AXS TV issued the following press release to PWTorch today regarding their schedule for the next six weeks of programming featuring Wrestle Kingdom 12 and New Year’s Dash matches with Jim Ross and Josh Barnett on commentary…
Five-Week Wrestle Kingdom Block Kicks off Friday, Jan. 12 with the Junior Heavyweight and Junior Tag Team Championship Matches
An Encore Presentation of Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega Airs Feb. 2
New Year’s Dash Premieres Feb. 16
Los Angeles (Jan. 11, 2018) – AXS TV—the exclusive U.S. television home for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)—continues its coverage of the NJPW’s biggest annual event, Wrestle Kingdom 12, over the next five weeks starting this Friday, Jan. 12 at 8pE/5pP. Then, for the first time in series history, AXS TV will premiere select matches from NJPW’s New Year’s Dash on Friday, Feb. 16.
Two high-flying junior heavyweight championship matches kick off the five-week Wrestle Kingdom block on Jan. 12. First, Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh) defend their IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title against The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson); then Marty Scurll puts his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship on the line in a four-way match against Will Ospreay, Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA.
Then, AXS TV will showcase highlights and the entire final battle from the Wrestle Kingdom Gauntlet Match for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title on Friday, Jan. 19. Tag-team champions The Bullet Club take on Chaos, Michael Elgin with War Machine, Suzuki-gun, and Taguchi Japan. Also featured this week, Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) defend their IWGP Tag Team Championship against Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and Sanada); and Hirooki Goto takes on NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki in a title match where the loser also has to shave their head.
The next three weeks feature encore presentations of the thrilling matches from AXS TV’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 special, starting with Cody vs. Kota Ibushi and Jay White vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi on Jan. 26. Then, legendary wrestler Chris Jericho challenges IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega on Feb. 2 and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada faces G1 Climax 27 tournament winner Tetsuya Naito on Feb. 9.
AXS TV’s NJPW Schedule is as follows (subject to change):
IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title– The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi 3K (c)
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship – Marty Scurll (c) vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida
Gauntlet Match for NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship – Bullet Club (c) vs. Chaos plus highlights featuring Michale Elgin and War Machine, Suzuki-gun and Taguchi Japan
IWGP Tag Team Championship – Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and Sanada).
NEVER Openweight Championship – Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
Singles Match – Cody vs. Kota Ibushi
IWGP Intercontinental Championship – Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)
IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship – Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (c)
IWGP Heavyweight Championship – Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada (c)
New Year’s Dash – Matches to be announced