AXS TV sent out a press release confirming that the network will indeed broadcast NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed, but unfortunately the network will not be broadcasting the show live on Sunday, September 30th. It will air on Friday, Oct. 5th instead. The official press release is below:
FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED takes place on Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Walter Pyramid at California State University, Long Beach, headlined by newly crowned IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Juice Robinson defending his title against Cody.
AXS TV continues its coverage of the G1 CLIMAX 28 Tournament every Friday night at 8pE/5pP leading up to FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED, with the tournament finale premiering Sept. 28, featuring the acclaimed championship match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi. The network will also air the previous five years’ G1 CLIMAX finals in a late-night strip at 5aE/2aP from Sept. 24-28.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross will be returning for commentary, but his broadcast partner Josh Barnett will not. Barnett noted on Twitter that he will be in Japan that evening cornering one of his students. Instead, the voice of New Japan World, Kevin Kelly, will reunite with Ross in the announcers booth.
“I had a conflicting event with one of my fighters in Japan,” said Josh Barnett, “otherwise I’d be there to call this event and have my partner Jim Ross’ back, as always. I’ll be back next time!”
“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,” said Jim Ross. “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.”
“I am excited to work with Jim Ross again and am happy to fill in for Josh,” said Kevin Kelly “Fighting Spirit Unleashed, filled with title matches and rivals galore, is a must-see for every NJPW fan.”
The final card has yet to be determined, but three big matches have already been announced. As previously stated, Juice Robinson is set to defend the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship against the man that everyone loves to hate, “The American Nightmare” Cody.
Also, the Young Bucks are set out for revenge on the very men who turned their backs on the bullet club as they face Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
And last but not least, one of the tournament matches for the vacated IWGP Junior Heavyweight title will take place as Will Ospreay will face Marty “The Villain” Scurll.