Government Shutdown To Blame For Japanese Wrestling Not To Work USA Shows For NJPW
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
New Japan Pro Wrestling will hit the United States of America for their next tour of the country next week, with shows scheduled in California, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Two of the three nights were immediate sellouts, but the cards provoked controversy upon their release this Wednesday night.
Aside from the Great O-Kharn (who's currently on an excursion with England's RevPro), there are no Japanese wrestlers on any of the shows, with the lineups mostly comprised of North American undercard wrestlers, indie moonlighters, and LA Dojo trainees. A major disappointment for anyone who bought tickets expecting traditional NJPW-style shows, but there's a good reason for it.
Per NJPW via their English-language website, the ongoing US federal government shutdown prevented them from obtaining the required visas for Japanese wrestlers.
NJPW had intended to build these cards around Tomohiro Ishii, Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, and Hirooki Goto. Unfortunately, the visas they applied for in November and December didn't come through in time, necessitating these makeshift cards.
The fans' disappointment is understandable, as they're essentially being "treated" to what look like Ring Of Honor undercards. The circumstances are out of NJPW's control, of course, but the situation has still eroded a lot of goodwill.