Pay cuts in NJPW are more widespread than first reported, according to a new report citing sources close to the company.
Last week, Tokyo Sports quoted New Japan star Tetsuya Naito saying he had agreed to a 24% reduction in his salary under his new contract with New Japan. He reportedly re-signed with the company earlier this month.
The new information on the salary situation in NJPW comes from a post on the Patreon for Voices Of Wrestling’s Flagship Wrestling Podcast. It reports Naito is not the only wrestler in New Japan who is taking a pay cut. Voices Of Wrestling reports the latest round of contracts offered by the company included pay cuts between 10%-15%.
The Voices Of Wrestling report added that Naito is likely exaggerating the extent of his pay cut, inflating the number he gave to Tokyo Sports to build up interest in his title match against IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada scheduled for February 20. The report said Okada is not among the wrestlers in New Japan facing a pay cut. The reason is that his contract does not expire this year.
NJPW chairman Noaki Sugabayashi reportedly stated that the pay cuts are temporary and added that wrestlers will receive raises after attendance restrictions and other issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have passed.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a concern in Japan during the first month of the year. New Japan announced on Monday that it decided to cancel or postpone its four remaining shows scheduled for January. It said a number of its wrestlers were “presenting elevated temperatures or being in close contact with same”.
NJPW announced earlier this month that another one of its top stars, Hiroshi Tanahashi, had re-signed with the company. No details about his salary were shared.
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