NJPW News: Injuries and Departures on The Road To The ‘Wrestling Dontaku’ Tour

In the middle of Mania frenzy, NJPW released some news on upcoming events. Despite the departures of 2 wrestlers and the announcement of the injuries of 2 major Superstars, the Wrestling Dontaku Tour will take place on May 3 and 4. The Wrestling Hi no Kuni event, along with Sengoku Lord, are both in relation to the Wrestling Dontaku tour.

Departures

Here are the official announcements coming from NJPW.

“Michael Elgin has left New Japan Pro Wrestling. Elgin debuted with NJPW during the 2015 G1 Climax and instantly impressed with his powerful, hard-hitting offence. On March 3, 2016, in Ota-ku, Elgin publicly announced that he had signed with NJPW, and went on to win the NEVER Openweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships. After careful consideration and dialogue, Elgin and NJPW have mutually decided to part ways after his contract expired on March 31, 2019.”

“Teruaki Kanemitsu, who debuted in New Japan Pro Wrestling as a Young Lion in 2016, has left NJPW. Kanemitsu suffered an injury in November 2016 and has worked diligently to return to the ring. However, after careful consideration and dialogue, the decision was made for him to leave NJPW as of March 31, 2019. We apologize to Kanemitsu’s fans who supported him through his rehabilitation process and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours.

A statement from Teruaki Kanemitsu

‘I have nothing but gratitude to the New Japan fans who gave me so much support. I’m disappointed that things have ended this way, and I’m truly sorry. From here on out I will walk a different path. I feel like I will be going on an indefinite learning excursion, and I will dedicate myself to living up to the NJPW standard. I hope you continue to support me in the future’.

Injuries

New Japan has also announced that Hiroshi Tanahashi and Hiroyoshi Tenzan will miss the entire tour due to injury. “Hiroshi Tanahashi has suffered an injury to his left elbow, and will not be participating in the Road to Wrestling Dontaku Tour (beginning April 13) or Wrestling Dontaku itself (May 3-4), it was announced today. Hiroyoshi Tenzan will also miss the same dates as he recovers from a knee injury. Both wrestlers will undergo evaluation and rehabilitation, with no set return date confirmed as of yet.”

Events

New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the match cards for the Wrestling Hi no Kuni event, along with Sengoku Lord. Both events are in relation to the Wrestling Dontaku tour, which cards are below.

April 20 – Sengoku Lord – Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium

* Kota Ibushi (c) v. Zack Sabre Jr – IWGP Intercontinental Championship
* Juice Robinson (c) v. Bad Luck Fale – IWGP United States Championship
* SHO, YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada v. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, EVIL and SANADA
* Ryusuke Taguchi and Hirooki Goto v. Hikuleo and Jay White
* Mikey Nicholls v. Chase Owens
* Dragon Lee, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe v. Taiji Ishimori, Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga
* Jushin Thunder Liger, Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima v. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi and Minoru Suzuki
* Ren Narita and Shota Umino v. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji

April 29 – Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2019 – Grand Messe Kumamoto

* Hirooki Goto v. Jay White
* Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (c) v.Togi Makabe & Toru Yano – IWGP Tag Team Championship
* SHO, YOH, Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada v. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, EVIL and SANADA
* Juice Robinson v. Chase Owens
* Mikey Nicholls v. Bad Luck Fale
* Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee v. Hikuleo and Taiji Ishimori
* Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger, YOSHI-HASHI and Jeff Cobb v. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki and Taichi
* Ren Narita, Shota Umino and Tomoaki Honma v. Yuya Uemura, Yota Tsuji and Toa Henare

May 3 – Wrestling Dontaku: Day One – Fukuoka Convention Center

* Dragon Lee (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship)
* Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Taichi (NEVER Openweight Championship)
* Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL and SANADA
* Mikey Nicholls, Juice Robinson and Hirooki Goto vs. Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale and Jay White
* SHO, YOH and Rocky Romero vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito
* Will Ospreay, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe vs. Hikuleo, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa
* Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger and YOSHI-HASHI vs. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Minoru Suzuki
* Ren Narita, Shota Umino and Tomoaki Honma vs. Yuya Uemura, Yota Tsuji and Toa Henare

May 4 – Wrestling Dontaku: Day Two – Fukuoka Convention Center

* Ren Narita and Shota Umino vs. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji
* Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Toa Henare, YOSHI-HASHI, and Jeff Cobb vs. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki and Taichi
* Jushin Thunder Liger, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe vs. Jado, Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga
* Tomoaki Honma, Mikey Nicholls, Juice Robinson and Hirooki Goto vs. Hikuleo, Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale and Jay White
* Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori and TBA
* SHO, YOH and Rocky Romero vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito
* Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL
* Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. SANADA (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)

All pics courtesy of NJPW

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