New Beginning USA cards announced without key Japanese talent

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New Japan Pro Wrestling has released the cards for their upcoming tour of U.S. shows set for Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Nashville next weekend.

The shows are taking place while the promotion is staging its New Beginning in Sapporo cards in Japan.

It’s obvious there were some problems as there are no Japanese performers on the cards with the exception of The Great O-Kharn (Tomoyuki Oka), who is on his excursion. The shows consist of their U.S. based talent along with performers from Ring of Honor and the L.A. Dojo.

New Japan released a statement stating citing the recent U.S. Government shutdown holding up their ability to secures visas for the Japanese talent scheduled for the shows:

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.

Below are the lineups:

Wednesday, January 30th at the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles
*Clark Connors vs. Alex Coughlin
*Jonathan Gresham vs. Tyler Bateman
*Colt Cabana vs. Shane Taylor
*Killer Elite Squad vs. Brody King and Marty Scurll
*Jeff Cobb vs. Karl Fredericks
*Chuckie T. vs. David Finlay
*Juice Robinson and Tracy Williams vs. Beretta and Rocky Romero

Friday, February 1st at the Grady Cole Center in North Carolina
*Clark Connors vs. Karl Fredericks
*Colt Cabana and John Skyler vs. Lance Archer and Shane Taylor
*Tracer X vs. The Great O-Kharn
*Jeff Cobb and Jonathan Gresham vs. Marty Scurll and Brody King
*Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Alex Coughlin
*Chuckie T. and Rocky Romero vs. David Finlay and Tracy Williams
*Juice Robinson vs. Beretta for the IWGP United States title

Saturday, February 2nd at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee
*Karl Fredericks vs. Alex Coughlin
*Lance Archer and Shane Taylor vs. Colt Cabana and Jonathan Gresham
*The Great O-Kharn vs. Harlem Bravado
*Marty Scurll vs. Clark Connors
*Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King
*Beretta, Chuckie T. and Rocky Romero vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay and Tracy Williams

Is it possible that the US gov’t shutdown might’ve played a role on this? Maybe the talent couldn’t get visas.

Visa problems due to the shutdown are currently plaguing a lot of musical acts looking to tour the USA; certainly wouldn’t surprise me. I hope this is due to circumstance rather than planning because “NJPW gajin + ROH + general US indie guys” isn’t what got me to plunk down money for the Fighting Spirit Unleashed show last year.

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But in all seriousness NJPW is running a US and Japan tour around the same time for some reason. All the names are on the Japan tour.

So it’s terrible planning by NJPW or they are giving up on US expansion.

Meltzer confirms on Observer Radio, it’s because of the government shutdown, they filed work visas in November and it never came through

These cards are like full of appetizers without the main course or the desserts.

I look forward to seeing the idiots link this to Vince McMahon.

Let’s just hope they get the visa situation resolve by mania weekend so that the new Japan guys can make it to the Madison square garden show since they are the main attraction of the show and without them, it will be a really disappointing show for a lot of fans that bought ticket solely to see them perform there

Especially as there is now no Bucks, Cody, Hangman Page and Kenny.

Lack of Japanese Talent will kill this show, even though it’s pretty much sold out now.