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AXS TV to air NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed on delay


New Japan Pro Wrestling's next show in the United States will be airing on AXS TV a few days after taking place.

AXS announced today that Fighting Spirit Unleashed, which will be held at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California on September 30, will be premiering on the channel at 8 p.m. Eastern time on October 5. The show is taking place on a Sunday and then airing on AXS on Friday.

Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly will be the broadcast team for the event, with Kelly filling in for Josh Barnett due to Barnett having a scheduling conflict.

“I had a conflicting event with one of my fighters in Japan,” Barnett said, “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," Ross said. “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.”

Cody Rhodes challenging for Juice Robinson's IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, The Young Bucks defending their IWGP Tag Team titles against Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa, and Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll in an IWGP Junior Heavyweight title tournament semifinal match have been announced for Fighting Spirit Unleashed.

KUSHIDA vs. BUSHI is the other semifinal match in the eight-man tournament, with them facing off at Destruction in Kobe on September 23. The finals are scheduled for King of Pro Wrestling on October 8.