NJPW Announces Return, First Events With Fans Back In Attendance

One of the world's biggest professional wrestling companies announced their return to live action late Monday night U.S. time. In a special press conference that was streamed online, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced that the company will resume live events on June 15th. This will be the first wrestling the company has produced since February, with the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world ever since. While All Elite Wrestling and WWE, two of the other biggest wrestling organizations in the world, have continued to hold events, NJPW took a more cautious approach.

The company returns on June 15th with a special event called the "Together Project Special." No card has been announced. The following day, the company will begin the New Japan Cup, which had previously been scheduled for March. The winner of the tournament will challenge Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Dominion (more on that in a moment).

The Together Project show on June 15th and the New Japan Cup shows that begin the next day up through July 3rd will not have any fans in attendance. Sugabayashi announced that wrestlers and staff have begun COVID-19 antibody testing to begin for the events.

However, the big news is that he also revealed the company's first events that will host a crowd. On July 11th and 12th, NJPW will run Osaka-jo Hall with a live crowd in attendance. The venue will be limited to about 1/3 capacity.

The show on July 11th will feature the finals of the New Japan Cup. The show on July 12th will be Dominion, a major yearly NJPW event that is held in June but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Dominion is typically the second biggest event of the year for the organization, only topped by January's Wrestle Kingdom.

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The official bracket for the New Japan Cup was also revealed.

NJCupBracket
(Photo: NJPW)

NJPW running Osaka-jo Hall in July marks the first announced return to live events with a crowd in attendance for any of the world's largest professional wrestling organizations and is certainly some very exciting news. The company's last live event was on February 26th. With Japan lifting their nationwide stage of emergency on May 25th, the wheels were put into motion for a return to live events.

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