NJPW have acted swiftly to provide an update on changes to one of their big Dontaku cards this weekend.
Offering transparency, they have confirmed that two of the wrestlers scheduled to compete on night two of the weekender had returned positive COVID-19 tests.
Although everyone received a negative PCR test before arriving for the tapings, these two unnamed wrestlers subsequently provided a positive result.
Not only did they remove those wrestlers from the show, but also those they had been in close contact with, making it difficult to tell who the wrestlers were based on the card changes.
The full statement from NJPW is as follows:
All New Japan Pro-Wrestling talent is subject to daily temperature monitoring, as well as blood oxygen saturation checks and frequent testing. Before the Road to Dontaku tour began, all wrestlers and staff returned negative PCR tests, clearing them for competition.
On the morning of the May 4 Wrestling Dontaku day two event, two wrestlers presented with a high temperature. According to protocol, they were taken for immediate testing, while those that had close contact with the individuals in the last two events were removed from proceedings. NJPW has learned that the individuals’ tests were positive for COVID-19.
The two are currently experiencing mild symptoms, and are acting under medical advice for treatment and recovery. Other wrestlers, as well as staff who have been in contact with the individuals are currently being thoroughly monitored in a controlled environment and receiving relevant tests. Updates will be provided in due course.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling apologizes for the inconvenience and concern caused by the sudden card change this news necessitated on the May 4 event.
In addition to the aforementioned regular health monitoring, the requirement of masks during warmups and backstage as well as the provision of packaged food to minimize outside interaction are all enforced at New Japan Pro-Wrestling events. Moving forward, NJPW will work to further improve its COVID-19 countermeasures and do everything possible to ensure staff, wrestler and fan safety.
We once again deeply apologize for the concern caused to fans and personnel and ask for your understanding.
The main event of day two saw Will Ospreay successfully defend the IWGP Championship against Shingo Takagi, meaning he moves on to face Kazuchika Okada in their highly-anticipated match on 29th May.