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NJPW president clarifies Will Ospreay's Wrestle Kingdom 16 status


NJPW is still expecting Will Ospreay and other foreign talent to be allowed to enter Japan for Wrestle Kingdom 16. 

In an interview with Tokyo Sports, NJPW president Takami Ohbari stated that new travel restrictions implemented in Japan due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant will not apply to talent that already have visas. 

"Under the current rules... I've heard that (regular foreign wrestlers) have visas to work in Japan, so they will be treated as re-entry. This has been confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Ohbari said (translation provided by Google Translate). 

A ban on new, non-resident foreign nationals entering Japan went into effect today. Those who are permitted to enter the country will have to abide by the 14-day quarantine that has been in place for some time, as the plan to reduce the quarantine to three or ten days has been suspended, according to the United States Embassy Japan.

In response to Ohbari's statement, Ospreay tweeted:

"Shingo can’t stop me.

Okada can’t stop me.

Covid can’t stop me.

January 5th 2022, I’ll be there."

Ospreay is scheduled to face the winner of the January 4 IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match between title holder Shingo Takagi and challenger Kazuchika Okada on January 5. Ospreay vacated the IWGP World title due to injury in May, but never lost the title in the ring. He returned to NJPW in Los Angeles at Resurgence in August and has since been wrestling on NJPW Strong shows in the United States, as well as RevPro shows in the United Kingdom.

Wrestle Kingdom 16 will be a three-night event, with nights one and two taking place on January 4 and January 5 at the Tokyo Dome and airing on NJPW World. Night three will take place on January 8 at the Yokohama Arena and will feature NJPW vs. Pro Wrestling NOAH talent. That show will air on Abema pay-per-view.