Positive COVID-19 results have resulted in both Will Ospreay and Tatsumi Fujinami being pulled from NJPW’s Wrestling Dontaku event on 1 May.
Two positive COVID-19 test results have resulted in changes to the card for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s upcoming Wrestling Dontaku event. Both Will Ospreay and Tatsumi Fujinami will be unable to compete at the Sunday, 1 May event due to catching the virus.
Tomohiro Ishii will now collide with Hiroshi Tanahashi for the vacant IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, while an as-of-yet unknown partner will join Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Shingo Takagi and BUSHI to face Zack Sabre Jr., Taka Michinoku, and Taichi of the Suzuki-gun stable.
Will Ospreay and Tatsumi Fujinami have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete at Wrestling Dontaku May 1.
Tomohiro Ishii will face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP US Championship. A mystery partner will replace Fujinami.
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 28, 2022
The US Championship was left without a titleholder following SANADA suffering a fractured left orbital bone in a recent match vs. Will Ospreay. The LIJ man suggested Tanahashi, as the former champion, simply reclaim the championship, before Ospreay furiously stepped in, leading to their scheduled match.
As for Tatsumi Fujinami, the Japanese legend returned to New Japan after a two-year absence during January’s Wrestle Kingdom 16. He’s since wrestled two multi-man tag team matches, one teaming with Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, and the other alongside CIMA, El Lindaman, and T-Hawk of the STRONGHEARTS group.
This isn’t the first time COVID-19 has affected an NJPW card, as the likes of Hirooki Goto, Taiji Ishimori, and YOSHI-HASHI have all been pulled from cards, owing to COVID protocols. Current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada revealed he’d caught the virus following last year’s Wrestling Dontaku event.
It’s unknown when, exactly, Ospreay and Fujinami will return to the ring.