Despite coming up short competing in his four-way match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Forbidden Door, Kazuchika Okada, who regularly performs in front of a Japanese crowd for NJPW, reflected on performing in front of an American audience, and expressed what he’d like to see in the future.

“Obviously very, very happy to have performed in front of a hot crowd,” NJPW commentator Chris Charlton said, translating for Okada in the post-show media scrums. “It’s a happy feeling rather than a surprise. Really, America is sort of setting the model for how we’d love to be performing in front of our crowds in Japan as well. Obviously, Japan will do it their own way, and it’s a ‘softly, softly’ approach, and we’ll get there, but hopefully people will see this here tonight and sort of take those little steps and a little step forward to being the way we want to wrestle in front of.”

Japan is widely known for being a more respectful and quieter audience, as opposed to a boisterous crowd typically seen in North America and in Europe. Japanese fans pay great attention to the matches being played out in front of them, and traditionally display a great deal of respect for the performers competing inside the ring.

In recent times, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans in Japan were completely muted when the Japanese government introduced measures at events that saw limited capacities and social distancing. Those attending were required to wear masks, but they were also not allowed to make any noise apart from clapping their hands or stamping their feet. Earlier this month, Japan took steps towards resuming “normality,” as chanting was permitted at a Tokyo Verdy soccer game as part of a trial run. Those attending were still required to wear a disposable, non-woven fabric masks and be social distanced, but they also had to face the direction of the action when being vocal. Japan is still currently moving a lot slower than other countries when it comes to relaxing COVID measures, as the nation remains generally closed to tourism, except for a small handful of tour groups.

To quote this article, please provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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