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Japanese wrestling promotion secures US exposure

The New Japan Pro Wrestling organisation has secured its first rights deal in the US by agreeing a partnership with digital cable and satellite television broadcaster AXS TV.

In a deal signed with Japanese commercial broadcaster TV Asahi, AXS TV has acquired a 13 episode series from Japan’s largest professional wrestling promotion.

NJPW content will be integrated into the ‘AXS TV Fights’ Friday night franchise. Premiering on January 16, NJPW will air leading into the broadcaster’s weekly live mixed martial arts, Muay Thai and kickboxing broadcasts.

Airing for the first time ever in the US, the hour-long weekly NJPW series features the most exciting matches from the organisation’s Japanese broadcasts and pay-per-view events.

The series premiere features Hiroshi Tanahashi defending the promotion’s prestigious IWGP Heavyweight Title against his long-time rival Kazuchika Okada in front of 29,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome.