First Match Of The NJPW Together Special Is A Stark Reminder
Yota Tsuji And Gabriel Kidd Brought It
The New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) Together Special was presented live on New Japan World without a live audience. At the top of the event, the previously unannounced card was made public. The heavily anticipated return to wrestling for NJPW was ushered in by a battle between NJPW Noge Dojo Young Lion Yota Tsuji and NJPW Los Angeles (LA) Dojo Young Lion Gabriel Kidd.
NJPW went over one hundred days without holding a wrestling event due to the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 on the world. However, due to the state of emergency being lifted in Japan, due to a dwindling number of cases in the country — NJPW officials deemed it safe to resume holding events by taking the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of wrestlers and staff members.
Gabriel Kidd has spent the quarantine period in Japan, likely due to taking up training at the Noge Dojo to buffer the instruction he receives from Katsuyori Shibata in LA. In typical NJPW fashion, the classically trained wrestlers wasted no time in providing a mix of mat wrestling and the modern Strong Style associated with the product.
Yota Tsuji, who is likely nearing an excursion looked sharp throughout the match, almost as if he wasn’t out of action for nearly three months. The England native, Gabriel Kidd showed an intense fire and presence that could turn him into a future draw within the promotion.
Tsuji was able to best Kidd in eight minutes and forty seconds with a Full Crab (Boston Crab). Immediate fan reactions of social media following the match indicated that fans missed the NJPW style of wrestling, and how the company presents wrestling events.
While a match between two Young Lions isn’t typically something spoken about down the line, this match will likely be an exception, especially if NJPW continues to grow internationally, as the overwhelming response to its return caused #NJPWTogether to trend on Twitter in the United States for the duration of the event.
A special video made of fan reactions of NJPW returning to live events is below.