NJPW Wrestling Dontaku notes: Changes to 5/4 card, Wrestle Grand Slam

Originally published at NJPW Wrestling Dontaku notes: COVID protocols causes match changes

The May 4th NJPW Wrestling Dontaku match card underwent several changes before the show began. One wrestler who was scheduled for the show came down with a fever the morning of. That individual underwent a rapid COVID test and an antibody test. Another wrestler who has been a part of NJPW events since May 1st had a fever as well.

With those developments, the following changes were made to the May 4th show and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match between champion El Desperado and YOH was removed.

2nd Match

Kazuchika Okada & SHO vs Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

(NEW) Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi

4th Match

Master Wato, Ryusuke taguchi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, EVIL & Jay White

(NEW) Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Dick Togo, EVIL & Jay White

5th Match

El Desperado vs YOH

This match was removed from the card.

Every wrestler and staff member involved in the day’s event was in full health.

New Japan Pro-Wresting continues to take every step possible to protect wrestlers, staff and fans during the pandemic. All NJPW wrestlers are subject to regular testing, and masks are compulsory during training and backstage. Further, wrestlers keep outside interactions to the barest minimum, with packaged food provided at venues. Find out more about our COVID event policy here.

We deeply apologise for any inconvenience or concern caused.

In the main event of Wrestling Dontaku night two, Will Ospreay successfully defended his IWGP World Heavyweight Title against Shingo Takagi. Ospreay is now moving towards Wrestle Grand Slam at the Tokyo Dome on May 29th where he will meet Kazuchika Okada.

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Ospreay-Shingo already had a lot to live up to; coupled with the pressure of this suddenly becoming a short, shallow, one-match show that needed 45 minutes out of them…and they absolutely over-delivered past all of that. I gotta watch it again because it was far too early in the day, but I think it’s my standing MOTY so far. I don’t think there will be many times in our lives with such a discrepancy between the main event and rest of the card, but I feel like saying that downplays what a masterpiece this was. Looking forward to hearing what everyone else thought about it. What lucky week we have as wrestling fans between Reigns-Bryan, this, and Blood and Guts in a 7-day span.

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Ospreay and Shingo delivered a thrilling, exhilarating match again. Possibly my favourite they have had yet.

Fully expect Ospreay to retain against Okada at Wrestle Grand Slam and would like to see him hold the belt until Wrestle Kingdom next year where he drops in the main event.

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