On January 24, 2019 New Japan Pro-Wrestling would deliver some devastating news about their upcoming event The New Beginning in USA.
The King of Sports had to announce with displeasure that their Japanese talent were unable to obtain visas due to the long government shutdown. The United States government shut down began on December 22, 2018 and lasted till January 25, 2019. The shutdown lasted about 35 days and is considered the longest U.S. government shut down in history.
Although the Japanese talent was unable to obtain visas due to this unfortunate occurrence, NJPW remained positive by providing a line-up.
“We are excited to still be able to share a great line-up with our US fans, regardless of visa issues. The IWGP US Champion, Juice Robinson, is defending his title against Barretta and The Great O-Kharn, who is flying in from England, will be debuting in New Japan! What’s more, this show will highlight the talent and potential of our Young Lions, who have been working hard in the NJPW LA dojo. We are looking forward to being able to celebrate the abilities of the exciting new generation of young NJPW wrestlers.”
Fans expressed their feelings about the issue publicly on the NJPW site and on Twitter. Wrestling fans uttered frustration regarding the issue, along with political arguments due to the Japanese talent not being able to attend the event.
NJPW is one of the largest wrestling promotions in the world. The promotion continues to grow with the popularity of Strong Style increasing. Many of the wrestler’s contribute martial arts, judo, jiu jitsu, and other wrestling move sets.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) February 28, 2019
Update On Visa status:
New Japan Pro-Wrestling issued a statement on February 28, 2019 regarding the status of the wrestler’s visas. The announcement was made on NJPW1972.com and on the promotion’s Twitter page.
“New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Japanese wrestlers have obtained their visas for the United States.We truly appreciate the understanding and support of our fans.”- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
The fans have shown great support during this difficult time and have seemed over joyed with being able to see their favorite Japanese stars in the U.S.
All pics courtesy of NJPW