Located not far from China – the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic – Japan was one of the first countries to feel the impact of this health crisis, be it social, economic or political. In order to protect its inhabitants, the Japanese government has taken drastic measures to avoid any unnecessary spread.
The field of sport obviously suffered when the government recommended to many organizations to postpone or even cancel their future events from March 1 to 15. The world of wrestling has not escaped this and many wrestling promotions have canceled a large number of shows, like the NJPW which had, purely and simply cancel the New Japan Cup 2020.
Interviewed by the American media Sports Illustrated, the president of New Japan Pro-Wrestling Harold Meij expressed himself vis-à-vis the epidemic but also how its promotion will be organized: “Coronavirus has impacted the world” said Harold Meij. “However, over our fifty years of existence, we have been able to cope with and overcome many crises. We have become a stronger company but also as a social guide bringing hope and enthusiasm around the world. The NJPW believes that wrestling will once again unite us, and this very soon. Let’s all share our passion for wrestling together. ”
The NJPW adapts
With the whole of its New Japan Cup in oblivion, the NJPW is adapting and still offers content – available on NJPW World – referred to as Together, the show sees some talent discussing wrestling and seeing them commenting on past promotion games.
For Harold Meij, it was the duty of the New Japan Pro Wrestling to offer content despite the cancellation of all their dates in March: “The Coronavirus has significantly affected the way that sports and event businesses around the world can operate” Meij continues. “Being the largest wrestling organization in Japan has put us in the spotlight and given us important social responsibility. It has been our duty to act not only for the benefit of our fans, our wrestlers and our staff but also for the benefit of society as a whole. ”
In addition, the event Wrestle Dynasty, supposed to take place at Madison Square Garden on August 22, is still in stores. However, no one knows how the health crisis caused by COVID-19 will have subsided by next August and Harold Meij wanted to clarify certain things: “We are still planning to hold our very first Wrestle Dynasty event at Madison Square Garden in August to showcase the best wrestling the NJPW can offer fans in the United States”, said Meij. “The slogan for the event,“ We built a Kingdom. Join our Dynasty “celebrates the spirit of community that has made NJPW what it is today, and it is a fervor and passion that we believe will make Wrestle Dynasty a huge success once we have overcome the current crisis. ”