NJPW Strong
GenreProfessional wrestling
Created byTakami Ohbari
Written byGedo
Directed byLogan Chegwidden
Presented by
Ian Riccaboni, and Matt Rehwoldt (English language commentators)
StarringNew Japan Pro-Wrestling of America roster
Country of origin
  • Japan
  • United States
Original languages
  • English
  • Japanese
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes126 (as of January 28, 2023) (list of episodes)
Production
Camera setupMulti-camera setup
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
Network
ReleaseAugust 7, 2020 (2020-08-07) –
January 28, 2023 (2023-01-28)
Related
NJPW World Pro Wrestling

NJPW Strong is a brand name utilized by Japanese professional wrestling promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). NJPW Strong also refers to the former professional wrestling television series produced by NJPW's New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America (NJoA) subsidiary.[3]

The Strong weekly TV series debuted on August 7, 2020, airing on Saturdays at 8 pm ET on NJPW World and FITE TV until its final episode aired on January 28, 2023. After the program's end, NJPW Strong became the branding for NJPW events held in the United States. These events are distributed live via PPV under the NJPW Strong Live banner, and are later distributed as weekly instalments of the NJPW Strong on Demand series.

History

Background and Early format

On November 24, 2014, AXS TV announced that it had acquired a thirteen-episode series featuring matches from New Japan Pro Wrestling under the AXS TV Fights banner. The series was an English-language adaptation of NJPW's own television series, NJPW World Pro Wrestling, produced by TV Asahi. The series premiered on January 16, 2015, airing on Friday evenings.[4] This was the first time NJPW had been aired on an American television network since its formation in 1972.[5] NJPW content would continue to air on AXS until December 2019.[6][7] Prior to this, on October 21, NJPW announced the formation of an American subsidiary called "New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America" (NJoA).[8]

On July 31, 2020, NJPW announced a new weekly series titled NJPW Strong, with its initial episodes to feature matches from the inaugural New Japan Cup USA tournament. As part of NJPW's expansion into the United States, the series would be produced by NJoA.[9]

The premiere episode of Strong aired on August 7, 2020, broadcast live from NJPW's training dojo in Los Angeles, and streaming on NJPW's service NJPW World.[10] The event was held with no spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[11] On August 19, NJPW announced that Strong would be streaming on FITE TV in conjunction with NJPW World.[12]

Change in format

On January 6, 2023, Hiroshi Tanahashi announced on his blog that the January Strong tapings would be the last, and that "overseas tournaments" would be held in a different format in the future.[13] On January 30, NJPW announced that all of the promotion's future American events would be branded under the NJPW Strong name and be available for purchase via pay-per-view (PPV) providers.

Beginning with Battle in the Valley on February 18, the NJoA PPVs began airing as NJPW Strong Live, with Strong ceasing to be its own show with exclusive content. These PPV events will later air on NJPW World in hour-long instalments known as NJPW Strong on Demand.[14]

Events

Main articles: List of NJPW Strong episodes, List of NJPW Strong special episodes, and List of major NJPW events

Roster

Main article: List of New Japan Pro-Wrestling personnel

Commentators

Language Commentators Dates
Japanese Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Shigeki Kiyono
Katsuyori Shibata/Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shigeki Kiyono
August 7, 2020 – October 24, 2020
November 28, 2020 – December 18, 2020
January 8, 2021 – April 30, 2021
May 21, 2021 – August 20, 2021
September 25, 2021 - October 2, 2021
November 6, 2021 - November 13, 2021
November 20, 2021 - January 8, 2022
January 22, 2022 - June 25, 2022
July 16, 2022 – August 27, 2022
October 29, 2022 - November 5, 2022
November 26, 2022 - December 17, 2022
January 8, 2023 - January 28, 2023
Japanese Katsuyori Shibata, Hirooki Goto, and Shigeki Kiyono October 31, 2020 – November 21, 2020
Japanese Togi Makabe and Shigeki Kiyono May 7, 2021 – May 14, 2021
Japanese Satoshi Kojima and Shigeki Kiyono August 27, 2021 - September 18, 2021
Japanese Yuji Nagata and Shigeki Kiyono October 9, 2021 - October 30, 2021
July 2, 2022 - July 9, 2022
September 3, 2022
September 24, 2022 - October 1, 2022
October 1, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Japanese Katsuyori Shibata/Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata, and Shigeki Kiyono September 10, 2022 - September 17, 2022
October 9, 2022
Japanese Takami Ohbari and Shigeki Kiyono January 15, 2022
Japanese Hiroshi Tanahashi, Takami Ohbari and Shigeki Kiyono November 12, 2022 - November 19, 2022
Japanese Katsuyori Shibata, Takami Ohbari and Shigeki Kiyono December 24, 2022
English Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov August 7, 2020 – October 2, 2021
December 4, 2021 - January 29, 2022
January 8, 2023 - January 28, 2023
English Alex Koslov and Matt Rehwoldt October 9, 2021 - November 27, 2021
English Ian Riccaboni and Alex Koslov February 12, 2022 - March 26, 2022
May 13, 2022 - June 4, 2022
July 9, 2022 – December 24, 2022
English Ian Riccaboni and Matt Rehwoldt April 2, 2022 - April 30, 2022
June 11, 2022 - July 2, 2022
English Kevin Kelly and Matt Rehwoldt May 7, 2022

Ring announcers

Language Ring announcers Dates
English Adnan Kureishy August 7, 2020 – January 28, 2023
Japanese Takuro Shibata August 7, 2020 – January 28, 2023

See also

References

  1. ^ Thompson, Andrew (August 5, 2020). "Alex Koslov returning to NJPW to do commentary for NJPW Strong". Post Wrestling. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  2. ^ "Home, David Marquez Productions". David Marquez Productions. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  3. ^ Radican, Sean (August 5, 2020). "NJPW Strong details announced for NJPW World, new weekly show will debut with NJPW Cup USA tournament". Pro Wrestling Torch. TDH Communications LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "AXS announces New Japan TV deal, official details, time slot, debut date and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. November 24, 2014. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Meltzer, Dave (July 27, 2015). "July 27, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The Undertaker returns at Battleground, NXT/ROH insanity with Liger booking, and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California. p. 24. ISSN 1083-9593.
  6. ^ Nason, Josh (December 27, 2019). "NJPW NO LONGER AIRING ON AXS TV". F4WOnline. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "New Japan Pro Wrestling Won't Air in American TV In 2020". Uproxx. Warner Music Group. December 27, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  8. ^ "NJPW Announced New Japan Pro Wrestling of America Subsidiary". f4wonline. October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "New Japan Cup USA announced for NJPW STRONG debut 【NJoA】". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Bushiroad. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  10. ^ "2020.08.07 NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 in the USA". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Bushiroad. August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  11. ^ Vishwakoti, Anish (August 8, 2020). "8/7 NJPW Strong results: Anish V's review of Kenta vs. Karl Fredericks, Jeff Cobb vs. Tanga Loa, David Finlay vs. Chase Owens, and Brody King vs. Tama Tonga in New Japan Cup USA first round matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Last Row Media, LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  12. ^ "Watch NJPW STRONG on FITE! 【NJoA】". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Bushiroad. August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "棚橋弘至『クライマックス今回』". 棚橋弘至 オフィシャルブログ powered by Ameba (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-01-18.
  14. ^ "NJPW of America, STRONG transform in 2023 【NJoA】". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. January 30, 2023. Retrieved April 20, 2023.