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Bushiroad Founder Discusses NJPW Considering Empty Arena Matches, Showing Leadership During Pandemic

June 2, 2020 | Posted by Ashish
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In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bushiroad (which owns NJPW and Stardom) founder Takaaki Kidani spoke about how NJPW is considering empty arena matches, but that shows with fans in attendance in the near future is “challenging.” He also spoke about NJPW’s leadership during the pandemic. Highlights are below.

On when NJPW will return: “Put simply, either an end to the pandemic, or alternatively establishing a strict and proper set of procedures for dealing with the virus. Which we will ensure is implemented for the safety of our staff, performers and fans. When it comes to decisions that have to be made regarding empty arena matches, or bringing fans back to buildings, it’s absolutely New Japan Pro Wrestling’s responsibility to assume a position of leadership. I think that events with fans in attendance in the near future is challenging, [but] New Japan Pro Wrestling is considering empty arena matches at present.”

On NJPW showing leadership to protect their fans and wrestlers: “It’s only right that New Japan Pro Wrestling should protect their fans and wrestlers as best they can, so cancellations were the natural decision to make. As for wrestler pay, we want every wrestler to be in the absolute best shape that they can be when matches return, and wrestlers should be able to focus on their training without worrying about how they’re making a living.”

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BushiRoad, NJPW, Ashish