By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following press release to announce that the U.S. federal government shutdown prevented them from obtaining visas for Japanese talent for the upcoming U.S. 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.
Powell’s POV: An unfortunate turn of events for those who are attending the shows. While it’s nice that NJPW was forthcoming with this information and no Japanese wrestlers were ever officially advertised, an argument can be made that the company should offer refunds to any disappointed fans. This would be an even bigger issue if the government shutdown drags on long enough to affect the G1 Supercard event that the company is holding with ROH on April 6 at Madison Square Garden.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Will Pruett preview the WWE Royal Rumble and NXT Takeover: Phoenix events.