New Japan Pro Wrestling stars will not be travelling to the U.S. for up-coming events in Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Nashville.
According to Dave Meltzer at The Wrestling Observer, New Japan ordered work visas for Japanese stars in November, and due to the U.S. government shutdown those visas have not been processed.
The U.S government has been under a partial shutdown for 33 days now, which has caused government workers not being paid, or not working. This has caused delays, that even if cleared today would not give enough time to process the visas.
The key talent affected are Tomohiro Ishii, Yuji Nagata, Hirooki Goto, Stoshi Kojima, and Jushin Liger. The New Japan shows will now have no Japanese talent on the events, and will feature virtually all-American talent.
The card announcements were pushed back due to not having the entry paperwork in order, as the original plan was to have the cards announced after New Year’s Dash. All events sold out without a card being announced, and limited tickets are being added to Los Angeles and Nashville.
New Japan Pro Wrestling issued a statement regarding the lack of key Japanese talent on the events
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.
New Japan Pro Wrestling New Beginning USA Match Cards
Los Angeles, CA – Globe Theatre 1/30/19
- Alex Coughlin vs. Clark Connors
- Jonathan Gresham vs. Tyler Bateman
- Colt Cabana vs. Shane Taylor
- Brody King & Marty Scurll vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
- Jeff Cobb vs. Karl Fredericks
- David Finlay vs. Chucky T
- Rocky Romero & Baretta vs. Tracy Williams & Juice Robinson
Charlotte, NC – Grady Cole Center 2/1/19
- Karl Fredericks vs. Clark Conners
- Colt Cabana & John Skyler vs. Shane Taylor & Archer
- Tracer X vs. Great O’Kharn
- Jeff Cobb & Jonathan Gresham vs. Brody King & Marty Scurll
- Davey Smith Jr. vs. Alex Coughlin
- David Finlay & Tracy Williams vs. Rocky Romero & Chucky T
- NJPW US Title: Juice Robinson vs. Trent Baretta
Nashville, TN – War Memorial -2/3/19
- Karl Fredericks vs. Alex Coughlin
- Colt Cabana & Jonathan Gresham vs. Lance Archer & Shane Taylor
- Great O’Kharn vs. Harlem Bravado
- Clark Connors vs. Marty Scurll
- Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King
- Juice Robinson, Tracy Williams, David Finlay vs. Trent Baretta, Chuckie T, Rocky Romero
Due to the late match card announcements, and lack of Japanese stars, some fans are upset with the lack of Japanese talent, with many expecting top New Japan stars.