This Sunday on January 4th New Japan Pro Wrestling kick off the first major event of the 2015 calendar with Wrestle Kingdom 9. For the first time ever this show will be available on pay per view in the United States both live at 2am and on a replay at the traditional 8pm EST time. The annual Tokyo Dome show is the only wrestling event that even comes close to rivaling Wrestlemania.
This year’s event is going to be big in what appears to be New Japan’s strategy of opening up the US market. The promotion is already popular among internet fans, especially those who come from the tape trading generation. The partnership with Global Force Wrestling and bring in legend Jim Ross to call event shows that they are trying to be serious players on this side of the world. Easily the number 2 wrestling company in the world wants to close the gap a little more.
We will even see a network for NJPW that is for sale for a familiar price in Japan but American customers can get it for about 8.40 a month. This network is another way to watch Wrestle Kingdom but be warned it won’t have Jim Ross’s commentary. With their partnership with ASX TV to show some past shows to television is clear sign they are looking for some expansion. Hopefully the strong in ring product New Japan provides will rub off on its counterparts here in the United States and if it doesn’t at least we get to see some good wrestling.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr