SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced on Monday morning that it would be making significant changes to the NJPW Strong brand.
Under the current branding, Strong is a weekly program that is taped in the United States. NJPW will be moving away from that format beginning in February. The company will now feature NJPW Strong Live and NJPW Strong On-Demand. Strong Live will consist of PPV events held in the United States and will begin with the Battle in the Valley event on February 18. The Strong On-Demand program will feature Strong Live content split into a four part series to air weekly in place of the Strong weekly content. This format will begin in March.
Strong began made it’s debut during the pandemic in 2020. The company issued a full statement on the changes via their website:
Since its inception during the COVID pandemic in 2020, NJPW STRONG has seen the best rising stars in the US compete with familiar names from the Japanese stage and beyond. Monthly tapings have seen passionate fans witness great action live, with matches from those tapings being distributed every week on NJPW World and FITE.
Additionally, Pay Per View events from the US have seen still more memorable moments, from Jon Moxley and El Desperado’s wild deathmatch at “Music City Mayhem” to Eddie Kingston and Kazuchika Okada teaming for the first time, and STARDOM’s Mayu Iwatani defending SWA gold at “Rumble on 44th Street”.
In the past, these PPV offerings were presented under the NJPW rather than NJPW STRONG branding in order to make them more distinct from the weekly TV style presentations on NJPW World and FITE. As NJPW moves into a new era in 2023 however, so too does action in the US, and the time has come to further fortify the NJPW STRONG brand, as well as to ensure even more people sample the incredible action that NJPW presents in the US.
Moving forward, all events from New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the US will carry the branding of NJPW STRONG. In addition, the weekly ‘TV taping’ format of STRONG will shift to a dual model: STRONG LIVE and STRONG On Demand.
The first STRONG LIVE event will be Battle in the Valley on February 18 from the sold out San Jose Civic. With Mercedes Moné versus KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s Championship, Fred Rosser defending the STRONG Openweight Championship against KENTA, Jay White and Eddie Kingston in a grudge match, and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship also on the line, this immense card is a must watch event for fans live in English on FITE, or in Japanese on NJPW World PPV.
All this action will also be made available in March with NJPW STRONG On Demand. STRONG On Demand will see matches from STRONG Live cards delivered in a four part weekly basis through the month, much as NJPW STRONG has been to date.
This model will continue with NJPW Capital Collision in Washington DC and Collision in Philadelphia from the world famous 2300 Arena!
This dual model will give fans on a budget the chance to stay up to date with the hottest action in the US through their regular NJPW World subscription, while the very best live experience on the planet awaits on pay per view as it happens.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling thanks fans for their dedicated support of NJPW STRONG to date- we can’t wait to have you join us for Battle in the Valley and what lies beyond in a thrilling new chapter for all of NJPW.
NJPW Battle in the Valley Full Match Card
- Kairi vs. Mercedes Mone – IWGP Women’s Championship
- Jay White vs. Eddie Kingston
- Homicide vs. Tom Lawlor – Filthy Rules Fight
- The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The West Coast Wrecking Crew – Openweight Tag Team Championship
- Adrian Quest, Josh Alexander, Mascara Dorada & Rocky Romero vs. Kevin Knight, Kushida, The DKC & Volador Jr.