New Japan Pro-Wrestling Pulls Two Performers From May 4 Event Due To COVID-19 Concerns

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling NJPW President Harold Meij

The second day of New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Wrestling Dontaku event is facing some last-minute changes due to COVID-19 concerns.

New Japan posted the following update, confirming two performers were pulled from the May 4 lineup after showing signs of a fever. Due to this, New Japan pulled them from the event and announced the lineup changes, and the talent are undergoing evaluation. In total, six performers (Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SHO, and YOH) were removed from the event card as a precaution.

From New Japan Pro-Wrestling:

Thank you for supporting New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

One wrestler who was scheduled to appear on today’s Wrestling Dontaku Day 2 card presented with a fever on the morning of the event. This individual is currently undergoing thorough examination and PCR and antibody testing. In addition, another wrestler who has been a part of events since May 1 in Beppu and has since also presented with a fever is also undergoing evaluation.

In an abundance of caution, neither participated in today’s event, and any wrestler who competed with them on recent cards were also removed from the event.

After careful consultation with New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s medical committee, and in accordance with government rules and procedures, the decision was made to proceed with the day’s event with the following changes made.

2nd Match

Kazuchika Okada & SHO vs Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi

4th Match

Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, EVIL & Jay White

Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Dick Togo, EVIL & Jay White

5th Match

El Desperado vs YOH – This match was removed from the card.

Every wrestler and staff member involved in the day’s event was in full health.

New Japan Pro-Wresting continues to take every step possible to protect wrestlers, staff and fans during the pandemic. All NJPW wrestlers are subject to regular testing, and masks are compulsory during training and backstage. Further, wrestlers keep outside interactions to the barest minimum, with packaged food provided at venues. Find out more about our COVID event policy here.

We deeply apologise for any inconvenience or concern caused.

*Author’s Note — the italicized match denotes the original match; the bold match under each respective listing is the new replacement match.

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