New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s New Beginning USA tour kicks off on January 24th in St. Petersburg, Florida but the announcement was made that former IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kota Ibushi is no longer going to be appearing or competing on the tour. NJPW made the official announcement on their website that Ibushi contracted Type-A Influenza and will not be making the trip.
Changes have been made to the matches that Ibushi was supposed to be in. One of the spotlighted matches on the card was a singles match between Ibushi and Bullet Club’s Chase Owens. Ibushi has now been replaced by Rocky Romero in that match. The likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi, IWGP Tag Team Champions David Finlay and Juice Robinson, Lance Archer and Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) are scheduled for the tour.
Ibushi was also scheduled to do a meet-and-greet at the Pembroke Pines, Florida show alongside TJP, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Chase Owens and Jado. New Japan is allowing refunds for anybody who purchased the VIP package or a meet-and-greet ticket to meet Kota.
The conclusion of the New Beginning USA tour will feature an IWGP Tag Team Title match between FinJuice and Guerrillas Of Destiny. The day after the tour kicks off, the Japan-based New Beginning tour begins and that will begin the build to multiple championship matches including Tetsuya Naito defending the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles against KENTA.