Backstage News: NJPW/AXS TV Plans, JR’s AXS Contract

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, while the deal is not official at this time, the working idea is that AXS TV will air the NJPW US debut on July 1st in prime time at 8PM. The Sunday show would reportedly be taped and air in prime time later in the week, likely on July 7th. The shows will also likely be like on New Japan World. Both shows will be booked like one of the important Japanese PPV, similar to the New Beginning shows in February, where half the titles will be on one show and half on another. NJPW wants to provide as close to an authentic experience of going to a Japanese major show as possible, and the idea is to make the arena set-up feel like you are in Japan as opposed to in Long Beach. The sold about 2,150 to 2,200 to each show on the first day, selling out. They will likely look to run larger venues on future shows.

Jim Ross is under contract with AXS TV and not New Japan Pro Wrestling. His deal runs through early 2018, and will continue his work with them while under contract with WWE. AXS TV claims nothing has changed with Ross; Ross AXS deal was not exclusive, which allowed him to take the WWE deal. New Japan was caught completely off guard, and felt that Ross could have been a key figure in that promotion breaking into the new market, both because of his history as an announcer and also media connections and the ability to promote for their US shows.

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