SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AXS TV will premiere New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest show of the year, “Wrestle Kingdom 11,” in a four-part TV event starting Friday, Jan. 13, the week after it takes place at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo.
“Wrestle Kingdom is one of the greatest events in the world of professional wrestling year after year!” commentator and MMA and pro wrestling veteran Josh Barnett. “The Tokyo Dome sets the stage for the biggest and best New Japan has to offer.”
Also, AXS has renewed the TV series for over 50 episodes in 2017, and it will now premiere an hour earlier t 8 p.m. ET on Friday.
“Wrestle Kingdom is a pro wrestling broadcaster’s dream event,” Jim Ross said in a prepared media release. “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!”
AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon praised the reception the series has received. “The response and critical acclaim for the New Japan Pro Wrestling weekly series has exceeded our wildest expectations and we are looking forward to furthering our relationship in 2017. We appreciate that TV Asahi and New Japan Pro Wrestling are allowing us to broadcast Wrestle Kingdom 11 to their loyal fans in the United States just a week after the event in Japan. This is a huge step for our companies and we hope to offer more events in this timely format in the future.”
The first of four Friday night Wrestle Kingdom episodes kicks off Jan. 13 with Wrestle Kingdom 11’s scheduled main event featuring four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, who defends his championship against 2016 G1 Climax Tournament Champion Kenny Omega. The highly anticipated bout is the first meeting between Okada and Omega, who was a breakout star in 2016.
The second episode on Friday, Jan. 20 will feature the scheduled co-main event match between NJPW legend Hiroshi Tanahashi and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito. The scheduled matches for the final two episodes from WRESTLE KINGDOM 11 will be announced at a later date.
Check out this promotional VIDEO CLIP.