The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to professional wrestling across the world, mirroring its impact across all sports. Across the world and to varying degrees, other wrestling promotions began to cancel or postpone their shows in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

Effects on Major Promotions[edit | edit source]

All Japan Pro-Wrestling[edit | edit source]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the end of March, AJPW began holding shows with no audience, and only essential staff present as an attempt to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus. On March 23, it was announced that Davey Boy Smith Jr., Joel Redman, and Lucas Steel were pulled out of the 2020 Champion Carnival due to travel restrictions made by the Japanese government regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On April 2, AJPW president Tsuyoki Fukuda decided to postpone the tournament and rescheduled it for a later date. On May 28, Fukuda announced that tournament would return in September after the State of Emergency in Japan being lifted, with the tournament having Japanese wrestlers only for the first time in the tournament's history due to travel restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 8, AJPW announced that tournament would be held from September to October and that tournament for the first time in the tournament's history would not feature outside participation. On July 13, AJPW began holding shows with a limited audience, after the Japanese Government lifted some restrictions on many regions in Japan.

Bushiroad[edit | edit source]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling[edit | edit source]

On February 26, 2020, following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus outbreak, NJPW canceled the events between March 1 and March 15 including the promotion's Anniversary Event and the first and the second round of New Japan Cup. On March 23, NJPW also canceled the 2020 Sakura Genesis event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 31. On April 8, NJPW canceled more events from April 11 through May 4, leading to the cancelation of both nights of 2020 Wrestling Dontaku and would also cancel the whole Best of the Super Juniors tournament as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 6. Various wrestlers such as David Finlay, El Phantasmo, KENTA, the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), Jay White, Juice Robinson, Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Robbie Eagles were unable to work on NJPW events due to travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, NJPW wrestlers and staff created the NJPW Together project in order to do bring content to NJPW World with interviews and old archived matches. On May 6, NJPW announced that their Wrestle Dynasty event would be postponed to 2021, due to the effects of the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Two days later, NJPW announced that one of their wrestlers Kazuchika Okada had donated ¥5 million to the Nippon Foundation's special coronavirus fund to support doctors, nurses, and volunteers who were working on their efforts of combating the coronavirus in Japan.

On June 8, during an online press conference, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced that the promotion would start to held shows on June 15, starting with the Together Project Special and the return of the 2020 New Japan Cup between June 16 and July 11, with all shows being held behind closed doors. It was also that the finals of the New Japan Cup and the Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall would be the first shows to allow fans into the arena, but only a third of the venue's normal capacity, after the Japanese Government lifted some restrictions on many regions in Japan. On June 19, NJPW held a weekly series called Lion's Break Collision that aired throughout the month of July, with the series airing on NJPW's internet streaming service NJPW World and digital network FITE TV worldwide, with the shows being held in closed doors without a live audience, with only essential personnel in the arena. On July 11, it was announced that Minoru Suzuki would not be appearing at the Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall event as a cautionary measure, after developing a fever. Suzuki had previously been tested negative for the virus and had since had no contact with any other wrestlers.

On July 25, it was announced that Tomoaki Honma and Yota Tsuji would not be appearing at the Sengoku Lord in Nagoya event as a cautionary measure, after both took part in a recorded a television show with another cast member, who tested positive for COVID-19 on the previous day, leading the match card to be changed. The following day, NJPW announced the Summer Struggle tour, which would start on July 26 at the Korakuen Hall and would culminate with NJPW's second outdoor event in the promotion's history for the first time in 21 years on August 29 at baseball stadium the Meiji Jingu Stadium. On July 31, during an online press conference, NJPW of America CEO Takami Obari announced a new weekly series NJPW Strong, featuring the foreign talent working in NJPW, with the shows also being held in closed doors without a live audience, with only essential personnel in the arena. On August 11, NJPW announced that all G1 Climax show would have a limited number of wrestlers participating on the tour, with B block wrestlers not competing on A block shows throughout the tour, due to prevention measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stardom[edit | edit source]

On February 18, Stardom announced that they were canceling shows from February 19 to March 14, due to the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Their March 8 show in Korakuen Hall would later be called No People Gate due to the event being held without any spectators in attendance and would instead broadcast the event live on their YouTube channel. Additional events were canceled throughout April and May, meaning Stardom’s Ota Ward Gym show and the unit-produced shows held during Golden Week in early May would no longer be taking place. On June 16, after Stardom personnel underwent antibody testing, Stardom announced that the promotion would start to held shows on June 21 and allow fans into the arena, starting with the STARDOM is again, but only with a third of the venue's normal capacity, after the Japanese Government lifted some restrictions on many regions in Japan.

