An earthquake has stopped a New Japan event in its tracks after hitting midway through a match causing the show to be temporarily halted.
At a New Japan Cup event in Sendai, 220 miles north of Tokyo a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. Footage from the event posted on social media shows the building shaking and lights swinging in the rafters.
At the time of the quake, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kota Ibushi were teaming in six-man tag team action. That trio was facing off with Yujiro Takahashi, Jay White, and KENTA of Bullet Club. The match was stopped and the six men left the ring heading to the locker room area.
The show paused to allow checks to be made in the arena to make sure it was safe to continue. After an almost thirty-minute wait, the show and the match resumed although there were warnings that the show would be cancelled if any more aftershocks were felt.
In the resumed match Kota Ibushi claimed victory for his team in short order with the Kamigoye knee. The semi-finals of the New Japan Cup also took place on the show. EVIL faced off with former LIJ teammate Shingo Takagi in one half of the draw. Will Ospreay faced one half of the IMPACT Tag Team Champions David Finlay in the other semi-final match.
Social media footage of the earthquake
— Ciaràn (@CiaranRH) March 20, 2021
The final of the New Japan Cup is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 21st where this year’s winner will be crowned. That event is also scheduled to take place in the Xebio Arena in Sendai.
This area of Japan was part of the region devastated by earthquakes and ensuing tsunamis in 2011. Warnings were issued that this quake had caused a one-metre high tsunami with people then told to avoid the shore. No major damage has since been reported.
Kota Ibushi has since shared his thoughts following the incredible event. In a tweet translated from Japanese, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion said:
“In any situation, at any time. I will never forget that moment today”
— 飯伏 幸太 (@ibushi_kota) March 20, 2021