U.S. Government Shutdown Forces Japanese Talent Off Upcoming NJPW Events


New Japan Pro-Wrestling recently announced the match cards for their upcoming New Beginning USA events set to invade Los Angeles, Charlotte and Nashville next week, and many hopeful fans were none too happy with the complete lack of Japanese talent booked for the shows.

While the promotion was very clear from the onset that these events would be largely bolstered by North American talents and up-and-coming talent from the new Los Angeles dojo, several names including Tomohiro Ishii, Jushin Thunder Liger and Hirooki Goto were expected to make the trip out.

Unfortunately, the reality is that New Japan applied for several work visas starting back in November, which is generally enough time for everythig to go through. However, with the current state of the U.S. federal government being what it is, the ongoing shutdown means that the offices responsible for processing visas aren’t currently being paid.

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NJPW released the following statement:

It is with great disappointment that we must announce that due to the ongoing 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, we were unable to obtain visas for our Japanese talent who were looking forward to seeing our US fans at the New Beginning in USA. 

We are excited to still be able to share a great line-up with our US fans, regardless of visa issues. The IWGP US Champion, Juice Robinson, is defending his title against Barretta and The Great O-Kharn, who is flying in from England, will be debuting in New Japan! What’s more, this show will highlight the talent and potential of our Young Lions, who have been working hard in the NJPW LA dojo. We are looking forward to being able to celebrate the abilities of the exciting new generation of young NJPW wrestlers.