CyberAgent[edit | edit source]

DDT Pro-Wrestling[edit | edit source]

At the end of February, DDT began holding shows with no audience and only essential staff present. DDT's sister promotion Pro Wrestling Noah began holding shows behind closed doors in an empty TV studio under NOAH TV name, with the shows being streamed in the DDT Universe. This led to all DDT doing the same in May, with all programming being relocated to the DDT TV Show Studio. On April 23, it was announced that 2020 Wrestle Peter Pan would be postponed, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, following Japan's declaration of State of Emergency. Kenny Omega, who was supposed to appear at the event, also announced that due to travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he would be unable to work in the event. On May 15, DDT announced that they would start to hold shows on videotelephony and online chat platform Zoom, starting with a session with 100 fans on May 15, being the first promotion in the world to promote shows on Zoom. The following day, DDT announced that the Wrestle Peter Pan would be rescheduled to take place on June 6 and June 7, with the event being moved to the DDT TV Show Studio in Tokyo, without an audience and the event would be broadcasted live on AmebaTV and CyberAgent's streaming service Wrestle Universe. On June 21, DDT held their first show with fans in attendance since the Coronavirus pandemic.

On July 27, during a press conference, it was announced that DDT and Noah alongside DDT's sub-brands Ganbare☆Wrestling and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling would be merging into a new company, CyberFight, which would go into effect on September 1. DDT and Noah's president Sanshiro Takagi revealed that the merging of both promotions was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to streamline costs.

Pro Wrestling Noah[edit | edit source]

On March 30, Noah it was initially announced that some 2020 Global Tag League shows of the tournament, while the April 15 show would be held behind closed doors, being streamed on DDT Universe, due to restrictions made by the Japanese government regarding the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but it was later announced that the entire tournament would be held behind closed doors and the shows would be streamed on the DDT Universe under NOAH TV name. On April 1, 2020, it was announced that Noah would relocate its offices in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo to the DDT's headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, in which they are located. On April 22, the first show of the NOAH THE SPIRIT 2020 tour would be held in an empty TV studio broadcast live on AmebaTV, and the rest of the shows would be canceled including ALL OUT ATTACK 2020 tour. On May 9, NOAH and their sister promotion, DDT started to promote shows at an empty TV studio being broadcast on AmebaTV under NOAH TV name. On May 12, it was announced that NOAH would be included in CyberAgent's new streaming service Wrestle Universe as part of CyberAgent's acquisition. On July 18, Noah returned to held events with a limited number of fans in attendance at the Korakuen Hall.

On July 27, during a press conference, it was announced that Noah and DDT alongside DDT's sub-brands Ganbare☆Wrestling and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling would be merging into a new company, CyberFight, which would go into effect on September 1. Noah and DDT's president Sanshiro Takagi revealed that the merging of both promotions was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to streamline costs. Since August, Noah began broadcasting shows on videotelephony and online chat platform Zoom, starting with the NOAH The Chronicle Vol. 3 on August 10, being the second Japanese to use the platform after its sister promotion DDT.

Dragon Gate[edit | edit source]

On March 1, Dragon Gate began canceling events starting with the Glorious Gate tour between March 3 and March 8 and the March 13th show, including a show on March 5 in the Korakuen Hall. Initially, it was announced that the Glorious Gate would be resumed on March 14, however, the tour ended up being canceled, following the recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other wrestling promotions began to cancel or postpone their shows in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus. On March 11, it was announced that the Memorial Gate in Wakayama would be postponed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 22, Dragon Gate began holding shows behind closed doors with no audience and only essential staff present. Four days later, Dragon Gate canceled more events from March 28 through March 31. This led to on March 30, Dragon Gate canceling more events from April 4 through April 8. On April 8, Dragon Gate canceled more events including 2020 Dead or Alive, following Japan's declaration State of Emergency. On May 11, Dragon Gate canceled more events from June 2 through June 10. From May 15 to June 7, Dragon Gate held the entire 2020 King of Gate behind closed doors with no audience and only essential staff present, leading all Dragon Gate programming being relocated to the Kobe Lapis Hall. The format of the tournament was changed to a singles elimination tournament for the first time in four years, due to COVID-19. On June 3, Dragon Gate canceled all of its June events between June 13 through June 29. Six days later, it was announced that the July 9 event would also be canceled.

On June 12, Dragon Gate announced the rules and regulations for fans who attend Dragon Gate events. On June 17, it was announced that the 2020 Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival would also be postponed. It was also announced that starting on July 4, Dragon Gate would be resuming shows with fans after the Japanese Government lifted the State of Emergency. On July 2, it was announced that the Memorial Gate in Wakayama would be rescheduled to take place on August 2.

Effects on Independent Promotions[edit | edit source]

BJW[edit | edit source]

In 2020 it was announced that some of the matches of the Ikkitousen ~ Strong Climb ~ would be canceled due to 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). On May 2, 2020 BJW launched a crowdfunding campaign to help the promotion survive the financial costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ice Ribbon[edit | edit source]

Pure J[edit | edit source]

PUREJ announced that their show which was scheduled for 3/22/20 at the Tokyo Art Center White Studio has been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  Their 3/8/20 show at Kame Arena is still set to go on.

Zero1[edit | edit source]

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