NJPW President Talks Postponed Events, Empty Arena Shows, And Tom Lawlor
New Japan Pro-Wrestling president Harold Meij recently sat down with Sports Illustrated, where he spoke about the company having to postpone events, having shows in empty arenas, and Tom Lawlor making his debut at New Japan’s Lion’s Break Collision.
Check out some of the highlights below:
On postponing shows:
As a result of the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics, we had already decided to move our annual G1 Climax tournament, which traditionally takes place during the summer months, to the autumn, It is still on the calendar, although again, venues and crowd capacity will be dependent on both our own and the local governments’ guidelines. As for our previously scheduled tours like Best of the Super Juniors, both fans and wrestlers alike were disappointed at their cancellation. All of those voices will be taken into account in the second half of the year as we look to present something to fans that matches, or even surpasses, our initial plans.
On hosting empty arena shows:
There is something inherently different about how wrestling is presented without a crowd present, and the most encouraging feedback from our fans has been how we have prevented the ‘sterile’ or ‘empty’ feel a lot of empty arena presentations have had, That’s a credit to our production, with energetic announcing, and the ability empty buildings afford us to really hear every hit dealt in the ring. It’s also a huge testament to the quality of our wrestling and wrestlers, and everybody on the roster is more motivated than perhaps at any other point in their careers.
On Tom Lawlor:
You can expect some very impressive things from Tom Lawlor, Ever since he was a competitor in the UFC, Lawlor has wanted to step into a New Japan ring, and you’ll see him make the most of that opportunity. Whether further opportunities come for him or other members of the MLW roster, time will tell.