Kevin Kelly: NJPW Has Not Been The "Most Exciting Thing To Watch Lately"

COVID has affected the product

New Japan Pro-Wrestling have had a difficult 2021. 

The promotion have continued to produce some of the best professional wrestling in the world, with matches like Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White from Wrestle Kingdom 15, and Shingo Takagi's bouts against Will Ospreay and Hiroshi Tanahashi being in the conversation for match of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented NJPW from having big attendances, though, and fans in the arena are still unable to cheer due to COVID restrictions in Japan. Quarantine restrictions have also affected cards in Japan as some NJPW gaijins have refused to return to the country until restrictions are lifted. 

Speaking during a Q&A on Chase Owens' Twitch stream, NJPW English Commentator Kevin Kelly admitted New Japan hasn't "been the most exciting thing to watch lately."

"But you know what? There's a lot of people that have kind of tapped out for a little while [on New Japan]. Totally get it. It's not been the most exciting thing to watch lately. Not that the wrestling isn't good. There's two parts of it; there's wrestling and then there is excitement and I think that it translates through the screen when - that's what I was just about to say [the crowd not being able to make noise]. It's the sizes of the crowd because they can only sell so many tickets, right? And that's only what they're allowed to do [clapping]. They can stomp their feet. They can't, even with the mask on, they can't yell. You don't get to hear, 'Chase-son!' I miss that. I miss that," Kelly said.

"So, some people are gonna jump back in for the G1. The hope is-is that you'll stick around on [NJPW] World because right after G1 is Best of Super Juniors and World Tag League."

New Japan Pro-Wrestling's G1 Climax 31 began on September 18 and Zack Sabre Jr. picked up a big win over Shingo Takagi on September 23 in the second round of A Block matches. Check out the full results here.

H/T to POST Wrestling

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons