New Japan Pro-Wrestling acted quickly as the coronavirus pandemic first started taking hold. The promotion cancelled their annual New Japan Cup tournament in order to help protect their fans and talent. Speaking with Sports Illustrated, NJPW President Harold Meij discussed how he intends to help get business back to normal.
“The Coronavirus has impacted the entire world,” Meij said. “However, throughout our 50-year history we have experienced and overcome numerous crises, not only emerging stronger as an organization, but also as a good social beacon bringing hope and excitement worldwide. NJPW sincerely believes professional wrestling will once again unite us all very soon, sharing our passion for wrestling together.”
Harold Meij On NJPW’s Alternative Content
Harold Meij reiterated how all New Japan events have been cancelled up to and including their March 21 show. He noted how eagerly everyone involved wants to get back to “business as usual.” According to Meij, NJPW officials are actively working towards that ambition. He acknowledged that the continuous situation is “fluid” and so they have to act responsibly with every decision.
“The Coronavirus has dramatically affected how sports and events-based businesses worldwide are able to operate,” Meij continued. “Being the biggest professional wrestling organization in Japan put a spotlight upon us and gave us a significant social responsibility. It has been our duty to not just act in the best interests of our fans, wrestlers and staff, but of society at large.”
In the wake of the New Japan Cup cancellation, the promotion has attempted to deliver alternative content to fans worldwide. NJPW has been releasing videos for their NJPW Together Project via NJPW World. The videos bring stars together to talk, entertain and provide wrestle commentary over matches.