AXS TV sent out the following press release announcing the next round of NJPW US shows on the network.
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
ABOUT AXS TV
Launched in July 2012 by visionary entrepreneur CEO Mark Cuban, AXS TV delivers the ultimate in music entertainment programming with an eclectic lineup that includes classic concerts from music’s most iconic bands, as well as exclusive music festival coverage, original hit series, docs that rock, insightful specials, and knock-out live mixed martial arts action. AXS TV is a partnership between Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS. The network is available nationally in the United States and can be seen in parts of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For a list of providers, visit axs.tv/subscribe. For more information, see www.axs.tv and www.axs.tv/press. Follow AXS TV on Facebook, Twitter @axstv; Instagram;and YouTube.
Commentary: Kevin Kelly filling in for Josh Barnett should make an interesting announce team dynamic for the show. Ross and Barnett have had their fair share of criticism with their announcing at all of the NJPW Live shows. Kelly should be able to help get the proper information out and help JR at the same time.