NJPW’s Next United States Show Won’t Air Live And Will Have A New Announce Team


New Japan Pro Wrestling is coming back to America in a little over a month, but the Sept. 30 Walter Pyramid show, Fighting Spirit Unleashed, will air a bit after the dust settles in the squared circle. Unlike the previous NJPW specials run in the United States, AXS TV will run this show after a six-day tape delay — on Friday, October 5, at 8 p.m. EST.

The New Japan World schedule hasn’t been updated that far in advance yet, but it looks like we can expect for FSU to show up on the streaming service at the same time. In another departure from previous NJPW shows on AXS, Fighting Spirit Unleashed will be called by the announce team of Jim Ross and regular NJPW World English-language commentator, Kevin Kelly, rather than Ross and Josh Barnett.

It doesn’t have anything to do with that Switchblade incident at the show in San Francisco, but rather, Barnett’s responsibilities in the MMA world.

“I had a conflicting event with one of my fighters in Japan, otherwise I’d be there to call this event and have my partner Jim Ross’ back, as always,” Barnett said via AXS press release. I’ll be back next time!”

Ross also gave a statement about the announce team change-up, saying, “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. 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.”

So far just three matches have been announced for FSU: Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay, The Young Bucks defending their tag championships against the Guerrillas of Destiny and Juice Robinson defending his hard-won United States Championship against the man who calls himself the worst of the country that title represents, Cody. However, NJPW has released some new information about Lion’s Break Project 1, the Lion’s Gate-type show for the LA Dojo trainees coming up this November in Anaheim: Jushin Thunder Liger will be there.