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More Details On Bushiroad Cancelling Events Due To CoronaVirus, How NJPW Is Protecting Fans

February 21, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
STARDOM Bushiroad

It was reported earlier this week that Bushiroad has cancelled events for STARDOM due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Japan. This included five shows and a couple of events, although the Korakuen Hall show on March 8 will be held in an empty arena. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has more details on the cancellation of events and what is being done to protect wrestling fans (and the wrestlers themselves) in Japan.

The decision was made after Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato asked the public to avoid any “non-urgent and non-essential” events with large groups of people. Bushiroad then cancelled everything through March 14 except for the March 8 TV taping. There are two events (a wrestling match in Japan and an MMA show in Singapore) that will be broadcast live from empty arenas. The TV taping will take place at 11:30 AM in Japan but air on Youtube at 9:30 PM. It features a battle royal, Hana Kimura & Kyona vs. Giulia & Maika, Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter defending the Goddesses of Stardom tag titles against Utami Hayashishita & Momo Watanabe, Arisa Hoshiki defending the Wonder of Stardom title against Natsuko Tora and a main event of World of Stardom champion Mayu Iwatani vs. Saki Kashima in a non-title lumberjack match. The hope is for the promotion to have a normal schedule again after mid-March.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe previously spoke with medical experts and Kato told people, especially the elderly, not to attend public events. Japan has had 518 cases of the Coronavirus so far, with 456 related to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

While STARDOM events were cancelled or shut off from the public, Bushiroad’s other company NJPW is not following suit. However, New Japan gave a warning to fans attending and offered refunds for those who decided not to go. It’s unknown why STARDOM events were cancelled and NJPW events were not. It was noted the NJPW events are higher profile and would bring in more money.

At the February 19-20 events in Korakuen, between 50-70% of fans were wearing protective masks covering their mouths and noses. It has been asked that any fan with a fever, cough or cold to not show up. NJPW is also giving disinfectant alcohol sprays at every event for fans to disinfect their hands before entering a venue. They want all fans to wear the surgical masks when possible, as well as wash their hands and gargle. Staff has been ordered to ask people to leave if it seems like they are sick. NJPW has also cancelled all meet and greets indefinitely.

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BushiRoad, Joseph Lee