New Japan Pro Wrestling present Harold Meij put up a nice long video breaking down NJPW’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the hows and whys of when they might run shows again, so let’s toss that on together and break it down, shall we?
He lays out the reasons why New Japan has chosen not to run empty arena events like other major promotions have, and it’s pretty simple— they can’t guarantee the safety of wrestlers and staff, the venues are largely run by local governments and thus closed anyway, and they have a responsibility as leaders in a global society to act as ethically as possible, and they won’t trade that responsibility or their good name for profit, even in a crisis like this.
Plus the time off is good for an injured roster and the NJPW World Together Project has been a way to keep their stars in the public eye and engaging with the fans. NJPW World subscriptions have held steady and merchandise sales have kept the ship afloat, and he thanks everyone for
Empty arena shows will begin, both in Japan and at the Los Angeles dojo, when the state of emergency is lifted, the number of new infections decline, and the shows can be held in safe, disinfected settings. Then, as fans are allowed back into shows, wrestlers and staff will be tested thoroughly, venues disinfected and ventilated, and fans’ temperatures will be taken on entry, masks will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be followed, reducing venue capacities to fifty percent.
Meij closes, pledging that New Japan will be back soon, stronger than ever.
There’s no denying that, after the cancellation of the Best of the Super Jr. tour and the postponement of Wrestle Dynasty, things look grim for New Japan, but it’s heartening to see management isn’t in any hurry to rush back to having shows and endanger fans or talent alike. It’s a complex decision, and I sure wouldn’t blame them if they were running empty arena shows right now, but this seems like it’s for the best.
And indeed, the Together Project has resulted in some pretty quality content...
And plenty of signs that. while we might not pick up right where we left off, they haven’t forgotten what we’re looking forward to—
There you have it, folks
New Japan is dedicated to a safe return for everyone and not willing to rush it for the sake of their bottom line. What are y’all looking forward to most when shows start again, Cagesiders?