By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AXS TV issued the following press release on Friday to announce that the New Japan Pro Wrestling Fighting Spirit Unleashed event will be shown on October 5 with Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly on commentary.
AXS TV will premiere NJPW’s return to America—FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED—on Friday, Oct 5 at 8pE/5pP. NJPW World commentator Kevin Kelly will make his AXS TV debut filling in for Josh Barnett and will team with the Wrestling Hall of Famer Jim Ross.
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.
“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.”
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.
Powell’s POV: It’s too bad the show won’t air live on AXS as the past NJPW U.S. specials did. That said, it appears that the New Japan World streaming service will carry the event live.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...