Report: Why Jay White & FinJuice Won't Be In NJPW G1 Climax 31

Switchblade and FinJuice look set to miss the tournament

New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced yesterday that NJPW Strong will go on the road and hold tapings in September and October. The company will head to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas for two days of tapings on September 25 and 26 before visiting Philadelphia's 2300 Arena for tapings on October 16 and 17.

Jay White, Juice Robinson and David Finlay will be in action at both sets of tapings, and with the G1 Climax 31 set to run from September 18 to October 21, it appears they will likely miss the annual tournament due to Japan's COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Their omission from the tournament appears to stem from the gaijin unrest within New Japan from earlier this year, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Unrest amongst the foreign contingent of the NJPW roster grew in May following a COVID-19 outbreak within the promotion. NJPW cancelled shows as a result of the outbreak, and many foreigners were set to travel home, only to be told they had to remain behind after the Wrestle Grand Slam tour was restarted at the last minute. 

Frustration had been building for some time because of having to quarantine upon arriving in Japan and the Wrestle Grand Slam tour being rearranged was described as a "tipping point" which led to many foreign wrestlers opting to travel home in defiance of New Japan's instructions. 

Those who did travel home explained to NJPW they would not return to Japan until quarantine restrictions had been lifted and Meltzer noted White, FinJuice and Will Ospreay were the key individuals who were deeply unhappy. NJPW has, therefore, booked them on NJPW Strong during the G1 Climax instead of scheduling them for the tournament.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

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