I don’t know about you, but I still can’t get it out of my head. Wrestle Kingdom 11 was some bona fide pro wrestling excellence, particularly the main event between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega. It was the perfect note on which to begin a new year in wrestling, and yet I know that there are still some of you out there who haven’t seen it. Maybe you haven’t watched Okada and Rocky Romero guide you along the NJPW World signup process in a helpful informational video, I don’t know. But if you’re still in the dark, AXS TV is there to help you see the light. Their four-part coverage of New Japan’s flagship show starts tomorrow, January 13, and they’re kicking off with Okada and Omega. And the following week, it’s Tetsuya Naito versus Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship! Commentators Jim Ross and Josh Barnett sound pretty fired up about it, according to the official AXS press release:
“Wrestle Kingdom is a pro wrestling broadcaster’s dream event,” said Ross. “It’s the Japanese equivalent to the Super Bowl. The biggest NJPW stars in the most important bouts on the most lucrative card of the year where everyone brings their ‘A’ game in the Tokyo Dome!”
“Wrestle Kingdom is one of the greatest events in the world of professional wrestling year after year!” said Barnett. “The Tokyo Dome sets the stage for the biggest and best New Japan has to offer.”
Ross calling the action for Wrestle Kingdom 9 live in Tokyo was nothing short of special, and he’s been continuing to bring the appropriate gravitas to New Japan’s AXS broadcasts. We had the chance to talk to him about calling NJPW early in 2016, in case you missed it. If you get AXS, you’ve got no excuse not to catch up on all the New Japan Pro Wrestling you’ve been missing, especially considering that their coverage has just been renewed for more than 50 episodes throughout 2017. Maybe Ross and Barnett will make the trip to Long Beach for New Japan’s recently announced American shows … one can dream, right?