As reported in last week’s SoCal News & Notes, AXS confirmed today that New Japan Pro Wrestling’s return to the United States on March 25 in Long Beach will air live on AXS TV. The initial batch of tickets for Strong Style Evolved at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach sold out in less than 30 minutes, so this gives people an opportunity to still watch the show live. New Japan on AXS’ usual announce team of Jim Ross and Josh Barnett will be calling the action.They have also confirmed that Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito will all be appearing at the show.
Here is the complete press release:
NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’S BIGGEST STARS RETURN TO AMERICA ON AXS TV’S EXCLUSIVE LIVE BROADCAST OF ‘STRONG STYLE EVOLVED’ ON SUNDAY, MARCH 25 AT 8pE/5pP
The Sold-Out Show Will Feature Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito & More from Long Beach, California
‘STRONG STYLE EVOLVED’ Marks NJPW’s Second U.S. Event as Japan’s Biggest Wrestling Organization Continues to Expand Stateside
Leading up to the Live Broadcast, the Network will Premiere Matches from NJPW’s New Year Dash, New Beginning in Sapporo and More
Los Angeles (Feb. 7, 2018) – AXS TV—the exclusive U.S. television home for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)—will partner with NJPW and TV ASAHI to broadcast NJPW’s second U.S. event STRONG STYLE EVOLVED live on Sunday, March 25 at 8pE/5pP from California State University Long Beach’s (CSULB) Walter Pyramid.
The cable network’s acclaimed commentary team, Wrestling Hall of Famer Jim Ross and former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NJPW veteran Josh Barnett, will call the live action ringside at STRONG STYLE EVOLVED. The broadcast is expected to feature NJPW’s biggest stars including Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito among others in matches to be announced.
“New Japan Pro Wrestling’s popularity and ratings in the U.S. are at an all-time high,” said AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon. “The G1 Special last summer sold out in a few hours, while STRONG STYLE EVOLVED, in an arena twice the size, sold out in less than 10 minutes. This second U.S. event is a great opportunity to further our relationship with NJPW and TV Asahi and we are looking forward to growing their strong style brand of wrestling in the states.”
AXS TV previously televised NJPW’s first stateside event—G1 Special in USA—live in July 2017 and also took over production of the Friday night series from distribution partner TV Asahi to air the Japanese events closer to the original air date. Continuing this trend, AXS TV aired a special presentation of NJPW’s biggest annual event—Wrestle Kingdom 12—on Jan. 6, 2018 just two days after it took place in Japan, which became the most watched broadcast in series history.
AXS TV wraps up its final night of Wrestle Kingdom 12 coverage on Feb. 9 at 8pE/5pP. Then, the network will showcase the best matches from NJPW’s winter events including “New Year Dash” (Feb. 16), three hours from “The New Beginning in Sapporo” (Feb. 23-March 9) and more to be announced leading up to STRONG STYLE EVOLVED.
AXS TV’s upcoming NJPW schedule is as follows (subject to change):
- Feb. 9 – Wrestle Kingdom 12 Finale – Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
- Feb. 16 – New Year Dash – NJPW’s top wrestlers face off in a series of tag team matches and establish new rivalries for 2018.
- Feb. 23 – The New Beginning in Sapporo – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki
- March 2 – The New Beginning in Sapporo – The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi 3K
- March 9 – The New Beginning in Sapporo – Kenny Omega vs. Jay White
The full lineup wont be known until angles play out on upcoming New Japan shows taking place in Japan. The show will be available sometime later for streaming on New Japan World as well.