NJPW Cancels March Events Including New Japan Cup Amid Coronavirus Fears

As the coronavirus COVID-19 spreads rapidly around the world, New Japan Pro Wrestling is taking action to protect its talent and fans by canceling all events for a portion of March, including the highly anticipated New Japan Cup.

On the promotion's official site, NJPW cites a recommendation from the Japanese Ministry of Health to explain the promotion's decision to cancel all live events scheduled between Sunday, March 1 and Sunday, March 15.

NJPW will make further announcements at a later date, and all ticket holders for those canceled events will be refunded.

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NJPW

"NJPW has reached this difficult decision after careful consideration. Ultimately, the health and safety of our fans, staff and wrestlers is our highest concern. We remain deeply appreciative of your support of New Japan Pro-Wrestling," the site reads.

Fans will not only miss the New Japan Cup, but the special anniversary event is also being canceled as well. Stay tuned to NJPW's various social media accounts for announcements regarding when these events will be held.

The following shows are affected by New Japan's announcement:

Anniversary Tour - March 1 & 2

Anniversary Event - March 3

New Japan Cup

  • March 4 in Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • March 7 in Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
  • March 8 in Baycom Gymnasium, Hyogo
  • March 9 in Kochi Prefectural Gymnasium
  • March 10 in ZIP Arena Okayama
  • March 12 & 13 in Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • March 14 in Makuhari Messe, Chiba

The New Japan Cup is an annual single-elimination tournament, with the winner earning a championship opportunity. This year, with Tetsuya Naito holding both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships, the winner of the 2020 New Japan Cup will receive a match for both titles.

However, the news of the cancellation arrives just one day after NJPW announced the brackets for this year's tournament.

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The bracket for New Japan Pro Wrestling's 2020 New Japan Cup tournament. NJPW

Notable names like Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay, Kenta and others are vying for the chance to challenge Naito. Kazuchika Okada, who Naito defeated at Wrestle Kingdom 14 for the IWGP Heavyweight title, was scheduled to take on noted rival Jay White in the first round.

At the time of publish, the coronovirus has affected more than 80,000 people with the death toll reaching 3,000 worldwide. Japan has 847 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with six deaths in or offshore of the country.

The Japanese Health Ministry issued guidance on February 17, urging citizens with symptoms consistent with the virus to consult a medical professional.

Wrestling shows, especially the larger events, bring together fans from all around the world. As the coronavirus continues to spread, don't be surprised if similar cancellations happen elsewhere.