LEGENDARY WRESTLING COMMENTATOR JIM ROSS JOINS AXS TV’S ‘NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’ ALONGSIDE JOSH BARNETT STARTING MARCH 4
‘NJPW’ Airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV
LOS ANGELES – January 19, 2016 – AXS TV today confirmed legendary pro wrestling commentator Jim Ross will join AXS TV’s hit series ‘New Japan Pro Wrestling’ (NJPW) to call play-by-play commentary alongside NJPW veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett beginning Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. In Ross’ first episode, he and Barnett will call the action for matches from Wrestling Dontaku 2015.
NJPW, which premiered its 52-episode second season on AXS TV Jan. 15, airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. This season features episodes highlighting matches from the 2015 New Japan Cup, Invasion Attack, HINOKUNI, Best of the Super Juniors 22, Dominion 7.5, G1 Climax 25 and more throughout the year.
A WWE Hall of Famer, Ross was known as the voice of WWE for nearly two decades, bringing his incomparable broadcasting talent to hundreds of TV and pay-per-view broadcasts for the organization. No stranger to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Oklahoma native Ross also called the first-ever, live English-language broadcast of NJPW with Wrestle Kingdom 9 in 2015.
"I'm excited to join the AXS TV team in presenting the amazing athletes of the New Japan Pro Wrestling brand,” said Ross. “I'm a major fan of NJPW and look forward to joining Josh Barnett to form the best broadcast team in the genre. Business just picked up!”
"It's a dream to be able to sit next to the legendary Jim Ross and call the incredible wrestling action of New Japan Pro Wrestling,” said Barnett. “I've listened to his commentary throughout the years and I'm glad to have someone as distinguished as him to work with in the booth."
“Jim Ross is unquestionably one of the best announcers in the history of professional wrestling. He is a true legend and we look forward to leveraging his unparalleled experience to continue to make NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING on AXS TV the best wrestling show on television,” said AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon
AXS TV’s NJPW episodes are produced by and acquired from TV ASAHI CORPORATION.
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- Rich Kraetsch
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AXS TV found their replacement for Mauro — a familiar voice for most wrestling fans. What do you think of the move?
I like this a lot. His biggest weaknesses at the Dome last year were a lack of familiarity/lack of confidence in his knowledge of the product, trouble keeping up with some of the action live, and not having a partner with a deeper familiarity with the product than himself who could cover his weaknesses. I think doing it in a studio with Josh Barnett will be a better situation for him. And whatever his weaknesses, he still has a unique talent for nailing the emotional impact of an outcome in a wrestling match, and that should be really well suited for this show. Hopefully his presence can draw in some new viewers.
I might be crazy for saying this but I think that Michael Schiavello wouldve be a better fit for the show than JR. Schiavello can be annoying but his enthusiasm can sell matches like they need to be. He was good at Ultima Lucha and works for AXS anyway.