During the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom 13, New Japan announced their major shows for 2019 and Tokyo Dome Plans for 2020.
American fans were delighted by the announcement that this year’s G1 Climax Tournament will start in the USA. The event, on July 6th, will take place in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The venue can hold around 20,000 fans, so New Japan is aiming big. The G1 Climax is arguably the biggest tournament in wrestling, a round robin tournament which sees around 20 wrestlers competing in two different blocks. This will be the first time that a tournament show has taken place outside of Japan. The last three days of the G1 Climax will take place in Tokyo’s Budokan Hall on August 10th, 11th and 12th.
The biggest news, however, was that NJPW’s annual Wrestle Kingdom event will take place over two shows at the Tokyo Dome in 2020, January 4th and January 5th. Wrestle Kingdom 13 had an announced attendance of 38,162 so it will be interesting to see how many fans attend next year’s shows.
For European fans there was the announcement of a show in London, England on August 31st. The show will be at the Copper Box Arena, a 7,000 seat venue that was originally built for the 2012 Olympics. If the attendance is close to sellout then it could be the largest attendance in the last 30 years for a UK show not organized by a US wrestling promotion.
In addition to the G1 Climax show, New Japan will have four US shows before then. The first three are part of the New Beginning USA tour. First is an event on January 30th at the Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. Second is a show at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 1st, with a show in Nashville, Tennessee on February 2nd. The fourth show is the joint show with Ring of Honor at MSG in New York on April 6th.
In addition to match announcements, it has been confirmed that Kota Ibushi suffered a concussion in his match with Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 13. After the match, Ibushi left the ring on a stretcher.