G1 Climax

New Japan Pro Wrestling Returns June 15th – The Complete Rundown

On June 9, 2020 New Japan Pro Wrestling Chairman Sugabayashi announced, on a special online press conference, that New Japan Pro Wrestling will return to live action on June 15, 2020.

New Japan Pro Wrestling had their last show on February 26 when Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada defeated BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito in the main event.

Sugabayashi announced that on June 15, NJPW will host a show called ‘NJPW Together Special’ where the card will be announced by the ring announcer before the show. From there, NJPW will host an edited version of the New Japan Cup starting the very next day on June 16. New Japan announced a total of nine shows to air without fans in attendance, starting June 15, and two shows with 1/3 the capacity on July 11 and 12. All shows will stream live on njpwworld.

The New Japan Cup 2020 will begin on June 16, but will not have some of the usual non-Japanese wrestlers due to travel restrictions. The competitors in this year’s tournament are: Togi Makabe, Yota Tsuji, Tomohiro Ishii, El Desperado, Toru Yano, Jado, Tomoaki Honma, Hiromu Takahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Gedo, Yuji Nagata, Minoru Suzuki, Yuya Uemura, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Gabriel Kidd, and Taiji Ishimori. As usual, the New Japan Cup is a single elimination tournament.

New Japan Cup Dates:

  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Monday June 22, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Thursday July 2, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Friday July 3, 2020 – 19:00(JST), 11:00am(BST), 6:00am(EDT), 3:00am(PDT)
  • Saturday July 11, 2020 – 17:00(JST), 9:00am(BST), 4:00am(EDT), 1:00am(PDT) *With 1/3 capacity in the building

Also announced was Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall, which will hold 1/3 of the capacity of fans. Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall will be on July 12, 2020. Tetsuya Naito will defend his championship on that show against an unannounced challenger. New Japan are planning 7-9 matches for that show.

My Take: With 110 days between live events, I’m very excited to see the return of New Japan, not just because some of the best wrestlers in the company were starting to show signs of wear and tear on their bodies, but I’m excited to see where Gedo takes us, in terms of booking. In recent years, not only has New Japan had some of the best matches of any kind(Heavyweight, Jr Heavyweight, or Tag) but NJPW has also had some of the best booking and storytelling. Not only the great athletes of NJPW have rested and recovered, but the booking mind of Gedo has also had a rest. There was an idea that NJPW could run the Best of the Super Jrs tournament, which was cancelled earlier this year, at the same time as the G1 Climax that is set to take place later in the year. If this is true, we are in for one hell of a second half of a year on njpwworld.

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