By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New York, NY (August 13th, 2019) — FITE TV, the largest digital combat sports streaming platform, announced today it has again partnered with New Japan Pro Wrestling Co., Ltd. (NJPW) to bring fans the most anticipated live event New Japan will offer this summer, Royal Quest which will air live on FITE.
New Japan Pro Wrestling, based in Tokyo, is the second largest wrestling promotion in the world. Its annual flagship event, Wrestle Kingdom, is consistently one of the highest regarded and most well attended events of the year, routinely filling the Tokyo Dome. New Japan has seldom partnered with a digital platform before, making this partnership with FITE one of the first for the company, and a continuation of the two companies partnering in January 2019 to air Wrestle Kingdom.
Royal Quest will air live on FITE from the Copper Box in London, airing Saturday, August 31st at 5:30pm UK time/12:30pm ET/9:30am PT.
Four title matches highlight a spectacular card for Royal Quest!
In the main event at the London Copper Box Arena, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada faces the challenge of Minoru Suzuki. Suzuki found himself out of the G1 Climax 29 field and reacted with furious anger during the Kizuna Road tour. As the G1 started, he was vicious in the ring and eerily silent for most of the tour, only speaking to send an ominous threat: ‘when everybody goes on their summer vacation, my summer will just be getting started’. On August 12 in the Budokan, Suzuki found himself tagging with Zack Sabre Junior against Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Suzuki delivered a crushing Gotch Style Piledriver to Okada and revealed his intentions. ‘Isn’t it embarrassing for the IWGP Heavyweight Champion to be pinned by a guy who wasn’t even allowed in the G1?’ Suzuki would jeer before demanding he be given an opportunity at the title.
That opportunity will come August 31, and a hard fought rivalry will continue. While last year’s G1 Climax saw Okada score a victory over Suzuki in 18 minutes, these two warriors typically have a much harder path to victory over one another. In Yokohama in the pouring rain on June 23 2018, Suzuki and Okada had a famous 30-minute Draw in the Downpour, and in G1 2017 again had a 30-minute draw. That followed the last time Suzuki challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in February 2017, a match that went an epic 40 minutes and 46 seconds after Okada came dangerously close to breaking the IWGP Heavyweight Champion’s arm. Could Suzuki capture his first ever IWGP title in London at the Copper Box?
In the semi-main event, Zack Sabre Junior puts the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship on the line against Hiroshi Tanahashi. When ZSJ defended his title against The Ace at Madison Square Garden, he would injure Tanahashi’s elbow, putting him on the shelf until June 5. That gave Sabre a wealth of confidence going into their G1 Climax match in Korakuen Hall, but Tanahashi would out maneuver the British technical wizard, scoring a flash pinfall. Then in the Budokan on Sunday August 11, Tanahashi again pinned Zack in a tag team bout. A furious ZSJ would vow to show his superiority over Tanahashi once and for all on home turf in the Copper Box, but is Tanahashi’s momentum too much to overcome?
KENTA will challenge NEVER Openweight Champion Tomhiro Ishii. Shocking scenes emerged from the Nippon Budokan on August 12, as in a tag team match with KENTA, Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI against the BULLET CLUB trio of Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale, KENTA dropped down from the apron and refused a tag from Ishii. KENTA would then deliver a thunderous Go2Sleep to Ishii, as boos thundered down from the Budokan faithful. After BULLET CLUB got the win, KENTA’s close personal friend Katsuyori Shibata demanded answers. The crowd exploded as the two came to blows, and while Shibata got an early upper hand, as a non-active wrestler he had no realistic chance. KENTA would deliver a mocking PK to Shibata and then in a disgusting display, posed cross-legged atop the LA Dojo master, cementing his entry into BULLET CLUB.
Ishii was fast to demand revenge against KENTA, and is willing to put the NEVER title on the line if it means getting his hands on the newest BC member. The Copper Box will doubtless see a wild and vicious fight on August 31.
IWGP Tag Team Champions the Guerrillas of Destiny will defend their titles for the first time against opponents yet to be revealed. Revolution Pro are currently staging the ‘Road to Royal Quest Tag Team Tournament’ a single elimination tag tournament with the prize for the winners being an opportunity at GoD in the Copper Box. Who will emerge as the top British tag team to face the IWGP champions?
See the entire card: https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/44497?showCards=1
FITE TV is the destination combat sports streaming platform for 1.6 million viewers to watch novel and unique pro wrestling shows – which include All Elite Wrestling, Ring on Honor Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling and hundreds of other organizations.
FITE will share additional details surrounding the upcoming New Japan events on its website and mobile app. The FITE Digital Television Network is a free app download and is available on all major digital platforms including its website www.FITE.tv, Apple and Android mobile apps, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire. The FITE mobile app features the patented technology to cast the program to any connected television set and is available worldwide.
Powell’s POV: This is welcome news for NJPW fans in that the event is not scheduled to stream live on New Japan World, though it will be available via VOD. There’s no word yet as to whether FITE will also carry the Super J Cup events that are also not expected to stream live on New Japan World.