A couple of promotions are set to return to action.
First, AJPW announced that the previously postponed Champion Carnival has been rescheduled for September.
At a press conference on Friday, AJPW president Takeki Fukuda said (via Berry Meijer) “Foreigners who were invited will not be able to enter the tournament for the time being. So, it is expected that it will be held only with Japanese participants. Since they will have to negotiate from here, the schedule will depend on the future situation, so we can not inform you yet. However, we are planning to have a competition that does not disappoint everyone’s expectations, according to the participants announced last time”
Davey Boy Smith Jr, Joel Redman, and Lucas Steel were scheduled to compete in the tournament before the coronavirus pandemic caused travel issues.
An official date for the start of the tournament was not given.
Over in Europe, wXw announced the premiere of wXw announced debut of Shotgun. The new series will premiere on Friday, May 29, with ten episodes already produced.
wXw (Germany) to return from COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis has put pro wrestling worldwide to a full stop. Only select promotions run by large companies worth millions of dollars are still active. WWE and AEW are putting out weekly content in the US, a few promotions in Japan run empty set shows as well. US independents have shut down, so have all European promotions.
The first football promotion to return has been the German Bundesliga. It still comes as a surprise that the first non-major wrestling promotion to return is from Germany as well. Westside Xtreme Wrestling has been around since 2000 and has announced a brandnew show called wXw Shotgun 2020 this Tuesday.
wXw has developed a security concept based on the valid coronavirus protection decree by the state of NRW. wXw has received permission to run tapings by the authorities. Due to current travel restrictions wXw has only worked with talent currently residing in Germany.
While there has been criticism towards bigger companies for possible pressuring employees to participate in wrestling events during the pandemic, this cannot be the case with an independent wrestling promotion. wXw has explicitly stated that they are in no contractual, financial or factual position to put any pressure on talent. All talent involved has welcomed this opportunity to do something they love during a time with no wrestling around.
Westside Xtreme Wrestling has run crowd-funding to cover some of the costs of the wXw Shotgun 2020 tapings. They have included a specific virtual ticket where all proceedings where to be split among the wrestlers involved on top of their guarantees to make up for merch sales not happening during tapings.
Ten episodes of Westside Xtreme Wrestling Shotgun 2020 have been produced. They are episodic television and feature storytelling in form of matches and backstage segments. wXw has an English version of all their releases with English commentary and with subtitles for all German promos. They distribute via wXwNOW every Friday at 8pm German time.
wXwNOW is wXw’s subscription video on demand service containing over 1,500 hours of wXw content spanning from 2006 to today. On top of their own events wXw has original content formats (talk shows, game shows, best ofs, interviews) and features content from 15 other promotions.
Fightful will update fans on more re-openings across the wrestling world as they are known.