During night one of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s WrestleKingdom event, the promotion played this short video that ended with the caption “NJPW Will Return To TV Screens In The U.S. and U.K. Shortly”
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 4, 2021
According to Dave Meltzer, a deal is “very close,” and that an announcement that would mark the promotion’s return to full English-language TV coverage for the first time since 2019 could come imminently.
NJPW had previously broadcast on AXS TV in the United States. That deal started in 2014, with the network covering New Japan shows (usually on a delay) with English commentary as part of NJPW’s expansion in the USA, with the likes of Jim Ross, Josh Barnett, and a pre-WWE Mauro Ranallo all passing through the announce booth. This deal finished when Anthem Sports and Entertainment purchased AXS TV in late 2019, confirming there would be no more NJPW programming on the network.
Anthem is the parent company of Impact Wrestling and effectively moved their own promotion onto AXS in NJPW’s place.
Though NJPW’s American expansion has slowed in recent years, the promotion has continued promoting its NJPW of America imprint throughout the global health crisis. using its streaming service to broadcast weekly episodes of NJPW STRONG from California.
Sir Mitch Says: I wonder if this may the long rumoured deal with Vice Media as they own Pay TV networks in both the U.S. and the U.K.
At any rate, this is wonderful news for NJPW and wonderful news for the Pro Wrestling industry as a whole!