Report: More On NJPW Roster Unrest

The roster isn't happy

There is growing discontent amongst the New Japan Pro-Wrestling roster and the situation may have affected the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship picture. 

NJPW announced on May 20 that Will Ospreay had suffered a neck injury at Wrestling Dontaku and would be returning to the United Kingdom for treatment. As there was no timetable on when Ospreay would return, the IWGP World Heavyweight Title was vacated. 

In an update, Voices Of Wrestling reported Ospreay's neck injury is legitimate, but there were disagreements between New Japan and Ospreay about where The Commonwealth Kingpin would be treated. The promotion reportedly wanted Ospreay to remain in Japan for treatment, but Ospreay refused as he had already decided to return to the UK. 

Others within NJPW also noted that while Ospreay is injured, the neck injury could be a cover story from New Japan's office for Ospreay leaving the country. Ospreay and other members of the foreign contingent have grown frustrated with how the company has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, with the rescheduling of the Wrestle Grand Slam tour at the last minute having been described as a "tipping point."

Foreigners on the roster were reportedly told they could return home before being informed at the last moment that shows would resume and they would have to remain in Japan. Tensions had already reached a boiling point following poor communication from NJPW and wrestlers being kept in the dark following the COVID-19 outbreak. A meeting was scheduled for May 24 at Korakuen Hall and Gedo and others planned to speak to gaijins on the roster who stayed in Japan. 

Japanese wrestlers on the roster are also frustrated about the situation as they weren't informed about the resumption of touring until NJPW announced the decision publicly. The company's quarantine guidelines and poor communication has also led to further frustration. 

Veteran members of the roster went to Dick Togo about their concerns and he blamed upper management for the late decision on resuming touring. Togo also stated NJPW delayed booking the cards because they were waiting for COVID-19 test results. 

The report from Voices Of Wrestling follows the news that some members of the NJPW roster were considering their options because of poor communication and the current quarantine situation. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons