You can rest a little bit easier if you weren’t able to get a ticket to the hottest event in wrestling: AXS TV officially announced last night that they will be airing New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s first ever American show, the G1 Special, as it happens live on Saturday, July 1, at 8 PM ET. New Japan’s second US show, which is being held in the same venue on July 2, will air on AXS a few days later on Friday, July 7. AXS’s regular New Japan commentary team of Jim Ross and Josh Barnett will call both shows.
Tickets for New Japan’s first US event sold out almost instantly when they went on sale in April, and it doesn’t look like they were scooped up by scalpers. Relatively few tickets have hit secondary markets like StubHub, and the prices are high. It just proves again how popular New Japan has become with American wrestling fans, many of whom will be seeing their favorite Japanese wrestlers perform live for the first time in Long Beach.
AXS TV has been a big part of that success in the States. Their weekly New Japan show has been a steady hit for them since launching in early 2015, and broadcasting the Long Beach show live proves their commitment to New Japan remains strong.
The G1 Special will feature New Japan’s top stars, including Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito and more, along with a number of Western wrestlers who regularly work for New Japan and its American partner Ring of Honor, including Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and Jay Lethal. The shows will also have a tournament to crown the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
We’ll have more on these shows soon, including a breakdown of the complete roster that’ll be appearing at them.