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NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco to air live on AXS TV


AXS TV is expected to announce imminently that they will be airing the July 7th New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Special show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco live.

It was expected this would be the case when the show was announced with a 5 p.m. local start time, meaning it was designed for primetime viewing on the East Coast.

The name of the show will be "G1 Special in San Francisco," and the official headliners on the show will be New Japan's big four, Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito. The Young Bucks are also officially booked for the show.

Jim Ross and Josh Barnett will return as announcers.

"As New Japan Pro Wrestling continues their U.S. expansion, we are proud to provide a platform for NJPW and TV-Asahi to bring their electrifying events to as many fans as possible through our live primetime broadcasts," said AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon. "The Cow Palace has a rich history of major pro wrestling events and we are exited to continue that tradition with our presentation of the G1 Special in San Francisco."

The Cow Palace is one of the historically legendary arenas for pro wrestling in the world, from its hosting of the three Lou Thesz vs. Leo Nomellini matches in the 1950s where the pro wrestling World Champion defended his title against the still active and in his prime best lineman in the NFL of that era. One of those matches, which Nomellini won via disqualification, led to the U.S. acceptance of the rule that the title could not change hands via DQ.

In the early 1960s, behind the promotional expertise of Roy Shire and headliner Ray Stevens, the Cow Palace was considered the hottest arena for pro wrestling in the world and with emphasis on in-ring, had the best wrestling anywhere. It set its all-time record crowd for a 1963 match with Stevens against Pepper Gomez. 

In the 1970s it was known for its annual January Battle Royal, which was the forerunner of the modern Royal Rumble. Pat Patterson, who came up with the Royal Rumble, was featured in most of the Battle Royals, which were annual sellout events, and spawned the famous Los Angeles Battle Royals.

It remained a major arena through the mid-70s, and then picked up again as a key building in the WWF's early expansion. It housed Eddy Guerrero's title win over Brock Lesnar in 2004. While dormant for pro wrestling for many years, it was revived last year when the local All Pro Wrestling ran one of the biggest independent shows of 2017 in the arena, headlined by a cage match with Cody vs. Joey Ryan.