they do manage to reach levels the company higher ups want, then they're going to wind up under the same sort of media scrutiny as WWE is; if the media feels or is given the impression that New Japan isn't concerned with the physical safety of its wrestlers, then they'll find themselves raked over the coals as WWE was in the past and sponsors don't like that.