The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on New Japan Pro-Wrestling's 2020 schedule. The promotion hasn't run a show since February 26 and has cancelled the New Japan Cup, Best Of The Super Juniors 27, and Wrestle Dynasty at Madison Square Garden.
New Japan could return very soon, however, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced yesterday that the state of emergency in Japan has been lifted. He also set out a roadmap to fully reopen the country by August.
Sports events, including professional wrestling, will be permitted behind closed doors from June 19 and restrictions will be gradually eased every three weeks if the situation continues to improve.
By July 10, venues holding up to 5,000 people will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity, meaning venues like Korakuen Hall could hold events and have 1,000 fans in attendance. The situation will be reviewed again on August 1 when all venues will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
Whether New Japan decides to return remains to be seen. The promotion has previously discussed running empty arena shows and President Harold Meij said the company will return once the state of emergency is over, new coronavirus cases decline, and when matches can take place in "properly disinfected and safe settings."