New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach will be airing on AXS TV on October 5 at 5:00 p.m. The event, which takes place at the Walter Pyramid on September 30, 2018, is scheduled to be headlined by Juice Robinson defending the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship against Cody. It was also announced that regular AXS TV broadcaster Josh Barnett will not be able to call the event due to a schedule conflict, so Kevin Kelly will be joining Jim Ross on commentary.
The other two matches that have been announced for Fighting Spirit Unleashed so far are The Young Bucks defending the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against the Guerrillas of Destiny and Marty Scurll facing Will Ospreay in IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship tournament match.
The full press release from AXS TV follows:
Los Angeles (Aug. 24, 2018) – AXS TV will premiere NJPW’s return to America—FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED—on Friday, Oct 5 at 8pE/5pP. NJPW World commentator Kevin Kelly will make his AXS TV debut filling in for Josh Barnett and will team with the Wrestling Hall of Famer Jim Ross.
FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED takes place on Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Walter Pyramid at California State University, Long Beach, headlined by newly crowned IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Juice Robinson defending his title against Cody.
“I had a conflicting event with one of my fighters in Japan,” said Josh Barnett, “otherwise I’d be there to call this event and have my partner Jim Ross’ back, as always. I’ll be back next time!”
“While I will miss working with my normal broadcast partner Josh Barnett, I am excited for the opportunity to work again with Kevin Kelly, whom I broadcast with for the first time 20 years ago,” said Jim Ross. “Kevin has great knowledge from working on NJPW World, so he’ll bring another perspective to the broadcast and, as we all know, anything can and usually does happen. It should be a heck of a night.”
“I am excited to work with Jim Ross again and am happy to fill in for Josh,” said Kevin Kelly “Fighting Spirit Unleashed, filled with title matches and rivals galore, is a must-see for every NJPW fan.”
AXS TV continues its coverage of the G1 CLIMAX 28 Tournament every Friday night at 8pE/5pP leading up to FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED, with the tournament finale premiering Sept. 28, featuring the acclaimed championship match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi. The network will also air the previous five years’ G1 CLIMAX finals in a late-night strip at 5aE/2aP from Sept. 24-28.
AXS TV’s weekly coverage of the G1 CLIMAX 28 tournament is as follows:
Friday, Aug. 24 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 6”
- Kenny Omega vs. Tama Tonga
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto
- SANADA vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Friday, Aug. 24 at 9pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 13”
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL
Friday, Aug. 31 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 14”
- Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi
Friday, Aug. 31 at 9pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 15”
- Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin
- Jay White vs. Togi Makabe
Friday, Sept. 7 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 16”
- Kota Ibushi vs. Tama Tonga
- Kenny Omega vs. Toru Yano
- Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA
Friday, Sept. 14 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 17 – A Block Final”
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada
- Jay White vs. EVIL
Friday, Sept. 21 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 18 – B Block Final”
- Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Friday, Sept. 28 at 8pE – “G1 CLIMAX 28: Day 19 – Final”
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi
Fighting Spirit Unleashed takes place September 30th, 2018 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, CA at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available now at www.longbeachstate.com.