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NJPW to tour the US in May: Is it too late?

New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced the dates for their first ever US tour:

  • May 13th in Rahway, NJ at the Rahway Rec Center
  • May 14th in Brooklyn, NY at a venue to be announced
  • May 15th in Philadelphia, PA at the former ECW Arena

The shows are being promoted in conjunction with Jersey All Pro Wrestling, which NJPW legend Jushin "Thunder" Liger has worked several shows for recently.  NJPW wrestlers announced for the show so far are Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Prince Devitt (an Irish expatriate who trained in their dojo), Gedo, Jado, and Tiger Mask IV.  I would expect to see JAPW wrestlers on the card in some form, as well, with Homicide and Low-Ki being the most likely.

While I expect the shows themselves to be excellent, I'm planning on attending if the ticket prices are reasonable, and they shouldn't have any trouble drawing in the small buildings, it feels like it's too late.  Japanese wrestling doesn't have nearly the following that it used to, both in Japan itself and among hardcore fans in the west.  While New Japan has rebounded over the last few years and they've made new fans online, a lot of the newer fans are in the UK, Ireland, and Western Europe.  Liger, the biggest star to American fans in the company, is no stranger to the area, having had a classic match with Brian Pillman at the Meadowlands Arena in 1991, doing a weekend for Ring of Honor in Philadelphia and northern New Jersey in 2004 that say him put on 2 excellent matches, and the aforementioned recent shots for JAPW.  The other announced wrestlers are all quality talents, but not big names, and most of the big names of the past that could draw older hardcore fans are gone.  Legends like Masahiro Chono and Keiji Mutoh no longer working for the company.

Readers in and around the northeast (or even further out if you are going): Are you planning on going?  I'm curious to see some answers and reasoning behind them in the comments.

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