Big Update On Fan Participation At NJPW Events

December 2022 has answered several long-running questions in pro wrestling. First, the question of "Where will Sasha Banks end up?" was answered earlier this month when it was reported Banks would be appearing at NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 17 next month. As it turns out, Wrestle Kingdom 17 is the answer to yet another question; when will cheering be allowed in Japan again?


Late last night, NJPW held a press conference for the upcoming Wrestle Kingdom event, which the promotion recapped on their Twitter account. And sure enough, well into the proceedings, NJPW President Takami Obhari announced that new guidelines had been implemented regarding a "transition to in principle vocal support" at NJPW events, starting with Wrestle Kingdom. Obhari went on to state that the guidelines were created after NJPW consulted with the Japanese Sports Authority and the country's government infectious disease panel. As such, there will still be limitations to the cheering, with long chants, singing, rally songs, and "loud" cheering still being banned. Fans will however be able to count with the referee, use catchphrases, and chant for wrestlers for a certain length of time.


Wrestle Kingdom won't be the first NJPW event in recent memory to feature crowd reactions, as fans have been allowed to cheer during shows in Korakuen Hall since September, provided the show is at a certain capacity. The event will, however, be the start of NJPW implementing these new cheering guidelines going forward, allowing the company to have cheering at all their events, provided the arenas agree to them.