Tired of reading about cancelled wrestling events? Good news!
Japanese pro wrestling was among the first public sports/entertainment events to shut down as coronavirus fears started spreading the globe. Now, they’re starting back up - and not for empty arena or closed set shows, either. There are lots of precautions in place, including “physical checks” like temperature readings for fans. Masks are commonplace, as you can see in these photos and GIFs from DDT Pro’s Judgement 2020 event today (Mar. 20) in Tokyo:
But, damn, that’s good to see. You can find complete results and lots more pics at DDT’s website here.
The country’s biggest company isn’t back to live crowd shows yet, but New Japan’s sister promotion Stardom announced their in-front-of-fans return for next Tues., Mar. 24.
The Cinderella Tournament is a single elimination tournament. Wins occur via pinfall, submission or over the top rope to the floor.— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) March 20, 2020
The one-night 2020 Cinderella tournament will have strict entry precautions, but hey, fans!
Fans will be allowed entry to the show, but will undergo a physical check, with their temperature taken. No entry will be allowed if temp is over 37°C (98.6°F). Masks will be distributed for free.— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) March 20, 2020
The first round of the tournament will also stream for free on YouTube.
For clarification, Round 1 of the Cinderella Tournament will be shown live on Youtube.— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) March 20, 2020
The entire show uncut will be available on Stardom World by midnight Japan time that same night.
The show with pre-match promos (1st round) and subtitles will be available later in the week. pic.twitter.com/NuN43sruQG
Wrestling Observer reports this is because experts have determined the spread of COVID-19 is now limited to three regions. The governors of prefectures in other areas can use their discretion to loosen restrictions on public gatherings. Most of Tokyo is eligible for reduced social distancing requirements.
Dragon Gate is also scheduled to resume more normal shows soon. NJPW hasn’t made an announcement, but still has a Mar. 31 show at the Sumo Hall on their calendar.
So if you’re jonesing to see folks fight one another to a pre-determined outcome with other folks sitting just feet away, like we used to do way back in February of 2020, keep your eye on Japan. To watch the events discussed above, hit up either of those promotions’ streaming services: DDT Universe and Stardom World.