The last time that New Japan Pro-Wrestling ran a show was in February during their New Japan Road tour. For STARDOM, their last show took place in March which was their 2020 Cinderella tournament that was won by Giulia and the two organizations under the Bushiroad banner could be resuming live shows, per a press release on the Bushiroad website.
Bushiroad announced that all STARDOM and NJPW performers along with staff will be undergoing Antibody tests. Japan officially ended its COVID-19 state of emergency in late May but live events have yet to resume. Below is the statement issued by Bushiroad:
“Bushiroad Co., Ltd. has canceled and postponed many events from February in consideration of the situation of new coronavirus infection. With the cancellation of the emergency declaration, we have decided to restart live events such as professional wrestling, stage performances, and live music performances, and have decided to carry out antibody tests for all athletes and performers for safety and security. [We] will inform you.
For all live events such as New Japan Pro-Wrestling performances, STARDOM performances, theatrical group airship performances, and Bushiroad Music live performances, a doctor will perform an antibody test in advance for all players and performers as well as staff members who are closely related.”
While New Japan Pro-Wrestling has been on hiatus, content is being/was uploaded to NJPW1972.com and NJPW World as a part of the ‘Together Project’. On April 8th, New Japan decided to cancel all events through May 4th and in the article they published concerning that specific cancellation stretch, it was noted that they were considering the option of doing empty arena shows.
On May 23rd, STARDOM announced the passing of 22-year old, former Goddess of STARDOM Champion Hana Kimura. Kimura’s death was covered by mainstream media outlets such as CNN that shared the information that cyberbullying laws in Japan were being discussed by the government because of her passing.
Multi-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi did an interview with Sports Illustrated last week and shared that he is not too keen on the idea of running empty arena shows.
“There isn’t a governing body for Japanese pro wrestling. As such, we can’t necessarily enforce cancellations. That’s been the responsibility of each company. But to run events in the middle of a pandemic presents the wrong image of professional wrestling to society and would deal a black eye to the industry that might still remain even after the pandemic ends.
“I thought it was important for us to come together, understand exactly what’s happening and do what’s right, even if that means returning to action after other pro sports.”
Along with the aforementioned promotions, All Japan Pro Wrestling President Takenori Fukuda announced that the 2020 Champion Carnival tournament will take place in September. For more information on that, click this link.