Foxsports.com.au can reveal FITE.tv will carry the event exclusively live on its streaming service on June 29 from 7pm EST and for 72 hours thereafter, before it is made available to NJPW World subscribers.
“Expanding into a new market brings with it new challenges; while we did not have the infrastructure in place in Australia for the quality of stream World viewers deserve, FITE have stepped up and offered their world class production and distribution expertise for the event,” NJPW’s General Manager of the International Department Michael Craven told Foxsports.com.au.
“We realise how important it is that NJPW World has complete coverage of every single major event we put out, but also want to accommodate those fans that want to watch live, and that’s what drove us to go with FITE for the timed exclusivity deal.”
It is believed Southern Showdown will be the first major wrestling event broadcast from Festival Hall since the glory days of Australian wrestling, when Nine aired World Championship Wrestling (not to be confused with the US-based company which folded in 2001) between 1964 and 1978.
It will be a full NJPW production, with the Japanese announce team, ring announcer and referees, plus at least one member of the English announce team all to be in attendance.
A second event will be held in Sydney at the UNSW Roundhouse on June 30. This follows the Fallout Down Under tour which saw shows in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in early 2018.
NJPW is currently the second-most popular wrestling promotion on the planet, behind US-based WWE. It has grown greatly in recent years with its combination of hard-hitting ‘strong style’ wrestling and a more sports-centric presentation.
That growth has been assisted by English commentary on most of its major broadcasts, with Melbourne-based wrestler Gino Gambino recently joining lead caller Kevin Kelly in Japan to cover multiple shows.
Sydney’s Robbie Eagles is also making a name for himself in the company as a wrestler, competing in the famous Best of the Super Juniors tournament in recent weeks. Both Eagles and Gambino are members of the popular Bullet Club stable.
Wrestlers confirmed to be attending Southern Showdown include IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, New Zealand’s Jay White, Will Ospreay, Taiji Ishimori, Juice Robinson, Toru Yano, the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga), Bad Luck Fale, Gedo and Robbie Eagles, while the legendary Hiroshi Tanahashi will also make his first ever Australian appearance.
Tickets are still available for both the Melbourne and Sydney shows, while meet and greets are also available with selected NJPW stars.
Article from foxsports.com.au