Japan News

Wrestle Kingdom 15 Status Update As Tokyo Requests State Of Emergency

A wide show of the Tokyo Dome during a Wrestle Kingdom event

NJPW’s lead English commentator Kevin Kelly has provided an update on the status of Wrestle Kingdom 15 after the Tokyo prefecture requested a state of emergency be enacted.

According to The Japan Times, the governors of the Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures have come together to request that the Japanese central government enact a state of emergency due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in these areas putting a strain on their health care systems.

This heightened level of security would be the same as the one Japan entered between April and May last year and would certainly force New Japan to delay, or even cancel, both nights of their Tokyo Dome-based event for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, Kevin Kelly – who provides play-by-play commentary for the English feed of NJPW events – has confirmed that Wrestle Kingdom 15 will still be going ahead!

Responding to some concerned fans asking if the state of emergency would affect the shows, Kelly confirmed that New Japan’s biggest annual event is “definitely happening”:

The former WWE and Ring of Honor commentator stated just hours before he had “no idea” if the shows would still occur, so it can be assumed that Kelly has clarified the situation – causing his sudden change of stance. He went on to confirm that the event’s two-night schedule would not be affected either when a fan asked for clarification that his confirmation included both nights.

This is not the first COVID-19 related hurdle NJPW has faced in relation to Wrestle Kingdom. Last October, NJPW announced that they would be limiting the capacity of the event to just 20,000 fans per night – less than half of the usual attendance the show draws.

They were dealt a further blow last week when it announced that any events in Tokyo with a potential capacity of over 10,000 would be capped at just 5,000 through to January 11th. Subsequently, NJPW cut off ticket sales for both nights early on December 29th.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest NJPW news right here at Inside The Ropes.