The U.S. Government Shutdown Caused Major Card Changes For NJPW’s ‘New Beginning In USA’ Shows

01.24.19 7 months ago 7 Comments


NJPW announced the cards for their New Beginning in USA house show tour on the evening on January 23, and they feature LA Dojo trainees, a championship match, and a lot of talent from Ring of Honor. About ten hours later, the company responded to the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the cards, including on Twitter and in the comments on their website, with a statement that said “that due to the ongoing 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, we were unable to obtain visas for our Japanese talent who were looking forward to seeing our US fans at the New Beginning in USA.”

The tour was first announced in December 2018 as a tour to “give an opportunity for more fans in the US to come see the New Japan matches in person” because the company believes “that New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s draw is in the ring.” Two dates, January 30 in Los Angeles and February 1 in Charlotte, North Carolina, were initially announced, with a third in Nashville, Tenessee announced after the first two shows had already sold out. The initial announcement clarified that the New Beginning in USA tour would overlap with the New Beginning in Sapporo shows on February 23, and “wrestlers who are not part of the Japan matches will be heading out to the US matches.” Tickets to each of the three shows cost between $30 and $100.

Though many big name NJPW wrestlers were already booked on the New Beginning shows in Japan at the same time as the New Beginning in USA tour, there was Japanese talent not yet on the NJPW schedule on these dates. Specifically, the ongoing Hirooki Goto-Jeff Cobb and Tomohiro Ishii-Yuji Nagata feuds and the fact that none of these men were already on the New Beginning tour led to some fans expecting to see these matches and/or wrestlers between January 30-February 2 in the U.S. However, the announcement of the cards revealed that the only wrestler from Japan on these shows is the Great-O-Kharn (fka Tomoyuki Oka, who has been on excursion in RevPro in the UK.) An NJPW source told UPROXX that performers from Japan getting their visas blocked led to last-minute changes to the card, but not confirm why this had happened.

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