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New Japan resumes shows, ROH to bring back fans

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Some good news for pro wrestling companies in year two of the pandemic.

ROHWrestling.com

AEW is officially and WWE is rumored to be moving back to the business model they employed before March of 2020 - traveling to perform in front of live crowds.

Two other companies today (May 17) announced their next steps toward normalcy.

New Japan is still limited by their home country’s state of emergency, which will keep them from bringing fans back to all shows until at least the end of May (NJPW had resumed having a limited number of attendees at events last July). The company shut down entirely after nine members of their roster tested positive for COVID earlier this month, but reports the outbreak is contained and they’ll start back up this weekend.

After the cancellation or postponement of five events in May, New Japan Pro-Wrestling can now announce that live events will return on May 22 in Nagoya at the Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall, with events on May 24, 25 and 26 also to take place as scheduled in Korakuen Hall.

On May 5 and 9, announcements of positive COVID-19 tests among the NJPW roster caused a great deal of concern. Infected wrestlers have all continued to display minor or no symptoms, and have isolated and received appropriate medical treatment. Additionally, wrestlers who had contact with the infected, or had any reason to be concerned, have also independently isolated and taken relevant measures. Wrestlers who have completed their isolation period are being allowed to resume training.

Wrestlers and staff will only be allowed to participate in events to follow after diligent screening, and on consultation with medical professionals and training staff, including on any after affects that may arise from a lengthy period of isolation. We ask for your understanding and patience in awaiting further announcements.

To this point, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has maintained its COVID-19 policy drawn up under expert advice and guidance. This includes daily temperature and blood oxygen saturation checks, as well as regular screening before events. At events, attendees are temperature screened on entry to venues, masks are required during training and backstage, and packaged food is provided in order to limit unnecessary movement outside. However, we have taken recent developments extremely seriously. Starting with improvements in testing frequency and methods, we are working to further strengthen our COVID-19 countermeasures in future.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s COVID-19 event policy continues to protect the health of every event attendee to the highest standard. We eagerly await fans in Nagoya and Tokyo from Saturday.

Since returning from a five month hiatus at the start of the pandemic, Ring of Honor has been operating in a bubble environment without anyone in the seats at their shows. The Sinclair Broadcasting-owned promotion announced that will change with their July PPV event.

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, The Best Wrestling On The Planet will be presented LIVE and in-person to the best wrestling fans of the planet.

Ring of Honor is welcoming fans back into the arena for the Best In The World pay-per-view at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena (previously known as UMBC Event Center) in Baltimore on Sunday night, July 11th, 2021!

As always, the health and well-being of fans are ROH’s top priorities. The event will have limited capacity, and “pod” seating will be implemented to ensure proper social distancing of six feet between each group of ticket holders. Additionally, temperatures will be taken upon entry and masks will be required to be worn by all attendees throughout the event.

Pods are available in all ticket quantities throughout the arena up to a maximum of six seats per group. For larger orders, fans can contact ROH directly at help@rohwrestling.com before tickets go on-sale to help ensure they get seats as close together as possible.

Final health and safety policies will be provided approximately 2-3 weeks before the event as the pandemic conditions and government guidelines continue to change. Any refund requests due to the conditions of the pandemic or stringency of health and safety policies will be honored.

“Our locker room full of tremendous athletes have missed the energy of connecting with our great fans that you only get with a live show. We look forward to giving them more of the best bell-to-bell action, including the return of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ tournament and the highly anticipated Women’s Championship Tournament this summer.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our talented athletes, fans and everyone who has done their part to keep each other safe. It’s been a challenging year, no doubt, but we’re excited to continue to ramp up what we do best. Nothing beats the thrill of witnessing The Best Wrestling on the Planet and seeing your favorite stars LIVE and in-person. We would like to do this still with the fans’ safety, health and well-being as ROH’s top priorities,” said Joe Koff, COO of Ring of Honor.

Tickets for Best In The World will go on sale with special pricing for everyone on Monday, June 7th at 10 a.m. ET. All floor seats will be priced at $50.00 and all arena seats will be priced at $30.00, plus all applicable fees.

But first, on Monday, May 24th, at 10 a.m. ET, HonorClub members will be able to begin purchasing tickets as part of a special pre-sale on ROHWrestling.com and they will receive an additional discount of $10 per ticket!

For this presale, seats will be assigned as the best available pod for the size of the group, based on the timestamp of the order (first come, first served). Floor seats will be priced at $40 and Arena seating will be priced at $20, plus applicable ticketing and facility fees. The presale ends Monday, May 31st at midnight ET.

Sign up for HonorClub today at rohhonorclub.com to get the best possible seats and take advantage of this discounted pricing!

Excited for these moves toward the new normal? Or at least cautiously optimisitic?