Major Update On NJPW Fans' Ability To Cheer At Shows

Ever since New Japan Pro-Wrestling started running shows again months into the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the promotion has done so either without fans or without fans cheering, with those in attendance allowed to clap only. As such, many have wondered for the past two years just when fans will be able to cheer again at NJPW events.

That answer came today at a NJPW Business Strategy Presentation, where the promotion announced numerous plans going forward. Among those plans is for fans to be able to cheer again at New Japan events, starting this September with two events at Korakuen Hall on September 5 and September 6.

While fans will now be allowed to cheer, however, a few stipulations have been added. Both Korakuen Hall events will be held at only half capacity, reducing a potential crowd from over 2,000 fans to around 1,000 fans. In addition, NJPW stated the events would have a cheering section, indicating that only a certain group of fans could cheer at events, though the distinction ultimately wasn't clarified.

NJPW's announcement all but confirms that fans will not be able to cheer during the upcoming G1 Climax tournament, which will run from July into August. That decision was not a popular one with IWGP United States Champion Will Ospreay, who has been vocal about fans being able to cheer again over the last several months.

"So COVID decided to let us cheer in September," Ospreay tweeted. "It's gonna hang around til then."

"Well at least I get to hear people soon," he added.

The 32nd edition of the G1 Climax will start next Saturday on July 16 in Sapporo. The show will feature four matches from the A and B blocks, with Ospreay taking on Bullet Club's El Phantasmo, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Aaron Henare, Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb, and IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White facing Sanada.