Monday, September 28, 2020

NJPW Annnounces First Events Post-COVID19 State of Emergency

On May 25th, the Japanese government lifted the nationwide state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. New Japan Pro-Wrestling has announced their plans to return to conducting live wrestling events over the next month. To ensure minimal risk of virus propagation, NJPW has been conducting antibody testing on wrestlers, crew, trainers, and other live event staff, and preparation of venues has begun.

The last NJPW event took place on February 26th in Okinawa, Japan. New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s first live event following the end of Japan’s COVID-19 state of emergency will be an empty arena event on June 15th, called the NJPW Together Special. In all, eleven events have been scheduled, including a rescheduled New Japan Cup and Dominion.

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The New Japan Cup participants have changed to accommodate international travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. The majority of participants who live overseas have been replaced. As such, the 32-man New Japan Cup, usually a heavyweights-only tournament, now includes a number of NJPW’s junior heavyweight wrestlers. Also, it has been announced that, as previously, Tetsuya Naito will defend both his IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental championships against the winner of the New Japan Cup.

All events will be streamed live on NJPW World. NJPW has also announced that their Summer Struggle 2020 tour, originally scheduled to take place from July 11 to July 19, has been cancelled.

NJPW Event Schedule

  • June 15: NJPW Together Project Special
    • Matches unknown
  • June 16: New Japan Cup 2020 First Round (empty arena)
    • Togi Makabe vs. Yota Tsuji
    • Tomohiro Ishii vs. El Desperado
    • Toru Yano vs. Jado
    • Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiromu Takahashi
    • Unknown “special match”
  • June 17: New Japan Cup 2020 First Round (empty arena)
    • Kazuchika Okada vs. Gedo
    • Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki
    • Yuya Uemura vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
    • Gabriel Kidd vs. Taiji Ishimori
    • Unknown “special match”
  • June 22: New Japan Cup 2020 First Round (empty arena)
    • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi
    • Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
    • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. SANADA
    • SHO vs. Shingo Takagi
    • Unknown “special match”
  • June 23: New Japan Cup 2020 First Round (empty arena)
    • Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. YOSHI-HASHI
    • YOH vs. BUSHI
    • Satoshi Kojima vs. EVIL
    • Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro Takahashi
    • Unknown “special match”
  • June 24: New Japan Cup 2020 Second Round (empty arena)
    • Four New Japan Cup second round matches
    • Unknown “special match”
  • July 1: New Japan Cup 2020 Second Round (empty arena)
    • Four New Japan Cup second round matches
    • Unknown “special match”
  • July 2: New Japan Cup 2020 Quarterfinals (empty arena)
    • Four New Japan Cup quarterfinal matches
    • Unknown “special match”
  • July 3: New Japan Cup 2020 Semifinals (empty arena)
    • Two New Japan Cup semifinal matches
    • Two unknown “special matches”
  • July 11: New Japan Cup 2020 Final (Osaka-jo Hall, Osaka, one third capacity attendees)
    • New Japan Cup 2020 Final match
  • July 12: Dominion (Osaka-jo Hall, Osaka, one third capacity attendees)
    • IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships Match: Tetsuya Naito © vs. New Japan Cup 2020 Winner

Watch NJPW’s announcement video with English subtitles.

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